👓 Univ. Of Alabama Returns $21.5 Million Gift; Donor Urged Boycott Over Abortion Law | NPR

Read Univ. Of Alabama Returns $21.5 Million Gift; Donor Urged Boycott Over Abortion Law (NPR.org)
The move comes after Hugh Culverhouse Jr. urged students and businesses to boycott Alabama over its restrictive new abortion law. The school says its rejection of the money isn't related to that law.

Wow!

👓 Morehouse College Graduates’ Student Loans to Be Paid Off by Billionaire | New York Times

Read Morehouse College Graduates’ Student Loans to Be Paid Off by Billionaire (New York Times)
Robert F. Smith, who founded Vista Equity Partners and became the richest black man in America, said that he and his family would pay the Class of 2019’s debt.

Of course amid this interesting news which could serve as an interesting study group for students who will have had much of their debt wiped away:

🎧 Harm To Ongoing Matter | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Harm To Ongoing Matter from On the Media | WNYC Studios

After years of waiting, journalists finally began digging into the redacted version of the Mueller report. On this week’s On the Media, how the special counsel’s findings confirm years of reporting about turmoil within the White House. Plus, what the Notre Dame fire and the Sacklers show us about the dark side of philanthropy, and how the Justice Department stopped prosecuting executives. And, an undercover investigation shines a light on the NRA’s PR machinery. 

1. Eric Umansky [@ericuman], deputy editor at ProPublica and co-host of the Trump Inc. podcast, on the Mueller revelations. Listen.

2. Anand Giridharadas [@AnandWrites], author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, on the dark side of philanthropy. Listen.

3. Jesse Eisinger [@eisingerj], author of The Chickenshit Club, on how the Justice Department stopped prosecuting executives. Listen.

4. Peter Charleyexecutive producer of Al Jazeera's "How To Sell a Massacre," on the NRA's PR machinery. Listen.

Some interesting thoughts in the last couple of segments on the last Guilded Age and the one we’re potentially about to exit soon??

I definitely want to see the documentary discussed in the last segment about the NRA.

🎧 The Opioid Narratives | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The Opioid Narratives from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Purdue Pharma has settled a lawsuit with the state of Oklahoma for $270 million, a larger figure than two other cases the company has settled with other states. In doing so, the company also avoided a televised trial in May at a time when there's been growing public pressure on Purdue and its owners, the Sackler family, amid allegations that they misled the public about the dangers of OxyContin. 

Back in 2017, Bob spoke with Barry Meier about how public discourse about chronic pain and treatment have been shaped by companies like Purdue with help from physicians, consultants, and the media. Meier is a former reporter for The New York Times and author of Pain Killer: A "Wonder" Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death

Bob also interviewed journalist Anna Clark about her reporting for the Columbia Journalism Review on opioid-related death notices. Sites like Legacy.com, she explained, have often chronicled the crisis' individual human toll. 

👓 Opinion | Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid | New York Times

Read Opinion | Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid (New York Times)
Let’s eliminate money problems from the admissions equation for qualified students.

God bless you Michael Bloomberg for putting your money where your mouth heart is. We could use more serious leadership and thought like this in the world.
#2020

👓 Bloomberg gives Johns Hopkins a record $1.8 billion for student financial aid | Washington Post

Read Bloomberg gives Johns Hopkins a record $1.8 billion for student financial aid (Washington Post)
Former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Sunday he is giving a record $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University to support student financial aid at his alma mater and make its admissions process “forever need-blind.” The gift, believed to be the largest private donation in modern times to higher education, is a landmark in a growing national movement to make elite universities more accessible to students from low-to-middle income families.

👓 Michael Bloomberg donates $1.8 billion to boost financial aid for low-income students | CBS News

Read Michael Bloomberg donates $1.8 billion to boost financial aid for low-income students (cbsnews.com)
Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and one of the world's richest people, is donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, in an effort to boost financial aid for low- and middle-income students. The university said the contribution — the largest ever to any education institution in the U.S. — will allow Johns Hopkins to eliminate student loans in financial aid packages starting next fall. The university will instead offer scholarships that don't have to be repaid.

Reply to actualham on Koch and education

Replied to a tweet by Robin DeRosaRobin DeRosa (Twitter)

Given the statement he makes I honestly wonder if he’s considered taking Malcolm Gladwell’s advice about where to best focus his money for the best outcome based on statistical mechanics–particularly given his stated background?

🎧 Episode 06 My Little Hundred Million | Revisionist History

📺 IndieWeb Summit 2018 Green Room #nonprofit | YouTube

Watched IndieWeb Summit 2018 Green Room #nonprofit from YouTube

Discussing a non-profit org to benefit IndieWeb and the indie web

Playing catch up on some of the sessions I wish I’d had time to be at in person.

There are several ways of doing the non-profit thing in this venue. Many of them don’t bring a lot of additional benefit however. One could set up a side foundation to help on the fundraising and spending side, but as a group, I suspect we’re more than fine for right now.

❤️ ClintSmithIII tweet about philanthropy

Replied to a tweet by Clint Smith on TwitterClint Smith on Twitter (Twitter)

This reminds me a lot of Malcolm Gladwell‘s thesis about philanthropy in higher education. Hopefully identifying the problem and suggestions for solutions will point a way to fixing the problem.

🎧 Episode 06 My Little Hundred Million | Revisionist History

Listened to Episode 06 My Little Hundred Million by Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell from Revisionist History


In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a university in New Jersey, an act of extraordinary generosity that helped launch the greatest explosion in educational philanthropy since the days of Andrew Carnegie and the Rockefellers. But Rowan gave his money to Glassboro State University, a tiny, almost bankrupt school in South Jersey, while almost all of the philanthropists who followed his lead made their donations to elite schools such as Harvard and Yale. Why did no one follow Rowan’s example?

“My Little Hundred Million” is the third part of Revisionist History’s educational miniseries. It looks at the hidden ideologies behind giving and how a strange set of ideas has hijacked educational philanthropy.

The key idea laid out stunningly here is strong links versus weak links.

I’m generally flabbergasted by the general idea proposed here and will have to do some more research in the near future to play around further with the ideas presented. Fortunately, in addition to the education specific idea presented, Gladwell also comes up with an additional few examples in sports by using the differences between soccer and basketball to show the subtle differences.

If he and his lab aren’t aware of the general concept, I would recommend this particular podcast and the concept of strong and weak links to César Hidalgo (t) who might actually have some troves of economics data to use to play around with some general modeling to expand upon these ideas. I’ve been generally enamored of Hidalgo’s general thesis about the overall value of links as expressed in Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies1. I often think of it with relation to political economies and how the current administration seems to be (often quietly) destroying large amounts of value by breaking down a variety of economic, social, and political links within the United States as well as between our country and others.

I wonder if the additional ideas about the differences between strong and weak links might further improve these broader ideas. The general ideas behind statistical mechanics and statistics make me think that Gladwell, like Hidalgo, is certainly onto a strong idea which can be continued to be refined to improve billions of lives. I’ll have to start some literature searches now…

References

1.
Hidalgo C. Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies. New York: Basic Books; 2015.

👓 Philando Castile charity wipes out school lunch debt in district where he worked | CNN

Read Philando Castile charity wipes out school lunch debt in district where he worked (CNN)
A charity that honors the memory of the late school nutrition supervisor has erased the lunch debt of every student in public schools in the St. Paul, Minnesota, district where he worked before his death by a police officer in 2016.

A new meaning for Philanthropy.

I find it unconscionable that school districts would penalize the poor this way and prevent them from getting the services that the schools should be encouraging. This is simply morally wrong and is a prime example of a negative feedback mechanism that drags society in general down instead of improving it.

👓 Investor Bill Miller commits $75 million to Johns Hopkins Philosophy Department | JHU Hub

Read Investor Bill Miller commits $75 million to Johns Hopkins Philosophy Department by Dennis O'Shea (The Hub (Johns Hopkins))
Legendary investor William H. "Bill" Miller III has committed a record $75 million to the Johns Hopkins University Department of Philosophy to broaden and intensify faculty research, graduate student support, and undergraduate study of philosophical thought.

Support for the humanities like this is definitely a worthy cause!

It’s the holiday season and I’ve already gotten dozens of letters, emails, and calls for support for a variety of charities. Also in the wake of Patreon’s recent attempt to change their payments structure, I’ve recently seen some people attempting to set up their own payment pages to allow people to support their work or efforts on many fronts, whether they be artistic, creative, or even business-oriented.

To that end, the missing piece on the other side of the equation seems to be the profile page of sorts that identifies me as a supporter of various causes. To remedy that, I’ve created a /Supporting page as the beginning of showing which organizations, institutions, artists, and other entities which I’m actively supporting or have supported in the past.

If you’re looking for something to support yourself, I highly recommend any of the organizations which I list there. I’ve added links to the organizations themselves as well as quick links for how to support them directly.

For the technically inclined, I’ve marked up the organizations with h-cards and include their homepages with u-url and p-name microformats as well as the rel=”payment” and u-payment microformats.

What organizations are you supporting?