my report for the New America Foundation

Hey friends, I’m thrilled to share with you a new report that I developed for the New America Foundation, titled “Standardized Assessments of College Learning: Past and Future.” It’s available here as a PDF. A brief synopsis can be found here. Drawn in part from my dissertation research, the report discusses the touchy subject of […]

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not dead yet

A couple years ago, Adolph Reed published an essential essay on the capitulation of the American left to neoliberalism, austerity, and hopelessness. It followed, as you’d predict, that the New Republic published a hippie-punching piece in response, written by Mike Konczal. With eminent condescension, Konczal explained that in our Fukuyaman world, there’s just no place for actual left […]

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why not both (bad things)?

With the Gawker verdict upon us, the opinion-generation machine is purring along at an unprecedented pace. It’s not really surprising that so many in the media are quick to gloat or dismiss any concerns that this case may bring up about a free press; whistling past the graveyard is the industry hobby of journalism. I […]

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c’mon, guys

American socialism has long been subject to habitual invocations of the moral permissibility of political violence. It happens cyclically: people with an academic or analytical temperament and a principled commitment to anti-capitalist politics — people like me — become fixated on the idea of progress through armed conflict, and take turns shouting down the pacifist boogiemen […]

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what Thomas Hardy taught me

A few people have asked me to weigh in on this New Yorker piece on yet-another set of Silicon Valley types, demonstrating the existential hubris of their kind by assuming that the level of thinking that brought you Candy Crush Saga can permanently alter education, a human endeavor that stretches back millennia and which has captured the […]

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A.O. Scott’s Better Living Through Criticism

As someone who is not quite a critic, I’m going to invoke my prerogative to write something that’s not quite a review, inspired by A.O. Scott’s recent book Better Living Through Criticism. And maybe I can suss out my issue with A.O. Scott. Scott’s brief book is, I guess, a long conversation between Scott and himself […]

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in the simple foundation

In 1918, before being sentenced to prison for opposing the hideous and pointless destruction of the first World War, Eugene Debs addressed the judge. His speech was one of the great moments in the history of American oratory. And he began it like this: “Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living […]

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I wonder why people are so angry

Dave Weigel at WaPo interviewed some liberals who are voting in the GOP primaries. Among them is a gentleman named Tom Paquin of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cambridge is home to Harvard, MIT, and a median household income of over $75,000. Paquin complains about “the neanderthals in Western Massachusetts.” If you’re not from New England, this might not […]

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Democrats always prove the commies right

I’m regularly accused of believing things that I’ve never said and don’t believe. That’s largely a facet of the fact that, on the internet today, arguing with people is really a matter of misrepresenting what they’re saying and then attacking the misrepresentation. One of the most constant of these is that I say “both parties […]

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