‘This textbook business is, to my way of thinking, a very serious matter, because of the economic impact,’ Nye said in an email to HuffPost. “Everyone should take a moment and think what it will mean to raise a generation of students who might believe that it is reasonable to think for a moment that the Earth might be 10,000 years old.’
Bill Nye the Science Guy’s response to the latest attempts to denigrate science at the Texas State Board of Education.
This and other quotes (mostly Right Wing and Christian stupidity) of the past week via the TFN Insider.
In reality, the ‘free market’ is a bunch of rules about 1) what can be owned and traded (the genome? slaves? nuclear materials? babies? votes?); 2) on what terms (equal access to the Internet? the right to organize unions? corporate monopolies? the length of patent protections?); 3) under what conditions (poisonous drugs? unsafe foods? deceptive Ponzi schemes? uninsured derivatives? dangerous workplaces?); 4) what’s private and what’s public (police? roads? clean air and clean water? healthcare? good schools? parks and playgrounds?); 5) how to pay for what (taxes, user fees, individual pricing?). And so on. These rules don’t exist in nature; they are human creations. Governments don’t ‘intrude’ on free markets; governments organize and maintain them. Markets aren’t ‘free’ of rules; the rules define them.
—Robert Reich, quoted in “Why Atheist Libertarians Are Part of America’s 1 Percent Problem" on AlterNet. The rest of the piece is certainly worth reading, but as usual, do skip the less than bright comments.
When some asshat whines the free market is the natural way of things or some other bullshit, smack them with this quote.
So what you have is an increasing number of brilliant PhD graduates arriving every year into the market hoping to secure a permanent position as a professor and enjoying freedom and high salaries, a bit like the rank-and-file drug dealer hoping to become a drug lord. To achieve that, they are ready to forgo the income and security that they could have in other areas of employment by accepting insecure working conditions in the hope of securing jobs that are not expanding at the same rate.
This quote came from “How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang
" by Alexandre Afonso, and it is definitely worth reading, especially if you are in academia, more so if you are one of those pursuing a PhD hoping to get one of those tenure-track jobs that seem more myth than reality. For those seeking such positions, this is likely seriously depressing reading, but it is a must-read. I am glad I left that race behind.