Sunday, February 25, 2007

Donations and Validity

A story about rising donations to universities in 2006.

Give a kid in Africa basic necessities, or send some cash to your university? Which is it going to be. Universities need to compete harder for donatinos these days, but they still have a number of benefactors. Makes sense to help out with the discovery of new medical advances, a bit tougher to support the liberal arts and their seemingly mindless exploits....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Philosophy Imitates Seinfeld

John Stuart Mill on higher and lower pleasures: "many [people], in all ages, have broken down in an ineffectual attempt to combine both."

George Costanza: "Food and sex, those are my two passions. It's only natural to combine them."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Under the poverty line, kinda

I never miss a chance to snark at Europe, but this seems numerically illiterate:

One in six Europeans is living below national poverty thresholds, with children particularly vulnerable, according to the results of an official study.

The facts are clear, 16 percent of Europeans remain at risk of poverty and 10 percent live in jobless households," he said of the data which will be formally presented to EU leaders at a summit in Brussels next month.

Wow- that sounds bad, right? Except that poverty is defined as "60 percent of their country's median income" in Europe, and not an absolute figure. Using this sliding measuring stick almost guarantees that there will always be a significant population of Europeans "under the poverty level."

If we compared income to US levels how many really fall below?