Posts tagged ‘UCLA’

Yawning Through the Outrage

There are a lot of things out there that generate tons of outrage that do about zero to work me up.  A good example is the recent kerfuffle over a school district assigning kids a debating assignment to argue both sides of the question "Was there actually a Holocaust?"

Certainly this was a fairly boneheaded topic to choose for such an assignment out of the universe of potential topics.   But I will say that this assignment is the type of thing that should be done a LOT more in schools, both in primary schools and in higher education.  Too often we let students make the case for a particular side of an argument without their even adequately understanding the arguments for the other side.  In some sense this brings us back to the topic of Caplan's intellectual Turing test.

I did cross-x debate all the way from 6th grade to 12th.  There is a lot to be said for the skill of defending one side of a proposition, and then an hour later defending the other (that is, if cross-x debate had not degenerated into a contest simply to see who can talk faster).

I remember a few months ago when a student-producer called me for a radio show that is produced at the Annenberg School at UCLA USC.   She was obviously smart and the nature of her job producing a political talk show demanded she be moderately well-informed.  She had called me as a climate skeptic for balance in a climate story (kudos there, by the way, since that seldom happens any more).  Talking to her, it was clear that she was pretty involved in the climate topic but had never heard the skeptic's argument from an actual skeptic.  Everything she knew about skeptics and their positions she knew from people on the other side of the debate.  The equivalent here are people who only understand the logic behind Democrat positions insofar as they have been explained by Rush Limbaugh -- which happens a lot.   We have created a whole political discourse based on straw men, where the majority of people, to the extent they understand an issue at all, only have heard one side talking about it.

I think the idea of kids debating both sides of key issues, with an emphasis on nudging them into trying to defend positions that oppose their own, is a great process.  It is what I do when I teach economics, giving cases to the class and randomly assigning roles (ie you are the guy with the broken window, he is the glazier, and she is the shoe salesman).  The problem, of course, is that we have a public discourse dominated by the outrage of the minority.  It would take just one religious student asked to defend abortion rights or one feminist asked to defend due process rights for accused rapists to freak out, and the school would probably fold and shut down the program.

Which is too bad.  Such discourse, along with Caplan's intellectual Turing test, would be centerpieces of any university I were to found.  When we debated back in the 1970's, there was never a sense that we were somehow being violated by being asked to defend positions with which we didn't believe.  It was just an excersise, a game.  In fact, it was incredibly healthy for me.  There is about no topic I can defend better than free trade because I spent half a year making protectionist arguments to win tournaments.    I got good at it, reading the judge and amping up populism and stories of the sad American steel workers in my discourse as appropriate.  Knowing the opposing arguments backwards and forwards, I am a better defender of free trade today.

For-Profit Education Regulations

Here are apparently a couple of the new regs for-profit colleges are expecting:

One proposed rule, which is expected to be finalized this spring, will restrict students from using federal financial aid to pay for programs that rack up excessive loan debt but train students for occupations with relatively low entry-level salaries.

A second rule, which will go into effect this summer, will close loopholes that allowed admissions counselors to be compensated based on how many students they signed up

The first rule is particularly interesting to focus on, especially given that they do not apply to government-run schools.  This means that if you want to go to UCLA and run up loads of debt in economically dead-end majors like women's studies or art history, you are still free to do so.  But go forbid you want to study to be a nurse or a teacher at the University of Phoenix.  This from the CEO of Apollo, the parent company of University of Phoenix

some of the trade-school-type programs may be more vulnerable because of gainful employment (the anticipated federal rule about debt and entry-level salaries). . . . Gainful employment will cause programs, in areas such as nursing or teacher education or law enforcement, (for) for-profits not to be able to offer them . . . (because the federal formula) uses first-year salaries.

I can tell you my first-year salary for what I wanted to do wouldn't have qualified. It takes time.

Two things you can expect from any set of regulations.  1) Large companies will eventually benefit, because the compliance costs will weed out smaller companies and deter future startups.  2) Innovation will be reduced, as certain established business models and practices will become safe harbors under the rules, adding risk to anyone wishing to try an additional approach.

Bracket Challenge Update

With just three games to go in the tournament, here are the standings:

3 games remainingMust wins for best finish
Current
rank

(score)
Player
(125 total)
Best
finish

(chance)
Worst
finish

(chance)
Final FewChampion
1 (109)Jeff Charleston1 (25%)13 (12.5%)KansasKansas
2 (108)Ron Gallagher1 (12.5%)11 (12.5%)UNC UCLAUCLA
3 (107)Kevin Clary #21 (12.5%)18 (25%)Kansas UCLAUCLA
4 (104)Craig 1 (12.5%)21 (25%)UNC MemphsUNC
5 (104)Jeff Charleston #21 (12.5%)19 (12.5%)UNC UCLAUNC
6 (103)Jeffrey Peterson2 (12.5%)21 (12.5%)UNC UCLAUNC
7 (102)Stan Brown13 (25%)32 (12.5%)Kansas UCLA
8 (101)briain's2 (12.5%)25 (12.5%)UNC UCLAUCLA
9 (100)Bennett Johnsen2 (12.5%)34 (12.5%)Kansas MemphsKansas
10 (100)Tom Kirkendall1 (12.5%)29 (12.5%)UNC MemphsMemphs
11 (100)Wade Condict #211 (12.5%)35 (12.5%)Kansas MemphsMemphs
12 (100)Nathan Lambert3 (12.5%)35 (12.5%)Kansas UCLAUCLA
13 (99)Andy Nemenoff4 (12.5%)33 (12.5%)UNC MemphsUNC
14 (99)Keith Ehlers1 (12.5%)39 (12.5%)Kansas MemphsMemphs
15 (97)Warren Meyer #25 (12.5%)47 (12.5%)Kansas MemphsKansas

I had show the top 15, of course, just to sneak myself in.  In fact, there are still 6 people who can win.  If you think of the three games yielding 8 possible game outcomes,  Jeff Charleston wins on three of those outcomes, and Ron Gallagher, Kevin Clary, Craig, Tom Kirkendall and Keith Ehlers each will win if one specific combination comes up.

Bracketology Update

Not many people predicted to 12-13 matchups in the second round, but if they had, they would have runup some nice points given our upset-bonus in the scoring system.  Here are the standings to date, which I reproduce only because, well, I am in them:

BracketRankPointsCorrect GamesUpset Risk %Possible Games
Jeff Charleston1743716.752
hopeful2713423.444
Keith Ehlers3703616.748
Warren Meyer #24703321.446
Ron Gallagher5693610.847
Nicholas Stergion ii6693235.343
Dawn Werner7693129.240
Stan Brown8693032.043
Wade Condict #29673525.044
Craig 10673510.347
Paul Noonan11663126.342
Warren Meyer12653414.347

The good news is that both my brackets are in the top 12.  The bad news is that I do a good job every year of picking early upsets and racking up early round points, and then I fall by the wayside in later rounds.  We will see if I can hang in there.  By the way, my loud-mouthed, smack-dealing son is in 76th place.  The leader has 14 of his sweet-16 still intact, while my brackets have 11 and 9 respectively, which are pretty good leading indicators for future problems for yours truly.

One of the reason I like pickhoops.com is that they have some cool analysis tools.  Here is my favorite, analyzing who has the best chances to win:

15 games remainingMust wins for best finish
Current
rank

(score)
Player
(125 total)
Best
finish

(chance)
Worst
finish

(chance)
Super SixteenExciting EightFinal FewChampion
1 (74)Jeff Charleston1 (29.6%)47 (<1%)  
2 (71)hopeful1 (7.1%)90 (<1%)   Wiscon    
3 (70)Keith Ehlers1 (4%)85 (<1%)    Memphs    
4 (70)Warren Meyer #21 (7.2%)83 (<1%)       Xavier 
5 (69)Ron Gallagher1 (<1%)67 (<1%)  
6 (69)Nicholas Stergion ii1 (4.3%)100 (<1%)  
7 (69)Dawn Werner1 (<1%)95 (<1%)    Memphs   Xavier  Memphs
8 (69)Stan Brown1 (19.5%)92 (<1%)  
9 (67)Wade Condict #21 (<1%)95 (<1%)    Memphs   Xavier  Memphs
10 (67)Craig 1 (1.5%)68 (<1%)  
11 (66)Paul Noonan1 (3.1%)101 (<1%)  
12 (65)Warren Meyer1 (2.9%)89 (<1%)  
13 (64)Jeff Charleston #21 (<1%)64 (<1%)UNC      UNC   UNC
14 (63)briain's1 (<1%)66 (<1%)  
15 (63)Kevin Clary #21 (<1%)62 (<1%)  Kansas  Memphs    Kansas 
16 (62)Tom Kirkendall1 (<1%)74 (<1%)    Memphs     Memphs
17 (62)Andy Nemenoff1 (1.6%)85 (<1%)  
18 (62)Random 2x Risk1 (1.6%)104 (<1%) Tenn      Tenn   
19 (61)Derek Jankowski1 (<1%)93 (<1%)   Davdsn  Stanfd UCLA Xavier   UCLA UCLAUCLA
20 (60)Tony Casciano #21 (1.2%)112 (<1%)     Texas   Texas TexasTexas

See the whole analysis here.  

CoyoteBlog Readers' Tournament Pick Count

I am a glutton for stats, so I always love to post this analysis.  Of the 125 brackets we have in the tournament, this is how many picked each team in each game  (teams in red are those already knocked out)

By the way, how about that buzzer-beater in overtime by Western Kentucky!

Pick counts for all PickHoops

Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
East
1 North Carolina123
16 PlayinWinner2
1 North Carolina117
8 Indiana6
16 PlayinWinner2
9 Arkansas0
1 North Carolina107
4 Washington St7
5 Notre Dame5
8 Indiana4
13 Winthrop1
16 PlayinWinner1
9 Arkansas0
12 George Mason0
1 North Carolina79
2 Tennessee23
3 Louisville15
5 Notre Dame2
8 Indiana2
6 Oklahoma1
13 Winthrop1
4 Washington St1
16 PlayinWinner1
15 American U.0
10 South Alabama0
7 Butler0
14 Boise State0
12 George Mason0
11 St. Josephs0
9 Arkansas0
1 North Carolina53
1 Kansas27
2 Tennessee13
3 Louisville10
2 Georgetown7
3 Wisconsin5
5 Clemson2
4 Vanderbilt2
13 Winthrop1
16 PlayinWinner1
6 Oklahoma1
5 Notre Dame1
10 Davidson1
7 Gonzaga1
13 Siena0
12 Villanova0
14 CS Fullerton0
15 Maryland-Balt.0
11 Kansas St.0
6 USC0
15 American U.0
4 Washington St0
12 George Mason0
9 Arkansas0
8 Indiana0
11 St. Josephs0
14 Boise State0
8 UNLV0
16 Portland State0
10 South Alabama0
7 Butler0
9 Kent State0
1 North Carolina32
1 UCLA22
1 Kansas20
1 Memphis17
2 Texas6
2 Tennessee6
2 Georgetown5
4 Pittsburgh3
3 Louisville3
2 Duke3
3 Wisconsin2
5 Clemson1
16 PlayinWinner1
3 Stanford1
15 Belmont1
4 Connecticut1
10 Davidson1
6 Marquette0
10 St. Marys CA0
13 Oral Roberts0
7 Miami Fla.0
11 Kentucky0
14 Cornell0
8 BYU0
3 Xavier0
11 Baylor0
14 Georgia0
7 West Virginia0
10 Arizona0
6 Purdue0
13 San Diego0
12 Temple0
16 MississipValSt0
9 Texas A&M0
5 Drake0
12 W. Kentucky0
15 Austin Peay0
15 Maryland-Balt.0
14 Boise State0
11 St. Josephs0
7 Butler0
10 South Alabama0
15 American U.0
6 Oklahoma0
13 Winthrop0
9 Arkansas0
8 Indiana0
5 Notre Dame0
12 George Mason0
4 Washington St0
16 Portland State0
8 UNLV0
7 Gonzaga0
14 CS Fullerton0
16 TexasArlington0
8 Mississippi St0
9 Oregon0
11 Kansas St.0
6 USC0
9 Kent State0
12 Villanova0
4 Vanderbilt0
13 Siena0
5 Michigan St.0
8 Indiana63
9 Arkansas62
5 Notre Dame89
12 George Mason36
4 Washington St59
5 Notre Dame49
12 George Mason12
13 Winthrop5
4 Washington St101
13 Winthrop24
6 Oklahoma72
11 St. Josephs53
3 Louisville96
6 Oklahoma19
11 St. Josephs6
14 Boise State4
2 Tennessee62
3 Louisville44
7 Butler8
6 Oklahoma8
15 American U.1
14 Boise State1
10 South Alabama1
11 St. Josephs0
3 Louisville117
14 Boise State8
7 Butler96
10 South Alabama29
2 Tennessee101
7 Butler20
15 American U.2
10 South Alabama2
2 Tennessee122
15 American U.3
Midwest
1 Kansas123
16 Portland State2
1 Kansas117
8 UNLV3
9 Kent State3
16 Portland State2
1 Kansas94
5 Clemson15
4 Vanderbilt10
8 UNLV2
16 Portland State2
13 Siena1
12 Villanova1
9 Kent State0
1 Kansas60
2 Georgetown29
3 Wisconsin13
5 Clemson9
4 Vanderbilt5
6 USC3
7 Gonzaga2
16 Portland State2
8 UNLV1
10 Davidson1
15 Maryland-Balt.0
13 Siena0
9 Kent State0
12 Villanova0
11 Kansas St.0
14 CS Fullerton0
8 UNLV65
9 Kent State60
5 Clemson90
12 Villanova35
5 Clemson58
4 Vanderbilt51
12 Villanova10
13 Siena6
4 Vanderbilt109
13 Siena16
6 USC74
11 Kansas St.51
3 Wisconsin76
6 USC36
11 Kansas St.11
14 CS Fullerton2
2 Georgetown65
3 Wisconsin41
6 USC10
7 Gonzaga4
15 Maryland-Balt.2
10 Davidson2
11 Kansas St.1
14 CS Fullerton0
3 Wisconsin120
14 CS Fullerton5
7 Gonzaga70
10 Davidson55
2 Georgetown106
10 Davidson9
7 Gonzaga8
15 Maryland-Balt.2
2 Georgetown123
15 Maryland-Balt.2
South
1 Memphis121
16 TexasArlington4
1 Memphis118
8 Mississippi St3
16 TexasArlington3
9 Oregon1
1 Memphis76
4 Pittsburgh31
5 Michigan St.15
16 TexasArlington2
8 Mississippi St1
13 Oral Roberts0
9 Oregon0
12 Temple0
1 Memphis46
2 Texas46
3 Stanford13
4 Pittsburgh10
5 Michigan St.5
11 Kentucky2
16 TexasArlington2
6 Marquette1
10 St. Marys CA0
15 Austin Peay0
7 Miami Fla.0
13 Oral Roberts0
8 Mississippi St0
9 Oregon0
12 Temple0
14 Cornell0
1 UCLA49
1 Memphis28
2 Texas22
2 Duke12
4 Pittsburgh4
3 Stanford3
4 Connecticut3
3 Xavier1
16 MississipValSt1
5 Michigan St.1
15 Belmont1
12 W. Kentucky0
11 Baylor0
7 West Virginia0
10 Arizona0
14 Georgia0
5 Drake0
6 Purdue0
13 San Diego0
15 Austin Peay0
12 Temple0
13 Oral Roberts0
9 Oregon0
8 Mississippi St0
16 TexasArlington0
6 Marquette0
11 Kentucky0
8 BYU0
10 St. Marys CA0
7 Miami Fla.0
14 Cornell0
9 Texas A&M0
8 Mississippi St64
9 Oregon61
5 Michigan St.89
12 Temple36
4 Pittsburgh82
5 Michigan St.36
13 Oral Roberts4
12 Temple3
4 Pittsburgh119
13 Oral Roberts6
6 Marquette79
11 Kentucky46
3 Stanford68
6 Marquette41
11 Kentucky14
14 Cornell2
2 Texas80
3 Stanford25
6 Marquette12
11 Kentucky4
15 Austin Peay2
7 Miami Fla.2
14 Cornell0
10 St. Marys CA0
3 Stanford118
14 Cornell7
10 St. Marys CA63
7 Miami Fla.62
2 Texas115
7 Miami Fla.6
15 Austin Peay3
10 St. Marys CA1
2 Texas122
15 Austin Peay3
West
1 UCLA123
16 MississipValSt2
1 UCLA120
8 BYU2
16 MississipValSt2
9 Texas A&M1
1 UCLA101
4 Connecticut13
5 Drake8
13 San Diego1
9 Texas A&M1
16 MississipValSt1
8 BYU0
12 W. Kentucky0
1 UCLA68
2 Duke27
3 Xavier12
4 Connecticut8
5 Drake3
14 Georgia1
6 Purdue1
11 Baylor1
10 Arizona1
16 MississipValSt1
15 Belmont1
7 West Virginia1
13 San Diego0
8 BYU0
9 Texas A&M0
12 W. Kentucky0
9 Texas A&M79
8 BYU46
5 Drake97
12 W. Kentucky28
4 Connecticut67
5 Drake50
13 San Diego6
12 W. Kentucky2
4 Connecticut117
13 San Diego8
6 Purdue79
11 Baylor46
3 Xavier82
6 Purdue20
14 Georgia14
11 Baylor9
2 Duke66
3 Xavier40
7 West Virginia10
15 Belmont2
10 Arizona2
14 Georgia2
11 Baylor2
6 Purdue1
3 Xavier105
14 Georgia20
7 West Virginia78
10 Arizona47
2 Duke98
7 West Virginia18
10 Arizona7
15 Belmont2
2 Duke122
15 Belmont3

Happy Birthday Star Wars

Brink Lindsey reminds me it is the anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars.  I happened to be staying in Century Plaza in LA with my family on the day the movie was release, though I had never heard of it.  It was actually a pretty low-budget movie, and was only released on a few screens.  I got dumped off by my family, who was going shopping, in some theater near UCLA and Century City I can't even remember the name of.  Anyway, I and about 20 other people were in the theater that first day, partly I guess because it was daytime and mid-week.   It is the first and only movie I stayed and watched a second time.  I know this makes me a geek, but it really was a transcendent experience for me, though sadly an experienced unmatched in any of the follow-on movies.

Being one of an extremely small cadre to have seen the first one on opening day (really by accident) I felt compelled to see all the others on opening day, a cycle I completed successfully.

I would argue that for its time, against expectations of its day, the opening 30 seconds after the words stop scrolling may be the most amazing and powerful opening of a film ever (starts at about 2:00 into the clip below).  And don't miss that fine exhibition of Stormtrooper shooting at about 4:31.  Enjoy it again:

And don't miss how Star Wars should have ended.  Priceless:

And if you are not Star Wars'd out, try the Stormtrooper Training Video:

Summarizing The Brackets

Here is the pick distributions for out 91 brackets.  The number to the right of the schools name is the number of players who picked that team to win that round/game:

Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
Midwest
1 Florida91
16 Jackson State0
1 Florida88
8 Arizona2
9 Purdue1
16 Jackson State0
1 Florida76
4 Maryland12
5 Butler3
13 Davidson0
12 Old Dominion0
9 Purdue0
16 Jackson State0
8 Arizona0
1 Florida52
2 Wisconsin20
3 Oregon12
4 Maryland6
6 Notre Dame1
7 UNLV0
15 Tex A&M CC0
10 Georgia Tech0
14 Miami Ohio0
13 Davidson0
8 Arizona0
16 Jackson State0
9 Purdue0
5 Butler0
12 Old Dominion0
11 Winthrop0
1 Florida29
1 Kansas21
2 UCLA20
2 Wisconsin9
6 Duke3
3 Oregon3
3 Pittsburgh3
4 Maryland2
7 Indiana1
12 Illinois0
4 S. Illinois0
5 Virginia Tech0
11 VCU0
15 Weber St.0
10 Gonzaga0
14 Wright State0
9 Villanova0
13 Holy Cross0
15 Tex A&M CC0
5 Butler0
12 Old Dominion0
9 Purdue0
8 Arizona0
16 Jackson State0
13 Davidson0
6 Notre Dame0
10 Georgia Tech0
16 PlayinWinner0
7 UNLV0
14 Miami Ohio0
11 Winthrop0
8 Kentucky0
1 Florida17
1 Ohio St.16
1 North Carolina11
2 Georgetown9
1 Kansas8
2 Wisconsin7
2 UCLA6
3 Texas A&M6
2 Memphis5
3 Pittsburgh2
4 Texas2
3 Oregon1
6 Louisville1
7 Boston College0
12 Arkansas0
10 Texas Tech0
14 Oral Roberts0
11 George Wash.0
13 New Mexico St.0
3 Washington St0
6 Vanderbilt0
8 BYU0
14 Pennsylvania0
11 Stanford0
7 Nevada0
10 Creighton0
15 North Texas0
13 Albany, NY0
4 Virginia0
5 USC0
16 CentralConnct0
9 Xavier0
5 Tennessee0
12 Long Beach St0
15 Belmont0
15 Weber St.0
11 Winthrop0
6 Notre Dame0
14 Miami Ohio0
7 UNLV0
15 Tex A&M CC0
10 Georgia Tech0
13 Davidson0
4 Maryland0
8 Arizona0
16 Jackson State0
9 Purdue0
5 Butler0
12 Old Dominion0
16 PlayinWinner0
8 Kentucky0
7 Indiana0
14 Wright State0
10 Gonzaga0
16 E. Kentucky0
8 Marquette0
11 VCU0
6 Duke0
5 Virginia Tech0
9 Villanova0
12 Illinois0
4 S. Illinois0
13 Holy Cross0
9 Michigan St.0
8 Arizona49
9 Purdue42
5 Butler55
12 Old Dominion36
4 Maryland59
5 Butler21
12 Old Dominion7
13 Davidson4
4 Maryland78
13 Davidson13
6 Notre Dame49
11 Winthrop42
3 Oregon62
6 Notre Dame15
11 Winthrop13
14 Miami Ohio1
2 Wisconsin40
3 Oregon38
6 Notre Dame6
7 UNLV3
10 Georgia Tech2
11 Winthrop1
15 Tex A&M CC1
14 Miami Ohio0
3 Oregon87
14 Miami Ohio4
10 Georgia Tech54
7 UNLV37
2 Wisconsin75
7 UNLV9
10 Georgia Tech6
15 Tex A&M CC1
2 Wisconsin90
15 Tex A&M CC1
West
1 Kansas91
16 PlayinWinner0
1 Kansas82
9 Villanova8
8 Kentucky1
16 PlayinWinner0
1 Kansas70
4 S. Illinois10
5 Virginia Tech5
9 Villanova4
8 Kentucky1
12 Illinois1
13 Holy Cross0
16 PlayinWinner0
2 UCLA40
1 Kansas32
3 Pittsburgh10
6 Duke3
4 S. Illinois3
7 Indiana1
12 Illinois1
9 Villanova1
15 Weber St.0
10 Gonzaga0
14 Wright State0
13 Holy Cross0
16 PlayinWinner0
8 Kentucky0
5 Virginia Tech0
11 VCU0
9 Villanova64
8 Kentucky27
5 Virginia Tech69
12 Illinois22
4 S. Illinois46
5 Virginia Tech34
12 Illinois9
13 Holy Cross2
4 S. Illinois78
13 Holy Cross13
6 Duke60
11 VCU31
3 Pittsburgh57
6 Duke25
11 VCU7
14 Wright State2
2 UCLA59
3 Pittsburgh19
6 Duke6
7 Indiana4
10 Gonzaga2
11 VCU1
15 Weber St.0
14 Wright State0
3 Pittsburgh83
14 Wright State8
10 Gonzaga56
7 Indiana35
2 UCLA81
7 Indiana6
10 Gonzaga4
15 Weber St.0
2 UCLA90
15 Weber St.1
East
1 North Carolina91
16 E. Kentucky0
1 North Carolina84
9 Michigan St.6
8 Marquette1
16 E. Kentucky0
1 North Carolina44
4 Texas42
5 USC4
8 Marquette1
13 New Mexico St.0
9 Michigan St.0
16 E. Kentucky0
12 Arkansas0
2 Georgetown38
1 North Carolina25
4 Texas17
3 Washington St6
7 Boston College2
5 USC1
10 Texas Tech1
8 Marquette1
14 Oral Roberts0
15 Belmont0
13 New Mexico St.0
16 E. Kentucky0
9 Michigan St.0
12 Arkansas0
6 Vanderbilt0
11 George Wash.0
1 Ohio St.25
2 Georgetown22
1 North Carolina14
3 Texas A&M13
4 Texas8
2 Memphis5
3 Washington St2
6 Louisville1
8 Marquette1
4 Virginia0
12 Long Beach St0
5 Tennessee0
11 Stanford0
10 Creighton0
15 North Texas0
7 Nevada0
14 Pennsylvania0
9 Xavier0
13 Albany, NY0
15 Belmont0
12 Arkansas0
13 New Mexico St.0
5 USC0
9 Michigan St.0
16 E. Kentucky0
6 Vanderbilt0
11 George Wash.0
16 CentralConnct0
10 Texas Tech0
7 Boston College0
14 Oral Roberts0
8 BYU0
9 Michigan St.52
8 Marquette39
5 USC57
12 Arkansas34
4 Texas70
5 USC14
12 Arkansas5
13 New Mexico St.2
4 Texas86
13 New Mexico St.5
6 Vanderbilt55
11 George Wash.36
3 Washington St44
6 Vanderbilt27
11 George Wash.11
14 Oral Roberts9
2 Georgetown69
3 Washington St15
10 Texas Tech4
7 Boston College3
15 Belmont0
14 Oral Roberts0
11 George Wash.0
6 Vanderbilt0
3 Washington St67
14 Oral Roberts24
10 Texas Tech49
7 Boston College42
2 Georgetown80
10 Texas Tech6
7 Boston College5
15 Belmont0
2 Georgetown90
15 Belmont1
South
1 Ohio St.91
16 CentralConnct0
1 Ohio St.90
9 Xavier1
16 CentralConnct0
8 BYU0
1 Ohio St.79
5 Tennessee6
4 Virginia5
9 Xavier1
13 Albany, NY0
16 CentralConnct0
12 Long Beach St0
8 BYU0
1 Ohio St.41
3 Texas A&M27
2 Memphis15
6 Louisville4
5 Tennessee2
4 Virginia1
9 Xavier1
7 Nevada0
10 Creighton0
15 North Texas0
14 Pennsylvania0
13 Albany, NY0
16 CentralConnct0
8 BYU0
12 Long Beach St0
11 Stanford0
9 Xavier63
8 BYU28
5 Tennessee68
12 Long Beach St23
5 Tennessee42
4 Virginia39
12 Long Beach St7
13 Albany, NY3
4 Virginia76
13 Albany, NY15
6 Louisville64
11 Stanford27
3 Texas A&M61
6 Louisville24
11 Stanford4
14 Pennsylvania2
3 Texas A&M45
2 Memphis27
6 Louisville14
11 Stanford2
7 Nevada2
10 Creighton1
15 North Texas0
14 Pennsylvania0
3 Texas A&M85
14 Pennsylvania6
10 Creighton46
7 Nevada45
2 Memphis68
7 Nevada15
10 Creighton8
15 North Texas0
2 Memphis89
15 North Texas2

Global Warming Detente?

Though Cathy Young's article has the opposite title, I actually think that the global warming debate is cooling off a bit, with a bit more reason creeping into a debate so far dominated by ideologies as much as science.  More and more voices like this one are starting to be heard:

Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy studies at UCLA and a
self-identified liberal, noted this recently on his blog. Writes
Kleiman, "To those who dislike a social system based on high and
growing consumption and the economic activity that supports high and
growing consumption and maintains high and growing demand (a dislike
with which I have considerable sympathy), to those who think that the
market needs more regulation by the state, to those who think that
international institutions ought to be strengthened . . . global
warming is a Gaia-send" -- since it justifies drastic worldwide public
action to curb production and consumption. (Gaia, the ancient Greek
goddess of the earth, is a term used by many ecologists to refer to the
earth as a living entity.) While Kleiman sympathizes with
environmentalists, he notes that "their eagerness to believe the worst"
-- for instance, in Al Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" --
"is just as evident as the right wing's denialism."

As an
analogy, Kleiman cites many social conservatives' attitude toward the
AIDS epidemic, which has been used to portray sex outside monogamous
heterosexual marriage as fraught with deadly peril and to preach the
message of premarital abstinence. (Kleiman doesn't explicitly say this,
but his comments hint at another abuse of science: Many conservatives
and gay rights activists, for different motives, have exaggerated the
fairly tiny risk of HIV infection from heterosexual sex.)

The
analogy between AIDS and global warming also extends to attitudes
toward ways to remedy the problem. The religious right, Kleiman points
out, pooh-poohs condoms as a way to reduce the spread of sexually
transmitted diseases because the effectiveness of such a remedy would
undermine the abstinence message. Similarly, those on the left who
embrace environmentalism as their substitute religion don't want to
hear about scientific and technological solutions to climate change --
from nuclear power to geoengineering, the artificial manipulation of
the global environment -- that do not include stepping up regulation
and curbing consumption.

There is a growing number of voices in
the scientific community that reject both denialism and alarmism on
global warming. Roger Pielke, an environmental science professor at the
University of Colorado, calls such people "nonskeptical heretics" --
those who believe that human-caused global warming is a real problem,
but one that can be met in part with technological management and
adaptation. Mooney has come to embrace such a viewpoint as well.

The NY Times actually chimed in on this same topic.  And I for a while have been promoting a skeptical middle ground in the global warming debate.

Update: Increasingly, folks seem to want to equate "skeptic"
with "denier."  If so, I will have to change my terminology.  However,
that would be sad, as "skeptic" is a pretty good word**.  I accept there
is some CO2 caused warming, but I am skeptical that the warming and its
effects are as bad as folks like Al Gore make it out to be (explanation here), and I am
skeptical that the costs of an immediate lock-down on CO2 production
will outweigh the benefits.  That is why I call myself a skeptic.  If
that is now a bad term, someone needs to suggest a new one.

**Though I can't help but be reminded of the great Tonya Harding interview on the Dan Patrick Show, where the famous hubcap-wielder and kneecap-breaker said  "I'm not going to make a skeptical of my boxing career."

Congratulations to Gene Wright!

Congratulations to Gene Wright, who won the first annual Coyote Blog NCAA bracket contest.  Gene only had one of the final four picked (UCLA) but did so well in the opening rounds he had the contest locked up even before last weekend.  Second place was Michael Gunter and third was Bob Houk.  Interestingly, no one out of 34 contestants had Florida in the finals or winning it all.  By the way, yours truly limped in at 24th, though my son helped uphold the family honor at 10th.  If you were not in the pool, you can still click here and enter email "coyote -at- coyoteblog -dot- com" and password "coyote" to see all the results.

By the way, I highly recommend the www.pickhoops.com site for your brackets.  It costs $9 to set up, but it has no ads, the registration is MUCH less intrusive for your players than free sites like Yahoo, they have great analysis options, and they are much faster at posting results.

Harvard Economist Roland Fryer

Many universities over the last several decades have created race and gender studies programs.  One of the problems with many of these programs has been the appalling quality of scholarship.  The recent broohaha around Ward Churchill at Colorado is but one example -- there are many others.  For example, look how Cal-State Long Beach chose the head of their Black Studies Department:

On September 17, 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false imprisonment. The charges stemmed from a May 9, 1970 incident in which Karenga and two others tortured two women who Karenga believed had tried to kill him by placing "crystals" in his food and water.
       

A year later the Los Angeles Times described the events: "Deborah Jones, who once was given the title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis' mouth and placed against Miss Davis' face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vice. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said."       

The shooting at UCLA caused Karenga to become deeply paranoid and spurred his bizarre behavior. At his trial, the question of Karenga's sanity arose. The psychiatrist's report stated, "This man now represents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment." The psychiatrist observed that Karenga talked to his blanket and imaginary persons and believed that he had been attacked by dive-bombers.

Eight years later California State University at Long Beach made Karenga the head of its Black Studies Department.

Or, check out the scholarly discussions around choosing the head of Black Studies at UCLA:

In 1965 Karenga founded the United Slaves Organization (US), a group that would rival the Black Panthers on the UCLA campus. The US was more radical than the Panthers, setting off quarrels between the two.
       

The biggest dispute between the US and the Panthers centered around the leadership of the new Afro-American Studies department at UCLA; both groups backed a different candidate. On January 17, 1969, 150 students gathered to discuss the situation. Panthers John Jerome Huggins and Alprentice Carter used the meeting to verbally attack Karenga, much to the dismay of his followers. Two US members, George and Larry Stiner, confronted Huggins and Carter in a hallway after the meeting and shot and killed them.

Universities all raced to create new race and gender-based studies departments, and tenured many  based on their strong opinions and the positive response they would get out of the relevant community, rather than normal academic guidelines.

Anyway, I have, as often happens, gotten away from the point of my post.   The NY Times has a good article on Roland Fryer, who appears to be the leading edge of a new generation set on bringing real scholarship and fact-based analysis to these programs.  (hat tip:  marginal revolution)  I don't necessarily agree with him, for example on paying cash for good grades in school, but I am happy to see his dedication to real analysis and challenging conventional wisdom.