When I was a kid, we used to sing Merle Travis's Sixteen Tons in the car on long trips: it's a poetic masterpiece, capturing the clash between a worker's proud and indomitable spirit and his impossible, inescapable poverty trap (chances are you've heard Tennessee Ernie Ford or Johnny Cash perform it).
The plight of the worker indebted to a company store analogizes regrettably well to the current student debt crisis: to get paid, you have to incur debt, but the debt is titrated so that it always exceeds your wage, so that you have to work as hard as you possibly can just to keep from sinking. And since student debt is the only debt that can't be discharged in bankruptcy and the only debt that can be charged against your Social Security, it will literally haunt you until the day you die -- and then come back to make claims against your estate.
So Steven Brust (previously) and Mark Hall's student-debt remix of the lyrics, "Sixteen Credits," is particularly apt, in a ha-ha-only-serious way.
Some people say a man is made out of gore
Well a student is just a credit score
A credit score and a mind that’s spry
A future that’s bleak, a bank account that’s dry
You take sixteen credits and what do you get?
Close to your degree and deeper in debt
St. Peter don’t you call me cuz I must stay
I owe my soul to Sallie Mae
Enrolled one morning, it was drizlin rain
“Get a degree” was the school’s refrain
Should I study English, or should it be Math?
Decades of debt was the only path.
You take sixteen credits….
Sixteen Credits [Steven Brust and Mark Hall/Dreamcafe]
Ten years ago, Apple released the Ipad. I was in a hotel room in Seattle, jetlagged and awake at 4AM while my wife and daughter slept.
Last year, the EU adopted the incredibly controversial Copyright Directive (it passed by only five votes, and afterwards 10 MEPs said they'd got confused and pushed the wrong buttons!): now, EU member states have to create rules that require online platforms to filter all user-generated content and block it if it matches a secret, unaccountable […]
Back in 2017, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) approved the most controversial standard in its long history: Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME, which enabled Netflix and other big media companies to use DRM despite changes to browsers extensions that eliminated the kinds of deep hooks that DRM requires.
With all the website builders on the market, it can feel overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs. The most important things to look for are usability, flexibility and a professional look and feel. That’s why over 180 million people use Wix to create the website of their dreams. Here are the top […]
The saying goes that everyone is looking to build a better mousetrap. In the case of Elementor, they decided to take a swing at WordPress, the platform used to build a third of the world’s websites, and make it better. Four years later, there are already three million sites using Elementor, a WP plug-in which […]
Whether you’re working from home or working from the office, a few elements of the grind are universal. Emails never stop. Meetings go on way too long. And a bad monitor makes your day monumentally more difficult to tolerate. Staring at a screen that’s too small or isn’t bright or sharp enough can be enough […]