So over the weekend I read All In, Paula Broadwell's slobberific biography of General David Petraeus. It was nothing special, just a typically crappy piece of fawning, noncritical journalism, full of passages like the following:
"At Petraeus's change of command in Baghdad in the summer of 2008, Secretary Gates claimed that 'history [would] regard Petraeus as one of the nation's great battle captains . . .' Petraeus's success on the battlefield, his status as a military intellectual and his will to succeed allowed him to shape not only doctrine but also organizational design, training, education and leadership development in the Army and, in many respects, the broader military . . .."
You can pretty much guess the rest of the plot from there. Every environment Petraeus enters is instantly bettered by his majestic personage. We see him passing through destroyed hamlets in Afghanistan, the weight of the world on his rugged shoulders, scratching his figurative chin as he worries which strategies to choose "so that villagers could once again live in peace and prosperity"....
(The reason for the title of this post will become clear, below.)
Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education called my attention last week to this putative review by Steve Fuller of Nagel's Mind and Cosmos; the review was aptly described by another correspondent as "a largely content-free mix of self-promotion and derogation of his Enemies, in which you held the place of honour." (Michael Weisberg, co-author of the review in The Nation, is not on Fuller's "Enemies list" so was erased from Fuller's score-settling.) Just to give the flavor of Fuller's "review," a short excerpt:
UPDATE: Philosopher P.D. Magnus (SUNY-Albany) writes with several important points:
Your recent blog post rightly decries "The Not-so-High Standards at (at least some) "Open Access" Journals" and describes the case as "Not a great advertisement for the genre".
Importantly, the genre in question is not Open Access journals tout court. The real problem here is OA journals that use an author-pays model. Lots of them are straight forwardly scams to chisel money out of institutions that cover that kind of publishing and out of authors who need a line on their CV.
There are other models of OA. Quality OA journals don't charge author fees. I'm thinking here especially of Philosophers' Imprint, but also of less well-known and less prestigious ones like Logos&Episteme. We can argue about their stature in the field, but their being OA is not a demerit.
There is also the model which is sometimes called "green OA", in which authors' papers are systematically hosted in institutional or disciplinary archives. Although this does not result in OA journals as such, traditional journals can facilitate or thwart the practice depending on how they handle rights.
Qualifying your post with the caveat "at least some" is importantly not enough, because we can state precisely what's wrong here. For-profit publishers have an interest in suspicion being raised about OA in general, when really it's a specific business model that leads to egregious abuses like the one that you point to.
Even by their usual standards, this is remarkably feeble. I guess they're counting on their readers not reading the review or being sufficiently stupid that, if they did, they wouldn't understand the actual argument.
(For those new to these sordid debates, the Discovery [sic] Institute is the public relations arm of the new creationist movement.)
ADDENDUM: Since several readers asked: the title of our review was given by the editors, not us. It's not terrible, not ideal.
There is only one problem confronting urban public schools, and it has nothing to do with the schools or the teachers, contrary to all the blather by idle-rich busybodies and the intellectually feeble politicans who do their bidding. The primary problem with urban public schools is that they largely serve a population that lives under conditions of economic hardship, sometimes grotesque economic hardship, with all the attendant problems of poor nutrition, physical safety, availability of adult supervision after school, and suitable environments and incentives for school work. That, of course, is why suburban public schools in affluent communities--with unionized teachers who are no different than those in the urban schools--always do better on measures of academic performance and outcomes. If you don't have to worry whether there will be food for dinner, or whether you will be mugged, or if anyone will be available to take care of you, or whether you'll have a quiet place to work, it turns out to be easier to do well in school. It's got nothing to do with the teachers, and everything to do with the environment. (Here and there, fabulous teaching makes a difference, but you can't make policy around atypical cases.)
Of course, it would be hard to generate enthusiasm among hedge-fund billionaire busybodies for doing something about the economic environment in which the victims live, so instead we are presented with the absurd idea that if only the teachers were better, everything would be dandy, as well as the destructive idea that to make the teachers better, we need to measure their performance based on standardized test results. (That idea, by the way, started with George W. Bush when he was Governor of Texas, and it successfully destroyed the public schools, as the curriculum devolved into "teaching to the test," rather than teaching.)
Rahm Emanuel's kids attend the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where 99% of the kids go on to college (and about 50% go on to what would be generally considered highly selective or "elite" colleges and universities). There are some very good teachers at "Lab," and some not so good ones. But no one ever dreams of suggesting that to be even better, those teachers should be paid according to standardized test results. Lab School is successful for simple reasons: it has resources and it has good students, half of whom come from academic families and the other half from with families with family and monetary resources to support them. The school's financial resources support a good curriculum, a well-compensated teaching staff, arts, enrichment programs, after-school activities, and more. No one ever suggests we should "stop throwing money" at the school, that what "Lab" really needs is teachers whose students get higher test scores. But this bullshit and blather is standard fare when it comes to the public schools.
The pathological liars of the right are out in full force to smear the striking teachers. Typical are the headlines on the site of "Matt Drudge," one of the ringleaders of the Right-Wing Blob, a man whose crimes against truth and moral decency are well-known. One headline reads that the teachers "Turn Down $400 Million Deal, 16% Pay Raise..." Of course, you have to go to the article and read till the end to learn that that was a 16% pay raise over four years, and that it was in response to an even greater increase in the workload of the teachers. Another headline then reports, falsely, that Chicago public school teachers "have highest average salary in Nation," linking to a blog post at The National Review (!), which cites no sources, since in fact it's not true. Corey Robin has more relevant details. And here's a good takedown of the disgusting Mayor. Jim Nichols has a good round-up of links and information.
UPDATE: A colleague elsewhere correctly observes that if "there is really high teacher turnover and/or burned out teachers who are dramatically overworked and under-resourced, then teachers really do become problematically bad," and that's, of course, part of what the teachers' union is trying to prevent. The key point is that the problems confronting urban public schools are not primarily problems about the quality of teaching, let alone problems that will be solved by gimmicks like standardized testing and merit pay, which will produce, among other things, precisely high teacher turnover.
ANOTHER: A profile of the head of the teachers union.
MORE: A terrific speech by a Chicago lawyer, Matt Farmer, about what parents want from education.
ANOTHER RESOURCE: Diana Ravitch, who was actually in the Bush Education Department, though has subsequently recanted on the right-wing myths about public education, charter schools, and teachers' unions, has a good and on-going set of posts about the Chicago situation. (Those right-wing myths continue to be championed by the Obama Administration in large part.)
A LATE ADDENDUM: This post raises an important point about how we are taught to think about compensation in the capitalist utopia.
SEPTEMBER 12 UPDATE: Leave it to the "liberal" New York Times to come down squarely on the side of the idle-rich billionaire busybodies!
Another day, another tedious tirade from the pompous Leon Wieseltier. This one is a long take-down of Paul Ryan and his idolatry of Ayn Rand. Such high-minded seriousness! I am reminded of Dick Cheney, attired in military fatigues, hunting quail with his assault weapons.
What caught my eye amid all the fulmination and folk wisdom--there are few arguments or supporting evidence of any kind to be found--is how Wieseltier casually pronounces Atlas Shrugged and Also Sprach Zarathustra to be in the same category of adolescent sins and chides Rand and Marx for advancing economic theories towards moral ends, albeit antithetical ones.
This is embarrassing even by Wieseltier's low standards. Granted a lot of adolescents are excited by Nietzsche when they encounter him (even if for all the wrong reasons), and the inscrutable Zarathustra is plainly not his best work (or perhaps the clearest exposition of his views). But to draw any kind of equivalence between the works of these 2 thinkers (if you can charitably call Rand one) is so buffoonish that one is left wondering who the adolescent in this discussion is.
UPDATE: As Catarina Dutilh Novaes continues to dig, the best line in response is due to Dan Kervick: "I can't think of a time in my life when I thought, 'Damn, I wish my penis were more sensitive!'"
ANOTHER: 24 hours later, and there's still no apology for the ludicrous comparison of circumcision to female genital mutilation, but a link to a video has been added. The video is remarkable for being almost totaly irrelevant to the comparison at issue, but perhaps Dutilh Novaes is counting on no one really watching it. Still, the comments are worth reading to get a sense of how utterly nuts some people are.
UPDATE: Michael Weisberg (Penn) points out to me that these survey responses about evolution are strongly affected by how the question is presented; for discussion, see this paper. When the questions are asked differently, the belief in evolution goes up.
...the horror, the horror. In some ways, this is even worse than McCain's choice of the narcissistic moron Sarah Palin in 2008. First, Ryan has a clear ideology, and it's a mixture of the vicious and the insane. Second, Ryan does not seem to be as inept and self-destructive as Palin, so he may really be the future even if Romney loses this year. In other words, the Republican Party is now officially the party committed to destroying Medicare and destroying Social Security. Unless they are crushed in the election, this battle is going to continue for a generation or more.
Consider, in perspective, what's happened: an ideology (partly inspired by Rand--remember dopey Alan Greenspan?) of deregulation and unbridled capitalism brought the world to the brink of economic collapse in 2008. Four years later, the Republican Party has now openly embraced a full-throated Randian ideology. This country has learned nothing. If Obama does not rise to this occasion, and launch a full-throttled attack on this ideology, he will go down in history as the most craven coward in American politics.
Meanwhile, the decision of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to host a puff piece on Ayn Rand that gives no sense of the overwhelmingly critical and dismissive reception of her work by the vast majority of philosophers worldwide now begins to look inexcusable.
Rand's selection as VP candidate is probably a sign of weakness. The most likely explanation is that the Romney campaign is worried about turnout of hard right Republican voters. Given the Obama campaign's lead in electoral college votes, Romney has to do very well in swing states and he has no chance in many of those states without a good Republican turnout. Picking Ryan is probably aimed at placating the hard right and carries with it the considerable risk of conceding a significant fraction of so-called independent voters to Obama. In one respect, Ryan is a curious choice. Ryan is a nominal Catholic (being a commited Randite and a commited Catholic is incompatible, something the hierarchy will never point out) and while the Evangelical prejudice against Catholics has moderated considerably in the last couple of decades, many continue to be very suspicious of Mormons. Its unlikely the Evangelicals will have the same enthusiasm for a Mormon-Catholic ticket as one involving a Protestant.
Of course, Ryan's prominence is yet another sign of the complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party.
George Mason University economics professor, Dr.Don Bourdreaux believes that professional economists have done a poor jobexplaining basic economic truths to the general public. His passion is to better explain those truths to broad audiences and in his newest book, Hypocrites & Half-Wits: A Daily Dose of Sanity from Café Hayek, he tries to do so with short, pithy letters-to-the-editor, mostly aimed at correcting common misunderstandings of economics.
I would love to put you in touch with Dr. Boudreaux. He can provide non-partisan insight and commentary on any economic or political stories you may be working on, in a way that is easily accessible and understandable to the general public. Review copies of his newest book, Hypocrites & Half-Wits are available and I’d be happy to send you a copy. He would also be available to provide an article for publication if interested.
I have provided some further info on Dr. Boudreaux as well as some potential story ideas below. Thanks for taking a look and I hope to hear from you soon.
As I pointed out to Ms. MacDonald-Birnbaum, someone living on Planet Hayek is not a "non-partisan" expert, indeed, not even an expert, let alone a purveyor of "economic truth[s]." I can understand sending out hack solicitations like this to journalists and other gullible types, but to send this crap to scholars (I assume I'm not the only academic blogger who got it) is unbelievable. SmithPublicity is now in my spam filter. Nice job!
...at least for anyone interested in the quality of the faculty in philosophy. They are based on a hard-to-decipher methodology, though as Jo Wolff (UCL) pointed out previously, it seems to give decisive weight to "employer" opinions. The law rankings are also very bad, though not as bad, partly because elite research universities do tend to have the best law faculties, and about the only thing that seems to explain these otherwise inexplicable rankings is that they largely track the halo effect of university name--as one would expect employes would do. (As we noted previously, that would also explain why they rank schools in fields where they don't actually have programs!)
One of my philosopher friends on Facebook gave me permission to repost this funny item he wrote on his FB page:
Saw Carlin Romano talk about his book, America the Philosophical, with Simon Critchley tonight in a bookstore downtown. Critchley was surprisingly down to earth, informed, and engaging. Romano was probably the worst example of bullshittery I've seen from an adult. Half the time was spent name-checking semi-important people he's met. The other half was spent bad-mouthing the interesting and important work of people at prestigious institutions, despite the fact that he clearly understood none of it.
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are not the founders and titans of philosophy, according to Romano; rather, they hijacked it. The notion of philosophia was fluid in Plato’s time, and Romano wishes that the usage and practice of the less famous Isocrates, a rhetorician and educationalist, had caught on instead of that of his slightly younger contemporary. Isocrates (“A Man, Not a Typo,” as Romano headlines him) wrote that “it is far superior to have decent judgments about useful matters than to have precise knowledge about useless things.” For him, philosophy was the imprecise art of public deliberation about important matters, not a logic-chopping attempt to excavate objective truths. Isocrates, Romano says, “incarnates the contradictions, pragmatism, ambition, bent for problem solving and getting things done that mark Americans,” and his conception of philosophy “jibes with American pragmatism and philosophical practice far more than Socrates’ view.” Romano writes sorely of “the triumph of Plato and Aristotle in excluding Isocrates from the philosophical tradition” and announces that “Isocrates should be as famous as Socrates.”
My first thought about this claim was that it is simply nuts, which is also my considered view. Romano offers no explanation of how Plato and Aristotle managed to achieve the nefarious feat of obliterating the wonderful Isocrates. The only demonstrable sense in which they excluded him from the philosophical tradition is that their work eclipsed his, just as the music of Johann Sebastian Bach eclipsed that of his older brother Johann Jacob. Puzzled by Romano’s high estimation of the relevance of Isocrates, even to the broadest conception of philosophy, I reread some of his discourses and emerged none the wiser, though I did remember why I had so quickly forgotten him the first time around. Where are Isocrates’ penetrating treatments of the soul, virtue, justice, knowledge, truth, art, perception, psychology, logic, mathematics, action, space or time? And if philosophy would be better off not trying to talk about such things, what exactly should it be talking about?
When Microsoft was sued by the federal government in the 1990s for antitrust violations, Microsoft founder Bill Gates all of a sudden became a philanthropist as part of a concerted public relations effort. But the Foundation he created is now engaged in a frontal assault on public education in the United States, perhaps becaues Gates is ignorant (as Professor Ravitch assumes in the linked piece), or perhaps not.
...or at least his cyber-twin. Imagine what verdict an intelligent future will deliver on the United States given that a trivial buffoon like Friedman had a column in a prominent newspaper aimed at alleged adults.
....right-wing crazies react to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act. It would be funny if there weren't millions out there in this benighted country who "think" [sic] this way, many of whom vote, and many of whom are no doubt armed. (#6 is in error, however.)
...otherwise known as the platform of the Texas Republican Party. Many readers have sent it, and it's an appalling read as always. These people should be disenfrancised and put under adult supervision until they grow up. A few gems:
Rights Versus Products -- We oppose calling welfare and other income and product redistribution schemes "rights" or "entitlements". We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They are not products of others labor. Unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech, religious freedom, self-defense, etc. do not impose on others rights whereas income and product redistribution invariably do so...
Religious Symbols - We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue or other religious symbols....
American English - We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States.
Flag Desecration - Any form of desecration of the American Flag is an act of disregard for our nation and its people and penalties should be established for such....
Confederate Widows Plaque - We call for restoration of plaques honoring the Confederate Widow’s Pension Fund contribution that were illegally removed from the Texas Supreme Court building....
We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the integrity of this institution should be protected at all levels of government. We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws. We support Covenant Marriage....
We strongly support women who choose to devote their lives to their families and raising their children. We recognize their sacrifice and deplore the liberal assault on the family....
We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.
Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle, in public policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples." We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values....
...We are opposed to genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide....
Because of the personal and social pain caused by abortions, we call for the protection of both women and their unborn children from pressure for unwanted abortions. We commend the Texas Legislature for the passage of the Woman's Right to Know Act, a law requiring abortion providers, prior to an abortion, to provide women full knowledge of the physical and psychological risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and abortion alternatives....
We urge the FDA to rescind approval of the physically dangerous RU-486 and oppose limiting the manufacturers’ and distributors’ liability.
Morning After Pill - We oppose sale and use of the dangerous "Morning After Pill"....
We support legislation that requires doctors, at first opportunity, to provide to a woman who is pregnant, information about the nervous system development of her unborn child and to provide pain relief for her unborn if she orders an abortion. We support legislation banning of abortion after 20 weeks gestation due to fetal pain.
Unborn Victims of Violence Legislation - We urge the State to ensure that the Prenatal Protection Law is interpreted accurately and consider the unborn child as an equal victim in any crime, including domestic violence....
We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child....
We support eliminating bureaucratic prohibitions on corporal discipline and home schooling in foster homes....
We support an immediate and orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax....
We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional....
We support the availability of natural, unprocessed foods, including, but not limited to, the right to access raw milk....
All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines...
We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the American and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism....
We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas....
We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind....
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority....
We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage....
We support school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Founders’ writings.
We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools. We support the parents’ right to choose, without penalty, which medications are administered to their minor children. We oppose medical clinics on school property except higher education and health care for students without parental consent.
U.S. Department of Education – Since education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished....
E-mail messages were flying among leaders of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia in the weeks leading up to the ouster of Teresa A. Sullivan as president of the university. The e-mail messages show that one reason board leaders wanted to move quickly was the belief that UVa needed to get involved in a serious way with online education.
The board leaders traded articles in which various pundits suggested that online education is the only real future for higher education -- and the e-mail messages suggest that board members believe this view. On May 31, for example, Helen Dragas, the rector (UVa-speak for board chair) sent the vice rector, Mark Kington, the URL for a Wall Street Journal column about online education. Dragas's subject line was "good piece in WSJ today -- why we can't afford to wait." The column, a look at the MOOC (massively online open course) movement in higher education, has the subhead: "The substitution of technology (which is cheap) for labor (which is expensive) can vastly increase access to an elite-caliber education."
The column argues that the MOOCs have the potential to change the cost structure in higher education, as long as institutions are willing to replace some in-person education with online education. "[I]n this way, college X might have its students take calculus, computer science and many other lecture courses online from MIT-Harvard (or other suppliers), and have them take other classes with their own local professors for subjects that are better taught in small seminars. College X can thus offer stellar lectures from the best professors in the world — and do locally what it does best, person to person," the column says....
[T]he e-mail records suggest both Dragas and Kington are committed to a major push into online education.
Both took time to comment on a major donor's e-mail in which he suggested that university leaders study the way Stanford and Harvard Universities, among others, were having success online. The donor wondered in his e-mail if these developments are "a signal that the on-line [sic] learning world has now reached the top of the line universities and they need to have strategies or will be left behind." Dragas replied: "Your timing is impeccable -- the BOV is squarely focused on UVa's developing such a strategy and keenly aware of the rapidly accelerating pace of change."
Another article -- this one forwarded from Kington to Dragas -- was the "The Campus Tsunami," by the New York Times columnist David Brooks, predicting massive change from the MOOCs, and also predicting that the new model will involve much more learning from professors who are not at the college or university a student attends.
So there you have it: these glorified shopkeepers were taking their cues on the future of higher education from David Brooks. UVA is doomed if these bozos aren't gone, quickly.
So, there was a meeting was held in secret in response to widespread anger about the BOV’s new habit of doing things in secret, in which they selected an old, white man who runs a business school and has a degree in “Strategic Management” to take over the presidency of the university. It’s difficult to see how the universal condemnation of the BOV’s actions have resulted in an outcome that is in any way different than the one envisioned by Rector Helen Dragas last October, when she set this plan in motion.
She's the head of the Board and was a key figure in engineering the coup that ousted President Sullivan. Stephen Parsley, a UVA alum and now a law student there, summarized the latest revelations well:
There's a good chance you've already seen this, but according to a very in-depth article from the Washington Post, one reason the UVA Board wanted Sullivan out was that they felt "Sullivan lacked the mettle to trim or shut down programs that couldn’t sustain themselves financially, such as obscure academic departments in classics and German."
I never thought I would see the day when the leadership of an elite, two centuries old school wants to eliminate core humanities programs that have fewer than a dozen faculty members for "budgetary reasons" and, according to many reports, use our reputation to legitimize for-profit online classes. There is still plenty of first-rate liberal education going on at the school, but if Sullivan gets replaced with a crony of the Board, I don't see how that will continue.
Virginia residents would do well to contact their representatives to seek the ouster of this inane and destructive meddler.
UPDATE: It turns out Dragas's term expires on July 1, at which point the Governor must decide whether to re-appoint her. If he does so in the wake of this fiasco, it can only succeed in making him complicit in it.
A commenter in the earlier thread linked to the informative CHE piece (subscription access) on the unfolding UVA fiasco, in which a key player was former Goldman Sachs partner Peter Kiernan, who is now one of the idle, busybody rich (having retired with his fortune in his mid-40s!); an excerpt:
The e-mail, which Mr. Kiernan sent to fellow Darden board members, suggested Ms. Sullivan's resignation would usher in a fast-paced series of unspecified changes.
"The decision of the Board of Visitors to move in another direction stems from their concern that the governance of the university was not sufficiently tuned to the dramatic changes we all face: funding, Internet, technology advances, the new economic model," Mr. Kiernan wrote in the e-mail, which was published in several Virginia newspapers. "These are matters for strategic dynamism rather than strategic planning."
So what is "strategic dynamism," and who are its practitioners? Quite the opposite of the methodical, long-term visions found in most universities' strategic plans, strategic dynamism implies a near-constant "stirring of the pot" within an organization, explains Donald C. Hambrick, a professor of management at Pennsylvania State University's main campus.
That could mean wild changes in asset allocation within a company's investment portfolio or a radical alteration of a business's marketing approach. Proponents of strategic dynamism value the potential rewards of substantial, fast-paced change more than the stability of a gradual strategic evolution, Mr. Hambrick says.
There's another thing about executives who embrace strategic dynamism: They're totally in love with themselves, Mr. Hambrick says. In 2007, Mr. Hambrick co-authored a study that found a strong correlation between a chief executive's level of narcissism and his or her penchant for making frequent changes consistent with strategic dynamism.
The study used five indicators to measure a chief executive's narcissism, including the prominence of the executive's photographs in a company's annual report, the frequency of the executive's name in company news releases, the disparity between the chief executive's compensation and that of the company's second in command, and the frequency with which the chief executive uses first-person-singular pronouns in interviews.
For those keeping score, Mr. Kiernan's e-mail to Darden trustees contains 19 first-person pronouns...
Unless someone reins in fools like Mr. Kiernan, there could be tough times ahead for UVA.
...which readers periodically send me is, in fact, full of mistakes and careless formulations, which is why I've ignored it so far. Take the mistaken definition of "ad hominem": "Attacking your opponent’s character or personal traits instead of engaging with their argument." But it is only fallacious to argue from facts about a person to the truth or falsity of what they say; it is perfectly reasonable to infer from facts about a person to whether or not they are a reliable source, such that what they say gives you warrant for believing what they say. There is, of course, no general logical or even epistemic obligation to engage with someone's argument.
I'm writing to give you the annoying news that C. Romano, one of your favoritebugbears, has written a book. Here he is on the literary circuit, getting interviewed and producing on demand an annotated list of 5 of his favorite philosophical texts. (Not surprisingly, his choices are mostly either trivial or unrelated to philosophy).
Many of your readers, myself included, take vicarious pleasure from your well-justified irritability and intolerance of fools, so why not keep us entertained and have another go at this poor dope? And to be constructive, I suppose you could also ask those learned readers to supply better quality listings of their 5 favorite books.
CHE has also run an advert for the book. The "argument," if there is one, appeasr to be just a massive non-sequitur: it is quite consistent with American being an anti-intellectual country that its well-heeled research universities produce massive amounts of philosophy. In any case, per Mr. Lakritz's constructive suggestion, I invite readers to name their five favorite philosophical texts. Signed comments only: full name and valid e-mail address.
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)