Monthly Archives: April 2012

Ito Jakuchu at the National Gallery

Facebook5 Twitter0Total5In the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, a large room replicates a Zen monastery in Kyoto where originally 30 large silk panel paintings of animals were hung with a triptych of the Buddha between two bodhisattvas. Ito … Continue reading

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Hegel and the Buddha

Facebook5 Twitter0Total5Contrary to popular belief, Hegel’s dialectic has nothing to do with “thesis, antithesis, synthesis.” The characteristic pattern is rather: Consciousness: one experiences, thinks, and acts according to habit, custom, or instinct; Self-consciousness: one becomes aware of one’s habits, customs, … Continue reading

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the educational enrichment gap

Facebook18 Twitter0Total18This is a graph from Duncan and Murnane’s Whither Opportunity?* It shows the average amount of money, adjusted for inflation, that families in the top and bottom quarters of the income distribution spend on “educational enrichment” for their own … Continue reading

Posted in education policy | 4 Comments

segregation can result even when people prefer diversity

Facebook3 Twitter0Total3Between 1969 and 1971, Tom Schelling, later my esteemed colleague at the University of Maryland, found that segregation results if people can move freely, even if they actually prefer a modest degree of diversity. For example, if everyone wants … Continue reading

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activism without ideology is hard

Facebook2 Twitter0Total2Traditionally, most student activism had ideological motivations. Most students (and faculty) would take action as muscular Christians, socialists, liberals, anarchists, Young Republicans, Maoists, or under some other label of that type. Their label would not only stand for abstract … Continue reading

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the cost of neglecting journalism

Facebook9 Twitter0Total9Last year, reporters from the LA Times, including Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, won the Pulitzer Prize for uncovering a staggering scandal in the small city of Bell, which is within Los Angeles County. The LA Times learned from … Continue reading

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global citizenship and justice

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Oxfam provides some excellent resources for civic education. Among its products is a guide for schools on “global citizenship” (pdf). This document says: Oxfam sees the Global Citizen as someone who: is aware of the wider world and has … Continue reading

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under the Wikipedia hood

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Intrigued by a work of art by Allan Chochinov, I went looking at the Wikipedia entry on “Freedom of Speech” and opened the behind-the-scenes page where you can see all the revisions to that entry. It has been revised … Continue reading

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the changes in voting laws

Facebook1 Twitter0Total1Craig Newmark has a nice graphic illustrating the rapid changes in state voting laws since 2010, most of which make voting more restrictive. I’ve been thinking about this issue in various ways all week, meeting with key experts in … Continue reading

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unhappiness and injustice are different problems

Facebook7 Twitter0Total7The ancient sources do not specify which specific miseries flew out of Pandora‚Äôs box, but I would suggest they came in three groups. Some forms of suffering happen to human beings because of the kinds of creatures we are. … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | 6 Comments