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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tuesday morning links.

* "Kurzweil is 60, but he intends to be no more than 40 when the singularity arrives": Wired profiles futurist and Singularity prophet Ray Kurweil.

Kurzweil predicts that by the early 2030s, most of our fallible internal organs will have been replaced by tiny robots. We'll have "eliminated the heart, lungs, red and white blood cells, platelets, pancreas, thyroid and all the hormone-producing organs, kidneys, bladder, liver, lower esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, and bowel. What we have left at this point is the skeleton, skin, sex organs, sensory organs, mouth and upper esophagus, and brain."
* How to Build a PhD Cohort That Doesn't Fall Apart Five Years Later: Inside Higher Ed talks PhD completion rates, with some Duke-specific information.
...Siegel said interventions introduced after 1995 included reducing the emphasis on GREs and GPAs in selecting students, and publicly posting data on placement rates, time to degree, and completion, all in the name of transparency.
Unfortunately, those completion rate and time to degree statistics are getting a little hoary; they haven't been updated in about one full time-to-degree. On the other hand, the admissions and enrollment data page is quite current, and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that my cohort (2006-07) is the rockingest yet known.

* Also at Inside Higher Ed: more tenured academics speaking against tenure. So it's not enough to just pull the ladder up after them; they also want to burn the whole treehouse down with them inside...