Everything Is Broken — The Message Then there’s the Intelligence Community, who call themselves the IC. We might like it if they stopped spying on everyone all the time, while they would like us to stop whining about it. After spending some time with them, I am pretty sure I understand why they don’t care about the complaining. In all the calls for increased oversight, the basics of human nature gets neglected. There will always be loopholes and as long as loopholes exist or can be constructed or construed, surveillance will be as prevalent as it possibly can be. Yet that’s the lesser problem. When the IC or the DOD or the Executive branch are the only true Americans, and the rest of us are subordinate Americans, or worse the non-people that aren’t associated with America, then we can only become lesser people as time goes on. As our desires conflict with the IC, we become less and less worthy of rights and considerations in the eyes of the IC.
Neuroscientists say handwriting is good for you (ScienceAlert) Writing by hand activates areas in the brain that help you learn faster and better. Image: DragonImage/Shutterstock Using our keyboards saves us lots of precious time, but writing by hand has lots of benefits. Researchers have shown that children who know how to write by hand learn to read faster. “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated. A study conducted at Indiana University, in the US, reported that when children write by hand three areas of the brain are activated—the left fusiform gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus and the posterior parietal cortex. Karin James, who was involved in the study, told The New York Times that the messiness inherent in free-form handwriting was behind this. “This is one of the first demonstrations of the brain being changed because of the practice,” explained James. Not surprisingly the researchers also found that children with better handwriting also had greater neural activation in the working memory.
John Green: The nerd's guide to learning everything online | TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript This is a map of New York Statethat was made in 1937 by the General Drafting Company.It's an extremely famous map among cartography nerds,because down here at the bottom of the Catskill Mountains,there is a little town called Roscoe --actually, this will go easier if I just put it up here --There's Roscoe, and then right above Roscoe is Rockland, New York,and then right above that is the tiny town of Agloe, New York. Agloe, New York, is very famous to cartographers,because it's a paper town.It's also known as a copyright trap.Mapmakers -- because my map of New York and your map of New Yorkare going to look very similar, on account of the shape of New York --often, mapmakers will insert fake places onto their maps,in order to protect their copyright.Because then, if my fake place shows up on your map,I can be well and truly sure that you have robbed me.Agloe is a scrabblization of the initials of the two guys who made this map,Ernest Alpers and Otto [G.] (Laughter) Thank you. (Applause)
Science Says You Should Leave Work at 2 p.m. and Go for a Walk A new book tells you how to change your habits to improve at math, science…or whatever else you want to learn about. —Chris Mooney on Fri. August 1, 2014 6:00 AM PDT Charles Dickens, perhaps the greatest of the Victorian novelists, was a man of strict routine. According to engineering professor Barbara Oakley, author of the new book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra), Dickens wasn't just a guy who knew how to keep himself healthy. And structured downtime doesn't just help the world's greatest writers and thinkers do their best work; it helps all of us while we're learning and striving to achieve tasks. Barbara Oakley. In fact, suggests Oakley, there are some very simple techniques and insights that can make you way better at learning—insights based on modern cognitive neuroscience. Oakley is not a neuroscientist. Oakley's findings are bad news for those of us at two extremes of the learning and working spectrum. Tarcher
The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain | Edutopia My Catholic school third grade teacher was extremely tough on me. Her biggest gripe was my handwriting, which looks more like an EKG scan than penmanship. For years, I harbored not-so-fond memories of her, but now I know that her strictness about penmanship was actually helping my brain develop. Today, cursive writing is becoming a lost art as note taking with laptops becomes more and more prominent in classrooms. There has been much debate on the use of laptops for note taking in classrooms. So in this age of technology, I'm suggesting that students take notes with paper and pen. A Plea for Penmanship When students take notes with their laptops, they tend to mindlessly transcribe the data word for word, like speech-to-text software. Now, I'll be the first to say that longhand writing is so 19th century. The Pen is Mightier All this begs the question of how we can incorporate longhand in a digital age. A lost art in the world of science is the lab notebook.
Stop, Breathe & Think Educator Review Editorial Review Appealing app guides meditation, promotes compassion Graphite Rating 4 Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated Users can report their current mental and physical states and select up to five adjectives to describe their current feelings. Based on their selections, users then receive a "curated list" of meditations that address their current state of mind. The app contains extensive scientific and philosophical information about meditation, all written in accessible language that's appropriate for kids or adults. Pros "Curated list" of meditations makes the app feel new and engaging with every use. Cons The cartoonish stickers seem to diminish the seriousness of the work at hand. Bottom Line An accessible, well-designed tool for making meditation an approachable daily practice for kids and adults, alike. Setup Time Less than 5 minutes Tech Notes None
Is Google Making Students Stupid? Outsourcing menial tasks to machines can seem liberating, but it may be robbing a whole generation of certain basic mental abilities. Justin Morgan/Flickr One of the oldest metaphors for human interaction with technology is the relationship of master and slave. Aristotle imagined that technology could replace slavery if devices like the loom became automated. In the 19th century, Oscar Wilde foresaw a future when machines performed all dull and unpleasant labor, freeing humanity to amuse itself by “making beautiful things,” or simply “contemplating the world with admiration and delight.” Marx and Engels saw things differently. Today, computers often play both roles. Carr includes other case studies: He describes doctors who become so reliant on decision-assistance software that they overlook subtle signals from patients or dismiss improbable but accurate diagnoses. This might not seem very important.
7 Things Parents and Teachers Should Know About Teens Summer is approaching, and many teenagers will be freed up from the structures and restrictions of school. What will now come to the forefront for them? What's at the core of their lives? Reality TV? The summer concert scene? Life at the malls? The late Rachael Kessler spent a great deal of time talking to and working with adolescents. Rachael found that these passages are pivotal moments in the lives of both teens and their families. What Teens Think About Generally speaking, Rachael believed we give adolescents far too little credit. How does my life have meaning and purpose? Those of you who live with teens might be wondering if Rachael had been working with teens from this planet. Many teens do get caught up in the media- and video-generated culture of glitz, personality, entertainment, and consumption. What Can Parents and Educators Do? 1. Teens' memberships can be a source of rich, deep connections for them. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
David Deutsch – On Artificial Intelligence It is uncontroversial that the human brain has capabilities that are, in some respects, far superior to those of all other known objects in the cosmos. It is the only kind of object capable of understanding that the cosmos is even there, or why there are infinitely many prime numbers, or that apples fall because of the curvature of space-time, or that obeying its own inborn instincts can be morally wrong, or that it itself exists. Nor are its unique abilities confined to such cerebral matters. The cold, physical fact is that it is the only kind of object that can propel itself into space and back without harm, or predict and prevent a meteor strike on itself, or cool objects to a billionth of a degree above absolute zero, or detect others of its kind across galactic distances. But no brain on Earth is yet close to knowing what brains do in order to achieve any of that functionality. Why? Despite this long record of failure, AGI must be possible. Turing fully understood universality.
Three Tech Things You Need to Try Right Now | Mackin TYSL Incorporating technology into a classroom is an involved process if done well. Simply seeing a sweet app or site is not enough to create an upheaval of curriculum to place said tech in the limelight of learning. It’s always, always, always about the learning. What standard am I teaching? The first is Mystery Skype. Your second technological ultimatum is the use of QR codes. Students in 4th grade complete a QR code math review game with excitement. The third thing you absolutely must try is Minecraft as an educational tool. As we near winter break, I encourage each and every one of you to take some of that time to dream up something new. Be better today than yesterday. Rachel
The Failed Attempt to Destroy GPS An axe attack in the early 1990s damaged the same network of satellites that helps you map directions today. On May 10, 1992, the activists Keith Kjoller and Peter Lumsdaine snuck into a Rockwell International facility in Seal Beach, California. They used wood-splitting axes to break into two clean rooms containing nine satellites being built for the U.S. government. Lumsdaine took his axe to one of the satellites, hitting it over 60 times. They were arrested and faced up to 10 years in prison for destroying federal government property, causing an estimated $2 million in damage. Acting in a tradition of civil disobedience established by the Plowshares movement while citing the leader of the Underground Railroad and the heroine of the Terminator series, the Brigade's target was the Navigation Satellite Timing And Ranging (NAVSTAR) Program and the Global Positioning System (GPS). I tend to look at GPS mostly when I'm looking at myself.