Nearly seven years after the financial crisis, banks are still churning out profits and wrestling with regulators.
Yet Wall Street, by many important measures, appears to be in the middle of a humbling transformation.
Bonuses are shrinking. Revenue growth has stalled. Entire business lines are being cut. And some investors are even asking whether the biggest banks should be broken up — changes that are all largely attributed to a not-so-well-known set of rules regarding capital, a financial metric that captures how much cushion banks might have in the event of a crisis.
Map Shows Loudest and Quietest Places in the U.S.:
Where is it quiet, and where is it loud? A map unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California, shows you where to go if you want a landscape without much racket.
It was produced by researchers from the National Park Service and elsewhere, who compiled 1.5 million hours of acoustic monitoring from around the country, Science reports. They then created an algorithm that predicted noise values for areas where sound wasn’t directly measured.
The map was made in part to see what areas may have ambient sound levels that could interfere with the survival of species like owls, which have sensitive hearing and require relative quiet to detect prey.
Be Still meditation:
The Oasis: Particularity of Time and Space, Davidson College:
It strikes me that Davidson overall is a temple in this contemplative sense, too, of higher learning and higher selves, individually and together.
Particularity and pluralism, faith and reason, time and space.
Professors question traditional four-year residential college model – LA Times, Davidson College, flipped courses, higher education, 4-year residential college:
“Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education,” which Stevens edited with fellow Stanford professor Michael Kirst, questions the four-year college path that evolved after World War II. The authors advocate for a more flexible model that is based less on the Ivy League and more on for-profit colleges.
“Higher education is Teflon compared to that,” said Kirst, president of the state Board of Education.
As our “outsourced economy” continues to whither, and our population swells thanks to “open borders”, I don’t expect the “Land of Opportunity” to have much left.
Colleges have begun receiving score cards from the federal government based on their cost and graduation rates, among other factors. And the Obama administration has proposed a ratings system for colleges that would take into account tuition, average student debt and graduation and transfer rates.
Stevens said he sees more innovation in the technology field. Several San Francisco start-ups have started offering seminar-style college courses aimed at training people for tech jobs. And Stanford students and administrators have discussed a program to spread undergraduate studies over a longer period than four years.
But of all the residential campuses, Stevens said he believes Davidson College near Charlotte, N.C., has done the best job of exploring alternatives to the traditional four-year schedule among selective private schools.
The school has offered “flipped” courses in which students watch lectures on their computers and spend their time in class interacting with their peers and professors. The school also started an adult learning institute that offers primarily evening courses designed for adult students.
At Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, professors have been tracking results for students taking “flipped” classes and comparing them against the same class in a traditional setting.
Davidson President Carol Quillen said she’s not sure what role flipped courses and adult learning will play in the college’s future. “No one knows what the impact of new technologies is going to be on higher education,” she said.
Quillen said the college is likely to keep trying to find ways to integrate technology in the classroom, but she didn’t foresee it tearing down dorms any time soon.
“It would be foolish and possibly irresponsible to ignore it,” she said. “I don’t know how we can tell students they can make a difference in the world if we don’t teach them about technology.”
Religion’s Role in the History of Ideas – WSJ:
It happens every year. In teaching my humanities class, I ask what a philosopher had in mind in writing about the immortality of the soul or salvation, and suddenly my normally loquacious undergraduates start staring down intently at their notes. If I ask them a factual theological question about the Protestant Reformation, they are ready with an answer: predestination, faith not works, etc.
But if I go on to ask them how one knows in one’s heart that one is saved, they turn back to their notes. They look anywhere but at me, for fear that I might ask them about feeling the love of God or about having a heart filled with faith. In this intellectual history class, we talk about sexuality and identity, violence and revolution, art and obscenity, and the students are generally eager to weigh in. But when the topic of religious feeling and experience comes up, they would obviously just prefer that I move on to another subject.
Why is it so hard for my very smart students to make this leap—not the leap of faith but the leap of historical imagination? I’m not trying to make a religious believer out of anybody, but I do want my students to have a nuanced sense of how ideas of knowledge, politics and ethics have been intertwined with religious faith and practice.