The Info Junkie

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32 Responses to The Info Junkie

  1. Chris Peterson says:

    Funny how, with “the knowledge of the ages” at my fingertips, AND the ability to read, I still mostly search out only those things that support what I already know, making me no better off than Mr. Opossible.

    It’s usually someone else who tells me something new.

    Ah well.

  2. gregoryzaller says:

    Very good, but the story doesn’t end there, RL. Take a look at this Ted Talk where Sugata Mitra put computers on the wall in India and what happened. It is not like what we think. http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html

    Wikipedia: In an experiment conducted first in 1999, known as the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiments in children’s learning. In the initial experiment, a computer was placed in a kiosk created within a wall in a slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to use it freely.[6] The experiment aimed at proving that children could be taught by computers very easily without any formal training. Sugata termed this as Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). The experiment has since been repeated in many places, HIW has more than 23 kiosks in rural India. In 2004 the experiment was also carried out in Cambodia.[7] His interests include Education, Remote Presence, Self-organising systems, Cognitive Systems, Physics and Consciousness.
    This work demonstrated that groups of children, irrespectively of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own with public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds, even without knowing English.[8] His publication was judged the best open access publication in the world for 2005 and he was awarded the Dewang Mehta Award for innovation in IT that year.
    The Hole in the Wall experiment left a mark on popular culture. Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup read about Mitra’s experiment and was inspired to write his debut novel Q & A, which later became the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      The story should end there, but the whole failed idea of child-driven education has been flailing for well over a century. Keeps getting tried despite failures every time it has been tried on a large scale. Think the Socratic Method, only without a Socrates guiding the rhetoric. It’s the ignorant leading the ignorant to where they want to go today.

      Here’s a nice summary by the Hoover Institution’s Bill Evers:
      http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/6408

  3. Todd Juvinall says:

    Good luck GregG. He will never see the truth.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      “Truth? You don’t wanna’ hear the truth!” -Jack Nicholson

      Todd, why do you insist on making snide comments aimed at those with a different opinion, rather than trying to contribute to a meaningful dialogue? Everyone else here states their opinions and the reasons for them; you just take pot shots at their character.

      What’s up with that?

      • Todd Juvinall says:

        Trying to keep liberal’s lies from metastasizing is hard work. Tell the truth, Todd is silent.

        • TD Pittsford says:

          It’s a waste of time trying to tolerate someone who hates liberals as much as Mr. Juvinall does. His comments are pure vitriol, and not intended at all to initiate any kind of meaningful exchange of ideas. Shakespeare said it best: “…it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” One grain of salt has no significant impact on an ocean of ideas.27

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            TD, I am honored to be chastised by a liberal. I see you are trying to show us your superiority by quoting the old Englishman. What a hoot!

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            It’s as much a waste of time trying to tolerate someone who hates folk for not being left-liberal.

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        Chris, I’ve tried multiple times in the past to convince Todd that his cheerleading isn’t helping those he cheers.

        In ’95, faced with my 1st grade son being served Mathland by the progressive educators who still control the Grass Valley School District, I drove to Palo Alto for a large public meeting facilitated by Bill Evers regarding whole math and whole language instruction. Speaking was Bill Honig, Maureen DiMarco and a few others, about a 50-50 split on both sides. The inspiration for the meeting and the parent’s group Honest, Open Logical Debate (HOLD) of which Evers was a part was the tanking of basic math test scores after Palo Alto schools adopted the same teaching philosophy the GVSD was following.

        Grass Valley performance was even worse. After 3 years of Mathland, half of my son’s classmates tested in the bottom quartile in math and language when the first STAR test results were made public. Jon Byerrum, husband of the current County superintendent of education Holly Hermansen, was the one driving the child centered constructivist approach and, at the board meeting following the release of the numbers was somewhat subdued while claiming Mathland just had a few holes that needed patching. They kept it for several more years before adopting the math text I had tried to get them to pilot in ’95 when Saxon Publishing was giving away a classroom’s worth of books for each grade if only the school would choose a test, give it before and afterwards, and make the results public. Linda Brown, assistant Supe and principal of Hennessey rejected it outright, saying it was “just drill and kill” (‘if you drill the child, you kill their enthusiasm’, a trite saying progressive educators created to replace ‘practice makes perfect’).

        The master teacher Brown picked to both drive the Mathland rollout and to determine how well it was working is currently working the same sort of magic at the Grass Valley Charter School.

        I think there are still Mathland cripples making their way through Nevada Union.

        • Todd Juvinall says:

          OKey dokey Greg.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Todd, please don’t go away mad… it’s also that this issue isn’t left vs. right though it sometimes seems that way… two of the most fervent supporters of traditional math education I know are math professors by trade and Marxists by politics. One of them even was a key player with Lynne Cheney at an AEI event examining the issues.

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            Not mad, just disappointed.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Todd, I’m disappointed every time I try to have a substantive conversation only to have someone pop up and make a polarizing comment. Besides, I’m not a conservative and retain a faint hope that someday “liberal” stops being a euphemism for “social democrat” and returns to its traditional definition.

        • Todd Juvinall says:

          That’s OK Greg. I will refrain so I don’t embarrass you further.

  4. Todd Juvinall says:

    I have refrained for years from criticizing folks I generally agree with as I have endured many years of only one side in the newspapers and internet. So, I will refrain from patting you on the back and as you know I have never criticized you or your comments. My position is the people I like and believe in get enough crap from the left and the MSM. So I refrain.

    Good luck.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Wow. You just gave me a glimpse of how truly difficult it must be to be a politician. Unlike the common elected official, who must mask their feelings that their constituents are ugly, repugnant, and ignorant oafs who couldn’t begin to understand the complexities of daily government, and who feed from the trough of insider knowledge for personal profit; you were genuinely a prince among thieves.

      God bless you, Todd, for never revealing your true opinion of us during your long career. It must have been a long, agonizing nightmare.

  5. Todd Juvinall says:

    Golly CP, I thought you were a bright fellow until you totally misread my post.

  6. Chris Peterson says:

    I will take you at your word on that and apologize.

    We’ll start with a clean slate, and I promise that I will never again sink to making comments on your character. I don’t have the ability to see into your soul, as say W did when he looked into Putin’s eyes, so I’ll stick to commenting only on the pragmatic questions posed.

    • rl crabb says:

      The ball’s in your court, Todd. I’m sure that someone who spent eight years as a county supervisor and decades as a contractor can come up with better critiques than “liberals are stupid”. Nobody ever said that fixing the world’s problems was going to be easy, or that politicians don’t have agendas. Name-calling is easy. I’m as guilty as anyone here, but I’m trying to restrain the urge.

      • Todd Juvinall says:

        Yes RL and CP, I would be able to fix all the world’s problems but alas I am just a simple fellow and one must be connected to the power structure to really make a difference. But I do have to reiterate that “liberals are stupid” is a truism. One only needs to see their governance in Greece, France, Portugal and Italy, also California and New York (the whole northeast actually) to see the truth. So having dealt with them and other similar people it is too hard for me to change my opinion and at my age who really cares?

        • rl crabb says:

          I don’t think that liberals have cornered the market on stupidity. For every Anthony Weiner there is a Mark Sanford or a David Vitter. For every idiotic California state legislator that comes up with a crazy bill like allowing aliens to sit on juries, there is another in North Carolina introducing one to have a state religion. Democrats and Republicans tend to drink their own flavor of Kool-Aid and overlook their own shortcomings in order to win elections. At some point in your life you have to give up drinking.

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            I think all these nuts whether right or left are good theater. But we humans tend to overlook the many good people and concentrate on the nutty. That is how you make your money isn’t it? Cartoons of the loons? (You drew me as the devil for instance) The reason I don’t give much thought to the political shortcomings is there is always the pendulum. Moves to far one way or the other then the people take it back for a while and it hangs straight up and down.

            What I learned as a Supeervisor was this, you are atrget for everyone with a grievance, never get a compliment and no matter how middle of the road you are someone or group will trash you and your family.

            That reality has shaped my blogging experience and I really do not care to be Mr. Nice as one must be when elected. I don’t take the liberal’s crap and I am truly a happy camper.

        • Chris Peterson says:

          I care, Todd.

          Most folks who are focused on the American two-party system seem unaware that while, as Bob says, there are crazies enough on both sides, there’s a whole ‘notherdimension to our lives. Those who profit the most, in good times and bad, are far higher in the food chain than your President or Senator.

          When our economy collapsed, taking with it Greece, France, Portugal and Italy, California and New York, billionaires may have caused it, but those who deal in trillions were unaffected and actually increased their holdings. Anyone who thinks that politics plays any important role at all in a corporate board meeting is sadly mistaken. The reason those folks do what they do is to make money, and they could give a tinker’s damn which party gives them that edge.

          Democracy has been known since the days of Plato and Socrates as one of the easiest forms of government to corrupt, and that’s what we have; a corrupt government no longer run in the interest of the people. And as long as folks can be convinced that what’s best for you is something that I oppose, it will stay that way.

          There’s no possibility of another American uprising; they’ve got us all focused on the dog and pony show and the majority are given just enough to comfortably exist while providing the labor they need for their plans.

          “What the market will bear” is BS; it’s what the people will bear. I, as a progressive, am NOT your enemy.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Oh, and I personally respect you for the years you tried to do your best for the rest of us. Anyone who takes on a public office has to be half-mad to begin with; it’s a thankless job that, as you say, opens you up to every Tom, Dick, and Harry’s nasty comments, and I wouldn’t do it for any reason I can think of.

            Tip o’ the hat to you.

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            I appreciate the last two posts CP. As long as there are some folks who will stand up and get elected to the fire board etc., America will endure. The problemm as I saw it was Federal Mandates. After the Feds dumped revenue sharing they started implementing mandates with some money and manyy more strings. The top down approach. Now we see the results. I do not think it is the corporations though. Most Americans work for small business. The rise of the public employee unions, civil service protections (can’t fire) and overreach in laws and regulations from DC are the problem. I recall us on the BOS in the mid 80’s protesting the state mandates and they just thumbed their nose at us from Sacramento. Now they are being mandated. And the place I saw the first real signs of the problems from DC were in the Medicaid and welfare programs.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Trying to look at it objectively, (and I do try to be objective), what I see is a country burning the candle at both ends. Federal and state mandates are killing us in a time of forced austerity. School boards who negotiated contracts with teachers, for an example, which saved money in the immediate by promising larger pensions in lieu of higher wages, is now biting us in the behind.

            Couple that with the fact that the largest corporations, who are raking in the biggest profits in history, are getting tax breaks and subsidies that equally make no sense. 200 of the largest corporations actually have paid zero taxes in the last decade and some, like GE, got a refund of tens of billions.

            And who pays for these asinine policies? You and I, and the majority of working folk. Taxes rise, commodities rise, home values plummet, and the wage of the average worker has been stagnant for over thirty years. It’s a recipe for disaster, and most people go about their daily lives not knowing that eventually, the other shoe is going to fall. The Fed, another bone of contention, can’t keep making money out of thin air; it’s ultimately disastrous.

            But…we shall see. Taken as a whole; we’re all screwed and there’s plenty of blame to go around. We need draconian action; something that is impossible with our present political make up. And why not make all 11 million illegals bonified citizens? We could use their tax revenue, and they’re not going anywhere anyway. But that’s another subject.

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            I agree with almost all of your post CP. I want the Federal’s to get out of my local decisions. When I left at the end of 92′ I think the county budget was 44 million and the population was 92K. Now the population has risen to 100K a what 9% increase? The budget is now 180 million which is what a 400% increase? It means the county is redistributing a lot of money and into a lot f lives because that money has strings.

            Local control of schools is agoal we should all have. But the Teachers unions organize and elect their candidates to the school board who then ink contracts with them. There should not be public employee unions anyway.

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