Rafe’s Roundup 19 Nov 2010

Running late with the Roundup this week due to heavy demands for end of term papers at several universities, so the Mill has been working overtime. The most difficult one was for a postgrad lawyer in Oxford.

I wanted to list Skepticlawyers post on cheating but Don Arthur  got in first. So if you can’t beat them, link to them!

So be sure to check out Don’s Missing Link, even if you only read Skepticlawyer and Legal Eagle.

This is a story about the waves of entrepreneurs who made New York a growing and vibrant city for over a hundred years, posing the question, what will spark the next wave of regeneration? Hat tip to Coordination Problem.

For nerds, a scholarly piece on entrepreneurs and institutions.

Peter Boettke meditates on the respective roles of books and journals as outlets for scholarly thinking and the stepping stones for academic success. 

Jim Belshaw on the art of  whip-cracking. He has several blogs, with a special focus on the New England district and one which we share on the history of Australian and New Zealand thought which has not been active for a while. One of my resolutions for next year is to get this moving again.

But why wait, I was going to put up this piece by John Anderson which is now on line, as of this week, a pre-emptive attack on Dawkins and others who have gutted the universities as we once thought about them.

This is a human interest piece on what the author called “overdue dumping”, not of rubbish but relationships.

I claimed this event occurs early in the year, especially right after Valentine’s Day. I hypothesized that the dump-fest results from a backlog of potential break-ups that were postponed to get through the holiday season. In the comments, some readers wondered whether the Annual Rite of Overdue Dumping was a real phenomenon. I was forced to admit that I had no hard data, only my perceptions about when people break up. Well, now the data are in. Check out this graph.

The site of Patrick McGorry, Australian of the Year 2010, Advocate for Mental Health

  Cited in a hard-hitting editorial in The Age recently.

The philosopher/libertarian Steven Hicks has posted up a plaintive call for improved regulation of the mating and dating game on the basis of widespread market failure.

This looks like fun. When you find out how it works, let me know.

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10 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 19 Nov 2010

  1. C.L.

    LOL. I was going to post that link about the professional academic essayist-for-hire but I see it’s already well and truly under discussion.

    It doesn’t surprise me, I guess, given how woefully illiterate most university students are and how many of them shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    For those who missed it:

    The Shadow Scholar:
    The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story
    .

  2. JC

    That’s interesting….

    I guess there is a limit to this form of cheating though. The dude earns $66,000. It’s an okay salary, but he’s hardly hitting the ball out of the park and I would guess the number of people interested in this line of work are pretty spare and even more spare at the sort of earning level if indeed they are such good writers.

  3. C.L.

    This is a story about the waves of entrepreneurs who made New York a growing and vibrant city for over a hundred years, posing the question, what will spark the next wave of regeneration?

    Very interesting question. One of the most interesting histories of a city I’ve read was a big tome on New York (author’s name escapes me). Especially fascinating (and kind of sad) was the gradual urbanisation and commercialisation of Manhattan. I didn’t realise what a natural wonderland of flora, wildlife and streams it had been. Central Park was an inspired compromise between this relentless ethos and the arcadian past. Nevertheless, the drive of the city’s business geniuses (and hucksters) was impressive throughout the narrative – up to and including the commercial creativity of its gangsters. NY doesn’t seem to be as cool as it used to be in the West’s imagination. Not sure why that is and what comes next, if anything.

  4. Don Arthur

    JC – From what I’ve read, many of the people who write for essay mills live in places like India.

    In the Chronicle of Higher Education Thomas Bartlett writes:

    Paul Arhewe lives in Lagos, that nation’s largest city, and started writing for essay mills in 2005. Back then he didn’t have his own computer and had to do all of his research and writing in Internet cafes. Now he works as an online editor for a newspaper, but he still writes essays on the side. In the past three years, he’s written more than 200 papers for American and British students. In an online chat, Mr. Arhewe insisted that the work he does is not unethical. “I believe it is another way of learning for the smart and hardworking students,” he writes. Only lazy students, Mr. Arhewe says, turn in the papers they purchase.

    Mr. Arhewe started writing for Essay Writers after another essay mill cheated him out of several hundred dollars. That incident notwithstanding, he’s generally happy with the work and doesn’t complain about the pay. He makes between $100 and $350 a month writing essays — not exactly a fortune, but in a country like Nigeria, where more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, it’s not too bad either.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    SL’s essay is very good and probably needs much more exposure.

  6. C.L.

    True, JC, but I imagine the shadow dude is largely cutting and pasting and re-arranging stuff year after year so it’s probably a breeze for him. 66 Gs is not a bad little earner.

  7. Tim Quilty

    I’m sure the essay writing business is more attractive to english speakers in poorer countries. India, for example…

  8. JC

    I guess essays are now going to be downgraded marks wise.

    Funny thing I have a kid going through the process of apply to US colleges and she’s been told that the essay application is treated as very important.

    I’m wondering how many kids there have used Dante like equivalents.

  9. Pingback: Skepticlawyer » Saturday chit-chat

  10. Ken Parish

    I’m wondering whether Rafe might consider utilising WordPress’s “categories” feature, creating a category called (say) “Rafe’s Roundup” and saving/publishing each edition to it?

    That’s what the other “roundup” creators do, and it allows others to link to the feature without the hassle of having to remember to do a post every week with a link to that week’s roundup(s). Thus I’ve created a “sticky” post which sits permanently as the top post at Troppo which links to Don Arthur’s Friday Missing Link, ‘Lyn’s Daily Links‘ at Political Sword and Christine Wallace’s Breakfast Politics.

    I’d love to add Rafe’s Roundup to that list if possible. I’ve always thought that we bloggers share a common interest in making it as easy as possible for our “time poor” readers and potential readers (a vast potential audience) to easily access the many scattered diamonds in the blogosphere dungheap, because if we don’t then most are likely to continue just reading the reliable but uniformly mediocre products of the MSM.

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