Net: So many letters, so little time. Here are some new discussions:THE PLUSES AND MINUSES OF PLUSES AND MINUSES
From Nonplussed: does putting a dress on a dead horse make it work any better? Net: No, but it would make “Equus” a much more interesting play.
Does spending a huge amount of time, effort and debate over the plus-minus grading system in any way improve my education? Net: No, but who cares about education? We just want to be fair. Gather round statisticians and research-oriented personnel, this one is in your bailiwick.
If you were to attempt to publish a piece of research based on any of the principles of the 4.0 grading system you would be laughed out of academia Net: Depends. Would you do it from a Marxist perspective? or at the very least, be invited to host an infomercial for the abdomisizer (tm?). The problems of the A-B-C-D-F system Net: And what’s wrong with an E grade, anyway? We’d love to hear people talking about an “Easy E” grade — it would take us back to the early days of gangsta rap are based on (to name only a few of the major problems):
1. Tester validity — Even at the same university you will often have different instructors. Net: Not when Microsoft Prof 1.0 kicks in. You thought threats to the tenure code were bad …
2. Instrument validity — The nation does not issue a standard test for all subjects.
3. Criterion — Does anyone actually believe that all instructors use the same methods and criteria for assessing grades? Net: Of course. Grades are rigorously checked between instructors departmentwide, and TAs are strictly supervised in their evaluations. By the way, we have this bridge we want to sell …In other words, an A at Harvard is hardly an A at Mall of America College. Net: Yeah. Mall of America is the only place that could conceivably be any more expensive. Prof. Satan probably uses an entirely different scale and syllabus than Prof. Warmfuzzy. Net: Just ask Salman Rushdie. An A in philosophy, fashion design or physics has little to do with an A in English, CLA, or any other area. Net: And in some classes, you’d only get an A for sleeping with a prof — and then the letter would be scarlet, and STITCHED TO YOUR CHEST. So what is all this hubbub about? We use a meaningless system of grading that has no product control assigned to it (it is a product of academia, as are you and I). Net: We beg to differ, as we were all born of virgin. It holds NO statistical validity. It has NO relevance even within the same department (unless it is taught every year by the same person, using the same syllabus, tests and criteria). Why then is there any debate at all about pluses and minuses? Net: Because corporate America doesn’t make as much sense as you do, our dear.A COUNTRY BY ANY OTHER NAME …
From Yesternight: I have been troubled for some time with our nation’s name. Now that the U.S.S.R. has disbanded, we are the only country without a real name.
The “United States of America” is really not a name at all. It is really more of a description than a name. It would be like if Network were called the “e-mail interactive section.” Net: Catchy. We often refer to ourselves as America or Americans Net: Don’t get anyone started, but the fact of the matter is America is the name of our continent, not our nation’s state. Hell, each state gets its own name. Even “Wisconsin” is better than something like “State No. 4” or “State 6G.” Net: Yeah. Just think of how confusing license plates would be with all the extra numbers. We need to come up with a good and actual name for our country. Here are a few suggestions:
I was thinking maybe we could start a grass-roots campaign through Network!
Viva Pornoland? Net: Any suggestions, readers? Some of em aren’t that bad, but we don’t want to start a crusade without popular support.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
From C-Sharp: Because the Minnesota Daily A&E section doesn’t always get around to giving local hip-hop shows a spot in their section, I’m gonna do my own promo. There’s a Rhyme Sayers Entertainment show happenin’ at the 7th St. Entry this Saturday: 4 p.m. all ages, and 9 p.m. drunk show. Check out such artists as Atmosphere, Beyond, Native Ones and several other quality hip-hop artists. Anyone who claims to have the least bit of sincere interest in hip-hop has to give RSE a chance. See ya’ll, and peace out.
THE LEGEND BEGINS
From Synophos: I have a friend — we’ll call him Jake. Net: Well that’s considerate. Don’t you know his real name? He went white river rafting up near Alaska, and on the downtime went to a bar in a small Alaskan town. In this particular bar the cool thing is to drink a concoction that contains a pickled frostbitten finger, supposedly lost by someone in town some winters ago. You slug the drink down, touching the shriveled finger to your lips, and then the finger is returned to the jar behind the bartender for the next daring patron to experience.
Evidently, the finger has touched lots of lips over the time this bartender has been there, and he can only recite legend as to how long it has been in that jar before his time. Anyone able to top this for special drink traditions? Net: Wow. That’s tough. But we think our readers are up to it. Ideas?