Bloggingheads: Making College Cheaper – Video Library – The New York Times

Glenn Loury, left, of Brown University and Walter Russell Mead of Bard College debate about making college education more economically efficient.

via Bloggingheads: Making College Cheaper – Video Library – The New York Times.

Kenan Maliks review of Ornamentalism by David Cannadine

Yet another clipping –

Moreover, Cannadine observes, depending on context and circumstances, both white and dark-skinned peoples of the empire were seen as superior; or alternatively as inferior. British imperialists loathed Indians and Africans no more nor less than they loathed the great majority of Englishmen and were far more willing to work with maharajahs, kings, and chiefs of whatever colour than with white settlers, whom they generally considered as uneducated trash. Just as Jamaican peasants and East End costermongers were viewed as equally inferior, so Indian princes and West African tribal chiefs were often understood as the social equivalent of English gentlemen. Indeed, British rulers were often amused that lower class white settlers were unable to comprehend that aristocratic breeding cut across differences of colour. Lady Gordon, wife of Arthur Hamilton Gordon, the governor of Fiji, thought the native, high-ranking Fijians such an undoubted aristocracy. Their manners, she wrote, are so perfectly easy and well bred… Nurse cant understand it at all, she looks down on them as an inferior race. I dont like to tell her that these ladies are my equals, which she is not!

via Kenan Maliks review of Ornamentalism by David Cannadine.

via Kenan Maliks review of Ornamentalism by David Cannadine.

The Tyranny of Meritocracy – Megan McArdle – Business – The Atlantic

But in the new aristocracy, it is rarely enough to just get born to the right parents; you also have to work very hard. �(Higher earning men are now more likely to work more than 50 hours a week than are men in lower earnings quintiles.) �Whatever the systemic injustices, it’s also quite clear to everyone . . . even parasitic leeches of investment bankers . . . that their salaries only come as the result of frantic effort. �

via The Tyranny of Meritocracy – Megan McArdle – Business – The Atlantic.

The Bushfire Bunker Finished

Years ago – after the 09 BushFires – there was all this discussion about BUSHFIRE BUNKERS. Dierderek at that time posted – to say that he was building a bukner. Adn the days went by he sent me images of the bunker he was building. More recently there was a comment-query in my blog post of 2009 – asking if Dierderek had finished the bunker. Dierderek wrote to me soon after to ask if I would like to post up the latest images. So here it is.

This is Dierderek’s description: “The bunker has been finished for quite a while now and has settled into the country side very well. The Besser block air lock and smoke door went on with a minimum of fuss and we have practised sitting in it for a period of time. We have stocked it with food and water and sleeping gear (in case we lose the house). The metal file drawer is for insurance and personal effects. The sign is a personal touch and present from my Mother in law. I feel we have created an escape from a large fire and, at the least, i have not been complacent.”

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Archbishop of Canterbury Endorses Tax on Bankers – NYTimes.com

I love the idea of a Robin Hood Tax!!

“There is still a powerful sense around — fair or not — of a whole society paying for the errors and irresponsibility of bankers; of messages not getting through; of impatience with a return to ‘business as usual’ — represented by still soaring bonuses and little visible change in banking practices,” he said in an article published in The Financial Times.

With the Church of England’s leadership in a crisis over its handling of the protesters, the archbishop’s remarks seemed to offer a belated attempt to lay out an agenda.

Dr. Williams supported a Vatican statement last week endorsing the idea of a “Robin Hood” tax on financial transaction and for a separation of the retail and investment operations banks that have relied on bailouts from public funds.

“These ideas — ideas that have been advanced from other quarters, religious and secular, in recent years — do not amount to a simplistic call for the end of capitalism, but they are far more than a general expression of discontent,” he said.

“If we want to take seriously the moral agenda of the protesters at St Paul’s, these are some of the ways in which we should be taking it forward,” the article said, but it urged the protesters to be “a bit more specific,” arguing the three proposals made by the Vatican should become a springboard for debate.

“If religious leaders and commentators in the U.K. and elsewhere could agree on these three proposals, not as a fixed agenda but as a common ground on which to start serious discussion, the struggles and questionings alike of protesters and clergy at St Paul’s will not have been wasted.”

via Archbishop of Canterbury Endorses Tax on Bankers – NYTimes.com.

How The TOFU Project Is Teaching Silicon Valley Values To Japanese Entrepreneurs | Fast Company

The goal is to expose the nine entrepreneurs on the one-week program to the ways Silicon Valley goes about innovating “and then bring those experiences back to Japan to spread to other entrepreneurs,” Kan says.

Among the stops on the trip: Lessons on design thinking from Adaptive Path and LUXr, learning about agile development from Pivotal Labs and product design from IDEO, and a prototyping session from Google+’s Bradley Horowitz.

Also on the docket: a workshop on pitching angel investors and venture capitalists at 500 Startups’ downtown Mountain View penthouse labs.

“You want to make sure you communicate confidence,” instructed Kandice Cota, the workshop leader and CEO of IP Franchise, a social game company, as Stanford Unversity’s famous Hoover Tower hovered in the distance, beyond 500 Startups’ floor-to-ceiling windows.

The TOFU Project is the brainchild of Lisa Katayama, a San Francisco-based journalist who grew up in Japan (and who writes for Fast Company as well as Wired, the New York Times Magazine, and NPR) and Tomo Saito, a designer and photographer who created Betabrand’s Japants cargo pants. Among its advisors are MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito, RISD president John Maeda, and Kiva cofounder Matt Flannery.

via How The TOFU Project Is Teaching Silicon Valley Values To Japanese Entrepreneurs | Fast Company.

Why Microsofts Vision Of The Future Is Dead On Arrival | Co. Design

Why Microsofts Vision Of The Future Is Dead On Arrival | Co. Design.

I saw this video last week and as I mowed the lawn over the weekend I mowed angrily at the sheer waste and lifelessness of this ‘future’ that microsoft is seeing. Then it seemed like such a pretentious thought – elf righteous almost. So I didn’t post the long train of thought – and finished up the lawn edging with a whipper snipper.

Then thankfully someone else is taking a shot at Microsoft’s vision. Yes a decade or more after minority report. And almost as bad as Volkswagon 2028 – but they acn be forgiven for they are after all only a car company – no visionaries there.

See an interview of the vsion here

If you want to see the vision this is the link – in Youtube.

What do you think of Microsoft’s vision?