"UNC Schools Don’t Need More Buildings"

With the qualification that, in my experience at least, a few of the "excess" classrooms have unsatisfactory acoustics, lighting, seats, and/or heating/AC--though this last is probably partly due to the university trying to save money on utilities--I agree.

And if new buildings really are needed, why not try harder to get "private donors" to pony up for them instead of this: "NC State receives approval for new dorm to house basketball players, non-athletes". 

$240K per bed--sheesh!


A Potemkin Village, updated

Theodore Dalrymple writes a moving account of visiting, 25 years ago, Pyongyang Department Store Number 1.

But this is no joke, and the humiliation it visits upon the people who take part in it, far from being a drawback, is an essential benefit to the power; for slaves who must participate in their own enslavement by signalling to others the happiness of their condition are so humiliated that they are unlikely to rebel.

Link via Ed Driscoll, posting at Instapundit.

Very much related: Glenn Reynolds briefly describes why "Free markets automatically create and transmit negative information, while socialism hides it."

. . . markets deliver the bad news whether you want to hear it or not, but delivering the bad news is not a sign of failure, it is a characteristic of systems that work. When you stub your toe, the neurons in between your foot and your head don’t try to figure out ways not to send the news to your brain. If they did, you’d trip a lot more often. Likewise, in a market, bad decisions show up pretty rapidly: Build a car that nobody wants, and you’re stuck with a bunch of expensive unsold cars; invest in new technologies that don’t work, and you lose a lot of money and have nothing to show for it. These painful consequences mean that people are pretty careful in their investments, at least so long as they’re investing their own money.

Bureaucrats in government do  the opposite, trying to keep their bosses from discovering their mistakes.

And Glenn links to this with the wisecrack, "The story of socialism in one Bernie Sanders T-Shirt".


"Stench and the City: SF's Summer of Urine"

"How bad is the urine situation in San Francisco? This is not a joke: Monday night, a light pole corroded by urine collapsed and crashed onto a car, narrowly missing the driver. The smell is worse than I have known since I started working for The Chronicle in 1992. It hits your nose on the BART escalator before you reach Market Street. That sour smell can bake for blocks where street people sleep wrapped in dirty blankets."

I certainly don't have anything to add.


"The Fundamental Way That Universities Are an Illusion"

"To understand the failures of the modern American college system — from admissions marketing to graduation rates — you can begin with a notorious university football scandal."

"Football scandal" is spelled U-N-C-C-H.

As the investigators wrote in their final report, Mr. Davis “found Chapel Hill’s attitude toward student-athlete academics to be like an ‘Easter egg,’ beautiful and impressive to the outside world, but without much life inside.”