Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
This kind of overlaps to the thing we were writing about earlier with Information Technology, where the word “skill” is being re-defined — away from the ability to do things, toward a big fistful of paper statements from third parties that someone was able to do something.
It’s led to the creation of a whole new industry.
Throw a few hundred dollars to the right P.O. Box and you too could have a medical license, engineering degree or credential of choice all without cracking a single book. And many unscrupulous students do.
“[The diploma mill industry] is so large that it’s hard to believe the numbers,” comments Dr. George Gollin, a physics professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign…”We think that U.S.-based diploma mills are selling as many as 200,000 [phony] degrees per year.”
What’s even more alarming than the size of the industry — estimated at more than $1 billion per year — is who’s funding it. Anecdotal data gathered from now-defunct institutions suggests that up to 5 percent of all diploma mill buyers are federal employees, 1 percent are purported medical doctors, and a frightening number are parading as Ph.D.s.
“The number of fake doctorates sold each year is in the range of 50,000 to 60,000,” states John Bear, author of “Bear’s Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning.” “The number of real Ph.D.s is around 40,000. In America right now, more than half of all the Ph.D.s are fake.”
Funny thing about these articles is — they never draw a distinction between the diplomas that are “fake” because they involve out-and-out undeniable fraud, and other diplomas that are “fake” because they come from “diploma mills” that are not quite as prestigious as they might appear to be. The phrase “all without cracking a single book” seems to indicate that everything under discussion under here, falls into the first of those two categories.
But to receive an application that boasts of a diploma or degree taken at XYZ, and to do the necessary research on it, learning only after digging that XYZ was one thing and you expected it to be something else — to call that a “fake degree” is kind of like referring to a sexual encounter as rape the morning after simply because you didn’t like it.
Not that I think any of this is defensible. In my mind it isn’t…not on the supply side…or on the demand side. But it’s simple economics. You say “we are not going to allow you to advance beyond this arbitrary point until you bring to us this arbitrary piece of paper, and as far as what you are supposed to have learned when you produce that paper not even we have a clear understanding of what that is” — to say that, is to produce a black market in manufacturing those pieces of paper. It is a practical guarantee.
You are saying, we don’t care what you really know, we don’t care what you are supposed to have learned. Or if we do care, we aren’t saying what it is, in fact we’re taking great pains to avoid saying what it is. Just bring in the piece of paper. Cover our butts. And so, disqualifying the instances in which an intent to defraud can be proven…what we really have here are examples of efficiency, not deceit. The diploma-mill customers arrived at a dirty game, and they played dirty hands.
And I’m just as inclined to question the qualifications of those who demand those pieces of paper, and are chagrined about the nature of those pieces of paper once they are delivered, as I am to question the qualifications of those who deliver them. Those who so demanded, are saying “when I asked to see such-and-such piece of paper, I had it in mind that he’d be going to classes…very much like the ones I took…even though that isn’t exactly what I said.” In most cases, I’m sure, those-who-supplied are unscrupulous. But also, in most cases, their “crime” is spending $500 instead of $50,000…and fulfilling the letter of the requirement, a requirement on which they were soured & cynical because they thought it a silly requirement from the get-go.
And if I’m to condemn them for that, well, I’m in no position to. I’m really not. I’ve met far too many people who have those pieces of paper, “proper” ones at that, who wouldn’t know their asses from a hole in the ground.
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