Insist (Learning the Wrong Thing So Well)

When faced with the truth, she said, “well, that’s not nearly as impressive.”

Today’s prompt is insist.

I read a story earlier today about a student at Southern New Hampshire University who failed a comparative culture essay because her professor didn’t know Australia was a country. “It’s a continent,” the instructor said. “Yes,” said the student, “but it’s also a country.” The student sent links from Australia’s “about us” page, but the teacher was adamant. The story went viral, the student got reimbursed for the entire class, and the teacher got fired.

I’m sure you’ve been in that student’s shoes to one degree or another.

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher taught us that Thomas Jefferson was on the quarter. This is not so. I corrected her, but she would not relent. The same thing happened in second grade with a different teacher in a different school in a different district.

Sometimes, people learn the wrong thing so well, it’s very hard to learn the right thing.

I know of someone else who believed well into her 40s that the presidents’ heads on Mt. Rushmore were naturally occurring. When faced with the truth, she said, “well, that’s not nearly as impressive.”

Stocks take another tumble, Dow dives more than 1,000 points – ABC News

What we consider newsworthy changes on a near-daily basis. Another 1000 point drop in the Dow hardly merits a Google trend today. When it happened a few days ago, the sky was falling along with shares of anything not called Amazon. Mercurial times, these.

The wild ride on the stock market continued on Thursday.

Source: Stocks take another tumble, Dow dives more than 1,000 points – ABC News

Donald Trump Does Not Believe the Market is Sentient, Twitter.

Donald Trump trolled the stock market on Twitter, and people are saying it’s proof that he doesn’t know how the stock market works. “Donald Trump thinks the Stock Market is sentient!” roared Twitter. Har har har!

Basically, Trump said it used to be that when economic news was good, the market went up.  Economic news is good, but the market went down.  Sad.  That’s a paraphrase, but you get the idea.

Meanwhile, a million other more important things hang in the balance.  So you go ahead and hit that low-hanging non-fruit, Twitter.  I get that we all need something to write about, and it’s hard to resist what must seem like an easy swipe, but does anyone really think Trump doesn’t know the fundamentals of the market?  Does anyone actually think these clap backs are clever?



Comcast Reportedly Considering Topping Disney’s Bid For Fox (

This should surprise absolutely no one, especially considering that a few years ago, Comcast tried to buy Disney.

Fans might be excited about the Walt Disney Company’s plans to purchase entertainment assets from […]

Source: Comcast Reportedly Considering Topping Disney’s Bid For Fox

How Diverse are US Newsrooms?

This is an interesting and rather robust data set:

You can view by gender or by race, and then drill down for more specifics.  It captures numbers from newspapers large and small all across the country.

According to these numbers, my local paper, the Allentown Morning Call, has no African Americans or people of Asian descent on staff.  I can’t imagine that’s accurate, but maybe that’s because I want to find it hard to believe.  That’s not a dig at the Call or my friends who do great work there, but I’m going to ask around.

Is your local paper listed?  How does it compare?


Steve Wynn Removed from Public Life at UPenn; Wynn and Cosby Honorary Degrees Revoked

Why has the action on Cosby taken so long?

The University of Pennsylvania is removing Steve Wynn’s name from the ongoing life of the institution.  They are also revoking his honorary degree.  It’s a little strange to me that they’ve waited until now to also revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degree.  Better late than never on that?

See below.

A Message to the Penn Community
David L. Cohen, Chair, Penn Board of Trustees
Amy Gutmann, President

Late last week, multiple credible reports emerged in the national press detailing pervasive and decades-long acts of sexual harassment and intimidation by Steve Wynn, former Penn Trustee and College alumnus. The nature, severity, and extent of these allegations, and the patterns of abusive behavior they describe, involve acts and conduct that are inimical to the core values of our University.

While Mr. Wynn has denied the allegations, the reputational impact of what has been reported is so significant that Mr. Wynn resigned from his position as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee. Further, the board of directors of Wynn Resorts has formed a special committee to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him. And gaming regulators in both Nevada and Massachusetts are also investigating.

In the wake of the substantive and detailed press reports, and of consequent actions by fiduciary and regulatory bodies, we felt it was imperative to examine Mr. Wynn’s recognized presence on Penn’s campus. We hold as a sacred commitment our responsibilities of stewardship of our University’s reputation. As chair of the Trustees and president of the University, we have a leadership responsibility and must always think and act on behalf of what is best for Penn and our core values. Perhaps nowhere is the need for clarity of purpose and action more important than in matters with such potential impact on the ethos of our society and our University community.

To that end, we convened a small group composed of trustees, alumni, deans, and faculty who deliberated carefully on the nature of the charges made against Mr. Wynn and the correct course of action the University should take in response. That group made recommendations to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, which unanimously accepted them on behalf of the Board, and which will result in the following immediate actions.

First, we will remove the name Wynn Commons, named for Mr. Wynn, from the centrally located outdoor plaza bounded by Houston Hall, Claudia Cohen Hall, College Hall, and Irvine Auditorium. Second, Mr. Wynn’s name will be removed from a scholarship fund established by a donation from him. The scholarships will continue to be awarded. Third, we will revoke Mr. Wynn’s honorary degree.

At the same time we are taking these actions, we will also revoke the honorary degree awarded to Bill Cosby, who has similarly been accused by multiple parties of sexual assault.

It has been a century since the University of Pennsylvania last revoked an honorary degree, and we do not take that decision – or the decision to remove Mr. Wynn’s name from the Commons and from the scholarship fund he created – lightly. We view these as extraordinary and essentially unique circumstances that call for an immediate, decisive, and clearly ethical response. The decision to remove the name Wynn Commons could not be made independently of considering the other ways in which the University had previously recognized Mr. Wynn. It became necessary, therefore, to consider the appropriateness of Mr. Wynn’s honorary degree and any other honorifics Penn had previously bestowed. Upon careful consideration, when it became clear that the Wynn name should be removed from visible public recognition on Penn’s physical campus, it was no less incumbent on the Trustees to remove that name from the roster of those holding the University’s highest symbolic honor. That decision in turn made it also clear that the multiple and highly credible charges involving Bill Cosby warranted the same action.

Our nation is currently undergoing a profound reckoning regarding the role and extent of sexual misconduct in all areas of our society. It is incumbent on all of us to address these issues wherever and whenever we find that they affect our extended community. As a University, we have always been, and will always continue to be, looked to by our alumni and neighbors, our faculty, and most of all by our students, for moral leadership. We must not – we cannot – fail to provide it.

Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JP Morgan Healthcare is Only for Their Employees

When you heard earlier today that Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet were launching a joint not-for-profit healthcare firm with JP Morgan meant to disrupt the sector, the first thing you have have thought was “here are two innovators and a too-big bank tackling a tremendous problem. My new, affordable healthcare will be drone-delivered by Presidents’ Day!”

When and if the project happens, it’s only going to effect the 1.2 million employees of the partner companies.  1.2 million is a lot of people, don’t get me wrong.  Maybe if they can make it work at that scale, they’ll start rolling it out to other partners.

Source: Amazon’s Push Into Healthcare Just Cost the Industry $30 Billion In Market Cap – Slashdot