Six Minutes on the True Purpose of University Education

JP recently spoke at Harvard University, in interview format, on the topic: Mask of Compassion: Post-Modernism & Neo-Marxism. This is a five minute clip from that talk (available in full at on the true purpose of university education. Educate yourself. Become articulate -- able to think, form arguments, act and lead.

Do schools kill creativity? | Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less).

The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness

The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness

Are you above average? Is your child an A student? Is your employee an introvert or an extrovert? Every day we are measured against the yardstick of averages, judged according to how closely we come to it or how far we deviate from it.

The assumption that metrics comparing us to an average—like GPAs, personality test results, and performance review ratings—reveal something meaningful about our potential is so ingrained in our consciousness that we don’t even question it. That assumption, says Harvard’s Todd Rose, is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong.

In The End of Average, Rose, a rising star in the new field of the science of the individual shows that no one is average. Not you. Not your kids. Not your employees. This isn’t hollow sloganeering—it’s a mathematical fact with enormous practical consequences. But while we know people learn and develop in distinctive ways, these unique patterns of behaviors are lost in our schools and businesses which have been designed around the mythical “average person.” This average-size-fits-all model ignores our differences and fails at recognizing talent. It’s time to change it.

Weaving science, history, and his personal experiences as a high school dropout, Rose offers a powerful alternative to understanding individuals through averages: the three principles of individuality. The jaggedness principle (talent is always jagged), the context principle (traits are a myth), and the pathways principle (we all walk the road less traveled) help us understand our true uniqueness—and that of others—and how to take full advantage of individuality to gain an edge in life.

Read this powerful manifesto in the ranks of Drive, Quiet, and Mindset—and you won’t see averages or talent in the same way again.

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The world needs all kinds of minds | Temple Grandin

Autism activist Temple Grandin talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids. Now Has a Scheduling App for Your Convenience

Students are not "required" to meet one-on-one with meprior to Fall Break; however, any student who fails to do so could adversely affect my teaching prowess. You've witnessed ample evidence of my commitment to my work--I regard economics instruction to be my "calling." Do you really think it's a good idea to hinder me (veteran of 75th Ranger Regiment, back when that meant something) as I strive for teaching perfection? Goodness, what insanity might be unleashed upon undergraduates as they sleep? Who can guess what "the voices" might suggest?

Did you hear that? Just now, I distinctly heard someone (or some thing?) whisper:

"Where will you hide the bodies this semester?" 

Seriously folks, I highly encourage all students to visit the Economics page on's also a button on's Facebook page labeled "Book Now"--and schedule your one-on-one.

To date only 99 current students have beheld my spectacular office decor and its soul-soothing ambiance--fully half my students bodies stacked atop last year's crop would make an impressive mountain, to be sure! If half my students suddenly disappeared without a trace it might raise eyebrows, but without the bodies they couldn't prosecute. So...

If you doubt the value of this exercise then you didn't hear the sample of students who last week testified during class about potential rewards reaped from direct consultation with faculty. Or you're crazier than I am, which is effectively impossible. Are you the Red Dragon?

Midterm exam is scheduled for next week. I will post a study guide and a packet of exam questions culled from the nearly 600 questions submitted by you and your classmates thus far. Some of them are seriously, yet not surprisingly, impressive. Thanks and have a good week.


Steps to Take When You’re Starting to Feel Burned Out

If you think you might be experiencing burnout, don’t ignore it; it won’t go away by itself. The consequences of burnout for individuals are grave, including coronary disease, hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, depression, anxiety, increased alcohol and drug use, marital and family conflict, alienation, sense of futility, and diminished career prospects. The costs to employers include decreased performance, absenteeism, turnover, increased accident risk, lowered morale and commitment, cynicism, and reduced willingness to help others.