Ivy League Admissions Are a Sham: Confessions of a Harvard Gatekeeper

An interesting view of the Ivys, from the inside.

Ivy League admissions are a complete racket, rigged in favor of the privileged and completely impervious to change. So I’m quitting the business.

And because I’m quitting, that means I can tell you, the reader, all the secrets of being a Harvard admissions representative, and what it really takes to get in.

via Ivy League Admissions Are a Sham: Confessions of a Harvard Gatekeeper.


How to Program Your Mind to Stop Buying Crap You Don’t Need

One more project to add to OmniFocus under Better Emory:

Now that you know what you’re up against, it’s time to start changing the way you think. Before you can stop buying crap you don’t need, you need to identify what that crap is. The first step is to make a list of every single thing you own. Every. Single. Thing. This might sound extreme, but you need to gather your data so you can start reprogramming your mind.

what a compulsive buyer might look like

via How to Program Your Mind to Stop Buying Crap You Don’t Need.


Hobby Lobby’s Sponsorship of a 40 Year Pattern of Moral Failure

For years, Hobby Lobby has been funding a radical fundamentalist ministry which up until very recently was run by a hell-bound pastor accused by more than 30 women of sexual harassment and molestation. One of his victims of his sexual advances was 17 years old. The curriculum at their “training institutes” includes a heavy dose of sexism, theocratic chauvinism and outright misogyny, and the importance of obedience to the whims of “Godly men” like himself that tell a life-long victim of sexual assault that she was an irresistible temptress from the age of 8.

  1. The Gothard Files: a Case for Disqualification
  2. Charlotte’s Story (Trigger Warning: Account of Abuse)

White people who wear cowboy hats while profiting from government subsidies just don’t fit the stereotype

“American conservatism used to have room for fairly sophisticated views about the role of government. Its economic patron saint used to be Milton Friedman, who advocated aggressive money-printing, if necessary, to avoid depressions. It used to include environmentalists who took pollution seriously but advocated market-based solutions like cap-and-trade or emissions taxes rather than rigid rules. But today’s conservative leaders were raised on Ayn Rand’s novels and Ronald Reagan’s speeches as opposed to his actual governance, which was a lot more flexible than the legend. They insist that the rights of private property are absolute, and that government is always the problem, never the solution.”

Paul Krugman


NPR Interview: Scott Stossel, Author Of My Age Of Anxiety

I have a few things in common with Scott Stossel; I haven’t vomited since 1984 and it is the epicenter of a wide range of other fears, phobias, and avoidance behavior.

In an Atlantic essay adapted from his book, Scott Stossel writes, “I have, since the age of about 2, been a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears and neuroses. With the rational part of my brain I realize how completely irrational this is. I mean, the amount of time since I was 7 years old that I’ve spent worrying about something … that I’ve spent 0 percent of the last 30 some odd years doing, it makes no sense.

I know it makes no sense, and yet here I am.

Interview: Scott Stossel, Author Of My Age Of Anxiety : NPR


For instance, the fear of vomiting, it makes me afraid of travel because I’m afraid I’ll vomit far from home. It makes me afraid of flying not for the conventional reason that I’m afraid that the plane will crash, although I also have that, but I’m afraid I’ll get motion sick and get nauseous. […]

The fear of germs is obviously directly tied to that. The horrible kind of self-fulfilling vicious cycle of emetophobia is that if youre prone to acute anxiety and nervousness, as I am, it often manifests itself with stomach symptoms. […]