Monthly Archives: February 2014

what is generalizable knowledge?

Facebook6 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 6In a group devoted to community-based research, we were discussing the tendency of academics to seek “generalizable” knowledge, while community-based groups want knowledge that has immediate significance to their own circumstances. That difference can generate conflicts over … Continue reading

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Ellen Miller on passing the baton

Facebook16 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 16I am no Ellen Miller (and I am not going to retire any time soon), but when the time comes, I will consider it a mark of an outstanding career if I can write as she did … Continue reading

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Francis Bacon on confirmation bias

Facebook22 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 22Nowadays, we call it “confirmation bias:” our deep-seated tendency to prefer information that confirms our existing positions. A political controversy erupted in 2010 when the libertarian blogger Julian Sanchez accused conservatives of falling prey to “epistemic closure,” … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Saul Alinsky on video

Facebook11 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 11I am teaching about Saul Alinsky (with due consideration to both his strengths and his weaknesses). I enjoyed showing my class actual footage of the man at work–from a 1968 Canadian documentary. In this excerpt: [o:00 to … Continue reading

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Chua and Rubenfeld, The Triple Package

Facebook11 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 11The new book by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld (The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America) is stirring controversy, as it was meant to do. The authors … Continue reading

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what it means to serve: three takes

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0(On the DC-Boston Shuttle) One day in DC, three meetings, three views of “service.” First, I enjoyed a gathering of leaders who engage at-risk teenagers and young adults in community service as a way to improve their … Continue reading

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Tufts’ new 1+4 program

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Yesterday, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts (where I work) held a Symposium on Service and Leadership with retired General Stanley McChrystal, who commanded US forces in Afghanistan and who turns … Continue reading

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the president and the humanities

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0At a General Electric plant in Milwaukee last month, President Obama seemed to disparage one of the disciplines of the humanities: “I promise you, folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades … Continue reading

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Bowling Alone after (almost) 20 years

Facebook72 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 72Robert Putnam published “Bowling Alone” in the Journal of Democracy, vol. 6, no. 1, January 1995. By September 25 of the same year, he was in People Magazine (smoking a pipe, standing alone in bowling shoes on … Continue reading

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what Google Streetview has mapped

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0When I need to occupy 10% of my brain and not get distracted by emails, I have recently been playing the BBC’s Geoguessr game. It drops you randomly on a stretch of road that has been photographed … Continue reading

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