A Voice Against Some Who Are Against Intellectuals

Check it out:

Thomas Sowell, the conservative economist and writer who hangs his hat at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, gives it a shot. Sowell is a rare being, an intellectual who makes his life half in the university and half outside it. He has taught on several campuses, writes a syndicated column, and produces a book almost every year. As a black conservative, he occupies a visible perch, and has not been shy in advancing tough critiques of busing and affirmative action. Sowell gets noticed. With a nod to his provocative ideas, Bates College established an endowed chair in economics after him. Now Sowell turns to intellectuals.

And Russell Jacoby, the author of the piece, turns to criticism of Sowell’s arguments. Read the rest.

One for Realist and the Luddites!

In this week’s Chronicle is THIS GEM:

Mark James, a visiting lecturer at the University of West Florida, declared his summer course in English literature technology-free—he skipped the PowerPoint slides and YouTube videos he usually shows, and he asked students to silence their cellphones and close their laptops.

Banishing the gear improved the course, he argues. “The students seemed more involved in the discussion than when I allowed them to go online,” he told me as the summer term wound down. “They were more attentive, and we were able to go into a little more depth.”

Mr. James is not antitechnology—he said he had some success in his composition courses using an online system that’s sold with textbooks. But he is frustrated by professors and administrators who believe that injecting the latest technology into the classroom naturally improves teaching.

Read the rest HERE.