Monday, December 19, 2011

God's Rights

This by John Piper is about as close as I've seen in answering my blog's hypothesis.

He does a masterful job of analogizing how humans are different from all other animals, how God is different from humans, and how all rights which we may presume are inherent to humans by nature of our being are originally due to God.

"Where the rights of our Creator and Savior are daily denied with impunity, we should not be surprised that the rights of persons created in his image are denied in a cavalier and selfish way. Until God is given his rights, no human rights will have significance beyond convenience. And when they are no longer convenient, they will be ignored..."

Note: I have just finished A.W. Tozer's "Born After Midnight," which I read on and off for a few months, as my nightly devotional. Fantastic. If your google-fu is strong, you may be able to find a pdf copy online. My morning devotional is John Piper's "Taste and See." I'm sure all of his essays therein are free online, but this book version is nicely printed and IMHO worth it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

American education Part II

Not a new story, obviously. If the moon is the quintessence of the problem, what does it say about R&D and manufacturing?

"The ability to make things in America is at risk," says Jeannine Kunz, director of professional development for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in Dearborn, Michigan. If the skilled-labor shortage persists, she fears, "hundreds of thousands of jobs will go unfilled by 2021."

The shortage of industrial skills points to a wide gap between the American education system and the demands of the world economy. For decades, Americans have been told that the future lies in high-end services, such as law, and "creative" professions, such as software-writing and systems design. This has led many pundits to think that the only real way to improve opportunities for the country's middle class is to increase its access to higher education.

That attitude is a relic of the post–World War II era, a time when a college education almost guaranteed you a good job. These days, the returns on higher education, particularly on higher education gained outside the elite schools, are declining, as they have been for about a decade.

Hattip to Smallestminority, who recalls this from 1974:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

American education

I am curious about the true nature of competitiveness in American universities. My friend and fellow blogger, Troubled Corinthian, suggests that our engineers could no longer put a man on the moon (and bring him home alive), at least not without help from foreign help. He's seen too many foreign engineers come to the States, and then take that knowledge back to Asia or India. So this drew my attention:

Harvard: “Anime as Global Pop Culture”. If you grew up in 1990s or later, you've definitely watched an anime. I see you trying to deny it because it’s nerdy or whatever, but I don’t believe you. Even if you didn't like it, you’ve probably at least watched the Pok√©monTV show for two seconds, seen a Hiyao Miyazaki movie, or played a video game with anime-like stylings at some point in your life. Harvard turns a dorky guilty pleasure into an academic pursuit. Tip: Instead of flash cards, make ninja info cards.

Harvard: “HBO’s The Wire and its Contribution to Understanding Urban Inequality”. While most students use HBO as a way to escape homework, some would rather put their television drama-watching ways to good use. Harvard’s class about The Wire takes a critical look at the critically acclaimed show as a way to analyze urban inequality. Your homework will be to watch TV, and you’ll even learn something along the way.

I leave the rest of the contemplation on this to you.