When you should NOT teach a class

In Ethical Dilemmas Related to Technology: "I have a relative who will be teaching a college class on the topic of ethical dilemmas brought about by new technology. Unfortunately, he doesn't keep up with technology news, so he's not sure what the most relevant dilemmas are."

My recommendation? Don't teach the class. If you're not going to bother keeping up with technology, why are you spouting off and earning a salary for it?

Reminds me of one of my journalism profs. He and his cohorts (ooops - I mean colleagues) were doing the usual "Eskimos have 52 different words for snow" song-and-dance, and also required all the journalism students to read the newspaper cover-to-cover every day.

I followed his commands (oops - completed his assignment faithfully) and ran across an article stating that Eskimos did not have 52 different words for the same thing, they had a bunch of different ways to talk about a bunch of different things. In other words (and I'm probably not even remembering this right but I shouldn't let the truth get in the way of a good story), Eskimos used slush, rain, hail, sleet just like we do. They were simply more accurate about it.

The professor obviously didn't read the newspaper. He continued to spout off the 52 words theory (maybe the Eskimos put out a "snow word per week" desk calendar.

I didn't bring it up with him - he's the same guy who told me that the Three Mile Island reactor released huge amounts of radiation- after I brought up the fact that it had not. Never argue with a liberal professor. Use them to process oxygen into carbon dioxide with a byproduct of heat, but never argue with them.


Found the Eskimo snow reference in Reader's Digest of all places. Their April 2003 issue had an article by Alex Boese entitled "Why would you think that?"(p148), from his book "The museum of hoaxes."

And no, they didn't have 50+ words. They had three. Like we have snow, snowfall, blizzard, etc.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Mon 07 April 2003. Tags: commentary