Can’t Do Algebra

Sag. That’s how I feel this morning. Slept passably last night and long and then arose to a bit of stationary bicycling. Which is amusing to say since it is the strongest form of stochastic process, one that is essentially deterministic. In the maths sense, not the religious. There is a bit of uncertainty whether I am actually going to discipline myself to get on the bicycle and stay there.

This has been a soresome week. Too much to do, to little relief of stress over it. Just unrelenting to-do each morning. And two of the days with the high possibility of dire tidings. And next week bodes to be more of the same. And then winter is in full bloom. I do dislike both of the seasons, holiday and winter.

But getting back to blogging a bit, I ran across an article [Link] about a study out in the land of Golden Earthquakes about how making high schule students who flunked algebra repeat had – effective – zero effect. It has the disadvantage – nastiness, actually – of being cloaked a bit in social mumbo-jumbo (is that term racist? I f so, I haven’t been informed.) but what it actually says is that some humans just can’t do maths.

Yes, Mrs. and Mr. Smith, Johnny (Jane – gender renormalization) is mentally deficient and can never be a real human because he (she) can’t get maths beyond finger counting. At least in the instrumentality of contemporary education. Maybe with the help of a tutor who really knows maths and isn’t just parroting the syllabus written by a book company and religionist fanatics, but still probably not. Because – simply – some humans are deficient.

In fact, all humans are deficient. Fact of Life. Accept it and get constructive. Or take euthanasia. That Johnny/Jane can’t even be calculate doesn’t mean that they don’t have other skills that other humans lack. Besides, Johnny/Jane will have no problem fitting in. They just have to live in a community where the adults are perpetually telling the children they won’t even use algebra after high schule and those communities are the mode in Amerika. No they can never be STEM, except maybe a simple sort of biologist or a technician who can operate by finger counting but there are lots of other things they can do in our society. And some of them actually pay better. Because STEMs are generally underpaid.

But that isn’t something the public schule educationalist instrumentality will ever utter. Because then they might actually be held accountable and have to teach.

Of course there are lot of educationalists who want to teach. All of them claim to, so a bit of prevarication filtering is necessary. But they don’t, because that’s not what they get paid to do. And generally aren’t permitted to by the management.

So don’t take it so bad that Johnny/Jane can’t do algebra.

Cinema of Nonsense

Lots of grrr brrr over the Sony hack and the movie theater chains punching out.

First, the hack may be news but it’s more-of-the-same. Computer security in the Yankee republic is a joke. If we’re going to get upset about a hack, get upset about Target, not Sony.

Second, I hear that we have lost this cyberwar. Good! We lost a war over a movie? And not a very good one from what I have seen. So don’t cry over bombs in the sand. But do learn and improve so we can win the next. Russel Weigley told us all about it. It’s an American thing. Let’s make sure we keep it.

Brave New Buying?

Survived two successive days of dental attention. Maybe. It never ceases to astonish me how after thousands of years we humans still communicate so poorly. And with such effort. But somehow our social programming seems to get in the way.

I was thinking this morning about the merchant suggestion conspiracy. Back when on-line merchants, like Amazing, started keeping detailed records of our purchases and used that to make suggestions of other stuff to buy, a lot of folks freaked out. My reflection was that yes, all those folks do it, but they do it SO poorly. Even worse than our communication.

I have been keeping score. I get several emails each day from Amazon suggesting stuff to me. It is at least three nines (0.999) inaccurate. If I factor in things I had already thought of before they suggested them, it comes closer to four! So from my perspective Big Brother is failing seriously in this regard. Not that such isn’t also dangerous but that’s another azimuth.

Hoilday Introduction

Maybe better. Air temperature, that is. But a yuh sundae. And little inclination to mumble. So you’ll have to make do with a cartoon: [Link]

I ran across. It rather summarizes the pre-adult intro attitude towards holiday activity. NO PARTIES. NO RELATIVES! That’s what it takes to make a good season.

Of course as adults we just say no and put up with the parental complaints and nagging and guilt trips or go and be sullen and unhappy making. And be nagged by parents to be nice and play with others.

Christmas is a visitation of agony and the best way to deal with it is to go hide in a hole.

Because the extros are incapable of any comprehension of how horrible they are.

Tattering Life

Better. The air temperature is still too low for me to assay a constitutional but except for the frigidity of the shower room not as unpleasant in the house as yesterday. And I don’t have to rush out in the next thirteen minutes to position the recycle bin to be partly hauled away, partly dumped in the street sometime before dusk. This sorry situation with the recyclage/rubbish collector contractor of Greater Metropolitan Arab is a microcosm of the deterioration of the nation.

I ran across an article [Link] on how increasingly mature adults are choosing not to work because they can;t get work that is good. I am being deliberately ambiguous here because because this is not only not quantitative (except in panic numbers like the fraction of not-workers in each county in the Yankee republic – 0.23 in Marshall County where Greater Metropolitan Arab is) but it is highly subjective. A good fraction of these not-workers are such because they lost one or more jobs in the recession and now have no prospects other than burger flipping (as a class of employment,) which won’t sustain a decades old life style.

Another group are those chewed up by the marketplace and spat out on the verge. The classic of this is the weekend warrior who has spent the last ten (?) years in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been mangled by pyrotechnics and shrapnel, and is now unfit for any role in society other than pond scum. Regardless of any PTSD or similar.

No small amount of this smacks of a capitalist utopia run rampant. So long as there is any source of paying customers, no corporate economization is too extreme, and no burden on the tax payer too large. Unfortunately there are already signs that the economy is creaking towards another collapse, this one caused by too many corporations having no loyalty to employee or customer in search of cash flow.

But what fundamentally struck me about the article was the complementarity of reprodenialists and demodenialists. They are two side of a single family. On the reprodenialist side we have those who hate family but are shackled to it and live in crippling fear that their dead beat relatives are going to show up on the stoop one day and destroy their lives into clay existence by leeching forever.

On the other hand, the demodenialists love family and hence can completely ignore it until they are in need and then they demand full support. Their greatest fear is having no family to succor them – never mind they offer none of meaning or substance – and thus must compel that such exist. In a way it’s a tale of ant and grasshopper except they are now the same, bipolar species.

At least it is supposed to be a milder day today. than yesterday. Weatherish, that is.

How Much Life?

Yesterday, I was reviewing the FaceScroll and discovered that one of my colleagues, Magnetic-Electric Fields, had posted an article (not this one, but it was handy: [Link]) about the Smif Collech President having to apologize for saying that "All Lives Matter." The problem was – apparently – that the "correct" catch phrase/slogan was "Black Lives Matter." and not being accurate was viewed as derogatory and derisive and divisive. As I understand it however, the conservative reaction to this bit of policy pogrom was that all lives do matter.

I have to admit that my first reaction to all of the demonstrations about statistics denial and constabulary realities reminded me of the Leon Uris novel about post WW2 Berlin. (I forget the title and am too lazy to seek it out.) In a meeting of the four party governing committee of Berlin the Russian member is complaining about student demonstrations and how he wants committee agreement to send in some storm troopers. The French member makes a lackadaisical comment that the purpose of students is to protest/demonstrate and the Russian’s plan to shoot more Germans evaporates.

Demonstrations are useful in helping governments – as opposed to politicians – gauge how important some issue is while giving the demonstrators a sense of accomplishment. Demonstrations do not occur except when people feel excluded from government. But the relevant bit, at least for this, is that demonstrations are themselves an illustration of the subject of the demonstrations. This was revealed to me when I saw demonstrators (on the television,) in Nawth Alibam;s Shining City on the Hill in repose on a major street. The revelation – reminder – was that the constabulary have a responsibility to protect the public from the demonstrators, and also (!) to protect the demonstrators from the public and the constabulary. This is not easy and not infrequently fails.

I am unsure whether this failure is human or organizational, but it is common. I immediately reflected on the Vietnam era "We had to destroy the village to protect it" and Lt. William Calley. IT is so hard for organized humans to execute a multi-faceted protection mission that they often fail by extending the protection to damage. This is especially the situation when the protection involves the rule of law and the details of the words become more important than their intent or spirit. We humans are matter entities and we are not comfortable with thinking, especially in times of stress.

The other side of this is not only that locality matters, but how do we decide what locality is. Take the idea that all life matters. Does that mean that we humans should starve ourselves into extinction because the lives of other animals and plants deserve respect? The boggish answer is a resounding NO since then no thought is necessary. But clearly we accept a good deal of cruelty in the treatment of food animals and potentially food plants as well. Just how sentient are plants? And how much is sufficient to accord them survival status?

Humans naturally do an us-them division. It’s a survival – i.e., biological and genetic – thing. We can only get away from it by being rational and we humans aren’t good at being rational. Again, bogs don’t like to think and they are the majority. The Lanchestrian majority. But doing us-them means that we shall always value us positively and them negatively. And so long as we don’t value rationality we are going to be that way. So no surprises in any of this. Even among the folks who are appealing to rationality we have irrationality. As the president of Smif can attest.

I once had a professor in undergraduate schule tell me that maturity was transcending the gonads. I didn’t understand that very well until years later when the hormone surges ebbed. So there is no reason we should be surprised that we are having these demonstrations or dysfunctional discussions about abortion and population and ignoring climate change. Yes, Virginia, Life matters but we don’t want to talk about it or do anything constructive about it.

We just want to ride the hormones.

Full of Sound if not Fury

Survived the expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Actually almost enjoyable. Everything went right except my cellular telephone. It was pretending it was a Winders phone – crash every other CPU cycle and do nothing in between. Of for my Motorola brick! Which is saying something since the current phone is a Motorola. Has to be the OS. For some reason the Ubuntu phone suddenly looks much more attractive.

But this did prompt me to as myself what is the Android human type? As we know, The Winders human type is bog and the Apple human type is geek, and the Linux human type is nerd, at least modally, so what is the Android human type. I am not sure. It may be anti-geeks, since a lot of Android users have hatred fro Apple and its slaves. But a lot of folks I know who use Android are geeks. And there are bogs and nerds who use Android. It must have a different dimensionality?

Speaking of which, one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, send me this cartoon: [:ink]

and I recalled my own days in elementary school. Although I wasn’t taught a lot of elemental things there and so I am unsure of the taxonomy’s validity. I never attended preschule since we didn’t have those things in the ’50’s. We just have mothers. Which most kids these days don’t have. Their biological mothers work and so their social mothering is left to hirelings. Not saying these latter aren’t good folk and are probably more qualified than the biologicals, just that was how things were and are.

I did get to participate in a play, I believe in third grade, but it was a paltry thing that lacked anything as cool as a "head cold germ". As I recall I got a role mostly because of my memory rather than any talent. Happily I disposed of any idea of acting as work quickly and got to re-concentrate on those things that weren’t taught in schule, like reading and writing and maths and science.

I hear lots of complaints about the current irrelevance and incompetence of the schools. I have even uttered some of them. But this is not new. Our schools have always been irrelevant and incompetent, the playthings of politicians who usually don’t send their children to them. Education, I am convinced increasingly as I age, is a matter of the individual and some help from parents and mentors; the schools are a detriment and a cancer.

Except for having pageants with head cold germs.