Driving Blind: Long Lost Books and University Crooks
A segment at NPR outlines the fight in Texas to transform the state university system. Governor Perry and private sector elites want to make higher education in the state more affordable and efficient, while a coalition of alumni associations, state legislators, and faculty resist.
It might be dead in the Senate, but I find the legislation to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and allow workers to swap overtime pay for up to four weeks of paid time off per year particularly pernicious. Republicans argue that the bill provides worker flexibility, and that it forbids employer coercion—but I’m still unconvinced that if these changes were to take place workers would have MORE power rather than less.
Ryan Grim reports on how university endowments benefit from investments in Sallie Mae. Why don’t universities just cut out the middleman and start offering their own financing options (rhetorical question: I know a handful of reasons why not).
The Oxford English Dictionary wants help because, well, Alison Flood explains,
“Meanderings of Memory, by one “Nightlark”, is dated to 1852 by the OED, and appears in 51 entries for the dictionary, including “couchward”, “extemporize” and “fringy”. Veronica Hurst, the OED’s principal bibliographer, said its shadowy existence was discovered when a member of staff was working on the entry for “revirginize”, for which Meanderings of Memory is the earliest citation. The quotation taken from the book for the OED is: “Where that cosmetic … Shall e’er revirginize that brow’s abuse.” But Meanderings of Memory could not be traced in any library catalogue or database, so Hurst was contacted; she expected to track the book down within 10 minutes.”
Lawrence Rosen reviews On the Muslim Question by Ann Norton. The verdict? Norton criticizes the clash of civilizations thesis but offers no alternative, “we may avoid the “clash”, but it may come at the cost of an arrangement neither community should be eager to call “civilisation.”
Tim Cushing notes the chilling of relations between EA, one of the largest video game publishers, and gun manufacturers. EA, a company with several military shooter franchises, still plans on using famous guns in its games, but will not longer pay licensing fees.
And finally, Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby opens this weekend. Delayed for a year, and now critically and popularly panned, I’m curious to see just what has everyone so jaded. Perhaps it takes the refined sense of irresponsible indulgence only us millennial can muster to truly appreciate Luhrmann’s anachronistic spectacle. Jesse Fox at Vulture has a great rundown of everything everybody’s saying. My favorite,
“Luhrmann doesn’t just gild the lily, he spray-paints it with glow-in-the-dark sparkles.”