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Giamatti: The Green Fields of the Mind

Maybe it wasn't this summer, but all the summers that, in this my fortieth summer, slipped by so fast. There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy. I was counting on the game's deep patterns, three strikes, three outs, three times three innings, and its deepest impulse, to go out and back, to leave and to return home, to set the order of the day and to organize the daylight. I wrote a few things this last summer, this summer that did not last, nothing grand but some things, and yet that work was just camouflage. The real activity was done with the radio--not the all-seeing, all-falsifying television--and was the playing of the game in the only place it will last, the enclosed green field of the mind.

What Was Deconstruction?

Although few could hear the point during “theory” fever, some observed that deconstruction’s attack on “logocentrism” created problems for liberatory politics. Barbara Harlow (one of Derrida’s early translators) observed that Western philosophy had, in fact, always given tendentious priority to the written word, to scripture, and the law — not speech as Derrida contended. And what are Plato’s dialogues if not dissimulated speech skillfully managed in Socrates’s favor within the controlled ironies of writing? The technology of print in imperial Europe was the very brag of its civilization. How to escape, then, deconstruction’s implicit premise that peripheral traditions of storytelling, song, and word-of-mouth (what Ishmael Reed, after Booker T. Washington, called the “grapevine telegraph”) are illusory or naïve? “Texts” for many cultures are oral, bodily, tonal, and rhythmic. They depend on communal gathering — in short, on a metaphysics of presence.

my '84 thesis

We cannot ever rule out the potential relevance of any one field of inquiry to another. At the level of inspiration this seems actually uncontroversial; to give a couple of examples of transfer of ideas between the natural and social sciences, economists have found use in adapting ideas from physics about exchanges of energy that occur during particle collision, and Darwin was apparently inspired by classical economists. In these cases social theory and physical theories have related just by, to speak, happenstance - it turned out to be useful for scientists to be reading and reflecting on ideas and models of the world dreamt up for quite other circumstances. Indeed, if you believe the theory of scientific creativity here, then we should think that very generally scientific creativity tends to be spurred by these sort of unusual interdisciplinary inspirations. I think this is relevant to my point, but I don't think people deny this possibility of fruitful inspiration from afar, and in addition I mean something a bit stronger. I think that we cannot rule out the potential evidential relevance of any one field to results gained from another.

Private Schools Are Indefensible - The Atlantic

Less than 2 percent of the nation’s students attend so-called independent schools. But 24 percent of Yale’s class of 2024 attended an independent school. At Princeton, that figure is 25 percent. At Brown and Dartmouth, it is higher still: 29 percent.

Protesting Indians on sports program = Yale Taliban

The desire embraced by many in the university community to whitewash history to preserve the sensibilities of the present is as destructive to understanding the past as are efforts by radical Islamists to erase their own heritage. The West lamented the Taliban’s destruction of 1700-year-old Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. What successive Islamic dynasties had for centuries ignored fell to the dynamite of those who demanded no artifact of the past offend their current sensitivity. Alas, when it comes to so many universities today, the desire to hide, ban, and break symbols have transformed them less into centers of learning and more into safe-spaces for a new Taliban.

Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) Hire Prominent Big Tech Critic - Bloomberg

Google has been a prolific backer of economists, according to one study that identified 330 research papers published between 2005 and 2017 that Google supported directly or indirectly. Recipients didn’t disclose the funding source in 65% of cases, the report said.

Yale against Western Art - Quillette

The “diversity of today’s student body” guides the art history department’s curricular thinking, department leaders explained in a statement on the cancelled survey courses. But the ephemera of students’ race and sex have no bearing on the significance of the past. The sublimity of Chartres Cathedral, a focal point of Scully’s fall semester course, transcends the skin color of the latest round of freshmen. If the University of Lagos suddenly received a large influx of students from Idaho, that would not change how Yoruba bronzes would be taught or interpreted. It is only in the West where scholarship and pedagogy are held hostage to some students’ demographic profile.

Surveys and Undergraduate Art History at Yale | Department of the History of Art

Beginning this past Fall 2019, the Department committed to offering four different introductory courses each year. All of these courses, current or future, are designed to introduce the undergraduate with no prior experience of the History of Art to art historical looking and thinking. They also range broadly in terms of geography and chronology. Essential to this decision is the Department’s belief that no one survey course taught in the space of a semester could ever be comprehensive, and that no one survey course can be taken as the definitive survey of our discipline. As we continue to renew our curriculum while preserving our commitment to introductory teaching of the broadest scope, new courses will replace HSAR112 and 115. Some will engage with the monuments and masterpieces of European and American art, some will introduce other world traditions, and some will be organized thematically offering comparative perspectives. As always, our introductory classes will bring Yale students face to face with works of art and material objects of great beauty and cultural value from across time and place.

Harvard failing students by having them live in fantasy world

No one at Harvard batted an eye to learn that Sullivan has represented an actual murderer. But they lost their minds when Sullivan was hired by Harvey Weinstein. Harvard capitulated to a small band of protesters and announced that Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, would no longer serve as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s residential units. The unofficial leader of the student hysterics, Danu Mudannayake, doesn’t even live in Winthrop House and yet claimed it was “deeply trauma-inducing” to know that Sullivan represented Weinstein, which somehow proved Sullivan “does not value the safety of students he lives with in Winthrop House.” If these ding-dongs and the spineless, craven ding-dong enablers running Harvard had simply found some smelling salts and taken a few deep breaths, they would soon have learned that Sullivan was off the Weinstein case anyway: The law professor was expecting to work on the matter during his summer break, but a judge pushed the trial back to the fall, when Sullivan’s Harvard teaching duties would have precluded his representing Weinstein.

Harvard failing students by having them live in fantasy world

In the softest and most spoiled generation of humanity ever to exist (they feel threatened by Halloween costumes and the existence of Ben Shapiro; their forebears endured World War II and Vietnam and even riding bikes without helmets), the softest and most spoiled corner must be the Harvard student body, those little princelings and princesslings who have more expectations about how the world should accommodate their whims than Louis XIV. Last week, a handful of these toddler-brained undergrads got a distinguished Harvard dean fired for doing his job.

Commentator Andrew Sullivan Jeered at Hollywood Inclusion Event | Hollywood Reporter

“When you’re a struggling, white working-class person in say, Kentucky, and a Yale student says, ‘You have white privilege,’ what do you think happens? [Donald] Trump gets elected — that’s what happens. And they don’t seem to understand any of the lessons from the last time and I don’t want [Trump] to be re-elected, but I don’t think the left is helping and I don’t think Hollywood is helping.”

Yale Student Says Brett Kavanaugh Considered Female Clerks' Looks |

That’s when Chua stepped in and, according to the student, suggested that she “dress ‘outgoing’ ” for the interview with Kavanaugh. “She strongly urged me to send her pictures of what I was thinking of wearing so she could evaluate. I did not,” the woman said. Reached for comment on the account, Chua did not deny it but told HuffPost, “For the more than ten years I’ve known him, Judge Kavanaugh’s first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence.”

New Yorker Menuchin on the eclipse: meh.

"You know, people in Kentucky took this stuff very serious," he told the conference. "Being a New Yorker and (living for a time in) California, I was like, the eclipse? Really? I don't have any interest in watching the eclipse."

Building a better 'bot': Artificial intelligence helps human groups -- ScienceDaily

In a series of experiments using teams of human players and robotic AI players, the inclusion of "bots" boosted the performance of human groups and the individual players, researchers found. The study appears in the May 18 edition of the journal Nature. "Much of the current conversation about artificial intelligence has to do with whether AI is a substitute for human beings. We believe the conversation should be about AI as a complement to human beings," said Nicholas Christakis, co-director of the Yale Institute for Network Science (YINS) and senior author of the study. Christakis is a professor of sociology, ecology & evolutionary biology, biomedical engineering, and medicine at Yale. The study adds to a growing body of Yale research into the complex dynamics of human social networks and how those networks influence everything from economic inequality to group violence. In this case, Christakis and first author Hirokazu Shirado conducted an experiment involving an online game that required groups of people to coordinate their actions for a collective goal. The human players also interacted with anonymous bots that were programmed with three levels of behavioral randomness -- meaning the AI bots sometimes deliberately made mistakes. In addition, sometimes the bots were placed in different parts of the social network. More than 4,000 people participated in the experiment, which used a Yale-developed software called breadboard. "We mixed people and machines into one system, interacting on a level playing field," Shirado explained. "We wanted to ask, 'Can you program the bots in simple ways?' and does that help human performance?" The answer to both questions is yes, the researchers said. Not only did the inclusion of bots aid the overall performance of human players, it proved particularly beneficial when tasks became more difficult, the study found. The bots accelerated the median time for groups to solve problems by 55.6%. Furthermore, the researchers said, the experiment showed a cascade effect of improved performance by humans in the study. People whose performance improved when working with the bots subsequently influenced other human players to raise their game.

One Year Later, Erika Christakis Breaks Her Silence on Yale Halloween Controversy - FIRE

Christakis’ Halloween email of last year merely asked students, in a thoughtful manner, to consider whether it was the appropriate role of a university to police students’ Halloween costume choices.

As A Poor Kid From The Rust Belt, Yale Law School Brought Me Face-to-face With Radical Inequality

. A student survey found that over 95 percent of Yale Law’s students qualified as upper-middle-class or higher, and most of them qualified as outright wealthy. Obviously, I was neither upper-middle-class nor wealthy. Very few people at Yale Law School are like me. They may look like me, but for all of the Ivy League’s obsession with diversity, virtually everyone—black, white, Jewish, Muslim, whatever— comes from intact families who never worry about money. Early during my first year, after a late night of drinking with my classmates, we all decided to stop at a New Haven chicken joint. Our large group left an awful mess: dirty plates, chicken bones, ranch dressing and soda splattered on the tables, and so on. I couldn’t imagine leaving it all for some poor guy to clean up, so I stayed behind. Of a dozen classmates, only one person helped me: my buddy Jamil, who also came from a poorer background. Afterward, I told Jamil that we were probably the only people in the school who’d ever had to clean up someone else’s mess. He just nodded his head in silent agreement.

Yale blues

“The reason I chose Yale is that Yale School of Management was known for nonprofit and social business,” says Mao. “I naively thought they cared about society, that they cared about people, that they cared about their students. But my experience didn’t tell me anything about that.”

Yale Lecturer Resigns After Email on Halloween Costumes

“I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious,” she wrote, “a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?”

Email From Erika Christakis: "Dressing Yourselves," email to Silliman College (Yale) Students on Halloween Costumes - FIRE

I don’t wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation[…] […]But I wanted to share my thoughts with you from a totally different angle, as an educator concerned with the developmental stages of childhood and young adulthood. As a former preschool teacher, for example, it is hard for me to give credence to a claim that there is something objectionably “appropriative” about a blonde-haired child’s wanting to be Mulan for a day.

Tom Wolfe leaves Yale

e re-writes his thesis. He lards it up with academic jargon and creates a phony emotional distance from his material (he refers to “an American writer E. Hemingway”), and it is accepted. Then he flees Yale as fast as he can. He’s entering his late 20s with only the faintest idea of what he might do to earn a living. But he’s ambitious, eager to find his place in the world. His father introduces him to business associates. Wolfe writes to the head of a sales institute and sends “excerpts from work I have done on the subject of Communist activity among American writers and other ‘intellectuals.’ ” He applies for jobs in public relations. He writes to American Airlines to inquire about a post. He even considers, briefly, a position teaching economics

Why do you have to be so accomplished to get into college?

I graduated from Yale in 1984, although I’d never get in today. It occurs to me that I’d also not likely get into Colby College, where I have been a professor for almost 20 years, or Tufts, where I worked as an adjunct for seven years before that. After all, I was just a smart kid. I got good grades and did well, but not extraordinarily, on the SATs. I was the editor of the school literary magazine and wrote for the school newspaper. I didn’t play any sports. I thought of those in need with distress but that was the sum total of my humanitarian efforts. I babysat a little, read a lot. The only thing I really excelled at was having no friends. But being a bright, socially awkward teenager won’t, it seems, get you very far anymore.

Adieu to the Anchor

Key to great "Harvard sucks" prank was failure and new recruits

Unfortunately, many of their original collaborators from the year before were discouraged by the original plan's untimely demise. According to Kai, a new group of Yale students was recruited for the prank at Harvard Stadium. "Most of the people who helped us our junior year didn't want to help senior year, after seeing the failure," Kai told Business Insider. "So it became a mix of close friends and freshmen, who hadn't seen the failed plan."

Vietnam Memorial and Woolsey Hall at Yale

The power of a name was very much with me at the time, partly because of the Memorial Rotunda at Yale. In Woolsey Hall, the walls are inscribed with the names of all the Yale alumni who have been killed in wars. I had never been able to resist touching the names cut into these marble walls, and no matter how busy or crowded the place is, a sense of quiet, a reverence, always surrounds those names. Throughout my freshman and sophomore years, the stonecutters were carving in by hand the names of those killed in the Vietnam War, and I think it left a lasting impression on me…the sense of the power of a name.
Only 831 students enrolled in Yale College last year came from families below that $65,000 threshold. That figure, 15 percent of the student body, is virtually unchanged from Tynan’s and my class over a decade before it. In the class of 2017, an additional 16 percent of the student body comes from families making between $66,000 and $120,000. The remaining 69 percent of the class comes from families that earn more than $120,000 per year.
Though the program has been available for students’ use for the last three semesters, it was only last Wednesday that the brothers were approached about the website. University Registrar Gabriel Olszewski sent them an email citing concerns that the website was “making YC course evaluation available to many who are not authorized to view this information,” asking how they obtained the information, who gave them permission to use it and where the information is hosted. In subsequent exchanges Olszewski raised concerns over the website’s unauthorized use of the Yale logo and the words “Yale” and “Bluebook,” the prominence of class and professor ratings, the application’s accessibility to non-undergraduates, and the fact that it wasn’t hosted on Yale’s servers. When the brothers met with Olszewski two days after the first email, they said they were told that the website had to be shut down.