I happened to catch wind of the Khan Academy a while back and found the lectures on the housing crisis and French Revolution to be quite interesting. Here’s an article about it. It seems to me that there could really be room for something like this to provide downward pressure on the cost of an education. They’ll never compete with Harvard or even Southern Tech, but if you can have free lectures and a cheap test-taking apparatus with rigorous standards, you could probably put a real dent in North By Northeastern State U.

Since the Trumanverse map right now tops 51 states (including Alaska and Hawaii), you better believe I’m going to use this neat tool from Slate.

RangelMD has a really good post about how current incentives are encouraging expensive medicine. But getting rid of incentives hurts medical care. So what do we do? Note that this is a question whether you think that health care should be paid for by the government or private sector.

I agree with this: Everyone should have a retail job once. Or at least a basement customer service position.

A humorous video with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett pitching Orbit gum.

Is there a cat parasite profoundly affecting human behavior? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s amazing all we don’t know about… everything, really.

An interview with Flo, that quirky pitchwoman from the Progressive Insurance ads. Last time we all had dinner together, my brothers and father and I all had a staunch debate about the merits of Flo versus the merits of the AT&T Mom. Mitch and Dad came down heavily in favor of AT&T Mom while Oliver and I argued that she couldn’t hold a candle to Flo. I’m a sucker for extremely extroverted quirk. Don’t know why.

An application that helps tell you where your CPU usage is going could be very useful. I found an app a while back that did the same for my hard drive in a very intuitive and helpful manner.

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7 Responses to Linkluster XXI

  1. web says:

    An instant – if unpopular – way to reduce the cost of a college education would be quite simple: eliminate or vastly downscale, wholesale, college athletic programs. Reduce them back to the level of clubs, where they started.

    Think of all the wasted money that could be saved.

    Best utility I’ve ever found for space analysis is Windirstat (http://windirstat.info/). Gives you a breakdown percentage-wise, folder by folder, and file type by file type. Really helps hunt down those areas where “death by a thousand papercuts” is eating space.

  2. Peter says:

    An instant – if unpopular – way to reduce the cost of a college education would be quite simple: eliminate or vastly downscale, wholesale, college athletic programs. Reduce them back to the level of clubs, where they started.

    Football and basketball make money at quite a few universities. Often a lot of money.

  3. web says:

    But for the vast majority of universities, SoTech among them, football, basketball, and the rest of the NCAA “sports” setup is a gigantic black-hole waste of money.

    It doesn’t matter if football/basketball make money, if the rest of the NCAA sports scam is still losing it as a whole. The best thing to do, as I said, is reduce the teams to the level of clubs, reestablish open tryouts instead of the preferential-bullshit setup seen now, and stop wasting money.

    If football and basketball want to have a farm team setup, let them pay for it, fund it, and play it their own damn selves. I don’t see why my tuition money had to be wasted on it.

  4. trumwill says:

    Roughly 70 of the 120 athletic programs in the I-A division claim to be making money. My guess is that there is some creative accounting there and the number is actually about half that. All but maybe a handful of I-AA and Division II are losing money. Even so, I would probably say about 50 universities are either making money or are close enough to breaking even that they’re unquestionably getting their money’s worth from the publicity. The remaining 250 or so universities in Divisions I and II (I don’t count D-3 and below because that’s scholarship-free) are basically caught up in the arms race.

    The logistical problem is that the other 70 Division I-A (and at least a couple dozen I-AA schools that want to become I-A) want to be associated with the top 50 schools or at least closer to that than the unwashed in lower divisions. Some schools in the northeast and California escape this fate with utterly superior academics, but that’s a harder – if less expensive – hill to climb. More people are familiar with Fresno State than California-Irvine even though the latter is unquestionably the superior school.

    On the whole, I think I would prefer a system a little more sane like Canada’s, but for that to work here you have to get nigh-universal disarmament and there’s no way you’re going to get Ohio State and Southern Cal and the like to disarm. And if they’re not disarming, I don’t want Southern Tech disarming, either, even if I know they will never be a Southern Cal.

    In any event, while the dollar numbers of athletic department losses are huge, as a portion of total spending, it’s not a panacea. If you look at tuition and fees of schools with and without football programs (which is where most AD expenses go) the differences are pretty marginal and run in both directions.

    The logistical problem

  5. Peter says:

    It’s rather ironic that the World’s Wealthiest* and Most Successful Sports League gets colleges to pay the cost of developing future talent for the Most Important Sport in the World. Perish the thought that “The League” (no further name is necessary) should spend any of its unlimited funds on the endless flow of talent its churn-and-burn nature requires.

    * = the English Premier League may have edged ahead in total worldwide revenues, but that’s a pathetic f*gg*t sport, so who cares

  6. David Alexander says:

    I think I would prefer a system a little more sane like Canada’s

    The secret behind the Canadian system is for the government to own all of the colleges, but have them be administered on a individual basis with the exception of Quebec’s University de Quebec system which serves as an effective equivalent of a state university system in the states. Also, one should note that there’s a difference between “college” and “university” in Canada, with the former being a cheaper three year programme that’s geared toward more vocational type of education in various fields, while university is left for traditional liberal arts and engineer programmes. Colleges up there are effectively three year community colleges.

  7. Kirk says:

    I look at college football as being the poor subsidizing the better-off. The better-off are the alumni, the poor are those who didn’t go to college. The better-off get the benefits that come with publicizing one’s alma-mater, the poor get to pay for it.

    That said, I do enjoy watching college football. And small college games, most particularly Ivy League games, seem to be closer to the student-athlete ideal, with the play being not much better from what you’d see at a high school game. (From what I hear, the Ivies don’t even off athletic scholarships. That explains a lot.)

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