This week, college enrollment continues to decline, Elon Musk finally purchases Twitter, and too much optimization of your life may be a bad thing
In the News
College Enrollment Dips: The downward trend in college enrollment is continuing, according to the latest report from the National Student Clearinghouse.
- Since spring of 2020, higher education has shedded 1.3 million students, with 16.2 million currently enrolled.
- In the past year, 4.2% or 685,000 student enrollees were lost.
- The total size of the collective undergraduate student body has shrunk by 9.4%, or 1.4 million students since before the pandemic.
Youth Enrollment Changes: Online schools enrolled 3.2% more students, and for the age group 18-20, enrollment in online schools grew 23.4% since the fall of 2020.
Degree or No Degree: Voters are divided on the usefulness of a college degree. And there is a split along political partisan lines.
- Many analysts expect the Supreme Court to end the practice of colleges engaging in race-based admissions decisions, which would deal a historic blow to affirmative action.
What I’m Thinking About
Won’t you BUY ME A Free Bird??? Yeah!
As someone who makes habit of complaining about Twitter, on Twitter, I am amused by the intensity of the concern that many Twitter users and political pundits have expressed. If you take these opinions seriously, you might think that Twitter’s efforts to move in a more pro-free speech direction is some sort of threat to democracy. Then when you think again, you realize that’s oxymoronic.
Many influential digital media outlets doubt that Twitter can fulfill its new owner’s vision of becoming a digital town square that champions free speech and diverse thought. Wired Magazine, FiveThirtyEight, and The Guardian have all expressed doubt.
Here are a few arguments that some have used to support this sort of skepticism:
- A public square cannot exist within a private company.
- A public square that depends on advertising revenue will skew the discussion. Some say that a more socially-conscious, stakeholder model would be superior.
- A free-speech, free-for-all would be off putting to users and advertisers.
These arguments are far from convincing. A private company could theoretically create a public square if they let people with diverse viewpoints on the platform and allow for reasonable free-expression that is consistent with the parameters of the First Amendment. This is what Musk has advocated for, in a Tweet and elsewhere. Also, revenue models that depend on stakeholder capitalism and benefactors have their own problems. By any reasonable measure, a “free-speech, free-for-all” is a straw man characterization of what Musk is actually advocating.
I have arrived at what I feel is a safe conclusion.We should all be optimistic about the future of Twitter and hopeful that a better managed platform will make the world a better place. It can’t get any worse than it is now, right? If you use Twitter, do you agree or disagree? Let me know!
What I’m Reading
Quit: The power of knowing when to walk away – Annie Duke.
- A former professional poker player and Concord, NH native writes about how our culture has created stigma about people who break their commitments. This social norm tends to seep into the mindset of people when they consider ending something that no longer serves them. As Annie explains, a good poker player knows when to cut their losses. We should too.
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Quote to Consider:
“It is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.” – Elon Musk
Career Related Articles
- Over-Optimization of your life may create more problems than it solves. It also may create more problems than doing nothing.
- Intrinsic motivation resembles childhood. Extrinsic applies to adults. Be a child once in a while.
- Unlimited PTO? Oh, NO!!
DDC Article of the Week: Defeat the Attention Economy with Your very Own Focus Chamber
- In my latest original blog post, I tackled the impacts of the attention economy on our ability to focus on what matters most. It’s getting tough out there!
Thanks for reading. I’ll catch you next week.
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