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From the Editor

This week I call your attention to Ernest Cassara's thoughts about Larry Summers and Harvard. I can't disagree with anything Ernest says and yet I suspect I'm more sympathetic to Mr. Summer's than he is. I too had a career of both teaching and administering and I can't say that my colleagues in either endeavor caused my heart to rise. One of the curious things about college faculties is that the members, individually, are decent people. But put them together in a room with the object of considering institutional business and they collectively turn into a pack of spoiled brats. I think I've heard as many idiotic statements in faculty meetings as I've heard coming from the Bush administration. University managers are easier to get along with in a group, but I have never known any collection of them to give a damn about education. Otherwise, they're okay. College education tends to move into the future along a sine curve. I've been telling myself for some years that we surely must be at the bottom of a dip.

On Book TV recently I saw David Vise of the Washington Post being interviewed about his new book, The Google Story. Whenever I hear a knowledgeable person talking about any aspect of the Internet my mind is thrown into disarray. The implications of it all are gigantic to a degree I can't begin to imagine what effect it's going to have on humanity. The plans of Google alone are so far-reaching they'll transform how we think about knowledge. When I recollect what learning was conceived to be when I was in graduate school I realize that we're already in a new world, and, yet, one that is just at the start of an ongoing revolution. All in all, I think it's a change for the better. And that's why I like to participate in it even in the tiny way we do here at the HSC. There are times when I despair at ever being able to make a splash in this vast sea. But then I reflect that maybe the point in this new world is not to splash but just to be there.



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