From The Washington Monthly, Robert Kelchen, the mind behind WaMo's College Guide rankings, takes a comparative look at the U.S. News rankings; and Paul Glastris takes the fight to the pages of U.S. News itself. Rank irrelevance: Peter Campbell and Michael C. Desch on how academia lost its way. College for all, or just for some? Judith Sebesta on how Americans see a college degree as the ultimate insurance policy for success — but we need look to a far wider range of policy and educational tools to help those without a degree. From TNR, granite countertops, flat-screen TVs, fire pits: Inga Saffron on the surprising story of how college dorms got luxe (and more). Catharine B. Hill, president of Vassar College on how higher education’s biggest challenge is income inequality. Design specs for upgrading the communications device formerly known as the sheepskin: LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman on how college diplomas are meaningless — this is how to fix them. Juvenile U: The real danger in MOOCs is that watching a professor on your Ipad becomes confused with education. Gordon Hutner and Feisal G. Mohamed on how the real humanities crisis is happening at public universities. All students — and I mean all — ought to think seriously about majoring in English; becoming an English major means pursuing the most important subject of all — being a human being. Fox, meet hedgehog: A strategic studies program at Yale revives ancient lessons about statecraft, and its popularity is soaring.

James Symonds (York): Colonial Encounters of the Nordic Kind. The Vikings were not the first colonizers of the Faroe Islands. Are you a viking? Yes, but so is everyone else. From The Economist, searching for answers in the executive-search business: Times are tough for some headhunters; and in praise of laziness: Businesspeople would be better off if they did less and thought more. From n+1, David Marcus remembers Marshall Berman. Why do real estate agents still exist? Lydia DePillis on how the internet was supposed to kill real estate agents — instead, it helped them. Gary Gutting on science’s humanities gap. The latest issue of America magazine is completely given over to an interview with Pope Francis (and more and more). David Sirota on Chipotle’s self-serving deception: A “vegetarian” bait-and-switch”. Alec MacGillis on how raising the minimum wage could be a winning issue for Democrats. An excerpt from The Value of Violence by Benjamin Ginsberg. Lina Khan on how the folks who sell your Corn Flakes are acting like Goldman Sachs — and that should worry you. A new conspiracy theory on 4chan is riding Pronunciation Book's coattails. The first chapter from In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism by John S. Ahlquist and Margaret Levi. Tina Rosenberg reviews David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell. Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state.

Glenn Beamer (USciences): Living Wage Politics in the U.S. States: Understanding Race, Labor, and Party Politics. Richard L. Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., has a bold plan to reverse organized labor’s long slide: let millions of nonunion workers — and perhaps environmental, immigrant and other advocacy groups — join the labor federation. Elizabeth Cline on how fashion models are workers, too. Home care workers just got a long-awaited rule change that will give them minimum wage and overtime protections — here's why it matters. Adam Weinstein: “Fuck you. I’m Gen Y, and I don't feel special or entitled, just poor”. Being poor changes your thinking about everything: Harold Pollack interviews Sendhil Mullainathan, co-author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. The official poverty rate last year was 15 percent — here’s what that misses. Sasha Abramsky on how the South killed the safety net: Europeans came to this country for a better life — it hasn't always meant helping the less fortunate. Chris Lehmann on George Packer: The Unwinding is a fine-grained account of economic collapse that runs aground on causeless abstractions (and more). The Protestant work ethic is real: We finally have some answers for why Americans work so hard. Scott McLemee reviews Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream by Benjamin Kline Hunnicut.