Tidbits on March 8, 2012
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Bob Jensen's Favorite New Hampshire Historic Resorts
Including Some That are Gone and Some Still Open for Business
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Tidbits/Hotels/Hotels.htm

 

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Pictures.htm

 Photographs of Vergennes (Oldest Village in Vermont) ---
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?pid=bixby

Blogs of White Mountain Hikers (many great photographs) ---
http://www.blogger.com/profile/02242409292439585691

Especially note the archive of John Compton's blogs at the bottom of the page at
http://1happyhiker.blogspot.com/

 White Mountain News --- http://www.whitemtnews.com/

Tidbits on March 8, 2012
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.


Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   


Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/




Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

29 Free Oscar Films on the Web --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/28_free_oscar_films_on_the_web.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences: Research & Preservation ---
http://www.oscars.org/research-preservation/

Daniel Kahneman on Charlie Rose ---
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12185
On his book Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow

What A Wonderful World (David Attenborough) ---
http://www.flixxy.com/wonderful-world-david-attenborough.htm

16th-Century Amsterdam Stunningly Visualized with 3D Animation --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/16th-century_amsterdam_stunningly_visualized_with_3d_animation.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Harvard in the 17th and 18th Centuries --- http://hul.harvard.edu/huarc/h1718/

Education Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#000000Education%20in%20General

Pan Am’s 1960s and 70s Travel Films: Visit 11 Places, in 7 Languages --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/pan_ams_1960s_and_70s_travel_films_visit_11_places_in_7_languages.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Stephen Hawking’s Universe: A Visualization of His Lectures with Stars & Sound 
http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/stephen_hawkings_universe.html

National Science Foundation: Multimedia Gallery --- http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/

Human Embryology Animations [Flash Player, Quicktime] --- http://www.indiana.edu/%7Eanat550/embryo_main/

“The Periodic Table Table” (All The Elements in Hand-Carved Wood_
http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/the_periodic_table_table.html

Futurist Ray Kurzweil, 17 Years Old, Appears on “I’ve Got a Secret” (1965) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/futurist_ray_kurzweil_17_years_old_appears_on_ive_got_a_secret_1965.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

New Learning Institute --- http://newlearninginstitute.org/

Frontline: The Interrupters (reducing urban violence, crime) --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/interrupters/


Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

The Berlin Philharmonic At Carnegie Hall ---
http://www.npr.org/event/music/147286478/the-berlin-philharmonic-at-carnegie-hall

Krzysztof Penderecki And Jonny Greenwood (Classical) ---
http://www.npr.org/2012/03/04/147668709/first-listen-krzysztof-penderecki-and-jonny-greenwood

Robert Sherman composed over 1,000 songs many of which are the most familiar songs we know
Songs We Love: Disney Songwriter Robert Sherman ---
http://www.npr.org/2012/03/07/148066537/songs-we-love-disney-songwriters-the-sherman-brothers?ps=mh_frhdl1

Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection (includes music) --- http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/JAZ/Pages/home.html

Jean-Luc Godard Films The Rolling Stones Recording “Sympathy for the Devil” (1968) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/jean-luc_godard_films_the_rolling_stones_recording_sympathy_for_the_devil.html

Those Old Westerns --- http://oldfortyfives.com/thoseoldwesterns.htm

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2009/tc20090327_877363.htm?link_position=link2

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 


Photographs and Art

The American Dream ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/SunsetHillHouse/SunsetHillHouse.htm

Mathematics Meets Photography ---
http://www.maa.org/mathhorizons/MH-Sept2011_MathPhotography.pdf

Cytogenetics Gallery --- http://www.pathology.washington.edu/galleries/Cytogallery/

Panama and the Canal --- http://ufdc.ufl.edu/pcm

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts --- http://mesda.org/

Kansas Aerial Photography Initiative --- http://www.lib.k-state.edu/apps/kapi/  and http://www.alligaulinblog.com/

Kansas Collection Photographs --- http://luna.ku.edu:8180/luna/servlet/kuvc1kcp~1~1

Historic Des Moines --- http://www.lib.drake.edu/heritage/odm

Alli Gaulin Photography --- http://www.alligaulinblog.com/2011/06/

Carnival Collection (Tulane University) --- http://larc.tulane.edu/exhibits/carnival

Glassmaking in Roman Times --- http://www.penn.museum/sites/Roman Glass/index.html

Reflecting Antiquity: Modern Glass Inspired By Ancient Rome --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/reflecting_antiquity/

Corning Museum of Glass [Flash Player] --- http://www.cmog.org/Default.aspx

Dream, Design, Build: The UW Architecture Student Drawing Collection, 1914-1947 ---
http://content.lib.washington.edu/exhibits/dream-design-build/

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History


Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Marshall T. Meyer Papers (human rights, Argentina) --- http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/meyermarshall/

John Steinbeck’s Six Tips for the Aspiring Writer and His Nobel Prize Speech --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/john_steinbecks_nobel_prize_speech_and_his_six_tips_for_the_aspiring_writer.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI




Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on March 8, 2012
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2012/TidbitsQuotations030812.htm       

The booked National Debt on January 1, 2012 was over $15 trillion ---
U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---
http://www.pgpf.org/

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm




The American Dream ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/SunsetHillHouse/SunsetHillHouse.htm

American Dream --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream
Often the goal of an American Dream is not so much betterment of your own life but betterment of the lives of your children and grandchildren.
The Hendersons featured in this article have two of their own girls plus a girl and boy that they adopted in China.

Could it be that tax revisionists in Denmark are beginning to anticipate (by reducing tax rates)
value added from something like an American Dream being introduced in Denmark?

Does the American Dream add more good than harm?

A Message from Jim Peters on the AECM

A couple of years ago, 60 minutes interview a bunch of Danish citizens because the Danes had once again topped the international surveys as the happiest people on earth. Americans, as with most international measures, were somewhere in the middle of the pack. The Dane's advice to Americans was to dump the American Dream because it caused more harm than good. The core of the American Dream seems to be equating wealth to happiness and setting off on a constant quest for more wealth. The Danes advice was to focus more on non-economic sources of happiness and learn to appreciate what you have.

Obviously, all this is an anathema to Americans and some of the reaction to the Dane's comments included epithets like "losers" and "hippies." But, the fact is that they are happier than Americans.

Jim

Jensen Comment
I take issue with Jim's quoted phrase that the American Dream in America "caused more harm than good." In my opinion, most of what we have that is good in America was built in one way or another on somebody's American Dream, a somebody willing to take financial and even physical risks, work tirelessly to build or rebuild something (possibly making creative innovations along the way), and pass the fruits of entrepreneurial labor on so that other Americans can find jobs and other Americans can enjoy the goods and services provided by the American Dreams of others.

Continued with pictures at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/SunsetHillHouse/SunsetHillHouse.htm

 

The China Dream:  Rise of the Billionaire Tiger Women from Poverty
"Tigress Tycoons," by Amy Chua, Newsweek Magazine Cover Story, March 12, 2012, pp. 30-39 ---
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/03/04/amy-chua-profiles-four-female-tycoons-in-china.html

Like a relentless overachiever, China is eagerly collecting superlatives. It’s the world’s fastest-growing major economy. It boasts the world’s biggest hydropower plant, shopping mall, and crocodile farm (home to 100,000 snapping beasts). It’s building the world’s largest airport (the size of Bermuda). And it now has more self-made female billionaires than any other country in the world.

This is not only because China has more females than any other nation. Many of these extraordinary women rose from nothing, despite living in a traditionally patriarchal society. They are a beguiling advertisement for the New China—bold, entrepreneurial, and tradition-breaking.

Four standouts among China’s intriguing new superwomen are Zhang Xin, the factory worker turned glamorous real-estate billionaire, with 3 million followers on Weibo (China’s Twitter); talk-show mogul Yang Lan, a blend of Audrey Hepburn and Oprah Winfrey; restaurant tycoon Zhang Lan, who as a girl slept between a pigsty and a chicken coop; and Peggy Yu Yu, cofounder and CEO of one of China’s biggest online retailers. None of these women inherited her money, and unlike many of the richest Chinese who are reluctant to draw public scrutiny to their path to wealth, they are proud to tell their stories.

How did these women make it to the top in the wild, wild East? Did they pay a price, either in their family or their professional lives? What was it that distinguished them from their famously hardworking compatriots? As I set out to explore these questions, my interest was partly personal. All four of my subjects lived for extended periods in the West. As a Chinese-American, and now the infamous Tiger Mom, I was curious: how “Chinese” were these new Chinese tigresses?

It turns out that each of these women, in her own way, is a dynamic combination of East and West. Perhaps this is one secret to their breathtaking success.

Zhang Xin is a rags-to-riches tale right out of Dickens. She was born in Beijing in 1965. The next year Mao launched the Cultural Revolution, and millions, including intellectuals and party dissidents, were purged or forcibly relocated to primitive rural areas. Children were encouraged to turn in their parents and teachers as counterrevolutionaries. Returning to Beijing in 1972, Zhang remembers sleeping on office desks, using books for pillows. At 14 she left for Hong Kong with her mother, and for five years she worked in a factory by day, attending school at night.

“I was a miserable kid,” she told me. With her chic cropped leather jacket and infectious laughter, the cofounder of the $4.6 billion Soho China real-estate empire is today an odd combination of measured calculation and warm spontaneity. “My mother drove me in school so hard. That generation didn’t know how to express love.

“But it wasn’t just me. It was all of China. I don’t think anybody was happy. If you look at photos from those days, no one is smiling.” She mentioned the contemporary artist Zhang Xiaogang, who paints “cold, emotionless” faces. “That’s exactly how we all grew up.”

. . .

But the four women I interviewed are a new breed. Progressive, worldly, and open to the media, they are in many ways not representative of China, past or present. Perhaps they are merely the lucky winners of the 1990s free-for-all in China, a window that may already be closing. Or perhaps they are the forerunners of a China still to come, in which paths to success are far more open. Each has found a way to dynamically fuse East and West, to staggering commercial success. It may still be a long way off, but if China can achieve a similar alchemy—melding its tremendous economic potential and traditional values with Western innovation, the rule of law, and individual liberties—it would be a land of opportunity tough to beat.

The American Dream ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/SunsetHillHouse/SunsetHillHouse.htm

 

Case Studies in Gaming the Income Tax Laws
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/TaxNoTax.htm

Effective Tax Rates Are Lower Than Most People Believe
"Measuring Effective Tax Rates," by Rachel Johnson Joseph Rosenberg Roberton Williams, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center,  February 7, 2012 ---
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/412497-ETR.pdf


A Success Story in Mathematics Education and Research:  The Key is Collaboration and a Focus on Multidisciplinary Issues
"Alice Chang: Perspective on the future of Princeton mathematics," by Morgan Kelly, The Financial Education Daily, March 5, 2012 ---
http://paper.li/businessschools?utm_source=subscription&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=paper_sub

Bob Jensen's threads on mathematics and statistics videos, lectures, and tutorials ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics


Video Animation --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYCBGSdtfN8
"David Brooks on the Dangerous Division Between Reason and Emotion, Animated,"  by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, February 16, 2012 ---
Click Here
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/02/16/tomas-flodr-rsa-animation-david-brooks/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+brainpickings%2Frss+%28Brain+Pickings%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Watch the Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYCBGSdtfN8


"I'm Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web," by Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic, February 29, 2012 ---
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/12/02/im-being-followed-how-google-and-104-other-companies-are-tracking-me-on-the-web/253758/

This morning, if you opened your browser and went to NYTimes.com, an amazing thing happened in the milliseconds between your click and when the news about North Korea and James Murdoch appeared on your screen. Data from this single visit was sent to 10 different companies, including Microsoft and Google subsidiaries, a gaggle of traffic-logging sites, and other, smaller ad firms. Nearly instantaneously, these companies can log your visit, place ads tailored for your eyes specifically, and add to the ever-growing online file about you.

There's nothing necessarily sinister about this subterranean data exchange: this is, after all, the advertising ecosystem that supports free online content. All the data lets advertisers tune their ads, and the rest of the information logging lets them measure how well things are actually working. And I do not mean to pick on The New York Times. While visiting the Huffington Post or The Atlantic or Business Insider, the same process happens to a greater or lesser degree. Every move you make on the Internet is worth some tiny amount to someone, and a panoply of companies want to make sure that no step along your Internet journey goes unmonetized.

Even if you're generally familiar with the idea of data collection for targeted advertising, the number and variety of these data collectors will probably astonish you. Allow me to introduce the list of companies that tracked my movements on the Internet in one recent 36-hour period of standard web surfing: Acerno. Adara Media. Adblade. Adbrite. ADC Onion. Adchemy. ADiFY. AdMeld. Adtech. Aggregate Knowledge. AlmondNet. Aperture. AppNexus. Atlas. Audience Science.

And that's just the As. My complete list includes 105 companies, and there are dozens more than that in existence. You, too, could compile your own list using Mozilla's tool, Collusion, which records the companies that are capturing data about you, or more precisely, your digital self.

While the big names -- Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. -- show up in this catalog, the bulk of it is composed of smaller data and advertising businesses that form a shadow web of companies that want to help show you advertising that you're more likely to click on and products that you're more likely to purchase.

To be clear, these companies gather data without attaching it to your name; they use that data to show you ads you're statistically more likely to click. That's the game, and there is substantial money in it.

As users, we move through our Internet experiences unaware of the churning subterranean machines powering our web pages with their cookies and pixels trackers, their tracking code and databases. We shop for wedding caterers and suddenly see ring ads appear on random web pages we're visiting. We sometimes think the ads following us around the Internet are "creepy." We sometimes feel watched. Does it matter? We don't really know what to think.

The issues the industry raises did not exist when Ronald Reagan was president and were only in nascent form when the Twin Towers fell. These are phenomena of our time and while there are many antecedent forms of advertising, never before in the history of human existence has so much data been gathered about so many people for the sole purpose of selling them ads.

"The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads," my old friend and early Facebook employee Jeff Hammerbacher once said. "That sucks," he added. But increasingly I think these issues -- how we move "freely" online, or more properly, how we pay one way or another -- are actually the leading edge of a much bigger discussion about the relationship between our digital and physical selves. I don't mean theoretically or psychologically. I mean that the norms established to improve how often people click ads may end up determining who you are when viewed by a bank or a romantic partner or a retailer who sells shoes.

Already, the web sites you visit reshape themselves before you like a carnivorous school of fish, and this is only the beginning. Right now, a huge chunk of what you've ever looked at on the Internet is sitting in databases all across the world. The line separating all that it might say about you, good or bad, is as thin as the letters of your name. If and when that wall breaks down, the numbers may overwhelm the name. The unconsciously created profile may mean more than the examined self I've sought to build.

Most privacy debates have been couched in technical. We read about how Google bypassed Safari's privacy settings, whatever those were. Or we read the details about how Facebook tracks you with those friendly Like buttons. Behind the details, however, are a tangle of philosophical issues that are at the heart of the struggle between privacy advocates and online advertising companies: What is anonymity? What is identity? How similar are humans and machines? This essay is an attempt to think through those questions.

The bad news is that people haven't taken control of the data that's being collected and traded about them. The good news is that -- in a quite literal sense -- simply thinking differently about this advertising business can change the way that it works. After all, if you take these companies at their word, they exist to serve users as much as to serve their clients.

Continued in article

Big Google Becomes Big Brother
From ACLU Week in Review on January 27. 2012 ---
http://www.aclu.org/blog/organization-news-and-highlights/week-civil-liberties-1272012

ACLU Lens: Google's New Privacy Policy
This week
, Google announced a new privacy policy effective March 1. The new policy is consistent across the vast majority of Google products, and it’s in English; you don’t have to speak legalese to understand it. But, the new privacy policy makes clear that Google will, for the first time, combine the personal data you share with any one of its products or sites across almost all of its products and sites (everything but Google Chrome, Google Books, and Google Wallet) in order to obtain a more comprehensive picture of you. And there’s no opting out

March 4, 2012 message from Aaron Konstam

If you are tired of Google tracking, try the duckduckgo search engine at
duckduckgo.com.

My observation is Google can't track you if you don't log on to a Google
AP like gmail.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm


"I Have An Assignment For You," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, March 6, 2012 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2012/03/i-have-assignment-for-you.html

Jensen Comment
For many students this approach is not as simple as it sounds, especially those students with excuses for everything. A typical response is that if the student does this for each of five courses being taken during the semester, there are not enough hours in a day to be that prepared for every class. But the reality is that other things sometimes become reasons rather than excuses for not being prepared, including partying, daydreaming, grabassing, watching porn on the Web, playing video games, and on and on and on.

At some point students who want high grades have to take charge of their own academic lives.


Question
How honest and forthcoming should you be when advising students regarding opportunities in academe for a new PhD graduate?
 

"Enlightening Advisees," by Henry Adams, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 1, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Enlightening-Advisees/130948/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

 

Some Things to Ponder When Choosing Between an Accounting Versus History PhD ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#HistoryVsAccountancy

Jensen Comment
Law schools are now pondering the same ethics issues regarding advising applicants about careers in law ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#OverstuffedLawSchools


Summary of Major Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals

Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm

Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001c.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Governance 

 


Is anecdotal evidence irrelevant?

A subscriber to the AECM that we hear from quite often asked me to elaborate on the nature of anecdotal evidence. My reply may be of interest to other subscribers to the AECM.

 

Hi XXXXX,

Statistical inference --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_inference 


Anecdotal Evidence --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence 


Humanities research is nearly always anecdotal. History research, for example, delves through original correspondence (letters, memos, and now email messages) of great people in history to discover more about causes of events in history. This, however, is anecdotal research, and there are greatly varying degrees of the quality of such historical anecdotal evidence.


Legal research is generally anecdotal, although court cases often use statistical inference studies as part, but not all, of the total evidence packages in the court cases.


Scientific research is both inferential and anecdotal. Anecdotal evidence often provides the creative ideas for hypotheses that are later put to more rigorous tests.


National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science ---
http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/


But between the anecdote and the truly random sample is evidence that is neither totally anecdotal nor rigorously scientific.  For example, it's literally impossible to identify the population of tax cheaters in the underground cash-only economy. Hence, from a strictly inferential standpoint it's impossible to conduct truly random samples on such unknown populations.


Nevertheless, the IRS and other researchers do conduct various types of "anecdotal investigations" of how people cheat on their taxes, including cheating in the underground cash-only economy. One approach is the IRS policy of conducting a samplings (not random) of full audits designed not so much to collect revenue or punish wrong doers as to discover how people comply with tax rules and devise legal or illegal ploys for avoiding or deferring taxes. This is anecdotal research.


In both instances of mine that you refer to I provided only anecdotal evidence that I called "cases." In fact, virtually all case studies are anecdotal in the sense that the statistical inference tests are not generally feasible ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Cases 


However, it is common knowledge that there's a vast underground cash-only economy. And the court records are clogged with cases of persons who got caught cheating on welfare, cheating on taxes, receiving phony disability insurance settlements and Social Security payments, etc. But these court cases are probably only the tip of the icebergs in terms of the millions more who get away with cheating in the cash-only underground economy.


The problem with accountics research published in TAR, JAR, and JAE is that it requires statistical inference or analytics based upon assumed (usually unrealistic or unproven) assumptions. The net result has been very sophisticated research findings that are of little interest to the profession because the research methodology and unrealistic assumptions limit accountics research to mostly uninteresting problems. Analytical accountics research problems are sometimes interesting problems but these accountics research findings are usually no better than or even worse than anecdotal evidence due to unrealistic and unproven assumptions ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm


It is obvious that accountics researchers have limited themselves to mostly uninteresting problems. In real science, scientists demand that interesting research findings be replicated. Since accountics scientists almost never demand or even encourage (by publishing replications) that their studies be replicated this is prima facie evidence of the lack of relevance of accountics research findings since accountics researchers themselves do not demand replications.


AAA leaders are now having retreats focused on how to make accountics research more relevant to the academic world (read that accounting teachers) and professional world ---
http://aaahq.org/pubs/AEN/2012/AEN_Winter12_WEB.pdf  


Anecdotal research in accounting generally focuses on the more interesting problems than accountics research. But anecdotal findings are not easily extrapolated to general conclusions. Anecdotal evidence often builds up to where it becomes more and more convincing. For example, it did not take long in the early 1990s to discover that companies were entering into hundreds of billions and than trillions in interest rate swaps because there were no domestic or international accounting rules for even disclosing interest rate swaps let alone booking them. In many instances companies were entering into such swaps for off-balance sheet financing (OBSF).


As the anecdotal evidence on swap OBSF mounted like grains of sand, the Director of the SEC told the Chairman of the FASB that the three major problems to be addressed by the FASB were to be "derivatives, derivatives, and derivatives." And the leading problems of derivatives was that forward contracts and swaps (portfolios of forward contracts) were not even disclosed let alone booked.


Without having a single accountics study of interest rate swaps amongst the mountain of anecdotal evidence of OBSF cheating with interest rate swaps we soon had FAS 133 that required the booking of interest rate swaps and at least quarterly resets of the carrying values of these swaps to fair market value --- that is the power of anecdotal evidence rather than accountics evidence.


In a similar manner, the IRS is making inroads on reducing tax cheating in the underground economy using evidence piled up from anecdotal rather than strictly scientific research. For example, a huge step was made when the IRS commenced to require and code 1099 information into IRS computers. Before then, for example, most professors who received small consulting fees and honoraria forgot about such fees when they filed their taxes. Now they're reminded after December 31 when they receive their copies of the 1099 forms files with the IRS.


But I can assure you based upon my anecdotal evidence, that the underground economy still is alive and thriving in San Antonio when it comes to the type of "cash only" labor that I list at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/TaxNoTax.htm 



And I can assure you of this without knowing about a single accountics study of the underground cash-only economy that this economy is alive and thriving. Mountains of anecdotal evidence reveal that the underground economy greatly inhibits the prevention of cheating on taxes, welfare, disability claims, Medicaid, etc.


Interestingly, however, the underground cash-only economy often makes it easier to for poor people to attain the American Dream.


Case Studies in Gaming the Income Tax Laws
 http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/TaxNoTax.htm

 

Question
What would be the best way to reduce cheating on taxes, welfare, Medicaid, etc.?


Answer
Go to a cashless society that is now technically feasible but politically impossible since members of Congress themselves thrive on cheating in the underground cash-only economy.

 

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen
 


Creative Computers Replacing Writers and Composers
And the frightening thing about this is that what might be "cheating" becomes possible with zero chance of being caught for plagiarism of things stories and songs written by Hal.

"30 Clients Using Computer-Generated Stories Instead of Writers," by Jason Boog, Media Bistro, February 17, 2012 ---
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/forbes-among-30-clients-using-computer-generated-stories-instead-of-writers_b47243

Forbes has joined a group of 30 clients using Narrative Science software to write computer-generated stories.

Here’s more about the program, used in one corner of Forbes‘ website: “Narrative Science has developed a technology solution that creates rich narrative content from data. Narratives are seamlessly created from structured data sources and can be fully customized to fit a customer’s voice, style and tone. Stories are created in multiple formats, including long form stories, headlines, Tweets and industry reports with graphical visualizations.”

The New York Times revealed last year that trade publisher Hanley Wood and sports journalism site The Big Ten Network also use the tool. In all, 30 clients use the software–but Narrative Science did not disclose the complete client list.

What do you think? The Narrative Science technology could potentially impact many corners of the writing trade. The company has a long list of stories they can computerize: sports stories, financial reports, real estate analyses, local community content, polling & elections, advertising campaign summaries sales & operations reports and market research.

Here’s an excerpt from a Forbes earnings preview story about Barnes & Noble, written by the computer program:

While company shares have dropped 17.2% over the last three months to close at $13.72 on February 15, 2012, Barnes & Noble (BKS) is hoping it can break the slide with solid third quarter results when it releases its earnings on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.

What to Expect: The Wall Street consensus is $1.01 per share, up 1% from a year ago when Barnes & Noble reported earnings of $1 per share.

The consensus estimate is down from three months ago when it was $1.42, but is unchanged over the past month. Analysts are projecting a loss of $1.09 per share for the fiscal year.

The company originated with two electrical engineering and computer science professors at Northwestern University. Here’s more about the company: “[It began with] a software program that automatically generates sports stories using commonly available information such as box scores and play-by-plays. The program was the result of a collaboration between McCormick and Medill School of Journalism.

To create the software, Hammond and Birnbaum and students working in McCormick’s Intelligent Information Lab created algorithms that use statistics from a game to write text that captures the overall dynamic of the game and highlights the key plays and players. Along with the text is an appropriate headline and a photo of what the program deems as the most important player in the game.”

Many of you probably never even heard of the popular "I've Got a Secret" ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ve_Got_a_Secret 

More of you have probably read about artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil (an expert on computer music composition) ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil 

Futurist Ray Kurzweil, 17 Years Old, Appears on “I’ve Got a Secret” (1965) --- Click Here
 http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/futurist_ray_kurzweil_17_years_old_appears_on_ive_got_a_secret_1965.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29
 


"What We Say Here: an American Regional Dictionary Explores the Power of Place," by Heidi Landecker, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/What-We-Say-Here/130969/?sid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Can a person fall in love with a dictionary? If the work in question is the Dictionary of American Regional English, which has just published its fifth volume, Sl-Z, the answer appears to be yes.

"I hope people look at DARE," as the series is known, "and fall in love with it just the way anyone who starts to use it ends up doing," says Michael Adams, an associate professor of English at Indiana University at Bloomington.

"I think everyone who runs into DARE loves everything about it," says Erin McKean, founder of the online dictionary Wordnik.

"A national treasure," says Kirk Hazen, a linguistics professor at West Virginia University.

I am by profession a copy editor. We love defining words so much, we do it for a living. Yet most of us aren't as ebullient over, say, Merriam-Webster as the members of the American Dialect Society (like those quoted above) are about DARE. Copy editors need to work fast; we want our dictionaries accessible and contemporary—online. The dialect society's project has taken half a century, and Volume VI, which includes indexes by region and etymology to all the words in I through V, won't be out until next year. Each volume has at least 900 pages; the latest? 1,244. And you can get to them only in libraries, where they sit on the shelf, all five of them, tall, blue, inaccessible. I wasn't feeling the love.

Besides, who cares where Americans stop saying "bucket" and start saying "pail"?

Then I learned that Harvard University Press, DARE's publisher, will put the project's entries, audiotapes, and perhaps even maps online in 2013. And I read a few pages in the books. I wasn't smitten, but a seduction of sorts had begun.

Most dictionaries, like the Oxford English Dictionary and American Heritage, are made by lexicographers who cull words from written texts. James Murray, the primary editor of the OED, wrote letters, asking, Is this a term you use for such and such, and could you please reply? Few if any lexicographers get words from people face to face.

For the regional dictionary that Frederic G. Cassidy began in 1962, the English professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison wanted something different: a broad, systematic sample of both the written and spoken words of a nation—a snapshot of America's regional expressions at a particular time.

So from 1965 to 1970, he sent researchers, mostly graduate students, out in "word wagons"—campers equipped with tape recorders—to talk to people in America.

Nineteen sixty-five? Word wagons and tape recorders? Today's linguists write Python scripts to search tweets; online-dictionary editors use algorithms to find words on the Internet. How could DARE be relevant?

"We tend to think nowadays that anything worth knowing is digital," says Wordnik's McKean, an adviser on DARE's board. "But in fact there are huge swaths of information that people just haven't bothered to write down," like names for children's games, plants, foods, charms that bring good or bad luck, terms for weather and physical geography. "These are all things that we find fascinating, but if we don't take the time to write them down, they'll be lost." Her favorite word in the dictionary is "mubble-squibble," which to turn-of-the-last-century North Carolinians meant the knuckle-rub you give a child on his head.

Not all DARE's words are as onomatopoeic or cute. Hazen, a linguist in the English department at West Virginia, sends history-of-language students to the books to look for names for people from different regions—"hillbilly," "Hoosier"—or for racial groups, like the inflammatory alternative pronunciation of "Negro." (That word is too offensive to be printed in today's newspapers, but DARE devotes 14 and a half pages to it and its related compounds, culminating in one that ends in"-wool" and is sometimes used to refer to a sedge, Carex filifolia.)

He then asks his students to discuss their findings; they are not always comfortable with that. "For some it is eye-opening to look at the history of derogatory terms and how openly they were used," he says, because certain words in newspapers, quoted in DARE, would be unimaginable today. Many students won't say the words, even in class. But they are always surprised when they learn, for example, that the etymology of "Hoosier" proves it not the endearing nickname many Indianans assume, but a term used by Southern blacks for racist white people.

Joan Houston Hall, who took over as chief editor when Cassidy retired (he died in 2000 at age 92), says the books don't flinch at American speech, no matter how offensive, scatological, or sexual. While editors omit terms used too widely to count as regional, they would never "bowdlerize the dictionary."

Indeed, what Cassidy wanted was a corpus of words unlikely to get into print, phrases like "lick 'im so's his hide won't hold hay" or "ish kabibble" (meaning "I couldn't care less") that people might say but never write.

To get words like that, a questionnaire would be key, and Cassidy was the person to write it. As a graduate student in the 30s at the University of Michigan, he had worked on the "Early Modern English Dictionary," which, though never published, had introduced him to dictionary making. In 1947, at Wisconsin, he carried out the Wisconsin English Language Survey, a methodical vocabulary study of 50 communities in the state. In the 1950s, a Fulbright took him to his native Jamaica—he had emigrated at age 11—where he made recordings of Jamaicans talking about growing pineapple, cutting sugar cane, fishing, and making dugout canoes. That work became a book, Jamaica Talk. He eventually helped write a dictionary of Jamaican English.

 

 Cassidy was the right person to get the money for DARE, too. The dictionary he had worked on as a graduate student at Michigan sought big financing and failed. Now a professor, Cassidy insisted that the dialect society publish his full questionnaire, more than 1,800 questions he wrote with Audrey R. Duckert, a graduate student, so that potential backers would see the project's scope.

And the National Endowment for the Humanities, a young agency looking for novel ways to spend taxpayers' money to help scholars, was ready for a project like Cassidy's. "The diversity of America is never more evident than in its speech," says Judy Havemann, director of communications at the endowment. "We and the dictionary grew up together."

Continued in article

Writing Forum on the AAA Commons ---
http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/c5fdcaace5

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers ---
http://chronicle.com/article/What-We-Say-Here/130969/?sid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en


"Treating Higher Ed's 'Cost Disease' With Supersize Online Courses," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Treating-Higher-Eds-Cost/130934/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Oh my God, she's trying to replace me with a computer.

That's what some professors think when they hear Candace Thille pitch the online education experiment she directs, the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University.

They're wrong. But what her project does replace is the traditional system of building and delivering introductory college courses.

Professors should move away from designing foundational courses in statistics, biology, or other core subjects on the basis of "intuition," she argues. Instead, she wants faculty to work with her team to put out the education equivalent of Super Bowl ads: expensively built online course materials, cheaply available to the masses.

"We're seeing failure rates in these large introductory courses that are not acceptable to anybody," Ms. Thille says. "There has to be a better way to get more students—irrespective of where they start—to be able to successfully complete."

Her approach brings together faculty subject experts, learning researchers, and software engineers to build open online courses grounded in the science of how people learn. The resulting systems provide immediate feedback to students and tailor content to their skills. As students work through online modules outside class, the software builds profiles on them, just as Netflix does for customers. Faculty consult that data to figure out how to spend in-person class time.

When Ms. Thille began this work, in 2002, the idea was to design free online courses that would give independent novices a shot at mastering what students learn in traditional classes. But two things changed. One, her studies found that the online system benefits on-campus students, allowing them to learn better and faster than their peers when the digital environment is combined with some face-to-face instruction.

And two, colleges sank into "fiscal famine," as one chancellor put it. Technological solutions like Ms. Thille's promise one treatment for higher education's "cost disease"—the notion, articulated by William G. Bowen and William J. Baumol, that the expense of labor-heavy endeavors like classroom teaching inevitably rises faster than inflation.

For years, educational-technology innovations led to more costs per student, says Mr. Bowen, president emeritus of Prince­ton University. But today we may have reached a point at which interactive online systems could "change that equation," he argues, by enabling students to learn just as much with less "capital and labor."

"What you've got right now is a powerful intersection between technological change and economics," Mr. Bowen tells The Chronicle.

Ms. Thille is, he adds, "a real evangelist in the best sense of the word."

Nowadays rival universities want to hire her. Venture capitalists want to market her courses. The Obama administration wants her advice. And so many foundations want to support her work that she must turn away some would-be backers.

But the big question is this: Can Ms. Thille get a critical mass of people to buy in to her idea? Can she expand the Online Learning Initiative from a tiny darling of ed-tech evangelists to something that truly changes education? A Background in Business

Ms. Thille brings an unusual biography to the task. The 53-year-old Californian spent 18 years in the private sector, culminating in a plum job as a partner in a management-consulting company in San Francisco. She earned a master's degree but not a doctorate, a gap she's now plugging by studying toward a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

She has never taught a college course.

Ms. Thille wasn't even sure she'd make it through her own bachelor's program, so precarious were her finances at the time. Her family had plunged from upper middle class to struggling after her father quit his job at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. But with jobs and scholarships, she managed to earn a degree in sociology from Berkeley.

After college, Ms. Thille followed her fiancé to Pittsburgh. The engagement didn't last, but her connection to the city did. She worked as education coordinator for a rape-crisis center, training police and hospital employees.

She eventually wound up back in California at the consultancy, training executives and helping businesses run meetings effectively. There she took on her first online-learning project: building a hybrid course to teach executives how to mentor subordinates.

Ms. Thille doesn't play up this corporate-heavy résumé as she travels the country making the case for why professors should change how they teach. On a recent Tuesday morning, The Chronicle tagged along as that mission brought Ms. Thille to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was meeting with folks from the university and two nearby community colleges to prepare for the development of a new pre-calculus course.

It's one piece of a quiet but sweeping push to develop, deploy, and test Open Learning Initiative courses at public institutions around the country, led by an alphabet soup of education groups.

The failure rate in such precalculus courses can be so bad that as many as 50 percent of students need to take the class a second time. Ms. Thille and her colleagues hope to improve on that record while developing materials of such quality that they're used by perhaps 100,000 students each year. Facing Skepticism

But first the collaborators must learn how to build a course as a team. As Ms. Thille fires up her PowerPoint, she faces a dozen or so administrators and professors in Chicago. The faculty members segregate themselves into clusters—community-college people mostly in one group, university folks mostly in another. Some professors are learning about the initiative in detail for the first time. There is little visible excitement as they plunge into the project, eating muffins at uncomfortable desks in a classroom on the sixth floor of the Soviet-looking science-and-engineering building.

By contrast, Ms. Thille whirls with enthusiasm. She describes Online Learning Initiative features like software that mimics human tutors: making comments when students go awry, keeping quiet when they perform well, and answering questions about what to do next. She discusses the "dashboard" that tells professors how well students grasp each learning objective. Throughout, she gives an impression of hyper-competence, like a pupil who sits in the front row and knows the answer to every question.

But her remarks can sometimes veer into a disorienting brew of jargon, giving the impression that she is talking about lab subjects rather than college kids. Once she mentions "dosing" students with a learning activity. And early on in the workshop, she faces a feisty challenge from Chad Taylor, an assistant professor at Harper College. He worries about what happens when students must face free-form questions, which the computer doesn't baby them through.

"I will self-disclose myself as a skeptic of these programs," he says. Software is "very good at prompting the students to go step by step, and 'do this' and 'do that,' and all these bells and whistles with hints. But the problem is, in my classroom they're not prompted step by step."

Around the country, there's more skepticism where that came from, Ms. Thille confides over a dinner of tuna tacos later that day. One chief obstacle is the "not-invented-here problem." Professors are wary of adopting courses they did not create. The Online Learning Initiative's team-based model represents a cultural shift for a professoriate that derives status, and pride, from individual contributions.

Then there's privacy. The beauty of OLI is that developers can improve classes by studying data from thousands of students. But some academics worry that colleges could use that same data to evaluate professors—and fire those whose students fail to measure up.

Ms. Thille tells a personal story that illustrates who could benefit if she prevails. Years ago she adopted a teenager, Cece. The daughter of a drug user who died of AIDS, Cece was 28 days' truant from high school when she went to live with Ms. Thille. She was so undereducated, even the simple fractions of measuring cups eluded her. Her math teacher told Ms. Thille that with 40 kids in class, she needed to focus on the ones who were going to "make it."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In a way we already have something like this operating in colleges and universities that adopt the Brigham Young University variable speed video disks designed for learning the two basic accounting courses without meeting in classrooms or having the usual online instruction. Applications vary of course, and some colleges may have recitation sections where students meet to get help and take examinations ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#BYUvideo

Although BYU uses this no-class video pedagogy, it must be recognized that most of the BYU students learning accounting on their own in this manner are both exceptionally motivated and exceptionally intelligent. For schools that adopt the pedagogies of Me. Thile or BYU, the students must be like BYU accounting students or the pedagogy must be modified for more hand holding and kick-butt features that could be done in various ways online or onsite.

Perhaps Ms. Thille is being somewhat naive about turf wars in universities. Certain disciplines are able to afford a core faculty for research and advanced-course teaching with miniscule classes because teaching large base courses in the general education core justifies not having to shrink those departments with almost no majors.

Where Ms. Thille's pedagogy might be more useful is in specialty courses where its expensive to hire faculty to teach one or two courses. For example, it's almost always difficult for accounting departments to hire top faculty for governmental accounting courses and the super-technical ERP courses in AIS.

Bob Jensen's threads on courses without instructors ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NoInstructors
Of course Ms. Thille is not exactly advocating a pedagogy without instructors. There are instructors in her proposed model.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based learning and assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ECA


TOP 60
US Online Retailers
    Amazon
    Staples
    Apple
    Dell
    Office Depot
    Walmart
    Sears
    Liberty Media Corp. (QVC)
    Office Max
    CDW Corp.
    Best Buy
    Newegg
    Netflix
    Sony USA
    W.W. Grainger
    Costco
    Macy's
    Victoria Secret and Bath & Body Works
    HP Home & Home Office Store
    J.C. Penney
    L.L. Bean
    Target
    Systemax
    Gap
    Williams-Sonoma
    HSN
    Overstock.com
    Amway Global
    Toys R Us
    Avon
    Kohl's
    Buy.com
    Redcats USA
    Nordstrom
    Symantec
    Vistaprint
    PC Connection
    Saks
    Neiman Marcus
    Cabela's
    Barnes & Noble
    Blockbuster
    Home Depot
    Musician's Friend
    1-800-Flowers.com
    Drugstore.com
    Peapod
    Urban Outfitters
    Gilt Groupe
    J. Crew Group
    CSN Stores
    PC Mall
    Foot Locker
    Scholastic
    Crate and Barrel
    Abercrombie & Fitch
    American Eagle Outfitters
    Follett Higher Education group
    US Auto Parts Network
    Blue Nile
Source: Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide
Jensen Comment
I personally don't like to have my credit card used for online purchases 
to be on file in the databases of very many online vendors. Hence, over 90% 
of my online purchases come from Netflix or Amazon or through Amazon (when Amazon collects
the fees for other vendors). I probably miss out on a lot of good deals, but I like 
Amazon even for grocery shopping. I never did bother with PayPal, but I realize that's
a pretty good way of minimizing credit card number exposure in the Web.

Worst Fears Coming True:  Piling the Pension Debt Obligations on Top of Pension Debt Obligations
Critics say it is a budgetary sleight-of-hand that simply kicks pension costs down the road
"To Pay New York Pension Fund, Cities Borrow From It First," by Danny Hakim,  The New York Times, February 27, 2012 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/nyregion/to-pay-new-york-pension-fund-cities-borrow-from-it-first.html?_r=1

When New York State officials agreed to allow local governments to use an unusual borrowing plan to put off a portion of their pension obligations, fiscal watchdogs scoffed at the arrangement, calling it irresponsible and unwise.

And now, their fears are being realized: cities throughout the state, wealthy towns such as Southampton and East Hampton, counties like Nassau and Suffolk, and other public employers like the Westchester Medical Center and the New York Public Library are all managing their rising pension bills by borrowing from the very same $140 billion pension fund to which they owe money.

Across New York, state and local governments are borrowing $750 million this year to finance their contributions to the state pension system, and are likely to borrow at least $1 billion more over the next year. The number of municipalities and public institutions using this new borrowing mechanism to pay off their annual pension bills has tripled in a year.

The eagerness to borrow demonstrates that many major municipalities are struggling to meet their pension obligations, which have risen partly because of generous retirement packages for public employees, and partly because turbulence in the stock market has slowed the pension fund’s growth.

The state’s borrowing plan allows public employers to reduce their pension contributions in the short term in exchange for higher payments over the long term. Public pension funds around the country assume a certain rate of return every year and, despite the market gains over the last few years, are still straining to make up for steep investment losses incurred in the 2008 financial crisis, requiring governments to contribute more to keep pension systems afloat.

Supporters argue that the borrowing plan makes it possible for governments in New York to “smooth” their annual pension contributions to get through this prolonged period of market volatility.

Critics say it is a budgetary sleight-of-hand that simply kicks pension costs down the road.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the sad state of pension funding in most sectors in the U.S. economy ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory02.htm#Pensions

The sad state of governmental accounting and accountability ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory02.htm#GovernmentalAccounting


February 27, 2012 message from Roger Lee

Hi Bob,

Nice job putting together such a great list of links to electronic literature! I have a the perfect site for your list -- AntiStudy.com (http://www.antistudy.com), a site that offers thousands of free literature study guides.  As a student at Harvard, I started AntiStudy as a way to help other students understand the books they were reading in their literature classes. Since then, the site’s been used by over 10 million students and has been featured in Teen Magazine.

Would you be willing to consider AntiStudy for your Links to Electronic Literature page? (http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm) I'd be honored if you could include the site! I think it’d be a great resource for your visitors.

Best regards,

Roger

Jensen Comment
I debated whether to comply with Roger's request above. On one hand, such study guides can be useful to scholars seeking breath and not depth. On the other hand such study guides can be abused by students seeking ready-made guides to plagiarize on the pretense that they fully read assigned literature. But I don't think street smart instructors are ignorant that such study guides exist.


"Too Much Information Clouds Negotiators' Judgments," Stanford Business Magazine Online, Winter 2011-2012 --- Click Here
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm1201/neale_information.html?utm_source=Knowledgebase&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=February-12

Whether we're negotiating a business deal or talking with a friend about which movie to see, most of us use information we have about the other party to reach agreement. But recent research from the Stanford Graduate School of Business warns that knowing our negotiation partners too well or having the wrong kind of information about them can actually produce less successful negotiating results than having no information.

What today's savvy social media users have dubbed TMI — too much information — can indeed be a pitfall.

"To the extent that people rely on information that's easily available, they may rely on it to the exclusion of doing the hard work necessary to create value in a negotiation," says Margaret Neale, the John G. McCoy–Banc One Corporation Professor of Organizations and Dispute Resolution at the business school, who conducted the research with Scott Wiltermuth, PhD '09, now an assistant professor at USC's Marshall School of Business.

Their experiments looked at the effects of "nondiagnostic information" — useless, irrelevant statements about a negotiation partner, as opposed to information related to the issues being negotiated. Nothing is less useful than generic personality statements that seem to fit everyone to a tee — statements like "This person prefers a certain amount of change and variety and becomes dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations." So that's the kind of useless information the researchers gave one group of participants, supposedly based upon a personality test their partners had taken.

For comparison, a different group only got information directly related to the negotiation, such as which issues were more important to their negotiation partners. Knowing the importance of issues to a person's negotiating partner, Neale says, creates opportunities for a negotiator to enlarge the potential pool of resources available to the parties, rather than simply focusing on who gets what.

When individuals in the two groups were then asked to rate the advantage they gained from the information, both sets of participants reported the same level of advantage, which was higher than that perceived by a control group that hadn't been given any information at all. In other words, Neale explains, "people couldn't tell the difference between diagnostic and nondiagnostic information."

But what was the effect of the useless information on negotiation? To find out, Neale and Wiltermuth asked participants to represent two companies in a merger and negotiate several issues, such as which firm's CEO would head the new company and where that company's headquarters would locate. People who had read the irrelevant, distracting statements, it turned out, were far less accurate in identifying the issues that were least important to their partners — the very issues that offer opportunities to enlarge the size of the pie. Specifically, participants with useless information could identify these issues only 14% of the time and fared worse than even people who had no information at all (who correctly identified the issues 26% of the time).

A follow-up experiment revealed why negotiators with irrelevant information did worse. What the researchers found, Neale says, was not that people weren't exchanging valuable information. "It was that people were not paying attention to this information in front of them." And because they ignored useful information, they created vastly less value than participants who didn't have this useless information. The participants with useless information were also more likely to reach an impasse and fail to reach an agreement at all.

Continued in article

March 1, 2012 message from Edith Orenstein

Under the guidance of the Bill Sinnett, Senior Director of Research, Financial Executives Research Foundation, FEI has launched a new Community of Interest called “Theory Meets Practice.”

This new group aims to offer networking and educational opportunities of interest to academics as well as practitioners, specifically to provide a common forum for interaction between those groups, based on areas of shared interest.

The group will gather virtually in the main, and may hold in-person meetings as well. The first event will be a March 29 webcast on ‘Disclosure Overload and Complexity: Hidden in Plain Sight.”  

Read more in:  Theory Meets Practice, New Group Launched By FEI, Hosts March 29 Webcast on Disclosure Overload, Complexity

Thank you,

Edith Orenstein

 


Even if you're only one of a dozen coauthors on a submission, a referee may be deciding on your tenure, promotions of seven of your coauthors, and a career annuity of $2,000+ per year across the entire career of each of the 12 authors. It's no time for a referee to think of reasons to not accept this paper. If Editor X does so his  constituency may think he's (shudder) a budget-obsessed Republican.

Brian Rathbun is an associate professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California
"Dear Reviewers, a Word?" by Brian C. Rathbun, Inside Higher Ed, February 28, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/02/28/essay-offers-guide-those-who-review-journal-submissions 

Everyone gets rejected. And it never stops being painful not matter how successful or how long you have been in the business. Some of this is inevitable; not everyone is above average. But some of it isn't. I thought that I would offer some dos and don’ts for reviewers out there to improve the process and save some hurt feelings, when possible. Some are drawn from personal experience; others, more vicariously. I have done some of the "don’ts" myself, but I feel bad about it. Learn from my mistakes.

First, and I can’t stress this enough, READ THE F*CKING PAPER. It is considered impolite by authors to reject a paper by falsely accusing it of doing THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what it does. Granted, some people have less of a way with words than others and are not exactly clear in their argumentation. But if you are illiterate, you owe it to the author to tell the editors when they solicit your review. It is O.K. – there are very successful remedial programs they can recommend. Don’t be ashamed.

Second, and related to the first, remember the stakes for the author. Let us consider this hypothetical scenario. In a safe estimate, an article in a really top journal will probably merit a 2-3 percent raise for the author. Say that is somewhere around $2,000. Given that salaries (except in the University of California System) tend to either stay the same or increase, for an author who has, say, 20 years left in his/her career, getting that article accepted is worth about $40,000 dollars. And that is conservative. So you owe it more than a quick scan while you are on the can. It might not be good, but make sure. Do your job or don’t accept the assignment in the first place. (Sorry, I don’t usually like scatological humor but I think this is literally the case sometimes.)

Third, the author gets to choose what he/she writes about. Not you. He/she is a big boy/girl. Do not reject papers because they should have been on a different topic, in your estimation. Find fault with the paper actually under review to justify your rejection.

Fourth, don’t be a b*tch. Articles should be rejected based on faulty theory or fatally flawed empirics, not a collection of little cuts. Bitchy grounds include but are not limited to – not citing you, using methods you do not understand but do not bother to learn, lack of generalizability when theory and empirics are otherwise sound. The bitchiness of reviews should be inversely related to the audacity and originality of the manuscript. People trying to do big, new things should be given more leeway to make their case than those reinventing the wheel.

Fifth, don’t be an a**hole. Keep your sarcasm to yourself. Someone worked very hard on this paper, even if he/she might not be very bright. Writing “What a surprise!”, facetiously, is a dick move. Rejections are painful enough. You don’t have to pour salt on the wound. Show some respect.

Sixth, remember that to say anything remotely interesting in 12,000 words is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. Therefore the reviewer needs to be sympathetic that the author might be able to fix certain problems when he/she is given more space to do so. Not including a counterargument from your 1986 journal article might not be a fatal oversight; it might have just been an economic decision. If you have other things that you would need to see to accept an otherwise interesting paper, the proper decision is an R&R, not a reject. Save these complaints for your reviews of full-length book manuscripts where they are more justifiable.

Seventh, you are not a film critic. Rejections must be accompanied by something with more intellectual merit than "the paper did not grab me" or "I do not consider this to be of sufficient importance to merit publication in a journal of this quality." This must be JUSTIFIED. You should explain your judgment, even if it is something to the effect of, "Micronesia is an extremely small place and its military reforms are not of much consequence to the fate of world politics." Even if it is that obvious, and it never is, you owe an explanation.

 

 

Jensen Comment
In some cases it's lucky to be a coauthor of a paper that's been rejected by six journals in succession. At that point stop submitting the paper for publication. Instead you and your coauthors should submit the paper various phony international conferences that accept virtually anything that's submitted because what the organizers really want is the $1,000 registration fee from from you and each of your coauthors. Chances are your coauthors will be the only ones attending your presentation session, and afterwards you can all travel about together as tourists. Each summer you can choose a different country such as Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, England, China, and on and on milking that useless cow you milk every year for another expense-paid vacation (your employer pays).

You laugh, but I have a close friend (an economics professor) who does this by submitting the same paper to a different conference every summer. He chooses the conference primarily on the basis of geography. His favorite country to visit is Germany every time he wants a new Mercedes. It really is cheaper to buy a new Mercedes in Germany than in the U.S.

You laugh, but I have an acquaintance who, with his wife, organizes such conferences because he makes a very comfortable living from the conference registration fees and gets wonderful free travel to romantic places every year. Some of you on the AECM may even recognize who I'm talking about.

But it's necessary to publish and well as go on junkets. What Professor Rathbun fails to mention that academics have protected themselves with a succession of journals of last resort that will publish any paper that the dog has not eaten. In some cases they charge by the page for publishing a paper, but in most cases a paper in this low hurdles race does not have top go to that extreme.

"A Plague of Journals," by Philip G. Altbach , Inside Higher Ed, January 15, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/plague-journals

Clever people have figured out that there is a growing demand for outlets for scholarly work, that there are too few journals or other channels to accommodate all the articles written, that new technology has created confusion as well as opportunities, and (finally) and somewhat concerning is that there is money to be made in the knowledge communication business. As a result, there has been a proliferation of new publishers offering new journals in every imaginable field. The established for-profit publishers have also been purchasing journals and creating new ones so that they “bundle” them and offer them at high prices to libraries through electronic subscriptions.

Scholars and scientists worldwide find themselves under increasing pressure to publish more, especially in English-language “internationally circulated” journals that are included in globally respected indices such as the Science Citation Index. As a result, journals that are part of these networks have been inundated by submissions and many journals accept as few as 10%.

Universities increasingly demand more publications as conditions for promotion, salary increases, or even job security. As a result, the large majority of submissions must seek alternative publication outlets. After all, being published somewhere is better than not be published at all. Many universities are satisfied with counting numbers of articles without regard to quality or impact, while others, mostly top-ranking, are obsessed with impact—creating increased stress for professors.

A variety of new providers have come into this new marketplace. Some scholarly organizations and universities have created new “open access” electronic journals that have decent peer-reviewing systems and the backing of respected scholars and scientists. Some of these publications have achieved a level of respectability and acceptance, while others are struggling.

Continued in article

Added Jensen Comment
Professors who are stuck at the associate professor level year-after-year just have not learned how to game the academic publishing racket.

Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTenure.htm
(with a reply about tenure publication point systems from Linda Kidwell)

Our Under Achieving Colleges ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Bok

February 28, 2012 reply from Linda Kidwell

Bob,

Some of your follow-on comments have merit, but I have to say the Rathbun commentary rings true to many of us in this profession. I've certainly been the recipient of every type of reviewer misbehavior cited and then some. While professors certainly do some shopping around for a home for their papers, that doesn't negate the unprofessional behavior on the part of some reviewers. I've seen comments that have no relation to the paper I've submitted, and I've had juvenile commentary by others. Perhaps part of the blame lies with editors. If they see a review like those desribed in the commentary, perhaps they should find another reviewer prepared to referee with a modicum of maturity. I've had a paper returned with a desk rejection after 18 months at TAR with a simple sentence, "Not of sufficient interest for our readership." That took 18 months?! I had another rejection that I can only call "Reject and Resubmit," where the comments were all manageable revisions, yet the paper was rejected with the encouragement to try again as a new submission. I considered that unethical on one of two fronts: either the new editor was trying to lower the acceptance rate or he wanted to increase submission fees.

On the other hand, I've also been blessed to have some great reviewers and editors read some of my papers and give me the kind of insight that helped me write a dramatically improved version. Similarly, I currently have a paper under review at a high quality journal where the editor had trouble finding the right reviewers but made a real effort to get it reviewed properly.

Linda

February 29, 2012 reply from Steve Kachelmeir

As a former TAR senior editor and a firm believer in the value of TAR, I always feel compelled to respond to these kinds of complaints. I am inferring (or at least hoping) that the anecdotes Linda shares are dated. I cannot imagine a submission sitting on the editor's desk for 18 months, followed by a desk rejection without even being sent out for review. Desk rejections in my experience took less than 18 days, certainly not 18 months. Indeed, the 2011 TAR Annual Report indicates that, for the period from 6/1/08 to 5/31/11, the very longest time from submission to decision was almost exactly five months. That was for a revision for which we could not locate a key reviewer for several weeks. After we eventually did (the reviewer was on extended leave during the summer), the report leaned favorable and I accepted the manuscript for publication. I do not know and cannot meaningfully comment on the turnaround statistics after 6/1/11 -- that will be in Harry Evans' first annual report to be published (most likely) in November 2012.

I happen to agree with LInda on the "Reject and Resubmit" (also known as "Reject/Revise") decision category that TAR used several years ago, which is why I discontinued that category back in 2008. Instead, starting in 2008, TAR started using an "uncertain" category when an editor wished to give an author an opportunity to respond and revise, but, at the same time, did not see any clear path to publication. We treated such cases as we would any revision invitation, but with the full disclosure of more outcome uncertainty than would be typical of an invitation to revise and resubmit. To be sure, on occasion we would get a submission on an interesting research question with good motivation, but with what appeared to be a fatal design flaw. Sometimes those cases resulted in the rare letter that rejected the manuscript under consideration due to the design flaw, while also encouraging the author to continue working in the area and considering TAR as a possible outlet for future efforts not subject to that flaw. We tried to restrict such letters to genuine cases of rejection with encouragement to undertake a new study, as opposed to a more ambiguous letter that half suggested rejection and half suggested revisoin. As stated, I think the old wording on former "reject-revise" letter was too ambiguous.

Thanks for raising your concerns. I will close by inviting Linda and all others interested in TAR to read and consider the comments and statistics in TAR's annual reports, published in the November issue of each TAR volume, starting in 2008. These reports offer much greater accountability, which I hope will help to address concerns such as those in Linda's anecdotes.

Best,

Steve Kachelmeier

February 29, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

I have two favorite examples of what I consider lousy/biased refereeing.

One is my own article (with Jean Heck) that was flatly rejected by TAR as being irrelevant and later on given a monetary prize by the Accounting Historians Journal --- “An Analysis of the Evolution of Research Contributions by The Accounting Review: 1926-2005,” (with Jean Heck), Accounting Historians Journal, Volume 34, No. 2, December 2007, pp. 109-142. I think the accountics referees of TAR found it irrelevant because it was critical of accountics researchers.

My second example is the following referee who rejected a submission from Dennis Beresford that appealed for accountics researchers to keep up with the scholarship of the profession of accounting (such as new financial accounting standards).

After he gave his AAA Annual Meeting luncheon speech, Denny submitted his speech for publication to Accounting Horizons. Referee A flatly rejected the Denny's submission for the following reasons:

The paper provides specific recommendations for things that accounting academics should be doing to make the accounting profession better. However (unless the author believes that academics' time is a free good) this would presumably take academics' time away from what they are currently doing. While following the author's advice might make the accounting profession better, what is being made worse? In other words, suppose I stop reading current academic research and start reading news about current developments in accounting standards. Who is made better off and who is made worse off by this reallocation of my time? Presumably my students are marginally better off, because I can tell them some new stuff in class about current accounting standards, and this might possibly have some limited benefit on their careers. But haven't I made my colleagues in my department worse off if they depend on me for research advice, and haven't I made my university worse off if its academic reputation suffers because I'm no longer considered a leading scholar? Why does making the accounting profession better take precedence over everything else an academic does with their time?

Referee A's rejection letter, Accounting Horizons, 2005

What riled me the most was the arrogance of Referee A. I read into it that, whereas mathematicians and econometricians are true "scholars," other accounting professors are little better than teachers of bookkeeping and fairy tales. This is the same arrogant attitude held by previous investment bankers trying to take advantage of Warren Buffet as their counterparties in derivatives or other financial transactions.

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

 

March 5, 2012 reply from Paul Williams

Dennis, Dan, et al.:
Right on! I have collected some files of disgraceful reviews that some of my colleagues and I have received from the so-called premier journals. The tragic part of it is that these long-deferred (it takes years to get a paper in print -- shows you how important the work really is) and demeaning, flippant reviews led to two of my colleagues leaving and changing career objectives. Their attitude was who needs this? Tony Puxty and Tony Tinker assembled reviewer comments on critiques of W&Z's market for excuses paper as a case study in how the review process contains a rather substantial element of political correctness. W&Z's paper was nonsense; I used it in my theory course at FSU as an illustration of bad scholarship, but the AAA thought it was so brilliant they awarded it a Notable Contribution to the Accounting Literature Award.

What Tony and Tony document is how people who attempted to demonstrate it was nonsense were prevented from doing so by the people who published the paper in the first place. The book is Policing Accounting Knowledge: The Market for Excuses Affair.

Paul


The Always-Popular Open Sharing Salmon Khan
"An Outsider Calls for a Teaching Revolution," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/An-Outsider-Calls-for-a/130923/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

In just a few short years, Salman Khan has built a free online educational institution from scratch that has nudged major universities to offer free self-guided courses and inspired many professors to change their teaching methods.

His creation is called Khan Academy, and its core is a library of thousands of 10-minute educational videos, most of them created by Mr. Khan himself. The format is simple but feels intimate: Mr. Khan's voice narrates as viewers watch him sketch out his thoughts on a digital whiteboard. He made the first videos for faraway cousins who asked for tutoring help. Encouraging feedback by others who watched the videos on YouTube led him to start the academy as a nonprofit.

More recently Mr. Khan has begun adding what amounts to a robot tutor to the site that can quiz visitors on their knowledge and point them to either remedial video lessons if they fail or more-advanced video lessons if they pass. The site issues badges and online "challenge patches" that students can put on their Web résumés.

He guesses that the demand for his service was one inspiration for his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to start MITx, its self-guided online courses that give students the option of taking automatically graded tests to earn a certificate.

Mr. Khan also works the speaking circuit, calling on professors to move away from a straight lecture model by assigning prerecorded lectures as homework and using class time for more interactive exercises, or by having students use self-paced computer systems like Khan Academy during class while professors are available to answer questions. "It has made universities—and I can cite examples of this—say, Why should we be giving 300-person lectures anymore?" he said in a recent interview with The Chronicle.

Mr. Khan, now 35, has no formal training in education, though he does have two undergraduate degrees and a master's from MIT, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard. He spent most of his career as a hedge-fund analyst. Mr. Khan also has the personal endorsement of Bill Gates, as well as major financial support from Mr. Gates's foundation. That outside-the-academy status makes some traditional academics cool on his project.

"Sometimes I get a little frustrated when people say, Oh, they're taking a Silicon Valley approach to education. I'm like, Yes, that's exactly right. Silicon Valley is where the most creativity, the most open-ended, the most pushing the envelope is happening," he says. "And Silicon Valley recognizes more than any part of the world that we're having trouble finding students capable of doing that."

 

Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/
This site lists the course categories (none for accounting)

2,300+ YouTube Free Educational Videos from Salman Khan
"Salman Khan: The Messiah of Math:  Can an ex-hedge fund guy and his nonprofit Khan Academy make American school kids competitive again?" by Bryant Urstadt, Business Week, May 19, 2011 ---
 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_22/b4230072816925.htm?link_position=link3

In August 2004, Salman Khan agreed to help his niece, Nadia, with her math homework. Nadia was headed into seventh grade in New Orleans, where Khan had grown up, but she hadn't been placed in her private school's advanced math track, which to a motivated parent these days is a little bit like hearing your child has just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. In particular, Nadia was having trouble with unit conversion, turning gallons into liters and ounces into grams.

Math was something Khan, then 28, understood. It was one of his majors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with computer science and electrical engineering. He had gone on to get a master's in computer science and electrical engineering, also at MIT, and then an MBA from Harvard. He was working in Boston at the time for Daniel Wohl, who ran a hedge fund called Wohl Capital Management. Khan, an analyst, was the only employee.

Being a bit of a geek, Khan put Yahoo!'s (YHOO) Messenger to work to help Nadia, using the Doodle function to let him illustrate concepts for his niece as they spoke on the phone. Then he wrote some code that generated problems she could do on a website. With Khan's help, Nadia made it into the fast track, and her younger brothers Arman and Ali signed on for Khan's tutoring as well. Then they brought in some of their friends. Khan built his site out a little more, grouping the concepts into "modules" and creating a database that would keep track of how many problems the kids had tried and how they had fared, so he'd know how each of his charges was progressing.

Messenger didn't make sense with multiple viewers, so he started creating videos that he could upload to YouTube. This required a Wacom tablet with an electronic pen, which cost about $80. The videos were each about 10 minutes long and contained two elements: his blackboard-style diagrams—Khan happens to be an excellent sketcher—and his voice-over explaining things like greatest common divisors and equivalent fractions. He posted the first video on Nov. 16, 2006; in it, he explained the basics of least common multiples. Soon other students, not all children, were checking out his videos, then watching them all, then sending him notes telling him that he had saved their math careers, too.

Less than five years later, Khan's sideline has turned into more than just his profession. He's now a quasi-religious figure in a country desperate for a math Moses. His free website, dubbed the Khan Academy, may well be the most popular educational site in the world. Last month about 2 million students visited. MIT's OpenCourseWare site, by comparison, has been around since 2001 and averages 1 million visits each month. He has posted more than 2,300 videos, beginning with simple addition and going all the way to subjects such as Green's theorem, normally found in a college calculus syllabus. He's adding videos on accounting, the credit crisis, the French Revolution, and the SAT and GMAT, among other things. He masters the subjects himself and then teaches them. As of the end of April, he claims to have served up more than 54 million individual lessons.

His program has also spread from the homes of online learners to classrooms around the world, to the point that, in at least a few classrooms, it has supplanted textbooks. (Students often write Khan that they aced a course without opening their texts, though Khan doesn't post these notes on his site.) Dan Meyer, a high school math teacher and Stanford University PhD candidate in education, puts it this way: "If you're teaching math in this country right now, then there's pretty much no way you haven't heard of Salman Khan."

Continued in article

"Video: Salman Khan @ Google 'Free World Class Virtual School(s)'," Simoleon Sense, March 28, 2011 ---
http://www.simoleonsense.com/video-salman-khan-google-free-world-class-virtual-schools/

Salman Khan is the founder and faculty of Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/ a not-for-profit educational organization. With the stated mission “of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”, the Academy supplies a free online collection of over 2,000 videos on mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and economics.

In late 2004, Khan began tutoring his cousin in mathematics using Yahoo!’s Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutorial, he decided it would be more practical to distribute the tutorials on YouTube. Their popularity there and the testimonials of appreciative students prompted Khan to quit his job in finance in 2009 and focus on the Academy full-time.

Khan Academy’s channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy has 45+ million views so far and it’s one of YouTube’s most successful academic partners.

In September 2010, Google announced they would be providing the Khan Academy with $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages, as part of Project 10^100, http://www.project10tothe100.com/.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing tutorials and videos ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Five Free Courses from Stanford Start This Month --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/5_free_courses_from_stanford_start_this_month.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Stanford’s big open course initiative keeps rolling along. On March 12, three new courses will get underway:

Then, starting on March 19, two more will take flight:

The courses generally feature interactive video clips; short quizzes that provide instant feedback; the ability to pose high value questions to Stanford instructors; feedback on your overall performance in the class; and a statement of accomplishment at the end of the course.

And, yes, the courses are free and now open for enrollment.

As always, don’t miss our big list of 425 Free Online Courses. It may just be the single most awesome page on the web.

Story via Stanford University News. Algorithm image courtesy of BigStock.

Bob Jensen's threads on the MITx Certificates and other free courses, lectures, and learning materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


LMS = Learning Management System --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_management_system
CMS = Course Management System = LMS
History of LMS/CMS --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

MOOC = Massively Open Online Course --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooc
MOOCs from Prestigious Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
 

"An LMS for Elite MOOCs?" by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/03/07/more-stanford-professors-stage-their-free-online-courses-profit 

Google artificial-intelligence guru Sebastian Thrun made a splash last month when he left Stanford University to start a company based on an A.I. course he made freely available last fall to tens of thousands of students on the Web. Now, two of Thrun's former Stanford colleagues who conducted similar experiments have spun off their own free online courses into a for-profit venture.

The engineering professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, who also ran free online versions of their Stanford courses last fall, have started Coursera, a company that says it wants to make "the best education in the world freely available to any person who seeks it."

The company currently serves as a platform for eight courses, centering on computer science with some math, economics and linguistics. Five are taught by Stanford professors, two by professors at the University of California at Berkeley and one by a University of Michigan professor. All of the courses are currently listed as free of charge. None will count as credit toward a degree at any of the professors' home universities.

Koller and Ng were not immediately available to elaborate on Coursera's business model, but the
terms of use on the company's website suggest that it plans to trade in information. The terms stipulate that Coursera may use "non-personal" information it collects from users "for business purposes." They also indicate that Coursera may share personal information with its "business partners" so that registered students might "receive communications from such parties that [students] have opted in to."

Stanford appears to be collaborating closely with the professors who are teaching courses through Coursera. To help brainstorm improvements to the quality of these massively open online courses (known as MOOCs), the university is assembling a "multidisciplinary faculty committee on educational technology that will include deans of three schools, the university provost's office and faculty or senior administrators from across campus," according to the
Stanford News Service.

Stanford is not the only elite university to focus faculty and administrative brainpower on the question of how to create inexpensive versions of its courses available to massive online audiences without sacrificing quality. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently opened MITx, a subsidiary nonprofit aimed at providing top-flight interactive courses online at a "modest" price. The MITx project is actively drawing on the creativity and expertise of the M.I.T. computer science faculty, with involvement from the university's provost.

The founders of Coursera may be counting on this trend to continue. A January job posting for part-time work developing, designing and programming for the company (referred to in the posting as Dkandu, apparently a working title at the time) suggests that it has ambitions of being the preferred partner for elite universities that want to take their courses online in a big way.

"We see a future where world-leading educators are at the center of the education conversation, and their reach is limitless, bounded only by the curiosity of those who seek their knowledge; where universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Yale serve millions instead of thousands," the author of the posting. "In this future, ours will be the platform where the online conversation between educators and students will take place, and where students go to for most of their academic needs."

More than 335,000 people have registered for the five Stanford-provided courses in the Coursera catalog, which comprise courses in natural language processing, game theory, probabilistic graphic models, cryptography and design and analysis of algorithms. The three non-Stanford courses are in model thinking (Michigan), software as a service and computer vision (Berkeley).

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology and distance learning ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 


Phony Education and Training Search Sites

These phony education search programs sponsored by for-profit universities are getting a bit more sophisticated by salting a very few not-for-profit programs to make you think they are legitimate education and training search programs. But in reality they are still phony for-profit university search sites.

For example, I read in my old zip code 78212 into the search site http://lpntobsnonline.org/ 

Sure enough, up pops the University of Phoenix and other for-profit university alternatives. No mention is made of San Antonio's massive University of Texas Health Science Nursing Alternative and other non-for-profit nursing education alternatives in the area.


Boo/poo on this http://lpntobsnonline.org/  site!

Sometimes there's useful information on phony distance education promotion sites for for-profit universities
The supposed 100 Best Blogs for Economics Students ---
http://www.onlineuniversities-weblog.com/50226711/100-best-blogs-for-econ-students.php

For-profit universities provide some free Website services in an effort to lure people into signing up for for-profit programs without ever mentioning that in most instances the students would be better off in more prestigious non-profit universities such as state-supported universities with great online programs and extension services.

I'm bombarded with messages like the following one from ---
http://www.paralegal.net/ 

Then go to the orange box at http://www.paralegal.net/more/ 
If you feed in the data that you're interested in a bachelor's degree in business with an accounting concentration, the only choices given are for-profit universities. No mention is made of better programs at the Universities of Wisconsin, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc.

I've stopped linking to the many for-profit university promotional sites because they are so misleading.
My threads on distance education alternatives are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm 

One way for these so-called distance education search engines to become more legitimate would be to add top not-for-profit distance education programs to their search engine databases.

"'U.S. News' Sizes Up Online-Degree Programs, Without Specifying Which Is No. 1," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/US-News-Sizes-Up/130274/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

U.S. News & World Report has published its first-ever guide to online degree programs—but distance-education leaders looking to trumpet their high rankings may find it more difficult to brag about how they placed than do their colleagues at residential institutions.

Unlike the magazine's annual rankings of residential colleges, which cause consternation among many administrators for reducing the value of each program into a single headline-friendly number, the new guide does not provide lists based on overall program quality; no university can claim it hosts the top online bachelor's or online master's program. Instead, U.S. News produced "honor rolls" highlighting colleges that consistently performed well across the ranking criteria.

Eric Brooks, a U.S. News data research analyst, said the breakdown of the rankings into several categories was intentional; his team chose its categories based on areas with enough responses to make fair comparisons.

"We're only ranking things that we felt the response rates justified ranking this year," he said.

The rankings, which will be published today, represent a new chapter in the 28-year history of the U.S. News guide. The expansion was brought on by the rapid growth of online learning. More than six million students are now taking at least one course online, according to a recent survey of more than 2,500 academic leaders by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board.

U.S. News ranked colleges with bachelor's programs according to their performance in three categories: student services, student engagement, and faculty credentials. For programs at the master's level, U.S. News added a fourth category, admissions selectivity, to produce rankings of five different disciplines: business, nursing, education, engineering, and computer information technology.

To ensure that the inaugural rankings were reliable, Mr. Brooks said, U.S. News developed its ranking methodology after the survey data was collected. Doing so, he said, allowed researchers to be fair to institutions that interpreted questions differently.

Some distance-learning experts criticized that technique, however, arguing that the methodology should have been established before surveys were distributed.

Russell Poulin, deputy director of research and analysis for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, which promotes online education as part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, said that approach allowed U.S. News to ask the wrong questions, resulting in an incomplete picture of distance-learning programs.

"It sort of makes me feel like I don't know who won the baseball game, but I'll give you the batting average and the number of steals and I'll tell you who won," he said. Mr. Poulin and other critics said any useful rankings of online programs should include information on outcomes like retention rates, employment prospects, and debt load—statistics, Mr. Brooks said, that few universities provided for this first edition of the U.S. News rankings. He noted that the surveys will evolve in future years as U.S. News learns to better tailor its questions to the unique characteristics of online programs.

W. Andrew McCollough, associate provost for information technology, e-learning, and distance education at the University of Florida, said he was "delighted" to discover that his institution's bachelor's program was among the four chosen for honor-roll inclusion. He noted that U.S. News would have to customize its questions in the future, since he found some of them didn't apply to online programs. He attributed that mismatch to the wide age distribution and other diverse demographic characteristics of the online student body.

The homogeneity that exists in many residential programs "just doesn't exist in the distance-learning environment," he said. Despite the survey's flaws, Mr. McCollough said, the effort to add to the body of information about online programs is helpful for prospective students.

Turnout for the surveys varied, from a 50 percent response rate among nursing programs to a 75 percent response rate among engineering programs. At for-profit institutions—which sometimes have a reputation for guarding their data closely—cooperation was mixed, said Mr. Brooks. Some, like the American Public University System, chose to participate. But Kaplan University, one of the largest providers of online education, decided to wait until the first rankings were published before deciding whether to join in, a spokesperson for the institution said.

Though this year's rankings do not make definitive statements about program quality, Mr. Brooks said the research team was cautious for a reason and hopes the new guide can help students make informed decisions about the quality of online degrees.

"We'd rather not produce something in its first year that's headline-grabbing for the wrong reasons," he said.


'Honor Roll' From 'U.S. News' of Online Graduate Programs in Business

Institution Teaching Practices and Student Engagement Student Services and Technology Faculty Credentials and Training Admissions Selectivity
Arizona State U., W.P. Carey School of Business 24 32 37 11
Arkansas State U. 9 21 1 36
Brandman U. (Part of the Chapman U. system) 40 24 29 n/a
Central Michigan U. 11 3 56 9
Clarkson U. 4 24 2 23
Florida Institute of Technology 43 16 23 n/a
Gardner-Webb U. 27 1 15 n/a
George Washington U. 20 9 7 n/a
Indiana U. at Bloomington, Kelley School of Business 29 19 40 3
Marist College 67 23 6 5
Quinnipiac U. 6 4 13 16
Temple U., Fox School of Business 39 8 17 34
U. of Houston-Clear Lake 8 21 18 n/a
U. of Mississippi 37 44 20 n/a

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Jensen Comment
I don't know why the largest for-profit universities that generally provide more online degrees than the above universities combined are not included in the final outcomes. For example, the University of Phoenix alone as has over 600,000 students, most of whom are taking some or all online courses.

My guess is that most for-profit universities are not forthcoming with the data requested by US News analysts. Note that the US News condition that the set of online programs to be considered be regionally accredited does not exclude many for-profit universities. For example, enter in such for-profit names as "University of Phoenix" or "Capella University" in the "College Search" box at
http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-phoenix-20988
These universities are included in the set of eligible regionally accredited online degree programs to be evaluated. They just did not do well in the above "Honor Roll" of outcomes for online degree programs.

For-profit universities may have shot themselves in the foot by not providing the evaluation data to US News for online degree program evaluation. But there may b e reasons for this. For example, one of the big failings of most for-profit online degree programs is in undergraduate "Admissions Selectivity."

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education training and education alternatives are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit universities operating in the gray zone of fraud ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

 


Watch the Video of Bradley Wheeler, CIO at Indiana University
"A Business Professor Turned CIO Practices What He Teaches," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Business-Professor-Turned/130913/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Apple is revered in business circles for its tough bargaining with suppliers to keep down production costs on its popular iPhones and computers. Colleges should emulate that aggressive stance when buying their technology, argues Bradley C. Wheeler, chief information officer at Indiana University at Bloomington.

Mr. Wheeler has spent most of his career as a business professor, and he is applying the same lessons he teaches his executive-MBA students to managing the university's technology.

Lately, that has meant getting involved in a subject not usually handled by CIO's: textbooks.

The administrator has led a pilot effort at Indiana to broker a deal with publishers that greatly lowers the per-book cost in exchange for a guarantee that every student will buy the e-textbooks they are assigned (by instituting a course-materials fee). Other universities are following Indiana's lead.

In recent talks, he compares managing college technology to a chess match, with colleges on one side and tech companies on the other. "It is very collective," he says, and colleges need to work together and look ahead several moves to try to picture what tomorrow's technology and needs might be.

Collaboration has been his game plan for years. He has led or participated in several efforts by colleges to build their own open-source alternatives to commercial education software. The largest are Sakai for virtual classrooms and Kuali for administrative functions.

The 47-year-old was raised on a farm in a "one-flashing-light, peanut town" of 1,200 people in Oklahoma. His family also owned a local car dealership, and he learned to help out in all areas of the business.

In that small-town environment, he says he learned that "no one's disposable—you have to make the relationships work over time."

"Some people say I'm anticorporate, but nothing can be further from the truth," he adds. "I just believe the buyer side has to be organized and work as well as the seller side."

Continued in article
Watch the Video

 

Issues in Computing a College's Cost of Degrees Awarded and "Worth" of Professors ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"SpiderOak Step by Step," by Natalie Houston, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 28, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/spideroak-step-by-step/38776?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

At ProfHacker, we write a lot about backing up your files, because it’s one of the simplest things you can do to make some future day easier (and possibly prevent months or years of work from being lost). With cloud-based backup solutions, backups are easy to set up and automate. Six or seven years ago, whenever I heard a story about someone experiencing a hard drive crash, it was a tale of stress and woe. It seems telling to me that within the last month, I’ve spoken to two people who had hard drives fail but who were completely untroubled (except for the expense or time lost in replacing the drive), because they had automated cloud backups in place and knew that all of their files were safe.

I’ve been using SpiderOak as my primary cloud based backup solution for over a year and am very pleased with the level of security that they offer, as well as the many options built into their service. SpiderOak not only gives me automated, nearly-instantaneous backups of my files, but also lets me synchronize files and folders across multiple computers.  I routinely work on three different computers, with some general differences as to the type of work I do on each. For instance, I write teaching notes almost exclusively at my desktop computer at the university. But I might work on some projects on multiple machines. With SpiderOak’s file synchronization, for example, when I’m writing a conference paper, I know that I’ll be looking at same set of notes on both my laptop and my desktop computers.  No matter where I am, even on someone else’s computer, I can access any of my files that have been backed up and download them from the SpiderOak service.

In explaining SpiderOak to friends and colleagues over the past year, I’ve realized that
if you’re new to online backup, some of the terms and options available can be a bit confusing. So the following guide is meant to help you get started using SpiderOak, should you be interested in giving it a try. Of course, SpiderOak’s website also offers
video tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions.

Getting Started

First, you create an account at SpiderOak’s website. The most important thing to realize here is that: you and only you will have knowledge of the account password you create.  SpiderOak does not keep a record of it, which is known as a zero-knowledge policy. A basic free account will store 2 GB of data. Users who sign up with an email address in an .edu domain can receive a discount on paid plans.

Download the SpiderOak software for your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Once installed, it will ask you to log in with your account credentials.

Select What to Backup

From the Back Up tab in the software, you can select which folders you want to have SpiderOak back up. You can either select specific folders from the directory tree in the right-hand pane, or just choose types of files (documents, photographs, etc) from the left-hand pane.

Continue for step-by-step instructions

Bob Jensen's threads on archiving and backup ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#archiving


Question
Have traditional universities been lax about adopting some of the better (needed) innovations of for-profit universities?

"For-Profit Lessons for All," by Ben Wildavsky, Inside Higher Ed, March 1, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/03/01/essay-what-nonprofit-higher-ed-can-learn-profit-sector

Jensen Comment
Perhaps the above article overlooked some traditional universities that have innovated along such lines.

"'U.S. News' Sizes Up Online-Degree Programs, Without Specifying Which Is No. 1," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/US-News-Sizes-Up/130274/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

U.S. News & World Report has published its first-ever guide to online degree programs—but distance-education leaders looking to trumpet their high rankings may find it more difficult to brag about how they placed than do their colleagues at residential institutions.

Unlike the magazine's annual rankings of residential colleges, which cause consternation among many administrators for reducing the value of each program into a single headline-friendly number, the new guide does not provide lists based on overall program quality; no university can claim it hosts the top online bachelor's or online master's program. Instead, U.S. News produced "honor rolls" highlighting colleges that consistently performed well across the ranking criteria.

Eric Brooks, a U.S. News data research analyst, said the breakdown of the rankings into several categories was intentional; his team chose its categories based on areas with enough responses to make fair comparisons.

"We're only ranking things that we felt the response rates justified ranking this year," he said.

The rankings, which will be published today, represent a new chapter in the 28-year history of the U.S. News guide. The expansion was brought on by the rapid growth of online learning. More than six million students are now taking at least one course online, according to a recent survey of more than 2,500 academic leaders by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board.

U.S. News ranked colleges with bachelor's programs according to their performance in three categories: student services, student engagement, and faculty credentials. For programs at the master's level, U.S. News added a fourth category, admissions selectivity, to produce rankings of five different disciplines: business, nursing, education, engineering, and computer information technology.

To ensure that the inaugural rankings were reliable, Mr. Brooks said, U.S. News developed its ranking methodology after the survey data was collected. Doing so, he said, allowed researchers to be fair to institutions that interpreted questions differently.

Some distance-learning experts criticized that technique, however, arguing that the methodology should have been established before surveys were distributed.

Russell Poulin, deputy director of research and analysis for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, which promotes online education as part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, said that approach allowed U.S. News to ask the wrong questions, resulting in an incomplete picture of distance-learning programs.

"It sort of makes me feel like I don't know who won the baseball game, but I'll give you the batting average and the number of steals and I'll tell you who won," he said. Mr. Poulin and other critics said any useful rankings of online programs should include information on outcomes like retention rates, employment prospects, and debt load—statistics, Mr. Brooks said, that few universities provided for this first edition of the U.S. News rankings. He noted that the surveys will evolve in future years as U.S. News learns to better tailor its questions to the unique characteristics of online programs.

W. Andrew McCollough, associate provost for information technology, e-learning, and distance education at the University of Florida, said he was "delighted" to discover that his institution's bachelor's program was among the four chosen for honor-roll inclusion. He noted that U.S. News would have to customize its questions in the future, since he found some of them didn't apply to online programs. He attributed that mismatch to the wide age distribution and other diverse demographic characteristics of the online student body.

The homogeneity that exists in many residential programs "just doesn't exist in the distance-learning environment," he said. Despite the survey's flaws, Mr. McCollough said, the effort to add to the body of information about online programs is helpful for prospective students.

Turnout for the surveys varied, from a 50 percent response rate among nursing programs to a 75 percent response rate among engineering programs. At for-profit institutions—which sometimes have a reputation for guarding their data closely—cooperation was mixed, said Mr. Brooks. Some, like the American Public University System, chose to participate. But Kaplan University, one of the largest providers of online education, decided to wait until the first rankings were published before deciding whether to join in, a spokesperson for the institution said.

Though this year's rankings do not make definitive statements about program quality, Mr. Brooks said the research team was cautious for a reason and hopes the new guide can help students make informed decisions about the quality of online degrees.

"We'd rather not produce something in its first year that's headline-grabbing for the wrong reasons," he said.


'Honor Roll' From 'U.S. News' of Online Graduate Programs in Business

Institution Teaching Practices and Student Engagement Student Services and Technology Faculty Credentials and Training Admissions Selectivity
Arizona State U., W.P. Carey School of Business 24 32 37 11
Arkansas State U. 9 21 1 36
Brandman U. (Part of the Chapman U. system) 40 24 29 n/a
Central Michigan U. 11 3 56 9
Clarkson U. 4 24 2 23
Florida Institute of Technology 43 16 23 n/a
Gardner-Webb U. 27 1 15 n/a
George Washington U. 20 9 7 n/a
Indiana U. at Bloomington, Kelley School of Business 29 19 40 3
Marist College 67 23 6 5
Quinnipiac U. 6 4 13 16
Temple U., Fox School of Business 39 8 17 34
U. of Houston-Clear Lake 8 21 18 n/a
U. of Mississippi 37 44 20 n/a

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Jensen Comment
I don't know why the largest for-profit universities that generally provide more online degrees than the above universities combined are not included in the final outcomes. For example, the University of Phoenix alone as has over 600,000 students, most of whom are taking some or all online courses.

My guess is that most for-profit universities are not forthcoming with the data requested by US News analysts. Note that the US News condition that the set of online programs to be considered be regionally accredited does not exclude many for-profit universities. For example, enter in such for-profit names as "University of Phoenix" or "Capella University" in the "College Search" box at
http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-phoenix-20988
These universities are included in the set of eligible regionally accredited online degree programs to be evaluated. They just did not do well in the above "Honor Roll" of outcomes for online degree programs.

For-profit universities may have shot themselves in the foot by not providing the evaluation data to US News for online degree program evaluation. But there may b e reasons for this. For example, one of the big failings of most for-profit online degree programs is in undergraduate "Admissions Selectivity."

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education training and education alternatives are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

 

Bob Jensen's threads about for-profit universities operating in the gray zone of fraud ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud


Question
What United States president was the first president to successfully enact the income tax?

Answer
"Brief History of the Income Tax," by Paul Caron, Tax Prof Blog, February 28, 2012 ---
http://taxprof.typepad.com/

Income Tax in the United States --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States


R. Allen Stanford --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Stanford

"R. Allen Stanford Guilty in Ponzi Scheme," by Daniel Gilbert and Tom Fowler, The Wall Stre3et Journal, March 6, 2012 --- Click Here
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203458604577265490160937460.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

After a criminal case that dragged on for nearly three years, a jury of eight men and four women on Tuesday convicted Mr. Stanford on 13 of the 14 charges brought by prosecutors, including fraud, obstructing investigators and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The verdict is a victory for the U.S. government, which targeted the chairman of Stanford Financial Group as part of a crackdown on white-collar crime following the financial crisis.

He faces a maximum of 230 years in prison. Mr. Stanford's attorneys, while still under a court order to not discuss the case, told reporters they would appeal but didn't specify on what grounds. Prosecutors declined to comment.

Robert Khuzami, enforcement director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said in a statement, "Today's guilty verdicts send a resounding message that those who violate the law and obstruct SEC investigations will be held accountable. We applaud the skill and tenacity of the prosecutors handling the case."

The verdict, coming on the fourth full day of deliberations after a monthlong trial, marks a remarkable downfall for Mr. Stanford, 61 years old, who rose from owning a gym in Texas to becoming a billionaire knighted in Antigua. As the verdict was read, Mr. Stanford, wearing a dark suit and open-necked shirt, turned to family members sitting in the courtroom and appeared to mouth the words, "It's OK." [stanford1] Reuters

2012: Stanford enters a Houston court Tuesday.

On Monday, the judge ordered jurors to continue deliberating after they said they couldn't reach a unanimous verdict on all 14 criminal counts.

Prosecutors estimated Mr. Stanford's $7.1 billion fraud was among the largest in history, but it was overshadowed by an even greater financial crime: the $17.3 billion Ponzi scheme orchestrated by financier Bernard Madoff, who pleaded guilty in 2009.

The end of Mr. Stanford's criminal case could allow investors to attempt to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from his accounts and the assets of Stanford Financial Group. A judge has placed on hold the civil suit brought against him by the SEC while the criminal case is pending. An appeal of the verdict, however, may delay investors' recovery efforts.

Cassie Wilkinson, a Stanford Financial investor, said she was "relieved, happy and sad," about the verdict. "I feel sorry for his family, for his mother," she said, referring to Sammie Stanford, the 81-year-old who has been in the courtroom every day since deliberations began. "It's a tragic loss for so many families, for tens of thousands of investors."

After the verdict, jurors began to hear the case on the Justice Department's efforts to seize funds in bank accounts controlled by Mr. Stanford, estimated to hold more than $300 million. The SEC, in a separate civil action, could ask a judge for permission to move forward with its case if it believes there are additional assets to recover.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Ponzi fraud ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#Ponzi


Question
Barbara wants to know how to deal with "you" when it's part of a compound subject or the compound object of a preposition.
Should she say, "You and John are invited to the party" or "John and you are invited to the party"?

Answer
Barbara should say, "You and John are invited" because all pronouns (except "I" and "me") normally come before the noun in compounds:

"Ordering Your Pronouns," Grammar Girl, February 17, 2012 ---
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/does-you-come-first-or-last.aspx?WT.mc_id=0

Jensen Comment
I added the above to the AAA Commons Writing Forum at
http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/c5fdcaace5

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries


A Professor Asks Former Students to Pump Up His RateMyProfessor Scores
"UNC Law Prof Sends a ‘Rather Embarrassing’ Request, Asks Former Students to Help His Online Rating," by Christopher Danzig, Above the Law, February 23, 2012 ---
http://abovethelaw.com/2012/02/unc-law-prof-sends-a-rather-embarrassing-request-asks-former-students-to-help-his-online-rating/ 

With the proliferation of online rating sites, an aggrieved consumer of pretty much anything has a surprising range of avenues to express his or her discontent.

Whether you have a complaint about your neighborhood coffee shop or an allegedly unfaithful ex-boyfriend, the average Joe has a surprising amount of power through these sites.

Rating sites apparently even have the power to bring a well-known UNC Law professor to his electronic knees.

It’s not every day that a torts professor sends his former students a “rather embarrassing request” to repair his online reputation. It’s also certainly not every day that the students respond en masse….

On Tuesday, Professor Michael Corrado sent the following email to 2Ls who took his torts class last year, basically pleading for their help (the entire email is reprinted on the next page):

Continued in article

RateMyProfessor Site ---
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/

The Number One Scandal in Higher Education is Grade Inflation
And RateMyProfessor is one of the main causes of grade inflation
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#RateMyProfessor


"What Google+ (Google Plus) Should Have Been: Bing's Linked Pages," by Jon Mitchell, ReadWriteWeb, February 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/what_google_should_have_been_bings_linked_pages.php

Here's one we missed. Bing launched Bing+ last week, it just skipped all the unnecessary stuff. (It's not really called Bing+.) There's a new feature called Linked Pages that allows Bing users (U.S. only, for now) to connect their various websites and profiles to their Bing identities, using Facebook for authentication. You can also link your Facebook friends to their pages.

Thanks to its relationship with Facebook, Microsoft has the advantage of not needing to build its own identity provider or social network. Everyone's already on Facebook. To build good results for people, Bing will use the same technique Facebook Groups use: get friends to draw their own graph. Just like with Facebook Groups, if a friend connects you to something you don't want, you can remove it permanently. We all thought that feature would suck for Groups, but it worked just fine. Facebook Groups build themselves, and Bing can build identities the same way.

Social Network Overkill

The interesting thing is, this is exactly what Google+ is for, but the product isn't being pitched that way. Google's social layer is all about establishing the Google-presence for people and brands, so they can appear across Google-land, especially in Search, plus Your World. But Google+ is spun as a place for "sharing." It has all these pieces of a social network, but people aren't using them.

It's a shame, because some of these features are absolutely wonderful. What could be more social than Hangouts? Google+ is full of great ideas, but it is struggling to bring them together. The user experience isn't there. And that's all because Google felt the need to build a full-blown social network itself in order to act as an identity service.

Couldn't Hangouts have just been a Gmail feature?

Social Search Is All We Needed

There's no need for a new social network, but there is a reason to put personal identities in search. Searching for people has always been a terrible experience. It's nearly impossible to find the person you're looking for, unless they're famous. Search engines need an identity layer.

Bing is just being honest about that. If you want to control the way you appear in search, you can connect the sites and pages that matter to you via Facebook. Your friends can do it, too. When you use Bing to search for people, now you'll be able to find the content that's related to them. That's what Search, plus Your World does for Google, but Bing does it without requiring this new, extra place to waste time online.

Google could have done that. The Google+ profile works exactly the way Bing's Linked Pages does, allowing users to link their outside sites and pages to themselves. It could have just made a Facebook app, and boom, there are your social search results. But that's not how the business works. Google and Facebook can't cooperate. They have to compete for eyeballs around social content, and Facebook is winning.

Google Plus --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Plus

"Google+ Comes Up Short," by Joshua Ganz, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 7, 2011 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/google_comes_up_short.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

What problem does Google+ solve for consumers? The answer appears to be: nothing. And, therefore, it solves nothing for Google either.

As with many of these social launches — an exception being the ill-fated Google Buzz — the launch of Google+ was limited. Like Gmail and Google Wave, Google relied on invites to scale initial users and work out issues before a wider launch. I, somehow, managed to score access to Google+ from Day One of its recent launch, and I'm here to report on it. (I should note that opinions vary.)

What I found upon signing up was a routine to search my Google contacts and allocate people to Circles. The idea is that should any of them sign up to Google+ I could neatly organize my friends according to whatever category I thought best fit them. I could also find anyone currently on Google+ and choose to follow them. Ironically, I chose to follow Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook, but I also followed Google's founders. The latter seem to participate regularly and lots of people comment on their activities. The former, unsurprisingly, not so much (although Zuckerberg seems to be the most followed person on the network).

I then spent a little time filling in my profile (you can view it here). You can even follow my Google Buzz feed from there, a legacy of automatic reposting of my tweets and shared Google Reader links.

Having done lots of set-up, I waited to see what happened. The answer to that was: not much. For Google+ to work, it has to be populated. Specifically, it has to be populated with people the user is interested in. As it is early days, that crucial feature isn't there.

This (lack of) network effect could do Google+ in if it can't get a virtuous cycle going. So the question is whether Google+ has the potential to attract a large enough network.

The reasoning why Google itself might desperately want this to work out is clear. Facebook and Twitter are grabbing attention and Google is in the business of getting attention and on-selling it to advertisers. Add to that the fact that the type of attention that comes from users providing content and demonstrating their interest by commenting and subscribing to things, and Google+ (were it to work) could yield important information that helps advertisers target consumers better.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I've previously written about why I think Bing Maps is superior to Google Maps. Sometimes (horrors) Microsoft really does do a better job when it comes late onto the scene ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Travel

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

 


"Law Deans in Jail," by Morgan Cloud and George B. Shepherd. SSRN, February 24, 2012 ---
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1990746

Abstract:
A most unlikely collection of suspects - law schools, their deans, U.S. News & World Report and its employees - may have committed felonies by publishing false information as part of U.S. News' ranking of law schools. The possible federal felonies include mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, racketeering, and making false statements. Employees of law schools and U.S. News who committed these crimes can be punished as individuals, and under federal law the schools and U.S. News would likely be criminally liable for their agents' crimes.

Some law schools and their deans submitted false information about the schools' expenditures and their students' undergraduate grades and LSAT scores. Others submitted information that may have been literally true but was misleading. Examples include misleading statistics about recent graduates' employment rates and students' undergraduate grades and LSAT scores.

U.S. News itself may have committed mail and wire fraud. It has republished, and sold for profit, data submitted by law schools without verifying the data's accuracy, despite being aware that at least some schools were submitting false and misleading data. U.S. News refused to correct incorrect data and rankings errors and continued to sell that information even after individual schools confessed that they had submitted false information. In addition, U.S. News marketed its surveys and rankings as valid although they were riddled with fundamental methodological errors.

Bob Jensen's threads on media rankings of colleges and universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

 

"The Law School System Is Broken," National Jurist, February 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.nxtbook.com/splash/nationaljurist/nationaljurist.php?nxturl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nxtbook.com%2Fnxtbooks%2Fcypress%2Fnationaljurist0212%2Findex.php#/18/OnePage
Thank you Paul Caron for the heads up

It's a troubling trend. The total amount of debt that has been used to pay for legal education has risen to $3.6 billion, up from less than $2 billion just ten years prior. And if the current trends continue, that figure could reach $7 billion by 2020.

It's not a problem that has gone unnoticed. Legal education observers are worried, recent graduates are frantic and law schools are looking at their options. ...

[T]here is no easy or simple answer to the problem. ... The reason for the debt is easier to understand: law school tuition continues to outpace inflation. It increased by 74% from 1998 to 2008.

Why does tuition continue to grow? Most agree it is related to the number of law professors walking around law school campuses nowadays. Faculty salaries make up a majority of a law school's budget. And law schools increased their faculty size by 40% from 1998 to 2008, according to a National Jurist report. That meant almost 5,000 law professors were added in 10 years, with the average student-to-faculty ratio dropping from 18.5-to-1 in 1998 to 14.9-to-1.

And why did law schools expand their faculties so rapidly? Law has become more complex and specialized. Law schools today offer far more course than ever before, and specializations. But critics point out that the race to do better in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings has also fueled the growth.

Turkey Times for Overstuffed Law Schools ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#OverstuffedLawSchools


Here's an opportunity for you to be creative as a liberal or conservative, get a prestigious publication, and win a prize from Harvard.

"Reimagining Capitalism." by Polly LaBarre, Harvard Business Review Blog, February 27, 2012 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/02/reimagining_capitalism.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

Jensen Comment
The comments following this article range across the entire spectrum of reactions we've seen for years about social responsibility accounting for business. Milton Friedman, of course, argued that the only responsibility of business is to obey the letter and spirit of the law without losing sight of the main goal of profit maximization.  Friedman argued that it's not the responsibility of business firms to make externality resource allocation decisions best left to government. This is reflected in the comment of Kozarms.

The concepts herein are very disturbing. This strikes me as socialism, and a socialist mentality. "How do we build the consideration of social return into every conversation and every decision at every level in the organization?" That's easy - see any communist country, and ask yourself if those are great societies full of innovation despite their professions of acting for the common good. Who decides what is a good social return - everyone all at once? The government? And: "inspire sacrifice, stimulate innovation" - why would an innovator also being willing to contribute his/her work as a sacrifice to the masses? The problems attributed in this article to capitalism are problems are not related to capitalism at all, but are problems of the mixed up ideaology of this mixed economy. We need to return to the correct ideas about what capitalism really means, not an ideaology where the true innovators/leaders first ask permission from the masses.

Ian Ford-Terry replies:

Have you talked to Howard Bloom at all? His "Genius of the Beast: A Radical Revision of Capitalism" laid out some very similar concepts in 2009...

Jensen Added Comment
The supposed refutation of Friedman rests mainly on the idea of long-term versus short-term profitability. This refutation proceeds along the lines that short-term profit maximization may become self-defeating if constrains or destroys the long-term profitability. For example, a company that strips the tops off mountains in West Virginia to get at cheap coal (which is now technically feasible and a controversial proposal) might maximize short-term profits but destroy long-term profitability as such monumental degradation of the earth triggers massive lawsuits for the destruction of human health (e.g. leaching of heavy metals into water supplies), destruction of tourism, and the putting off of research for alternative energy alternatives.

However, the long-term versus short-term "refutation" of Friedman is not legitimate since, in my viewpoint, Friedman was more interested in the long-term profitability and is falsely accused of being too short-term minded. I don't really think Milton Friedman would've advocated mountain top removal mining for the sake of short-term profits and then declaring bankruptcy before the environmental lawsuits commence.

Mountain Top Removal Mining --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountaintop_removal_mining

Critics contend that MTR is a destructive and unsustainable practice that benefits a small number of corporations at the expense of local communities and the environment. Though the main issue has been over the physical alteration of the landscape, opponents to the practice have also criticized MTR for the damage done to the environment by massive transport trucks, and the environmental damage done by the burning of coal for power. Blasting at MTR sites also expels dust and fly-rock into the air, which can disturb or settle onto private property nearby. This dust may contain sulfur compounds, which corrodes structures and is a health hazard.

A January 2010 report in the journal Science reviews current peer-reviewed studies and water quality data and explores the consequences of mountaintop mining. It concludes that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts that mitigation practices cannot successfully address.[7] For example, the extensive tracts of deciduous forests destroyed by mountaintop mining support several endangered species and some of the highest biodiversity in North America. There is a particular problem with burial of headwater streams by valley fills which causes permanent loss of ecosystems that play critical roles in ecological processes. In addition, increases in metal ions, pH, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids due to elevated concentrations of sulfate are closely linked to the extent of mining in West Virginia watersheds.[7] Declines in stream biodiversity have been linked to the level of mining disturbance in West Virginia watersheds.

Published studies also show a high potential for human health impacts. These may result from contact with streams or exposure to airborne toxins and dust. Adult hospitalization for chronic pulmonary disorders and hypertension are elevated as a result of county-level coal production. Rates of mortality, lung cancer, as well as chronic heart, lung and kidney disease are also increased.[7] A 2011 study found that counties in and near mountaintop mining areas had higher rates of birth defects for five out of six types of birth defects, including circulatory/respiratory, musculoskeletal, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, and urogenital defects. These defect rates were more pronounced in the most recent period studied, suggesting the health effects of mountaintop mining-related air and water contamination may be cumulative.[37] Another 2011 study found "the odds for reporting cancer were twice as high in the mountaintop mining environment compared to the non mining environment in ways not explained by age, sex, smoking, occupational exposure, or family cancer history.”

A United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) environmental impact statement finds that streams near some valley fills from mountaintop removal contain higher levels of minerals in the water and decreased aquatic biodiversity. The statement also estimates that 724 miles (1,165 km) of Appalachian streams were buried by valley fills between 1985 to 2001.[5] On September 28, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) independent Science Advisory Board (SAB) released their first draft review of EPA’s research into the water quality impacts of valley fills associated with mountaintop mining, agreeing with EPA’s conclusion that valley fills are associated with increased levels of conductivity threatening aquatic life in surface waters.

Although U.S. mountaintop removal sites by law must be reclaimed after mining is complete, reclamation has traditionally focused on stabilizing rock formations and controlling for erosion, and not on the reforestation of the affected area. Fast-growing, non-native flora such as Lespedeza cuneata, planted to quickly provide vegetation on a site, compete with tree seedlings, and trees have difficulty establishing root systems in compacted backfill. Consequently, biodiversity suffers in a region of the United States with numerous endemic species.[41] In addition, reintroduced elk (Cervus canadensis) on mountaintop removal sites in Kentucky are eating tree seedlings.

Advocates of MTR claim that once the areas are reclaimed as mandated by law, the area can provide flat land suitable for many uses in a region where flat land is at a premium. They also maintain that the new growth on reclaimed mountaintop mined areas is better suited to support populations of game animals.

Continued in article

Jim Martin's MAAW threads on social responsibility accounting ---
http://maaw.info/SocialAccountingMain.htm

Bob Jensen's threads Triple-Bottom (Social, Environmental, Human Resource) Reporting --- "
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory02.htm#TripleBottom


The lobbies prestigious academic journal publishers ripping off libraries with absurd library subscription prices won.
The only thing left for us is to support the campus librarian boycott appeals.

"Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Legislation-to-Bar/130949/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The science-publishing giant Elsevier pulled its support on Monday from the controversial Research Works Act, hours before the bill's co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives declared the legislation dead.

The bill, HR 3699, would have prevented agencies of the federal government from requiring public access to federally subsidized research. In a statement released on Monday morning, the publisher reiterated its opposition to government mandates even as it backed away from the bill. On Monday afternoon, the bill's co-sponsors, Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican of California, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat of New York, issued a statement of their own saying that they would not push for action on the bill after all.

"As the costs of publishing continue to be driven down by new technology, we will continue to see a growth in open-access publishers. This new and innovative model appears to be the wave of the future," the Issa-Maloney statement said. "The American people deserve to have access to research for which they have paid. This conversation needs to continue, and we have come to the conclusion that the Research Works Act has exhausted the useful role it can play in the debate."

Before the news broke that the bill was dead, open-access advocates credited a growing scholarly boycott of Elsevier for the publisher's change of course. But Elsevier said its shift on the legislation was a response to feedback from the scholars who continue to work with it.

"While we continue to oppose government mandates in this area, Elsevier is withdrawing support for the Research Works Act itself," the publisher said. "We hope this will address some of the concerns expressed and help create a less heated and more productive climate for our ongoing discussions with research funders."

Effect of a Boycott

More than 7,400 scholars so far have signed an online petition, the Cost of Knowledge, inspired by the mathematician Timothy Gowers and organized by Tyler Neylon, who has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from New York University and is a co-founder of Zillabyte, a big-data startup. The signers come from many disciplines, but mathematicians and biologists have made the strongest showing.

The boycotters say they will not edit, contribute to, and/or review for Elsevier journals. They object to what they call "exorbitantly high prices for subscriptions to individual journals," to how Elsevier markets bundled journal subscriptions to libraries, and to its support for anti-public-access legislation.

Boycott organizers and access advocates celebrated Monday's news. "I see this as a victory won by popular awareness and support," Mr. Neylon said in an e-mail.

Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, said the boycott had helped spur Elsevier's turnabout. "You don't get almost 8,000 scientists saying 'We think this is a lousy idea' so vocally without taking that seriously," she said.

Alicia Wise, Elsevier's director of universal access, played down the boycott's effect. "It's something that we're clearly aware of," she said. But she emphasized that Elsevier had been sounding out the authors, editors, and reviewers who continue to work with it. "Those are the voices we have been listening to," she said.

'Still a Bit Suspect'

If Elsevier hopes that renouncing the controversial bill will make the boycott go away, it's likely to be disappointed. "Elsevier's sincerity is still a bit suspect," Mr. Neylon said.

"I think the boycott or, at very least, the solidarity and commitment of the research community will continue to push for more-serious changes in the direction of open access," he said. "Ultimately, it is up to those who keep publishers in business to decide what they will do."

Mr. Neylon would like to see the rise of more open journals' publishing platforms. "In practical, tech-friendly fields like computer science and math, I think we are very close to these changes, which is an additional motivation for the community to put effort into bringing about change," he said. "I'm concerned that other fields, such as biology/medicine, may be more entrenched in a profit-supportive culture, so that it may take much longer to realize widespread support of open access there."

Ms. Wise said Elsevier wanted to be part of the conversation about creative models of scholarly access. For instance, "there's a broad discourse right now about how data sets can be made more broadly accessible," she said. "We're quite keen on playing a constructive role there."

The company issued an open letter to the mathematics community on Monday, addressing changes it says it will make to its pricing and access arrangements. "We want to stress that this is just the beginning," the letter said.

Meanwhile, attention has shifted to another proposed bill: the reintroduced Federal Research Public Access Act, which would require public access. Elsevier will "continue to join with those many other nonprofit and commercial publishers and scholarly societies that oppose repeated efforts to extend mandates through legislation," the publisher's statement said.

Asked about the reintroduced bill, Ms. Wise said she expected that "a broad spectrum of different types of publishers will have some concerns" about it.

For now, she said, "what we are really trying to do is create a better atmosphere and environment" for conversations about access. "If this move back from RWA will help us all work together better, than that's a good thing."

Commercial Scholarly and Academic Journals and Oligopoly Textbook Publishers Are Ripping Off Libraries, Scholars, and Students ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals


Students Evaluating the Lecture Pedagogy
"Lecture Fail?" by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 24, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Lecture-Fail-/130085/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

PowerPoint is boring. Student attention spans are short. Today many facts pop up with a simple Google search. And plenty of free lectures by the world's greatest professors can be found on YouTube.

Is it time for more widespread reform of college teaching?

This series explores the state of the college lecture, and how technologies point to new models of undergraduate education.

Last month, we began inviting students across the countries to fire up their Web cameras or camera-phones to send us video commentaries about whether lectures work for them. Below are highlights from the first batch of submissions, which are full of frustration with “PowerPoint abuse” – professors’ poor use of slide software that dumps too much information on students in a less-than-compelling fashion.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Some Earlier Papers

 


Western Governors University --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Governors_University
Instructors do not assign the grades in this successful "competency-based testing university

A President Brings a Revolutionary University to Prominence," by Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-President-Brings-a/130915/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Western Governors University, first conceived in 1995, embodied an idea that was ahead of its time. And early in its life, that showed.

Traditional accreditors resisted its model: an all-online, competency-based institution. Experts scoffed at its grandiose promises to reshape higher education. Students, unmoved by its founders' ambitious early enrollment projections, mostly stayed away.

Yet a Utah technology entrepreneur named Robert W. Mendenhall, who had been asked to kick-start the venture a few years into its existence, says he never doubted. "It took me about 30 seconds to decide I would do it," says Mr. Mendenhall, WGU's president since 1999. "I was always confident that we'd pull it off. The idea made so much sense."

Today the unusual institution has drawn growing notice from national mainstream news media and at meetings on college affordability by both the U.S. Senate and President Obama. It has a growing student body of more than 25,000 students.

Mr. Mendenhall, now 57, came to WGU when it had no students and no degrees. "The vision of it was just coagulating," recalls Michael O. Leavitt, the former Utah governor who was instrumental in the institution's founding and in Mr. Mendenhall's hiring.

With his know-how for building start-up businesses, a practical willingness to shed time-consuming and unpromising components (like a plan to run an online catalog of online courses from other institutions), and what Mr. Leavitt calls a determined "sense of mission" for low-cost, competency-based higher education, Mr. Mendenhall kept the nonprofit institution moving.

Internally, he was an "in your face" presence, a colleague says, while externally, thanks in no small part to the political backing of 19 governors, he pulled the strings that would eventually land WGU millions in federal grants to develop its online programs and its distinguishing proficiency exams by which students progress toward a degree, and millions more from the Lumina Foundation to create what would become its turning point, a teachers' college.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ComputerBasedAssessment


The Unseen and Ever Changing Enemy

Hi Dick,

I'm not familiar with this author, but it is interesting how warfare changed over the past few hundred years.

Remember the 1600s when red and blue armies met in the field like war was little more than a sporting event?

In the Civil War the armies still met on playing fields such as at Gettysburg.

Then in WW I the enemies talked with one another in the front line trenches.

In WW II things got a bit murkier due in great measure to air power that dropped bombs if armies assembled on playing fields.

Viet Nam commenced war with one side that remained pretty much invisible in the jungles.

From Viet Nam we proceeded to wars in the Middle East where the enemy hides amongst civilians --- making it more difficult to find and then destroy the enemy.

The biggest sick joke is the Afghanistan where the your enemy is your friend on Monday, your enemy again on Tuesday, and your friend again on Wednesday depending upon who is paying the most money for friendship. Afghans switch sides on a dime. We're now bogged down in mostly conducting wars with drug lords --- the Taliban and the drug gangs throughout Africa and Latin America.

Bob Jensen

 


"The price of cooking the books:  An extraordinarily elaborate deception may come back to haunt the government as the economy deteriorates," The Economist, February 25, 2012 ---
http://www.economist.com/node/21548229

HISTORY has left Argentines with more than their share of economic trauma. Having twice suffered destructive bouts of hyperinflation in the late 1980s, they are sensitive to rising prices. When they spot inflation their instinct is to dump the peso and buy dollars. But after the economy collapsed in 2001-02, horror at mass unemployment temporarily eclipsed the public’s fear of inflation. That has been the successful political calculation of the president, Cristina Fernández, and her late husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner. For years they stoked an overheating economy with expansionary policies. Faced with the resulting rise in inflation, their officials resorted to price controls—and to an extraordinarily elaborate deception to conceal the rise.

Since 2007, when Guillermo Moreno, the secretary of internal trade, was sent into the statistics institute, INDEC, to tell its staff that their figures had better not show inflation shooting up, prices and the official record have parted ways. Private-sector economists and statistical offices of provincial governments show inflation two to three times higher than INDEC’s number (which only covers greater Buenos Aires). Unions, including those from the public sector, use these independent estimates when negotiating pay rises. Surveys by Torcuato di Tella University show inflation expectations running at 25-30%.

PriceStats, a specialist provider of inflation rates which produces figures for 19 countries that are published by State Street, a financial services firm, puts the annual rate at 24.4% and cumulative inflation since the beginning of 2007 at 137%. INDEC says that the current rate is only 9.7%, and that prices have gone up a mere 44% over that period (see chart).

INDEC seems to arrive at its figures by a pick-and-mix process of tweaking, sophistry and sheer invention. Graciela Bevacqua, the professional statistician responsible for the consumer-price index (CPI) until Mr Moreno forced her out, says that he tried to get her to omit decimal points, not round them. That sounds minor—until you calculate that a 1% monthly inflation rate works out at an annual 12.7%, whereas 1.9% monthly compounds to 25.3%.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics


The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words --- http://www.businesswriting.com/tests/commonmisspelled.html

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries


"Study Suggests Many Professors Use Interactive Tools Ineffectively in Online Courses," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 6, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/study-suggests-many-professors-use-interactive-tools-ineffectively-in-online-courses/35677?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


"For-Profits Get Half of Military Tuition Benefits," Inside Higher Ed, February 24, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/02/24/profits-get-half-military-tuition-benefits

Students attending for-profit colleges received $280 million of the $563 million spent last year by the Department of Defense on tuition assistance for active-duty members of the military, according to a new study by the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Six for-profit college companies collected 41 percent of the total expenditure.

The study also analyzed Department of Defense spending on on education benefits for military spouses. For-profits received $40 million of that $65 million, with $12 million going to for-profits that are not eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs. As the report noted, those institutions operate outside of the government's "regulatory regime set up to ensure minimal levels of program integrity."


 

The Senate Study --- Click Here
http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/files/022312_DOD%20TA%20Data%20Background%20Document.pdf

. . .

The newly released DOD data shows that six of the top ten recipients of Tuition Assistance are for-profit schools. Those six companies, alone, collect 41% of all TA dollars.

Continued in article  --- Click Here

70% of Pell Grants to For-Profits
Pell Grant -
-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pell_Grant

. . .

The Pell Grant is covered by legislation titled the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), Title IV, Part A, Subpart 1; 20 U.S.C. 1070a. These federal funded grants are not like loans and do not have to be repaid. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions.

These federally funded grants help about 5.4 million full-time and part-time college and vocational school students nationally.  For the 2010-2011 school year, 7 of the top 10 colleges by total Pell Grant money awarded were for-profit institution

 

"Undercover Probe Finds Lax Academic Standards at Some For-Profit Colleges," by Kelly Field, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 22, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Undercover-Probe-Finds-Lax/129881/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Especially Note the Graphic:  Connect the For-Profit University Dots
"Who Enrolls the Most Students With Post-9/11 GI Benefits?" by Ron Coddington and Michael Sewall, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2010 ---  http://chronicle.com/article/Who-Enrolls-the-Most-Students/65923/

Why do you think the private universities are so popular given that online degrees are available from most state universities?
"Want a Higher G.P.A.? Go to a Private College (or a for-profit university):  A 50-year rise in grade-point averages is being fueled by private institutions, a recent study finds," by Catherine Rampell. The New York Times, April 19, 2010 ---
http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/109339/want-a-higher-gpa-go-to-a-private-college?mod=edu-collegeprep

US News Rankings --- http://www.usnews.com/rankings

US News Top Online Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education
Do not confuse this with the US News project to evaluate for-profit universities --- a project hampered by refusal of many for-profit universities to provide data


Unregulated For-Profit Colleges Strike Gold in the Military-Funded Spouse Market

'Outside the Lines," by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/03/07/unregulated-profits-receive-big-chunk-military-spouse-tuition-aid

he Department of Defense spent $65 million last year on its tuition benefit program for military spouses. About 40 percent of that amount -- $25.3 million -- was used at for-profit colleges that operate outside the regulatory reach of the U.S. Department of Education and do not qualify for other federal financial aid programs.

Those numbers were released this week by the Democratic staff of the U.S. Senate’s education committee, which last month distributed an analysis that found four non-aid-qualifying for-profit institutions among the top 10 recipients of military spouse aid. 

The findings surprised both Congressional investigators and financial aid experts, several of whom said they were not aware that any federal tuition benefits could be used at non-aid-eligible colleges.

The tuition assistance fund for active-duty service members, as well as Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits, can also be used at non-aid-eligible for-profits, but experts said it was unclear how much money from those sources also flow to the institutions otherwise ineligible for federal student aid.

Allied Business Schools, Inc., brought in the most military spouse aid, according to the analysis, earning $5.6 million and topping big names like the Apollo Group and the University System of Maryland, whose University of Maryland University College has long been a military educator. Career Step LLC and Animal Behavior College, also both non-aid-eligible for-profits, were at the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

The three colleges are national chains with large online components. They market their eligibility to receive aid from the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program, which was created in 2009 and provides a maximum of $2,000 per year to spouses of junior rank service members for associate-degree and certificate programs.

. . .

Golden stops short of calling for Allied and other non-aid colleges to lose their eligibility to receive military spouse aid. While she is concerned that the colleges are largely unregulated, it’s hard to know whether they provide a good return on investment.

Mark Kantrowitz of Finaid.org agrees. Kantrowitz, an expert on financial aid, said that while those colleges lack “quality standards,” some of them may still be worth attending. The real question about the military spouse benefit, he said, is, “Is that money being spent effectively?”

Continued in article

For-Profit Colleges receive over 70% of the Pell Grant fellowships.
For-Profit Colleges receive over 50% of the military-funded veterans tuition.
Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit colleges operating in the gray zone of fraud ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud


"Who graduates from college, who doesn’t, and why it matters," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 2012 ---
http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/

"The Student Loan Racket" - The Complete Infographic --- http://www.zerohedge.com/news/student-loan-racket-complete-infographic

There Are 5,000 Janitors in the U.S. with PhDs ---
http://gizmodo.com/5671062/there-are-5000-janitors-in-the-us-with-phds

Jensen Comment
This is much too complex to summarize in a few sentences. The first thing that surprised me is the relatively low graduation rates of overstuffed for-profit universities that receive over 70% of the Pell Grants, over half the college benefits of our military forces, and a lion's share of the federal student loans. Studies show high variability of academic rigor in these for-profit universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

I also though community colleges played a bigger role in higher education.

An enormous problem is the poor quality of K-12 schools giving A and B grade averages to graduates who are not prepared for college-level studies coupled with the reluctance of most of our colleges to put a huge block of remedial studies in a college curriculum.

But probably the biggest problem of all is the myth that a college degree leads to more economic success than success in learning many of the non-college trades. Studies showing higher expected earnings averages for college graduates fail to account for the fact that economic success may be attributed to many factors other than a college diploma. For example, a recipient of a college diploma may just have higher intelligence, motivation, communication skills, and personality attributes that lead to economic success with or without a college diploma.

One place where the European nations surpass the United States is the realization that there can be a good life with high trades skills in lieu of college diplomas.
The Case Against College Education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#CaseAgainst


From the Scout Report on February 24, 2012

Quipol --- http://www.quipol.com/ 

Simply put, Quipol allows users to "create simple & elegant one-question polls." The polls can be embedded into blog posts and webpages, and can be used to gauge opinion on a myriad of topics. Creating a new poll takes just a few minutes, and the site contains a number of featured Quipols to inspire new users.


Ghost Incognito ---
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gedeaafllmnkkgbinfnleblcglamgebg?hl=en-US&hc=search&hcp=main   

People interested in private browsing while using Chrome will find this plugin most helpful. With Ghost Incognito, users can browse websites without saving session data, cookies, history, or cached files. Visitors will find that the install process is quite simple, and this version of Ghost Incognito can be used with all operating systems.

From the Scout Report on March 2, 2012

TagMyDoc --- http://www.tagmydoc.com/ 

Do you need to share documents quickly with a number of different users? You may want to give TagMyDoc a look. Visitors can choose their documents, and upload them so they can be scanned and retrieved as virtual copies. Additionally, users can sign up for free accounts for enhanced functionality and there's an explanatory video here as well. This version is compatible with all operating systems.


Cloudshot --- http://cloudshot.codeplex.com/ 

If you're thinking about taking screenshots for a presentation or personal use, you may want to give CloudShot a try. This small utility offers users the ability to take screenshots of a specific screen region or menus, and it works with multiple monitors. Visitors can add text labels to their shots and integrate the program seamlessly with Dropbox. This particular version is compatible with all operating systems.


Declaration of the Rights of The Child
http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/humanrights/resources/child.asp

Committee on the Rights of the Child
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/

 


Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks


Education Tutorials

Center on Education and The Workforce ( STEM) --- http://cew.georgetown.edu/stem/

Harvard in the 17th and 18th Centuries --- http://hul.harvard.edu/huarc/h1718/

National Science Foundation: Multimedia Gallery --- http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/

Converge Magazine: Technology in Education --- http://www.convergemag.com/

New Learning Institute --- http://newlearninginstitute.org/

What A Wonderful World (David Attenborough) ---
http://www.flixxy.com/wonderful-world-david-attenborough.htm

Freshman Research Initiative (at the University of Texas)  --- http://fri.cns.utexas.edu/

From SUNY Albany: How to Improve Your Digital Photography

Masters of Photography (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Xu4PNWkV4

Masters of Photography (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqmco1C6L_E

Mathematics Meets Photography ---
http://www.maa.org/mathhorizons/MH-Sept2011_MathPhotography.pdf

Freshman Research Initiative (at the University of Texas)  --- http://fri.cns.utexas.edu/

Undergraduate Research Ethics Cases ---
http://www.udel.edu/chem/white/HHMI3/EthicsCases.html

NanoTeachers: Bringing Nanoscience into the Classroom --- http://teachers.stanford.edu/

Council on Undergraduate Research on the Web --- http://www.cur.org/quarterly/webedition.html

JURF:  The Journal of Undergraduate Research in Finance ---
http://www.openculture.com/2011/01/disneys_oscar-winning_adventures_in_music.html

To my knowledge there is no equivalent journal for undergraduate accounting research. However, accountants can and do on occasion participate in the National Conferences of Undergraduate Research ---
http://www.ncur.org/

Nearly 20 years ago Trinity University hosted the annual NCUR conference. There were no accounting student submissions to be refereed that year and in most years. We were told that accounting students rarely contribute submissions. So I wrote a paper about this with the two Trinity University faculty members who coordinated the NCUR presentations on Trinity's campus that year.

"Undergraduate Student Research Programs: Are They as Viable for Accounting as They are in Science, Humanities, and Other Business Disciplines?" by Robert E. Jensen, Peter A. French and Kim R. Robertson, Critical Perspectives on Accounting , Volume 3, 1992, 337-357.

James Irving's Working Paper entitled "Integrating Academic Research into an Undergraduate Accounting Course"
College of William and Mary, January 2010

ABSTRACT:
This paper describes my experience incorporating academic research into the curriculum of an undergraduate accounting course. This research-focused curriculum was developed in response to a series of reports published earlier in the decade which expressed significant concern over the expected future shortage of doctoral faculty in accounting. It was also motivated by prior research studies which find that students engaging in undergraduate research are more likely to pursue graduate study and to achieve graduate school success. The research-focused curriculum is divided into two complementary phases. First, throughout the semester, students read and critique excerpts from accounting journal articles related to the course topics. Second, students acquire and use specific research skills to complete a formal academic paper and present their results in a setting intended to simulate a research workshop. Results from a survey created to assess the research experience show that 96 percent of students responded that it substantially improved their level of knowledge, skill, and abilities related to conducting research. Individual cases of students who follow this initial research opportunity with a deeper research experience are also discussed. Finally, I supply instructional tools for faculty who might desire to implement a similar program.

January 17, 2010 message (two messages combined)  from Irving, James [James.Irving@mason.wm.edu]

Hi Bob,

I recently completed the first draft of a paper which describes my experience integrating research into an undergraduate accounting course. Given your prolific and insightful contributions to accounting scholarship, education, etc. -- I am a loyal follower of your website and your commentary within the AAA Commons -- I am wondering if you might have an interest in reading it (I also cite a 1992 paper published in Critical Perspectives in Accounting for which you were a coauthor).

The paper is attached with this note. Any thoughts you have about it would be greatly appreciated.

I posted the paper to my SSRN page and it is available at the following link: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1537682 . I appreciate your willingness to read and think about the paper.

Jim

January 18, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jim,

 

I’ve given your paper a cursory overview and have a few comments that might be of interest.

 You’ve overcome much of the negativism about why accounting students tend not to participate in the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Thank you for citing our old paper.
French, P., R. Jensen, and K. Robertson. 1992. Undergraduate student research programs:re they as viable for accounting as they are in science and humanities?" Critical Perspectives on Accounting 3 (December): 337-357. --- Click Here

Abstract
This paper reviews a recent thrust in academia to stimulate more undergraduate research in the USA, including a rapidly growing annual conference. The paper also describes programs in which significant foundation grants have been received to fund undergraduate research projects in the sciences and humanities. In particular, selected humanities students working in teams in a new “Philosophy Lab” are allowed to embark on long-term research projects of their own choosing. Several completed projects are briefly reviewed in this paper.

In April 1989, Trinity University hosted the Third National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and purposely expanded the scope of the conference to include a broad range of disciplines. At this conference, 632 papers and posters were presented representing the research activities of 873 undergraduate students from 163 institutions. About 40% of the papers were outside the natural sciences and included research in music and literature. Only 13 of those papers were in the area of business administration; none were even submitted by accounting students. In 1990 at Union College, 791 papers were presented; none were submitted by accountants. In 1991 at Cal Tech, the first accounting paper appeared as one of 853 papers presented.

This paper suggests a number of obstacles to stimulating and encouraging accounting undergraduates to embark on research endeavours. These impediments are somewhat unique to accounting, and it appears that accounting education programs are lagging in what is being done to break down obstacles in science, pre-med, engineering, humanities, etc. This paper proposes how to overcome these obstacles in accounting. One of the anticipated benefits of accounting student research, apart from the educational and creative value, is the attraction of more and better students seeking creativity opportunities in addition to rote learning of CPA exam requirements. This, in part, might help to counter industry complaints that top students are being turned away from accounting careers nationwide.

In particular you seem to have picked up on our suggestions in the third paragraph above and seemed to be breaking new ground in undergraduate accounting education.

 I am truly amazed by you're having success when forcing undergraduate students to actually conduct research in new knowledge.

Please keep up the good work and maintain your enthusiasm.

1
Firstly, I would suggest that you focus on the topic of replication as well when you have your students write commentaries on published academic accounting research ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm

I certainly would not expect intermediate accounting students to attempt a replication effort. But it should be very worthwhile to introduce them to the problem of lack of replication and authentication of accountancy analytic and empirical research.

2
Secondly, the two papers you focus on are very old and were never replicated.. Challenges to both papers are private and in some cases failed replication attempts, but those challenges were not published and came to me only by word of mouth.  It is very difficult to find replications of empirical research in accounting, but I suggest that you at least focus on some papers that have some controversy and are extended in some way.

For example, consider the controversial paper:
"Costs of Equity and Earnings Attributes," by Jennifer Francis, Ryan LaFond, Per M. Olsson and Katherine Schipper ,The Accounting Review, Vol. 79, No. 4 2004 pp. 967–1010.
Also see http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/179269527.html
Then consider
"Is Accruals Quality a Priced Risk Factor?" by John E. Core, Wayne R. Guay, and Rodrigo S. Verdi, SSRN, December 2007 ---
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=911587
This paper was also published in JAE in 2007 or 2008.
Thanks to Steve Kachelmeier for pointing this controversy (on whether information quality (measured as the noise in accounting accruals) is priced in the cost of equity capital) out to me.

It might be better for your students to see how accounting researchers should attempt replications as illustrated above than to merely accepted published accounting research papers as truth unchallenged.

3.
Have your students attempt critical thinking with regards to mathematical analytics in "Plato's Cave" ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm#Analytics
This is a great exercise that attempts to make them focus on underlying assumptions.

4.
In Exhibit 1 I recommend adding a section on critical thinking about underlying assumptions in the study. In particular, have your students focus on internal versus external validity --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm#SocialScience .

You might look into some of the research ideas for students listed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#ResearchVersusProfession

5.
I suggest that you set up a hive at the AAA Commons for Undergraduate Research Projects and Commentaries. Then post your own items in this hive and repeatedly invite professors and students from around the world to add to this hive.

keywords:
Accounting Research, Analytics, Empirical Research, Undergraduate Research

From Bryn Mawr College
Serendip [Often makes use of Flash Player] --- http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/

 

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

National Science Foundation: Multimedia Gallery --- http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/

Center on Education and The Workforce ( STEM) --- http://cew.georgetown.edu/stem

Stephen Hawking’s Universe: A Visualization of His Lectures with Stars & Sound 
http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/stephen_hawkings_universe.html

What is Bioinformatics? --- http://abacus.bates.edu/bioinformatics1/

BioEd Online: Lessons: Microorganisms --- http://www.bioedonline.org/lessons/microorganisms.cfm

Human Embryology Animations [Flash Player, Quicktime] --- http://www.indiana.edu/%7Eanat550/embryo_main/

“The Periodic Table Table” (All The Elements in Hand-Carved Wood)
http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/the_periodic_table_table.html

Cytogenetics Gallery --- http://www.pathology.washington.edu/galleries/Cytogallery/

NanoTeachers: Bringing Nanoscience into the Classroom --- http://teachers.stanford.edu/

Nanotechnology Center for Teaching and Learning --- http://community.nsee.us/ 

nanoHUB.org: Simulation, Education, and Community for Nanotechnology --- http://nanohub.org/

Nano.gov --- http://www.nano.gov/

From the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Jim and the Forgotten Embryos ---
http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=628&id=628

Investigating a Eukaryotic Genome: Cloning and Sequencing a Fragment of Yeast DNA --- 
http://www.nslc.wustl.edu/elgin/genomics/bio3055/yeastcloninglab06.pdf

Reconsidering California Transport Policies: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in an Uncertain Future --- 
http://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/RGSD292.htm

The Habitable Planet: Ecology Lab --- http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/interactives/ecology/
The video link is on the left column

Dream, Design, Build: The UW Architecture Student Drawing Collection, 1914-1947 ---
http://content.lib.washington.edu/exhibits/dream-design-build/

Freshman Research Initiative (at the University of Texas)  --- http://fri.cns.utexas.edu/

Test and Treat Before You Drink ---
http://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=collection/cub_/lessons/cub_waterqt/cub_waterqt_lesson01.xml

U.S. Geological Survey: Coastal and Marine Geology Program --- http://marine.usgs.gov/

New Learning Institute --- http://newlearninginstitute.org/

SACNAS Biography Project (Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) --- http://bio.sacnas.org/biography/

Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources (Native American, Indian) --- http://www.dlisr.org/index.html

A Sightseer's Guide To Engineering --- http://www.engineeringsights.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science


Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchange-traded_fund
Tutorial Video on ETF Creation and Redemption--- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2SCiO0Aivi0

Frontline: The Interrupters (reducing urban violence, crime) --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/interrupters/

SACNAS Biography Project (Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) --- http://bio.sacnas.org/biography/

Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources (Native American, Indian) --- http://www.dlisr.org/index.html

The Nixon Administration and the Indian Nuclear Program, 1972-1974 --- http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb367/

The United States and Pakistan's Quest for the Bomb --- http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb333

Reconsidering California Transport Policies: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in an Uncertain Future ---  http://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/RGSD292.htm

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: Teacher Resources Index ---
http://www.frbsf.org/education/teachers/index.html

From the Scout Report on February 24, 2012

Using fruit from a squirrel's burrow, Russian scientists generate an
ancient arctic flower
Dead for 32,000 Years, an Arctic Plant Is Revived [Free registration may be
required]
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/science/new-life-from-an-arctic-flower-that-died-32000-years-ago.html

Ancient plants back to life after 30,000 frozen years
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17100574

Wild flower blooms again after 30,000 years on ice
http://www.nature.com/news/wild-flower-blooms-again-after-30-000-years-on-ice-1.10069

Future zoos to have woolly mammoths and tiger robots
http://news.discovery.com/animals/future-zoos-woolly-mammoths-tiger-robots-clone-120217.html

Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology
http://biology.jbpub.com/botany/4e/

Botanical Society of America: Plant Morphology
http://www.botany.org/plantimages/plantmorphology.php

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social


Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law


Math Tutorials

Mathematics Meets Photography ---
http://www.maa.org/mathhorizons/MH-Sept2011_MathPhotography.pdf

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics


History Tutorials

Glassmaking in Roman Times --- http://www.penn.museum/sites/Roman Glass/index.html

Reflecting Antiquity: Modern Glass Inspired By Ancient Rome --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/reflecting_antiquity/

Corning Museum of Glass [Flash Player] --- http://www.cmog.org/Default.aspx

Harvard in the 17th and 18th Centuries --- http://hul.harvard.edu/huarc/h1718/

Accounting History in a Nutshell --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

The Scout Report's Best New Bookmarks of 2010-2011 ---

Best of 2010-2011
- NOVA Teachers
- Invitation to World Literature
- NOAA Education Resources
- The Mourners
- Museum of Science, Boston: Podcasts [iTunes]
- Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research
- Science360: Chemistry
- National Archives: Teachers' Resources
- Teaching Geoscience Online
- Dictionary of Art Historians

 

Marshall T. Meyer Papers (human rights, Argentina) --- http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/meyermarshall/

Human Rights --- http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/humanrights/

Carnival Collection (Tulane University) --- http://larc.tulane.edu/exhibits/carnival

Kansas Aerial Photography Initiative --- http://www.lib.k-state.edu/apps/kapi/

Kansas Collection Photographs --- http://luna.ku.edu:8180/luna/servlet/kuvc1kcp~1~1

Historic Des Moines --- http://www.lib.drake.edu/heritage/odm

Panama and the Canal --- http://ufdc.ufl.edu/pcm

Dream, Design, Build: The UW Architecture Student Drawing Collection, 1914-1947 ---
http://content.lib.washington.edu/exhibits/dream-design-build/

Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection (includes music) --- http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/JAZ/Pages/home.html

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences: Research & Preservation ---
http://www.oscars.org/research-preservation/

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts --- http://mesda.org/

The Nixon Administration and the Indian Nuclear Program, 1972-1974 --- http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb367/

The United States and Pakistan's Quest for the Bomb --- http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb333

Futurist Ray Kurzweil, 17 Years Old, Appears on “I’ve Got a Secret” (1965) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/futurist_ray_kurzweil_17_years_old_appears_on_ive_got_a_secret_1965.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  


Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages


Music Tutorials

Robert Sherman composed over 1,000 songs many of which are the most familiar songs we know
Songs We Love: Disney Songwriter Robert Sherman ---
http://www.npr.org/2012/03/07/148066537/songs-we-love-disney-songwriters-the-sherman-brothers?ps=mh_frhdl1

Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection (includes music) --- http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/JAZ/Pages/home.html

Many of you probably never even heard of the popular "I've Got a Secret" ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ve_Got_a_Secret 

More of you have probably read about artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil 

Futurist Ray Kurzweil, 17 Years Old, Appears on “I’ve Got a Secret” (1965) --- Click Here
 http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/futurist_ray_kurzweil_17_years_old_appears_on_ive_got_a_secret_1965.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Music

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm


Writing Tutorials

The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words --- http://www.businesswriting.com/tests/commonmisspelled.html

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries


Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

February 28, 2012

February 29, 2012

March 1, 2012

March 2, 2012

March 3, 2012

March 5, 2012

March 6, 2012

March 7, 2012


Ranking America's Mental Health: An Analysis of Depression Across the States ---
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/state-ranking




Health Message from Maxine (forwarded by Maureen)

As I was lying in bed pondering the problems of the world, I rapidly realized that I don't really give a rat's ass.

It's the tortoise life for me!

1. If walking/cycling is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.

2. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, and is fat.

3. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.

4. A tortoise doesn't run and does nothing, yet it lives for 450 years.

And you tell me to exercise?? I don't think so. I'm a senior. Go around me!


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2012 EUROPE : BY JOHN CLEESE
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya, Egypt and Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross."


The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."      
 
The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniforms and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .
The Spanish are  all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia ,meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.
-- John Cleese - British writer, actor and tall person
.

A final thought -“Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC”.


Forwarded by Gene and Joan

Cancel your credit card before you die

Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die! This is so priceless, and so easy to see happening, customer service being what it is today. A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank. Here is the exchange : Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe you should turn it over to collections.'

Citibank: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'

Family Member: ‘So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

Citibank: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

Citibank: 'Excuse me?' Family Member : 'Did you just get what I was telling you - the part about her being dead?'

Citibank: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a $0 balance.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

Citibank: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)

Citibank: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given)

After they get the fax :

Citibank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'

Citibank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'

(What is wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'

Citibank: 'That might help....'

Family Member: ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'

Citibank: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???'

Humor Between December 1-31, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q4.htm#Humor123111 

Humor Between November 1 and November 30, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q4.htm#Humor113011 

Humor Between October 1 and October 31, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q4.htm#Humor103111 

Humor Between September 1 and September 30, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q3.htm#Humor093011

Humor Between August 1 and August 31, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q3.htm#Humor083111 

Humor Between July 1 and July 31, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q3.htm#Humor073111

Humor Between May 1 and June 30, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q2.htm#Humor063011 

Humor Between April 1 and April 30, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q2.htm#Humor043011  

Humor Between February 1 and March 31, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q1.htm#Humor033111 

Humor Between January 1 and January 31, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book11q1.htm#Humor013111 

 




Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/

Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#WhatWentWrong

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

AN ANALYSIS OF THE EVOLUTION OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE ACCOUNTING REVIEW: 1926-2005 ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR395wp.htm#_msocom_1

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfZWyUXn3So

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#BadNews

 

World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
        
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

 

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators) http://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc.

Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.

 

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM
FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm
FINANCIAL REPORTING PORTAL
www.financialexecutives.org/blog

Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.

Scott

Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA
Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk

 

 

 

 

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm

 

Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory
 

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---
http://www.accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aah/

Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#DerivativesFrauds

History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

Bob Jensen's Threads ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Pictures.htm

All my online pictures --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/

 

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu