High Failure

This morning, amidst hawgin’ tabs and wading the swamp of eMail, I ran across a New Yawk Times article [Link] entitled “High School Doesn’t Have to Be Boring.” I have to admit to reading the article mostly because when I went through high schule more than fifty years ago, it was boring. And my subsequent observations via my daughter (and the children of colleagues) and Adopt-A-Physicist have been that the situation has deteriorated. So I read the article.

The authors report that innovation seems to be a failure and that the fight against boredom only seems to be working in the extra-curricular activities. 

This fits with my experience. Then (and now) the core courses were overstructured with over-detailed syllibi and the advanced courses were too important to college admission to not be grade make-or-break. So no learning, just cramming in either venue.

I hate to say this fits my prejudices, because it does. When I went through high schule, the good teachers were the ones with real degrees and no certification. I was fortunate to capture a passing window before these teachers were ejected after five years for not obtaining certification. Nowadays, teacher certification is fundamental, as crucial as being admitted to the priesthood is for pedophiles, and perhaps with comparable results. 

The authors claim that the real excitement, and hence learning, is in the extra-curricular activities. I note but do not accept unquestioningly. Most of the extra-curricular activities are rubbish, things like singing and acting and such. I am also skeptical. We had extra-curricular activities when I was in high schule and while they were less structured, they were equally vacant of anything to learn. If anything, they were so vacant of structure that learning was more about what not to do – participate in extracurricular activities.

I have to admit that my extra-curricular activities were science and the like. The total content of the club’s activities was an annual expedition to the atomic energy museum at Oak Ridge. And we were located in one of the foremost science towns in Amerika! This is where I became convinced that Chicken Man was right when he said good students are successful in spite of bad teachers. Extra-curricular sponsors – teachers – were baby sitters, not educators.

I can’t address the fru-fru extra-curricular activities. They were all either flaming Extrovert or deep in-crowd. Or both. Much as I would have liked to learn how to draw, putting up with the whole artist angst shtick was a repellant comparable to a negative gravitational singularity. 

As a result, I have to admit that I am skeptical of this article. Nowhere does it address the Extro-Intro abyss that emerges in High Schule like acne and hickeys. And that lack is damning. Too much of public education is tromping Intro teens into the cess pool of society, to either fail or become STEM NERDs and be a caste apart for life. 

I ain’t convinced high schules can be saved. Nor humanity.

But I still have hope. After all, college works. Or at least, it worked when I went. Not sure about today. College graduates today seem as ignorant and warped as high schule grads – not STEM NERDs – did and still do. Perhaps that’s the way of humanity? The cool kids become troglodytes who are the parasites of the STEM NERDs? And we run just as hard as we cam, we STEM NERDs, to keep society from self-destructing in the greed of POLs and the antipathy of EXTRO BOGs? 

Back to the Future

Was listening to a “Best of Ideas” podcast this morning about the crazy nationalism of the Spanish and I came up with a list:

Spanish Inquisition;

Nazi Germany;

Soviet Russia;

Republican Amerika.

Maybe it’s time to give the country back to England. Would solve two problems: Brexit and Partisan Tyranny.

Divine Unpresence

His Awfulness, the Vice Tyrant, the Black Pence, came to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill yesterday to spread chill and awe among the peasants.

I got to watch him on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver.

Two things impressed me: first, he is the best argument I have seen yet that the deity does not exist; and two, what a Schmuck!

Collusion Delusion

One of the joys of being a STEM NERD in a land ruled by plutocrats/oligarchs is that sometimes you can understand things that the ruling are ferdish of. 

Simply put: you can’t prove a negative.

You can prove a positive by exhibition, but you can’t prove that something doesn’t exist. You can offer up, based on search, that you haven’t found something, and you can even apply statistics to infer a low probability of failure, but ultimately, that’s all.

 

Shameful Comparison 2

I was awaken, relatively speaking, to the autarchic nature of our politicians this morning.

Was working on preparing to break my fast when WAFF [Link] – FD SCP had the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver engaged – showed a tweet from Congress Critter “Mo” Brooks.[Link] Nasty bit of rhetoric. Basically condemned democrats to Tartarus. Amazed me that FCC rules would permit such vileness.

Rather makes one wonder if this Shmuck is fit to hold office. 

 

Shameful Comparison

What’s the difference between New Zealand and Great Amerika?

For one thing, New Zealand has a Chief Executive who actually cares about the welfare of the citizenry and works to improve their lives. Greater Amerika, on the other hand, has a Chief Executive who is a bigoted, self-serving, prevaricative tyrant whose treats the citizens as if they are all illegal immigrants (with a few notable exceptions,) and only cares about himself and his capitalist oligarch associates. His only virtue, if such, is a total inability to not lie. 

And before one of his repulsian, evilgelical goons growls something about moving there if it’s so good, I should offer that it is Great Amerika that is in need of help and improvement and hence I will stay here to make the place a democracy again.

We can start by making political parties illegal and replacing elections by random selection from the citizenry with a single term limit for life. After all, we’ve got a few thousand elected offices and hundreds of millions of citizens. Give everyone a chance! 

Social Entropy of Mixing

The New Zealand massacre provoked my cognition. Once more I come to the hypothesis that humans are whacked.

Consider:

Some humans call themselves white when they are actually pink. There are white humans – albinos – but somehow they are not quite right. (Indeed, the health of many albinos is frail or compromised because….) 

Some humans call themselves black but most are brown and even the ones who are dark aren’t really black. They have a shine to their coloration that negates the contention of black. 

But we can’t expect bogs to do much correctly and coloration is evidently one of those things.

We have “white” supremacists killing muslims. One has to wonder how much of this is envy and how much insecurity. After all, even a moderately observant muslim makes an evangelical look like a religionist wuss. Especially when it comes to women. Perhaps white supremacists really want to be muslims but can’t because muslims aren’t white?

Hence the conflict: skin coloration or religionist dogma?