Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Links for 4/28/10

Thomas Frey
The one aspect of Roman society that was remarkably absent was the lack of Roman mathematicians… Roman society was being held hostage by its systems. In this case, it was their numbering system – Roman numerals.

The feature that made Roman numerals so inferior was that each number lacked specific numeric positioning, making each number more of an equation than a single integer. The added layer of complexity prevented people from doing higher math.

Roman numerals were a system problem, and a huge one at that. They prevented an entire civilization from furthering the field of math and science.

The critical question we should be asking is, “What systems do we employ today that are the equivalent of Roman numerals, preventing us from doing great things?”…

To many, our current systems for accreditation are the modern day equivalent to Roman numerals – slow, stodgy, and built around rules that are steeped in tradition. A system ripe for remodeling.
Tim Ranzetta
Alabama Prepaid College Tuition Plan Bailed Out To The Tune Of Half A Billion Dollars
Barbara Kiviat
American consumerism is a force to be reckoned with. Turn a few hundred million of the world's most sophisticated shoppers loose on an industry, and watch companies scramble after their business. In realms from washing machines to stock trades, quality goes up and price comes down as companies look for an edge over the next guy to win customer dollars.

Not in health care [AG: or Higher Ed] We are left with the same opaque system of perverse incentives--paying providers for more tests and procedures, not necessarily effective ones. And we lack even the most basic element of the free market: price information…

There are many reasons health care costs are spiraling out of control, but the simplest one to understand is this: nobody knows what anything costs. Providers get paid through a tangle of insurance-company agreements and billing schedules that change from patient to patient. No wonder a hospital can sneak a $100 box of Kleenex onto your bill and the price of an MRI can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you don't know what something costs, you can't know if it costs too much…

“the price of any health care service is whatever they can get," says Representative Steve Kagen, a doctor who ran a practice for 25 years before being elected to Congress…
Lawrence P. Ward via Jack Stripling
coming up with an interesting degree program is probably the easiest part,” he said. “Whether or not it’s relevant to students beyond our own minds is a question we hadn’t answered.”

No comments: