Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stupid people taking over, episode 27

Jesus love me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Republican senator Ted Cruz to oversee Nasa in Congress (The Guardian)

     The Guardian reports that Republican Senator Ted Cruz will be chairing the committee in charge of NASA and the country’s scientific endeavors. Cuts in science/NASA funding might come next.
     According to the Guardian, Cruz has attempted to cut NASA’s funding in the past. They also report that, a year ago, Cruz told CNN that “the last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming” to support "a so-called scientific theory" and that he has noisily opposed the EPA.
     Cruz is not alone in this shift in power:
Senator Marco Rubio, Republican from Florida, was named chair to the subcommittee on oceans, atmosphere, fisheries and coast guard, which oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Nooa) and the protection of oceans and marine life in US jurisdiction. Rubio has said he does not “believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate”, which is a more lenient position than the new chair of the environment committee, Jim Inhofe, who denies climate science outright.

From 2003

UC Irvine receives record number of applications (OC Reg)
     ...Up 7.7 percent from the previous year, 88,792 students from in and out of state are vying to enroll at UCI. Of those, 18,474 are in-state freshman Latinos – the largest number among the nine University of California campuses.
. . .
     It’s unclear how many [students] will eventually be admitted. The numbers likely will be the same as last year – 5,400 freshmen and 1,965 transfer students, said Cathy Lawhon, UCI spokeswoman. But the figures will be determined as the state budget is firmed up.
. . .
     UCI received the second-highest number of applications, behind UCLA.

Getting philosophical (take that love away)

Young people communicate in a world
in which things sometimes happen
The semester begins on Tuesday.

Yeah, I'm bored.
Me too. What's happenin'?
Nothing's happenin'.
Can I come over and hang?
Me? I've got Slim Harpo on the box.
Also hangin'.

Early December conversation with my nephew, Adam, age 10:
Roy: Adam! Santa’s gonna bring iPods for your little sisters. Would you like an iPod too? 
Adam: Yes! 
(A few seconds later:) 
Roy: Adam, do you like listening to music? 
Adam: No.
Future Adam

Just beginning to take that love away
Just beginning to take that love away
In a minute I'll wash that love away
Even now we remember what we used to say
Takes a minute to wash that love away
Take a clean break: wash that love away

Even now we remember what we used to say
Even now we remember what we used to say
We'll be together if we wash that love away

What's tha matter ?
Have to clean up ?
That's true
That's true
And it's taken
To extreme extent
That's why we
Work so hard to

Take that love away
Take that love away
Take that love away
Take that love away

Monday, January 12, 2015

Seriousness and solemnity about the world—"something so apparently crazy" and "captivating"

     ...“I was brought up in the presence of the Bible, and I remember with affection what it was like to hold a dogmatic position on the statements of Christian belief,” [Diarmaid MacCulloch] writes. “I would now describe myself as a candid friend of Christianity. I still appreciate the seriousness which a religious mentality brings to the mystery and misery of human existence, and I appreciate the solemnity of religious liturgy as a way of confronting these problems.” Then, significantly, MacCulloch adds, “I live with the puzzle of wondering how something so apparently crazy can be so captivating to millions of other members of my species.” That puzzle confronts anyone who approaches Christianity with a measure of detachment. The faith, MacCulloch notes, is “a perpetual argument about meaning and – reality.”
Bosch selfie
     This is not a widely popular view, for it transforms the “Jesus loves me! This I know / For the Bible tells me so” ethos of Sunday schools and vacation Bible camps into something more complicated and challenging: what was magical is now mysterious. Magic means there is a spell, a formula, to work wonders. Mystery means there is no spell, no formula — only shadow and impenetrability and hope that one day, to borrow a phrase T. S. Eliot borrowed from Julian of Norwich, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
—From Jon Meacham's review of Diarmaid MacCulloch's CHRISTIANITY: The First Three Thousand Years (Thine Is the Kingdom, NYT, April 1, 2010)
     (—On why I'm not so hostile to religion, that "crazy" thing, as are others)

Over the weekend, I bought an old oak pedestal
That's one of my mom's pots on top of the pedestal

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary