Cow Flops are Apathetic

Woden’s day. Calm. Maybe. Not having to motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Too many medicalist engagements. Gym crowded but not harassing. Subdued. Podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks” was a review of three books on nerdery and was not a total waste of time. Not that I plan to read any of them. Convinced of that. Bog books about science are nasty. They have no learning substance and they propagate “wrong” things. 

On which azimuth, one of my clipping services sent me a link [Link] to an article entitled “Social studies education facing ‘crisis’ as class time is slashed, departments closed”. Before we get too worried I should comment that this is about public secondary schules. It seems that social studies and science and such aren’t being taught in secondary schules because, surprise! surprise!, they aren’t covered on the standardized tests. And the world is coming to an end because of this.

What isn’t discussed is that this is fiscally motivated. The money the schule gets is directly proportional to the student scores on the tests so why teach something that isn’t going to pay? Good business thinking, isn’t it. Which indicates that the world isn’t coming to an end. It has already ended and the schules are zombies.

The implication is that the kids aren’t getting good education. IMHO this is a specious implication. When have the public schules ever provided good education. I refer again to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s quote about good student learning in spite of bad teachers. An appendix to that is bad information. 

I have to ask myself what I learned in public schule:

  • Composition D-
  • Maths C– (exception rule applies)
  • Syntax D-
  • Spelling C-
  • Science C– (exception rule applies)
  • Social Studies F

so I am not all that upset at this teapot tempest. Now I did learn composition but not until I got to college and in practice, not until after. Maths and science I largely learned on my own. The only positive thing I can attribute to public schule is arithmetic drills – multiplication and addition memorization – that are anathema these days and indicative of how we have set ourselves up for failure as individuals and a nation. Spelling is called out because it is like arithmetic; it has to be memorized and at an early age. The mis-spellings I learnt then are still with me and I will carry unto death. It’s wired in us. 

I give social studies a failing grade because all it bothered to teach – in the main – was names (which I am terrible at,) dates (which are unanchored and thereby irrelevant,) and the propaganda ideas pushed by politics. What social studies I learned of value was either acquired in college or on my own. 

So if I got it in spite of the schule system, why should I worry? (Thank you Alfred!) Because those who are successful and learn in spite of the incompetency of the system are the minority. Sturgeon’s rule at least approximately applies, so 0.9 of all student cannot learn in spite of bad teachers and inaccurate, inadequate information. That’s why as a nation we are ignorant and deluded about birth control, evolution, climate, and almost any other aspect of reality. So we are doing ourselves in as individuals and a nation by feeding our kids mind stercus.

The only good thing is that it’s sparse. Which is the other damnation. So education is a farce and a prevarication. So it doesn’t matter what we do until we get fed up with failure and ignorance and stupidity and start all over. Which we won’t do.


For now.

Fungus in the Gism

I do enjoy aerosol in the morning. Especially when I can walk in it. And the extinction coefficient is reasonable. A half or so. Which it was this morning. Enough extinction to shade things but not enough to blind one in the back scattered light from one’s lamps. It was a bit chilling – thermally – and so I was happy to retreat to a warm castellum, but the constitutional was indeed good for my constitution. 

I make note of an article [Link] about all of the trans-species DNA we humans have picked up. There is something rather comforting about knowing that my DNA includes bits of microbes and fungi and arthropods in it. Especially fungi. What is so intriguing about fungi? Could it be the difference? 

We seem to have less understanding of fungi than any other biological entity. I am likely inaccurate on this, not being a biologist but lacking some correction by a biologist, and not some religionist, I will persist in my delusion. That is, after all, how we navigate and propagate (as in trajectory although as I consider it, perhaps also reproduction?) most of the time, by our delusions. 

We humans are not what we like to think. I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

and was a bit taken by it. Not by the accuracy of motherhood/childhood. That is patent. But by extension to marriage. And the insight that marriage has a component of both partners being parent to the other’s child. 

But it does strike at why FD SCP won’t let me have a trebuchet. That and admitting that there is a day care facility across the street from Castellum SCP.  She does let me accumulate rather a lot of gear, most of which I could likely live without. So much for any trace of Buddhist. There. I have offended all the good Protestants of Greater Metropolitan Arab. But their marriages are similar. Or failures. Which they could never admit until fully ruptured?

Apparently one of the strong points of christianity, the organized variety, at least, is its strength as a delusion about human nature. 

Bad Writing

Strange morning. First of all the gym was strangely populated. I suspect this reflects this being the lass week before schule resessions. And the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” was decidedly strange. First, I had to cycle through three episodes because the first two were repeats. Not sure how they got into the folder but they did. And the third was a lecture on journalism. All I can say about it is that I came to the realizations that:

Journalists act like they create stories; they don’t; all they do is ‘write” them.

And I ran across an article [Link] that is rather poor journalism. It doesn’t even tell me where the work was done although there is a link to the journal. 

Anyway, the article advances that children raised in religionist homes have difficulty telling real from imaginary. And when challenged they use their religionist beliefs to justify their delusions. 

What makes this such a neat article is that while we all – except maybe the deluded religionists? – that this is the situation and a common one at that, the academic officializing actually makes this something that can be discussed. Usually we accept that most religionists are deluded and going to do and say whackadoodle things but we never say anything about them because they usually resort to some form of violence when we do.

But now there is some hope of having a rational, perhaps even peaceful, discussion when this occurs and get these people to quit persecuting everyone else.

And if we can make that happen then there is hope we can persuade the journalists to do better as well,

Delusions of Romping

The weather beavers have been flashing their caps. My browser tells me 37 degF while my aft porch thermometer is several degrees higher. But definitely less heat than yesterday. The gym was pleasant except that the weight bouncers from last evening left their toys strewn about for ORFs to fall over. I have to wonder at how oblivious the management – if I can use that term – is to their liability. And the podcast episodes were fair to unmemorable. Even the coverage of the Georgia Tech bit on micturation was not well done.

This gave me some time to ruminate and I returned to consideration of this cartoon: [Link]

I was not permitted to romp in the leaf pile as a bairn. The idea was that it took too much time and effort to rake all the leaves for such to be willy nilly undone. I did sneak and romp, and then repile but the experience was wholly unsatisfactory. Perhaps I had had to wait too long and the emotion had atrophied? So I find myself in relative agreement with the older brother, not that I hate romping but that I find it an unrewarding activity.

I also find leaf raking an unrewarding activity. I find most repetitive activities to be unrewarding, although there are exceptions. But yard activities – mowing and raking and the like – are uniformly unrewarding. I was amused, briefly, by the novelty of a leaf blower but that waned rapidly, with no tail. And after some years of thought I finally realized that trees dropped leaves for millions of years before homo sapiens and did very well by it, so there was no reason I could see to accumulate leaves. In fact I could postulate several negative potentialities of doing so. So I quit. And the social contract of neighborhoods having eroded I suffered no shunning or cross burning. (This is the old Confederacy, after all.)

On which azimuth, I noted another article [Link] that was a bit of a polemic of suggestion algorithms used by merchandise sites. It was directed at sites that sell music files, or more accurately, permission to have and use music files, but the itchiness applies to any site that suggests or recommends product. I should comment that I studiously avoid music sites, mostly because of the limited range of my musical preferences, which are almost orthogonal to such sites and hence hardly worth the time and effort, but at least partly because I am ORFish enough to want a material deliverable. Perhaps I worked too long for the Yankee army?

Anyway, I get my music in the form of CDs from sites that still offer such. I find much more relevance here which leads me to suspect my tastes are dated and antediluvian to the young. Sad. They are missing so much good as I am sure ORFs have told the young for something of order a megayear. And then I “rip” my CDs and copy the files over to my music MP3 player. But I still have that CD even if it grows fuzz and rots and hence my brain is unfevered. 

But the suggestion algorithm thing applies generally. I run into it mostly on Amazon where it is usually amusing since it is highly polluted by things I purchase for FD SCP or as presents for other people. Since these latter fit easier, in some sense, with the algorithm’s data set, the suggestions are skewed strongly towards them. But I do wonder, anthropomorphizing, what the algorithm “thinks” of me. And, in exasperated or tired moments, how it can so easily be confused and deluded.

That, I fear, is the basic problem with humanity and civilization. We are deluded.

, , , , ,

Blonde, Blind Woman

Lately, the local television news programs have been showing a lot of sob sister reportage having to do with murders and other crimes. Lots of supposed victims weepily mumbling – barely coherently – about fairness and justice.

To quote Sherman Potter, “Moose Muffins!”

First of all, fairness is not objective. What I think is fair, is almost assuredly not what you think fair is, and niether of our thouts is stationary. Besides, life is not fair. It’s driven by all sorts of things ranging from “Nature” to “Society” none of which have any pretense of being fair other than in the lie.

Second, justice is also not objective. If anything, justice is only in the context of the organization. It’s a means to control the members of the organization. It’s not a right, it’s a constraint.

So can we have less of this bog babble? It’s almost as bad as the religionist stercus that is holy ground and can’t be id of, but do we really have to listen to bog delusions?

, , ,

Freedom of Religion

Earlier I ran across an article [Link] about a science-religion conference at CERN between particle physicists and academic theologians. The journalism is that everything was Pollyannaish.

It gave me pause to consider how such a conference would proceed in Amerika. First of all, it would get co-opted by politicians fronting for their corporate masters and espousing the religions of social engineering and capitalist oligarchy. The science representatives would likely be pseudo-celebrities such as talk show hosts and television journalism editors. The theologians would all be evangelicals of the most evangelical bent.

The outcome of the conference would likely be the stoning of at least two “science” wonks by strict constructionist bible thumpers who in turn would be exalted by the media rather than drug away in irons as the terrorists they are. But the media would still tell extravagant lies about how productive the conference was.

I am reminded that Lester Sprague DeCamp portrayed freedom of religion in Lest Darkness Fall as the freedom to persecute anyone of a different religious denomination. Added to that now is anyone rational?

, , , ,

What Evil Lurks

Strange morning, at least thus far. The gym session was a bit unusual in that I listened to two episodes of “Techie Geek” podcast – one was very short – and there was a kerfuffle at the adjacent hospital, Scant City Memorial, involving a fire engine. The gym was quite low density and so the number of educationalists was low despite their bullying behavior.

In that spirit, and given I have to motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City of the Hill to do medicalist things, this blot will likely be a bit strange. First, an article [Link] about a study by academics of the persistence (and accuracy) of journalistic reportage of scientific papers. The academics looked at a group of initial papers that suggested further work for confirmatory purposes and led to second papers. They correlated these with the number of newspaper articles reporting these papers. The number of journalistic articles for the first setwas about an order of magnitude greater while those for the confirmatory articles was an order of magnitude (approximately) less. Yes, Virginia, that’s two orders of magnitude difference.

More important, perhaps, is that the interest level, as reflected by popular media coverage, reversed. In effect, the media played up the initial, potential, findings but largely ignored any confirmatory or clarifying findings.

OK, I know that despite their claims, these journalists are in business and that business is essentially selling attention gathering so people look at advertisements. But are none of the journalist profession’s (?) claims of objectivity and such meaningful? Based on this one study, apparently not.

It would seem that not only is all advertising propaganda and, to use the vernacular, lies, but the stuff written in newspapers and read on television is entirely selfserving and slanted. Evidently media and accuracy are orthogonal.

In closing, and keeping with the theme, this [Link] courtesy of the podcast, is an article on the words that will get you observed by the Yankee government secret police if you use them. So now you can be deluded and paranoid.

, , , , ,