Today is Mars day although how that got transformed into Tiu’s day is a bit hokey, at least to my view. Not as bad day at gym. The educationalists were sparse and relatively restrained, so all I had to deal with were putzes and clods. Tuesday is science podcast day, which means rather a potpourri of SCIENCE journal, NPR podcasts, and the Guardian science podcast. Nothing, sadly, was very memorable. SCIENCE has been going down hill of late and is in danger of losing its number one position in the genre. But the NPR podcasts were almost as bad except for an interview with Kathy Reichs, the forensic anthropologist.
As far as being science that bit was a dismal failure but FD SCP rather dotes on the television program so there was enough connection to raise the attention level from bored to dull. Not much science, but a lot on the perversions of authoring.
Speaking of perversions, I ran across an article [Link] about some work at the campus of the Boneyard that indicates that the students there are getting insufficient dairy in their diets. Evidently this can lead to something called metabolic syndrome, which seems a strange name because of its generality and aspecificity. I’m trying to get my mind around this whole thing.
When I was an undergraduate and ate in dorm cafeteria, there was very little dairy outside of milk and the occasional macaroni and cheese. I did not partake of milk since I lack any of the cattle herders’ mutations that permit adults to secrete lactase. Absent such one gets all manner of digestive problems ranging from painful intestinal gaseousness to diarrhea. I will admit that there were those who drank a great deal of milk, even some whose only reason for staying in dorm was the availability of milk in cafeteria. But I was rather disturbed at the total absence of consideration of the majority of humans on Tellus being unable to digest raw milk.
Of course, the price of milk has gone up greatly now and I do not know if people still drink to such extremes. Evidently not if the article is credible.
I actually got a bit more dairy in graduate shule than in undergraduate. Illinois was close enough to Wisconsin for cheese to be realtively inexpensive so I could splurge on a cheese sandwich once a week or so. I think components were used in the cosmetically damaged Banquet television dinners I had for supper almost every evening. And once I got to the campus of the Tennessee, I had lots of cheese courtesy of fast food “restaurants”.
Still, I find this whole bit rather whacked and specious. But then a lot of things in academia are.
Put another way, what is the half-life (or first telling life) of NEWS? My contention is that the half life is two tellings. Anything after that is incompetence and laxity on the part of the mediaists.
And they should get paid on that basis. The more retold, the littler the pay.
Back to week in, and thankfully. Although it does look to be a difficult week with too many medicalist entanglements. But I did get back to gym this morning and hence am feeling a bit better than during week out.
The podcast episode this morning was one of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with Kenyan (and Ethiopian?) marathon runners. I initially thought it was stretching the limits of the theme but then I decided it was just redundant, repetitive, and boring. But on further reflection, I came up with some more consideration.
Why is it that when we call attention to some group for a behavior and attach a negative aspect to it the attention is considered to be “racist”, but if the same group is cast in a positive aspect the attention is not considered to be “racist”? I put quotes around racist since I consider the whole concept of races to be a governmental and social effort to control humans by means of inaccurate taxonomy. The scientific basis of races is somewhere between specious and vacuous but that does not seem to deter the Yankee government and politicians from meting out punishment in a differential fashion.
It seems to me, relaxing for the moment our consideration of the irrelevance of races of humans, that it should not matter whether the attention is positive or negative if the differentiation and attention is itself negative. But there is, patently observable, this polarization in common social usage. It would seem that “racism” is little more than a means of differentially punishing groups of humans for recognizing differences.
On a more humorous azimuth, perhaps to balance?, there were several interviews of runners in the podcast. None of those interviewed were Kenyans or Ethiops although there was considerable mention of visiting both countries for the production of the episode. All those interviewed were English speaking and their utterances, static insofar as information content, leads us to the question of which is worse: an interview with an athlete or with an obese Southron woman?
This question is less simple than the previous. Both types of interview are devoid of anything but revulsion and horror, in the first case that anyone so capable of physical effort can be so devoid of mental capacity and in the second that anyone so large can be so devoid of mental capacity. And since both are so negative, is either type of interview racism? Surely the differentiation by athletic ability or body mass is as valid a taxonomic category as skin tint or eyelid structure?
Calm? Hot? before the storm! The weather beavers are foretelling horrible winds early tomorrow and, perhaps, this is unclear, thunderstorms either before or after Either my attention is flagging or these guys are getting less clear.
Speaking of which, I ran across an article [Link] about some work at Ohio State U on “False beliefs persist, even after instant online corrections”. The appeal is obvious. The idea is not; that somehow instant “corrections” can be generated and displayed during (e.g.,) web surfing. I suppose that such may be possible in an experimental context, but in actuality? Probability zero, IMHO.
The first speed bump in crediting this thesis is that I actually believe what I read on the internet. The internet has a trust value of almost zero, edging out the bible, but only just and probably because of its greater volume (number of ASCII characters.) But the internet is unvalidated, unverified, unsubstantiated in almost all instances. So only the gullible and asentient are going to believe freely.
The second is the matter of true and false. Ignoring for the moment the inappropriate use of the terms outside a religionist context, the premise that falseness can be corrected is fraught with peril. Who determines the correctness and how? How can one rationally accept (as an ansatz for belief) anything on the internet absent some supporting information on testing or similar validation effort? Only those who are askeptic and arational?
It is also rather insightful of how whacked psychologists seem to be from science that they can even propose any such thing. In a sense, everything in science is false, only hopefully decreasing over time. But those who collecteth not stamps, in Eddington’s taxonomy, tend to use better language.
Which brings us to another bump. It is well known that humans tend to fixate on the first experience with some matter and even if change in the information occurs later, it does not stick to the mind as solidly. This is part of why much scientific progress is made by the young who have not seen things and science often seems to progress generationally. But how do you “correct” for this effect?
I fear this just adds substantiation to something my father once told me “stirred stercus smells ten times worse.”
The weather beavers are arguing over whether we are going to see ice rain this morning here in Nawth Alibam. Intriguingly, the arguments all revolve around which weather simulation is used. I got to hear the lord high front tooth of one of the local television stations, WAFF, last night express his preference for one particular simulation that he asserted was “the most accurate for” his area of broadcast, which is basically a one hundred kilometer radius circle around Huntsville. He did have the goodness to talk about the existence of other simulations giving different output but nary a word of validation information. Evidently the only public accountability of weather beavers is still mob violence?
I did not have to go to gym today. It’s a rest day. which I needed after doing medicalist things yesterday as well as the usual chores. So in trying to ward off the upcoming week out and all of its petty terrors, I cast my mind to contemplation of other matters, including my opened tabs. First, I note an article [Link] in the campus newspaper of U Minnesota about how Dartmouth C is ceasing to give college credit for high shule Advanced Placement courses.
Ain’t surprised. I have talked to students who have taken AP (as they are commonly known) courses, gotten placed, if you will, in sophomore courses, and then been found wanting. Very wanting. Upon investigation I find that the process is broken more than the students. Seems that originally when AP courses were introduced – after my time – they were taught by college instructors and usually on college campus. Over time however, they first moved into the high shule building and then were taught by supposedly qualified high shule teachers. Scant wonder that the material has not been learned; it probably wasn’t even taught. And the atmosphere of college was totally absent. What is it about high shule educationalists that they cause cancer in everything they touch? Perhaps it could be that they are educated (?) in teaching but not in the disciplines they teach. Enough. I’ve covered this before.
But what I find amusing and a bit appalling is the attitude of the U Minnesota student reporter. The evil of this tale is not that students are getting cheated by their high shules, but that they are being cheated of college costs by Dartmouth by making these students start at step zero. This is a wonderful demonstration of how modern students (and their parents?) have reduced a college education to a certificate and a bill. Knowledge is now irrelevant. Only money has importance.
Perhaps we should adopt the English practice of shule ties, or some other more gender spanning piece of apparel, as the device of “educational” attainment and just sell these to students. Don’t have to attend class, don’t have to learn anything, just pay an exorbitant price for some tawdry garment and wear it to proclaim one’s elevated state? Then we can get rid of all those worthless faculty and hideously costly buildings and such.
I fear I am unmoved by the whole AP thing. It is weak soup. In fact, it isn’t even flavored water. It is typically bureaucratic in simplifying something good but complicated into something bad but bureaucratically simple, which is the organizational criterion of goodness. Organization may be what made us successful as humans but it seems likely to also assure our extinction.
I listen to lots of different podcasts. I am continually on the lookout for new ones and so when I found out the MakeUseOf folks had a “new” technology podcast I quickly added it to the subscription list in my accumulator and initiated download. I have now listened to two episodes (weekly) and can give a report on the podcast.
It uses the ‘Good Ole Boy’ format, although none of the actors are Southrons. Its characteristics are:
Puerile; (haven’t gotten to use that word in a LONG time!)
When I say ‘Gratuitously Obscene”, I mean a lot of profanity that has no function or meaning, just social noise. And not very intelligent social noise at that. ‘Puerile’ is self-explanatory. Dysfunctional is also self-explanatory. And while I suspect the podcast might be endured otherwise, it cannot be because of the superficiality. This is a technology podcast in name only. In actuality it is a group of bogs pretending to be geeks. The content is opinion and bombast, totally lacking in any technical aspect other than association.
Simply put, it is an hour plus of lifespan wasted. If all you want is a distraction at the gym and Reynard or Coastal Liberal news won’t cut it, then this podcast may have some value. If you expect some constructive content while you are generating waste heat, you will be disappointed.
Happily subscription lists are not irreversible. If you want a good technology podcast stick to Techie Geek. This one is an embarrassment to the MakeUseOf folks.
Harrumph! Today is the real anniversary of the birthday of POTUS001. Celebrate by going out an starting a war with the French.
I have read several things lately about how Amerikan science is sagging. At gym this morning I listened to two SCIENCE podcasts and they were definitely sagging. The only bright spot was a podcast from the Guardian that had some delightful discussion on scientific pessimism.
It strikes that the reason Amerikan science is sagging is because the country is falling apart. Domestic political discussions seem to be based solely on money, nothing else counts. So while we mumble about quality of life and liberty in other countries the only thing we can discuss in our own domestic rebellion against tyranny in Wisconsin is money.
By the same token we have a science system that is also broken with its besottment with money. If you don’t do the research or the analysis or the understanding unless its paid for, it isn’t science, it’s industry.
And we need to get off our pretend that science is academic. Education is dead in this country at least in terms of producing adults with an education. As a business it is second on campus only to football.
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a vacuum implosion of pure consumerism.
I should put quotes on part of that paraphrase but I am not sure how to do so properly, not that that isn’t what I am writing about.
We seem to be long past the point where the parasites outnumber the hosts. The problem is that the parasites think they are the hosts. At least in Amerika.
I think I need to find a new gym and just listen to music for a few weeks. This is beginning to feel like Camelot right after Arthur was killed.