A study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin would seem to confirm what many take for granted: despite the common adage, money can indeed buy happiness . . . at least if you have a million dollars. Grant E. Donnelly, a doctoral candidate in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School, found that the more wealth that people have corollated with greater happiness. There is however a difference in happiness between those near the bottom and near the top of wealthiest individuals. Can you guess who was happier among the millionaires?
We have been following the overwhelming evidence of drastic climate change, but few studies are as striking as the most report from NOAA’s Arctic research program. The annual Arctic Report Card that we have reached the highest loss of Arctic ice in 1500 years. Recently discussed the controversial statements of Administration officials like Energy Secretary Rick Perry on the U.S. offering a better future through fossil fuels. These studies show a potentially catastrophic future as our climate continues to change exponentially.
Many of us were critical of the decisions of Evergreen State College in not just its holding of it “Day of Absence” event were whites were expected to leave campus but its treatment of Biology professor Bret Weinstein who was hounded out of the college (and later received a $500,000 settlement for his mistreatment). The school has also been criticized for racial exclusions of authors in the school newspaper. Now there is a report that Evergreen could be heading in the same direction of the University of Missouri, which has seen a massive drop in applications in the wake of controversial decisions in race-related controversies. Evergreen reportedly expects a 20 percent decrease in admissions even as it replaces its “Day of Absence” event. There is now a proposed “inclusion” course. The Administration and faculty were remarkably slow in adjusting its course, which seemed to abandon Weinstein and embrace racial exclusionary principles. It is still early to determine if Evergreen will experience the disastrous “Mizzou Effect.”
Georgetown received considerable national attention last year when it offered preferential admissions treatment for the descendants of 272 slaves sold in 1838. It also published an apology, announced the creation of an institute on slavery, and renamed two buildings (including one, Issac Hayes Hall, after the first of the sold slaves). It appears however that the school has hit an impasse with the descendants who feel that Georgetown has not done enough and are demanding reparations. It is not clear if the reparations are in addition to the $1 billion demanded earlier from the University for a foundation.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a surprising appearance at the National Congress of American Indians this week and made an even more surprising statement that she is indeed part Native American. I have been critical of the use of this label (and name calling generally) by the President and others. Yet, the sudden discussion of the controversy was unexpected by Warren. The assumption for years is that Warren had backed off from this claim made during her academic career. She was counted by by two law schools as a Native American. Indeed, we first discussed this issue when Warren was still an academic and her claim that claiming to a Native American offered no advantage to her career. The speech comes at an interesting time for academia where more schools are allowing students to not simply choose their gender (or non-gender) but also their race.
Tonight, I will speaking at the Hirshhhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. as part of a panel discussing the ongoing controversy over the removal of confederate and other historical monuments across the country. I have been critical of this movement that has extended not only to Robert E. Lee statues but statues of Christopher Columbus and other historical figures (here and here and here and here and here). The event, Monuments and the First Amendment, will be held at:
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 • 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20560
We recently discussed the protests over Anthropology professor Lawrence Rosen using the word “nigger” in a class on offensive terms to discuss the free speech issues surrounding language. I supported his right to use such terms and questioned where the line would be drawn in university classes. Some faculty however supported the students and now Rosen has cancelled the class. It is a worrisome development for those concerned about academic freedom.