Re: As it happens, I do have a question!

1

Come on, it's right there in the second paragraph. The People's Court! The people's court. The people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 12:30 PM
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's court?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 12:31 PM
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I'm just going to assume most celebrity gossip comes from U of C graduates.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 12:33 PM
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Dude, my high school started a program to honor distinguished alumni a few years ago, and in the first batch: Don Rumsfeld. Inarguably notable accomplishments, but come on. We live in a fallen age, man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 12:36 PM
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I generally always assume that people are being "honored" because of their capacity bring in money for the institution, either in the past or as part of the awards ceremony. IME this is almost universally true, whether the organization has a budget of $100K or billions.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:03 PM
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No doubt. But can't they at least act appropriately ashamed?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:05 PM
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Dude I've sued Harvey Levin but he's not even on the list of top 500 worst people the University of Chicago is affiliated with, and almost certainly not on the list of worst 500 people the U of C has honored in the past decade. Burn it to the ground and salt the earth where it stood.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:05 PM
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I think maybe the U of C, collectively, just displays terrible judgment in its selections of people to reward with things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:05 PM
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8 before seeing 7.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:06 PM
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7: But I got an email about him, not any of those other people.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:07 PM
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he actually comes across as pretty sympathetic in this profile:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/the-down-and-dirty-history-of-tmz#.thlwYYy8Le


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:19 PM
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Isn't the idea of the eternal return/recurrence something else again, though?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:27 PM
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Heh. Wrong thread!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 1:28 PM
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I have strong inclinations about the eternal reward of many (#notall!) U of C grads.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 2:29 PM
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For example, this jackhole, who is simultaneously receiving the award with Levin, is clearly a worse person. Burn it to the ground and salt the earth where it stood.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-16-15 5:18 PM
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My only interaction with the University of Chicago was when I sent in an application for graduate school*. A couple weeks after the other schools had all gotten back to me I got a large (not-rejection-sized) envelope from them with a bunch of information about graduate study there and a cover sheet congratulating me on my acceptance to... a one year unfunded master's degree in a different discipline ("in which you can take a lot of philosophy courses!"), and only telling me later in the sheet that I'd been rejected from the program I'd applied to. I've seen the PhD-no-MA-yes response, but I've never seen a university do it without first sending an actual rejection letter, or actually having the MA program be in a different discipline, which struck me (and still does) as moving the whole thing from "a bit sketchy" to "directly malicious".

I still remember how I felt about it clearly enough that when NORC at the University of Chicago sent me a "recent doctorate" survey I told them that my dissertation was titled "The University of Chicago is a Piece of Shit and Everyone Who Works There Is Scum". I also tried to paste the entire text of the novel Moby Dick into their "any further comments" box, but it turns out they had the foresight to put in a character limit (without directly indicating they had on the website).

*Yes, yes it was a stretch and absolutely would never have happened due to certain problems with my graduate school applications that year.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 2:28 PM
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Or, in other words, there's almost certainly something nastier that could be done than to burn it down and salt the earth afterwards, right? That's what should happen.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 2:28 PM
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As I believe I mentioned the last time you mentioned that, I know someone who did the MAPH thing and I believe thinks well of it, and used it to get into a decent Ph.D. program. I think he basically took exclusively philosophy courses. It isn't really in a different discipline so much as in no discipline in particular.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 2:47 PM
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Paying out of pocket for a one year degree in "humanities"? I'm sure he did fine but I have a hard time believing that that helped him out much.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 2:57 PM
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Enough with salting the earth, already. Burn it down, plow it under, compost the defeated neoliberals between the pages of their discredited journals, and let something useful grow. Cherries. Bison.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 3:05 PM
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Also for the life of me I can't remember bringing that up here. Maybe it was someone/somewhere else? I can't imagine there aren't a few other people out there pissed off about that nasty bait-and-switch.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 3:11 PM
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19: he went from no PhD acceptances to several, having worked closely with many phil faculty. Beats me, man.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 3:22 PM
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Surely I've mentioned that U of C was my first choice for college. I had a room assigned and everything until my mom was like, uh, hey, we can't afford that (that not, in retrospect, being much at all--$6k/yr?). I had no clue that I could go back to them and plead my case, so I went to NU, which I hated. I do think I would have been happier at U of C, but with a real chance of coming out a worse person (not that that happens to everyone, but I probably would have been credulous for some Straussian elitism).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 3:30 PM
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I remember a sense of being on guard, of being alert to resist indoctrination when I came here. I've heard similar thoughts from others.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 3:40 PM
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23: oh man, my college story too, except that the place I went was Chicago (that 6K number is pretty baffling unless you're 20 years older than I am or something). I think I was actually too traumatized to come out hating it. It was like a negative version of Stockholm Syndrome: I was pacified by a total lack of identification with my captors, which led me to believe that identification and esteem and affirmation were all ruses to turn you away from the true, unremitting coldness of the world and its institutions. It was like James Tiptree U. I still don't hate it, because after presiding over my psychological destruction they very kindly gave me a B.A., which I have used to good effect many times over.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 3:46 PM
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It was like James Tiptree U.

Wow.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 3:50 PM
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I don't have any personal connection with the U of C at all, but it should be burnt to the ground (and earth salted around it) for being both the symbolic and actual home of the neoliberal libertarian movement. Oh,#notallUofC? Too bad, live by the reputation, die by the reputation.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:05 PM
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I hadn't even heard of it when it was time to think about college.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:11 PM
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I graduated college in '95. Don't know how old you are, lurid whippersnapper.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:17 PM
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The column linked in 15 is some primo spinning. The internet is Ethernet and the government didn't build it. So there, Obama!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:22 PM
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I have a vague degree of affection for Stanford even though it's objectively terrible, but maybe instead of burning it down and salting the Farm we could just have involuntary Sky Burials of various evildoers from the Hoover Institution tower. Good to merge the threads.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:23 PM
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You're taking on a lot of zombies with your naïve death-by-fire plan, TRO.

'95 was the year I applied, and I certainly remember that Northwestern was cheaper, but not that there was any way to get four-digit numbers from any private school. If there was, I really fucked up.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:23 PM
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I knew no tricks. I filled out the forms and sent them off. Probably (maybe) we just had less money.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:33 PM
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I feel like most of these options are better than studying in the US. Yeah you have to deal with getting your own place and living abroad and you probably won't get to rape/be raped at a frat party but, especially if you're mathy/sciency why not just GTFO of the US educational system?


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:45 PM
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I think I would have been too scared to do so at 18.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:49 PM
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It was scarier before the internet, but now you can Skype with your loser high school friends from Uppsala just as easily as you can from Massachusetts. I mean if you're either wealthy or super-ultra-smart obviously you should stay in the US, but if you're a standard middle class kid looking at second-level selective schools why not just go to Germany or Sweden, especially if you're into math/science. Also legal drinking age.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 4:59 PM
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Looks from these stats like average tuition in 1992 was around $19K at a private college. Your family might well have had less money. When I was applying to college my mom made around $65K a year and my dad had some income but not anything full-time. We still didn't get a ton of financial aid, I presume because of assets: stocks, unmortgaged house that after 15 years of DIY fixing-up was worth money. (Weird class position. Perfectly comfortable, not wealthy, I got told no a lot, and I was a jerk for deciding to go to college a year early and fucking up the savings plan.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 5:11 PM
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so I went to NU, which I hated

That was one of my first choices for grad school (assuming you mean Northwestern); back in my day, it was, or at least seemed, right up my alley (in Philosophy). The acceptance letter, though, offered no tuition waiver, no stipend: pay full freight for the first year, and if you work out okay, we'll renegotiate. That was a nonstarter. I booked a trip over there anyway, thinking, Yes, but, what if? What if? ... and then cancelled it; who was I kidding?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 5:23 PM
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To the OP: now I'm curious, for what is Levin being honored? The snark leads me to believe that that which should plainly not be (an honor for TMZ or for donating a hefty sum), must in fact be so... but a TMZ-honor seems ridiculous, and a hefty sum-honor seems improbable because I know damn well that not all such donors are so honored. So, what is this thing and why hasn't the OP mentioned it?

Regarding the various jabs at UofC: when those who've not attended think of the UofC they think of its econ dept or business school, sure, but does it have a bad rep outside of those? I ask because having attended I'd be embarrassed to not know the dirt, and, at least in the mathy/phily circles I ran in, those two (econ, business) were basically regarded with more scorn than... anything, really. I never understood the supposed rivalry with NU, but the disgust for friedmanite econ and the out-of-place gsb (later, bsb) was palpable. They were seen as a dolchstoss for an institution otherwise devoted to the life of the mind.


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 5:58 PM
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40

I went to a private college for $7500 a year from 97-99. It was reputed to be one of the cheapest private colleges there was.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 6:08 PM
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41

My college was super expensive and I had no financial aid but because of that when I took a half load of classes the second half of my senior year, I (or my parents I guess) saved lots of money!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 6:10 PM
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42

So, what is this thing and why hasn't the OP mentioned it?

Are you somehow under the impression that I know that he's being honored for something not mentioned in the email in the post?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 7:00 PM
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I'll agree with 39 that the reputations of particularly econ and business were objects of scorn for the rest of us. In the 70s, the high point of Friedman's reputation, you'd meet would-be acolytes who were invariably fools.

About Straussians, I'm not so sure. My teacher George Anastaplo was sometimes described as a liberal Straussian. I can remember reading Strauss' interpretation of Xenophon's Oeconomicus on the el in the 80s, also his essay on Machiavelli. There's a there there. I never met any of the elitists whom Ogged was worried about becoming.

I had failures and disasters there, but learned a lot and grew up intellectually.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 7:03 PM
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So, neb, did you ever email your question to the indicated address?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 7:43 PM
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45

I'm pretty sure I heard "this place kinda sucks for undergrad" on the UC campus tour. It might have been said by another prospective's parent, or maybe it was the tour guide.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 7:51 PM
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As I've mentioned before, Chicago was my top choice for undergrad but I didn't get in. I was very upset at the time, but in retrospect it was probably for the best.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 7:55 PM
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Tuition and fees at UNC (~8400/yr) are almost exactly 10x what they were when I was there in the late 80s and early 90s.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 7:57 PM
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People are incredulous when I tell them this, but when I applied, U of C was taking nearly half of applicants. Moby's 28 is relevant: it wasn't on a lot of people's radar and the applicant pool was self-selecting.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 8:13 PM
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Growing up in Minneapolis, I always thought it was kind of cute that Chicago had a university named after it. Wouldn't have gone there on a bet of course, because nothing in Chicago is worth going there for.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 8:42 PM
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The X% of applicant numbers aren't very comparable over time. Consider the same pool of applicants, same pool of schools, but suddenly every applicant applies to 3x as many schools: hey presto, every school is that much more selective! And the Internet and common-application stuff (which was just barely underway when I was applying to colleges) have made that happen.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 8:43 PM
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49: I liked the trippy light tunnel in O'Hare.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 8:51 PM
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nothing in Chicago is worth going there for

This, plus the death thread, reminds me that I really ought to visit the Art Institute at least once before it's too late for me.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 9:07 PM
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Ooooh, there was a death thread? I've been hella morbid recently.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 9:15 PM
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Next one down, entitled "The Death."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 9:26 PM
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Well, don't that beat all?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-17-15 9:35 PM
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48: Swarthmore was the same, but it was still considered a highly selective school because of the SAT scores of its students. I think it was pretty self-selecting. As to Moby's 28, I didn't know much about the University of Chicago as an undergraduate. I did, however, tour Swarthmore.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 2:48 AM
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BG, how hold are you?


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 4:18 AM
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old. old.

But you can also tell me you bold and cold you are. And whether your story is too sad to be told, too oft told, or told just the right amount.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 4:20 AM
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commenting is hard.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 4:20 AM
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oh, wait. I totally misunderstood your comment. In my defense, I have been sick for more than a week, it's before 8 am on a Saturday, and I have not had coffee. I should set some kind of lock on my keyboard that requires me to do something sensible before I type anything.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 4:25 AM
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I grow hold. I will wear my pants rolled.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 5:46 AM
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42: I was under the impression that were Levin being honored for something not in the email that your curiosity might have led you to find out what it was, after joking that there must be something else, while suspecting that there was not.

It seems that there was not, so, improbable and ridiculous! Perhaps our alma mater will be honoring Tu/cker Ma/x or some other cretin next. Who's to say?


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 6:11 AM
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50 - But I think it's percent of applicants accepted, not the percent of applicants that actually end up going. If every applicant applied to three times as many universities it would mean that universities would have to send out more acceptance letters rather than fewer. Picking the right number students to accept is kind of nerve wracking, I imagine, because you have to guess at how many of the ones accepted will actually want to come and if you screw up you get either worryingly low or awkwardly high numbers of students that year. Once you add in other stuff, like the fact that the extra applications are being spread around unevenly then you'd start to see changes, but not necessarily otherwise.

My guess is that the increasing numbers of students applying for colleges combined with the fact that the internet makes it easier for colleges to spread information about themselves around the country* is what would be the main factor driving the increasing selectivity. That, I mean, and the fact that the big national periodical that decided to release very well known rankings decided to use it as one of the factors for ranking schools, which gave them all a powerful incentive to get as many applications in each year as they could, regardless of whether the students would ever come close to being accepted or not.


*I think there used to be a bunch of high quality colleges that still drew mostly regionally, at least at the SLAC level, and that that's a lot less true these days. I'm old enough that I heard about the college I ended up going to by way of someone who knew someone who had talked to someone who went there and seemed to like it. It was actually a pretty good choice for me, but almost entirely accidental. Now I bet they get way more applications just by virtue of the fact that the internet is spreading information around way more effectively than it used to (and, I mean, I'm talking about '97 or so with me, so not that long ago compared to all you geezers.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 6:21 AM
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Out of curiosity I just checked the website of the SLAC that I went to. The student body continues to be surprisingly New England heavy (I suspect being from Southern California helped me get in back in the day).

I would have though that all of the places that do well on the USNWR rankings would be pretty national in character by now.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 6:46 AM
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58 and 59: Tia, I don't understand your question.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 7:33 AM
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I vaguely remember in the mid-90s Chicago's acceptance rate was high relative to the Ivies and that they wanted to find ways to push it down, as gaming metrics is the only proven way of providing a quality education.

I might have applied if I'd known about the core, but never looked into it. Early on when I considered grad school I thought about their quantitative social science MA, but couldn't find 50,000 lying around. Also, they didn't have history faculty in the fields that interested me or I'd have applied to the Ph.D program.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 7:43 AM
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$50,000


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 7:45 AM
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34 but, especially if you're mathy/sciency why not just GTFO of the US educational system?

Why "especially if you're mathy/sciency"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 8:02 AM
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Did you all see where the NYTimes is trolling everyone by pretending that law school leads to high-paying jobs for most students?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 8:45 AM
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68 -- just an assumption that if you want to do humanistic studies in the English language you're likely best off in a place where people are writing in English. Seems like eg chemical engineering translates more easily in a foreign setting, so why not learn it in Heidelberg or whatever for free.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 8:50 AM
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Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I'm still not sure how good an idea it is, though. For people who want PhDs it's probably going to hurt their chances at US grad school admissions. For those going into some sort of engineering career, I wonder if it makes finding a US-based job, getting appropriately licensed, and whatnot more difficult. But I guess a significant savings in money might compensate for a year or two of difficult transition back to the US.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 8:58 AM
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42: I was under the impression that were Levin being honored for something not in the email that your curiosity might have led you to find out what it was, after joking that there must be something else, while suspecting that there was not.

I did email the association but have not yet received a response.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 9:20 AM
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71 -- it is possible that I'm not the most qualified person to be giving advice on math/science careers but that's not gonna stop me. For law school, assuming that you did well abroad and well on the LSAT, I'd guess that being a US studnent undergrad at a good foreign university would be a plus, you'd fall into some kind of diversity pool. Maybe for med schools too?

To 72, why is honoring Levin any different than honoring the other asshole they're honoring with the same award, or some guy who starts a very successful cracker company or whatever, or the other kind of business stuff alumni associations honor. The guy's a very successful business owner.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 10:36 AM
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71: Math in Budapest might get you far, no?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 10:46 AM
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As I already said, TRO, I don't think this guy is uniquely horrible or it's uniquely remarkably that he should receive an honor, but he's the one I was emailed about. I suppose I had hoped that the alumni association might be a fraction as high-minded in terms of whom they honor as the university's rhetoric about Human Beings and Citizens and Lives of the Mind and whatnot might lead a naïf like me to think.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 11:14 AM
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you'd fall into some kind of diversity pool

Maybe? In my department "diversity" means "black, hispanic, female, or some combination thereof", but who knows how things work over in the law school.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 11:21 AM
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On the page of past winners David Broder and David Brooks nestle against one another a few slots below Robert Bork. But you can see how someone with a conventionally-fettered worldview might object to Levin.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 11:32 AM
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71: Math in Budapest might get you far, no?

A well-established thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 11:34 AM
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77: No one ever emailed me pridefully about those people. Nevertheless, ugh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 11:52 AM
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75: Have you considered the possibility they email other people about high-minded awardees but not you? "TMZ guy, that's more nosflow's style."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 11:55 AM
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He does blog at a place that devoted lots of attention to when butthole selfies were hacked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 12:55 PM
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butthole selfies

Such a great line from "Pepper":

You never know just how you look through other people's eyes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 2:24 PM
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And then there was the ever-present football player rapist...


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 5:28 PM
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...whom you can avoid by going to college for free in Berlin, for some definitions of football.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 5:35 PM
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Huh. I always thought it was "through other people's eyes". The real way is a lot less creepy.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 5:44 PM
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86

Crap. I'm more than a little drunk.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 5:45 PM
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I meant "how to look".


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 5:48 PM
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88

I MEANT "HOW TO COOK"


Posted by: OPINIONATED "TO SERVE MAN" | Link to this comment | 04-18-15 6:43 PM
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