Critical Readability

My critical readings of the best and worst of online media

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Responding to Malala – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“We in higher education, as incubators of ideas and educators of students, can play a central role in that process. But our mandate is even broader. Fortunately, so are the tools in front of us. We have the possibility of a truly global conversation on women’s empowerment that advances all our thinking.

The internationalization of higher education creates crosscurrents that are reshaping disciplines, bringing more voices to the table, and opening access to more students. We can—and must—use internationalization as a source of interconnectivity that empowers us all. The possibility of a global feminist movement is in front of us. The powerful reaction to Malala’s plight in Pakistan itself is instructive to us all, and a testimony to the importance of developing a women’s movement that acknowledges local differences and includes all voices.” via Responding to Malala – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

How the Hype Became Bigger Than the Presidential Election | Politics News | Rolling Stone

“Think about it: Banning poll numbers would force the media to actually cover the issues. As it stands now, the horse race is the entire story – I can think of a couple of cable networks that would have to go completely dark tomorrow, as in Dan-Rather-Dead-Fucking-Air dark, if they had to come up with even 10 seconds of news content that wasn’t centered on who was winning. That’s the dirtiest secret we in the media have kept from you over the years: Most of us suck so badly at our jobs, and are so uninterested in delving into any polysyllabic subject, that we would literally have to put down our shovels and go home if we didn’t have poll numbers we can use to terrify our audiences.”

via How the Hype Became Bigger Than the Presidential Election | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

Philip Glass and Beck Discuss Collaborating on ‘Rework’ – NYTimes.com

“Anticipating his 75th birthday, Philip Glass approached Beck about finding artists interested in reinventing pieces from the Glass catalog. “Rework: Philip Glass Remixed” features tracks by Amon Tobin, Tyondai Braxton, Beck and others. Glass and Beck met up recently at the Los Angeles home of Elyse and Stanley Grinstein, art collectors and philanthropists who befriended Glass decades ago.”

via Philip Glass and Beck Discuss Collaborating on ‘Rework’ – NYTimes.com.

Inequality in the US: Interview with Economist Joseph Stiglitz – SPIEGEL ONLINE

I’ve been saying this for years. Not only do your privileged at birth influence your eventual success, even those coming from privileged families are no longer able to find work. The American dream has long been dead.


“Stiglitz: This belief is still powerful, but the American dream has become a myth. The life chances of a young US citizen are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in any other advanced industrial country for which there is data. The belief in the American dream is reinforced by anecdotes, by dramatic examples of individuals who have made it from the bottom to the top — but what matters most are an individual’s life chances. The belief in the American dream is not supported by the data.”

via Inequality in the US: Interview with Economist Joseph Stiglitz – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

Ever heard the phrase, “I’m titled to my opinion?” This philosophy professor confronts this phrase, suggesting that while, yes, you can have an opinion, no, that does not necessarily mean your opinion is automatically valuable or “right.” In other words, if your opinion does not hold up to the academic rigor used by experts when studying your opinion, it does not hold weight alongside expert knowledge.

“Every year, I try to do at least two things with my students at least once. First, I make a point of addressing them as “philosophers” – a bit cheesy, but hopefully it encourages active learning.

Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.”

via No, you’re not entitled to your opinion.

Duke Graduate Student Unlocks ‘Mystery of the Lost Sonata’ – Percolator – The Chronicle of Higher Education

This is so cool!

“It was an unsolved mystery of classical music. An “Easter” sonata, sometimes attributed to the 19th-century composer Felix Mendelssohn, had largely disappeared from history. Scholars suspected the work was actually by the celebrated composer’s sister, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel. But the manuscript seemed lost, so how could they prove it?”

via Duke Graduate Student Unlocks ‘Mystery of the Lost Sonata’ – Percolator – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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