Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2012 January 9

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January 9[edit]

Criticism of University[edit]

I want to know the criticisms of the common system of higher education, specially university. of course if there is any. Flakture (talk) 05:21, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misinterpretation, but it is our policy here not to do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn nearly as much as doing it yourself. Please attempt to solve the problem or answer the question yourself first. If you need help with a specific part of your homework, feel free to tell us where you are stuck and ask for help. If you need help grasping the concept of a problem, by all means let us know. RudolfRed (talk) 06:00, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't know what here appears to be homework. If by copying this template here you mean this is a general question, so your right. and if you mean ,according to your policies, there is an article about this question please link it because I couldn't find it. here we can know about aspect of the subject that we didn't encounter before. I appreciate the answer of anyone who this one doesn't appear homework to him. Flakture (talk) 06:33, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be a relevant Wikipedia page. It's not clear whether you mean criticisms of universities in general, of a particular country's university system, of particular institutions, or a particular facet of the education system. Criticisms will vary depending on your values (e.g. some people believe higher education has become too profit-oriented, but some people believe it's too ivory-tower and detached from the real world of business). Many criticisms that apply to Oxford University or Yale would not apply to e.g. India's new institutions or technical colleges; a Mormon University is going to be very different to a secular American state-funded college; etc. Universities vary greatly e.g. generalist/specialist curricula; subjects taught; tradition/modernity; links with business; elitism/open access; resources and facilities; fees.
New York Review of Books has recently done a series of articles criticising trends in US higher education, e.g. [1]. They come from a liberal POV that assumes traditional universities were basically good. There are a lot of other blogs and websites which come up if you google criticisms of universities. --Colapeninsula (talk) 10:26, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
The past was always glorious. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

I actually mean education system and model rather than university issues like being profit-oriented, and in fact many of articles on web that I've taken a look are in the second kind.I've not seen a deep and classic research on that one. Rigid and slow dynamic, less useful that taking apart in workshop and being practical ,and why it's so common in world, passing units? Flakture (talk) 15:05, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Well, to give you one idea, there are primarily two economic interpretations of why university is good for society (I'm stripping here the benefits of the paraphernalia associated with university (or, in general, "rigid" learning structures), such as research, exchange of knowledge among professors, social skills acquired by students, etc). The first is that students are more productive after than before; the second is that university is essentially a complex way of allowing students (potential employees) to signal how good they are. If we take the benefit to society as the sum of these, and the cost as the amount of time university takes out of people's lives (when they could be working), then it seems to me that the social value of university as a construct depends upon the industry being prepared for. Medicine seems to score well on both these points; but for many practical skills the case seems to be less clear. Is that more what you meant? - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 11:20, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

As I understand, this mean University is an attempt to preventing the flow of productivity in the bloom of youth,(so there is some conspiracy!) couldn't be planned that complexity in more useful form. this uniformity is mysterious...and I'm agree with your last statement about medicine ,a good interaction between practical knowledge and theoretic knowledge. and it could be right about some other fields like police and military.Other fields, not agree... Flakture (talk) 17:09, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

We need a link to liberal education rather than simply discussing whether universities are effective trade schools. Rmhermen (talk) 20:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
There are many vocal critics of universities. I purposely ignore those who appear to be critical simply because they failed within the system. Ignoring those, there is a major problem with the entire structure. The grading system is bad. Students expect an A. Anything less is unacceptable. However, the average student should receive a C. So, there is a major disconnect between what is expected and what should be given. The cost is ridiculous. Education should not be cost-prohibitive in a classless society. But, universities demonstrate that society is still a class-based system. The schedule is bad. Universities are not designed for humans because humans get hurt, they get sick, they have to move, they have children. Universities require a time commitment that requires the student to predict that nothing will happen in the future to prohibit adherence to the schedule. Now, there are universities that critique other universities. A common complaint is the old-style brick and mortar critic of the new-fangled online university. Since when should education be like fast-food where you get what you want when you want it? Of course, the online universities exist because people do not want to physically go to some stuffy classroom and sit around for an hour on a set schedule. There are also many critiques of the extracurricular activities. What role do sports play in education? They bring in money, but little else. Should a university sponsor political or religious activities or should a university be politically and religiously neutral? I've even seen papers that are critical of common university policies that prohibit sexual activities between a professor and a student. Why should the university interfere between two consensual adults? But, there are critics of the trade schools and accreditation programs as well. For example, if I am hiring a programmer, I could get a kid from a trade school or one that spent a day cramming to get a few certifications. Alternately, I could get a kid who set a goal to get a BS degree, which would require at least 3 years commitment (often 4 or 5 years), and then completed the program and received the degree. While both may have the same education, the commitment of the university student greatly outshines that of someone who set aside a day or two to take a short exam. -- kainaw 20:53, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
My two cents after Kainaw's excellent post: the exams should also be independent of the teachers, so everyone would know who are the best teachers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I believe Friedrich Hayek said there was no such thing as too little education, but that you could have too much education. Something to the effect of an overeducated middle class with no jobs and hence a lot of free time being a prescription for civic unrest, and even proletarian revolution. I thought it was in Political Ideologies by Andrew Heywood, but I couldn't find it. IBE (talk) 11:47, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────To answer Flakture's question, it appears that Wikipedia is lacking a dedicated article to that topic, (or it may have been 'edited out'). Relevant articles include: Education_in_the_United_States#Criticism_2, Education reform, and Commission_on_the_Future_of_Higher_Education#Criticism_and_Controversy. There are of course a number of academic papers & books dedicated to the topic. Crisis in the Academy: Rethinking Higher Education in America describes several issues affecting higher education, In Defense of Elitism offers a number of remarks regarding the restriction of higher education, and Criticisms of Higher Education(1934) offers criticism on the criticism of higher education=P.Smallman12q (talk) 00:52, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

The first execution with lethal injection in the US[edit]

Was it against the US constitution, since it's against cruel and unusual punishment? Being the first time makes it necessarily unusual. (talk) 16:50, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

See Cruel and unusual punishment. Funny post though, IBE (talk) 17:18, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the key word is 'and'. Cruel punishments are constitutional, as are unusual ones - it is a combination of the two that isn't permitted. Evidently, those responsible thought that there were already sufficient forms of cruelty available, and innovation in this regard was unnecessary. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:05, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Come on, no, that trivializes the whole thing. The ban was clearly intended to ban things that were not particularly innovative. I don't know what might have been the exact list they had in mind, but surely it would have included breaking on the wheel, crucifixion, and burning, and even non-lethal tortures like the rack. --Trovatore (talk) 19:27, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
A good example of unusual punishment deemed not to be cruel is the infamous, "I stole mail, this is my punishment" case of United States v. Gementera, 379 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2004)[2]. The case is taught in American Law Schools for this topic. The opinion in Gementera cites the leading federal cases dealing with the subject. I have also heard one court in New Jersey or New York has sentenced those guilty of public urination to wear yellow jump suits while cleaning up city streets as community service. Judges are free to be creative in imposing their sentences in some cases. Gx872op (talk) 21:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I suppose we could always go back to hangin's. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Isn't hanging still legal in a few states? Hot StopUTC 03:27, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, in New Hampshire and Washington according to Capital punishment in the US#Methods. --Colapeninsula (talk) 10:56, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
(I had a fuller answer prepared but it seems to have got lost somewhere.) Per Furman v. Georgia, the most likely way to find lethal injection "cruel and unusual" is to find it arbitrary in its application. Thus, the unconstitutionality of the first lethal injection would likely depend upon the actual case in which it was applied. - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 11:00, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The legalistic arguments against the death penalty have typically been about arbitrary and capricious. The "cruel and unusual" argument doesn't hold much water legally. It may someday, but not at present. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:08, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you're unaware of the recent big discussions about the cruelty of lethal injection, which focused specifically on the (possible) pain experienced from the particular lethal "cocktail" that is used. See Lethal_injection#Constitutionality_in_the_United_States and Baze v. Rees. The supreme court ruled on it (upholding lethal injection) in 2008. Staecker (talk) 18:46, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

our society[edit]

What on Earth has happened to our Society? One of the greatest British assets was our ability to poke fun at one another and as a release valve other nationalities. A little tongue in cheek humour is healthy. Rounding on people for the smallest Jib or in some cases factual observations; Turrets Et Al ,is not a crime. Loosen up out there, we have enough real problems facing us and cannot allow our sense of humour to be taken away From us by the Grey suited PC brigade. DanCollier1200 (talk) 18:56, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

You appear to have mistaken this reference desk for the comments section of the Daily Mail - we have no connection with that particular comedic work. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:01, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, the Letters section. I wouldn't believe that it is necessarily banned; Bernard Manning-esque comedy seems very out of touch, anyway. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 22:08, 9 January 2012 (UTC)