Thursday Links

  • “Listening to Sarah from across her desk, the dean was as polite as ever. But she didn’t seem to believe Sarah’s story at all. “If you were telling the truth about this,” Sarah remembers Corbitt saying, “God would have kept you conscious to bear witness to the abuse against you.”” (the college denied that this was ever said.) Disgusting. Read the whole piece
  • This is a very, very good summary of the NFL’s Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin bullying case. And yes, it is bullying: even an incredibly strong and physically powerful man like Martin can be bullied by a social superior (to say nothing of men who are equally large and strong) – it’s all relative 
  • Gated, but if you have a subscription to TIME you absolutely must read this article on a new class of schools, P-TECHs (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools) – corporate-backed (though only with advice, not money; they’re publicly-funded) schools that guarantee graduates middle class jobs upon graduation. Expensive and really difficult (read: impossible) to scale widely, but this type of school should be one pretty effective arrow in the quiver
  • Paul Bloom with a thought-provoking argument about moral reasoning and neurochemistry. It’s very, very good and you should read it. He gets at one point that frustrates me a bit in this debate: sure, there are all of these true and real constraints to moral reason (genetically, culturally, etc. etc. Start with David Eagleman on this, and go from there. Bloom doesn’t quite get at Eagleman’s position exactly, but does bring him up) but it’s also true that we have an ability to do otherwise (it’s the notion of timshel from East of Eden, secularized: thou mayest). If we are unnaturally biased against people with really long last names, and we recognize it, we can put in place positive and negative reinforcements to compensate for it
  • This is interesting, but I’d make one tangential point: payday loans don’t have to be either legal or illegal or so black and white –  they don’t even have to be private. The federal government can borrow money at effectively a 0% real interest rate – why not do a public-private partnership where, as part of a larger agreement (something like the American Jobs Act), the federal government would work with payday lenders to temporarily subsidize the loans and provide other forms of assistance (things like job training, skills refreshers, etc. etc.). Yes, there are problems with the supply side of payday lenders. But the larger problem is that they’re needed; the demand side is, I’d argue, the larger concern (as the author touches on). So we need a demand-side solution
  • If you think you know the Hawthorne Effect, you’re probably wrong
  • I’m vaguely conflicted about this, but it’s interesting if nothing else
  • A 93-year old man reflects on love and loss and gnarled hands. One of the most beautiful things I’ve read in some time

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