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2019-09-12 -Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Judge rejects new trial in Gibson's case; documents detail settlement attempts
Yesterday’s story translated into non-legal language.
[CHRONICLET] A judge on Tuesday denied Oberlin College a new trial to once again defend itself in the case brought by the Gibson family and Gibson's Bakery over the college's behavior during student protests nearly three years ago.

Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John Miraldi rejected not only a new trial, but also a request by the Gibsons that he award an additional $105,000 in interest on top of the already-awarded damages, according to court documents.

According to Miraldi's ruling, Ohio law allows the trial court to grant a new trial when one of the parties ‐ the Gibsons ‐ has been awarded "excessive or inadequate damages" given "under the influence of passion or prejudice."

That's not the case here, Miraldi found. In his ruling, he stated that the damages awarded the Gibsons were "not manifestly excessive" nor "influenced by passion or prejudice."

In a one-page ruling, Miraldi rejected Oberlin College's motion for "judgment notwithstanding the jury's verdict," which would have overturned the jury's verdict. He also rejected the Gibsons' request for additional interest on top of the damages already awarded, finding that Oberlin College did not act in bad faith during settlement negotiations that took place between January and June.

A jury awarded the Gibsons more than $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages after a six-week trial that ended in June. Miraldi reduced that amount to $25 million due to caps on damages in Ohio law and later awarded the Gibsons more than $6.5 million in attorney fees.
Posted by Fred 2019-09-12 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [424 views ]  Top

#1 Oberlin's going down. Admit rate is now twice as high as for other selective liberal arts colleges. Yield rate is now half as high.

Their reputation is fast becoming a joke among the wealthy families on whom, increasingly, they will have to depend and who have many better choices for where to spend their $300,000 total 4-year college budget.

Revenues from tuition will likely not cover operating costs, given that they will lose on appeal and be forced to pay a massive judgment which their insurers have already signaled they will not cover.

An intervention is desperately needed.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-12 00:48||   2019-09-12 00:48|| Front Page Top

#2 An university is a place of higher learning* - not an Antifa training camp.

*Well actually, to me, a university is a place you do research - and students are vermin that has to be tolerated. Kinda like flies and ants on a picnic.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 00:53||   2019-09-12 00:53|| Front Page Top

#3 It would be hard to justify a 300,000 debt for even an IT programming degree, compared to learning on the job!

American university costs need to come in 90%.
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2019-09-12 02:43||   2019-09-12 02:43|| Front Page Top

#4 The main points, nearly everyone misses:
(a) Higher education should not be a way to earn more money.
(b) It is not good for most people.
(c) The worst kind of people to advance academically are the strait A students.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 02:48||   2019-09-12 02:48|| Front Page Top

#5 >(a) Higher education should not be a way to earn more money.

I disagree! Higher education should be to raise the productivity of the learner enough to pay the debt and more.
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2019-09-12 04:13||   2019-09-12 04:13|| Front Page Top

#6 You forgot /sark, BP.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 04:26||   2019-09-12 04:26|| Front Page Top

#7 Er no. Higher education that isn't raising wages is wasted money.
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2019-09-12 04:50||   2019-09-12 04:50|| Front Page Top

#8 Nonsense. Once higher education became equated with higher income, everybody started pushing into it - which led to lowering (if not virtual disappearance) of standards, everybody (but AOCs who benefit from degrees) bemoans.
Nowadays we have high school teachers too dumb to wash floors, and university professors who haven't had an original thought in their minds since the age of 2.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 05:30||   2019-09-12 05:30|| Front Page Top

#9 Then they simply shouldn't go (or university is not the place to offer that training).

Learning as a whole should be funded on the premise it raises wages AKA market-productivity.

At 10,000 taxpayer dollars per student per year I'd guess most pupils don't pay back their 13 years of school subsidies.
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2019-09-12 06:16||   2019-09-12 06:16|| Front Page Top

#10 Then they simply shouldn't go

Tell people not to chase money, will you?

Learning as a whole should be funded on the premise it raises wages AKA market-productivity.

That's bull - these who learn to "raise their productivity" usually have zilch productivity. If you don't like your work, your work is worth sh*t!
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 06:35||   2019-09-12 06:35|| Front Page Top

#11 I did a degree in IT.

Got taught some very useful things about the maths behind why computers and databases work the way they do (formal logic and set-theory).

You seem to think university should be some sort of benefits program for academic types? Or just close them all down?

I really am failing to understand why you think there's no connection between learning and productivity.
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2019-09-12 11:03||   2019-09-12 11:03|| Front Page Top

#12 I really am failing to understand why you think there's no connection between learning and productivity.

Because you can't make silk purses from sow's ears.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 11:10||   2019-09-12 11:10|| Front Page Top

#13 In my experience, high schools push college as if there is no other worthy goal. They neglect practical skills and vocational training. Today's high school graduate is qualified for absolutely nothing but the most menial types of unskilled labor and a lot of them have trouble with that. If they want to become electricians, beauticians or auto mechanics they have to go to a private trade school after high school. The question then becomes: Why not skip high school and go directly to the trade school?

If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer or scientist then you should go to college. Otherwise, you might have better luck as a brick layer. Skip that four or five years of non-productive education, skip all that debt and get on with your life. Skip a couple years of high school as well. You'll never miss it.
Posted by Abu Uluque 2019-09-12 11:12||   2019-09-12 11:12|| Front Page Top

#14 I think to be honest a few years of learning how the real world works is great for motivating people to learn.

Once people stop school they seldom return.

might be best to keep some people who could learn later in.

There's a massive amount wrong with university education for the masses, especially taxpayer subsidised. But the alternative just hasn't emerged, (mainly because of the subsidies for incumbents and tax structures) but you go to war on ignorance with the teachers you've got.
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2019-09-12 11:38||   2019-09-12 11:38|| Front Page Top

#15 1. Stop this insanity of pushing 70% of the 18 year-old population to go on to college. Most people simply lack the ability to do advanced college work. By pushing them to go to college, you are either degrade the value of college or demoralize the underprepared, or both.

No more than 20% of the population should be allowed to do actual college work i.e. explore ideas in the arts and sciences (science today is so intertwined with engineering that these fields are almost interchangeable).

2. Convert the majority of our failing 2nd- and 3rd-rate small private colleges - Moody's says 25% of all colleges are on the edge of bankruptcy; there are literally thousands of them - to vocational training centers or trade schools.

3. Beef up middle school and 9th and 10th grade English and Math, and allow kids to leave secondary school and enter a vocational school after 10th grade.

4. For the college/university-bound 20%, limit their choices to no more than FIVE schools. End the massive admissions fraud created by "holistic admissions" practices that seek to m"build the class" with "well-rounded applicants" who've built hospitals in Nicaragua and raised funds for transgendered Venusians and overcame adversity to become captain of their Instagram Yachting Team etc etc.

Force any college or university to evaluate the applicants solely on merit defined by standardized test scores on the SAT/ACT plus 3 Subject Tests; interviews with actual tenured professors; and least important, high school grades. This is the U.K. model of university admissions, and it works beautifully, with no corruption and without triggering grade inflation and the ridiculous college prep arms race

5. Watch our nation's productivity soar as real merit and intellectual curiosity become the standards by which we promote young people to the leading professions.

Watch the economy take off as millions of our young people who can't handle college are trained for useful and well-paid
trades.

Watch the insane growth in college loan indebtedness finally begin to clear and offer young people some hope of leaving mom's basement, getting a useful job and starting a family.

/rant
Posted by Lex 2019-09-12 11:59||   2019-09-12 11:59|| Front Page Top

#16 In my experience, high schools push college as if there is no other worthy goal.

In my experience* the rot starts in K-12. A lot of people would be better off to learn a profession via apprenticeship after the 8th grade. And a lot of teachers shouldn't be allowed near kids. And school programs - formulated by the best education psychologists - are (intentionally or not) serve to suppress and alienate the 1 in 1000 students capable of independent and creative thinking.

Today's high school graduate is qualified for absolutely nothing but the most menial types of unskilled labor and a lot of them have trouble with that.

And overwhelming majority is unsuited to university studies. Because they don't learn - they're trained to solve exams - like circus animals are trained to perform - and to complain until their grades are raised. And they continue the same way when they reach college**. And because of these complaints teaching standards constantly decrease - try actually teaching and see what'll happen to you. And don't start me on research that (present day) straight A students do after they reach tenure. .

*I've taught elective courses in TAU and Weizmann Institute. I've taught high school math/chemistry/biology as sub teacher. I've taught calculus in equivalent of US community college. I give private lessons. I've worked for an private lesson via Internet company were I would teach a first grader counting on fingers and a twelve grader calculus or quantum chemistry within a single hour.
Until recently, when the field collapsed because of a bunch of new firms offering the same service (MBAs are sheep), I derived most of my income by writing students' term papers.
I've more/diverse teaching experience than any school teacher or university professor you ever met.

**Ever wondered why so many make false complains: sexual harassment, racism, genderism? Look at their grades before and after the complaint.

IN SUMMARY: If we were secretly ruled by a bunch of aliens determined to dumb down human race - nobody wants a but of too smart slaves, what would they do differently?
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 11:59||   2019-09-12 11:59|| Front Page Top

#17 You seem to think university should be some sort of benefits program for academic types? Or just close them all down?

I think there should be places to do basic research and there should be fostering of original thinking and creativity (and by creativity I don't mean writing new applications for smartphones).

p.s. I don't know how it is in your neck of woods, but in Israel most IT startups are founded by math/physics graduates - not credentialed programmers.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 12:23||   2019-09-12 12:23|| Front Page Top

#18 What grom said.

Everyone who's tutored or taught reasonably ambitious young people has come to the same conclusion as academic psychology researchers who study intelligence: there is a bell curve distribution of cognitive ability, and it is pointless and counterproductive to pretend that most people can do advanced analysis of abstract concepts.

The goal is NOT to enable everyone to do advanced math and analysis of abstract ideas. That's a fool's errand that has made education the most f---ed up part of our society.

The goal should be to create a society in which nobody is a nobody, and everyone belongs and is valued because of his or her meaningful contribution. And in which the brilliant people are enabled to explore and rise as far as their curiosity and talents will take them.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-12 13:07||   2019-09-12 13:07|| Front Page Top

#19 there is a bell curve distribution of cognitive ability,

There are also bell curve distributions for other equally important abilitys. The key one I noticed in the IT classes I taught was diligence aka motivation. There are a surprising number of smart folks that don't give enough of a shit to actually work hard.
Posted by AlanC 2019-09-12 14:00||   2019-09-12 14:00|| Front Page Top

#20 Yes, there are multiple bell curves for multiple dimensions of personality, of which cognitive intelligence is just one.

The psychologists describe diligence/motivation as "Conscientiousness."

Interesting: the ex-Google engineer, James Damore, highlighted this trait in his letter to Google HR about the desired traits for Google engineers. Famore noted that the vast majority of engineers at Google are involved in maintenance of code that a handful of more brilliant engineers wrote, optimizations of minor things, etc.

Most engineers hired by Google therefore need to be exceptionally "conscientious" (academic psych-speak) or diligent (your phrasing). They do NOT need to be exceptionally intelligent, let alone brilliant.

Also interesting: Conscientiousness tends to be associated with politically conservative people. Damore noted also that women tend to score much higher on another of the five main dimensions, what the psychologists call "Neuroticism" or what most people would call, using a less, uh, emotionally-loaded term, simple emotionalism.

Damore noted that the ideal maintenance engineer ie the basic description of the vast majority of Google engineers is simple who is extremely HIGH on the Conscientious dimension, LOW on the Neurotic dimension, and above average on Cognitive Intelligence. A highly conscientious person completes tasks even when they're boring or distasteful.

This describes to a T most of your apolitical (or politically conservative) male programmer types who work hard enough to get through a rigorous CS program. It does NOT describe the vast majority of women college grads, or even most women CS grads.

For this lucid, eminently reasonable observation, Damore was fired.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-12 14:49||   2019-09-12 14:49|| Front Page Top

#21 p.s. I don't know how it is in your neck of woods, but in Israel most IT startups are founded by math/physics graduates - not credentialed programmers.

Interesting, grom. Agree with you on this.

The two most brilliant people I've met in tech are two Israeli entrepreneurs, each involved in an extremely arcane area of technology, and each with a PhD from a top Israeli university in, respectively, Philosophy and Physics.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-12 14:52||   2019-09-12 14:52|| Front Page Top

#22 There are a surprising number of smart folks that don't give enough of a shit to actually work hard.

That's that I always tell Grom Jr "work hard & suck up to teachers, or you grow up a bum like your father". But would he listen?
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-12 14:58||   2019-09-12 14:58|| Front Page Top

00:43 Lex
00:42 trailing wife
00:41 Lex
00:39 Lex
00:36 trailing wife
00:33 CrazyFool

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