Yesterday I was cautioned by the recounting of an event that occurred in our College of Business. It seems that a lecturer was explaining a concept that required either averaging or the area under a curve, and resorted to writing an integral on the board, by way of illustration. This was NOT a demonstration of technique, nor an explanation of how to perform calculations required in the course, rather just background. However, one student–correctly recalling that calculus was not a prerequisite–took umbrage; he wrote a letter of complaint to the Dean! Holy hellfire sh!t! Just last week I spent 10 minutes explaining to my calculus-averse biostatistics students how the standard normal table was constructed (integration does not conquer all). I had no idea I was skating so close to the edge. Probably because I’m an idiot or a lunatic.
I suppose men standing around the barbecue burning meat and drinking beer is just another ritual of the Patriarchy.
Mark Twain was hip to this sort of thinking over a century ago:
In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. . . . There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
Get your face outta that stupid screen! The latest First World Problem is Death by GPS:
Most death-by-GPS incidents do not involve actual deaths—or even serious injuries. They are accidents or accidental journeys brought about by an uncritical acceptance of turn-by-turn commands: the Japanese tourists in Australia who drove their car into the ocean while attempting to reach North Stradbroke Island from the mainland; the man who drove his BMW down a narrow path in a village in Yorkshire, England, and nearly over a cliff; the woman in Bellevue, Washington, who drove her car into a lake that their GPS said was a road; the Swedish couple who asked GPS to guide them to the Mediterranean island of Capri, but instead arrived at the Italian industrial town of Carpi; the elderly woman in Belgium who tried to use GPS to guide her to her home, 90 miles away, but instead drove hundreds of miles to Zagreb, only realizing her mistake when she noticed the street signs were in Croatian.
Apparently “the map is not the territory” isn’t taught in modern schools.
…the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena.
No wonder my hipster students chafe at models, estimators, and hypothesis tests; they’re all tools of oppression.
This latest outbreak of passive-aggressive politically correct gender warfare is absolutely delicious. “Mr.” and “Ms.,” are out, and who knows what is in. While many of the commenting curmudgeons at Instapundit are suggesting replacement honorifics like “Comrade” or “Tovarich,” I think we should dig further back into revolutionary history and adopt the French Revolution’s “Citizen.” The contradictory associations of Citizen Kane and the guillotine will confuse the educated, and an egalitarian application of the title will allow the lowliest of adjunct faculty to tweak a senior administrator in relative safety.
I think I’ll start with my students immediately, and spread it out from there.