Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Eugene, Oregon

It's strange but very pleasant to be back after 5 months :-) Unfortunately only for a few days.

Sunrise in Eugene.

Physics building.

Institute for Theoretical Science.

Physicists in action! (DOE review presentation.)

1 comment:

RKU said...

Well, I have mixed feelings about this issue...

On the one hand, I certainly think a good case can be made for elite admissions based on factors other than pure academic ability rank-ordering. But having 85% or 90% of the admissions based on the sort of other "nebulous" factors used by Harvard as described in that previous blog post makes it awfully easy to have an elite selected by extremely corrupt or nepotistic practices, and my impression is that this situation has grown worse and worse over the last couple of decades.

Since the top schools produce a huge fraction of America's future top economic, political, and social elites, often with relatively weak additional meritocratic filters, this can lead to huge problems. Personally, I think this is a major contributing factor to many of America's severe difficulties in recent years, certainly compared with many other countries around the world, despite all of this nation's tremendous advantages. Countries run by corrupt, insular, arrogant elites don't have a great track record in history.

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