Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Note of Gratitude to Readers and Correspondents

Hopefully the occasional amusements offered by the content partially compensate for this site's many flaws.

Thank you, readers, correspondents, contributors and subscribers for tolerating the many weaknesses of this site over the past five months--especially the lack of email response. A more rational (or simply more sane) writer would have assessed the real-world workload and schedule from August 1 to December 31 and put the blog into a 5-month hiatus on August 1.

Alas, I am neither entirely sane nor rational, and so I persisted in creating content during the morning cup of coffee or in the odd moments in between time spent away from the digital realm, and finding a few moments to post it.

It is fair and reasonable to desire a response to an email, and I apologize to all those correspondents who took the time and invested the energy to write me--thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences and analyses with me--but did not receive a reply.

It would have been fairer in some ways to put the blog into hiatus and shut down the email address, as I have had very limited time (and access to the Internet) to respond to email. Even though I value all email from readers very highly, the physical limits of my time and energy over the past five months have simply precluded responding to more than 5% of all email.

(It didn't help that my email server crashed, wiping out all but the most recent 1,500+ emails from 11/28/13.)

It's a peculiar dilemma: if I stop writing the blog, there is no reason to email me, but if I post content on the fly in between real-world work or activities, then there is no way I can respond to email. Yet I rely on the observations, critiques and experiences of readers and correspondents to continue my own learning.

Some have suggested an auto-reply to all email, but this strikes me as even more unsatisfactory than no reply. It has also been suggested that I hire an assistant to respond to email in my stead, but a copy-and-paste email from a 20-year old college student can only be a facsimile of an authentic response. (Not to mention the awkwardness of paying someone to respond to a free blog.)

If I could program a robotic "me," that might work, but that's not an available solution. For now, I ask your forbearance of an unsatisfactory situation and your acceptance of my sincere gratitude for your willingness to email commentaries that are read, valued and occasionally excerpted (with your permission, of course) despite the lack of acknowledgement.

Some of you may feel that to post content knowing that I will be unable to respond to comments, critiques and suggestions is form of a high-handedness; if this is so, I ask for your understanding that it is not intended as high-handedness--the reality is that the blog and all related digital activity is perhaps 10% of my life. I have an hour or two to do all content, management and email. After that, I'm elsewhere in the non-digital world.

I have posted 115 essays/entries since August 1, and sent 21 Musings Reports to contributors/subscribers.

Hopefully the occasional amusements offered by this content partially compensate for the site's many flaws. Your continued readership is sincerely appreciated.

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The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy:
The Revolution in Higher Education

Reconnecting higher education, livelihoods and the economy

With the soaring cost of higher education, has the value a college degree been turned upside down? College tuition and fees are up 1000% since 1980. Half of all recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed, revealing a deep disconnect between higher education and the job market.

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Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
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We are not powerless. Once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

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