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willcubes

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underwater basket weaving, but #2

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/jan/15/education.highereducation

Taking the mick
You can study decision making at Luton, stained glass at Swansea or golf management in Lincoln. But was Margaret Hodge right to attack 'Mickey Mouse degrees'? Emma Brockes reports
Emma Brockes
@emmabrockes
Wed 15 Jan 2003 12.29 GMT
In quieter moments at the Coalville and Ashby Times - and this is a place where whole days can pass without the incursion of activity - Paul Marston wonders whether he has made the right choices in life. At 17, unsure of what he wanted to do, Marston left school and enrolled in a three-year degree course at De Montfort University. The discipline was media studies. Now 22 and news editor of his Leicestershire local paper, Marston revisits that decision with growing levels of regret. "It taught me lots of different skills," he says. "It taught me about a wide variety of things." He pauses. "It just didn't seem to teach me anything, you know, in particular."

There are certain phrases in the English language which are designed to exact the maximum amount of outrage with a minimum outlay of effort. "Bogus asylum seekers" is one. "Bog-standard comprehensives" is another, and we were reminded of a third, this week, when Margaret Hodge, minister for higher education, referred in a public seminar to "Mickey Mouse degrees". These, said Hodge, were degrees in which "the content is perhaps not as rigorous as one would expect ... and may not have huge relevance to the labour market."

Relevance is a poor indicator of quality in the context of higher education, since you can take almost any discipline to a level of theoretical difficulty at which it stops being "relevant to the labour market" and becomes purely abstract. Moreover, every generation has its Mickey Mouse degrees - arts subjects were mocked in the 60s and 70s, sociology in the 80s and gender studies in the 1990s, all of which are now regarded as legitimate by more or less everyone in academe bar Harold Bloom.

Nevertheless, Hodge's outburst accords with a genuine unease in universities: that the "Mickey Mouse" degrees of today are so numerous, so eye-rollingly beyond the pale, that laughing at them is not an adequate response. Rather, there must be serious debate and recourse to more inflammatory phrases, such as "dumbing-down" and "erosion of standards". There are degrees made ludicrous by virtue of their specificity (a BA (Hons) in air-conditioning). There are degrees ridiculed for their non-specificity (citizenship studies, which, to its detractors, is so broad that it might as well be called "shit that happens in the world" studies). There are the apparent oxymorons - turfgrass science, amenity horticulture, surf and beach management and the BSc from Luton University in decision-making, which begs the cheap but irresistible observation, how did those on the course manage to make the decision to take it in the first place?

Inevitably, it is the newer universities whose students are most likely to be marked out as dimwits who can't get on to conventional courses. This is partly a question of branding - perfectly credible "new" degrees are undermined by their over-reliance on the word "studies". Through association with general studies A-level, that which you pass by flicking through a newspaper the day before the exam, anything with the word studies at the end of it is regarded by traditionalists as highly suspicious, in the same way that the word "flavour" in strawberry flavour drink, is used by the food industry to indicate something that's not quite the real deal.

And yet, some of the most dubious sounding degree courses have come out of the best universities, notably Harvard, which pioneered Madonna studies back in the early 90s by including it as a module on its gender studies MA course. One class was devoted entirely - and I'm not making this up - to the relationship Madonna enjoys with her own belly button. (It goes without saying that, since then, we have entered the exciting new era of "post-Madonna" studies.) You need only glance down the list of texts in the burgeoning field of "cultural studies" to bring on a fit of "the world's gone mad" fever. How about Women on Ice: Feminist Responses to the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Spectacle? Or Sex and Real Estate: Why We Love Houses (Harvard University), or, by the same author, Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety. Clearly anticipating derision, Marjorie Garber, a professor at Harvard, kicks off her weighty tome with the defensive justification: "What this book insists upon, is not - or not only - that cultural forces in general create literary effects, nor even - although I believe this to be the case - that the opposite is also true, but rather that transvestism is a space of possibility structuring and confounding culture: the disruptive element that intervenes, not just a category crisis of male and female, but the crisis of category itself."

Dr Claire Alexander teaches Citizenship studies at South Bank University. Although it sounds like the modern equivalent of what we used, at school, to call personal development (how to say no to drugs, what stretches to for period pains), citizenship studies encompasses politics and film, gender and society, sexuality and immigration patterns. This is the first full year it has run. "We're part of the - what are we called now? - social and policy studies," says Alexander, laughing. "We've changed our name quite a lot. It's really very exciting."

So, why would one be better off studying citizenship than, say, a more traditional degree in politics or history? "It's the interdisciplinarity of it: policy aspects, sociological aspects, it doesn't fit into one particular theoretical framework. It's also very flexible. It gives students some of the skills that maybe the structured courses don't." A little waspishly, she adds, "It's a serious academic course."

"What does a degree in citizenship studies look like?" muses David Starkey, writer and historian at Cambridge. "Heaven knows. Probably the usual mish-mash. The problem is, that, following the idiocies of the Dearing Report, we pretend that all universities and all degrees are the same. We have got ourselves into a situation where we're pretending that a degree from the London Metropolitan University is the same quality as a degree from Cambridge. It's not. There are Mickey Mouse students for whom Mickey Mouse degrees are quite appropriate."

But surely employers are still vastly, and undesirably, biased towards the old universities? "Of course they are. But the gap between the best and the worst is not instantly recognisable to students. We're practising a gross deception on them, particularly on ethnic minorities. New immigrants are disproportionately represented at the new universities, which have a high drop-out rate. Similarly students from a poor background, of whom I used to be one. I feel very strongly about this."

The answer, says Starkey, is to start "charging realistically" for degrees. In other words, if you go for a cheap degree at a cheap university, you pay little or nothing for it. "If you go for a good degree at a good university either you're bright and you get a scholarship, or you pay."

Paradoxically, it is the very vocational degrees which Hodge is urging students to go in for, which, in the wider world, are most likely to be ridiculed as doss-subjects. Golf-course management is always held up as one - unreasonably, since it is fair to assume that at graduation, a job as a golf course manager might feasibly await - or the study of stained-glass windows, a BA (Hons) in which is available at the Swansea Institute.

"It's a pretty obscure area," concedes Rodney Bender, programme director of the glass department. The full title of the degree is a BA Hons in architectural glass, specialising in stained glass. There are 15 full-time students on the course. "They are referred to us by the British Society of Master Glass Painters, mostly. They learn to draw, they learn the history of art and craft, they write essays. Most of the students want to be self-employed. To reply to Margaret Hodge, our students go out and make their own work. They have a portfolio of skills. They might set up as designers, work on new commissions for churches, interior design."

Dissertation subjects include "the symbolism of the circle in architecture" and "new technologies in glass fusing". Rachel Phillips, 29, is an enthusiastic graduate of the course. "There is scepticism, of course - people will say, 'Oh, a degree in stained glass, what possible use could that have in the real world?' But it isn't just la-la land. There's so much glass being used in modern architecture." Phillips is now successfully self-employed, winning design commissions from the Welsh Assembly and a raft of churches.

Harder to discern from the outside is the possible use one might find for a degree in decision making. Luton University's Bsc Hons in business decision management and its MSc variant "strategic information management", uses the sort of jargon issued by the cartoon character Dilbert before burrowing his head hysterically into the torso of a colleague. Ann Mathews, head of the department of business and marketing, says, "it's not Mickey Mouse, it's a hard degree, mathematical. A lot of simulation, strategic modelling, e-business and e-commerce."

So it's not about how to make a decision?

"It is about decision making, it's about taking a lot of different variables and trying to evaluate them in some sort of objective rather than subjective way. Primacy and recency, that sort of thing, trying to give people an objective basis for decision making rather than gut reaction. It isn't a wishy-washy course like media studies." The sound of a hand being clapped over a mouth rings down the phone line. "I don't mean that media studies is Mickey Mouse, I just mean it has always been a soft target."

Paul Marston offers a half-hearted defence of the subject he studied for three years. "Media studies is more relevant to the outside world than, say, maths," he says listlessly. For his 10,000 word dissertation, Marston wrote on the relationship between the royal family and the media. "You know, which was interesting," he says. "But I'm finding it difficult to move on in my career now, and I do put that down partly to my degree. It was very general, very broad, good for keeping my options open, but it doesn't seem to have prepared me for anything much else."

The problem is, says Marston, that he can't now afford to go back to university and study something more "useful". His only consolation is that some of the law students who sneered at his choice of degree, subsequently failed their exams. Uncertainly, he says, "so who's laughing now?"

The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and Clarifications column, Monday April 7 2003

We explored Margaret Hodge's comments that some university degrees could be described as "Mickey Mouse" degrees. The article referred to some particular degrees in its discussion of the issue. The article also mentioned London Metropolitan University. Although the article as a whole did not accept Margaret Hodge's pejorative remarks, readers may have inferred that the Guardian was suggesting that London Metropolitan University offers such degrees to "Mickey Mouse" students. We are happy to make clear that we were not. London Metropolitan University advises us that it does not offer any of the subjects referred to in the article. It informs us that the quality of its degrees is demonstrated by external inspection reports and by its use of external examiners.

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Ad or not - sad

https://ipfs.io/

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NSoph

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49b5bd607acf8f278625701de7156b14.jpg

already posted in status, but i figured that i like that more people should be tortured by this view
 
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mydadiscar

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Why the fuck is imgur so gay, I usually copy and paste images rather than saving them to my computer but imgur makes that impossible fuck em
 
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mydadiscar

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wot

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View attachment 50870
name the internet eras
  • 1989-1993: Exclusive era, home to universities, corporate networks, tech geeks with money to burn, and little else
  • 1993-1995: Post-Eternal September
  • 1995-1997, 1997-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2003: The, uh... internet... getting not-small eras I don't have enough first-hand experience with these eras to describe them in specifics, all I ever did was look up game cheats and play Shockwave games
  • 2003-2007: Wild(est) West era, a cultural boom thanks to affordable broadband and sites centered around user-made content, such as Newgrounds and YTMND
  • 2007-2013: "Eternal September Part II" where the iPhone got released, social media exploded, and sites started pandering to the lowest common denominator
  • 2013-2017: Online culture war era where everything nerd-related became unnecessarily politicized
  • 2017-2020: IRL culture war era where the mainstream media spread this madness to the real world
  • 2020-now: Post-lockdown era where everyone is extremely online now
 
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  • 1989-1993: Exclusive era, home to universities, corporate networks, tech geeks with money to burn, and little else
  • 1993-1995: Post-Eternal September
  • 1995-1997, 1997-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2003: The, uh... internet... getting not-small eras I don't have enough first-hand experience with these eras to describe them in specifics, all I ever did was look up game cheats and play Shockwave games
  • 2003-2007: Wild(est) West era, a cultural boom thanks to affordable broadband and sites centered around user-made content, such as Newgrounds and YTMND
  • 2007-2013: "Eternal September Part II" where the iPhone got released, social media exploded, and sites started pandering to the lowest common denominator
  • 2013-2017: Online culture war era where everything nerd-related became unnecessarily politicized
  • 2017-2020: IRL culture war era where the mainstream media spread this madness to the real world
  • 2020-now: Post-lockdown era where everyone is extremely online now
feels the same man
 
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img_1_1674664892594.jpg

just yelling at cloud; repost (stolen)
1674738455981.png

this one as well

addendum (edit):
(in Files - suicide note - Mitchell Heisman;
This work is free and licensed by Mitchell Heisman for copying and distribution under a Creative Commons; Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0, United States License.) ~ crazy Jewish theories, religion, too-deep-to-be-taken-seriously book...
 

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Jackeline

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These are the same folks who treated harry potter as soy franchise and consumerist society, they do care about the ethics of consumption, the thing is, it only cares when it fits their agenda, look at those many videos ranting on why you shall not buy a product because it has "woke" (buzzword at this point) in it, is quite hypocritical to call other people hypocrite while being an hypocrite yourself.

Is funny that all the drama can be summarized as "rightards embrace consumerism to troll the leftards" i remember that one guy spent like 90$ on the collectors edition just because of that, is just, so shameful and hilarious.

Ain't gonna buy that shitty game (that will ended up like a mediocre product at best but people puts an effort to buy it just "heh own the libs") tho, because i don't even like harry potter and i think J.K Rowling is a disguting wench.
 
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nowhere to post this.

that is lie. there is no you. you only input into yourself what you like, but it is jkustz pastiche, collage. no reality, no real you. "you" dont exist. it is all stereotypes, archetypes. just shortcuts. no you. you are human. nothing more. your personality is just bunch of wannabe-traits you assume about yourself, maybe others too. to me, personality seems to be more of emotional response, your behaviour, without mask. when you are truly happy...
 
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