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Lawrence library about to start new chapter at temporary location

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January 21, 2013 at 9:24 a.m. ( )

KU looking to outside, data-mining company to help improve retention rates

“The 3rd-to-last paragraph is terrifying”

Yes, it is. Starfish Retention Solutions is headquartered in Arlington, VA. Well, there is no chance of an intelligence agency connection there….

So, what is going to happen with all of this data? What is the “data retention policy” of this company? Whither all these student’s information on what doors they opened in what building at what time, what classes they missed, and when, and which days they seemed “tired” in class? Perhaps this data mining company will correlate tired students with specific political events on campus the night before?

All that this technology is designed to do is to shape and transform the student to adapt to the university environment. In other words, instead of seeing how the university itself can adapt, and change, to suit the needs and desires of young students, young students will be flagged for not adapting to and adjusting to the university environment, such as it is today – with over-priced tuition, over-priced textbooks, televisions in every meeting place on campus, genetically-modified foods in the cafeterias, etc.

But perhaps …perhaps this is wrong…. Maybe it is time we change our way of thinking! Maybe instead of always forcing humans to adapt to the system, we should be forcing the system to adapt to humans. Perhaps the institutions to which we are beholden – our schools, our jobs, our banks, our cities, our food – should be asked to adapt to us! Perhaps humans should come first, and if, say, a work environment is too stressful, or a city’s layout is too commuter-intensive, or a credit rating algorithm is too restrictive, perhaps the system itself should change, so us humans could continue to live and evolve as we always have. Perhaps so many people are on anti-depressents, and succumb to chemical dependencies, drug addictions, and self-destructive behaviours because they are being asked to, or even forced to, adapt to a system that is anti-human. A system that goes against their very natural psychological and biological needs as human beings.
Perhaps it is time that humans take center stage once again, and all our institutions, governments, corporations, and schools be forced to adapt to us, to our needs, to our biology, to our psychology!

…..Naaah.

April 19, 2010 at 9:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Farmer's Market taking weekday market out of downtown

I don"t know why East Lawrence just doesn't secede. I grew up in Lawrence, and now that I am back it just is worse. It is the worse college-town I have ever lived in in my life.

There is one movie theatre, one downtown (a narrow strip of street) and no community.

Farmer's Markets are open-markets which are supposed to foster a sense of community and belonging. Now we will once again have a car-only commute to gather in Lawrence.How many college kids and Lawrencians are going to be able to walk to the farmer's market on a nice, sunny day, and gather and meet friends and talk, sit outside and talk, and stroll their babies and walk their dogs, and then walk home? No one.

Lawrence sucks. The city planners suck. The movers and shakers of Lawrence suck. The whole town blows. It just gets worse and worse every decade.

"Maybe he's right. Maybe a sense of community is more important than profit. Maybe we in West Lawrence are too isolated, and have lost the sense of what Lawrence used to be, what it meant, what it stood for. Maybe community and local business and safe, clean, gathering places in walking distance make a town what it is. Maybe if we just stopped thinking about money and "development," we could bring back Lawrence to what it was - a place safe for children, a downtown where families could go on a Friday or Saturday nite, to east at a restaurant, see a movie, and then walk home in the evening. Maybe......
Naaah!"

April 2, 2010 at 7:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )