Chaos Manor Home Page> Mail Home Page > View Home Page > Current View > Chaos Manor Reviews Home Page
CHAOS MANOR MAIL
Mail 619 April 19 - 25, 2010
FOR THE CURRENT VIEW PAGE CLICK HERE
This page looks better if you set the default text to Georgia.
April 19, 2010
Don't miss the comments at the bottom of the column.
Personally, the biggest problem with education these days is this whole notion that every kid needs to be taught the same material in the same manner.
A strong teacher has a number of teaching tools and ideas, and uses them based on the make-up of the class. And, there should be a reason for reading out loud.
I have students read aloud when the purpose is to practice doing such. In that case, it really doesn't matter what we read because the emphasis is on other concepts: reading to a group, projecting, standing tall, sitting tall. Heck, Green Eggs and Ham is a fine selection for practicing the skill of reading aloud.
The last time I taught, I had a remedial English class at the college level. I read the book to them so they could read along. I would assign the chapters ahead of time, but so many of these students couldn't read the book (written on an eighth grade level) that part of my task was to model good reading, decoding and looking up unknown vocabulary.
Like we many other professions, education and educators have lost a lot of common sense and flexibility. And, teachers seem to neglect to build community in class. Every class is different-- even if all the students are at the same grade level. Some kids mix well together, other groupings force the teacher to essentially shake the situation in order to keep the oil and vinegar mixed.
But what do I know???? I homeschool.
I remember that in third grade we would read or speak to the class -- 3rd and 4th grade since both were in the same room -- the class -- both classes actually -- would count the um's amd aw's and 'you know's'. Aloud. It shook some of the students who did even worse, but it was done as a game, often 3rd vs. 4th grade, and students learned to speak slowly and deliberately and be silent when thinking of what to say. I certainly benefited from the lessons, and I would guess that the others did as well. Today that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment; I don't know of any place that does that now.
Students reading aloud were encouraged to "sound it out" when they encountered a word they had not know before. By third grade most pretty well knew how to do that, although there were a few -- this was a parish Catholic school -- who needed help. By fourth grade I was in Capleville consolidated, also two grades to the room. We read aloud but generally from our seats, not at the front of the class, but once again the emphasis was on considering what we were doing and not making meaningless noises to cover confusion. I don't know what they do now.
The problem of not being able to read is not the same as the problem of being nervous when reading aloud or trying to speak in front of the class. Learning to read is a matter of systematic phonics; once that is learned the rest is simple enough. Most English words are phonetic. Cases like "He thought, 'Though the rough cough plough me through'" are taught as special cases and are sufficiently amusing that they tend to be remembered easily enough. They are also fairly rare. Words like polymorphic and Constantinople and antidisestablishmentarianism are quite phonetic and while reading them for the first time takes a pause and application of decoding, they are easily if not readily read given that you know the principles.
As you know. The fact that collegiate remedial English is required at all is shameful.
Obama calls for thoughts
"Educational software that is as compelling as the best video game and as effective as a personal tutor."
Has Roberta considered entering her phonics software?
Live long and prosper
Because one of the lessons mentions a person who believes in God (religion not specified although it does imply monotheism) her program would not be eligible; the LAUSD rejected it on that ground.
Roberta's reading program has a game. It's a bit hokey compared to modern games -- it was after all written in DOS -- it does seem to be popular with younger kids, and acceptable to the older ones. The real reward has been when older kids who were told they could not learn to read begin to do so: that's a very rewarding experience.
The program needs about half an hour a day for about 3 months, and while it's not the intense experience of Doom, it does seem to hook in a fair number of kids. Obviously teacher attitudes can affect how well it is received (the program doesn't need an actual teacher or tutor once it is set up, but the enthusiasm or lack thereof is important).
I suspect that games experts could reprogram this to be a bit more entrancing, but I am not sure. Roberta's experience was that games tend to be distracting, and most do not add to the learning process, but that observation was made when gaming was in its infancy. Her design was that the student had to complete the lesson to be able to play the game. It was a pretty good game for its time, but as I said, it's a bit hokey now. Still, younger kids seem to enjoy it.
The program is very much as effective as a personal tutor. It was designed that way.
Yup. This one pretty much sez it all....
"BAIL'EM OUT!!! ???? Hell, back in 1990, the Government seized the legal Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now, we are trusting the economy of our country, our banking system, our auto industry and possibly our health plans to the same nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling whiskey?!"
"What the Hell are we thinking??"
April 20, 2010
I had to take the day off.
For a PDF copy of A Step Farther Out:
April 21, 2010
No Child Left Behind...
You are probably flooded with emails like this, but as a parent, I have to gripe. My son had a reading issue. The public school he attended did not want his test scores to impact them, so they were practically forcing us to have him test out, which would allow them to have all of his tests from then on be read to him by someone, so that his scores would not be impacted by the reading issue. They had the money and desire to have someone to read him his tests verbally, but no money or desire to help teach him to read. Needless to say, we got tired of the pressure to label our child as an illiterate for life, and suffered near financial ruin in order to put him in private school. He now reads at a higher level than his peers at public school are at, and is advanced in math and history (the sudden abundance of children's stories set around Greek myths are going to do wonders for this generation of children). If he had been labeled as illiterate and unable to be taught in public school, where do you think he would have ended up? The schools basically wanted to throw my child's future away so that they could protect their test scores. How can that ever be an option for our education system? I love the idea of our public education system, that ALL citizens are given an equal start and chance at success. A way to help level the playing field and create an equal society in terms of the children of the have not's still having a chance to excel, but it just plain isn't working right now.
All children of normal intelligence can learn to read, and by read I don't mean "at grade level". About a third of the children will learn to read whether you teach them or not once they figure out that reading is possible. Another third will learn if taught by nearly any rational method; and about a third won't learn unless taught systematically and consistently, and for some it will be hard work to get them to learn. My wife's reading program will do it provided that someone gets them to pay attention to the lessons -- that's often the hard work at least until they actually begin to catch on -- but it's not in use in the school system.
I am in agreement that a good public school system is a good investment for the Republic. The system we have is indistinguishable from enemy action.
Some time ago, it occurred to me that our schools were probably better before teachers had to have degrees in education. There are a number of fields where the optimum isn't necessarily more college. If people could learn reading and writing and arithmetic in single room schoolhouses from school marms who only had high school educations themselves, why can't our schools today do it?
Some of the basic ways of learning, such as recitation, practice and addressing processes step by step, seem to be abandoned by teachers today, because they're boring or some influential leading light has recommended a "better way." When these new approaches don't work, what do teachers and administrators have as a fall back position? Unfortunately, it seems to be nothing but excuses.
Allen S. Thorpe
If you actually read what is taught in education courses, it is all excuses. Diagnostics on why the kid did not learn. Not much on what you can expect from normal children.
Actually, we could fix education, it would require a Renaissance Plan
You're right that we could improve education by abolishing the DoE.
But the problem is more basic than that. We went down this path because we've been approaching education like its an industrial process. It's not. It's craftmanship. If you start out pointed in the wrong direction by even a little bit, you're going to be far off at the end. We're a long way away from where we need to be.
You can't read a book and become a good teacher, and you can't read a book and become a good artist/carpenter/movie director/actor.
People blather about "bad teachers", but how do you tell? Our current teacher training method consists of basically "reading about teaching", whereupon we throw new teachers into a classroom into a class room. It just doesn't work, unless the teacher is lucky enough to have native talent.
It's not a mystery how to structure things that operate on craftmanship so that they can operate more efficiently. There are plenty of things in our society that are structured that day.
Education needs to be structured not like a factory, but like a Renaissance craft guild. That means that teachers need to start by apprenticing to a master or journeyman teacher. We almost have that system now, but its ridiculous, what we do is throw new teachers into class rooms on their own as "substitute" teachers.
This would actually solve two problems. First, teachers would be better trained. But second, any classroom with less than two adults in it is doomed to failure.
The math is simple. Say you have 30+ students. Say you're a brilliant GrandMaster of a teacher, who can reach 90% of the students on the first try.
But that leaves 10% you can't reach, that need more attention. That's 3-4 students. But in order to reach those 3-4 students, you have to spend time with them, separate from the rest. How are you going to do that? What you need is a second adult who can either do something with the remaining 27+ students, or help the 3-4 students.
In a master-apprentice system, depending on the level of the apprentice, you've got a built-in 2nd person.
So it could be done. It wouldn't be easy, but its possible.
We managed in Capleville with 2 grades to the room and 20-30 pupils per grade. These were farmer's kids, mostly. Not as well as I had at St. Anne's in Memphis where there were also 2 grades to the room, but the Sisters were dedicated.
I don't have a "solution" in the sense that I have a formula that works everywhere; I do think that if local school districts had no more than a couple of thousand pupils -- i.e. that there was local control and the big districts were broken up -- at least some of the schools would be excellent and serve as an example to others, and the others would at least have the choice of adopting better systems. At it is, no one has a chance.
Dear Mr. Pournelle,
Thank you for your insight regarding the sad state of our public education system and especially the Department of Education. I once thought that the system could only be changed from the inside, and that I would need to send my kids to a public school in order to work within the present structure to influence change. Now I think that, as long as the Department of Education exists, there will never be positive change, just celebrated mediocrity. I will mortgage the farm to send my kids to a private school.
To see what kids can learn, look at the Robinson curriculum. Note, though, that the Robinson curriculum requires that the kids be able to read before it begins. There are some vocabulary building flash cards, but it's not a reading instruction program: it has the rest of what they need, or at least a good start at it. If kds learn to read -- use Mrs. Pournelle's Reading Program -- and a good curriculum -- I recommend Robinson -- they'll be in pretty good shape. You might consider home schooling with that in mind.
I'm with you on your assessment concerning public education. The higher-ups are too concerned with pleasing their political masters rather than satisfying the educational needs of their customers - the kids.
A vibrant vocational / apprentice system combined with a resurgence in the manufacturing sector (imagine - Americans designing, manufacturing, and selling quality products for a fair price!) might be the best hope we have to stop our head-long slide into the mediocrity that is Socialism. I'm not going to hold my breath, the the Tea Party movement had given me some hope... and a means to channel my voice.
Anyway, I don't know if you've heard of John Gatto... I hadn't. After researching him, I have to say I really like his point of view. He's that most endangered of species - a realist in Education!
Why Schools Don't Educate by John Taylor Gatto http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html
Underground History of American Education <http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/index.htm> - by JT Gatto Table of contents for his book (the majority of which seems to be on his website) http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/toc1.htm
As always, thanks for your continued contributions to sane, analytical discourse concerning current events.
You wrote: "I have always thought that Congress, which has the undoubted right to run the DC school system any way it wants to, should make that the shining example of how schools ought to operate. THEN we might listen when the Department of Education tells the rest of the country what to do. But for the moment I believe the DC school system is actually the worst in the US. Of course the Washington educrats still assert the right to tell the rest of the country what to do. Why not?"
If you look at the chart on this website:
It also seems like the District of Columbia spends more per student than any other state. Go figure.
: FYI: The 225th Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The Cartoonist's Desk
This week's carnival is at:
The blogger of Home Spun Juggling often posts comics about family life and homeschooling. With this carnival she shares the process.
Subject: Good fighter pilot story: Kill'em and Eat'em
Forwarded to me by my brother Dave:
This came from a gent who runs a 2000 acre corn farm up around Barron, WI, not far from Oshkosh. He used to fly F-4Es and F-16s for the Guard and participated in the first Gulf War.
I went out to plant corn for a bit to finish a field before tomorrow morning and witnessed The Great Battle. A golden eagle - big, with about a six foot wingspan - flew right in front of the tractor. It was being chased by three crows that were continually dive bombing it and pecking at it. The crows do this because the eagles rob their nests when they find them.
At any rate, the eagle banked hard right in one evasive maneuver, then landed in the field about 100 feet from the tractor. This eagle stood about 3 feet tall. The crows all landed too, and took up positions around the eagle at 120 degrees apart, but kept their distance at about 20 feet from the big bird. The eagle would take a couple steps towards one of the crows and they'd hop backwards and forward to keep their distance. Then the reinforcement showed up.
I happened to spot the eagle's mate hurtling down out of the sky at what appeared to be approximately Mach 1.5. Just before impact the eagle on the ground took flight, (obviously a coordinated tactic; probably pre-briefed) and the three crows which were watching the grounded eagle, also took flight thinking they were going to get in some more pecking on the big bird.
The first crow being targeted by the diving eagle never stood a snowball's chance in hell. There was a mid-air explosion of black feathers and that crow was done. The diving eagle then banked hard left in what had to be a 9G climbing turn, using the energy it had accumulated in the dive, and hit crow #2 less than two seconds later. Another crow dead.
The grounded eagle, which was now airborne and had an altitude advantage on the remaining crow, which was streaking eastward in full burner, made a short dive then banked hard right when the escaping crow tried to evade the hit. It didn't work - crow #3 bit the dust at about 20 feet AGL.
This aerial battle was better than any air show I've been to, including the war birds show at Oshkosh. The two eagles ripped the crows apart and ate them on the ground, and as I got closer and closer working my way across the field, I passed within 20 feet of one of them as it ate its catch. It stopped and looked at me as I went by and you could see in the look of that bird that it knew who's Boss Of The Sky. What a beautiful bird!
I loved it. Not only did they kill their enemy, they ate them. One of the best Fighter Pilot stories I've seen in a long time... There are no noble wars-- Only noble warriors
Today's view & the March '83 article
I am part way through the article and suddenly feel very stupid. As an expat Canadian living here in my adopted country the one thing that I have always felt odd about is my complete inability to use a firearm of any sort. In the country in Ontario we had a .22 for killing rabid animals, but I doubt I fired it more than half a dozen times. Handguns are essentially illegal in Canada.
Your mention of air pistols/rifles makes me feel stupid. I have an acre of land with a disused, raised, railway line dividing me from the empty farmer's fields. Probably 1/2 mile to anything alive in that direction.
I'll be researching air weapons shortly. I'm presuming that having developed skill with an air pistol or rifle that moving to chemically propelled projectiles is a small(ish) adjustment..
In any case, thanks for pointing out that article.
Beeman still makes good air rifles and pistols. It's worth learning how to use one. Firearms with real cartridges are somewhat different but most of the habits are the same.
'The authors conclude that the disk is an optically thick but geometrically thin, suggesting it is a debris disk as opposed to a young stellar object.'
Or something else entirely . . .
---- Roland Dobbins
We can all speculate on what the something else might be.
Temperature minus signs
While lurking I noted the bit of discussion on the lacking minus signs in temperature data. Although that might seem far fetched to some people, just look at the attached official winds/temperature weather map just now downloaded from Aeroweb, the aviation service of Meteo France. You can't get any more official than aviation data from a national weather service. Note that it says "Temperature negative unless prefixed by '+' ". They DO leave out the minus signs, probably because in higher air layers temperatures are more often negative than not. Aviation weather data also is highly standardized world wide. I'm not really surprised if ground-level temperature data from airfield stations are in some cases also reported as 'negative unless with a plus sign'. And that this could lead to faulty input, either by some person typing in the data into some database or by a computer program automagically importing them...
Regards, Frank Schweppe
April 22, 2010
Results of the party debate: Liberals win <http://tinyurl.com/y6qwh6n> <http://tinyurl.com/yysgopg> <http://tinyurl.com/y4nfx3y> <http://tinyurl.com/y6zeabj>, Pound falls <http://tinyurl.com/y7tzell>, 14% increase in Liberal support <http://tinyurl.com/y2qrhpd> <http://tinyurl.com/y2zdlcc> <http://tinyurl.com/y7fpg5a> <http://tinyurl.com/yyt9w34>.
Oh my... <http://tinyurl.com/y4ag8ss> Give people a chance to snoop, and they will snoop.
Police question members of the public on their political and scientific beliefs who requested climate information from CRU <http://tinyurl.com/y5umv3j>
Harry Erwin, PhD, Senior Lecturer of Computing, University of Sunderland. Computational neuroethologist:
Apologies for being late with this. My fault.
Note the item on the police investigation of Climategate. If you ask for data you must be a suspect.
: Here's how you do it LEGALLY.
Rights-holders wonder why so many people just steal stuff as opposed to going through legal channels and getting permission.
This is why: http://ideas.4brad.com/hitler-tries-dmca-takedown
-- Mike T. Powers
I spent last few days at a neuroscience conference. The volcanic ash clouds had prevented about a dozen speakers from coming, so there were a number of last-minute substitutions. Trains were packed, too. Having an FAA background, I peeked at discussions at <pprune.org>--the pilots are not happy with the airlines and national air traffic control decision-making. During the current lull between clouds, the finger-pointing has begun: <http://tinyurl.com/28hlprs> <http://tinyurl.com/2g9qnyj> <http://tinyurl.com/25lg4ks> <http://tinyurl.com/2dosevg> <http://tinyurl.com/2eldzcg>. Volcanic disasters could be much greater: <http://tinyurl.com/2b5l32k>
This Wednesday night the second set of debates will take place here. Labour is running scared--they have been pushed into third place in the national polls. <http://tinyurl.com/26bpgco> <http://tinyurl.com/2flnb7h> <http://tinyurl.com/2f52n7a>. Spin and mudslinging: <http://tinyurl.com/2fqvsga> <http://tinyurl.com/2cdqjdb>
Governments versus the banks. <http://tinyurl.com/23dclwd> (Currently, the investment banks are betting on a UK default.)
What happens when you cut the reserve capacity in medical care too fine: <http://tinyurl.com/2fc9gbv>. On the other hand, you can have too much capacity. YMMV.
Harry Erwin, PhD
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." (Catherine Aird)
We have apparently had a week without spots...
And yet it was the warmest March in a thousand years. Think of that.
I'm a sucker for a good graphic that tells a story concisely, so look at this:
change the graph to a 10 year time period and a log scale, and note Apple's astonishing comeback. The company was given up for dead, and is now about to pass Microsoft's corporate valuation.
In 1997 I was morosely contemplating the the end of Apple, which Newsweek famously used as a cover story. The change in the past 10 years is amazing.
P.S. If you haven't played with Wolfram Alpha, it is worth your time.
"[I]ndustrial-scale biofuels aren't renewable"
The headline is the conclusion of the writer of an
article in a leading 'green' e-zine. Full article here:
From the penultimate paragraph: '. Cane-based ethanol is no panacea. It may be "better" than it's corn-based cousin--but that doesn't make it an ecologically robust product.'
Live long and prosper h lynn keith
Jerry: This list of complaints about the IPad should give you a more balanced outlook on the device:
I particularly like:
When used as murder weapon, oleophobic coating does not completely eliminate incriminating fingerprints.
TRULY WORTH WATCHING....
THIS IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD. THE COMPETENCE, SKILLS AND BRAVERY OF THESE GUYS IS STUNNING. GIRLS, TOO. I SAW A MITZI IN THE LIST OF PERSONNEL.
This is lump in the throat stuff for me.
PROUD IS NOT A LARGE ENOUGH WORD!
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
White House Science ‘Czar’ Tells Students: U.S. Can’t Expect to Be Number One in Science and Technology Forever
I guess I can accept that premise, since my daughter is successful with the poorest of the poor and a lot of them with emotional problems. There are some teachers at her school who just "go by rote" and don't expend any extra effort to help these children, and they do contribute to their failure.
My daughter was at initially teaching 5th grade at the school. She couldn't believe that these students couldn't construct a complete sentence and didn't know a sentence ends with a period. She met with the principal and said that these children lacked a foundation of basic grammar. My daughter had to start from scratch that year with the basics. She did actually do pretty well with that class. The next year the principal placed my daughter in first grade so the children would have a good foundation. But my daughter says when they get to second grade it's downhill again.
By the end of the year my daughter's students know the basics of high school science, can read at a 3rd grade level and in math she actually teaches fractions and the basics of geometry. But if the second grade teachers don't keep up these instructions and be repetitive, then it's not reinforced and the children may lose some of what they learned from 1st grade.
The second grade teachers this year (who are in their 50's and teaching for over 25 years) have asked my daughter for advice on how to teach math and ideas for writing projects. She even conducts teacher workshops to give them creative ideas on teaching methods. She did one last Friday. A local politician came to their school to read to the children for Dr. Seuss week and her principal chose my daughter's class for him to read.
Bottom line, my daughter spends evening hours and about 8 hours on the weekends on her lesson plans, researching new methods, reviewing student's work for where they need individual improvement, etc.
Teachers who are in districts with higher parental income get a pass. Because the parents are involved in their schoolwork at home and they consistently have a high percentage of those passing the National Tests.
My daughter formerly taught in higher income districts and she said there were bad teachers there, too. My daughter however loves teaching in a poorer district because she said they need her more.
There are lazy teachers in those higher income districts but the students still achieve. So Obama's Race to the Top program would still leave bad teachers in their jobs in higher income areas of the country.
You should see that RTTT program, social studies teaching "global warming," and starting American History from 1877 to present. There are more questionable topics, I'll have to find them from a non-government site and send it to you.
Los Angeles County in effect has no incompetent teachers -- at least none ever get fired for incompetence although some get sent to giggle rooms at full pay just to keep them away from the kids. But fired? Never.
The Famuan: Angie Meus: Is racism a mental disorder?
If it is a mental disorder then why is it also regarded as evil?
Racism is an issue that many people try to avoid, although it is something that still exists today. Can racism be tied to something deeper than a difference in skin tone, perhaps, a mental illness?
The issue was first raised 40 years ago by a group of black psychiatrists who asked the American Psychiatric Association to classify forms of extreme bigotry and prejudice as a mental disorder.
The APA rejected their request on the grounds that racism is a "cultural and social problem and cannot be attributed to any disorder."
The APA also said that labeling racism as a mental illness will not do anything to rid society of the problem and doing so will carry too many political implications.This has remained the general consensus.
Recently, some psychiatrists argue that the notion deserves a second look. "To continue perceiving extreme racism as normative and not pathologic is to lend it legitimacy. Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets criteria for a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness," said Alvin F. Poussaint, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University.
Not recognizing racism as a mental illness seems to legitimize it. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, a mental disorder is defined as a behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom.
The manual also goes on to say that in order for a syndrome to be classified as a mental illness it must be considered a manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual. Neither deviant behavior nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual."
From that definition, Adolf Hitler, who exterminated six million Jewish people was simply at conflict with the Jewish people and not the fact that they existed.
This would mean that the Hitler did suffer from some type of pathological disorder.
The question of Hitler's mental health has been the center of controversy for years and a clear diagnosis from those who studied his psyche could have resulted in a deeper look into the minds of Hitler and others like him.
It is time for the APA to reevaluate the seriousness of racism. Racism is an issue that many people try to avoid, although it is something that still exists today. Can racism be tied to something deeper than a difference in skin tone, perhaps, a mental illness? The issue was first raised 40 years ago by a group of black psychiatrists who asked the American Psychiatric Association to classify forms of extreme bigotry and prejudice as a mental disorder. The APA rejected their request on the stated that racism is a "cultural and social problem and cannot be attributed to any disorder." This has remained the general consensus among the association since.
Recently some psychiatrists argue that the notion deserves a second look. "To continue perceiving extreme racism as normative and not pathologic is to lend it legitimacy. Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets criteria for a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness," said Alvin F. Poussaint, professor of psychiatry at Harvard University.
Not only does not recognizing racism as a mental illness seem to legitimize it, it also does not provide an anecdote for the issue. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, a mental disorder is defined as a behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom. The manual also goes on to say that in order for a syndrome to be classified as a mental illness it must be considered a manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual.
Neither deviant behavior nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual.
From that definition Adolf Hitler, who exterminated 6 million Jewish people in anticipation of a pure white race was simply at conflict with the Jewish people, not the fact that they existed, which means that the he did suffer from some type of pathological disorder; The question of Hitler's mental health has been the center of controversy for years and a clear diagnosis from those who studied his psyche could have resulted in a deeper look into the minds of Hitler and others like him.
It is time for the APA to reevaluate the seriousness of racism.
The high cost of green power
I just spotted this on the Marginal Revolutions blog:
(quote) Bored guests at a certain Crowne Plaza hotel can now skip the pricey mini-bar and hop on an exercise bike, generate some electricity, and earn some meal vouchers. The hotel in Copenhagen started the free meal idea as a way to boost guests' fitness and shrink their carbon footprint, according to the BBC.
The bikes are hooked up to generators that require guests of average fitness to pedal for about 15 minutes to create 10 watt-hours of electricity. iPhones attached to the handlebars display the amount of power being generated.
Hitting the 15-minute mark earns lucky exercisers a $36 meal voucher... (end quote)
I calculate that works out to $144 per hour of pedaling. I don't know if you can earn multiple meal vouchers.
At $36 for 10 watt-hours of electricity, that works out to $3,600 per kilowatt hour, compared with about ten cents for a non-green kilowatt hour.
If we charged green power advocates that rate for the electricity they use, we could afford to build all the windmills and solar panels we could possibly want.
April 23, 2010
Follow up on Apple comeback
WSJ confirms it:
Apple Edges Out Microsoft as #2 in S&P 500
the real republican civil war
A matter of some importance.
: UK Political Debate
It was much closer in the second debate--yes it took place Thursday, not Wednesday night--with Brown behind: <http://tinyurl.com/32r33qw> <http://tinyurl.com/32zy8bl > <http://tinyurl.com/39mctxl> <http://tinyurl.com/253fx52> <http://tinyurl.com/28frggc> <http://tinyurl.com/39h3olj> <http://tinyurl.com/36ep6zo> <http://tinyurl.com/2vcrsgc> <http://tinyurl.com/3yp4lwa>
Apple getting serious about security: <http://tinyurl.com/2dr4kka> (Since I'll probably be settling in central California in a couple of years, I wonder if they could use another security consultant...)
UK students and universities abandoning study of foreign languages: <http://tinyurl.com/32wvdtz>
"If they do that with marks and grades, should they be trusted with experimental data?"
Harry Erwin, PhD
I call your attention to this blog post by Dr. Roy Spencer, dated 20 April:
Today (April 20) is the official release date of my
new book entitled: "The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature
Fooled the World's Top Climate Scientists<http://www.amazon.com/
As I said back in 1970, we know it was colder in the Little Ice Age, and warmer in Viking times, and we don't really know why that happened. We know there was kilometer thick ice down to central Europe and into the United States. We don't know why the ice came and we don't know why it went away. We have theories but they contradict each other.
I am pretty sure the Medieval Warm was not caused by SUV's.
Today we have more Arctic Ocean ice than any time on this date for the past 9 years of Aqua satellite measurement for this AMSRE dataset. http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has positive temperature anomolies in the Arctic. I wonder why?
<http://www.heartland.org/events/2010Chicago/index.html> Fourth International Conference on Climate Change May 16-18, 2010 Chicago, Illinois Make plans now to attend ICCC-4, an international conference on climate change calling attention to new scientific research on the causes and consequences of climate change, and to economic analysis of the cost and effectiveness of proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. http://www.heartland.org/events/2010Chicago/index.html Harrison Schmitt is one of the speakers.
Your note today about the blatant fraud known as 'Anthropogenic Climate Change' contained the following:
"........the world in 2100 will be 5 Celsius -- 9 Farenheit -- degrees hotter than the world of the 1970s."
I think that the quote is from the good professor, but in any case it may have been a little more honest to have the sentence read "........the world in 2100 will be 5 Celsius -- 9 Farenheit -- degrees hotter than the world of the 1970s, when the existential threat, proclaimed as a near certainty by the Climate Science Community (and several of the same climate SCIENTISTS who are warning of catastrophic global warming today), was catastrophic global cooling and the imminent onslaught of a new ice age.
If you recall, the solution to the problem then, as now, was to establish a world government and give it absolute control over everything and everybody.
Curious. Can it be that we have serendipitously stumbled across the solution to ALL problems?
I don't take the view that there's no problem here. We want to be careful not to trigger a new ice age, for damned sure; and we need to know more about warming, what causes it, and what dangers and benefits may come of it, and whether we can do anything about it other than kill our economy and have a big human die-off.
But to make AGW a religion secure from any questioning is not science and will solve none of the real problems. We need research into this; we also need a source of counter-consensus research funding. We do not seem to be addressing these problems.
Why the devil is ice forming in what's supposed to be a warm winter? Are our measurements wrong or are there factors not in our models? It's worth finding out.
The following is an advertisement. I am not endorsing (or even commenting on) the desireability of the product advertised. But why you might need the product is I think interesting and to some may be important.
New GINA regulations: Your EEO poster may not be up-to-date
On November 21, 2009, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 which was signed into law on May 21, 2008, will go into effect. This Act is intended to prevent employers from discriminating against individuals based on genetic tests and information. GINA requires that covered entities obtain and post notices informing covered individuals of their rights under the law.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) poster has just been updated to include information about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. All covered employers are required to post the most recent EEO notice along with the 5 other required Federal Posters.
Who it affects:
* all private employers with 15 or more employees
* certain public sector employers
* employment agencies and labor organizations
Failure to display all required State and Federal posters can lead to fines of up to $17,000.
Our Complete Compliance Federal poster now combines all SIX mandatory posters from all SIX Federal Agencies in one convenient poster, including those mentioned above, ensuring you are in compliance. All Complete Compliance Federal posters are printed on recycled paper and laminated for extra durability.
Order this poster now to ensure you remain in compliance once the GINA regulations go into effect. Call 800-226-2327 and we'll give you a mandatory posting consultation for both your Federal and State mandatory posting needs.
We look forward to helping you with your future compliance needs.
April 24, 2010
Science and AGW
"If you recall, the solution to the problem then, as now, was to establish a world government and give it absolute control over everything and everybody." - Bob Ludwick
As Bob notes, this seems to be the government's solution to ALL problems.
Pournelle: "But to make AGW a religion secure from any questioning is not science and will solve none of the real problems. We need research into this; we also need a source of counter-consensus research funding. We do not seem to be addressing these problems."
When you get into this, you get into the problem of state-funded scientific research. Such research is vulnerable to being co-opted into serving the state, not the science. It's interesting that any science with the remotest funding connection to a private corporation is automatically assumed to be completely in the tank for that corporations's goals, but the same people never make that assumption for state-funded science.
I don't have an easy answer for this. Where does anyone get scientific funding that has no possible strings attached? Or is it enough to try and set things up to make sure that everyone can see the strings? In other words, like the best solution for political donations: no restrictions, but infinite transparency.
That boat sailed long ago. Government will sponsor research, and things like X projects are very much in the interest of the government. I am glad we developed much of our technology before our enemies did. And someone needs to look out for the interests of our grandchildren. In olden times it was the Church (cathedrals that were a hundred years building), great aristocratic families -- forests and olive groves and the like -- but today no capitalist can afford to look a hundred years into the future. Or twenty for that matter, lest he face a hostile takeover.
We will have government funded research, and the NSF has done a pretty good job of spending much of that money, but we need hedge funds, a way to fund counter-consensus research. I have written about this a lot in the past. It's still a critical problem.
I am not against climate research. I want more of it, but not for the consensus. I want to see some funding of CO2 reduction projects like sowing iron in the ocean, and things I haven't thought of, as well as models that do not assume the consensus assumptions.
|This week:||Sunday, April
Warming Causes Earthquakes Etc
Dr Pournelle, a colleague of mine pointed this out to me today. After 11 paragraphs of drone, a simply astonishing claim.
Most religions including mine have miracle stories.
global warming seen as Malthusian panic attack
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
Don't know if you've seen this or not, but it offers a useful perspective on the global warming / climate change issue.
Mead sees it as a "Malthusian panic attack," similar to previous ones, which include Malthus' own book, the energy crisis of the early industrial revolution, and the 19th century's looming horse-crap catastrophe. Global warming is simply the latest in these panic attacks, which we're trying to solve the wrong way, with an imposed top-down solution.
Mead: "Perhaps one way to think of humanity is to think of a vast parallel processing computer network. Our species is constantly receiving vast quantities of data and constantly changing our behavior in response to it. When a big problem emerges, affecting us all over a country or the world, millions and billions of us start making changes in our behavior, trying new strategies and dealing with it in various ways. We are constantly monitoring one another as well; when somebody's coping strategy is working, other people pick it up. When something is failing, we let it go...
"My guess is that Malthusian panics are part of humanity's coping mechanism. The problems to which Malthusians point are almost always real problems, but the solutions they advocate are usually not the way out. Malthusians classically go for big interventionist fixes, when humanity's most efficient method of solving problems is to nibble them to death rather than swallow them whole. Billions of people change their behavior; innovators perceive the economic rewards of addressing a growing problem and little by little, bite by bite, we nibble the problem down to size.
"In its lunge for the grand global solution, the climate change movement was making the classic Malthusian mistake. It was relying on a single dramatic solution to a vast problem, rather than working to prepare the way for a multitude of tiny fixes."
Eagles and crows...
That was a great letter you published about the eagles and the crows.
And it reminded me about a series on History Channel from a couple of years ago called "Dogfights".
Frankly, "Dogfights" is one of the most exciting things I have ever seen on television, or movies really. George Lucas et al could learn a lot from this show.
They translate the tales of fighter pilots from WWI through modern day, and render them with modern 3D modeling and the zillion camera angles such modern visualisation provides for.
So, basically, envision that bird fight from the point of view of just behind the the diving eagle, or the POV of the sitting eagle (I dare say the POV of the crows may not be particularly interesting).
"Dogfights" is streamable from Netflix, if you have not seen it.
Anyway, if you're interested at all in seeing tales for fighter pilots come to life, I highly recommend this series.
I have humming bird feeders and one aggressive humming bird who seems to believe he owns them. There is no way he can drive all the others -- a dozen and more -- away since as he chases one another comes in, but he tried. Dogfighting results...
Of course he gives up when the oriole appears.
FOR THE CURRENT VIEW PAGE CLICK HERE
If you are not paying for this place, click here...
IF YOU SEND MAIL it may be published; if you want it private SAY SO AT THE TOP of the mail. I try to respect confidences, but there is only me, and this is Chaos Manor. If you want a mail address other than the one from which you sent the mail to appear, PUT THAT AT THE END OF THE LETTER as a signature. In general, put the name you want at the end of the letter: if you put no address there none will be posted, but I do want some kind of name, or explicitly to say (name withheld).
Note that if you don't put a name in the bottom of the letter I have to get one from the header. This takes time I don't have, and may end up with a name and address you didn't want on the letter. Do us both a favor: sign your letters to me with the name and address (or no address) as you want them posted. Also, repeat the subject as the first line of the mail. That also saves me time.
I try to answer mail, but mostly I can't get to all of it. I read it all, although not always the instant it comes in. I do have books to write too... I am reminded of H. P. Lovecraft who slowly starved to death while answering fan mail.
or the freefind search
If you subscribed:
If you didn't and haven't, why not?
Search: type in string and press return.
For platinum subscription:
For a PDF copy of A Step Farther Out:
= = = = = = = = = =
For a Regular Subscription click here:
= = = = = = = =
Strategy of Technology in pdf format:
To order the nose pump I recommend, click on the banner below:
Entire Site Copyright, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Jerry E. Pournelle. All rights reserved.