Parody and its discontents

With a Congressional fight over the debt ceiling looming once more, an idea for how to sidestep Republican opposition to raising it a second time has been making the rounds: Have the Treasury mint a $1 trillion platinum coin. Deposit it at the Fed. Pay some bills. Job done.

The MOOC shall inherit the Earth

Over the past few months, I’ve been exploring the world of massively open online courses (aka MOOCs), comparing the offerings on, among others, to those I’ve taken at Portland State. The experience has been revelatory.

$3 million on red 22

“Build a better mousetrap,” Emerson is supposed to have said, “and the world will beat a path to your door.” Why build that mousetrap in the first place? Why do we innovate? The question has been the focus of decades of research, but it’s not merely academic. Portland State’s administrative leadership thinks it knows the answer, and it’s betting—with student money—on “green.”