Category Archives: politics

Is psychology a science? [Part 2]

By | November 14, 2014

[Part 1 of this discussion is found here.] The original proposition that sparked this discussion was put forth in a recent study by a couple of psychologists that claimed that “academic math-intensive science is not sexist”. This study has many methodological flaws, and I’m not sure that its rather sweepingly generalized conclusions are really justified. But arguing that… Read More »

Is psychology a science? [Part 1]

By | November 12, 2014

A LinkedIn discussion in the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Group is currently revisiting the perennial question of whether or not fields like psychology, engineering, and medicine ought to be allowed to call themselves “sciences”. This question seems to be of primary interest to those who have some vested interest in discrediting findings emerging from research in these… Read More »

Why do we teach?

By | November 8, 2014

The question of why teachers quit teaching has recently been posed in a LinkedIn discussion forum. I offered some thoughts there, but I thought that it might also be useful to expand some on this theme here. It’s a complicated issue, but one with considerable social urgency. It’s easy to see the question of why teachers quit as… Read More »

Guest post on Charlie Grantham’s blog

By | September 21, 2014

Today’s post is actually being posted elsewhere – on the blog of the Community Design Institute, managed by my old friend and colleague Charlie Grantham.  Find it here: Workspace Politics While you’re at it, check out Charlie’s other posts. This is actually part of his series on redesigning work spaces. He has a lot of other interesting thoughts… Read More »

Policing and Societal Regulation (Part 2)

By | July 28, 2014

We ended last time with the observation that we seem to be living increasingly in a society under the rule of Catch-22. For any of you who have been under a rock since before the 1960s, Catch-22 was the fabulously successful novel by Joseph Heller (IMHO, the only good one he ever wrote) first published in 1961. I… Read More »

Policing and Societal Regulation (Part 1)

By | July 27, 2014

I doubt that the story a couple of weeks ago about the police shooting of Jason Conoscenti in Long Beach – another gunning down of an unarmed man – made the news in your areas. It barely did here. This one is different, however – I knew Jason, although I hadn’t seen him in person for some years.… Read More »

Free speech, academic freedom, and media access

By | May 19, 2014

“Free speech” is inherently a slippery idea. Its essence is that the government can’t prevent you from holding opinions or from voicing those opinions in public. But it explicitly does NOT entail that anyone has to give you as much as a soapbox to stand on in making your opinions public. In this pretty open media age of… Read More »

The state of California [Part 2]

By | April 18, 2014

In Part 1 of this post, I detailed three areas of concern in the current public space that is California today. Here, I’d like to suggest two other major sets of problems, and then draw some implication for the nation as a whole. The almost complete failure of the Brown administration to do anything meaningful about the rapid… Read More »

The state of California [Part 1]

By | April 17, 2014

I don’t write often about overtly political topics, but from time to time it’s necessary. I’ve recently been corresponding with my high school friend Friedner Wittman about what’s happening in California, our mutual adopted state. Despite having been born in the east and taking up adult residence here only about 30 years ago (seems like no more than… Read More »

MOOCs and the future of higher education [Part 1]

By | April 4, 2014

I do a lot of thinking when participating in online discussions. One of my early posts here was about how such discussions have served as a significant source of professional interaction despite my current lack of major university affiliation. Traveling out to professional conference isn’t an option for me either, so I spend perhaps more time that I… Read More »