***Continuing on a rich tradition of college students protesting actions that are undemocratic, insensitive, war-mongering, greed, attacks on free speech, attacks on academic freedom, etc., I am appreciative and offer my congratulations to the students in Wisconsin protesting actions by Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin. I have written a blog about the actions of Marquette to have a search committee and the University President offer a deanship contract to a professor at Seattle University and then awkwardly withdrawing it after interference from a backward-looking archbishop. The faculty and students are still protesting that stupidity. Good for them.
The University of Wisconsin has announced an increase in tuition again, even during a recession. As a former college vice president, let me be frank and direct in stating that I think many college teachers and professors are remarkably overpaid. Yes, I think that professorships in universities and colleges often are places for lazy people who are not up-to-date and simply lull their way through their teaching duties. Yes, there are many who do not fit that category, nevertheless I think that college faculties are too often overpaid by a wide margin. And the students, many of them from poor or struggling families, suffer. What a shame! We have college professors whose research is being funded by outside corporations, and then these same professors profit from their university research. This money from outside corporations should be used to lower the cost of tuition. More about this in a later blog.
***Not being reported in mainstream media is what is happening internally in China and North Korea. They are not necessarily related, but secret changes are in force. In China the military holds more control over the central committee of the national political machine than is generally reported. They have no face to the public, but they are a real power in China. Similarly, in North Korea, there is a power struggle going on between the "Supreme Leader's" son and other family members, and the military. Recent actions by North Korea in sinking a South Korean warship is an indication of this inner rift in the North. The ineptitude of the ruling family is clear, and the military and military-related people are exerting more power and striving to hem in the public face of the rulers. Military take-overs are always a very dangerous sign.
***I just finished reading an outstanding book. COUNTERCLOCKWISE by Ellen Langer is an academic arrow at the heart of accepted science, medicine, and technology. We are subjected to incorrect thinking in these fields, and we give knee-jerk acceptance to too much. We accept what are presented as norms without questioning those assumptions. Physicians especially make sweeping diagnoses based on "facts" that relate to the majority of people but are way off base in specific instances. We blindly go along thinking that if diagnosis A is true for the majority of people, it must be true for me. And we never stop to consider the time of day when the diagnosis was made, if the physicians consider other possibilities, individual differences, and a multitude of other factors. We simply assume that if a study showed the majority of people with certain symptoms were terminal, then it must be true in this specific instance. Or because we are taught math based on the number 10 system, we assume from our childhood that 1 + 1= 2. But if we chew one wad of gum and add it to another wad of chewed gum, it is rather 1 + 1= 1. As a Harvard psychologist she put together a study with elderly men who were loaded with problems, then placed in a week-long group in which everything surrounding them was from 1959 and they were told to discuss and talk as though it was 1959. In ONE WEEK objective, random outsiders said they looked younger after that week. And in some they heard better or saw better or had medical limitations lessened. I highly recommend this book. It will change the way you look at the world and your health.