The purpose of education

I’m not generally a big fan of Daily Mail style “why oh why” pieces about the decline of civilization, but Harper’s magazine has one I find to be remarkably insightful for the genre. If you want to burn your free paywall passage for the month you can go read the whole thing, it’s titled The Neoliberal Arts. You can also get a subscription for $18 a year. Anyway, within said article William Deresiewicz discusses how college (university) education has abandoned its most important goals to slavishly follow neoliberal market doctrine.

Smarter people get less sex

From a neat blog posting summarizing some research on sex and intelligence: By the age of 19, 80% of US males and 75% of women have lost their virginity, and 87% of college students have had sex. But this number appears to be much lower at elite (i.e. more intelligent) colleges. According to the article, only 56% of Princeton undergraduates have had intercourse. At Harvard 59% of the undergraduates are non-virgins, and at MIT, only a slight majority, 51%, have had intercourse.

Educational vs non-educational TV shows

The US Department of Education has changed its policy regarding which TV shows should be provided with closed captions for the deaf. The new criteria are secret, and were decided by a five-member panel of people whose names are also secret. All that we know is that the rules set down by Congress require that captioned material be “educational and informational”. So, to help illustrate the difference between factual educational programs and non-educational entertainment, here are some examples from the official list of updates produced by the panel.