Math Obsesssion

By | March 16, 2019

I think this would be true for most people, as a lot of what should be science education is really just math-obsessed pseudo-IQ tests that don’t really teach most people anything except math techniques they promptly forget in a few weeks.

This is not the future.

I’d guess that in 20-50 years, most of the math that is now obligatory will be viewed just as we see slide rules now, except not even with the mists of quaint nostalgia. Expert systems and near-AIs will be so vastly better at all but the most cutting-edge math than we are that it’ll be pointless to learn any of that, except the basics of how the approaches and algorithms work.

I say this not because I dislike math (I actually like learning about it), but because that’s just the way the future is headed, inevitably.

Focusing on math now is like if we taught every student how to build a car or a bus from scratch so they could get to school. Sure, they learn a lot, but what they learn is pointless, just as most math education is. (I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my partner resents all the pointless math she was required to take for her CS degree, although she is unlike me good at it.)

Jettisoning the baseless math obsession will also mean more diverse thoughts and projects are undertaken in science. This will be a very good thing and will probably help reverse the current near-stagnation.

Pale Horse

By | March 16, 2019

It’s no surprise that young people are the ones most interested in protesting inaction on climate change. Many of the ones you see rallying are going to be killed by climate change, directly or indirectly, and they know this all too well.

The olds don’t care; they’ll be dead before climate change hits the hardest, and until then they seem intent on hoovering up as many resources as they can hoard and then dying in overfurnished houses with nothing to show for their lives save their legacy of acquisitiveness and neglect.

Has any generation ever been so burdened with so little acknowledgement by the previous ones still alive? It still shocks me when I think about how many of the Boomer generation in particular are just fine with allowing their children and grandchildren to suffer so much, with full knowledge of its likelihood.

More Than Once

By | March 16, 2019

I’ve seen this more than once. Kissinger has been called a Nazi by many on the left. Spoiler: he’s also Jewish.

He’s vile, yeah, but a Nazi. No. Just no. He fled Nazi Germany in 1938. I wish people would think, or read, or know anything. Just anything useful.

Left Censors

By | March 16, 2019

Here is more left fantasy world censorship wishes.

This is a delusional idea of way discourse works. Banning jokes aimed at fascism will not make it go away. The opposite is far more likely. That’s a child’s view of how the world functions or what is effective, kind of like if you put an object out sight of a two-year-old to them it has disappeared from the universe.

The Way

By | March 16, 2019

With rare exception, the only way to get promotions and pay raises is to job hop, go somewhere else. That’s just the way it is. I’ve thought over the years about why that’s the case.

One reason is status quo bias. People see you in a role and they assume you aren’t then capable of anything else. Therefore, no chance to move up. Must go elsewhere so people see you with fresh eyes.

Defending Facebook?

By | March 16, 2019

Wow, I never thought I’d find myself in the position of defending Facebook and the tech platforms, but here we go.

Since the mosque shootings in New Zealand I’ve seen increasing calls for real-time monitoring of videos posted on the internet, approval-only posting, and similar calls for censorship. Since that is impossible (algorithmically or with human staff), what this really means is the de facto banning of what made the internet worth using in the first place: the ability of the average person to subvert the gatekeepers and publish whatever they wanted to publish.

Even with the challenges (and ignoring that Facebook itself is a walled garden), I don’t think we should give more control to people like Zuckerberg or return it to the traditional media. You think that was a better world? It wasn’t, though most of the people calling for this nearly-Stalinistic level of censorship are too young to remember it (and that we still had mass shootings).

One of the reasons for this is that the left is broadly concerned with what words you use, signaling how “woke” you are with the correct slogans and shibboleths, and not that much concerned (or even against) positive actions in the real workaday world. To the left, the words are where the real pernicious harm is done and the actions of a shooter or a government are just symptoms of the noxiousness of that earlier speech.

I don’t know what the solution is, though I have some ideas. But pervasive censorship and returning to the old world of inescapable gatekeepers doesn’t seem like a very good or well-considered solution to me.