In 2008, Iceland collapsed under the weight of its banking industry’s federal-reserve like excesses.
In 2018, Iceland’s is a red hot economy. The highly able population has shifted from finance to technology and tourism. No bailout—allowing the banks to collapse and a natural recovery take place—has a lot to do with it.
Haiti is forever convulsed by political and natural disasters. It remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where four out of five people live in poverty and more than half in abject poverty (NYT).
Almost every bit of research cited in support of some or another ridiculous claim in the popular press seems abysmally designed. At least to this former student of research methodology.
Samples are too minuscule to claim generalizeability of findings beyond the sample, to the broader, targeted population. Likewise, you just know sample selection is poor, too. Variables are not often operationalized in an intelligent way. The actual hypothesis frequently sounds wacky. On and on.
It transpires that the same methodological flaws that “bedevil most social sciences, and some hard sciences, too,” have infected the dismal scientists of microeconomics.
A recent examination in the Economic Journal, of almost 7,000 empirical economics studies, found that in half of the areas of research, nearly 90% of those studies were underpowered, ie, that they used samples too small to judge whether a particular effect was really there. Of the studies that avoided this pitfall, 80% were found to have exaggerated the reported results. Another study, published in Science, which attempted to replicate 18 economics experiments, failed for seven of them.
Attendance rose this year at the annual Paris book fair. Regional literary festivals are thriving. Philosophy is still a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
And last year the French elected a president who has a degree in philosophy and can cite Molière by heart. France may have lost its great intellectuals, but it has certainly not lost its intellectualism.
So French kids must still study philosophy. I wonder if it’s a rigorous course? And President Macaroni knows some good stuff, aside globalism and multilateralism. Molière is brilliant. So funny.
While there is pressure to dumb down, the French have not yet replaced history with social studies agitprop.
So much so that, having mentioned his disappointment at the rise the likes of “Éric Zemmour, a reactionary essayist, and Alain Finkielkraut, a formerly left-wing philosopher turned critic of multiculturalism”—the writer concludes that “France may have lost its great intellectuals.”
Better good schools for the kids, than the likes of that lefty degenerate, Mr. Sartre.
According to data reported by Tucker, only 31 percent of Americans who graduate from college can read a complex text/book.
By the same data’s telling, American kids are the dumbest in the developed world (facts I was reporting 14 years ago, already. In addition to the two hyperlinks provided, click “Education” to go back in time).
While our kids know less and less, their grades are only getting higher. The vaunted GPA is meaningless, except to give an idea of a student’s grades in relation to the inflated marks of his peers.
The most common grade given (the statistical mode?) in American college courses is an … “A.” “Forty-three percent of all letter grades are As.”
The great books (and works of art and music) upon which nobody contemporary has improved. (Everybody needs to be humbled by these works. I recently read some Plato abbreviated, after which I felt very small indeed. It’s all been said and thought-out before by the Greats. For example, an insight articulated and carefully thought-out in Into The Cannibal’s Pot; it was there. Plato said it already. Of course I was chuffed; it felt good. But how sad that this heritage—and with it the humility that comes with a recognition of true genius—is not being handed down.)
St. John’s College admits only 800 and is producing the renaissance men and women of America.
ALL “freshmen must learn ancient Greek. ALL seniors struggle with quantum physics, along the way, as do they have to grapple with calculus, learn how to do differential equations, study Hegel and Kierkegaard, Karl Marx and Adam Smith.”
“St. John’s is sailing against every trend in American higher education.”
Their “students read 200 serious books over the course of their education.”
Only 800 students qualify in admission and all must undergo this rigor.
This is the traditional liberal arts education that our greatest minds (thinkers, scientists, Founding Fathers) would have undergone 100 plus years ago. (Was not Thomas Jefferson a scientist and a philosopher and an all-round genius? Indeed he was.)
It’s an all-required curriculum. Everyone is required to take courses of equal rigor. There are no majors, no minors. No hiding. No skewing the grades Bell Curve.
Minds thus enriched can go on to become whatever they want, having been given the intellectual wherewithal to think, and the tools to both appreciate intellectual history, draw on it and from it.
American education is an exercise in egalitarian idiocy. In my option, educational egalitarianism and idiocy does the greatest harm to the gifted child.
And isn’t that the aim? To give all children the feeling they are equally gifted?
Ultimately, wonderful young minds should not be abandoned to the evaluation standards of what are mostly sub-intelligent, near-illiterate educrats, who’ve been disseminating dumbed-down subject matter, in institutions of “learning” in which everyone is a winner.