Monthly Archives: March 2014

Visions of the Impossible

The greatest taboo among serious intellectuals of the century just behind us, in fact, proved to be none of the \”transgressions\” itemized by postmodern thinkers: It was, rather, the heresy of challenging a materialist worldview. —Victoria Nelson, The Secret Life of Puppets (2002) Consider two impossible tales. Scene 1. Mark Twain was famous for mocking […] … learn more→

Oculus Rift brings a whole new dimension to communication

Mark Zuckerberg’s latest spending spree has landed Facebook an exciting new gadget in the form of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that is used by gamers and researchers alike to enhance encounters. Announcing a deal worth US$2 billion, Facebook said it plans to move the Oculus Rift beyond gaming, into “communications, media and […] … learn more→

The Lean Leadership certification

Most organizations today find the Lean Six Sigma appealing because it improves the whole organization continually through step-by-step process. The implementation of this approach is effective if someone drives the successfulness of it. The one referred to here is someone knowledgeable about how the Lean approach works. The Leadership Certification You can never be trusted […] … learn more→

Unsentimental education

“So, do the characters in Flaubert’s novel act in accordance with Kant’s categorical imperative?” I looked around the classroom of my freshman composition students and was greeted with blank stares. “Who actually read up to page 306?” Two hands went up, one only halfway. Others confessed that they had read only to page 147, or […] … learn more→

The new tri-polar world: why Russia can do whatever it likes

United States political leaders bluster, but Russia continues to be unmoved by their protestations over its annexation of Crimea and the massing of troops along Ukraine’s border. Long having believed itself the world’s only superpower, the US is now being delivered a lesson in real politik, if not humility. Estonia, which has a large Russian […] … learn more→

Communicating with the public

The last time I dared to look at Tom Chivers’s article about my work and my views online (published in Seven, the Sunday Telegraph magazine, March 16, 2014, 16–17), the number of comments had risen to more than 1,400. And they formed a sorry spectacle. I couldn’t bear to do much more than skim a […] … learn more→

A Business school sells out

For the most part, my blog focuses on the schools most everyone goes to: state and non-profit schools. Yeah, I’ve tossed a few bombs over at University of Phoenix and the like, but I just can’t help pointing out obvious issues there. I’m still reeling from the knowledge that UoP spends hundreds of thousands of […] … learn more→

What Swedish free schools reveal about social segregation

School-based education is undergoing significant changes across much of the developed world with private providers increasingly taking over the delivery of education from public providers. In both England and Sweden, independent schools have been established which are privately owned but publicly funded. Known as academies and free schools in England and independent “free schools” – […] … learn more→

Why do people quit the PhD?

I’m interupting our usual programming to share with you some research in progress, because I am really interested in hearing what you think of it. Next week I’ll be at the Quality in Post graduate Research conference (or QPR) the key gathering for research educators in Australia. I’m planning on presenting an analysis of the […] … learn more→

What’s in a name?

I was in my office going over the usual laundry list of institutional concerns—a forthcoming accreditation visit, faculty searches, tenure recommendations—when my editor called to tell me there was a problem with the cover of my soon-to-be released book about Mark Twain. \”Your name doesn’t work,\” she said. \”Particularly the Skandera part. Too long, too […] … learn more→