Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Broken Links in an Argument

According to Scott McLemee of Inside Higher Ed (2013), "broken links in the bibliography are, in effect, broken links in an argument." Said another way, the following error message does not warrant a claim:

A common error message caused by broken links on the World Wide Web

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Researchers should avoid using non-persistent links to the World Wide Web as citations and warrants for their claims.

Source: McLemee, S (2013, July 24), In Search of the Missing Link, Inside Higher Ed.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Well Said...

"Education is like a lantern which lights your way in a dark alley."

~ Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004)

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Well Said...

"Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose."

~ Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart

Lt-Gen Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart (1880-1963)

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tours of Duty: The New Employer-Employee Compact

by Aurelie Thiele © Engineered

In what will undoubtedly be one of the most significant Harvard Business Review articles of the year, Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh argue in the June 2013 issue that the time has come for a new compact between employers and employees, which "recognize[s] that jobs are unlikely to be permanent but encourage lasting alliances nonetheless." While the 20th-century compact based on loyalty and lifetime employment is definitely a thing of the past, the current approach, purely transactional, is not satisfactory either.

The authors emphasize the need both for employee and employer to add value to each other: the employee contributes to the company's adaptability and the employer to the employee's employability. They recommend:
  1. Hiring employees for explicit "tours of duty," typically two to four years, with an evaluation at the two-year mark. This is a great idea: it is long enough for the employee to gain as many lessons as he can, including uncomfortable ones about, say, dealing with difficult colleagues instead of quitting and looking for the next opportunity, but not too long that his skills become stale.
  2. Encouraging employees to build networks and expertise outside the organization.
  3. Establishing active alumni networks to maintain career-long relationships. That is yet another outstanding suggestion - every university has an alumni network, and after a few years with the same employer, a specific company can have had far more impact on an employee's expertise and career path than where he went to school as an eighteen-year-old. Corporate alumni networks are not completely new: they were pioneered some time ago by management consulting firms, which often place their own consultants in executive positions at clients and thus had a vested interest in keeping track of them. The practice has grown outside consulting only recently, though, in particular because sites like LinkedIn allow for an easy way for company alumni to stay in touch.
Source: Thiele, A (2013, July 8), Tours of Duty: The New Employer-Employee Compact, Engineered.

Reposted with permission of Engineered

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The Good Life Comes in Moments...

Here's my girl, Lola striking one of her favorite poses.

Lola strikes a pose... [photo by William J McKibbin]

Lola is a joy -- the good life comes in moments...

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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Saturday, July 06, 2013

US Employment to Population Ratio Shows Two Year Gain

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US employment to population ratio for June 2013 stood at 59.0%, up slightly from 58.9% the previous month, but also up from 58.9% the previous year and 58.5% two years ago. The US employment to population ratio has been trending downwards since 2000.

Many economists believe that reporting the number employed as a percentage of the civilian population provides a more accurate description of the current state of employment than conjecturing the number of "unemployed" in a population. The US employment to population ratio reached an historical peak of 64.4% on an annual basis in 2000.

*The BLS defines employment and population (civilian noninstitutional) as follows:
Employment consists of all persons who, during the reference week (the calendar week including the twelfth day of the month), (a) did any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family, or (b) were not working but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute, job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs.... The civilian noninstitutional population consists of persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities and homes for the aged) and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day 2013

Happy Independence Day 2013 to my family, friends, and colleagues from around the world...

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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

US Trade Deficit Out of Control

While many argue that monetary and fiscal-policy issues are the central challenges facing America, the US current trade deficit is perhaps the real harbinger of the nation's economic malaise. Since 1992, the US trade deficit for goods and services has exploded from -$2.0 billion to -$40.3 billion in April 2013. Moreover, the US trade deficit for goods alone stood at -$58.6 billion for April 2013 after excluding services.

[click to expand]

The US economy is no doubt confronted with monetary and fiscal-policy matters that require attention. However, society may want to revisit the US trade deficit as the real challenge for the future. The US trade deficit today is unsustainable and something has to give. Either the US begins to export much more, or the US will need to import much less -- plain and simple.

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