Several years ago (2011?) Stephen Fry sat down for an internet interview with the members of Big Think. The result was an eloquent off-the-cuff laying-out of Fry's background and outlook on life, full of gems of insight and advice. You can watch highlights of the interview by scrolling down here, or you can watch the full hour-long shebang via YouTube.
If a shibboleth is a way to determine an "insider", by saying something that only an "insider" could say, what is something that an "insider" would never say? How about a 'Frisco'? [more inside]
In 2003, only two colleges charged more than $40,000 a year for tuition, fees, room, and board. Six years later more than two hundred colleges charged that amount. What happened between 2003 and 2009 was the start of the recession. By driving down endowments and giving tax-starved states a reason to cut back their support for higher education, the recession put new pressure on colleges and universities to raise their price. When our current period of slow economic growth will end is anybody’s guess, but even when it does end, colleges and universities will certainly not be rolling back their prices. These days, it is not just the economic climate in which our colleges and universities find themselves that determines what they charge and how they operate; it is their increasing corporatization. If corporatization meant only that colleges and universities were finding ways to be less wasteful, it would be a welcome turn of events. But an altogether different process is going on[more inside]
Who Draws The Borders Of Culture?(NYTimes) Cultural border, as opposed to national borders, are funny things. One country can contain many (Coke vs. Soda. Vs. Pop, previously and previously-er). Cultural borders often appear as food and drink choices, like sweet tea, forms of alcohol, or BBQ sauce. [more inside]
Every day in August 2010, the chin-scratching blog Bigthink will post a "Dangerous Idea" supplied by one of its expert contributors. So far it has been suggested that we spike the water supply with lithium, darken the atmosphere to blot out the Sun, and leave lots of children behind.
Tired of video sites that are 99% cats running into walls? Check out Big Think ("YouTube for Smarty Pants") and FORA.tv ("A hipper, Web-based version of C-SPAN"). Give your brain a workout! (Via, and earlier)