Monthly Archives: May 2020

College after coronavirus #3: Sports

Note: This is the last of three posts about threats to higher education exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The second part of this series, on the campus social experience, is linked here. This week the president of the University of Michigan, a pretty good school from which I hold a couple of “credential papers,” announced that, if there are to… Read more »

College after coronavirus #2: The social holding pen

Note: This is the second of three posts about threats to higher education exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The first part of this series, on “education versus credentials,” is linked here. I was like most of my 18-year-old male peers in 1969 when I went off to attend an engineering school in northern Michigan. I wanted my own car. I… Read more »

College after coronavirus #1: Three threats

Oz scarecrow with diploma

I have long been watching three “weak spots” in the American college-level education “business model” that have been greatly exacerbated by the sudden coronavirus-caused emptying of campuses this spring. These three threats will, I believe, fatally doom several four-year colleges and universities within the next year and force major changes at almost all others. The threats I focus on are… Read more »

Driving drunk in Coronavirus World

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Covid risk of harm

Whenever I get into my car, even on a nice day while wide awake and sober, I am taking on the risk of death. And very late every snowy winter’s night in Minnesota, some guy is out on the road driving fast and drunk. Which one of these risks is most like the “Coronavirus World” in which we currently live?… Read more »

The ethical theory of “Sucks to be you!”

Coronavirus history US

Utilitarianism is a classic “vector” of ethical theory, a structured way to decide “the right way” to resolve life-and-death dilemmas like the one facing us today. This is a versatile model, one that that has continued to re-emerge in modified forms ever since its roots in the writings of Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806–1873). The coronavirus news… Read more »

The person behind the mask

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The Lone Ranger

The debate over the general public wearing masks to combat the coronavirus has taken a decidedly political turn. Especially in public places like grocery stores, you could bet with good odds on which television news networks the various customers watch the most. Vice President Pence goes without a mask in public appearances, even visiting at-risk nursing homes, not because he… Read more »

Living Shirley Jackson’s story ‘The Lottery’ in real-time

Closed Iowa Counties

Note: This blog entry was first published in @LauraRBelin’s  Bleeding Heartland blog on Monday, May 4, and is re-posted here for my audience. I have updated the Iowa death chart and its explanation to include several more days of data. History since that earlier chart has been mixed. The daily growth rate in Iowa COVID-19 deaths has dropped slightly to… Read more »

The virus bullets that you don’t hear

I often live in denial as much as anybody. When I see an ant crawl across my tablet screen, I crush it and say, “Huh! I don’t like that.” But then I have to kick myself into gear to admit that it is time to go searching for more ants. A lot of people in low COVID-19-count communities and their… Read more »