After our discussion yesterday of doing maths problems while less than conscious of them, I ran across another, related, article [Link] from Washington U that cites a survey indicating that as a group folks suffering from some form of Autism are more likely to major in STEM disciplines. I fear this is little more than academic legitimization of what has already been known. It certainly has been the norm since I was an undergraduate and could first observe the population directly, albeit a relatively small segment of the population. But I will go further and assert that autism sufferers are more likely to be nerds in general.
There are a couple of obvious reasons for this. The crowds are smaller. And one tends to do much of one’s work alone, or at least in a small group. And because there are few – my undergraduate physics major class cohort had a population of five! – there is less chance of encountering strangers.
This is not to say that there are not extroverts present, but there are very few bogs. They tend to fall away and go do something bogs can do, like business or something else I can’t immediately think of. I am not sure if it is that physic in particular, and STEM in general, is too hard or requires too much dedication, but the bogs tend to fail more often.
But what is worrying is that the STEM social engineers seem committed to driving the nerds, those with autism especially, away by making the whole information presentation thing – what we used to call lectures and labs – more social and extrovertish. And that drives away those who only want to operate in their heads. The physics classroom is no place for extrovert partying but that is what too many fools are making of it. And they are dragging Amerika into third world status all the faster.
And none of this gives us any insight into the key questions: like is string theory more than a maths game and were the founding fathers: Galileo and Newton and Boyle and Hooke also autistic?
Next, we have a rather disappointing report [Link] that the boson recently observed at Hadron Downs Racetrack, aka the LHC, is nothing more than a plain vanilla Higgs boson. While this does offer one more straw on the camel’s back of upholding (?) the Standard model it is terribly disappointing in that all that effort was spent not breaking theory. The search must continue since there should be other Higgses out there. Hopefully they will be outre enough to actually break things and give us something to do other than refresh the liquid nitrogen vats.
Next, a rather disappointing piece from the campus of the Boneyard [Link] where they looked at the relationship between cellular telephone bans and motoring incidents. They found that repressive laws decreased motoring incidents in dense situations but may increase them in vacuous environments. No word on how banning cellular telephone use causes traffic accidents in rural areas. Could it be that the absence of attention gathering increases sleeping at the wheel? Hopefully those social parasites will get off their academic posteriors and actually do some real observations.
Of course, things can get so dull out in the ‘real’ boonies that people play bumper cars with their motorcars just for some excitement. But there are quite a few such places in Illinois, like around where they water ski in borrow pits.
And finally, we have a rather unrelated article [Link] that is so abysmally bad I just had to include it. And since it comes from TIME (magazine) it illustrates just how decrepit and execrable that rag can be. (See my earlier blots about movie selection.) This is a list of “unrealized” college costs and they are totally whacked. Not because they are inaccurate but because I cannot suspend disbelief sufficiently to credit that they are “unrealized”. Back when I went off to college my parents and I knew almost all of these as a result of information provided by the campus instrumentality or through that most uncommon of things today, common sense.
I append the list here only to make obvious just how stupid either this article, or some humans, almost surely bogs, are today:
- Books and media: This one is so bad I can’t understand why it’s on the list. Who goes off to college and doesn’t know they need books?
- Class and parking fees: This one might be covert except it isn’t. Colleges inform loudly on this one and anyone who misses it probably should be going to college.
- Having fun: I have to worry about what parents are thinking. Even my folks got this one in my day and had to convince me that it was valid. And kids are a lot more extrovertish these days.
- Fraternities and Sororities: This one is just flat confusing. Are there folks who think Greek stercus is sans cost? Surely they are not ignorant of the most prominent feature of most colleges?
- Getting involved: This one may have some relevance to the expressed nature of the list, but I doubt it. Kids can’t get into college these days with doing community servitude stuff and they and their parents know that helping others costs one money. So this comes across as another insult to not being a slime mold.
- Furnishings: Is there any community in Amerika lacking a big box store? We have a MalWart here in Greater Metropolitan Arab and every late summer they stock all manner of dorm room crap to encumber the students and clutter up the limited space. Those rooms are supposed to be furnished already. So telling me that everyone doesn’t already know about this racket is another insult to intelligence.
- Electronics: When I went off to college I got a new slide rule – actually, a high shule graduation present. Nowadays it’s a lapbox and maybe a tablet and probably an MP3 player and a new ‘stupid’ phone. So this one is unrealized? In what Amish settlement?
- Cable TV: OK, this one is unrealized to me, and befuddling. The only TV I watched in college was Star Trek (the original) and Laugh In. And nowadays this stuff is available over the internet. So are the kids such bogs they have to have cable?
- Wardrobe: I’ve talked about this one before. It falls into the can’t-be-discussed-between-parents-and-children bin because neither is ready to say that this is part of gaining pseudo-independence. Once you get to college you have to dress to (a) look like others (or the opposite;) and (b) express your independence from parents picking out your clothes. So while this one isn’t unrealized it is a stealth elephant.
- Mobile phone service: This one strikes me as stupid in great magnitude. The expense is certainly known anyplace that cellular service is available. After all, kids these days start carrying cellular telephones in grade one, don’t they? Get real and quit insulting my intelligence.
- Food and beverage costs: Mothers know this up front. College is nothing new in terms of junk fooding except maybe the absence of transportation due to parking restrictions. This one is another insult to anyone not terminally boggish and lithic.
- Travel costs: Ditto. So stupid it doesn’t need repeating.
Overall, this is one of the most insulting and stupid lists I have seen in years, totally antithetic to its avowed purpose. It is even insulting that money was wasted printing it and paying for it to be written. One more instance of third world nonsense in the Yankee republic.