Friday, September 12, 2008

Two kinds of fish

First, well known humanities and law scholar, and NY Times columnist, Stanley Fish was interviewed on NPR's Talk of the Nation this week about liberal education and his book Save the world on your own time. One of the ideas is that university professors should stick to the academic inquiry approach in class and leave opinions out of class. In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, he says
the three-part mantra which organizes the book: Do your job, don’t try to do someone else’s job and don’t let anyone else do your job. And I think that if we as instructors ... would adhere to that mantra, we would be more responsible in the prosecution of our task and less vulnerable to the criticisms of those who would want to either undermine or control us
He's not a big fan of service learning.

Another thing that reminded me of fish was an letter to the editor of the newspaper recalling when fish would be dropped in to high sierra lakes. It's a pretty weird sight (seeing the bombers taking off today from the CalFire air attack base at FAT prompted me to write this). Planting fish from airplanes into lakes where they aren't native (and in fact into lakes that never had fish) went on for a long time (see this 1954 Popular Mechanics article), as has the controversy about non-native fish plants destroying native sierra amphibian populations. Which seems like a no-brainer, I've never really got the need to plant fish were they weren't in the first place. There is also the whole controversy of whether planted fish inbreed with native populations, something denied but apparently proved using DNA, but that is a topic for another day :)

Dave Barry even talks about the perils of fish bombs :)