New York Times Editorial: The Sandusky Rape Verdict

This afternoon, the New York Times published an editorial regarding Judge Cleland’s sentencing of Jerry Sandusky. It is not their first. The editorial board took a harsh stance not just against Sandusky, but against Penn State’s current leadership as well.

It’s not clear how Penn State intends to carry out Mr. Freeh’s recommendations. In a recent meeting at The Times, Karen Peetz, the chairwoman of the Penn State board of trustees, and Rodney Erickson, the current president, said they are “taking all recommendations under advisement” but indicated there were some — they would not say which — they might reject.

Ms. Peetz and Mr. Erickson did not deny the seriousness of the crimes or the catastrophic failures of management and leadership that were revealed. But they denied the obvious truth that football has been too dominant in Penn State’s culture, with terrible consequences. They said Penn State had not yet created the crime-reporting protocol that is required by federal law.

Asked about lessons Penn State has learned, Mr. Erickson said that “bad things can happen in good places” and child abuse happens everywhere. That is true, but has little relevance for Penn State.


Playboy, 1964: Alvin Toffler Interviews Nabokov

Pointed out by Evgeny Morozov, the conversation places one of America’s great futurists opposite the brilliant novelist Vladimir Nabokov for a wide-ranging discussion that took place not long after Kubrick’s interpretation of Lolita was released. Topics included: lepidoptery, Hemingway, the writing process, languages, and God.

Here’s my favorite exchange.

AT: Many readers have concluded that the Philistinism you seem to find the most exhilarating is that of America’s sexual mores.
VN: Sex as an institution, sex as a general notion, sex as a problem, sex as a platitude– all this is something I find too tedious for words. Let us skip sex.
AT: Have you ever been psychoanalyzed?
VN: Have I been what?
AT: Subjected to psychoanalytical examination.
VN: Why, good God?

You can find the rest here. I really enjoyed it — the conversation will take a spot beside the interview with McLuhan [PDF] as another of Playboy’s contributions to my own personal canon.

Penn State Chooses ANGEL for LMS after Evaluation Process

Today Blackboard released the official announcement regarding Penn State’s decision to remain with ANGEL.

ANGEL program manager Terry O’Heron’s quoted explanation:

When it comes to an enterprise system and an enterprise business relationship with the vendor, it’s not just the features of the LMS, it’s the partnership with the vendor, system performance, the support, the training, the documentation, and strategic business opportunities.

Let me paraphrase: The perceived cost of switching would just be too high, despite the fact that Penn Staters clearly do not enjoy using ANGEL.

Penn State’s decision is short-sighted. If anything, online education is becoming a more central part of the college experience, not less, and to choose a product with a remarkably bad user experience because of short-term cost savings means foregoing a chance to establish a long-term competitive advantage. You can find more information about how the LMS reviewal process worked here.


Barnes’s arrangements are as eye-opening, intoxicating and, at times, maddening as ever, maybe more so. They mix major and minor in relentlessly symmetrical patchworks that argue at once for the idea of artistic genius and the pervasiveness of talent. Nearly every room is an exhibition unto itself — a kind of art wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities — where you can spend hours parsing the echoes and divergences among the works in terms of color, composition, theme, surface and light.

via The Barnes Foundation, From Suburb to City –

I can’t wait to see the new Barnes. 181 Renoir, 69 Cézanne, and tons more. The article suggests that the audio guides aren’t worth it; instead, immersion in the symphony of colors and shapes is suggested. I disagree wholly… Barnes was an academic and his arrangements were done for reasons that, if known, would add even greater texture to the museum experience. And as for the question of whether the exhibits should “move” (author’s verbiage), I say go for it… just so long as any modifications are done in the inquiring spirit of Barnes himself.

If you were to leave a unique and singular museum behind in any field, how would you choose its focus, what would you fill it with, and most importantly, how would you arrange the whole thing? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @davisshaver.