Don’t know much about history…

Posted: December 6, 2022 by chrisharper in Uncategorized

By Christopher Harper

As I pondered retirement from teaching a few years ago, one of the most important reasons I decided to leave academia was because I didn’t think we were serving students well.

As a field of employment, journalism had grown increasingly doubtful as a longterm career, and paying more than $100,000 given the prospects of a dying industry didn’t seem right.

It appears that journalism isn’t alone in this academic fraud.

Two in five American college graduates have significant regrets about what they studied in school. Those who regret their decisions included a wide swath of liberal arts majors, according to the Federal Reserve’s annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking.

Nearly half of humanities and arts majors had buyer’s remorse, according to a survey in 2021. According to the Federal Reserve survey, engineering majors have the fewest regrets: Just 24 percent wish they’d chosen something different.

As a rule, those who studied STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – are much more likely to believe they made the right choice. In contrast, those in social sciences or vocational courses second-guess themselves.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a relationship between loans, gender, race, or school selectivity and those who regret their choices. But Federal Reserve data show that the higher one’s income, the fewer people regret their major back in college.

These regrets have remained relatively steady since 2016, the earliest year for which consistent data exist. The most notable exception, education, went from below-average regrets before the pandemic to above-average regrets in 2021. 

Most vocational and technical students (60 percent) wish they’d gone for more schooling, while fewer than 40 percent of law, life science, and engineering students think the same.

The burgeoning regret among humanities and arts majors may help explain why humanities graduates are a dying breed.

“There’s a pretty significant change underway,” historian Ben Schmidt told The Washington Post. “The numbers have dropped by 50 percent, and there’s no sign that they’re going to rebound.”

By 2021, disciplines such as history, English, and religion graduated fewer than half as many students as they did in the early 2000s, according to Schmidt’s analysis of data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

According to Schmidt, the 2008 recession sparked the beginning of a downward spiral in humanities such as history, art, philosophy, English, and foreign languages.

In the decade since our national pivot to STEM, the number of people graduating with computer science degrees has doubled. Every STEM field notched significant gains. Nursing, exercise science, medicine, environment, engineering, math, and statistics are all up by at least 50 percent. Among the humanities, only two increased: linguistics and cultural, ethnic, and gender studies.

Over their lifetime, a typical history or journalism major can expect to earn about $3.4 million, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data from 2014 to 2018 by economist Douglas Webber, who is now with the Federal Reserve. A typical economics, biological sciences, or chemistry major can expect to make $4.6 million over that same time, adjusted for inflation.

If I were in college today, I would never choose journalism or English literature, my two fields of study. I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to do so either!

The Biden Peak

Posted: December 6, 2022 by datechguy in Uncategorized

This is the season at work where we are the most busy. A large group of people are hired in September and October and are trained to get ready for the Christmas season where orders at the warehouse leap to incredible levels and all are in a rush to keep up. We call it the “Peak” season.

This is my 7th peak (minus one where I had a busted shoulder) and of all the peak I’ve seen this has been the slowest,

Amazon is laying off thousands and at my place when I came to work yesterday the first thing I noticed was there was plenty more parking then there had been the week before.

Things were quiet yesterday there was plenty to do but nothing like the Christmas season should be.

It would not surprise me if when I come in next Monday for 2nd shift if I find an even better parking place than I did yesterday.

During the Obama years Peak was busy, During the Trump years Peak was crazy and we employed so many people during Christmas we were practically falling over each other. Now we are in the Biden peak and I have plenty of places to sit at lunch.

You get the economy you voted for.

A Somber Elon Musk Twitter Thought

Posted: December 5, 2022 by datechguy in Uncategorized

Am I the only person disturbed that at the moment we as a nation have fallen so far and abandoned our founding principles so much that the primary protection for the right of free expression in the public square is a /Billionaire who decided to by a tech platform?’

What a horrible indictment of us as a nation in terms of throwing away what generations bequeathed us and paid for in blood.

By John Ruberry

On Friday night Substack journalist Matt Taibbi released the first installment of the Twitter Files, which outlined the efforts by Twitter, with assists from the Democratic National Committee, to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020. It’s a dynamite story–a political party worked behind the scenes with a Big Tech company to suppress a damaging news story about a presidential candidate, in this case Joe Biden, so he could defeat the incumbent, Donald J. Trump.

That tale of intrigue is something that you would think that you would find only in political thrillers. You know, the stuff of books, movies, or TV series. Except the Twitter scandal really happened. In response, the elitist mainstream media chose one of three tactics, or a combination of them, to confront this scandal: ignore, bury, or insult. In this post I’m going to discuss the first one in depth, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

But first a look back at an incident from 2005, the year I started my own blog, Marathon Pundit. What was then called the blogosphere was a relatively happy place. In comment threads and in behind-the-scenes emails, there was regular communication between conservative and liberal bloggers and journalists, even some camaraderie, at least here in Illinois. Politically our two camps didn’t agree on much–but there was one subject where we were in unison. All of the Illinois bloggers and mainstream media reporters hated the Reverend Fred Phelps and his twisted house of worship, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. 

Some background: Phelps, who died in 2014, would bus in the few dozen members of his church, which then, as it does now, consisted only of the extended Phelps family, and protest at the funerals of soldiers and sailors killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. They held signs that read, among other things, “God Loves Dead Soldiers.” Phelps, who probably was in need of intensive psychiatric care, based his opinion on God and US military deaths on America’s acceptance of the gay lifestyle. 

Back to Illinois: There was a Phelps protest in East Peoria, Illinois in 2005 at the funeral of a US Marine gunnery sergeant, who was killed in Iraq, which the local paper, the Peoria Journal Star reported on, but it left out the Westboro Church protest. And that infuriated Bill Dennis, who wrote the now-inactive Peoria Pundit blog. 

Dennis had this say 17 years ago:

More than once, I’ve read the opinion that the media shouldn’t give Phelps and his people any “publicity.” Whether or not any particular groups gets publicity from news covering isn’t important. The news media needs to cover the news, whether or not it’s news we want to hear. It’s not the media’s job to keep us from having to hear ugly messages. The people who work in the information business need to reject the notion that the public is better off when it is kept in the dark. We wouldn’t tolerate the government doing that to us. Why does the media think it has the right to keep unpleasant news away from us?

It’s the news media’s job to answer questions, not to turn their head and pretend they didn’t hear the question.

The media’s opinion of what information should be provided to its consumers has now become dangerous. Big Tech, meaning of course Twitter, and as well as Google and Facebook, as well as traditional sources such as the legacy newspapers and broadcast networks, actively worked to suppress or ignore the Hunter Biden laptop story, which was revealed in October 2020 by the New York Post, as the presidential election season was underway. Yes, season–voting was already underway just about everywhere. Those media villains–I believe it’s fair to include those three Big Tech behemoths are part of the media–committed election interference. Think of a football game where the beat reporter for an NFL team is standing on the sidelines when the opposing team is about to score a touchdown–who then runs on to the field and tackles the player carrying the ball. Let’s call that wronged player “Trump.”

That’s what happened in 2020. 

What is the slogan of the Washington Post, which has so far has written just one story about the Twitter Files? Oh yeah, “Democracy dies in darkness.” At least the most recent time Clay Travis checked, which was this morning, the New York Times hasn’t reported on Taibbe’s Twitter revelations. Travis Tweeted a few hours ago, “It has now been two days since @twitter & @elonmusk posted actual emails & correspondence of internal documents relating to the Hunter Biden laptop censorship in 2020. The @nytimes has still not covered the story at all.”

In a story published today CBS news barely mentions Taibbi’s scoop–but it attacked Twitter owner Elon Musk. Oh yeah, attacking. A whole bunch of leftist journalists, propagandists really, went into that attack mode I discussed earlier, vilifying Taibbi for performing superb journalism.

And in regard to that Phelps story from ’05, it wasn’t just the Peoria Journal Star committing the sin of omission. You remember I said that back in the day conservative and liberal bloggers and journalists used to interact regularly about stories. I can’t find the email I sent so long ago, but I reached out to a big shot left-wing Chicago newspaper columnist about what the Peoria Pundit and I saw as media malpractice. His polite reply to me was something like this, “But if we report on Phelps and his hateful protests, then we are only doing what he wants–giving him publicity.” 

No, Mr. Newspaper Columnist, it is your job is to report the news. Not hide it, shape it, or twist it.

Democracy dies in darkness. So does the truth.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.