Assorted links


#3 is hilarious. Apparently some parents confuse autism with regression to the mean.

5. My father used to say that if someone gives more than two or three reasons not to do something then they aren't telling you the real reason.

He'd better be thinking that these are the actions of a robust institution.

I went to a movie and saw a commercial for on-line, home-public-schooling.

One thing that online courses could help with is addressing topics that a department can't provide, but is vital to a student's work. For example, in grad school, I needed to study Hegel, but couldn't find anyone interested in working with me on him. Sam Scheffler suggested I take Guess or Heinrich, while Hubert Dreyfus suggested Charles Taylor. Those were excellent choices but for the fact that they weren't in the Bay Area.

In the end, I did the work on my own. However, when my first year review came up, no one else could vouch for what I'd accomplished, leading to an ugly encounter about my being lazy. After studying Hegel and a few friends of his for a year, the last thing I wanted to her was how easy my work load had been. And it was all on top of my regular coursework.

#4 - I don't get how this title has anything to do with the post. What am I missing?

Mo, the bloke spells out the metaphor in his post.

#5: Ala Chuck Norris, "Brad DeLong does not think, he knows."

(Not being snarky, it just popped into my head and I think it's hilarious.)

I'm not Brad DeLong, but I can say as a Californian that these online courses would not be rolled out so aggressively were it not for the state budget crisis, and the ensuing cuts to state university budgets. It would be an understatement to express reservations about the value of these online courses.

Robin Hanson called and said that Universities aren't about learning.


This would certainly not be the first.

Online college is the next big thing, it has to be. How can we ignore the potential of having our best professors teaching large swathes of our undergrads? Without good TA's, the marginal cost of additional students is very small, especially for cookie cutter classes like Econ 101.

@a: it's my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that Economics is taught to proportionately far more students in the English-speaking world - and in the USA in particular - than elsewhere. Perhaps one could say that in Germany it's a minor scholarly discipline, while in the US it's a sub-mathematical pastime?

@johnleemk: but it's old news, so it may be appalling but it's hardly shocking.

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