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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice.  One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force.  Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease.  Against stupidity we are defenseless.  Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental.  In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack.  For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one.  Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.
   ―    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
From his book:  “Letters and Papers from Prison
[I’m not saying one side has more stupid voters / supporters than the other.  I am saying one side is prouder of being less educated, less informed and more stupid than the other.  And they voted for the candidate (#IncompetentDonald) who said he loves the poorly educated (“because we’re the smartest”).  Hence we have the Capitol riot of 6 January 2021.    —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Maybe More Than A Very Few
2019 Missing Failure
2018 Praise God
2017 Necessary Gaps
2016 Nor My Dogs
2015 Say What?
I’m A Dog, Too!
Beginnings
2014 Astonishing Choices
2013 Three Hard Tasks
2012 The Only Remains
2011 Personal Capability
What Price Failure?
Both Of W’s Elections
Tea (Baggers) Anyone?

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Life on the farm is a school of patience; you can’t hurry the crops or make an ox in two days.
   —    Henri-Alban Fournier, (aka: Alain-Fournier)
[I’d hazard the same is true for formal education (K through 12 / BA / BSc) and civilizing children / young adults.   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 A Simple Fact
Home Through The Years / Just Painted
2019 Does Terrible But Not Important Count?
2018 Have You Stretched Today?
The Original
2017 Being Nice
2016 Zero To Some = Most
2015 Born More Obligated
2014 Rage And Fury
2013 Successful Children
2012 For God So Loved The World
2011 Go Cheeseheads!!
Structured Mentality

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The mind unlearns with difficulty what it has long learned.
   —   Lucius Annaeus Seneca
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
   —   Lao-tzu
[We are going to HAVE to be in it for the long haul folks.  So, get settled in…  There’s lots of work ahead.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 And So Must Good Government
2019 Are You Done Watching?
2018 Spineless Capitulation By The Democrats
Woe Is Me…
2017 Sincerely Yours
2016 Only Good To Say
2015 A Series Of Temporary Conditions
2014 Gaps
2013 Duty
2012 Cost Not Price
Superheroes
2011 The Simple Normalcy Of Everyday Life – “Squirrel!”

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Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.
    ―    Socrates
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On This Day In:
2020 No Answers Yet
120 Day Health / Weight Update (Jan 2020)
2019 Stationary Target
2018 And Firmly
2017 Nearer My Goal To Thee
2016 Relatively Simple Actions
2015 And Yet, You Did
2014 Difficult Learning
2013 Four Things To do
2012 When I Was Young…
Emergence

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Bloody Well Right

Favorite Line(s):
So you think your schooling is phony
I guess it’s hard not to agree
You say, “It all depends on money
And who is in your family tree”
Right (right), you’re bloody well right
You got a bloody right to say
Right, you’re bloody well right
You know, you got a right to say
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On This Day In:
2019 Almost Soulful Pleasure
2018 Cursive In The News
2017 Coffee Crunch
2016 Preparation
2015 Scarcely Asked
2014 They Resemble Us
2013 Both
2012 That’s Success!
2011 Losing At Dominos
2010 1,001

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I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.
   —   John W. Gardner
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On This Day In:
2019 Dance The Night Away
2018 #45: The Poorest President In History
2017 Bull’s Eye
2016 Gifts
Jacked 3
2015 I’d Settle For Interesting
2014 Old Math
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
   —    Daniel J. Boorstin
[This education thing is taking a lot longer than I was told it was going to take back in kindergarten / grammar school.    —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Will John Bolton Testify?
2018 Just Maybe
2017 Police In My Review Mirror
2016 Full And Rich
2015 Go Deeper
2014 Intentional Mapping
2013 The Sweet Path
2012 Living Free And Abolition
Morning Wood
2011 I Resemble That Remark

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The Lessons Of History”  (1968©)  —  book review
Today’s book review is for a summation / distillation book written by Will and Ariel Durant (a married couple) which culminates a series of eleven volumes popularly titled: “The Story of Civilization“.  This book (“Lessons“) actually was written and published between volumes 10 and 11 of that main work.  The book attempts to provide extremely brief points about twelve topics: geography, biology, race, character, morals, religion, economics, socialism, government, war, growth / decay, and progress.  There is also a preface and a first chapter detailing the authors “hesitations” in presenting such a précis.  The book is barely 117 pages while the typical main volume is 900-1100 pages (over 10,000 pages in total).  Obviously, their task was daunting and, generally speaking, they only compare / contrast the two main tensions (positions) for each topic (i.e. religion vs secularism) in this slim book.  This book, like the main series, is an attempt to bring “history” to the masses (in simple, if flowery, language).
If you are a lover of words, you will enjoy the authors’ writing style.  I found the imagery almost poetic at many points.  If, however, you are a person grounded in ideas, you may be less taken by this work.  The chapters tend to be limited to the “compare and contrast” formula of only two main concepts each per topic.  Another issue: the book is dealing with racism and culture, character and morals, etc., and many times we see these topics through the prism of our modern perspective, while the authors view them over the course of human history.  Racism and slavery, for example, seem almost excused because that’s the way it (humanity) has been for the vast majority of the last 5,000 years.  It is NOT excused (by the authors), but it is detailed and in most sections comes across as “the white-man’s destiny”, until suddenly – sometimes in only a single brief paragraph, it isn’t.  And the “suddenly” paragraph represents the last 150 years which some of us have lived through a fair chunk of – in my case 65 of them, anyway.  I am not trying to be critical of the couple’s monumental work (over five decades in the writing for the main series), however, this book seems to suffer from the same European / Northern Mediterranean perspective (i.e. bias) which the main series is always criticized for.  I did not personally find this overly objectionable, but then I am a “melting-pot” American (product of the 1960’s).
Is this a good book?  Is it thought provoking?  Is it entertaining?  Yes.  Yes.  And, yes.  There is a well known expression that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  The authors opine this is not necessarily as true as is the subtle appearance of time, leadership, government and civilization being caught up in great interweaving cycles – like a pendulum we swing back and forth between anarchy and tyranny with only brief periods of democratic liberties and freedoms.  And, they attempt to illustrate this series of cycles for each of the twelve chapters opposing extremes.  Please note:  the authors imagery is circular.  Mine is the pendulum.
Final recommendation: highly recommended!  I bought the full twelve volumes several years ago and promised myself I’d read them “eventually”.  I’m glad I’ve finally dipped my toe in the ocean.  I guess the next step is to begin the real swim…
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On This Day In:
2019 Dodgers Choke AGAIN
He Wasn’t “Just Kidding The Press”
2018 Thinking About My Hil
Remember Your Duty In November
2017 Play Well With Others
2016 Surviving And Challenging
2015 On Destroying Historic / Archaeological Sites
2014 Magical Power
2013 How Awesome Would That Be
2012 Two Views
2011 Still Looking For Examples
2010 Giants Win Away 3 – 2!!

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It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
   —    Aristotle
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On This Day In:
2019 Is #45 Warning Alabama Again?
Day 11: 49ers Win
2018 Worry (x2)
2017 Still Working
Gold In The Morning Sun
2016 Power Inside
2015 Sometimes I Feel Small
2014 It Slipped Away
2013 Corollary
2012 Working Retired
2011 The Web Is Not Authoritative! (Really?)

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The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education.  This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.
  —    John W. Gardner
[IMHO:  Gardner is correct that one main goal should be sparking the individual student’s desire to become educated and willing to pursue personal education beyond the classroom.  However, the societal problem which public schools were created to address has been the mass production and standardization of education, which to date, has only been possible within school buildings.
I would argue it has not been proven that technology – particularly remote learning technology – is anywhere near as uniformly effective or efficient as having a qualified and caring teacher standing in front of a group of students.  Personal (one-to-one) instruction has it’s value, but even in two on one (single child / two parent families) instruction is not as conducive to a well-rounded, socially developed AND educated child as is a classroom.  Parents can model behavior, manners and attitude, but I have rarely found any to be both qualified and able to educate their own children.  A “good” teacher is a rare enough commodity that we, as a society, undervalue (under-pay) all teachers.  A “great” teacher creates memories for a lifetime in their students.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 The Powers Of Mind
Day 10: Into Double Digits
2018 Up For Progress
Day 1.5: Done (For Now)
2017 And Second By Second
2016 Bakeries And Coffee Shops
2015 Spirit Not Form
2014 Sometimes Even Kneeling Seems Insufficient
2013 Hobgoblins
2012 Got Sleep?
2011 Not Another Barren Corner

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In November remember – DO NOT flip a coin, throw a dart at the ballot, or close your eyes and pull any lever your hand rests on.  And DO NOT vote for a President and then skip the rest of the state and local candidates and issues on your ballot:
1. You’re not JUST voting for President
2. You’re voting for Democracy and you’re voting against allowing the USA to become yet another authoritarian regime.
3. You’re voting for Federal leadership to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. You’re voting for who replaces Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
5. You’re voting for the appointment of a qualified Secretary of Education and getting rid of the unqualified Betsy Devos.
6. You’re voting for federal judges.
7. You’re voting for the rule of law.
8. You’re voting for saving national parks.
9. You’re voting for letting kids out of cages and reunited with their families.
10. You’re voting for clean air, clean water and more sustainable energy resources.
11. You’re voting for scientists to be allowed to speak about climate change and for rebuilding the CDC.
12. You’re voting for what a President says and does on Twitter.
13. You’re voting for housing rights.
14. You’re voting for minorities to be treated with dignity by those who are supposed to protect and serve all people under the Constitution of the United States.
15. You’re voting for non-Christians to be able to adopt and to feel like full citizens.
16. You’re voting for Dreamers.
17. You’re voting so that there will be Social Security and Medicare when you retire.
18. You’re voting for veterans to get the care they deserve.
19. You’re voting for rural hospitals.
20. You’re voting so that everyone can have health insurance without regard to employment status or income.
21. You’re voting for the preservation of PBS.
22. You’re voting to have a President who doesn’t embarrass this country every time she or he attends an international meeting.
23. You’re voting for sensible gun laws.
No Democrat is perfect.  They won’t pass your purity test.  And yet every single one of them will be better than four more years of Trump!!!  Please be reasonable and STAY FOCUSED!
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On This Day In:
2019 Always Surprises
2018 You’ve Got To Stand For Something
Day 24: Hand Touching Hand
2017 The Tide Will Turn
2016 Dreamers
2015 Three Roars
2014 Be R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T
2013 Lacking
2012 So Small A Thing
2011 Is Your Time Valuable?

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Science should not stand in the way of this.
  —    Kayleigh McEnany
[The “this” which McEnany is referring to is re-opening schools.  She then went on to claim “the science” is actually on their (the Administration’s) side.  The problem is:  the “science” is NOT on their side.  It does seem children (5 to 12 yrs old) are less susceptible to severe impact of the COVID-19, but there is little to no evidence they are any less efficient as asymptomatic carriers and transmitters.  There is also no proof they will not be impacted by future exposures or if there will be any long term effects to what appear to be non-significant exposures.  The virus is simply to new to know any of this.  We are beginning to find out if the antibodies are lasting.  They appear to not be.  And, significantly, we don’t know if re-infections will result in less significant or worse effects than the initial exposure.  The bottom line is that opening schools without masks, personal protected equipment for students, teachers and staff, and social distancing will be exposing our teachers, school staff, families and children to significant health risks.  My question:  “Why is the Administration willing to endanger Americans this way?”  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Slow Wisdom
It Is A Start…
2018 Young, Fun And Playing Well
2017 Earning Your Blessings
2016 A Suggestion…
Capable Of Being
2015 Looking For The Needles In The Haystacks
2014 The Definition Of A Gentleman
2013 Thar She Blows (Not)!
2012 Naturally
2011 Been Here, Done That
Remember
2010 Timeless Classics

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3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated”  —  book review
Today’s review is for “3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated” (1991©) written by Donald E. Knuth.  Back in 2011, I read another book by Knuth, titled: “Things A Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About“. (Review here.)  That book, was a discussion about the author’s faith and his prior book, which is being reviewed in this post.  When I retired (in 2017), I was presented with an Amazon gift voucher, which I promised to “waste” on books, music or technology.  In this case, part of it was used to buy this book (along with a number of other Knuth books).
To save everyone the time of reading my earlier review, basically, Knuth wanted to know if one can learn anything unique or unusual about the Bible by doing a stratified (but random) sampling / review of a particular Bible verse.  In theory, if you have a sufficiently large sample to draw from, you can gain “some” knowledge about any topic by analyzing a random sample of the topic’s data.
Because Knuth was not sure this type of investigation would work for literature, Knuth chose a verse he knew would have at least one interesting data point: “Chapter 3 Verse 16”.  The chapter and verse he was confident about was John Chapter 3: Verse 16 – “Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only child, so that all people with faith in him can escape destruction, and live forever.
The first problem Knuth encounters is that not all of the books of the Bible have 13 verses in their chapter 3.  To get around this, he simply carried the sample forward the same number (count) of verses and take up wherever that left him.  There were, however, a number of books which were simply to short to use even this method.  In those instances, he simply chooses to drop the book. Knuth ends up with a sampling size of 59 verses.
The second issue was Knuth found scholars did not always (rarely, in fact) agree on what exactly was meant by the writings in the various Bible sources.  Not only were the scholars interpretations differing, so were the texts across the various Bible versions.  There was (is) even disagreement on if some source material is valid and / or should be included in the Bible.
In order to determine why this was happening, Knuth determined to read the Bibles in their original Hebrew / Aramaic and Greek / Latin.  He could then present his own translations as he felt they should be interpreted.  In addition, he felt he needed to translate the verses immediately before and after the target verse to ensure he was accurately relating context as well as the literal meaning.
The method of describing each of the 59 verses itself is interesting.  Each verse is covered in four pages.  Page one provides overall historic, geographic and character background information.  The second page is devoted to a calligraphic representation of the verse.  The final two pages are a word by word breakdown of the verse.  In order to do this in a manner which makes sense, Knuth sometimes adds an analysis of the preceding or following verse(s).  Just a word on the calligraphy.  Knuth approached a friend who happened to be a world renowned typeface designer to assist with the book cover illustration.  The friend (Hermann Zapf), in turn commissioned calligraphers from over 20 countries to provide the “illustration” pages.  This calligraphy, in turn, became part of a formal exhibit which I believe is currently “owned” by the San Francisco Library.  I don’t know if it (the entire exhibit) is ever shown publicly.  I know it was back in 2011, but I was not able to go view it back then.  My loss, I am sure.
So, is this book interesting?  Is it entertaining?  Is it enlightening?  Yes.  Yes, and Yes!  I am a life-long Roman Catholic, but I have never read the Bible through cover to cover.  I tried to a few years back, but had limited knowledge of the names and places and found it rather boring.  I attempted to co-read Isaac Asimov’s “Guide To The Bible“, but even this was of limited value.  I now think I just gave up too soon.  Mea culpa.
Almost every chapter of this book explained something I didn’t know or fully appreciate about the book being covered in that chapter.  Some were simple “interesting”.  Some were “that never occurred to me”.  And, some (a few) were “Wow! I’ve got to go back and read that!”  Anytime I read a book which prompts me to read more or more in-depth, I am grateful to the author.  (I’m still not sure if I’m weird that way…)  In any case, I’m now more determined than ever to read more of Knuth’s books.
In this case: final recommendation – very highly recommended!!  Even if you are not a Biblical scholar or particularly religious, this book will provide insight into one of the greatest books in all of literature.  At less than 270 pages, this is a fast read and the calligraphy is truly beautiful.  Two final notes: 1) in the afterward, Knuth wonders if his selection of “3:16” was not “influenced” and therefor not entirely random.  His conclusion was, with further analysis, it may have been, but was not intentional.  He adds, however, that he enjoyed the process so much he intends to use the methodology for further future study of other verses.  And, 2) I’ve seen in various places this book was copyright in 1990.  My version says 1991 and that’s the year I’m using above.
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On This Day In:
2018 Happy 34th Anniversary, Hil!!
2017 Happy 33rd Anniversary, Hil!!
2016 Happy 32nd Anniversary, Hil!!
2015 Happy Anniversary Hil!!
2014 30th Wedding Anniversary
2013 Number 29 (And Counting)
2012 Hammer ‘N Roses
Happy Anniversary
2011 I Can Hear It Now

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Every human pastime — music, cooking, sports, art, theoretical physics — develops an argot to spare its enthusiasts from having to say or type a long-winded description every time they refer to a familiar concept in each other’s company.  The problem is that as we become proficient at our job or hobby we come to use these catchwords so often that they flow out of our fingers automatically, and we forget that our readers may not be members of the clubhouse in which we learned them.
   —    Steven Pinker
[Apologies to all you linguists out there.  I believe I just turned a noun into a verb.   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Good-Bye AG Jeff Sessions
2017 On Our Wall (Part 2)
2016 I Beg The Question
2015 By Their Fruit
2014 Proven Worth
2013 From Missouri
2012 Recipe To Write: Start With One Aching Urge
2011 Ip And Rib
Real Things
2010 Final Competition

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Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul; on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful; and also because he who has received this education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justly blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why; and when reason comes he will recognize and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar.
   —    Plato
From:   “The Republic
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On This Day In:
2018 One Of The Great Ones
2017 Mirror In The Oval Office
True Courage
2016 What’s Your Excuse?
2015 Some Meaningful Resemblance
2014 Bloom
Orange October (VII) – The Giants Win The Pennant!!
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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