UV Letters

A Better Lecture

Dec 15, 2017
Despite what I sometimes hear in the Bay Area, the set of things that technology makes more useful is not equal to the set of all things. In other words, there are things that don't become more useful simply from digitization.
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Sweep Away The Skills Gap

Dec 1, 2017
When I came to the U.S. for college, I was clearly in the minority. Not just because I was Canadian and my roommates made fun of how I pronounced house, mouse and couch. But also a minority among Canadian male students: only a handful of us weren't there principally to play hockey.
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Stranger Things

Nov 17, 2017
This song by 80's one-hit-wonder The Icicle Works plays over the end credits of Chapter (episode) 7 of Netflix's smash "Stranger Things 2" - an homage to 80's culture about the monsters that are unleashed when helpless children get hurt. Season one was about a child of divorce - Will Byers of Hawkins, Indiana - who gets trapped in...
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Desirable Difficulty

Nov 3, 2017
We're losing too many great musicians. Last year it was David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and Prince. So far this year: Chuck Berry, Tom Petty, and Fats Domino. But in my home country of Canada, none of these greats hold a candle to a musician we lost last month, although...
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Money Changes Everything

Oct 20, 2017
It's going to take a lot more than football for colleges and universities to regain popularity. In fact, spending more on football will probably make the problem worse. What will it take?
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The Climate Is Changing For Free College

Oct 6, 2017
One of the most important lessons I learned in college is that labels matter a lot. Sophomore and junior year I dated a girl whose last name was Hong and who had the unfortunate habit of writing "HONG" with a black Sharpie in big block capital letters on literally everything she owned. Every book...
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Sim City

Sep 22, 2017
Last weekend I went on a long bike ride by the beach with my 11-year-old son Leo. As I was struggling to keep up, I passed a man lying in the grass next to the bike path pointing with both hands to his very yellow socks...
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College And The War On Expertise

Sep 8, 2017
Last week I took my three boys on an end-of-summer trip to Yosemite and rediscovered that when you're together non-stop, you really get to know what fun and quirky people your kids are becoming. For instance, my youngest, six-year-old Zev, often seems lost in the world. He's easily confused about days of the week and the time of...
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Generation iPhone Hits College

Aug 25, 2017
One of the best comedy sketches about higher education is a Saturday Night Live gem from 1984 about Winston University. In the sketch, Billy Crystal plays an admissions officer visiting a high school class. While the teacher is in the room, the pitch is plain vanilla to the point of boredom: "This is the science...
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Born On Third Base, Thinks He Hit A Triple: The Problem With College Admissions

Aug 11, 2017
When America's elite universities encounter a challenge, there's a proud tradition of establishing a seemingly judicious, impartial process - but one with rules that actually pre-determine winners.
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