At the Times they are a Changin'

Things are in flux over at the New York Times.

Last week three mainstay writers at the Magazine were terminated, including the ethicist, Randy Cohen, whom we criticized here more than once.

And this week Frank Rich announced that he is leaving his op-ed position. Actually we had noticed in the last few months that Rich had tempered (or lost) his edginess. He peaked in our esteem in the surge leading up to the Obama victory.

Add to this that The Public Editor, Arthur Brisbane wrote today about how Times staff members use Twitter to enhance their journalism. More changes. And in an opinion column Shelley Podolny mulls over the consequences of our inability to delete our digital information.

Our favorite essay of the day by far has to be Nicolas Kristof's, "Pay Teachers More." Wow, does he get it right. He understands and argues most of the key needs of the profession and the costs and benefits of having top notch teachers.

He even gets the value assessment of the intangible core of the profession (respectability) right. Here is how he sums that up in a nugget:
Moreover, part of compensation is public esteem. When governors mock teachers as lazy, avaricious incompetents, they demean the profession and make it harder to attract the best and brightest. We should be elevating teachers, not throwing darts at them.
Finally, you gotta thank the Times for entertaining you with great opinions, and sometimes with funny news. We never knew that you could get a doctorate in snowboarding and surely never could have imagined that it would involve an interdisciplinary crossover into religious studies. But at the Times, they found this, our favorite little news item of the day:
Soul-Riding the Slopes

Do spirituality and snowboarding intersect? A priest from St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Trail, British Columbia, thinks so, and explored the question in a thesis that recently earned him a doctorate in snowboarding from Kingston University in London, the CBC reports. The Rev. Neil Elliot said he became interested when reading about the term “soul-riding” in a Web discussion group. “Soul-riding starts with powder, it starts with some kind of almost transcendent experience in riding powder and in the whole of your life, so soul-riding is about being completely focused, completely in the moment,” he said.

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