Friday, March 11, 2011

Ten Undergrad Gen/ed Classes

Dana C has asked us to list ten gen/ed classes that I took as an undergrad. Here goes (and Dana I can't peak because that transcript is nearly 30 years old and I don't have a copy)

1. Lit/Phil 101
2. Lit/Phil 102
3. Western Civ 101
4. Western Civ 102
5. Pol/Sci 101
6. Pol/Sci 102
7. Intro to Bio
8. Intro to Psych
9. Math 101
10. Religion 101

I went to Centre College from 1973-1977. I still remember some of these classes very fondly. Sweet memory.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


TREND: Changing Roles in Higher Education

Derek Bruff, Dwayne Harapnuik, and Jim Julius in their Chronicle of Higher Education article, "Revolution or Evolution? Social Technologies and Change in Higher Education" discuss the adviseability of and likelihood of transformational change in the adoption of new technologies by faculty.

Key Points:

1. New technologies provide new learning 'affordances' but is a social technology revolution possible in an environment that values incremental change at best and no change at worst?
2. The authors narrate the story of a recent interactive session during the annual conference of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Saint Louis.
3. POD's are located in faculty development offices on most campuses and are active in attempting to improve faculty teaching through change initiatives.
4. Ideas from POD
a. The model for information flow has changed from an industrial one to a filtering one.
b. We have shifted from an Instructional Paradigm to a Learning Paradigm. This is reflected in Monica Raskin's "Twitter Experiment" at University of Texas at Dallas. Bruff, et al ask whether this is the change we need to be drawn toward?

c. Some have argued for this radical shift:

d. POD Prezi Presentation

5. POD group's examples of "roadblocks, obstacles, and speed bumps" toward this shift.
a. Faculty as proto-Luddites
b. Faculty need for models
c. Faculty loss of control when shifting
d. Faculty don't see it as a personal, professional, or university priority
e. Faculty don't have the 'geek' openness to new tech ideas
f. Faculty remain unconvinced of advantages over status quo
6. Here is an online document outlining their discussion and another interactive one using Google Forms to focus the previous one.
7. The biggest challenges?
a. The move from sage to the side, from prof-centered to student-centered.
b. Sharing effective models with other faculty
8. The authors do not explicitly answer whether it should be evolutionary or revolutionary; instead, they invite the readers to join.

Comments to Article:

9. You have to address faculty fears either way. Fierce autonomy, fear of being made redundant by technology, lack of clear cost/benefit analysis--these are all examples of the fear that fills reluctant colleagues.
10. Access to the tools of change along with a way to 'unstrand' colleagues will lead to change of both kinds.
11. "Most profs are amateurs when it comes to teaching"--improving learning no matter the tech (3X5 cards, face-to-face sims, Twitter). Focus on making the amateurs into pros.
12. References to book Nineshift
13. "Revolutions require ubiquity."
14. Administrative motive is suspect--use tech to save money is first priority.


Failure to address this question simply kicks the can down the road for someone else to address and it may well be that a ginned up crisis or a real crisis will reduce the options we once had much like the climate change deniers may have damned our options in addressing carbon buildup in the atmosphere.

Being out of step with out students might be considered quaint by some. It might be thought that faculty are the last bulwark against the barbarian-students at the gate. Whatever rationale is given for sticking to the status quo ante-technology, it is clear that these 'good deeds' will not go unpunished. For-profit companies are gaming both student desires and federal money in an ugly takeover attempt. If you want to look at a school 'too big to fail' just consider University of Phoenix. This purity of the academe will be it death.

Lastly, the comment above that most professors are amateurs not pros is the dirtiest little secret of the ivory tower. Faculty development does yeoman work on our own campus considering how underpowered and de-valued it is. But the greatest sin is that it can be safely ignored by tenured faculty. And, honestly, it is ignored and without moral or professiona or personal hazard. One of the most morally bankrupt results of this is that those who have the power often and regularly do not exercise it for students but rather for their professional and personal selves. Yes, that is the foul cruft of corruption in the air and it is the most dangerous threat to the thousand year tenure of the University.

Hacker, P. (11:00 am). Revolution or Evolution? Social Technologies and Change in Higher Education. ProfHacker. The Chronicle of Higher Education, . Retrieved March 11, 2011, from

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Trend: Affordability--Etextbooks at University

John Levi Hilton and David Wiley discuss in their First Monday article "A Sustainable Future for Open Textbooks?" the viability and sustainability of one model of etext delivery--Flat World Knowledge.

Key Points:

1. In 2008 the average price of textbooks was US$702 and 5.5 billion nation wide.
2. Textbook companies and professors have come in for a raft of criticism over the last ten years over the cost and waste in texts for classrooms.
3. E-books have proved a cheaper alternative but their cost, readability, and resale ability have proven to be stumbling blocks to adoption.
4. Free e-textbooks have been proposed as an answer by non-commercial groups like CourseSmart, Connexions, and Wikipedia as well as commercial efforts like Flat World Knowledge (FWK) and Textbook Media.
5. Flat World Knowledge's business model is the subject of this essay.
6. Benefits of FWK:
a. Older texts will not be discontinued even if revisions are available.
b. Texts are allowed to be freely customized.
c. Full text online version of etext is free.
d. Audio, pdf, and print version available for sale.
e. Higher royalty rate paid to authors (15%)
7. Alpha testing indicated that the business model was looked up favorably by both faculty and students compared to traditional texts.
8. Beta testing indicated that the majority of students were likely to buy the text instead of reading it only online.


Making college more affordable may depend on efforts like these to reduce costs. The authors suggest that this model might become the rule for K-12 which also is in desperate economic straits. One-to-one laptop initiatives would be well-advised to look at this freemium model and load up textbooks onto this hardware. The model might provide a counterbalance to the out-of-control costs in traditional textbook publishing.

Implications for the library's role in etextbooks has not been thought through. Amazon already sells more ebooks than paper books and access to these etexts through smartphones, tablets, and e-readers is becoming nearly universal; therefore, barriers to access are lower than ever before. In other words the textbook market is suffering severe dislocations as it tries to adjust to the 'textonic' forces shifting beneath them. Or maybe not. There does not appear to be a rush by faculty and students to adopt. Some have suggested that a new model (already used by the University of Phoenix) be used where stukdents woiuld pay a materials fee which would be lumped together to get e-books for all.


We really could see the end of the 'paper and binding' textbook in five years. Western needs to have a pilot program running now to make this happen because the present system is effectively broken. But I am concerned that universities will not effectively contain costs considering how poorly they have fared keeping a lid on digital subscriptions at libraries. And...what exactly would the consequences be for existing campus bookstores? Lost revenue and lost jobs? No, this is disruptive stuff here and not all tea and skittles.  That the law of unintended consequences will have powerful sway here, there is little doubt.

Hilton III, J. L., & Wiley, D. A. (2010). A sustainable future for open textbooks? The Flat World Knowledge story. First Monday, 15(8). Retrieved from

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trend: Technology Based Delivery Systems--the MOOC

Canadian educational research guru Stephen Downes outlines the beginnings of a new trend--the massively open online course (MOOC).

Key Points:

1. The MOOC is not just an online course with lots of students. Downes characterizes it as one that has 'connectivist' philosophy at its heart. Also, the course is free to all and open to all. Nothing is required and participants can participate as much or as little as they wish. Everything is optional.
2. Downes and fellow professor, George Siemens, model the work of the course (Connectivism and Connective Knowledge or CCK11) together and welcome others to join in.
3. The course reflects the underlying philosophy of connectivism.
4. Connectivism has as its major tenet that learning is not acquired nor is it transmitted; instead, it is the process of making connections across a distributed network of connections. In such a learning environment you situate yourself in a place where you can make connections among a community of practitioners.
5. There are four parts to the MOOC
a. Aggregation--Since immersion is one of the necessary conditions for maximizing connectivity, Downes stuffs the course with lots of contents of varying degrees of difficulty including a dailyk newsletter, blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, collected Tweets from Twitter, bookmarks, discussion posts, and any kitchen think he can come up with. The idea is for each person to create his or her own stance toward the material and others who want to talk about it.
b. Remixing--Once immersed the next step is to make connection within the course much like your neurons which learn by firing together. This associating is very loosely governed by rules if at all and might be said to resemble spiral learning models. The only suggestion Downes makes is to reflect upon the associations that form and to share that content with others.
c. Repurposing--Downes calls this the hard work of the course. At this stage the idea is to get beyond 'reception and filtering' and begin to create. Like an artist's pallette, the colors and canvas come from the materials already gathered together in the first two steps. The pattern is simple: watch the facilitators and adapt and practice with them. Seymour Pappert called this 'constructionism' and tradesfolk call it apprenticeship. Practice is at the heart of connectivism.
d. Feeding Forward--This is what we called "sharing" in kindergarten. It is public and difficult, but it is worthwhile. Feeding forward provides the grist for feedback which you will get from those who appreciate the risk you have taken for their benefit.

Quote from Daniel Pink: "Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our neglecting the ingredients of genuine motivation--autonomy, mastery, and purpose--they limit what each of us can achieve."


One of the conclusions we need to draw from this is that learning is communal. While this is not a new understanding the affordances of new technology make its practice possible in tribes of folk who happen to want to be together to learn something. New pedagogies based upon new theories may be the most disruptive technologies that have every existed. The overturn existing paradigms almost unintentionally and by their very existence constitute a profound challenge to the status quo. Connectivism is a challenge to every existing idea that does not make as its reason for being the goal of maximizing the availability of connections in the system.


Credentialing as we know it is very hard to do under this regimen. Carnegie units are cottonwood fluff for connectivists. Grades make no sense because the only person who can tell you if they have learned something is the connected learner. But this is not at all impractical or impractible. We can still assess mastery. If someone can do it, they can be a practitioner. This is akin to what we used to call "reading law at the bar". Lincoln was a connectivist.

Also, I don't think the MOOC works outside of the philosophical framework of connectivism.  


Downes, S. (2011). “Connectivism” and Connective Knowledge. The Huffington Post. Blog, . Retrieved March 10, 2011, from

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Trend: Changing Role of Faculty/ Creating a Web Presence

Miriam Posner and her fellow bloggers make the argument that faculty need to make themselves more visible on the Internet. If they do so, they assert that it will benefit their "scholarship, pedagogy, and even service."

Key Points:

1. Web presence sounds like marketing. Isn't that beneath the dignity of one with an advanced degree? Certainly not, according to the authors.
2. If others are looking at you online (and they are looking at your 'presence') then you need to make sure they see what you want them to see.
3. Start with Google and end with Google.
4. Basics to creating a good presence:
a. when you sign up for web apps or platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) understand what you control and what you don't.
b. be consistent in your persona (voice, image, style)
c. understand that social networking is like potlatch culture--by your works shall ye be known

5. Keep tight control over what is public on public platforms like Facebook.
6. Use Google Profile as you default public page. Keep it simple and consistent as in 4(b) above.
7. Social networks rank high in Google searches so King effective ones. is a worthwhile one because you can store the necessaries there (CV, papers, teaching credo, links), it speaks the speak of academe, it is professional, it allows you to follow others' work (notifies you when colleagues add to their sites) and sends you emails anytime someone 'lands' on your profile page via Google.
8. Consider using LinkedIn in addition to LinkedIn ranks highly in Google and helps you differentiate yourself from others with the same name.
9. Use Twitter if it fits your discipline. For example, in education it is nearly de rigeur to have one because the most influential educators tend to use it heavily for professional development.
10. Use RealSimpleSyndication (RSS) to maintain ties to professional ties and developments within your discipline. Get feeds for:
a. favorite blogs
b. google email alerts
c. Database alerts for research areas
d. twitter feeds
e. Jobs pages like the Chronicle's
f. Calls for papers

Comments to the above article yielded:

11. Buy a domain with your name.
12. Create an page. This is a single page that points others to all your presences on the internet.
13. Create Google Scholar alerts.
14. Consider using Interfolio as a showcase for your work and career.
15. Offers up an alternative to "presence"--make yourself discoverable.
16. Use academic commons tools like Zotero and Mendeley.

Significance and Consequences:

Wouldn't it be fun to create a television series based upon doing web presence makeovers for faculty? I think it would reinforce the idea of faculty as arbiters of academic mojo at a time when we could certainly use a better image. Of course, I am only partly serious in this, but the implications of this article are bigger than its DIY intent. What would it mean if web presence was a part of the tenure process? The authors only assert that it can benefit scholarship, pedagogy, and service. How could it?

Scholarship? The social aspect of Internet life effects most of us. Why wouldn't it help us be better scholars. The efforts of The Center for History and New Media have brought us, a browser-based tool fof gathering research into a database which can in turn be accessed by others. Zotero Commons works with the Internet Archive to share research resources. It also allows for collaborative source sharing and group bibliographic work. Scholarship is becoming increasingly collaborative and web presence/discoverability might make a university much more international in its scope.

Pedagogy? One metaphor for this pedagogy is one developed in David Weinberger's seminal book on the web as social medium, Small Pieces, Loosely Joined. According to Weinberger's theory we are moving from a world of complex institutions that work together like machines. This is fine as long as the parts are maintained, but with the Web we don't have a machine but instead a living, messy network of small pieces that we are bringing together ourselves. So too, our pedagogy is growing into a definable presence that defies boundaries, even mashes them together. This article helps define these boundaries a little more clearly while recognizing that it is still a messy business.

Service? To be discoverable on the web is to acknowledge the service one has already done and to imply the service one can afford to others in the future. That service extends to the community and all of its members, but if you are not known by your good works then opaqueness looks like we are hiding something. It is scary, but also exhilirating and perhaps terrifying, that public money calls us to public service.

Increasingly, parents and students are becoming consumers of this new transparency. How much better would we serve future students and past ones if we were all to follow the advice in this article. And even better what if it was common practice to be this transparent at all levels of university life?


Some view life as a zero sum game, finite and limited by the hours of the day. I suppose if you followed this article's advice you might lose some sleep at first, but I do think that eventually this discoverability would become second nature and lead to productivity of a new order. This is the goal of The Red Balloon Project, to re-imagine undergraduate education. Part of that re-imagination is to make faculty roles fit the world better rather than vice versa.

It is a disruptive act to change your role, but it might be a necessary one if university will survive the dislocations of the 21st century. Below Clayton Christiansen discusses some of these disruptions. It is surprising how many of them call for faculty to change who they are professionally.


Hacker, P. (2011, February 14). Creating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics. ProfHacker. The Chronicle of Higher Education, . Retrieved March 10, 2011, from

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Trend: Common Core Standards/Alignment

Doug Lederman in his article "Colleges and the Common Core" explores the limited success in creating a 'seamess' K-20 system of education in the US.

Key Points:

1. Policy makers have long acknowledged and discussed the need for a smooth transition to college level work.
2. Work has been accomplished toward this end, but the author says the progress has been limited. Lederman points to a 2008 article that casts doubt on the effectiveness of so-called 'P-16 councils'.
3. He quotes Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, as making much the same criticism at the first joint gathering of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
4. Instead of progress we are getting familiar blame games, each side blaming the other for student ill-preparedness.
5. Top leaders Gene Wilhoit and Paul Lingenfelter hope that the new common core standards of high school graduates will be an occasion for improving this stalemate.
6. Wilhoit and Lingenfelter assert that without the core standards students and their schools won't know what to aim for. Without changes to schools of education that reflect those core standards, then there will be no one to teach students how to meet them.
7. The larger goal is "college attainment and completion" and Wilhoit and others in the joint gathering were optimistic at least at the attainment of a new 'awareness' of the need to address the issue.
8. The small start at the joint meeting highlights the gravity of the job of aligning colleges and core standards.
9. Problem One: Core standards were set up without hied involvement although some have argued that postsecondary teachers were surveyed (lame-o).
10. Hied involvement likely to ramp up as all parties figure out how to bring them into practice.
11. Knowledge and skill levels for entry-level academic institutions are described in the core standards, but proficiency levels are not established. That is where hied will contribute by helping to develop the assessments that will measure these skill and knowledge levels.
12. Three consortia have applied to the federal government for Race to the Top funds to build these assessments.
13. Kevin Reilly, president of the Wisconsin university system, would use the assessments to "help drive more sensible messages about what you need to do to attend any of our campuses."
14. Faculty must reconcile institutional standards with common core standards.
15. Next, the ed schools will have to change the way they prepare teachers. According to Wilhoit, we don't have that workforce in place.
16. The practical interface between postsecondary and secondary will be the ed schools and their professors, but national organizations will have their say as well.
17. Some at the joint gathering worried about how legislators might dumb down the standards and lower admissions cutoffs in response to parents' pressure.

Significance and Consequences:

One might argue that while the core standards have been put forth there is still much jockeying back and forth over the assessments and still more over revising the already drafted version; yet, one can never underestimate how slowly and finely this kind of top down, money driven millstone can work over time. Some commentators have remarked that we are beginning to see "a long, passive aggressive takedown of the Common Core in English Language Arts".

I am particularly worried that these well-intentioned folk are working with a fully stocked empathic deck. Their understanding is...understandably from an eagle's eye view. Looking top down from their eyrie they certainly get the illusion that they know the lay of the land, but it necessarily misses the classroom level hurlyburly and even further the professional mindsets that make up that classroom. In other words these leaders don't have the slightest inkling of the potential effect both professionally and personally to those who are expected to buy into and implement their plans. A true hell of unintended consequences could be hatched from such an airy perch. I worry about that. How many experienced teachers will flee the predations of these hawks?

I am also concerned that the whole enterprise has a distinct odor to it. The impressive involvement of the ETS from the beginning begs the question: who guards against the guardians. Damon Hargraves has tried to follow the money behind this initiative both profit and non-profit and has sketched out how their might be not so secret corporate agendas driving the common core push.

I am also concerned by one of the quotes in the article attributed to the president of Kentucky's Council on Postsecondary Education Robert L. King who remarked, "While everyone in this room is persuaded [about the wisdom of the common core standards and the need to raise educational attainment], we should be worried about parents coming back on our state legislatures." I hope this was taken out of context. If not, then two items are worrying. First, I wonder that there are no other voices in the room and that these meetings are echo chambers for prevailing opinion not public opinion. No one elects these arbiters of core standards. King should be especially sensitive to this and does not appear to be so. It is small wonder that conspiracy theorists abound and that experts' motives are often impugned. It ain't paranoia if they really are out after you.

Second, I am concerned about the obvious disdain that King has for parents. How dare they do an 'end around' someone who is looking out after the best interests of their children! Who better to decide what is in their best interests than Robert King, a carpet bagging New Yawker


This initiative has the makings of a very fine train wreck. Economic conditions are poor for reform of any kind much less that of the ill-conceived and hierarchic as this one. If the latest footage around the world hasn't put you in the know then let me--common folk from Cairo to Madison are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. This isn't to say that reform isn't needed, it is, but not this kind done this way.

By all that is reasonable in educational research and sensible classroom level professional behavior, I think that we need to more like the Finns. Much has been said about their mighty educational system but little about the culture that supports it. Finland is a nearly homogeneous country. It is small. Teachers are paid above average and they seem well respected. I seem to be arguing against myself here, but bear with me. The Finns have a curriculum. Finito. No assessments. No standards. Just curriculum.

We have made the mistake of putting the horse not before the cart but to the side of it. Imagine if you will the retrofitting that will be needed at the classroom level for teachers to fit what they are already doing into the vagueries of such standards as these: they use technology strategically and capably. It will be as much 'by guess' as 'by gosh' when it comes to deciding how to do that and how that doing will be assessed by some as yet to be decided upon national test. Make no mistake. This is the first leap toward a single, ETS/CollegeBoard administered exam. Whether that fits the plethora of educational conditions in the US or not is not the concern of these people. Their concern is that the parents shut up and do what the experts say. Inflammatory you say? It is because they are.


Lederman, D. (n.d.). News: Colleges and the Common Core - Inside Higher Ed. Inside HigherEd. Retrieved from

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Trend: Globalization in Higher Ed

Paul Krugman in his opinion piece, "Degrees and Dollars" plays the contrarian when he counters the conventional wisdom that in order to have better jobs we need more money invested in education.

Key Points:

1. Legal research can be done with computers thus making redundant "armies of lawyers and paralegals".
2. The same is true of chip design and engineers.
3. Upshot? Modern technology doesn't just obsolesce the working class job. A college degree does not necessarily insulate one from the shock of technological productivity. Everything we 'know' about jobs and higher education is wrong.
4. This has led to the 'hollowing out' of the middle class as jobs at the low and high wage end grow. And...this hole in the middle is accelerating into the high end jobs as well.
5. Why? We assume that computers benefit mind workers over hand workers, but drawing on the research of economists David Autor, Frank Levy, and Richard Murnane, Krugman points out that this is not the right way to think. Any task that can be made routine can be computerized. Ironically, this does not include manual labor which can't be reduced to explicit rules and is, therefore, safe from the 'productivity' ravages of technology.
6. Plus, there are not many production/assembly line jobs left to be lost.
7. To aggravate matters for middle and high end knowledge workers, Krugman points to the research by Alan Blinder and Alan Krueger which indicates that their jobs are more "offshoreable" than low-wage jobs.
8. Krugman argues for policy changes: equalize the starting line for all college capable students no matter their class.
9. The idea that graduating more students will save the middle class is 'wishful thinking'. A college degree does not necessarily guarantee a good job. And that is less true with each passing day.
10. Krugman says that we need a "more broadly shared prosperity" that can only be gotten by restoring the balance of bargaining power between labor and management and by guaranteeing health care as a citizen's birthright.
11. If we don't do that then a degree might just be a ticket to nowhereville.

Significance: What are our degrees for? Emergent thinking practitioners like Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer would insist that what we need to do is lead from the future. That future is one in which jobs are abundant but only darkly realized. What I mean is that higher education is preparing students for jobs that already exist (although in startlingly fewer numbers if Krugman is to be believed) when we should be getting them ready to step into ones that don't even exist yet. Of course, we can only guess what those jobs might be and with the nearly logarithmic increases in computing power there is no promise that those jobs won't also be partly or completely automated by the time a typical graduate makes it through a program. Krugman implies that institutions of higher education have become complacent because they assumed that they were the only ones issuing tickets to ride or that because they were the only credential around they could get away with being 'dumb' to the forces around them.


It might already be too late to turn around the hied ship of state. There are many impedences to effective change connected at every level and ever direction to hied that will rip and tear when change is even contemplated. It will hurt. People avoid pain as a matter of course, but if the affordances of the change are demonstrated (note I did not say explained) then folks may be persuaded to do so.

Hied must focus not on marketing its benefits other than as a meal ticket. Ironically, if Krugman is right, it must harken to liberal arts and general education as a way into this emergent future. In a roiling sea of change and disruption we need to show our students how to sail. But...institutions do not know how to value or factor in the iconoclasts. Unless we figure out how to do that, the hied's future is tied to an irrelevant beacon receding in the rearview leaving us without a guide ahead.


I hope Krugman is wrong. His solutions to the problem seem truly tacked on so maybe his analysis is wrong as well, but I don't think so. One reason is the rise in for-profit schools. They have positioned themselves to capitalize (quite literally) on the assumption that Krugman takes solid aim at. They milk the idea that hied is an entitlement game--play by its rules and you get the ticket to ride the carousel with the big brass ring. These for-profit institutions will ruin it for all of us who have a more nuanced and realistic view. Imagine the indebted disallusionment of the for-profit graduates who cannot get the promised ride. The corrosive cynicism of even one such person will spread like acid and probably already has done serious damage.

The good news is that Krugman is a prophet who might actually have honor in his own country. Sometimes prophets have to sound the knell of doom just to get our attention. I think that this is doubly so now in an age where everyone tugs on our mind's sleeve and where the hyperbolic is the norm. Krugman may just be extrapolating around the bend, a fancy way of saying he is only guessing and wildly at that.

Futurology is beyond suspect in a world where everything you know is wrong at some point, but there is other evidence that he is at least pointing toward the moon of the zen parable. A recent article in The Guardian, "The Awful Truth: Education Won't Stop the West Getting Poorer," Peter Welby sounds the vuvuzela of doom as well. In the UK real wages have not risen since 2005 and in the U.S. it has barely risen in over 30 years. Citing the same Alan Blinder that Krugman does, Welby is truly scary, "Blinder, a former vice-chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has estimated that a quarter of all American service sector jobs could go overseas." Welby goes to insist that this is not going to be an orderly retreat either as predicted by the neoliberal, flat-earth, morons like Thomas Friedman who argued that such a sucking out of jobs would make more room for higher paid, innovative and new industries and jobs. Instead we will be subject to a new Digital Taylorism--the routinization of all but the most complex jobs so that even monkeys can do them. Low paid monkeys with big student loans.
But as the TV Detective Adrian Monk's theme song proclaims, "I could be wrong" Unfortunately, the song last line drops the other shoe when it resignedly sings out, "But I don't think so."

(As an aside, I have to wonder about Krugman's intellectual integrity. Much of the Guardian article is dumbed down in Krugman's column and while no words are lifted, the spirit of the article is plagiarized and the organization is as well. Just saying. Experts should be on tap not on top else they will break your heart.)


Krugman, P. (2011, March 6). Degrees and Dollars. The New York Times. Retrieved from

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad