Not with a bang

Yesterday was one of those days where the mind just did not go to blogging. So perhaps we can do a bit of make-up today.

First, I noticed an article [Link] about an Atlanta law firm that only hires college graduates for its clericals. I think this is supposed to be a case study but given the state of Amerikan journalism that point is never made, so we are uncertain of the generality. The idea is a bit sticky, as in pointed stick, in several directions. It makes the fate of those who drop out of high shule doubly damning. It also tends to confirm the horrible things we have said about the deterioration of college education. Or its extinction. I am not quite sure which. But in an age when education is a diploma, knowledge is hen’s teeth.

I was taken by one comment, that the college degree is a good way to discriminate and discard a lot of resumes. With so many young (?) people unemployed, I suppose there are lots of resumes and human resource tyrants have to find ways to preserve their life styles. But it also smacks of the idea that most of these people get that diploma knowing what their parents learned in high shule. It was also obliquely and gradually evident that these are the kids who chose unwisely, not choosing to major in the employable disciplines. And since what they studied is unpayable, the party atmosphere of college is perhaps a bit explained. It may very well be the Masque of the Red Death.

But it is what this portends that is especially damning. High shule has become irrelevant, largely, I suspect, by the corruption of Every Child Left Behind. By teaching the test, what knowledge the graduates have is unmarketable. The promise of education is individuality, not commonality. And we seem unable to comprehend that in this modern age. We have sunk far below Lang’s Metropolis. Nor will this save the colleges. Instead, the vast population of marginals will become the cash cow of those who are central and education will become even more generic and grittish.

Not that it seems to matter. The rumblings about the meteors whizzing by (and into) Tellus continue with no sign of anything concrete to be done except increasing the depths of global warming. The article [Link] in Scientific American is indicative of how the editors are trying to revitalize the magazine but haven’t been successful yet. I was however, taken by two closing paragraphs:

“In the 15-meter size range, we think it happens about every 50 years. It’s been more than 100 years since we’ve seen something of this size, but statistically it happens approximately every 50 years.
When you consider all the areas of the Earth that are uninhabited—the oceans, the ice caps, the deserts and so on—it’s very surprising that this happened over such a populated area. Very unlucky.”

The first at least shows a bit of knowledge of statistics and probability, while the second is appallingly boggific. And contradictory. If the mean time between strikes of this size meteor is 50 year and it has been 100 – patently a number extracted from the air – then we have been lucky, or fortunate, or whatever bog term one wants to use to anthropomorphize a random process. But note not a byte about prevention.

A somewhat more useful approach [Link] is this map

of the density of meteor strikes over the last 2.3 KY. Note how it looks like a map of the land surfaces of Tellus times the cosine of angle above( below) the equator. Why this is left to the student to shew. But a hint: consider presented area. And population density. Until the last few years if peoples didn’t observe it, it wasn’t observed.

And lastly, a real worrier. Based on now knowing the mass (maybe) of the Higgs boson, it is possible to estimate the instability of the vacuum, in effect the shakiness of nothing, in boggish terms. A recent estimate indicates a significant probability that our universe may end by an alternate universe emerging from the vacuum within our own and in effect sucking it in. And ending us in the process. The estimate of when is a long time away, but we do have to recall that this too is a random process.

I personally hypothesize that the vacuum in the skulls of some of the bogs I meet here in Greater Metropolitan Arab has already generated alternate universes that has engulfed their brains. But that too is the error of anthropomorphizing.

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