Monthly Archives: February 2007

manipulation versus eloquence

Here are two conflicting ideas that both have some appeal to me: 1) Our political system is too manipulative. The techniques of persuasion have become too effective. Instead of just sending out a mass mailing, we design several messages and … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | 1 Comment

educational accountability: cost or benefit?

In Nebraska, since 2000, every school district has been required to devise its own educational standards and tests in all core disciplines other than writing (for which there is a statewide exam). Even though many Nebraska districts enroll fewer than … Continue reading

Posted in education policy | Leave a comment

the Clinton/Obama spat

(A belated comment. …) I don’t think last week’s exchange of accusations was particularly significant; by itself, it won’t affect either campaign. But it did reveal weaknesses that both candidates should address. For Senator Clinton (whom I refuse to call … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama | 1 Comment

managing risk

In an age of weak family structures and communities–and unstable employment–individuals and nuclear families are on their own; they need to be able to manage risk so that they can bounce back from adversity. To help people to hedge risk … Continue reading

Posted in revitalizing the left | Leave a comment

building alternative intellectual establishments

Think back to the year 1970. …. Almost all university professors are men. They seem to be interested only in male historical figures and male issues. They select their own advanced students and colleagues and decide which manuscripts are published. … Continue reading

Posted in academia, philosophy | Leave a comment

was Velazquez left-handed?

My post from 2005 on Las Meninas, Velazquez’ masterpiece, has drawn some very interesting and original comments. The latest contribution comes from Barbara Robinson of London Ireland who, like Colin Dixon, believes that the whole painting is a mirror image. … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts | 1 Comment

protest, now and then

A reporter recently asked me how much protest and other activism is going on among today’s youth, compared to their predecessors during the Vietnam era. In 1973, the General Social Survey asked about five specific forms of protest (prowar, antiwar, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the “fit” between cultures and the labor market

Poverty and privilege reproduce themselves. If you are an American boy born in the poorest tenth of the population, you have only a 1.3 percent chance of reaching the top ten percent during your lifetime, and just a 3.7 percent … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

putting philosophy back in developmental pyschology

I’m involved right now in several collaborative projects with developmental psychologists. I constantly learn from these empirical colleagues. However, it often strikes me that civic development is rife with “normative” purposes and controversies. We educate people for citizenship because of … Continue reading

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the small screen

I just did a taped interview with CBS News on young people’s activism. I’m glad CBS is doing a segment on this topic, and the producers were well-informed. I don’t know how my own interview went. It was an unnatural … Continue reading

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