When not in real life, I spend my time here.
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Both of your hypotheses, even if rejected, only point to correlated data. Correlation studies, especially those that rely on self-reported surveys, are very, very close to worthless, scientifically. FWIW, I happen to detest almost all social media, even the ones I use, so I don't find the conclusions of the study unbelievable--but it's just that the data they're using aren't what's making me believe it; it's my own experience.
You always need a control if you want to make a point that is believable. And not a historic control--a randomized, prospective control.
I'm sure the email is real. The piece isn't really funny if it isn't. Gold, assuming it is real.
I'm in no way arguing that dumbing down of college is a positive development. Rather that since it's apparently a given at this point, that it creates opportunities to differentiate oneself in new (sometimes easier) ways (of course that doesn't apply at all to vocational learning where specific skills and not signaling are what you're after). Sort of like dating these days. Nobody asks anyone on a date anymore, so if you're the one guy who calls a girl on the phone with your actual speaking voice and says, "Will you go on a date with me", she's probably going to say yes. More complicated in school and the work place, but same idea. If I have any advice to give to young people it's (a) be the one person who asks people out on real dates (figuratively and literally) and (b) read everything. I don't actually know if that's good advice, but it's how I live and I do well by it.
Meh, there's no control. No data from any of those charts show anything other than confirmation bias. Could be that miserable people are drawn to certain forms of social media.
You're trying to turn an education problem into a class war problem. Not everything is a class war, even though that's en vogue in certain circles right now.
You are reading what you wanted to believe I wrote, and not what I actually wrote. 1% by definition are a small segment of the population.
There is definitely not a hole in my logic. First off, there aren't enough children of the 1% to make a difference to anyone. Second, "old money" 1% is a far smaller part of the population than the 1% generally. Third, you clearly don't spend a lot of time with a diverse mix of rich people. I do (even though I am not one of them). The "economic 1%", as you term it, are on average far smarter than the average for the rest of the country. Your sense of superiority is misplaced. I'm the last person to argue for "meritocracy" as conceived by certain rich people, but those people are not the ones who are dumbing down your classes.
I read your HoweyCoin link yesterday right after reading this piece, and that probably contributed to my confusion about whether it was real. Interest rates seemingly beginning to rise, so hopefully that will put a stop to this sort of silliness.
If you're in a place where you're surrounded by the children of the 1%, and you think that's the main issue, you're missing the point entirely. Those people may be annoying to you, but they're decidedly not the problem with higher ed. The problem with higher ed is that it aims at mediocrity, by definition not the 1%. The person who did just enough in high school to get into a reputable college and is now doing just enough to get the degree that will get them the job they're after, but who lacks any concept of intellectual curiosity is the person to whom college is cratering. That person exists in replicates in every lecture hall in America, and it's a problem of hating the game and not the player. Once we define a college degree as being necessary to maintain a middle class life, then the system will automatically cater to people who seek a middle class life, i.e. most people.
Most people are not interested in the things that make college interesting to the few people who are there just to learn. That's ok. Someone else's lack of rigor shouldn't reflect on you. You can always go the extra mile. The instructor will be happy that someone in the class cares. It's hard to keep that in mind, but it's true: you can only be you, and if you love to read books that were translated from English to German so that you can retranslate them back to English, then more power to you. But definitely recognize that most people are never going to share your passion for that. That's a good thing, because it gives you something to differentiate yourself with. Learning is personal, so always look inward. I'm not scolding, but merely relating what I've learned through many years of schooling and life.