Friday, June 23, 2006

Leapfrog University--Higher Education for the Next Level

Higher education in North America is badly in need of an overhaul. The modern world is crying for solutions from our brightest minds, yet universities are spending more time indoctrinating students in political correctness and politically biased anti-western multiculturalism, than in teaching students to learn, solve problems, and face the world as it is.

At the University of Minnesota, scholars Arthur Harkins and John Moravec are proposing just such an overhaul. Here is the most recent version of the "Building a Leapfrog University" memo v 4.0:

In this memorandum, our focus is placed on the undergraduate education required to produce knowledge and direct it toward continuous innovation. We call for an entirely new undergraduate education mission –one that requires a different vocabulary and mindset compared to the now globally-distributed education missions for agricultural, industrial, and information-based societies. We believe that reforming undergraduate education to lead the competition in knowledge production and innovation is accomplishable; that it is appropriate, harmonizes with workforce needs, and better prepares students for post-graduate work.

....Knowledge production results from the conversion of information to actionable form. Routine knowledge production at the undergraduate level would constitute a major paradigm change for tertiary education and would constitute the backbone of a world-leading Leapfrog University.

We contend that creative knowledge production by youth is essential for societies planning to compete and collaborate successfully in the global economy. Knowledge production results from the transformation of information into formats suitable for actionable decision making. We believe that undergraduates who learn to participate in knowledge production can help catalyze a shift from curriculum consumption and mass education to knowledge production, meaningful personalized education, and innovation.

Below, we define six types of creative knowledge production which we assert are critical to successful participation in the work and civic forces of the 21st Century. The six types of knowledge production, driven by constructivist theory and supported by continuously available advanced technology, are:

* Mode 1: rigorously developed scientific and scholarly knowledge;
* Mode 2: rigorous, collaboratively developed knowledge that is intended for highly practical applications;
* Mode 3: subjectively developed knowledge intended for personal applications;
* Mode 4: experientially developed knowledge that defines the capabilities and limitations of human contexts, including cultures;
* Mode 5: machine developed knowledge beginning to emerge from expert systems and very early artificial intelligence;
* Mode 6: integrative and chaordic knowledge that fosters the most effective uses of knowledge Modes 1-5.

While only the first two of the six modes of knowledge production are routinely employed in undergraduate education, the full range of modes offers students many opportunities to demonstrate the goodness of fit between their studies, their lives, and the demands of everyday life in an innovative global economy where knowledge production is increasingly socially distributed.

In order to avoid the perpetual game of “catching-up,” we offer nine quite different archetypal undergraduate development futures. These types permit institutions to strategically place themselves within or beyond the confines of historical practice.

All nine of these archetypes may choose to employ the six modes of knowledge production and utilization in different, market-centered ways. Every such choice can readily manifest the characteristics of Leapfrog University by helping to create variety, new strategic alternatives, and new innovation potentials.

1. Genius-Centered Future (Individuality Product). Focus on uniqueness development creates graduates capable of functioning as articulate, proactive individualists, in other words as human intellectual leaders.
2. Think Tank Future (Knowledge Worker Product). Students invent most of their own education experiences, evolving graduates capable of joining the workforce as full-fledged knowledge workers bent on innovation.
3. Development Teams Future (Collaborator Product). An business opportunity focus creates graduates who have worked in teams to produce patented or copyright materials, have started companies or non-profits, and have joined or created professional societies appropriate for their interests.
4. Student Services-Based Future (Student Culture Product). Students are matured within a culture nurtured by redefined and upgraded student services. Graduates leave college able to work well with as creative assistants in similar programs.
5. Global/International Learning Future (Globalized Individuality Product). This holistic approach creates students who can work within existing and emerging global cultures. The students utilize language translation devices and in-country experiences within local/global systems development models.
6. Old Economy Personnel Development Future (Student Employee Product). A talent/interest development approach permits business and industry the opportunity to locate potential star employees earlier in life. Chosen students are financially supported throughout college while acting as apprentices.
7. Home College Future (Family Culture Product). The domestic venue permits wide age-range access to services, including co-generated curriculum choices, domestic experiential learning options, campus- and age-independent services, and assistance from learning consultants.
8. Experiential Innovation Future (Context Worker Development Product). Students are selected for their capacity to integrate knowledge products. Their education is experiential in advanced design and innovation contexts. They may be paid to engage in tertiary education, and/or they are charged nothing on their loans while in school (e.g., Tony Blair’s recent student loan plan).
9. Chaordic Systems Future (Chaordic Systems Design and Management Product). Students are selected for their capacity to work in the phase-shifting contexts of uncertainty, unpredictability, and limitless diversity. They are provided the latest in simulation software, including advanced games, to hone their skills at coping with chaordia. Students are helped to develop the skills to work primarily in virtual space and time through simulations, games, and prototypes.

We believe that the above-mentioned nine scenarios allow for innovation based on the continuous rejuvenation of knowledge resources based on attention to the creative, inventive, and innovative individual. Even the several more traditional approaches require applications of innovative social capital to help them survive and evolve. We contend that, in particular, the production of Mode 3 knowledge offers stakeholders very appealing returns on investment in tertiary education, since most innovation begins in the mind of the creative individual. We also heavily favor Mode 4 knowledge production, or the creation of appropriate contexts or cultures to help students competitively leverage their futures.

Required: A New Emphasis on Undergraduates as Creatives

The Leapfrog University will invariably need to rethink its approach to undergraduate education to develop and cultivate the creative potential of its students. To this end, University leaders need to address several questions:

* How can the University vastly expand its impact on undergraduates and vice-versa?
* How do undergraduates routinely produce tacit and explicit knowledge, and then employ it innovatively?
* Can the University move to create expectations of innovative leadership among its undergraduate students?
* How can this daily expression of personal capital growth become part of expected services delivered by the University?
* How can the University expand both personal capital and social capital, in part by making the substance of each more individualized and purposively developmental?
* Can the University of Minnesota shift from industrial/information-age models of human capital preparation to knowledge/innovation models?
* Can the University seriously focus on recognizing and developing the uniqueness and variety of undergraduates through technology-supported, individualized learning services?
* Can the University focus more on student innovations as opposed to context-free testing and rigidly constrained paper topics?
* Can the University become more experiential and experimental as it moves toward knowledge based, innovation-supportive learning services?
* Can the University support development of the innovative individual through lifelong subscription services?
* Can the University provide new subscription networking for its alumni, productively linking them to one another and to undergraduate students?
Much more in the original memo.

Changing the university from an indoctrination center to an institution that helps students learn to create solutions to society's current and future problems, is a daunting task. Current politically correct thought police and multicultural nutzis will fight this effort tooth and nail. But it is becoming clearer that PC multiculturalist indoctrination is merely making the west more vulnerable to conquest from the outside. What is needed is more problem solvers, not more internal saboteurs bent on destroying the only halfway enlightened human civilisation planet earth has ever produced.

Leapfrog University may actually succeed in Minnesota, or it might be sabotaged by the reactionary establishment. Either way, it is a courageous attempt to outline what is needed from moder universities. It is important for others to build on these ideas, to actually create the generative educational system that the western world has needed for several decades.

The modern university is actually a throwback to the middle ages--particularly given the indoctrinating nature of the increasingly oppressive mindset of university faculties and administrations. Insuring that students escape that indoctrination is truly one of the chief hopes for western civlisation.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Crime and Diversity--Joined at the Hip?

________ Lifetime Likelihood of Incarceration by Race and Gender, US, in 2001.

Crime rates vary from one country to another, even from one region within a country to another. There are many reasons for why crime rates might be higher in one area. One variable shown by research to correlate with high crime is high diversity. In Europe, rates of crime and imprisonment for muslim immigrants from third world countries are high, and increasing rapidly.

There is an observed correlation between race and crime in several countries. Steve Sailer relates a fascinating anecdote of an encounter with a Russian emigrant:

A Russian immigrant called me up once to ask why almost no other American journalist ever mentioned the racial patterns he had seen with his own eyes everyday since he'd come to America. When I explained that the average writer was just lying, he replied:

Vladimir (audibly relieved): "You mean, he's hypocrite?"

Me: "Yeah, exactly. It would hurt his career to write for the public what he thinks in his private life."

Vladimir: "Thank God!"

Me: "Huh?"

Vladimir: "Hypocrite I understand. I grow up in Soviet Union. Lying to save your job, that's life. No, I was very worried smart people in America weren't hypocrites. You know, this country is supposed to be land of free, home of brave. I was scared that smart Americans weren't hypocrites, but instead were hallucinating. I am very happy to hear they're just hypocrites. Hypocrisy much less scary than mass hallucination."


....In crime statistics, Hispanics are often lumped in with non-Hispanic whites. This has the effect of narrowing the gap between the black and white crime rates by inflating the white rate. It also obscures the relatively high rate of Hispanic crime.

Bureaucrats are normally very scrupulous about breaking out data by Hispanic ethnicity. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that this is done to make diversity in general, and current immigration in particular, look better.

Fortunately, a liberal activist group called the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives crunched state-level data for a 2001 report that managed to break out the number of Hispanic prisoners in most states. The data is from 1997, but it appears to be the best we have.

There is much more at the source above, including valuable links to statistics sources, and good statistical maps for visual learning.La Griffe Du Lion has an interesting post on aggressiveness and race. It also contains interesting graphs along with informative links.

This US Department of Justice site provides graphs of crime by race, for both victims and offenders. Unfortunately, as Steve Sailer remarked above, the "white" and "hispanic" statistics are conflated, making a valid stratification by ethnicity virtually impossible.

Why does increasing diversity bring increased crime rates? Such increased crime rates do not seem to happen when the newcomers are east asian. It is conceivable that IQ is at least part of the answer. Cultural factors can also clearly play a part. In the case of muslim immigrants, the religious factor is often prominent in increased crime by muslims in Europe.

This is a phenomenon that demands to be studied and understood. What are the chances that governments of North America and Europe will devote resources to seriously studying the association of diversity with increased crime? Virtually zero. Why? It has a lot to do with the cults of political correctness and multiculturalism that have taken over universities, the mass media, and many of the governments of the western world.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Al Gore Issues Fatwa Against Colorado Climatologists

Once again, Al Fin has penetrated the protective shield of climate police that surrounds US Presidential Candidate and Climate Empresario Al Gore, in order to obtain another special interview. This time, Al Gore is furious over a Denver Post article that quotes Colorado climatologists Bill Gray and Roger Pielke Sr.

AF: Thank you for speaking with me today, Mr. Gore. I understand that you have issued a climate fatwa against two climate scientists from Colorado. Can you give more details for my readers?

Gore: Say, haven't I seen you somewhere before?

AF: Uh, no sir, I do not believe so. Would you mind commenting on this climate fatwa you recently issued?

Gore: Okay, but you sure do remind me of somebody . . . anyway, I read about these two jerks in the Denver Post. Gray and Spelke, or something like that. They're using words like "hoax" and "hysteria" to describe global warming. I was forced to respond.

AF: Yes. Well, in that article you mention, It says:

Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up.

"Plenty of young people tell me they don't believe it," he [Gray] says. "But they won't touch this at all. If they're smart, they'll say: 'I'm going to let this run its course.' It's a sort of mild McCarthyism. I just believe in telling the truth the best I can. I was brought up that way."

Gore: Why that goldarned infidel--I mean, that wingnut religious right partisan! I was right to issue that fatwa!

AF: But sir, should not scientists have the freedom to express their opinions on their subject of expertise?

Gore: Not if it's in my area of political control they don't! Son, the more I think about it, the more you remind me of a smartass blogger that interviewed me about my film.

AF: Well, um, I do look like a lot of people. I am told that a lot. . . .

Gore: Son, are you of the body?

AF: (suddenly notices the climate police closing in) Mr. Gore, thank you very much for your time. It has been enlightening. (steps through a door into a stairwell just a few steps ahead of the CP)

Gore: (to the nearest CP) Go get that sunuvabich and take him to Landru immediately!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Public School Believers Send Children to Private School

A recent San Francisco Chronicle series reported on the K12 educational scene on the peninsula. This article out of the series discussed the agony of parents feeling forced against their will to send their own children to private schools. Oh the humanity. (/droll)

Mark Lauden Crosley describes himself as a "passionate believer" in public education.

The 54-year-old homeowner in San Francisco's Castro district believes it's critical that children of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds be educated together. The software designer said he has never voted against any education measure in his life.

But, he said, he believes that even the city's best public schools are overcrowded and underfunded. And despite his belief in the importance of public education, he must do what's best for his three daughters -- so he sends them to private schools.

"There's very little in life that's as important to me as my kids' education. It's a sacrifice you make, and it pays off," he said, noting he nonetheless has nagging concerns that his daughters aren't experiencing diversity in their classrooms. "I don't want my kids in an elite, privileged environment where they don't spend time with people who are different from them. ... But that's the reality, and it bothers me."

His twin eighth-graders, Andrea and Danica, go to Katherine Delmar Burke School near Lincoln Park. He sends sophomore Elinor to the Urban School of San Francisco in the Haight.

Crosley and his wife, Claudia Stern, a financial consultant, get some tuition assistance to cover the total bill of about $70,000 a year. But they still must funnel all of their discretionary income into education -- so no fancy vacations, few movie nights, and no dinners out. Despite the belt-tightening, they're convinced they've made the right choice.

Crosley isn't alone in feeling uncomfortable about private schools while choosing them anyway. In San Francisco, families choose private and religious schools in higher proportion than in any other major city in the country.

Last year, 29.3 percent of the city's school-age population went to private or religious schools. About 10 percent of children nationwide and 8.7 percent of those in California attend private or parochial schools. Marin County has the second-highest rate in the state at 18.7 percent, followed by San Mateo at 15.4 percent and Napa at 13.4 percent.

San Francisco families had 107 private and parochial schools to choose from last year, about the same number as public ones. But those choices have narrowed since about 20 years ago, when there were 144 private and religious schools in the city.

Both private and public schools in San Francisco have seen declining enrollment over the past decades. Since 1982, private and religious schools have lost 10 percent of their enrollment, and public schools have lost 5.5 percent. In 1982, San Francisco private schools enrolled 27,190 students; last year, they enrolled 24,398 students.

....Families cite a variety of reasons for going the private-school route. Some say they resent that the school district's lottery system does not guarantee them the right to attend the public school of their choice, especially one in their own neighborhood. (The vast majority of families do get one of their top seven public school choices.)

Other families choose private schools because they want a particular program or feature -- such as an emphasis on French or Mandarin, a religious focus or single-sex education. Others say their children will simply receive a better education in private schools, featuring smaller classes, more resources and more attention for their children as opposed to public school teachers having to focus on students who are far behind.

"The best private school is, in my opinion, better than the best public school anywhere," said Pamela Singer, whose daughter, May, attends Convent of the Sacred Heart Elementary. "When you take a group of people who have money and they just pour money into this school, and they're already like-minded because they've chosen to join this club together, it's just going to be elevated."

Other parents told The Chronicle they don't want their children to be around students who wear "saggy pants" or who "curse on Muni" or who may be "rotten apples." A few said they can see big differences between public school students and private school students just by watching them walk in and out of their respective schools.
Much more at the source.

Hat tip Steve Sailer.

Read the entire story from the above link. You gain an appreciation for how important "the spin" is in any news story, even one purportedly reporting the facts. There has never been a large city or country in the history of the world, where the elites willingly chose to have their children at the mercy of the children of the lower classes. In San Francisco, parents choosing to send their children to the best schools they can afford simply have to be portrayed by the media as elitist fascist pigs. And as if feeling he had to explain this "anomalous" separatism, the admissions director of the mostly asian school felt compelled to say "this is america, what can you do?" This is america, where immigrants particularly send their children to private schools if they can. Yes, of course, everyone should know that america is like that.

A lot of good, hard working people sacrifice deeply to send their children to a school where they feel the children will be safe, and well educated. Any media culture that would portray such people as closed minded, and bigoted, regardless of the parents' occupation, income, race, religion, or disposition--is itself bigoted and closed minded. But we knew that about the media culture already.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Under-Population Bomb: Too Busy for Making Babies

Paul Ehrlich's bestseller The Population Bomb (1968) made some dire predictions. . . . hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." The earth, he claimed simply could not support the 6 billion people projected to exist by the year 2000. In a 1969 article titled "Eco-Catastrophe!", Ehrlich later stated that "by 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth's population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people." Source. Interestingly, many journalists and university academics are still repeating the same lines, decades after they became obsolete.

Two years ago, Phillip Longman published an article in Foreign Affairs entitled The Global Baby Bust. He convincingly argues that western nations will soon be underpopulated, due to falling birthrates. Longman's article probably helped to jump start the discussion of this topic within the mainstream, although underpopulation had long been a growing concern among western conservatives and independents. After reading Longman's piece, you might consider readingthis article, which is also quite informative.

Japan, Russia, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, South Korea, and a number of other Western/or European countries will either shrink in population, or experience severe cultural shock as populations are replaced by outsiders. Even China and India will face inevitable problems unique to their populations and economies, due to the slowing of birthrates.

If their populations shrink significantly, current social democratic governments are doomed. There will be no one to pay the pensions. If on the other hand, the indigenous populations are replaced by outsiders, it is by no means certain that the new workers will be willing to pay the pensions of the retired indigenous populations who refuse to emigrate. It is likewise by no means certain that the new populations will have the technical and professional skills to maintain European/Western civilisation at its current level of sophistication.

The problem, put bluntly, is that the productive part of the world is shrinking, and the non-productive parts of the world are expanding, population wise. There is no gentle or PC way to put it, which is why the topic is largely ignored in most social democracies--yet social democracies are certainly doomed by the phenomena unless it is addressed firmly. And if the social democracies are doomed, the third world is also doomed--since the undeveloped world is dependent on the developed world for aid and sustenance.

Today, Glenn Reynolds of "Instapundit" published an article called The Parent Trap in TCS Daily. Reynolds talks about the high costs and low prestige of parenthood in modern western societies. He wonders what it will take to induce young professional adults to have more children. Leaders of industrial nations are worrying about the same thing.

Here's a list of countries that are either decreasing in population or will decrease in population, if current birthrate is continued.
List of countries:

1. Bulgaria 1.13 children born/woman (2003 est.)
2. Czech Republic 1.18 children born/woman (2003 est.)
3. Latvia 1.2 children born/woman (2003 est.)
4. Singapore 1.24 children born/woman (2003 est.)
5. Hungary 1.25 children born/woman (2003 est.)
6. Slovakia 1.25 children born/woman (2003 est.)
7. Spain 1.26 children born/woman (2003 est.)
8. Italy 1.26 children born/woman (2003 est.)
9. Slovenia 1.27 children born/woman (2003 est.)
10. Andorra 1.27 children born/woman (2003 est.)
11. Estonia 1.27 children born/woman (2003 est.)
12. San Marino 1.31 children born/woman (2003 est.)
13. Macau 1.32 children born/woman (2003 est.)
14. Hong Kong 1.32 children born/woman (2003 est.)
15. Russia 1.33 children born/woman (2003 est.)
16. Belarus 1.34 children born/woman (2003 est.)
17. Ukraine 1.34 children born/woman (2003 est.)
18. Greece 1.35 children born/woman (2003 est.)
19. Romania 1.36 children born/woman (2003 est.)
20. Guernsey 1.37 children born/woman (2003 est.)
21. Germany 1.37 children born/woman (2003 est.)
22. Poland 1.37 children born/woman (2003 est.)
23. Japan 1.38 children born/woman (2003 est.)
24. Austria 1.41 children born/woman (2003 est.)
25. Lithuania 1.43 children born/woman (2003 est.)
26. Switzerland 1.48 children born/woman (2003 est.)
27. Portugal 1.49 children born/woman (2003 est.)
28. Liechtenstein 1.5 children born/woman (2003 est.)
29. Georgia 1.51 children born/woman (2003 est.)
30. Sweden 1.54 children born/woman (2003 est.)
31. Saint Helena 1.54 children born/woman (2003 est.)
32. Korea, South 1.56 children born/woman (2003 est.)
33. Armenia 1.56 children born/woman (2003 est.)
34. Jersey 1.57 children born/woman (2003 est.)
35. Taiwan 1.57 children born/woman (2003 est.)
36. Cuba 1.61 children born/woman (2003 est.)
37. Canada 1.61 children born/woman (2003 est.)
38. Belgium 1.62 children born/woman (2003 est.)
39. Gibraltar 1.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)
40. Barbados 1.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)
41. Man, Isle of 1.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)
42. Netherlands 1.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)
43. United Kingdom 1.66 children born/woman (2003 est.)
44. Luxembourg 1.7 children born/woman (2003 est.)
45. Finland 1.7 children born/woman (2003 est.)
46. China 1.7 children born/woman (2003 est.)
47. Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.71 children born/woman (2003 est.)
48. British Virgin Islands 1.72 children born/woman (2003 est.)
49. Denmark 1.73 children born/woman (2003 est.)
50. Moldova 1.74 children born/woman (2003 est.)
51. Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of 1.75 children born/woman (2003 est.)
52. Northern Mariana Islands 1.75 children born/woman (2003 est.)
53. Anguilla 1.76 children born/woman (2003 est.)
54. Monaco 1.76 children born/woman (2003 est.)
55. Australia 1.76 children born/woman (2003 est.)
56. Serbia and Montenegro 1.77 children born/woman (2003 est.)
57. Trinidad and Tobago 1.78 children born/woman (2003 est.)
58. Seychelles 1.79 children born/woman (2003 est.)
59. New Zealand 1.79 children born/woman (2003 est.)
60. Aruba 1.79 children born/woman (2003 est.)
61. Martinique 1.79 children born/woman (2003 est.)
62. Montserrat 1.8 children born/woman (2003 est.)
63. Norway 1.8 children born/woman (2003 est.)
64. France 1.85 children born/woman (2003 est.)
65. Cyprus 1.88 children born/woman (2003 est.)
66. Ireland 1.89 children born/woman (2003 est.)
67. Bermuda 1.9 children born/woman (2003 est.)
68. Tunisia 1.9 children born/woman (2003 est.)
69. Sri Lanka 1.9 children born/woman (2003 est.)
70. Malta 1.91 children born/woman (2003 est.)
71. Cayman Islands 1.91 children born/woman (2003 est.)
72. Thailand 1.91 children born/woman (2003 est.)
73. Guadeloupe 1.92 children born/woman (2003 est.)
74. Croatia 1.93 children born/woman (2003 est.)
75. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1.95 children born/woman (2003 est.)
76. Lebanon 1.98 children born/woman (2003 est.)
77. Iceland 1.98 children born/woman (2003 est.)
78. Mauritius 1.98 children born/woman (2003 est.)
79. Iran 1.99 children born/woman (2003 est.)
80. Dominica 1.99 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Source: CIA World Factbook 2003

It is easy to find academics, journalists, and various other uninformed groups who continue to believe Paul Ehrlich and the Club of Rome. For them, overpopulation is the problem, and they make no distinction between the productive and non-productive worlds. In fact, to those activists favoring the "die-off", disposing of the productive populations of the world appears to be a gift from above.

Many people may discern how "global warming" and "peak oil" have been inserted into the "catastrophe slot" of many of these groups. Catastrophes, for many activist groups, are interchangeable. As long as you have a current catastrophe in the works, your noble cause is free to appeal for donations from the gullible.

When a person's predictions fail so badly as did Ehrlich's and the Club of Rome's, there is bound to be a great deal of fancy backstepping and sidestepping. We have the advantage of hindsight, and should not gloat. We should probably keep that in mind in twenty years, when looking back at the failed predictions of the "warmers" and the "peakers." There is far too much to be done to waste time in that way.

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