- Here’s an interesting proposal for making higher education more affordable: Instead of borrowing money, sell shares of yourself to investors. The argument is that it’s very risky to get a loan for a college education when you have no idea how easily you could repay that loan because you have no idea how much you’d make after graduation. Theoretically, if someone were to set up a market in which investors could pay $X for X percent of your future income, the risks would be easier to manage.
- Here’s a really sweet story about a Chicago charter school that sent to college all of its students, all of whom come from pretty lousy backgrounds.
- The whole SNAFU over some dumb comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the guy who used to be in charge of our war in A-stan, and the loudmouthed macho men on his staff has got the City Beat thinking about all the dumb comments I’ve heard over the years, which I usually don’t repeat.
On the one side is the argument that, what the hell, they’re big boys, they knew they were talking to Rolling Stone, what were they thinking? They probably weren’t thinking or they got used to being coddled by most reporters.
On the other side is the argument that the reporter should’ve suppressed those comments because it’s ambush journalism; nobody expects to have frank comments like those repeated. And, even if you’ve got nothing against an ambush, it’s in the interest of the journalism profession and of readers to avoid destroying the trust of sources this way because trust allows journalists to get at the really important story.
I think I lean toward the last argument. If making my sources look dumb doesn’t further understanding of the issue or improve the debate, I tend to avoid it. Obviously when it highlights an important issue, I can’t help but enjoy dishing it out. Just a little.
- I ran across this blog post the other day at Danger Room about a Customs and Border Protection Predator that lost contact with its controller somewhere over Texas. As you know, the CBP is flying Predators over North Dakota, too, though within restricted air space, more unmanned aircraft are coming with the Air Force and, because of these things, we as a community are involved in a big push to open up civilian airspace to these aircraft. As Danger Room noted, the loss of control of the Texas Predator could have some implications for that effort.
- Sometimes when I mention climate change, I get the push back from climate-change deniers. I enjoy ripping into them so much I’m going to bait them with this column about how that big to do about British researchers making up data about climate change is actually a bunch of hooey and the dumb reporters who passed the disinformation along have said "oops." But, as writer Sharon Begley pointed out:
One of the strongest, most-repeated findings in the psychology of belief is that once people have been told X, especially if X is shocking, if they are later told, "No, we were wrong about X," most people still believe X.