Links: Freshman composition, MPAA idiocy, peer-review problems in medicine, photography and / in love, The Rent is Too Damn High (the book)

Q Tonic Water* Anna sent this to me and suggested that I could use it; I replied that I “Definitely [could]. It’s startlingly, amazingly accurate, as if one had painted targets on deer, making them easier to hunt, commando style, with a compound bow and a rag tied around one’s head.”

* Further MPAA idiocy: “Teenagers will be barred from watching a documentary about what teenagers actually say and do to one another.

* Israel nixes solar energy for Palestinians.

* Megan McArdle notes that A lot of residents make up peer-reviewed research papers. She says, “The higher the stakes, the greater the incentives to cheat. Still, these sorts of errors are many multiples of the percentage I would have expected, even with the most generous interpretation of how the mistakes were made.”

I would actually draw a different conclusion: random, bureaucratically-imposed hoops on professions lead to the fulfillment of those hoops via any means necessary. A lot of residencies want or require their residents to have a “research project” because having residents do “research projects” looks good for the residency. A lot of residents are sick of school, tired all the time, and just want to go out and get a real job. The need for a random community doc to have done a “research project” in grad school is, at best, unclear.

If you impose hoops that are very different than the market tests you face post-hoop, don’t be surprised if people try to circumvent the hoop.

* Photography: All My Exes Live in Print (SFW), about Mark Helfrich’s book Naked Pictures of My Ex-Girlfriends.

* What an awesome office! Uncomfortable chairs, though.

* Good legal news: Fifth Amendment Right Against Self Incrimination Protects Against Being Forced to Decrypt Hard Drive Contents.

* “Shame Is Not the Solution” for improving teachers. On the other hand, I suspect some of the districts who want to make teaching evaluations and test scores public are doing so out of desperation, or because they can’t build the kind of sophisticated evaluation systems Gates mentions. (For another discussion of this issue, see LA Times Ranks Teachers from Marginal Revolution.)

* Interested in style? See Chic Little Devil.

* Twilight of the Lecture: The trend toward “active learning” may overthrow the style of teaching that has ruled universities for 600 years. I’ve independently realized some, though not all, of these ideas.

* Apple didn’t revolutionize power supplies; new transistors did.

* The Rent Is Too Damn High Now Available for Preorder.

* One of my students mentioned “Santorum” (link slightly NSFW; no pictures, fortunately, and see also here) in office hours, causing me to laugh uncontrollably until he mentioned that he meant the politician, not the substance; in the context, it was ambiguous.

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