And what do high school students want? Harder classes!
A large majority of high school students say their class work is not very difficult, and almost two-thirds say they would work harder if courses were more demanding or interesting, according to an online nationwide survey of teenagers conducted by the National Governors Association. [...]
"I might have expected kids to say, 'Don't give us more work; high school is tough enough,' " said Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat and chairman of the governors association, which opens a three-day summer meeting here on Saturday. "Instead," Mr. Warner said, "what we got are high school students actually willing to be stretched more. I didn't think we'd get much of that." [...]
While a vast majority of respondents in the survey, 89 percent, said they intended to graduate, fewer than two-thirds of those said they felt their schools did an "excellent" or "good" job teaching them how to think critically and analyze problems. Even among the remaining 11 percent, a group of 1,122 that includes teenagers who say they dropped out of high school or are considering dropping out, only about one in nine cited "school work too hard" as a reason for not remaining through graduation. The greatest percentage of those who are leaving, 36 percent, said they were "not learning anything," while 24 percent said, "I hate my school."
The pose of anti-elitism seems to be a cover for something far more disturbing, something that is perhaps typical of elite anti-elitists. The author writes, “Sometimes the results of the work of physicists are of interest only to other physicists. Other times, their work leads to devices.... that change everyone's life.” Are these the only two possibilities? Physicists on their mountaintop, speaking only to one another, and the rest of us in the plains, waiting for them to descend bearing magical devices? Nothing in-between? Aren't there intelligent, curious people who are not professional physicists, but who have the patience and desire to learn? I believe it is this dichotomization of humanity into two ideal types, professional scientists and ignorant consumers, that is responsible for this book's cynicism. The author doesn't seem to think his readers are really capable of being educated. This is the worst sort of elitism.
If Senator Dick Santorum actually believes the eponymous frothy mix he's spewing, he's insane. No, I don't believe it. A slimy opportunistic douchebag, sure, but an actual lunatic? No way. It's pure confrontational performance art, dripping with irony. Frothy brown irony.
The "storm", of course, is the Catholic Church's recent pedophilia scandal, where hundreds of children were victimized by priests—historically well known for their academic, political, and cultural liberalism—in Ireland and Kentucky.
Oh, well, yes, there was a mess in Boston, too, which ultimately led to the public excoriation of Cardinal Bernard Law—also well known for his academic, political, and cultural liberalism—just before he was invited to a post at the Vatican by Pope John Paul II.
AP: If you're saying that liberalism is taking power away from the families, how is conservatism giving more power to the families?
SANTORUM: Putting more money in their pocketbook is one. The more money you take away from families is the less power that family has. And that's a basic power.
Look! Right there! He's saying either that families don't really need conservatism or that families should have less power. It's brilliant! He gets people to vote for him by spewing obvious nonsense and telling them to their faces that they don't need what his party is offering! He's undermining the system from within!
Of course he refuses to back away from his obviously absurd position. That would ruin the art. Not to mention the sheets.
Focusing on interdisciplinary teams instead of interdisciplinary people reinforces standard disciplinary boundaries rather than breaking them down. An interdisciplinary team is a committee in which members identify themselves as an expert in something else besides the actual scientific problem at hand, and abdicate responsibility for the majority of the work because it's not their field. Expecting a team of disciplinary scientists to develop a new field is like sending a team of monolingual diplomats to the United Nations. [...]
Perhaps the whole idea of interdisciplinary science is the wrong way to look at what we want to encourage. What we really mean is “antedisciplinary” science—the science that precedes the organization of new disciplines, the Wild West frontier stage that comes before the law arrives. It's apropos that antedisciplinary sounds like “anti-disciplinary.” People who gravitate to the unexplored frontiers tend to be self-selected as people who don't like disciplines—or discipline, for that matter.
Unfortunately, he doesn't paint computer science in a very good light.
Computer science mythologizes the big teams and great computing engines of Bletchley Park cracking the Enigma code as much as we mythologize the Human Genome Project, but computer science rests more on the lasting visions of unique intellectual adventurers like Alan Turing and John von Neumann.
Reading this makes me want to tear my hair out. No, no, no! It's not computer science that mythologizes big teams and big iron. That attitude may be prevalent in a few subfields, and it's unfortunately common in the federal funding agencies, but most of us computer scientists know better. (Right?) The vast majority, if not all, of the intellectual advances in computing over the last 60 years have come from individuals or small teams.
Oh, right. Like the Supreme Court of Canada is really going to send some 12-year-old to jail for revealing plot details of a children's book four days before its release. Who do these people think they are? Apple?