Reinhardt on economics textbooks
Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt discusses choosing a textbook for his principles of economics class. Includes this lovely crack:
On the one hand, multi-color printing permits authors to present beautifully crafted graphical or tabular displays that enhance the pedagogic value of the books. On the other hand, however, many of the books now weave the main text through a dizzying melange of cartoons, barely relevant colored pictures, multi-color insets and multi-color sidebars that tell interesting stories or distill the most important points in the adjacent paragraph. The idea seems to be that youngsters who grew up on ESPN and video games would be alienated by clean, serious and well organized textbook pages. Next, no doubt, will come vanilla flavored paper — perhaps even pizza-flavored, with simulated beer stains — and crossword puzzles for added diversion.
(Link via Greg Mankiw.)