Tag Archives: all classes

Special report: Higher education’s existential crisis Axios

all classes. super important, especially when read in tandem with the reports re: student debt shared previously. also important to remember this — yes i focus on higher ed because for now this is the business i am in, and this is the realm that you are a part of — but the patterns affecting the business of higher ed are connected with broader, global and national forces we have unleashed — either by deliberate policy choices (divestment in education, transferring debt to individual students, hollowing out of middle to lower middle classes ….) and/or unintended consequences of our full embrace of globalisation (high tech, consumerism as an ideology/religion, formal higher ed as the only credentialing ….) as leaders of the future, and global citizens, all issues worth studying. for Poli Sci, a larger parallel to the concept i introduced re: digital reality mismatched with our analog polity …. Professor Liang

Special report: Higher education’s existential crisis Axios

https://www.axios.com/colleges-universities-crisis-e437549e-b5ad-4e6c-8bab-f32db1065d14.html

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McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Repeater Books) NB Buddhist Studies

Gloablisation and all classes. i wonder how other major faith practices would have reacted to a book-cover taking their main spiritual leader and/or deity and adding this “art work” of Mr. McDonald to her/his likeness? i myself am a free speech militant, so am not thinking about protesting or banning or anything like that — though i did sigh and make a face. for our classes the larger point is the dollar sign at the core of globalisation (and hence, our age) that i put on our blackboard — everything can be bought and sold, everything can be monetised and commodified, even religious concepts like “mindfulness” …. and because the world has become globalised, one part of the globe, the wealthier side, can easily borrow (take? steal?) religious or other ideas from poorer parts of the globe. i haven’t read the book yet, but i am guessing the “Mc” is a shot not just at the capitalism of it, but also the distortion, superficiality — much like fast food is sort of food but also a superficial, lesser version. and the phrase “capitalist spirituality” is really interesting to me, well worth thinking of other examples. and remember, in our classes we resist and disobey this push towards either/or’s — on a global scale phenomenon like this must be critically analyzed. on the other hand, to me, if individuals in the West receive solace from even the most watered down versions of mindfulness, then i am glad for this. Professor Liang

MCMINDFULNESS: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Repeater Books)

Ronald E. Purser, “McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality” (Repeater Books, 2019)

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Apple’s streaming service is cheap, but how does it stack up against Amazon, Netflix and Disney? : Marketwatch

Poli Sci and Globalization. Imperialism, exclusive knowledge, power, resources. if we were to add up all of the billions available from this list of mostly north American/US companies, what percentage of the globe’s total annual “cultural production” budget would that be? the power to narrate — to include and exclude, to interpret and misinterpret — trumps every other form of power. as i often note in classes, not that one form of imperialism is better than another — physical-economic-political imperialism one can fight and resist and easily see when victory appears; cultural imperialism — much much more complicated and difficult to process and handle. Professor Liang

Apple’s streaming service is cheap, but how does it stack up against Amazon, Netflix and Disney?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/apples-streaming-service-is-cheap-but-how-does-it-stack-up-against-amazon-netflix-and-disney-2019-09-11?mod=mw_latestnews

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Will AI replace university lecturers? Not if we make it clear why humans matter: The Guardian

Poli Sci and all classes. well, my sarcastic-ish initial reaction is “Hey, my students probably would prefer a robot over me ….”, and (see illustration) i would certainly hope our future robot AI professors would have better clothing than that. two sessions in and we have already had some very excellent ideas discussed about the promises and limitations of modern technology — not either/or, but for what purpose, when and how, and that big question i asked — are we using technology, or is technology using us? here, a broader, deeper connection to what we discussed Thursday — if the core engine driving globalisation is economic — and more specific, profit making, then a companion to that big question is, are we using AI robot professors because they make life better, more humane, more satisfying, or is it because it is yet another way to squeeze every last dollar out of the means of production? at the end of our Thursday session our classmate Anna asked about how much technology versus in person contact i use for networking — and in my answer i spoke basically of something inherently human — subjective, random-ish, intuitive — not a line of computer code, but something that comes from a human’s brain/soul. with emphasis on the idea that i am always actively thinking about the technology choices i am making, rather than passively letting technology designs dictate what and when i use them. while i have been experimenting with online teaching, because we are all being pressed in that direction, and because i am interested in technology, i am also skeptical of squeezing even more actual direct human interactions out of our lives. nor am i convinced that investing in more technology and machines will actually become profitable in the long run. in any case, always promising and fun to see an article appear relating to what we just discussed in class — and for Globalisation and Historiography, expect these ideas/themes to appear all semester as well. Professor Liang

Will AI replace university lecturers? Not if we make it clear why humans matter

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/sep/06/will-ai-replace-university-lecturers-not-if-we-make-it-clear-why-humans-matter

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Student Debt Is Transforming the American Family and How Families Navigate the Growing Cost of College: New Yorker and Inside Higher Education

all classes. not news to any of you i am sure. again, broader historical and global contexts are these: globalisation of the economy has hollowed out the middle and lower middle classes around the globe — in globalisation, you are either amazingly wealthy, or poor/insecure. add on top of that systematic government divestment in public education — call it what you want, the famous GI Bill is basically a form of socialism — if we define socialism as simply society-wide burden sharing (and in that sense, your car insurance is socialism too ….) for decades has moved the cost of higher education from the society to our 18 and 19 year olds. add on top of that an employment landscape of extremes — study computer engineering, you will do great; study other things, not so much. and a final, cultural-social characteristic — somehow just as higher ed became far less affordable, we as a civilisation also talked ourselves into this idea that ONLY formal college credentials matter …. just as higher ed has become more expensive we have also purposely cut off other sensible routes for students to go after high school — how come apprenticeship isn’t available? work experience? internships? much as i love education, i also know that it is not for everyone, and i think as a society we are making a dreadful mistake not giving complex human beings the full range of reasonable options to pursue. Professor Liang

Student Debt Is Transforming the American Family https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/09/student-debt-is-transforming-the-american-family

How Families Navigate the Growing Cost of College http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/09/04/author-talks-about-how-paying-college-defines-middle-class

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