Why Are American Colleges Obsessed With ‘Leadership’? | The Atlantic (2014)

Why Are American Colleges Obsessed With ‘Leadership’?; Tara Isabella Burton; In The Atlantic; 2014-01-22.
Teaser: What’s wrong with being a follower? Or a lone wolf?
Tara Isabella Burton is on a Ph.D. track as a Clarendon Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford; in the areas of theology & literature.

tl;dr → Because they can; because they need more “data.”  The English system is better, they’ve got this figured out already.  Europe, look to Europe for the answers.

Separately noted.

The Silicon Valley Suicides | The Atlantic

The Silicon Valley Suicides; Hanna Rosin; In The Atlantic; 2015-11-16; commentariat.
Teaser: Why are so many kids with bright prospects killing themselves in Palo Alto?

tl;dr → 8900 words; big-name writer breezes in from New York, stays with friends in San Mateo; recites the material, does some interviews, off-site interview with a survivor of the milieu; eats, shoots, leaves. No new information.  Graphic descriptions of street-level Caltrain for sound & mood; graphic expandable pictures of the grieving parents. Tour of the bestsellers. Not helpful. Generalized schadenfreude.

Separately noted.

Harvard, Ivy League Should Judge Students by Standardized Tests | New Republic

The Trouble with Harvard; (Harvard); In New Republic; 2014-09-04.
Teaser: The Ivy League is broken and only standardized tests can fix it

SEO’ed as Harvard, Ivy League Should Judge Students by Standardized Tests

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard. His book The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century


  • liberal arts [is good]
  • <quote>I submit that if “building a self” is the goal of a university education, you’re going to be reading anguished articles about how the universities are failing at it for a long, long time. </quote>
  • Ron Unz,some sort of insinuation of racism against (or for) Asians at Ivy League admission control.
  • Camilla Benbow, a sociologist
  • David Lubinski, a sociologist
  • <quote>[Essayists] Stephen Jay Gould and Malcolm Gladwell, pushing a leftist or heart-above-head egalitarianism, </quote>
  • Caroline Hoxby, an economist.
  • <quote>The Ivy admissions sweepstakes may be irrational, but the parents and teenagers who clamber to win it are not.</quote>


Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League; (ex-Yale); In New Republic; 2014-07-21.
Teaser: Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies

William Deresiewicz; Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and The Way to a Meaningful Life, Free Press; 2014-08-19. He taught at Yale from 1998 to 2008.


  • The purpose of an (elite) liberal arts education is …
    • To learn to think (this can be taught).
    • Something unspecified about “building a self.”
  • Admission control in the colleges is substantially lottery
  • There are lots of weird ways in which “diversity” is achieved; there are colorful names for these people (legacies, PQs, rounded, pointied, etc.)
  • Actual people run this stackrank system.


Adrian Wooldridge; Bell Curve Liberals How the left betrayed I.Q.; ; In New Republic; 1995-02-27, repurposed 2014-09-05.
Teaser: How the left betrayed I.Q.

Referenced in Pinker’s essay.


  • Charles Murray, Richard J. Herrnstein; The Bell Curve; a book.
  • Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Testing
  • Education Act of 1944
  • Alfred Yates, a psychologist
  • Douglas Pidgeon, a psychologist