24 May 2009

A list of bad ideas

Having gone so long without blogging, I feel like I've lost the "right" to blog, as in "who does he think he is?" But I'm going to give it a shot anyway. Here's a list of items recently generated in my head that I will describe under the broad category of "bad ideas."

1. 3 year college degrees
I won't make the liberal arts speech, because it would go on too long. I will say this: proponents point to the British 3 year system, but they only mention Oxford and Cambridge, as if having Northeastern Baluga Regional College cut a year off their degree will make them like Oxbridge. Ask most folks who teach in the UK system broadly and they'll tell you that 3 years is too few and that a BA in the UK is a bit thin.

2. Golf Carts
In Wales I got to play golf at a club where there were no "buggies." I knew it would be hard to return to golf cart land (aka America) but I didn't realize how much worse it has gotten. Folks have NO IDEA how to play golf in a cart: they insist on driving directly to each ball, and no one ever gets out of the cart. It slows the game down terribly.

3. Watching your HD flat panel without feeding it an HD source
I would add to #3's account: it's not just the HDMI cable you need. You also need to be watching an HD channel; regular DVD's and all non-HD channels will look slightly to quite a bit worse on an HD panel than they do on an SD or ED panel.
Also, to #3: dude, don't you know that you are always supposed to call me when you are setting up a new a/v or home network system. I thought you knew the rule! :)

4. Option ARMs and Alt-A loans
We've been looking at houses for a while now. It's hard not to when the Obama administration has offered us such a juicy $8K bribe to buy a house in 2009. And it's true that there's a seasonal uptick in some markets, that the declines are slowing in some places, and that for cheaper properties, they are close the bottom in places like CA and AZ. But we aren't to the bottom yet. DC prices dropped by 8% last month alone. And anything except the cheapest houses have a long way to fall. Most importantly, we have not yet seen the worst of the foreclosure "crisis" and it's the flooding of the market with foreclosed properties that forces the real price correction. If you can buy now at rental prices, then it might be worth it if you also get the bribe, but the bottom in prices won't come before late 2010 at the earliest. So buyers now need to be prepared to stay in their house for at least 8 years, because it's likely that 4 or 5 years from now their house will be worth about what they paid for it, but probably slightly less.

5. Smoking Cigars while playing golf
I'm not commenting on the health considerations, except to say I'm not personally all that worried about secondhand smoke effects from the cigars. I do think it's a terrible, terrible idea for many reasons. But my main question is, why? What makes you think you need to smoke a cigar while you are playing golf. Is it a masculinity issue? You feel like more of a man? Because you should realize that you are playing golf, riding around in a golf cart, and wearing a sweater vest. Is it a class thing? You feel like you are elite? Because you should realize that you are on a public golf course, with your belly sticking out, and you don't even know the rules or etiquette of the game.


tenaciousmcd said...

Welcome back, fro! I can't comment on the golf thing. You wealthy white people can fight over etiquette all you like; I just want to watch the pearl and drink some beer at an O's game.

I am glad, however, to see you take up the 3-year degree thing. We're getting that shit idea right now, along with a proposals to increase online and go to trimesters (incidentally killing off our current summer school pay), and, hey, why don't we eliminate the philosophy department while we're at it. Those fuckers just spend all their time organizing protests against the administration anyway. Off with their beards! Luckily, all this got announced on Friday, before a holiday weekend, in the interval b/w spring term and summer school. Just so we can have a full and open debate about it. Huzzah!

Acute accent said...

Calling golf a sport may also be a bad idea. It looks more like an activity carried out in the open air, like flying kites or bird watching.