The show’s much better when Kirk is running guns (“A Private Little War”), trying to get the locals to fight the Klingons before they’re all slaughtered (“Errand of Mercy”), or letting Joan Collins die so she doesn’t go on to found a Hitler-enabling pacifist movement. (“Yesterday is Tomorrow.”) Unfortunately, goopy multi-culti cant seeped deep into Next Generation — in the latter seasons, the writers actually imposed an intergalactic speed limit for ecological reasons. (Thanks to the efforts of Capt. Samuel Hagar and his stirring address — “I can’t warp 5.5” — the ban was eventually lifted.) Deep Space Nine got it right: We learned a lot about the bad guys, the Cardassians; we even heard professional Irishman Miles O’Brien refer to them as Spoonheads, which was just the sort of epithet the enlisted men would say. We understood the Cardassians; we learned much about their culture, and knew a few fine examples. In the end, though, their culture had taken a horrible turn, and there was no getting away from that. Much blowing up had to be done.
I like the love he gives to both DS9 and Enterprise. DS9 is without a doubt the best of all the Trek shows in terms of character and plot. As for Enterprise, although the first season stunk it really found its legs in later years and I have to agree with James, the 4th season was the best Star Trek had to offer.
Jamie posted this at 4:07 PM CDT on Friday, September 28th, 2007 as Nerdom
Claremont McKenna College today announced an unprecedented personal gift of $200 million from alumnus and Trustee Robert Day. The gift, which will create the Robert Day Scholars Program, is the largest recorded gift to a liberal arts college, the largest gift in the field of economics and finance, and among the top 20 gifts ever given to a college or university.
The Robert Day Scholars Program is a unique academic program that builds upon the best elements of an undergraduate liberal arts education with state-of-the-art curricula in finance, accounting, and organizational leadership. Day Scholars may elect to pursue either a specific undergraduate program to achieve competency in finance, accounting and leadership psychology, or a new Master of Finance degree, or both. The master’s degree will be structured as an intensive, two-semester degree to be completed immediately following senior year. In combination, the undergraduate and master’s degree programs will provide a compelling alternative to the traditional MBA framework.
In 2000/01, it was $30,000. In 2004/05, it was $40,000. I do not recall the college improving by 33% while I was there.
Also, when I applied the admissions office made a big deal about how they only passed along half of the cost to students and that fundraising covered the other half. Thus they were charging $30,000 per student but spent $60,000 per student. If that still holds true, they are now spending $92,000 per student. I cannot fathom how they can productively spend that much money. From what I just gathered from their website, my wife and I could spend the entire academic year at Club Med’s Bahamian island for less than that.
I’m glad that Robert A. Day can donate massive quantities of cash to CMC, but I wonder if it might have been better spent on keeping tuition down or scholarships—or pensioning off that woman.
Hubbard posted this at 10:14 AM CDT on Friday, September 28th, 2007 as Edjamacation
This is perhaps the best articles on economics I’ve read in years.
Some choice bits:
There are too many variations on anti-market bias to list them all. Probably the most common error of this sort is to equate market payments with transfers, ignoring their incentive properties. (A transfer, in economic jargon, is a no-strings-attached movement of wealth from one person to another.) All that matters, then, is how much you empathize with the transfer’s recipient compared to the transfer’s provider. People tend, for example, to see profits as a gift to the rich. So unless you perversely pity the rich more than the poor, limiting profits seems like common sense.
Yet profits are not a handout but a quid pro quo: If you want to get rich, you have to do something people will pay for. Profits give incentives to reduce production costs, move resources from less-valued to more-valued industries, and dream up new products. This is the central lesson of The Wealth of Nations: The “invisible hand” quietly persuades selfish businessmen to serve the public good. For modern economists, these are truisms, yet teachers of economics keep quoting and requoting this passage. Why? Because Adam Smith’s thesis was counterintuitive to his contemporaries, and it remains counterintuitive today.
Economists have been at war with the make-work bias for centuries. The 19th-century economist Frederic Bastiat ridiculed the equation of prosperity with jobs as “Sisyphism,” after the mythological fully employed Greek who was eternally condemned to roll a boulder up a hill.
In the eyes of the public, he wrote, “effort itself constitutes and measures wealth. To progress is to increase the ratio of effort to result. Its ideal may be represented by the toil of Sisyphus, at once barren and eternal.” For the economist, by contrast, wealth “increases proportionately to the increase in the ratio of result to effort. Absolute perfection, whose archetype is God, consists [of] a situation in which no effort at all yields infinite results.”
I strongly advise everyone to read the whole thing. Its rare that you find an article that so accurately diagnoses the fundamental lack of understanding of basic economics. What makes this article especially interesting is the analysis of the public psychology of each of these biases – and the demonstration of why they are so fundamentally wrong.
The U.N. is as corrupt, brutal and morally compromised as Ahmadinejad himself. In its many affronts to civilization and decency, the U.N. has long since outlived its usefulness and reason for being. Time to shut it down.
Sounds harsh, we know. Isn’t it better, you ask, to have a place where people can peaceably gather and talk out their problems?
Sad as it is to say, the answer is no. For the U.N. has been hijacked by a rather diverse group of kleptocrats, dictators and fanatics who have successfully used it to their own rather nefarious ends.
Here’s my candidate for the biggest outrage of all: that the United Nations—and the corrupt, verminous parasites who staff it—are allowed to carry out their filthy work on U.S. territory. They should be expelled, and the UN headquarters site should be burned to the ground, and the ground should then be sown with salt. The UN is an atrocity, an insult to all human decency and human values, and it should not occupy one square inch of U.S. soil. Am I making my feelings plain here? I hope so.
(CBS News)DETROIT The United Auto Workers has launched a national strike against General Motors Corp.., GM spokesman Dan Flores said Monday.
Thousands of United Auto Workers walked off the job at GM plants around the country Monday in the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976, when Ford Motor Co. plants were shut down.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said the union launched the strike after “one-sided negotiations” failed to reach an agreement.
“It was going to be General Motors’ way at the expense of the workers,” Gettelfinger said. “The company walked right up to the deadline like they really didn’t care.”
The UAW had extended its contract for nine days after it expired on Sept. 14, but the negotiations became bogged down Sunday, apparently over the union’s quest to protect jobs by getting the company to guarantee that new vehicles would be built in U.S. factories.
In the words of the immortal Basil Fawlty: “If they don’t like building cars why don’t they get jobs designing cathedrals or writing violin concertos.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in town again. Jamie Kirchick notes a sharp contrast::
This week’s United Nations General Assembly, where the world’s leaders — many of them unelected despots — is a veritable rogues’ gallery. Garnering most of the critical press coverage has been the Holocaust-denying and Holocaust-prophesizing president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom Columbia University President Lee Bollinger invited onto his campus for a speaking engagement today. The gleeful way in which one of the country’s leading universities has welcomed a murderous thug to address its student body is, indeed, sickening. Across the pond, however, Prime Minister Brown is showing the sort of spine in dealing with another tyrant that ought influence how President Bollinger comports himself.
Last week, Prime Minister Brown set the stage for what is likely to become a major, transcontinental diplomatic row. In a piece for the Independent newspaper, Mr. Brown protested the Portuguese government’s decision to invite Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe to Lisbon for a European Union-Africa summit in December. By doing so, the Portuguese would violate a 2002 E.U. travel ban placed on Mr. Mugabe and 130 other top Zimbabwean officials. “President Mugabe’s attendance would mean lifting the E.U. visa ban that we have collectively imposed. I believe that President Mugabe’s presence would undermine the summit, diverting attention from the important issues that need to be resolved,” Mr. Brown wrote. He then issued an ultimatum: “In those circumstances, my attendance would not be appropriate.”
Columbia doesn’t host ROTC or (I think) military recruiters on campus, because it would be just too offensive to do so, because the military obeys the law passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by Bill Clinton which bars open homosexuals from serving in the military. OK.
But Columbia does host Ahmedinejad who heads a government which executes homosexuals for the crime of being homosexuals.
So it’s obnoxious beyond belief to exclude homosexuals from military service, but it’s not obnoxious beyond belief to hang them from the neck until dead. . . .
Why does Lee Bollinger think a man who heads a regime that executes homosexuals—not just excludes them from military service, but hangs them by the neck until dead, in public ceremony—should be honored with an invitation to speak at Columbia?
GayPatriot discusses a left-wing lesbian who has a crush on Ahmadinejad:
She even has a confesses crush on the guy because he asks tough questions of the man she really hates. Amazing. Simply amazing.
Hey, Sally, Bush has been president for over 6 1/2 years and he still hasn’t killed you, locked you up or even shut down your blog. And you and your ideological confrères have been criticizing and otherwise badmouthing him for at least that long—and will, I expect, continue to do so. Doesn’t that say that the guy might be a little better that a man who, in your own words, would “probably have me kiled“?
Well, at least Sally acknowledges what a number of us have long observed, that for all too many on the left, Bush hatred trumps all. Even the rantings of a man whom, she acknowledges may well kill her if he could.
I think I understand why Sally is so loopy, thanks to the longshoreman philosopher. Eric Hoffer described hatred as a unifying agent. He also had an interesting prediction:
It is easier to hate an enemy with much good in him than one who is all bad. We cannot hate those we despise. The Japanese had an advantage over us in that they admired us more than we admired them. They could hate us more fervently than we could hate them. The Americans are poor haters in international affairs because of their innate feeling of superiority over all foreigners. An American’s hatred for a fellow American (for Hoover or Roosevelt) is far more virulent than any antipathy he can work up against foreigners. It is of interest that the backward South shows more xenophobia than the rest of the country. Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life.
Somehow, I don’t think Hoffer would have been surprised that some Americans can work up more anger over Bush than Ahmadinejad. In a peculiar sense, Americans usually hate each other more than foreigners—that is, one faction of Americans would rather hate another faction, even though an outside group is a common enemy. It’s annoying and frustrating, but this myopia is as American as arrested development.
According to Winston Churchill, the Red Army “tore the guts out of the Nazi war machine.” It can be argued [!!!] that Soviet troops were primarily fighting to free their homelandfrom Nazi occupation. After fighting its way to Berlin, the Soviet Union imposed its own dictatorship over Eastern Europe. Even so, Soviet sacrifices contributed greatly to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi domination. Soviet forces died for their own country and their own tyrannical government,but they also spilled blood on behalf of their Western allies.
Entertainment Weekly has an article discussing the top ten episodes of Star Trek: TNG. I have to say that I agree with almost every one on this list, if not the placement. How can Best of Both Worlds not be #1? How can Chain of Command not be much, much higher? But perhaps my favorite thing about this particular list – it didn’t include Darmok – the overhyped episode that all nerds seem to love.
Let the debate begin.
Jamie posted this at 10:59 AM CDT on Saturday, September 22nd, 2007 as Nerdom