Category Archives: Education

Who Do You Need to Read Your Manuscript?

Someone recently asked me the difference between a reader and an editor, and the question forced me to think through some distinctions that have become fuzzier as publishing has changed over the last few decades.

A reader is someone who reads through your manuscript and gives you feedback on content — where the story or argument works, where it doesn’t, what isn’t clear. A reader can also be an expert on the subject covered in the book (or article), who can help the author or the publisher find factual errors in content or refine the argument. The key word here is feedback — the reader does not fix your manuscript.

What many new authors think of as the role of the editor, in so far as it still exists today, is really divided into at least three parts (if not four or five). You might think the editor is the person who reviews and sends comments about a manuscript, but in fact these days an editor is more likely to be the person who manages a publication, deciding what pieces go in a collection, what book goes under which imprint, what articles to include in a magazine issue or a newspaper, etc. Continue reading

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an Orwellian interpretation of Orwell

IngSoc, Reagan Bush '84Despite being the 20th century’s greatest anti-socialist novelist, Orwell has found himself posthumously adopted by a wide variety of socialists.

His novels 1984 and Animal Farm, which attack English and Soviet socialism very directly, are taught instead as generic anti-"totalitarian" works.

As David Aaronovitch writes in BBC News Magazine,

[T]here has been a well-established and heartfelt desire on the more moderate left to claim that Orwell was indeed a genuine socialist whose warning was aimed at totalitarianism in general, not at the left per se.

I was reared and schooled by the kinds of leftists who embraced Orwell and taught me that 1984 was about totalitarianism in general, not socialism per se. I even thought of the book as an attack on the Reagan administration, and argued with my (neo)conservative girlfriend about it in high school. A few years later, I was very embarrassed by my easy acceptance of the interpretation I had been taught.

(h/t Wendy McElroy)

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The Language of Learning

Social StudiesMike Reid of InvisibleOrder.com has written about the Orwellian manipulation of language in “The Voice of Tyranny.”

As libertarians in the language business, we have both an ideological and very practical attachment to this subject.

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Anything Worth Learning Can’t Be Taught

Mike Reid had a great chat with Kerry Lutz of the Financial Survival Network on education yesterday.

Children are learning machines. Kids learn everything, and not just what we try to teach them. They look for knowledge in any place that they can find it. However, now the United Nations wants to mandate authority-based education: the system that has worked so well in the US. This means that children in developing countries will be forced to learn in centralized factory-type facilities. They will be prevented from working, thereby limiting their workplace knowledge.

Mike believes that the key to truly higher education lies in privatizing schools, allowing children to learn in the workplace, and recognizing that different kids learn differently.

Check out the podcast on FSN.

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Horrible Schools for the Whole World: Exporting Educational Failure

At a United Nations meeting in the year 2000, the world’s governments agreed on the goal of enrolling every child on the planet in primary schooling by 2015.[1] Strangely, this lofty plan does not say anything about the quality of schooling; the whole idea is to get children into government-approved classrooms, apparently regardless of what happens there.

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The Entitlement Mentality in Academia

This article was first published in March 2010 at Mises Daily.

Brian Leiter is incensed.

Mr. Leiter — famous primarily for his website containing comparative rankings of philosophy programs, as well as his blog, which covers job-related news in academic philosophy — has learned that King’s College London (KCL) is facing budget problems and must cut back on staff. In order to assess the extent of layoffs, the school will require every faculty member to interview for their current position. Leiter has kept his readers updated on the situation through his blog, and linked to the Times Higher Education‘s coverage of the event — which, in an article titled “‘Draconian’ Measure: King’s to Cut 205 Jobs,” emphasizes how the cutbacks will affect the humanities and focuses on the reaction this has set off among academics:
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