Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Will he bomb in New Haven?

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2

Happy real birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

And sharpen up your pencils and whip out your notebooks! Today's the first Humility lesson with noted humilist David Brooks, B.A., at Yale College of Yale University, and the syllabus is floating around the Web (I got mine via Balloon Juice).

The Prof humiliates himself with a few minor typos and errors, such as misspelling the name of the psychologist Carl Rogers, matching a singular verb to a plural subject, making up a very unconventional way of saying "Niebuhrian", and allowing the adverb just to swim out to a dangerous part of the sentence:
We will explore the cultural shift that took place between 1950s and today against the character code of the old elite, including the thinking of Carl Rodgers and a more meritocratic system. 
How was MLK and the civil rights movement influenced by Niebuhran thought?
Edmund Burke argued that the power of reason is weak and that people are wiser to rely upon just prejudices and tradition.
(Or is he referring to Thomas Aquinas's theory of Just Prejudice?) (I'm thinking you probably have to pay for your own copy editing out there in Connecticut. Friendly hint: You could hire a grad student; she or he would be too grateful to laugh in your face.)

He unwittingly reveals some details of his working methods:
One core finding is that much of our thinking happens below awareness at a cognitive level that is fast, associative, sloppy and sometimes misleading. How should we make decisions and calculate risks if we can’t even be sure of our own thinking.
The stress of getting ready for his 80 minutes has forced him to take a day off from the Times today.

One of the two readings he manages to assign from his own work (the other is an Atlantic article) is the Life Reports of October 2011 in the space of the Times where other columnists keep their blogs—Tom Sawyer–style, he got some readers to do it for him, posted them as is, and left the space forever. Too busy entertaining in those vast spaces and preparing himself for the Yale undergrads.
Via James Altucher.
He is obliged at the end to have a reference to the Yale code on cheating and plagiarism, according to which
If one uses a source for a paper, one must acknowledge it. What counts as a source varies greatly depending on the assignment, but the list certainly includes readings, lectures, websites, conversations, interviews, and other students’ papers. Every academic discipline has its own conventions for acknowledging sources. Instructors should make clear which conventions students must use. In all situations, students who are confused about the specific punctuation and formatting must nonetheless make clear in written work where they have borrowed from others—whether it be a matter of data, opinions, questions, ideas, or specific language. This obligation holds whether the sources are published or unpublished. (Bold added)
Readers of this page know that he doesn't always meet that criterion. That fast, associative, sloppy, and sometimes misleading thinking leads him astray, I guess.
Via tpisarro.


  1. It is to vomit. DFB's noblese oblige' knows no limit. Such a giving, caring world he portends.

    First we need a wall for him to be first against.

    1. Well, if it's for a pie in the face. We're hippies here. I want him alive... and shamed, if that's possible.