robertogreco + comparison   163

The official fast food French fry power rankings - Los Angeles Times
"Look, it’s been a long two years for everyone. We’re tired, our brains have been melted to a thin pap by the news cycle, and we’ve soundly backslid into our slothful ways despite resolving to exercise off all the cookies we cry-ate over the holiday. During times like this, it’s necessary to celebrate small victories. Celebrate the fact that you woke up this morning, and did or did not remember to bathe. Celebrate the fact that your insurance company has decided that therapy “should” cost $50 per session.

And celebrate the fact that I bring tidings of great joy. After a barely noticeable hiatus, I’m happy to announce the return of the food power rankings just in time for February, our shortest, drizzliest and most romantic month. That’s right, my friends, I am pleased as punch to announce the authoritative, totally not subjective, incontrovertibly definitive and 100% correct L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings.

French fries, a.k.a. chips, aka freedom fries, aka 炸薯条, are a delightful treat enjoyed the world over, and they’re a staple of the fast-food meal. And what is fast food, exactly? For the purposes of this survey, I've selected chains where there’s an emphasis on speed of service, you’re not waited on at a table, and where there are at least a couple hundred locations, if not more. I ordered medium- or regular-sized fries (when available) and judged them based on the two metrics: (1) taste and (2) texture, which includes fry shape and mouthfeel."
fries  food  comparison  classideas  2019  lucaskwanpeterson  restaurants  fastfood  rankings 
9 weeks ago by robertogreco
OECD Study Confirms That U.S. Workers Are Getting Ripped Off
"America’s unemployment rate is hovering near half-century lows. There are now more job openings than unemployed workers in the United States for the first time since the government began tracking that ratio. For America’s working class, macroeconomic conditions don’t get much better than this.

And yet, most Americans’ wages aren’t getting any better, at all. Over the past 12 months, piddling wage gains — combined with modest inflation — have left the vast majority of our nation’s laborers with lower real hourly earnings than they had in May 2017. On Wall Street, the second-longest expansion in U.S. history has brought boom times — in the coming weeks, S&P 500 companies will dole out a record-high $124.1 billion in quarterly dividends. But on Main Street, returns have been slim.

Economists have put forward a variety of explanations for the aberrant absence of wage growth in the middle of a recovery: Automation is slowly (but irrevocably) reducing the market-value of most workers’ skills; a lack of innovation has slowed productivity growth to a crawl; well-paid baby-boomers are retiring, and being replaced with millennials who have enough experience to do the boomers’ jobs — but not enough to demand their salaries.

There’s likely some truth to these narratives. But a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) offers a more straightforward — and political — explanation: American policymakers have chosen to design an economic system that leaves workers desperate and disempowered, for the sake of directing a higher share of economic growth to bosses and shareholders.

The OECD doesn’t make this argument explicitly. But its report lays waste to the idea that the plight of the American worker can be chalked up to impersonal economic forces, instead of concrete political decisions. If the former were the case, then American laborers wouldn’t be getting a drastically worse deal than their peers in other developed nations. But we are. Here’s a quick rundown of the various ways that American workers are getting ripped off:

American workers are more likely to be poor (by the standards of their nation). In the United States, nearly 15 percent of workers earn less than half of the median wage. That gives the U.S. a higher “low-income rate” than any other developed nation besides Greece and Spain.

[charts]

We also get fired more often — and with far less notice. Roughly one in five American workers leave their jobs each year, a turnover rate higher than those in all but a handful of other developed countries. And as the Washington Post’s Andrew Van Dam notes, that churn isn’t driven by entrepreneurial Americans quitting to pursue more profitable endeavors:

[D]ecade-old OECD research found that an unusually large amount of job turnover in the United States is due to firing and layoffs, and Labor Department figures show the rate of layoffs and firings hasn’t changed significantly since the research was conducted.

Not only do Americans get fired more than other workers; we also get less warning. Every developed nation besides the U.S. and Mexico requires companies to give individual workers at least a week’s notice before laying them off; the vast majority of countries require more than a month. But if you’re reading this from an office in the U.S., your boss is free to tell you to pack your things at any moment.

Our government does less for us when we’re out of work than just about anyone else’s. Many European countries have “active labor market policies” — programs that provide laid-off workers with opportunities to train for open positions. The United States, by contrast, does almost nothing to help its unemployed residents reintegrate into the labor force; no developed nation but Slovakia devotes a lower share of its wealth to such purposes. Meanwhile, a worker in the average U.S. state will stop receiving unemployment benefit payments after they’ve been out of a job for 26 weeks — workers in all but five other developed countries receive unemployment benefits for longer than that; in a few advanced nations, such benefits last for an unlimited duration.

Labor’s share of income has been falling faster in the U.S. than almost anywhere else. Between 1995 and 2013, workers’ share of national income in the U.S. dropped by eight percentage points — a steeper decline that in any other nation except for South Korea and Poland.

And the American capitalist class has been claiming an exceptionally high share of national income for much longer than just two decades — as this stunning chart from the 2018 World Inequality Report makes clear:

[charts]

Given all this, it seems safe to say that America’s aberrantly weak wage growth is (at least in part) the product of political decisions made at the national level. A government that provides its unemployed with unusually limited job training and benefits is one that has chosen to make it riskier for workers to demand higher wages on the threat of quitting.

Further, the OECD finds that only Turkey, Lithuania, and South Korea have lower unionization rates than the United States, a fact that can be attributed to the myriad ways American policymakers have undermined organized labor since the Second World War. And a government that discourages unionization — and alternative forms of collective bargaining — is one that has decided to cultivate an exceptionally large population of “low income” workers, and an exceptionally low labor-share of national income.

President Trump spends a great deal of time and energy arguing that American workers are getting a rotten deal. And he’s right to claim that Americans are getting the short end. But the primary cause of that fact isn’t bad trade agreements or “job killing” regulations — its the union-busting laws and court rulings that the president has done so much to abet."
labor  work  economics  us  inequality  2018  comparison  europe  oecd  via:ayjay 
july 2018 by robertogreco
How He's Using His Gifts | Akilah S. Richards [Episode 12]
"We explore…gifted students, twice exceptional students, educators who shift from traditional to self-directed education, civic connections, the truth about college, and giving black and brown children more access.

Anthony Galloway wasn’t willing to be another cog in the system.

He’s a smart, twenty-something year old African-American man who chose to go into the field of education. He came up through the system, and learned how to excel in it. He also knew that he wanted to be part of the change in public education that allowed children of color access to the same resources and opportunities as children in white schools or private ones.

Anthony co-founded an Agile Learning Center, now facilitated by both him and long-time educator, Julia Cordero. I think you’re gonna find this discussion interesting because Anthony’s an educator who saw the school system for what it was and is, and started his own school to create something better."
akilahrichards  anthonygalloway  schools  education  unschooling  deschooling  gifted  juliacordero  race  schooling  self-directed  self-directedlearning  lcproject  openstudioproject  children  howwelearn  learning  praise  comparison  alternative  grades  grading  curiosity  libraries  systemsthinking  progressive  reading  howweread  assessment  publicschools  elitism  accessibility  class  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  unpaidinternships  studentdebt  testing  standardization  standardizedtesting  agilelearning  community  collaboration  sfsh  tcsnmy  freeschools  scrum  cv  relationships  communities  process  planning  documentation  adulting  agilelearningcenters 
july 2018 by robertogreco
World City Populations Interactive Map 1950-2035
"The Global Urban Transformation

This map visualises the radical transformation that has occurred across the globe in the last 60 years, from a 30% urban world in 1950, to a 54% urban world in 2015 and a predicted 68% urban world in 2050. In 1950 there were 740m people living in cities; there are now 4 billion, rising to a predicted 6.6b by 2050. The circles on the map are proportional to city populations in 1950, 1990, 2015 and 2035. Move your mouse over cities to explore their detailed dynamics. Data is from the UN World Urban Propospects 2018.

Industrialisation and urban growth in the 19th and early 20th centuries were powered by Western Europe and the North-Eastern USA, but the urban population of these regions has been relatively static since 1950. Recent growth is instead the result of rapid urbanisation in China, India, Latin America and increasingly Africa. Over half of the world's urban population is now is Asia, with China alone comprising 20% of the global total. Asia and Africa will together account for 90% of the additional 2.3b urban dwellers predicted between 2015 and 2050.

The pace of recent change at the city level is unprecedented in human history. Shanghai (click on the city link to focus the map) gained 16 million people between 1990 and 2015, Beijing 13.6 million, Dhaka 11 million. Delhi gained 16 million residents between 1990-2015 and is now the world’s second largest city of 26m. Delhi is predicted to overtake Tokyo to become the world's largest city by 2030, with a predicted 43m residents by 2035.

Small towns like Shenzhen, Xiamen and Dubai have become cities of several million in little over two decades. While the proportion of urban residents living in large cities is increasing, it is important to realise that 50% of the global urban population live in settlements of less than 0.5m. The minimum population threshold for cities included in this map is 0.4m.

Our increasingly urban world now frames many of society’s greatest challenges. From global equality to health, education, prosperity and, not least, sustainability, solutions need to be interwoven with fostering liveable, efficient and inclusive cities.

Waves of Growth
We can see distinct waves of urban growth and stagnation over time. In the 1960s and 1970s, economic growth in Japan, Mexico, Brazil and later South Korea produced rapid urban growth. This growth peaked in 1990 in Japan, in 2000 in South Korea, and city populations are now peaking in Latin America. This is the typical urbanisation cycle of population stabilisation following development.

China and India’s rapid growth has been much more recent, accelerating in the 1990s and 2000s. China’s growth is predicted to slow over the next two decades, with its total population peaking around 2025, although it's rate of urbanisation will continue to rise towards 70% in 2030. India’s population growth will continue much longer to around 2060. There remains a huge rural Indian population of 800 million people, a significant proportion of which will urbanise in coming decades.

Meanwhile many sub-Saharan African countries are just beginning their rapid urban expansion. Lagos is set to gain 12 million residents between 2015 and 2035, Kinshasa 15 million, Dar es Salaam 8 million, Luanda 7.5 million. Urbanisation in Africa will ideally bring the scale of poverty reduction achieved in countries like China, though clearly there are many challenges and huge diversity across the region."
maps  mapping  population  cities  comparison  1990  1950  2015  2035  urban  urbanization 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Children, Learning, and the Evaluative Gaze of School — Carol Black
"That's when I understood: when you watch a child who is focused on learning, and you let them know you’re watching, and you let them know your opinion as though your opinion matters, you just took that thing away from them. You just made it yours. Your smell is all over it now.

The evaluative gaze does the greatest harm, of course, to the kids who live under a biased eye; the ones who enter school with a test score or a disciplinary record or a skin color that shades the gaze against them. Once an assessment of a child's ability has been made, positive or negative, that child will feel it; if you think you can conceal it from them, you're wrong. They know. They always know. Studies have shown that even lab rats learn more slowly if their researchers believe that they aren't smart rats. The kids who grow up under a negative gaze, the ones who day after day, year after year, feel themselves appraised and found wanting –– these kids pay the greatest price, their psyches permanently damaged by it, their futures irrevocably harmed. (The fact that our appraisals are shown again and again to be wrong never seems to discourage us from making them.) But even the kids who get the good grades, the high scores, the perfect "10's" –– even they are subtly blighted by it. They've won the prize, and lost their power.

Why is it clear to us that it's degrading and objectifying to measure and rank a girl’s physical body on a numeric scale, but we think it’s perfectly okay to measure and rank her mind that way?

Over the years I've watched the many ways that children try to cope with the evaluative gaze of school. (The gaze, of course, can come from parents, too; just ask my kids.) Some children eagerly display themselves for it; some try to make themselves invisible to it. They fight, they flee, they freeze; like prey animals they let their bodies go limp and passive before it. Some defy it by laughing in its face, by acting up, clowning around, refusing to attend or engage, refusing to try so you can never say they failed. Some master the art of holding back that last 10%, of giving just enough of themselves to "succeed," but holding back enough that the gaze can't define them (they don't yet know that this strategy will define and limit their lives.) Some make themselves sick trying to meet or exceed the "standards" that it sets for them. Some simply vanish into those standards until they don't know who they would have been had the standards not been set.

But the power of the gaze goes beyond the numbers and letters used to quantify it. It exists in looks and tones and body language, in words and in the spaces between words. It is a way of looking at another human being, of confronting another human life; it is a philosophical stance, an emotional stance, a political stance, an exercise of power. As philosopher Martin Buber might have put it, the stance of true relationship says to the other, "I–Thou;" the evaluative gaze says "I–It." It says, "I am the subject; you are the object. I know what you are, I know what you should be, I know what 'standards' you must meet." It is a god-like stance, which is actually a big deal even if you think you are a fair and friendly god.

The evaluative gaze of school is so constant a presence, so all-pervasive an eye, that many people have come to believe that children would actually not grow and develop without it. They believe that without their "feedback," without their constant "assessment," a child's development would literally slow or even stop. They believe that children would not learn from the things they experience and do and see and hear and make and read and imagine unless they have an adult to "assess" them (or unless the adult teaches them to "self-assess," which generally means teaching them to internalize the adult gaze.) For people whose experience is with children inside the school system, it may seem self-evident that this is true. For people whose experience is with children outside the school system, it may seem like believing that an acorn would not grow into an oak tree unless you measure it and give it your opinion. Because an oak tree does not actually require your opinion, and believe it or not, 90% of the time, neither does a child.

A pot boils whether you watch it or not. It just needs water and fire.

There are ever-increasing numbers of people raising their kids outside this Panopticon of constant evaluation and measurement and feedback, and what they find is simply this: they grow and develop very much like other kids. Like other kids, they don't all conform to the same "standards;" like other kids, they are individual and diverse. Like other kids, they have triumphs, and struggles, and doldrums, and passions, and frustrations, and joys. "Assessment," or the lack of it, seems to have remarkably little to do with it. Because what an oak tree actually needs is not your opinion but soil and water and light and air, and what a child needs is love and stories and tools and conversation and support and guidance and access to nature and culture and the world. If a kid asks for your feedback, by all means you can give it; it would be impolite not to. But what we should be measuring and comparing is not our children but the quality of the learning environments we provide for them. "
carolblack  canon  unschooling  deschooling  evaluation  assessment  schools  schooling  schooliness  cv  petergray  judgement  writing  art  sfsh  rubrics  children  childhood  learning  howwelearn  education  discipline  coercion  rabindranathtagore  panopticon  observation  teaching  teachers  power  resistance  surveillance  martinbuber  gender  race  racism  measurement  comparison  praise  rewards  grades  grading  2018 
june 2018 by robertogreco
How storybook lessons impart scholastic success | University of California
"The lessons from childhood storybooks are decidedly different in China and the United States, and align with the lessons the respective countries impart in the classroom, UC Riverside research finds.

There is a widely held perception — and some research to affirm it — that East Asian schools outperform schools in North America. A recent study published by UC Riverside psychologist Cecilia Cheung skirts the link between storybooks and school performance, but asserts that the lessons taught in Chinese schools could start early.

“The values that are commonly conveyed in Chinese (vs. U.S.) storybooks include an orientation toward achievement, respect for others — particularly the elderly — humility, and the importance of enduring hardship,” Cheung said. “In the U.S. storybooks, protagonists are often portrayed as having unique interest and strength in a certain domain, and the themes tend to be uplifting.”

For her study, published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Cheung compared storybooks in the U.S. and Mexico with those in China.

She chose 380 storybooks recommended by education ministries in the respective countries, for children aged 3 to 11. The study considered three core aspects of learning-related qualities: beliefs (views about the nature of intelligence), motivated cognitions (achievement, determination), and behaviors (effort, overcoming obstacles).

Charming stories with divergent values

A representative Chinese storybook is “A Cat That Eats Letters.” In the book, a cat has an appetite for sloppy letters. Whenever children write a letter that is too large, too small, too slanted, or with missing strokes, the cat eats the letters. The only way to stop this runaway letter-eating is for the children to write carefully, and to practice every day. This leads to a hungry cat, because the children have all become skilled writers. (Not to fear, the compassionate children then intentionally write some sloppy letters to feed the cat).

A more typical U.S.-Mexico storybook formula is represented by “The Jar of Happiness,” in which a little girl attempts to make a potion of happiness in a jar, then loses the jar. The happy ending comes courtesy of the girl’s realization that happiness doesn’t come from a jar, but rather from good friends – including those who will cheer her up when she loses a jar.

To a large extent, Cheung and her team found the Chinese storybooks celebrated the behaviors associated with learning and hard work. Somewhat to their surprise, they found U.S. and Mexican storybooks had a shared emphasis on self-esteem and social competence.

Past studies have affirmed the important role of parents in children’s scholastic achievement, Cheung said. But few have considered the role of “cultural artifacts,” such as storybooks.

Cheung argues that storybooks play a key role in establishing the values that can help determine scholastic success. Referencing past research, Cheung said it is “conceivable that exposure to reading materials that highlight the importance of learning-related qualities, such as effort and perseverance, may lead children to value such qualities to a greater extent.”

Cheung was joined in the research by UC Riverside graduate students Jorge A. Monroy and Danielle E. Delany. Funding was provided from the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States."
us  mexico  china  stories  children  classideas  education  parenting  society  culture  2018  ceciliacheung  achievement  humility  respect  belief  beliefs  motivation  behavior  literature  childrensbooks  learning  hardwork  competence  self-esteem  books  storybooks  effort  perseverance  schools  schoolperformance  comparison  intelligence  determination  sfsh  happiness  socialcompetence  childrensliterature 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Things That Cost More Than Space Exploration
"As a reference for people who think that space exploration costs too much, here's a list of things that cost even more."
tumblrs  space  comparison  science  economics  research 
october 2016 by robertogreco
Don’t need no education: What Danes consider healthy children’s television | The Economist
"A DAY into my holiday (spent with my wife’s family) in Denmark, and the changes are striking enough to move me back to the keyboard. Perhaps it was the display of life-sized nude photographs of young women, kicking off discussion about whether the choice of bodies was representative enough. Or perhaps it’s the casual way Danes use the English word "fuck", not because they’re especially foul-mouthed but because the word was imported without much of its taboo force. On the flight over I heard a nicely dressed middle-aged mother use it with her young daughters, in mild irritation but not anger.

But perhaps the most striking raw difference is on television, and specifically Ramasjang, the public children’s television channel. (It is part of DR, Denmark’s equivalent of the BBC.) It is everything that American or British kids’ programming is not.

It is naughty. Perhaps its most beloved character is Onkel Reje (“Uncle Shrimp”), a sailor-themed character in a red suit with a scruffy beard. He picks his nose. His stinky socks tell each other jokes. But much more than that, in the best Danish tradition, he mocks beloved institutions: his grandmother lights a fart on fire. He says the worst gift he ever got for Christmas—from Queen Margarethe herself—was the washbasin she washes her bare bottom in. And God he says, lives in heaven with Santa Claus and their dog Marianne, implying that the Supreme Being is not only imaginary, but also gay.

DR should have known this is what they would get when they hired, for the actor playing Onkel Reje, Mads Geertsen, who had previously recorded as a kind of avant-garde musician under the name Je m’appelle Mads. It boggles the mind that the producers at Ramasjang saw this video—in which a mostly naked Mads offers rude tributes to Denmark like a dancing pack of cigarettes and a cow pooing—and said “let’s give that man a children’s show.”

Yet somehow it’s also incredibly wholesome. The adult actors are frequently fat or ugly, in a way they never would be in America. Some have tattoos or nose-rings, just as they do in the real world. The shows—mostly live-action or puppets, not animation—move at an unhurried pace, two or three characters on the screen at the time, with little frenetic music and infrequent special effects. Whether made in the 2010s or the 1980s, Ramasjang’s shows are downright languid. The contrast is all the clearer when a British or American animated show that DR has licensed comes on, with every corner of the screen buzzing with unnecessary and overstimulating movement.

Probably most striking, though, is another thing lacking: education. Quite simply, there is none, academic or moral. “Kaj and Andrea”, a pair of puppets, are sweet friends, but also goofily flawed: Kaj is terribly self-obsessed, Andrea is warbling and neurotic. When other characters do something wrong, there is little of the obvious consequence-and-lesson resolution of American shows; the results are usually left to speak for themselves. “Buster’s World”, a glacially slow live-action show from the 1980s, follows the title character through various realistic hardly-adventures in and around a country house. When an older boy bullies Buster’s sister, Buster, in revenge, sabotages the older boy’s motorcycle, causing him to go flying off it. This would only make it past American lawyers if a finger-wagging adult lectured Buster and the audience at the end. Instead, Buster finds that his revenge changed little, and the show wanders aimlessly on.

Finally, there is hardly any of the ABC-123 stuff that fills American public television like “Sesame Street”. Ramasjang is entertainment, not a replacement for parents or school. Parents are expected to know when to switch it off (but just in case, the characters go to bed at 8.00pm, and are shown sleeping until the morning) rather than pretend that it is self-improvement.

What’s the secret? DR, including Ramasjang, is a training ground for the much-admired Danish film and television industry. Though its budget is nothing next to the BBC’s or a big American broadcaster’s, it’s big for Denmark, meaning that it brings in the best young film-makers, writers and actors looking for experience. If this state-led approach seems typically Scandinavian, it is also Danish in the best sense of innovating constantly, while refusing to take itself seriously.

Danish kids begin school much later than they do in Britain or other countries pushing the beginning of formal education earlier and earlier. There is plenty of time for school, and when Danes get there, they end up doing rather well. But until then, they seem utterly unharmed by a childhood of hearing about the queen’s bottom and watching grandma light some bodily gas on fire."

[plenty of Onkel Reje on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Onkel+Reje ]
denmark  television  tv  education  parenting  society  via:tealtan  2016  us  uk  comparison  learning  animation  film  funding 
august 2016 by robertogreco
How to Get Angry a Lot - YouTube
"It’s remarkably easy to spend most of one’s life in a blind rage. So much of existence is, after all, infuriating. But there are other options to be painfully and slowly learnt."
anger  perspective  comparison  self-centeredness  rage  schooloflife  life  living 
july 2016 by robertogreco
61 Glimpses of the Future — Today’s Office — Medium
"1. If you want to understand how our planet will turn out this century, spend time in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Brazil.

2. If you’re wondering how long the Chinese economic miracle will last, the answer will probably be found in the bets made on commercial and residential developments in Chinese 3rd to 6th tier cities in Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai and Tibet.

4. Touch ID doesn’t work at high altitude, finger prints are too dry.

5. You no longer need to carry a translation app on your phone. If there’s someone to speak with, they’ll have one on theirs.

6. A truly great border crossing will hold a mirror up to your soul.

9. The art of successful borderland travel is to know when to pass through (and be seen by) army checkpoints and when to avoid them.

10. Borders are permeable.

12. The premium for buying gasoline in a remote village in the GBAO is 20% more than the nearest town. Gasoline is harder to come by, and more valuable than connectivity.

13. After fifteen years of professionally decoding human behaviour, I’m still surprised by the universality of body language.

14. Pretentious people are inherently less curious.

15. Everything is fine, until that exact moment when it’s obviously not. It is easy to massively over/under estimate risk based on current contextual conditions. Historical data provides some perspective, but it usually comes down to your ability to read undercurrents, which in turn comes down to having built a sufficiently trusted relationship with people within those currents.

16. Sometimes, everyone who says they know what is going on, is wrong.

17. Every time you describe someone in your own country as a terrorist, a freedom is taken away from a person in another country.

18. Every country has its own notion of “terrorism”, and the overuse, and reaction to the term in your country helps legitimise the crack-down of restive populations in other countries.

17. China is still arguably the lowest-trust consumer society in the world. If a product can be faked it will be. Out of necessity, they also have the most savvy consumers in the world.

18. After twenty years of promising to deliver, Chinese solar products are now practical (available for purchase, affordable, sufficiently efficient, robust) for any community on the edge-of-grid, anywhere in the world. Either shared, or sole ownership.

20. When a fixed price culture meets a negotiation culture, fun ensues.

21. The sharing economy is alive and well, and has nothing to with your idea of the sharing economy.

25. Chinese truckers plying their trade along the silk road deserve to be immortalised as the the frontiersmen of our generation. (They are always male.)

29. The most interesting places have map coordinates, but no names.

30. There are are number of companies with a competitive smartphone portfolio. The rise of Oppo can be explained by its presence on every block of 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th tier Chinese cities.

32. People wearing fake Supreme are way more interesting than those that wear the real deal.

33. An iPhone box full of fungus caterpillar in Kham Tibet sold wholesale, is worth more than a fully specced iPhone. It’s worth 10x at retail in 1st/2nd Tier China. It is a better aphrodisiac too.

35. One of the more interesting aspects of very high net worth individuals (the financial 0.001%), is the entourage that they attract, and the interrelations between members of that entourage. This is my first time travelling with a spiritual leader (the religious 0.001%), whose entourage included disciples, and members of the financial 0.01% looking for a karmic handout. The behaviour of silicon valley’s nouveau riche is often parodied but when it comes to weirdness, faith trumps money every time. Any bets on the first Silicon Valley billionaire to successfully marry the two? Or vice versa?

37. For every person that longs for nature, there are two that long for man-made.

38. Tibetan monks prefer iOS over Android.

40. In order to size up the tribe/sub-tribe you’re part of, any group of young males will first look at the shoes on your feet.

42. After the Urumqi riots in 2009 the Chinese government cut of internet connectivity to Xinjiang province for a full year. Today connectivity is so prevalent and integrated into every aspect of Xinjiang society, that cutting it off it would hurt the state’s ability to control the population more than hinder their opposition. There are many parts to the current state strategy is to limit subversion, the most visible of which is access to the means of travel. For example every gas station between Kashi and Urumqi has barbed wire barriers at its gates, and someone checking IDs.

43. TV used to be the primary way for the edge-of-grid have-nots to discover what they want to have. Today it is seeing geotagged images from nearby places, sometimes hundreds of kilometres away.

44. Facebook entering China would be a Pyrrhic victory, that would lead to greater scrutiny and regulation worldwide. Go for it.

45. The sooner western companies own up to copying WeChat, the sooner we can get on with acknowledging a significant shift in the global creative center of gravity.

48. Green tea beats black tea for acclimatising to altitude sickness.

49. The most interesting destinations aren’t geotagged, are not easily geo-taggable. Bonus points if you can figure that one out.

50. The first time you confront a leader, never do it in front of their followers, they’ll have no way to back down.

51. There is more certainty in reselling the past, than inventing the future.

55. Pockets of Chengdu are starting to out-cool Tokyo.

56. To what extent does cultural continuity, and societal harmony comes from three generations under one roof?

58. If you want to understand where a country is heading pick a 2nd or 3rd tier city and revisit it over many years. Chengdu remains my bellwether 2nd tier Chinese city. It’s inland, has a strong local identity and sub-cultures, and has room to grow. Bonus: its’ only a few hours from some of the best mountain ranges in the world.

60. The difference between 2.5G and 3G? In the words of a smartphone wielding GBAO teenager on the day 3G data was switched on her town, “I can breathe”."
janchipchase  2016  travel  technology  borders  authenticity  pretension  curiosity  china  tibet  japan  eligion  culture  capitalism  wechat  facebook  android  ios  tokyo  chengdu  future  past  communication  tea  greentea  certainty  monks  translation  nature  indonesia  nigeria  brasil  brazil  india  shoes  connectivity  internet  mobile  phones  smartphones  sharingeconomy  economics  negotiation  touchid  cities  urban  urbanism  location  risk  relationships  consumers  terrorism  truckers  oppo  siliconvalley  wealth  nouveauriche  comparison  generations 
july 2016 by robertogreco
There is no such thing as a city that has run out of room - The Washington Post
"What we really mean when we say we can't make space for more neighbors."



"This new attitude over the last 30 years has layered atop an American instinct that has always been here.

"It was part of the original promise that if you come from Europe to the U.S., you get your own space, with your own home, and it’s a private home, and it’s got elbow room from your neighbors," says Hirt, the Virginia Tech urban planning expert who has written a new book on the history of American zoning.

There's a deep-seated cultural perception of space in America, that we should all have a lot of it, that a town with a family per acre can be full. And it's not just because we have a big country; they have a lot of land in Russia, too, Hirt points out. Their cities are still much denser.

Of course, what's based on culture and politics – not physics — can change. So maybe we can learn to live differently.

“Everybody that lives in San Francisco thinks that San Francisco is the once-and-always great place," says McCarthy, head of the Lincoln Institute. "I was in San Francisco in 1971 and it wasn’t that great. It was actually in very bad shape."

The city was losing population then, and it took many years to recover. Now we think million-dollar micro-apartments are the norm.

"But 40 years from now, San Francisco might look like Detroit. And it might look like Detroit because people have decided to stop evolving and adapting," McCarthy says. "And instead we move around on the planet instead of making the places that we care about work.”"
cities  population  density  nimby  nimbyism  2015  populationdensity  urban  urbanism  comparison  inequality  housing  zoning  nimbys 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Why I Begged My Mother to Take Me Out of the Gifted Program | Tue Night
"I understand what they were trying to do. When my teacher nominated me to be sent to a different classroom for part of each day, a class with older and more advanced learners, it was her way of keeping me interested in the learning process. Our school system was 90 percent black and, according to standardized tests, most of us were performing below grade level.

Not me.

At nine years old, my reading aptitude test scores were at the college level. My mother was so happy that she took out an ad in the local paper congratulating me for my grade-school accomplishment. She was proud. I was bored.

For weeks after the test results came in, my teacher would create separate spelling tests and reading lists just for me to try to keep me engaged and challenged. I understand that was probably an extra burden on her. If I was a third grade teacher and one of my students was reading Romeo & Juliet during silent reading time, I might suggest she needed to join a class at a higher grade level for part of the day, too. Unfortunately, even a good idea can take a negative turn.

In the beginning, I was excited about leaving my classroom for an hour a day. I thought it made me special or, at the very least, proved that I was smart. (Truthfully, most of my classmates were as smart as I was—I was just really good at memorization and taking tests.) It also helped that adults I loved and trusted had always told me I was smart. We were a school full of black children, and it wasn’t uncommon to hear our white teachers refer to us as “they,” “them,” “those kids,” or whisper to one another about our many shortcomings. I remember a time in class when a teacher told a black boy he’d never learn to read well if he insisted on speaking like a “thug.” Then she smiled toward me and said, “Don’t you want to sound smart like Ashley?”

I was taken aback. Not only did I hate being compared to the other kids (it didn’t exactly make me popular with them), but I also hadn’t realized I spoke differently from my classmates. From that day forward, they never let me forget it. Who could blame them?

By the time I got to fourth grade, I was no longer being sent to a different classroom for part of the day. No, my teachers felt that I was so brilliant I needed to be bused to an entirely different school two full days every week. The new school could not have been more different. The facilities were nicer, the test scores were higher, and my little brown face was one of a handful—maybe less.

At my “home” school, 75 percent of students received a free or reduced-rate lunch. We would laugh about our poverty, calling it “Government Lunch” and swapping dishes. The lunch ladies swiftly checked off our names on their list without a second glance and kept the line moving. At the new school, I explained that I didn’t pay for lunch and the cafeteria worker had to talk to three different people to figure out what the procedure was for such a thing. When I finally got my tray and sat with the rest of the kids from my class, I joked, “I guess you guys never had a poor kid here before.” They stared at each other, then at me, then back at each other. The silence nearly swallowed me up.

The days I spent at my “home” school varied greatly. Some days I was picked on mercilessly (usually because a teacher pointed me out as what everyone else should try to become). Other days, I felt so deeply understood by my peers, the thought of going back to the other school where they didn’t know anything about my culture was unbearable. And it wasn’t just about differences in the music we liked. I loved Matchbox 20 too! It was deeper than that. It was spending all night coloring a project with stubby crayons and nearly dry markers, just to have another kid bring in pages of pictures his dad printed out for him on a color printer. It was feigning sick the day of the Halloween party because I knew the other kids would show up in purchased costumes, something I’d never been able to do in my entire life. It was the mean lunch lady and the damn red binder she hauled out every time I said, “Free lunch.” At my “other” school , I was always the other. Always the black one. Always the poor one. The challenge in this new learning arena wasn’t academic but social. We could talk about Egypt all day long, but when I asked if Cleopatra was black, my new teacher pretended she didn’t hear me.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wanted out of my new school, but getting out was harder than I thought. All of my teachers were convinced that I was just intimidated by the work, not weary of the environment. So I played into their narrative and did something I’d never done before: I flunked. I bombed every test and failed to turn in every homework assignment until they sent me back to my home school full-time. Suddenly, my grades improved. Everything improved. I was happier, I was learning, and I was free to be where I wanted to be. I worked with my teachers to come up with a curriculum that challenged me, and I made it easy for them. My worst fear was that I would get bused again to a “better” school.

Right before I started middle school, an elite private school in town called my mother to see if I’d be interested in taking a test to see if I qualified for a full scholarship. I knew about this school. All grades, all facilities, and all white. After the call, my mother asked me what I thought. “It could be a great opportunity, Ash. Everybody graduates, and almost 100 percent of them go to college.”

I thought about the teachers at my original school who worked so hard to keep my brain challenged, my friends who were as smart (or smarter) than I was, and the lunch ladies who never made me feel like I was less worthy of food than anybody else. I thought about the time I’d spent at the other school, and how it felt like every moment there had been time stolen from me. In separating me from my classmates, I was being separated from my culture. And why? Because I could read big words? I could read big words anywhere, including right beside people who looked and lived just like me.

I looked at my mom, smiled and said, “I’m happy where I am.”"
ashleyford  education  schools  race  class  gifted  2015  freedom  belonging  identity  inclusion  inclusivity  comparison  howweteach  independentschools  privateschools  segregation  teaching  children  comfort  environment  inlcusivity 
july 2015 by robertogreco
more-than-human lab - On anthropology, not ethnography, and design
"“Let me begin by restating what, I think, anthropology is. It is, for me, a generous, open-ended, comparative, and yet critical inquiry into the conditions and potentials of human life in the one world we all inhabit. It is generous because it is founded in a willingness to both listen and respond to what others have to tell us. It is open-ended because its aim is not to arrive at final solutions that would bring social life to a close but rather to reveal the paths along which it can keep on going. Thus the holism to which anthropology aspires is the very opposite of totalisation. Far from piecing all the parts together into a single whole, in which everything is ‘joined up’, it seeks to show how within every moment of social life is enfolded an entire history of relations of which it is the transitory outcome. Anthropology is comparative because it acknowledges that no way of being is the only possible one, and that for every way we find, or resolve to take, alternative ways could be taken that would lead in different directions. Thus even as we follow a particular way, the question of ‘why this way rather than that?’ is always at the forefront of our minds. And it is critical because we cannot be content with things as they are.

[…]

Like participant observation, design offers anthropology a way of working that avoids the schizochrony of ethnographic inquiry, and a viable alternative to traditional anthropology-by-means-of-ethnography. The observations, descriptions and propositions of design anthropology are not retrospective but prospective: their purpose is not to interpret but to transform. Design, in short, is not and cannot be a practice of ethnography; it is rather an alternative way to ethnography of doing anthropology – a way that releases the speculative and experimental possibilities of the discipline that the traditional appeal to ethnography has suppressed.”

—Tim Ingold: Design Anthropology Is Not, and Cannot Be, Ethnography (.doc) [https://kadk.dk/sites/default/files/08_ingold_design_anthropology_network.doc ]"
timingold  design  designanthropology  ethnography  anthropology  listening  criticalinquiry  inquiry  speculativedesign  experimentation  observation  holism  criticaldesign  open-ended  unfinished  comparison  via:anne 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Education Needs a Collaboration (Non-Competitive) Pact | the becoming radical
"“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” —Huxley, Aldous. The Olive Tree. 1936.

While watching a documentary on schools recently, I felt that same uncomfortable feeling I do whenever I watch or read about this or that school “excelling”—notably the principal, but teachers as well, expressing how they have something different that is driving the school’s success.

Of course that claim caries the implication that other schools, teachers, and students are not doing that something different (hint: trying hard enough, demanding enough).

In this particular documentary, that something different included publicly identifying, labeling, and displaying students by test scores.

And while I have a great deal of compassion and collegial support for educators fighting the standardized testing craze corrupting U.S. public education, I feel compelled to note that many of those same educators turn right around and practice the same sort of tyranny with students—or quickly wave the testing data flag when their school seems to look good (although these claims of “miracles” are almost always mirages).

So here is a test we should all take.

Check all that apply: As a teacher or administrator in a school, do you …

[ ] use test scores to rank, compare, motivate, and/or shame students into working “harder”?

[ ] use test scores to rank, compare, motivate, and/or shame teachers within a department, grade level, or school into working “harder”?

[ ] use test scores to brag about your department, grade level, or school to parents or the media?

If any of these are checked, you have a decision: either stop complaining about high-stakes uses of test scores or stop doing all of the above.

If test scores are a flawed way to evaluate teachers and schools, they are a flawed way to evaluate teachers, schools, and students—and even when they work in your favor.

Thus, I recommend the latter choice above because education needs a collaboration (non-competitive) pact if we are to save the soul of our profession."
plthomas  2015  collaboration  competition  education  excellence  elitism  schools  publiceducation  standardizedtesting  high-stakestesting  non-competetitive  comparison  motivation  shaming  ranking  rankings  teaching  howweteach  evaluation  assessment  aldoushuxley  paulthomas 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous - The Washington Post
"For most of its history, the United States was unique in offering a well-rounded education. In their comprehensive study, “The Race Between Education and Technology,” Harvard’s Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz point out that in the 19th century, countries like Britain, France and Germany educated only a few and put them through narrow programs designed to impart only the skills crucial to their professions. America, by contrast, provided mass general education because people were not rooted in specific locations with long-established trades that offered the only paths forward for young men. And the American economy historically changed so quickly that the nature of work and the requirements for success tended to shift from one generation to the next. People didn’t want to lock themselves into one professional guild or learn one specific skill for life.

That was appropriate in another era, the technologists argue, but it is dangerous in today’s world. Look at where American kids stand compared with their peers abroad. The most recent international test, conducted in 2012, found that among the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranked 27th in math, 20th in science and 17th in reading. If rankings across the three subjects are averaged, the United States comes in 21st, trailing nations such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia.

In truth, though, the United States has never done well on international tests, and they are not good predictors of our national success. Since 1964, when the first such exam was administered to 13-year-olds in 12 countries, America has lagged behind its peers, rarely rising above the middle of the pack and doing particularly poorly in science and math. And yet over these past five decades, that same laggard country has dominated the world of science, technology, research and innovation.

Consider the same pattern in two other highly innovative countries, Sweden and Israel. Israel ranks first in the world in venture-capital investments as a percentage of GDP; the United States ranks second, and Sweden is sixth, ahead of Great Britain and Germany. These nations do well by most measures of innovation, such as research and development spending and the number of high-tech companies as a share of all public companies. Yet all three countries fare surprisingly poorly in the OECD test rankings. Sweden and Israel performed even worse than the United States on the 2012 assessment, landing overall at 28th and 29th, respectively, among the 34 most-developed economies.

But other than bad test-takers, their economies have a few important traits in common: They are flexible. Their work cultures are non-hierarchical and merit-based. All operate like young countries, with energy and dynamism. All three are open societies, happy to let in the world’s ideas, goods and services. And people in all three nations are confident — a characteristic that can be measured. Despite ranking 27th and 30th in math, respectively, American and Israeli students came out at the top in their belief in their math abilities, if one tallies up their responses to survey questions about their skills. Sweden came in seventh, even though its math ranking was 28th.

Thirty years ago, William Bennett, the Reagan-era secretary of education, noticed this disparity between achievement and confidence and quipped, “This country is a lot better at teaching self-esteem than it is at teaching math.” It’s a funny line, but there is actually something powerful in the plucky confidence of American, Swedish and Israeli students. It allows them to challenge their elders, start companies, persist when others think they are wrong and pick themselves up when they fail. Too much confidence runs the risk of self-delusion, but the trait is an essential ingredient for entrepreneurship."
stem  education  testing  standardizedtesting  us  policy  sweden  israel  testscores  comparison  innovation  technology  science  conformity  conformism  standardization  diversity  williambennett  nclb  rttt  ronaldreagan  anationatrisk  writing  criticalthinking  liberalarts  fareedzakaria  2015 
march 2015 by robertogreco
That Study Never Happened | ThinkThankThunk
"What I question is for how long we in education will continue on without control data. How long will a status quo, that was never studied, continue? Show me the study that proves an 8-period day of personality-disorder inducing frenzy is more effective than a fundamentally different approach to time, space, and assessment?

Don’t compare to a block schedule, don’t compare to 7-period days, or long lunches, those aren’t fundamentally different variable states. Those studies weren’t ever done, and it has to do with the trickle-down college modeling that has now permeated the social inertia of the American public school.

That said, you can’t ask a teenager what they like. That’s another data analysis error. I value student voice, but I also recognize that someone who has only been thinking abstractly for a time span on the order of months may not have the data set necessary to legitimately claim what will and won’t work for their education.

That said, they can, with reasonably veracity, report really valuable metrics.

Efficacy.

Joy.

Interest.

Curiosity.

The ever-present effervescent teenage blurted comment shows a lot about mental connections in a very Rorschach-ian way.

If you asked this student whether she likes attending physics class or her Iowa BIG project better, she’ll report that she loves her project. I could tout this as a glorious victory, but, given the previous argument, I don’t think that kind of data is actually meaningful or those claims are even possible.

Test scores then, right? Nope. In general, those are only a measure of the poorly understood genetic rate of the brain’s ability to abstract concepts. There are some fantastically written exams, but they’re few and far between in usual practice.

My thesis is that you have to define the metrics that you believe matter. I got this idea from a fantastic conference I attended in Ohio a few years ago, and it has never left me.

If we’ve let the fickleness of history and public policy describe the bizarre set of standards (looking at you, Math) and therefore the metrics that we’ll measure all students against, you’ll end up with a system designed for those metrics.

Instead, if you define your own measures, and actually study longitudinally their validity, we’ll end up in a place where perhaps we’ll value the emotional-intelligence development of a teenager above their ability to comply with outdated curricula. Maybe we’ll come to value the nuance of entrepreneurial thought opposed to attempting to cram a line of reasoning they stole wholesale from Reddit into five paragraphs 20 minutes before the paper is due.

I love working at Iowa BIG."
shawncornally  2015  learning  metrics  comparison  control  education  meaning  values  measurement  curriculum  projectbasedlearning  purpose  socialemotional  emotionalintelligence  teens  youth  policy  teaching  howwelearn  legitimacy  pbl  socialemotionallearning 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Beautiful Bytes of Data | The Jose Vilson
"The word data slides easily off the tongue but has no personality and sounds as dry as a funeral drum. School administrators try to grace the word by telling parents that “data-driven school districts” will radically change public education, hoping that a staccato of words and a flare of alliteration will impress a captive audience. Some disingenuous school officials assert that “data-driven” is an essential tool for effectively managing a business, so why not a school system?

But it’s all a ruse. The sum of all the rhetoric about the importance of designing data-driven school districts is a shell game, a slight of hand practiced by illusionists to distract trusting parents who believe school administrators know what is best for their children. Anything “data-driven” must be beneficial for schools, parents are told, because data is information, and information is necessary to make sound decisions about curriculum, instruction and learning. And since even the best used car salesperson can no longer sell the faux elixir of Common Core now that this failed one-size-fits-all education policy has been exposed, school administrators need a new mantra to mystify parents.

Data has an ugly side, a face that frequently emerges when it is misinterpreted or convoluted to justify a faulty assumption or bad decision. The countless financial manipulations practiced by Wall Street brokers and bankers have repeatedly proven that data can be exploited and cause financial ruin for millions of people. Data may be defined as a set of values of quantitative and qualitative variables, and business savors at the trough of data, but schools should be people-driven rather than data-driven institutions.

The young man who stepped in front of the train was a beautiful byte of data, but he was more than the sum of the quantitative information collected by a data-driven school district. His social and emotional data fills less space on his school district’s list of quantifiable student data than math and science scores, and that is the shame of the present state of American public education.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24, and more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease … combined. Need quantitative data? Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12, and four out of five teens who have attempted suicide give clear warning signs. Maybe its time to take off the blinders of a data-driven school district to see clearly that our students are suffering.

Data is not our generation’s penicillin. It is an ugly word used by school administrators, policy makers, and government officials to demean the greatest social institution ever designed by human hands – a public school. Data is being used to compare the United States with countries such as Finland because the Finns score higher on international math and science tests, but can someone – anyone – tell me what Finland produces with their wealth of science and math knowledge?

[crickets]
The United States may score lower on international math and science tests, but somehow we instill creativity in our students and produce amazing technologies.

I taught and helped mentor the young man who stepped in front of the train. I helped him get a scholarship to a vocational school after he earned a high school diploma. He wanted to be an electrician, but I also knew about the many demons that tormented his gentle soul. He endured a miserable childhood, never knew his father, drank too much, and could not leash his black dog of depression. I tried to place him on a road that could lead him to a better place, believing that terra firma would make him feel a clearer path to success and salvation, but he could not see nor feel the ground beneath his feet. I failed.

I believe the vast majority of classroom teachers are not opposed to collecting data that may enhance instructional strategies or improve learning, but do object to a school system trying to emulate a business model designed to increase production and profits rather than enhance social and emotional growth. The social and emotional learning needs of children are too often omitted when describing the purpose of a “data-driven school district” and this is a flawed education philosophy.

The young man was a beautiful byte of data. Now he is a cold dead statistic."
2014  data  depression  metrics  schools  publischools  comparison  standardization  standardizedtesting  politics  policy  pisa  finland  us  testing  commoncore  josévilson 
november 2014 by robertogreco
A Conversation With Goucher’s New President - NYTimes.com
"What makes for active learning?

Give students something to do before they come to class, and then when they get to class, make that assignment more complex. Teaching is not just getting the facts across to the students, but sharing the context and the complexity of what we know. I teach jazz, so after students listen to Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, I ask them to articulate the differences between them, using a different context. If they’re talking to a carpenter, the analogy might be shag carpet, hardwood and stained concrete, or in terms of alcohol, cabernet, champagne and whiskey. That’s how learning works, comparing something new to something you know, and trying to integrate it.

What makes for successful pedagogy?

Transparency improves learning. If you tell students that what they’re doing is critical thinking, they retain it more than if you don’t name it. We know a lot about what works. For example, using a highlighter when you read doesn’t increase student learning; what does is reading the chapter, then taking out an index card and putting it in your own words. We talk about the three Rs: relationships, resilience and reflection. If you increase those things, students will learn more, and teaching content becomes less important.

We don’t have to teach you the periodic table because there’s a guy online who teaches it. But those guys online don’t know the names of their students. And there’s hard evidence that students learn more when they feel you know and care about them.

You encourage faculty to use Facebook groups, Twitter, email, Skype. Why?

I meet faculty all the time who say they’re sitting during their office hours alone, and they don’t do social media. The first thing I say is: “Tell your students you’ll be online to answer questions for an hour the night before the exam or before the paper’s due. You’ll be flooded with responses, and students will see it as a sign that you really care about how they’re doing.” You can also use Facebook or Twitter to make the point that class is not Las Vegas, that what happens here is not supposed to stay here, that it’s all about connections. If you’re reading Hamlet, find something in the world that you can tweet about that relates to it, to help students learn to make those connections.



What else is in store for Goucher?

I think about myself as a curator of risk. I want to encourage more innovation, more risk-taking. We are medieval institutions. I’m talking to the faculty about how we might improve things, and the first thing we’re talking about is freshman grades. They add stress and I don’t think we need them. We need to be willing to try new things, even if they fail, because that’s how we get progress. And I’m willing to fail. I don’t know if this video application is going to work, but I do see a problem with how college admissions has been working, so I think it’s worth a try."
joséantoniobowen  teaching  howwetach  howwelearn  gouchercollege  2014  interviews  technology  pedagogy  learning  colleges  context  comparison  resilience  relationships  reflection  transparency  socialmedia  risk  risktaking  cv 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Russell Davies: clarity as a business model
"I've had the phrase 'clarity as a business model' in my head for a while - probably since I heard a splendid NPR podcast about fine print.

Being clear about things that are normally muddy seems like a potential competitive advantage.

It might mean making the most of something you do anyway. Apple, for instance, don't get revenue from ads and personal information in the same way Google and Facebook do - so they can be much clearer about privacy.

And you'll probably have seen this Lidl ad:

[image]

The point is not that it's a clever ad, it's that it's a clever business model, a cleverly clear one. The ad is enabled by a better, simpler product/service.

And sometimes there's probably opportunity in being clear about the previously opaque. This post, for instance, about predictive analytics talks about how hotel chains routinely overbook their rooms to ensure they're full. This was probably seen to be OK in the days when you could disappoint someone and only that person would know. These days, with all that social media around, you may want to be clear about the assumptions built into your booking algorithms. Cheaper but risky! More expensive, but more certain!

[image]

Of course, very often, the challenge is for organisations to get out of their own way - the lack of clarity stems from their relentless instinct to brand things and invent new names for them.

Thus, tfl can't just say 'keep your oyster card and your contactless card separate', they have to invent 'card clash' - which really doesn't help, it just gives them an extra thing they have to explain.

(An example borrowed from Rachel)

(Our rule of thumb for public service things is:

1. Tell people the name you're thinking of for your new thing

2. If they say 'oh, what does that do?' get a clearer name)

The big opportunity though seems to be to find things that are murky and confusing and to redesign them so that they're clear. There are some obvious candidates - phone tarrifs, loan payments, energy bills, EULAs - but the interesting ones will be where we don't even notice things are murky any more."
clarity  communication  business  russelldavies  2014  eulas  simplicity  comparison  publicservice 
october 2014 by robertogreco
How Culture Shapes Our Senses - NYTimes.com
"FLORENCE, Italy — WE think of our senses as hard-wired gateways to the world. Many years ago the social psychologist Daryl J. Bem described the knowledge we gain from our senses as “zero-order beliefs,” so taken for granted that we do not even notice them as beliefs. The sky is blue. The fan hums. Ice is cold. That’s the nature of reality, and it seems peculiar that different people with their senses intact would experience it subjectively.

Yet they do. In recent years anthropologists have begun to point out that sensory perception is culturally specific. “Sensory perception,” Constance Classen, the author of “The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch,” says, “is a cultural as well as physical act.” It’s a controversial claim made famous by Marshall McLuhan’s insistence that nonliterate societies were governed by spoken words and sound, while literate societies experienced words visually and so were dominated by sight. Few anthropologists would accept that straightforwardly today. But more and more are willing to argue that sensory perception is as much about the cultural training of attention as it is about biological capacity.

Now they have some quantitative evidence to support the point. Recently, a team of anthropologists and psychologists at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Radboud University, both in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, set out to discover how language and culture affected sensory awareness. Under the leadership of Asifa Majid and Stephen C. Levinson, they made up a kit of systematic stimuli for the traditional five senses: for sight, color chips and geometric forms; for hearing, pitch, amplitude and rhythm variations; for smell, a set of scratch-and-sniff cards; and so forth. They took these kits to over 20 cultural groups around the world. Their results upend some of our basic assumptions.

For example, it’s fairly common, in scientific literature, to find the view that “humans are astonishingly bad at odor identification and naming,” as a recent review of 30 years of experiments concluded. When ordinary people are presented with the smell of ordinary substances (coffee, peanut butter, chocolate), they correctly identify about half of them. That’s why we think of scent as a trigger for personal memory — leading to the recall of something specific, particular, uniquely our own.

It turns out that the subjects of those 30 years of experiments were mostly English-speaking. Indeed, English speakers find it easy to identify the common color in milk and jasmine flowers (“white”) but not the common scent in, say, bat droppings and the leaf of ginger root. When the research team presented what should have been familiar scents to Americans — cinnamon, turpentine, lemon, rose and so forth — they were terrible at naming them. Americans, they wrote, said things like this when presented with the cinnamon scratch-and-sniff card: “I don’t know how to say that, sweet, yeah; I have tasted that gum like Big Red or something tastes like, what do I want to say? I can’t get the word. Jesus it’s like that gum smell like something like Big Red. Can I say that? O.K. Big Red, Big Red gum.”

When the research team visited the Jahai, rain-forest foragers on the Malay Peninsula, they found that the Jahai were succinct and more accurate with the scratch-and-sniff cards. In fact, they were about as good at naming what they smelled as what they saw. They do, in fact, have an abstract term for the shared odor in bat droppings and the leaf of ginger root. Abstract odor terms are common among people on the Malay Peninsula.

The team also found that several communities — speakers of Persian, Turkish and Zapotec — used different metaphors than English and Dutch speakers to describe pitch, or frequency: Sounds were thin or thick rather than high or low. In later work, they demonstrated that the metaphors were powerful enough to disrupt perception. When Dutch speakers heard a tone while being shown a mismatched height bar (e.g., a high tone and a low bar) and were asked to sing the tone, they sang a lower tone. But the perception wasn’t influenced when they were shown a thin or thick bar. When Persian speakers heard a tone and were shown a bar of mismatched thickness, however, they misremembered the tone — but not when they were shown a bar mismatched for height.

The team also found that some of these differences could change over time. They taught the Dutch speakers to think about pitch as thin or thick, and soon these participants, too, found that their memory of a tone was affected by being shown a bar that was too thick or too thin. They found that younger Cantonese speakers had fewer words for tastes and smells than older ones, a shift attributed to rapid socioeconomic development and Western-style schooling.

I wrote this in Florence, Italy, a city famous as a feast for the senses. People say that Florence teaches you to see differently — that as the soft light moves across the ocher buildings, you see colors you never noticed before.

It taught Kevin Systrom, a co-founder of Instagram, to see differently. He attributes his inspiration to a photography class he took in Florence while at a Stanford study-abroad program about a decade ago. His teacher took away his state-of-the-art camera and insisted he use an old plastic one instead, to change the way he saw. He loved those photos, the vintage feel of them, and the way the buildings looked in the light. He set out to recreate that look in the app he built. And that has changed the way many of us now see as well."
senses  taste  smell  olfaction  touch  sight  seeing  noticing  language  languages  culture  darylbem  tmluhrmann  constanceclassen  wcydwt  glvo  slow  marshallmcluhan  anthropology  psychology  perception  sense  asifamajid  stephenlevinson  sound  hearing  tone  pitch  rhythm  color  comparison  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  literacies  literacy  identification  naming  kevinsystrom 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Randall Munroe Of xkcd Answers Our (Not So Absurd) Questions | FiveThirtyEight
"WH: In “What If?” you often rely on estimation techniques to develop reasonable answers to pretty complex questions. For example, in the Supernova neutrino radiation question, you reconciled two things that happen at extremely different orders of magnitude. Of the estimation techniques you use, which do you think is the most applicable for people to apply to their daily life? What’s a technical takeaway you’d like to see people use more?

RM: One thing that bothers me is large numbers presented without context. We’re always seeing things like, “This canal project will require 1.15 million tons of concrete.” It’s presented as if it should mean something to us, as if numbers are inherently informative. So we feel like if we don’t understand it, it’s our fault.

But I have only a vague idea of what one ton of concrete looks like. I have no idea what to think of a million tons. Is that a lot? It’s clearly supposed to sound like a lot, because it has the word “million” in it. But on the other hand, “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” made $7 million at the box office, and it was one of the biggest flops in movie history.

It can be more useful to look for context. Is concrete a surprisingly large share of the project’s budget? Is the project going to consume more concrete than the rest of the state combined? Will this project use up a large share of the world’s concrete? Or is this just easy, space-filling trivia? A good rule of thumb might be, “If I added a zero to this number, would the sentence containing it mean something different to me?” If the answer is “no,” maybe the number has no business being in the sentence in the first place.

One thing that’s been really helpful for me is to memorize random quantities to serve as reference points. I remember that Wyoming is the smallest state and has a bit over half a million people, and that New York’s metro area has about 20 million. Boston’s has 5 million, and Tokyo’s has 35 million. “One in 100 Americans” is 3 million people, and “1 in 100 people” is 70 million. Once I have those reference points, when I hear “10 million people have lost power in the storm,” I at least have something to compare it to.

But I’m also wary of people saying “everyone should know” some skill from their area of expertise, because people have their own stuff to deal with. It’s easy for me to imagine an abstract person and then say, “Wouldn’t it be better if that person knew how to program?” And maybe it would. But real people are complicated and busy, and don’t need me thinking of them as featureless objects and assigning them homework. Not everyone needs to know calculus, Python or how opinion polling works. Maybe more of them should, but it feels a little condescending to assume I know who those people are. I just do my best to make the stuff I’m talking about interesting; the rest is up to them."

[via: https://twitter.com/doingitwrong/status/508015133147561984 ]
randallmunroe  via:timmaly  xkcd  scale  numbers  comparison  data  magnitude  communication  people  humans  coding 
september 2014 by robertogreco
I no longer have patience | Ioadicaeu's Blog
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” —Meryl Streep
via:litherland  marylstreep  patience  cynicism  criticism  demands  hypocrisy  dishonesty  praise  comparisons  comparison  conflict  loyalty  betrayal  exaggeration  arrogance  pretense  lies  manipulation 
september 2014 by robertogreco
For Lessons About Class, a Field Trip Takes Students Home - NYTimes.com
"Some of us have more toys and bigger homes than others. We all have a lot in common, but there are certain things that make us unique, too. Let’s talk about those things and celebrate them, even.

This is not standard prekindergarten curricular fare, but it’s part of what the 4- and 5-year-olds at the Manhattan Country School learn by visiting one another’s homes during the school day. These are no mere play dates though; it’s more like Ethnography 101. Do classmates take the bus to school or walk? What neighborhood do they live in? What do they have in their homes? Over the last several weeks, I tagged along to find out.

The progressive private school considers the visits to be one of the most radical things it does. “We knew we needed to talk about social class,” said Lois Gelernt, the teacher who came up with the idea. “It was opening up a can of worms, but if we were never going to talk about who we are and where we come from, the sense of community wasn’t going to be there.”

At first glance, Manhattan Country School seems like an unlikely place to be having that conversation. The school, which starts with the pre-K-aged children and goes through eighth grade, occupies a giant townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, just steps from Central Park. The name evokes clenched-jaw accents and competitive horsemanship, though in reality the older children milk cows and gather eggs on a school-owned farm upstate."



"At both apartments, however, the children concerned themselves with the objects they found exploring inside. At the Harlem apartment, the young host, whose parents did not want to be identified because of a wary employer, demonstrated various African instruments for his classmates. In Morningside Heights, Ella Reich-Sharpe modeled her leopard-print space helmet made from a Fresh Direct grocery box by a babysitter whose name she couldn’t quite remember.

In both apartments, the children piled into every bed, including a dog’s; examined the items on the parents’ night stands; and tested every musical instrument. Ella’s father, Adam Reich, performed a few measures of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” after some insistent prompting.

Ella’s mother, Teresa Sharpe, happens to be a lecturer at Columbia who teaches a course on the sociology of education. So I put a question to her: How can families who live in areas with little socioeconomic diversity create their own lessons like this? She suggested letting children come along if the parents do work in different types of communities. This summer, Ella will accompany Mr. Reich, who is also a sociologist, as he and his students visit Walmart workers.

There are other possibilities too. The right Little League, scouting troop or house of worship can allow children to form deep relationships with peers they might not otherwise encounter. And spending time with families who have much less or more than you do can be illuminating for children as well, though not always in the way parents might expect."
education  class  economics  fieldtrips  2014  homevisits  manhattancountrydayschool  nyc  classideas  comparison  showandtell  sharing  schools  learning  ethnography 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Episode Fifty Two: Disintermediation & Externalisation; Housing; Odds
"Would Amazon test, for example, an Amazon Express option for browsing their site where they *only* show you the highest-rated, most-recommended items against your search? Because even the presence or indication of hundreds or thousands of other options can be stress-inducing. And perhaps pair it with a liberal return policy?

I guess the thing is this. Disintermediation and increased consumer choice rely upon the assumption (if you care, I suppose) that your consumer or audience is a rational economic actor who *has the time and the resources to be a rational actor*. I get pissed off at stereotypical, straw-man privileged engineers who just want a spreadsheet with a table and do all the research and go buy the best thing because seriously: who has the time for that?

And there's a significant, vulnerable section of the population that *doesn't* have time for that, that doesn't have time to be a rational actor. And who are you supposed to trust? Do you trust the financial advisor who is getting kickbacks? Do you trust your health insurance company? Do you even have health insurance to trust? This isn't a mere case of "information overload" in terms of a firehose of stuff coming to you. This is: how do I make a basic decision and ensure I am informed to make a rational, appropriate choice.

The other side of this is the fantastic one for businesses that get to externalise formerly internal costs under the guise of consumer choice. So instead of having knowledgeable salespeople (for example), "the information is available on our website". This is perhaps the difference with a retailer like Apple where I believe their store employees are taught to listen to user needs (there's that phrase again) and help them accomplish them rather than being commission-driven and pushing everyone to buy the most expensive model, for example. And so a place where retail can be improved both offline and online: Amazon doesn't have salespeople that understand their products to help you choose one, they externalise that cost by having you write reviews and lists instead."
danhon  paradoxofchoiuce  choice  2014  decisionmaking  comparison  retail  amazon  wirecutter  travelagents  housing 
april 2014 by robertogreco
The Agony of Perfectionism - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic
"The fortress of classic economics was built on the slushy marsh of rational consumer theory. The once-popular belief that we all possess every relevant piece of information to make choices about buying fridges, TVs, or whatever, has since given way to a less commendable, but more accurate, description of buyers, which is that we basically have no freaking clue what we're doing most of the time. Prices, marketing, discounts, even the layout of store and shelves: They're all hazards strewn about the obstacle course of decision-making, tripping us up, blocking our path, and nudging us toward choices that are anything but rational.

Today, rather than consider consumers to be a monolith of reason, some economists and psychologists prefer to think of us as falling into two mood groups: maximizers and satisficers. Maximizers are perfectionists. They want the best of everything, and they want to know they have the best of everything. Satisficers are realists. They want what's good enough, and they're happy to have it.

The trouble with perfectionists is that, by wanting the best, they aspire to be perfectly rational consumers in a world where we all agree that's impossible. It's a recipe for dissatisfaction, way too much work, and even depression.

In "Maximizing Versus Satisficing: Happiness Is a Matter of Choice," published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that maximizers are more likely to be have regret and depression and less likely to report being happy, optimistic, or have high self-esteem.

To be a maximizer requires an "impossible" and "exhaustive search of the possibilities," that invariably ends with regret when the person realizes, after the purchase, that there might have been a better choice. This regret actually "[reduces] the satisfaction derived from one’s choice." The paradox of caring too much about having the perfect version of everything is that you wind up feel dissatisfied with all of it.

A new paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research further illuminates the onerous woe of perfectionism. Maximizers apply for more jobs, attend more job interviews, spend more time worrying about their social status, and wind up less happy, less optimistic, "and more depressed and regretful" than everybody else.

In a battery of tests designed to prime subjects to act like maximizers and satisficers, the researchers validated just about every stereotype about perfectionists: They work harder, search more deeply, and perform better in their jobs, but the emotional byproducts of their accomplishments are regret and dissatisfaction. (You might say that hard-earned success in life is wasted on the people least likely to appreciate it.)

Both papers concluded that the Internet is a briar patch of misery for maximizers. Not only does it allow them to more easily compare their lot to the sepia-toned success stories of their peers on Facebook and Instagram, but also it makes comparison shopping hell. From the first paper's discussion section:
The proliferation of options [online] raises people’s standards for determining what counts as a success, [from] breakfast cereals to automobiles to colleges to careers. Second, failure to meet those standards in a domain containing multiple options encourages one to treat failures as the result of personal shortcomings rather than situational limitations, thus encouraging a causal attribution for failure that we might call “depressogenic.” [ed: had to look that one up.]

In short: The Internet doesn't have to make you miserable. But if you insist on comparing your choices and your life to every available alternative accessible through a Google search, it will.

For consumers, this means embracing the limitations of classical economics. We don't know everything. We don't have everything. And that's okay. Pretending otherwise is, in fact, anything but rational."

[See also: http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bschwar1/maximizing.pdf ]
choice  choices  paradoxofchoice  perfectionists  satisficers  economics  rationality  reason  2014  unhappiness  happiness  depression  jobhunting  perfectionism  optimism  regret  worry  anxiety  possibilities  satisfaction  caring  self-esteem  realism  derekthompson  advertising  internet  infooverload  information  comparison 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Lying with Statistics | Deborah Meier on Education
"To avoid being fooled by statistics requires using the knowledge we already possess. A lost art? I struggle with this constantly.

To print data claiming that: Shanghai and Singapore have a better educated workforce than the USA when they certainly must realize that (1) neither is a country; and (2) to ignore the fact that China’s low-income workforce are treated as part-time immigrants in Shanghai, whose children are not allowed to attend their schools and/or in most cases (including Singapore) live beyond these city’s boundaries, means either purposely misusing data or not using one’s own knowledge. Not to mention the naiveté of accepting any data’s reliability when dealing with a totalitarian regime. These are simple facts that any journalist reporting on these statistics should know. As we gentrify the remaining sections of Manhattan where low-income people of color still reside, we might enter Manhattan in the world’s test score rankings. In fact, we have several states that would rank pretty high up if we decided to call them separate nations, much less excluded the scores of “immigrants.” It’s bad enough when they—the US media-—take US test score data at face value, much less accepting without question the data from nations we know often lie to us and their own people.

Our dilemma is far more serious than upgrading our math courses in order to better compete with Asia. Where they outdo us is not in having enough highly skilled workers but in low paid ones. Maybe we’ll be more successful competitors if we continue to lower our wage scales to match theirs? (Which requires getting rid of unions.) If that’s the plan, it’s one that we haven’t been consulted about.
Or, we might insist that all schools math programs give more attention to understanding data (statistics, probability, et al) and less attention to calculus. A calculus driven math course of study is not only irrelevant to the jobs of the past and future, but our focus directs attention away from precisely the mathematical skills and understanding our economy and citizenship actually need. It leads to many students’ failure to graduate. What disturbs me most is that few of us were prepared for a world in which understanding how millions and billions differ matters—other than adding zeros, or what the odds are for winning the lottery. It’s this everyday kind of math illiteracy that we have ignored for far too long in pursuit of a goal that best serves elite interests—if even theirs. (And I am not anti-calculus! Just first things first.)

Never mind. We seem stuck with a “ruling class” media determined to focus on every weakness they can locate, except their own. Thus the lack of mathematical knowledge found among average Americans becomes more significant than their own failure to grapple with—and make sense of—the data they are fed, most particularly how they could have “missed” the data that led, in hindsight, to explaining the 2008 crash."
deborahmeier  2014  testing  testscores  china  singapore  shanghai  statistics  media  us  policy  politics  comparison  education  schools 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Unit of Measure by Sandra Beasley : Poetry Magazine
"All can be measured by the standard of the capybara.
Everyone is lesser than or greater than the capybara.
Everything is taller or shorter than the capybara.
Everything is mistaken for a Brazilian dance craze
more or less frequently than the capybara.
Everyone eats greater or fewer watermelons
than the capybara. Everyone eats more or less bark.
Everyone barks more than or less than the capybara,
who also whistles, clicks, grunts, and emits what is known
as his alarm squeal. Everyone is more or less alarmed
than a capybara, who—because his back legs
are longer than his front legs—feels like
he is going downhill at all times.
Everyone is more or less a master of grasses
than the capybara. Or going by the scientific name,
more or less Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris—
or, going by the Greek translation, more or less
water hog. Everyone is more or less
of a fish than the capybara, defined as the outermost realm
of fishdom by the 16th-century Catholic Church.
Everyone is eaten more or less often for Lent than
the capybara. Shredded, spiced, and served over plantains,
everything tastes more or less like pork
than the capybara. Before you decide that you are
greater than or lesser than a capybara, consider
that while the Brazilian capybara breeds only once a year,
the Venezuelan variety mates continuously.
Consider the last time you mated continuously.
Consider the year of your childhood when you had
exactly as many teeth as the capybara—
twenty—and all yours fell out, and all his
kept growing. Consider how his skin stretches
in only one direction. Accept that you are stretchier
than the capybara. Accept that you have foolishly
distributed your eyes, ears, and nostrils
all over your face. Accept that now you will never be able
to sleep underwater. Accept that the fish
will never gather to your capybara body offering
their soft, finned love. One of us, they say, one of us,
but they will not say it to you."
animals  capybaras  via:anne  poems  poetry  measurement  comparison  sandrabeasley 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Peter Buwert Research » Georges Perec – Questioning the habitual
“The daily papers talk of everything except the daily. The papers annoy me, they teach me nothing. What they recount doesn’t concern me, doesn’t ask me questions and doesn’t answer the questions I ask or would like to ask.

What’s really going on, what we’re experiencing, the rest, all the rest, where is it? How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs every day: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual?

To question the habitual. But that’s just it, we’re habituated by it. We don’t question it, it doesn’t question us, it doesn’t seem to pose a problem, we live it without thinking, is if it carried with it neither questions nor answers, as if it  weren’t the bearer of any information. This is no longer even conditioning, its anaesthesia. We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep, but where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space?

How are we to speak of these ‘common things’, how to track them down rather, flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they remain mired, how to give them a meaning, a tongue, to let them, finally, speak of what is, of what are.

What’s needed perhaps is finally to found our own anthropology, one that will speak about us, will look in ourselves for what for so long we’ve been pillaging from others. Not the exotic any more, but the endotic.

To question what seems so much a matter of course that we’ve forgotten its origins. To rediscover something of the astonishment that Jules Verne or his readers may have felt faced with an apparatus capable of reproducing and transporting sounds. For that astonishment existed, along with thousands of others, and its they which have moulded us.

What we need to question is bricks, concrete, glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, the way we spend our time, our rhythms. To question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us. We live, true, we breathe, true; we walk, we open doors, we go down staircases, we sit at a table in order to eat, we lie down on a bed in order to sleep. How? Where? When? Why?

Describe your street. Describe another street. Compare.

Make an inventory of your pockets, of your bag. Ask yourself about the provenance, the use, what will become of each of the objects you take out.

Question your teaspoons.

What is there under your wallpaper?

How many movements does it take to dial a phone number? Why?”

Georeges Perec in Everyday Life Reader. p.177-178

[See also:
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8520-what-we-need-to-question-is-bricks-concrete-glass-our
via http://o.izziezahorian.com/post/3130120776/what-we-need-to-question-is-bricks-concrete ]
anthropology  banality  defamiliarization  everyday  familiar  georgesperec  habitual  research  tools  comparison  thewhy  criticaldesign  observation  noticing  reevaluation  unschooling  deschooling  why 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Watering the Roots of Knowledge Through Collaborative Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"These problematic aspects of the model are symptoms of its first major fault, a violation of the wisdom of Confucius: "Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I will remember; involve me, and I will understand." I have demonstrated this fault directly. One fall at Columbia University, I had the usual 80-student class of bright, ambitious undergraduates fulfilling their science requirement by taking my lecture course on the solar system. Most attended the lectures, and, mostly, they paid attention (I do not use PowerPoint). They worked through long quantitative problem sets, took biweekly quizzes, and performed well on the midterm and final exams. They then went home for Christmas and on to the spring semester.

The following September, I gathered most of them again and administered a test on some of the material we had covered. I gave the same test to my new class before my first lecture. The results were statistically indistinguishable. So much for pouring knowledge from the full container to the empty ones—it leaks out.

The second major fault of the current educational model is that learning is an isolated activity. Yes, we bring a number of students together to form a "class," but then we do everything possible to isolate students from each other: "No talking in class"; "Please leave two seats between each person for this exam"; "Do all your own work." We desocialize learning, separating it from the periods of normal human interaction we call dorm-room bull sessions.

The third misplaced pillar of educational practice is competition and its accompanying correlate, quantitative measurement. Standardized tests proliferate; grade-point averages are calculated to four significant figures. We pretend that these numbers measure learning and use them to award scholarships, sort professional-school applicants, and, sadly, evaluate self-worth. And we are surprised that cheating—the goal of which is to get a higher score—is widespread. If a group of students works together effectively and efficiently to solve a hard problem, in school this is called cheating. In life, as the British educator Sir Ken Robinson notes, it's called collaboration, a valued asset in most real-world settings."



"General education is often thought of as a means to expose students to a broad range of "essential" knowledge and to provide a historical context for the culture in which they live. These are valid, but insufficient, goals. The purpose of general education should be to produce graduates who are skilled in communication, imbued with quantitative reasoning skills, instinctively collaborative, inherently transdisciplinary in their approach to problems, and engaged in their local and global communities—broadly educated individuals with an informed perspective on the problems of the 21st century and the integrative abilities to solve them."
davidhelfand  questuniversity  2013  via:tealtan  education  design  curriculum  academia  highereducation  highered  tcsnmy  cv  teaching  learning  unschooling  blockprograms  collaboration  deschooling  measurement  standardization  standardizedtesting  standards  social  isolation  comparison  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  coloradocollege  flexibility  depth  depthoverbreadth  generalists  generaleducation  adaptability  shrequest1 
july 2013 by robertogreco
I Own a "Low-End Bicycle," and Other Things I Learned from the Dictionary of Numbers | The Hairpin
"The Dictionary of Numbers translates numbers into other numbers. The Chrome extension, once downloaded as a plug-in, takes all the numerical figures that show up in your browser and gives them context in the form of other numerical figures. Or, to use its creator’s words, it puts numbers into “human terms.”


[Available here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dictionary-of-numbers/ahhgdmkmcgahbkcbmlkpmmamemlkajaf ]
numbers  context  comparison  extensions  plugins  chrome  via:jenlowe 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Amanda Ripley: Ask the kids on Vimeo
"Amanda Ripley is an investigative journalist who writes about human behavior and public policy. For Time Magazine and the Atlantic, she has chronicled the stories of American kids and teachers alongside groundbreaking new research into education reform. “Kids have strong opinions about school. We forget as adults how much time they sit there contemplating their situation.”"
amandaripley  journalism  education  us  finland  korea  southkorea  poland  comparison  pisa  2012  schools  schooling  poverty  math  science 
february 2013 by robertogreco
What Bill Clinton Wrote vs. What Bill Clinton Said - Politics - The Atlantic Wire
"Most experienced public speakers know how to deviate and alter and add flourishes to their prepared remarks on the fly, but few do it as well as Clinton. (Even if you disagree with what he's saying.) As you can see below, from a purely rhetorical standpoint nearly all of his changes enhanced the text in some way and brought added emphasis to arguments."

"Here is copy of the speech as it was written and provided to the media by the Democratic Party. Here's a transcript of what Clinton actually said, (as compiled by The New York Times.) Our version below is based off the written text with Clinton's insertions in italics and his deletions struck out. See what you think of his oratory skills."
oratory  publicspeaking  delivery  writing  improvisation  comparison  speechwriting  speeches  billclinton  dnc  2012  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
Michelle Rhee Is Shameless « Diane Ravitch's blog
"I have resisted watching the ad that Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst created and played on NBC. [link (also contained within: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2012/07/rhee_ad.html ]

A reader sent it to me, and I relented.

It is disgusting.

It is a lie.

It smears America.

It smears our teachers and our students.

It makes fun of obesity.

A few facts:

1) the US was never first on international tests. When the first test was given in 1964 (a test of math), our students came in 11th out of 12.

2) On the latest international tests, students in American schools with low poverty (10% or less) came in FIRST in the world

3) As poverty goes up in American schools, test scores go down.

4) The U.S. has the highest child poverty rate–23%– of any advanced nation in the world.

Michelle Rhee says nothing about poverty, which is the most direct correlate of low test scores.

She is shameless."
testscores  pisa  rankings  michellerhee  comparison  policy  dianeravitch  2012  education  us  poverty  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
New York City is the Future of the Web - Anil Dash
"New York City startups are as likely to be focused on the arts and crafts as on the bits and bytes, to be influenced by our unparalleled culture as by the latest browser features, and informed by the dynamic interaction of different social groups and classes that's unavoidable in our city, but uncommon in Silicon Valley. Best of all, the support for these efforts can come from investors and supporters that are outside of the groupthink that many West Coast VC firms suffer from. When I lived in San Francisco, it was easy to spend days at a time only interacting with other web geeks; In New York, fortunately, that's impossible.

Am I biased? Sure. But are there half a dozen startups anywhere in the world as interesting and full of potential as these new NYC efforts? Isn't it exciting that these are all built around the full potential of the open web, instead of merely trying to be land grabs within the walled gardens of closed platforms? I'm more optimistic about the environment and opportunity for starting new ventures than I've been in ages, and for me the fundamental reasons why are demonstrated best by startups that could only happen in New York City."
anildash  2009  nyc  startups  openweb  web  technology  culture  business  siliconvalley  bayarea  comparison 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Twitter / @ablerism: Love Berlin. Human scale o ...
"Love Berlin. Human scale of Boston, sophistication of Brooklyn. And way cheaper, even in 2012. Wish I could share it w/ @bjford, @infrathin."
nyc  2012  comparison  sarahendren  cities  brooklyn  boston  berlin  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Deborah Meier's Blog on Education: February 2012 - Trip to Japan
"My son reminded them that it was not so long ago when teachers and politicians in America were told that Japanese schools were the future. Why can’t we do as they do, we were asked? Before that it was Russian schools. And since then it’s been Singapore and now Finland. We were told Japanese children were obedient and hard working, although listening to the teacher talk last week it was clear that they were having virtually all the same problems we were and moving in the same direction we are. They found our description of Japanese education amusing.

There is a lot of educational turmoil there as here, as two “factions” battle for the future: those wanting a more rigid, centralized, exam-driven top-down approach and those who believe the Japanese have to move in a progressive direction if they are to become innovators as well as followers—economically and politically."
debate  comparison  international  standardizedtesting  obedience  testing  traditional  progressive  policy  via:cervus  education  2012  japan  deborahmeier  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Penn South and Pruitt-Igoe, Starkly Different Housing Tales - NYTimes.com
"Penn South is a cooperative in affluent, 21st-century Manhattan past which chic crowds hustle every day to and from nearby Chelsea’s art galleries, apparently oblivious to it. It thrives within a dense, diverse neighborhood of the sort that makes NY special. Pruitt-Igoe, segregated de facto, isolated & impoverished, collapsed along w/ the industrial city around it.

But they’re both classic examples of modern architecture, the kind Mr. Jencks, among countless others, left for dead: superblocks of brick & concrete high rises scattered across grassy plots, so-called towers in the park, descended from Le Corbusier’s “Radiant City.” The words “housing project” instantly conjure them up.

Alienating, penitential breeding grounds for vandalism & violence: that became the tower in the park’s epitaph. But Penn South, with its stolid redbrick, concrete-slab housing stock, is clearly a safe, successful place. In this case the architecture works. In St. Louis, where the architectural scheme…"
2012  urbanism  urban  design  comparison  nyc  stlouis  lecorbusier  architecture  pruitt-igoe 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Raiders of the Lost Archives - YouTube
"Shot-by-shot comparison of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" vs. scenes from 30 different adventure films made between 1919-1973."
filmmaking  comparison  everythingisaremix  film  raidersofthelostark  raidersofthelostarchives  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
for the love of learning: Paradoxes of the Finland Phenomenon
"So why is comparing and contrasting Finland and Norway important?

Upon hearing about the progress Finland has had with their education system, many policy-makers in other countries may be inclined to point towards the Finns smaller, more homogenous population as the primary reason for their successes in the classroom. That Norway and Finland can share such similarities in population and yet differ with their education systems may be enough proof that policy choices, rather than demographics, can play a potentially larger role in a nation's educational success."
finland  norway  education  teaching  policy  schools  comparison  us  canada  pasisahlberg  unschooling  deschooling  curriculum  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Global Gender Gap | World Economic Forum-Global Gender Gap
"The Global Gender Gap Report’s index assesses 134 countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities amongst male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources. The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas:

1) Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment

2) Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education

3) Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio

4) Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures"
gender  women  gendergap  classideas  rankings  comparison  international  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
Why More Americans Suffer From Mental Disorders Than Anyone Else - Alice G. Walton - Life - The Atlantic
"That mental health disorders are pervasive in the United States is no secret. Americans suffer from all sorts of psychological issues, and the evidence indicates that they're not going anywhere despite (or because of?) an increasing number of treatment options…

The WHO has come up with vast catalogues of mental health data, which they are constantly updating. See how the U.S. compares to other countries:"
mentaldisorders  mentalhealth  psychology  us  comparison  2011  trends  international  depression  eatingdisorders  substanceabuse  drugs  pharmaceuticals  society  wealth  inequality  disparity  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: How Many Really?
"How Many Really? compares the number of people involved in key historical events or situations to the people you know through Facebook or Twitter. You can also add your own numbers — for example, the amount of students in your class.

Choose a story to get started."
berg  berglondon  bbc  comparison  history  visualization  data  statistics  numbers  scale  howmanyreally?  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: How Many Really? – Blog – BERG
"One of the concepts was called ‘Dimensions’ – a set of tools that looked to juxtapose the size of things from history and the news with things you are familiar with – bringing them home to you.<br />
<br />
About a year ago, we launched the first public prototype from that thinking, http://howbigreally.com, which overlaid the physical dimensions of news events such as the 2010 Pakistan Floods, or historic events such as the Apollo 11 moonwalks on where you lived or somewhere you were familiar with.<br />
<br />
It was a simple idea that proved pretty effective, with over half-a-million visitors in the past year, and a place in the MoMA Talk To Me exhibition.<br />
<br />
Today, we’re launching its sibling, howmanyreally.com"
berg  berglondon  history  data  howmanyreally?  socialmedia  mashup  2011  comparison  numbers  context  howbigreally?  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: Aztec Human Sacrifice
"It's estimated that 20,000 humans were sacrificed by the Aztecs every year.
How does this compare to the number of people you know?"
aztec  ancientcivilization  classideas  howmanyreally?  comparison  numbers  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC Dimensions: Democracy of Classical Athens
"Athens is cited as the birthplace of democracy yet only a fraction of its people were allowed to vote.<br />
<br />
How many of your friends would have been able to vote?"
athens  greece  comparison  classideas  ancientcivilization  ancientgreece  howmanyreally?  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Debunking the Cul-de-Sac - Design - The Atlantic Cities
"Safest cities in America are the ones incorporated before 1930, when streets were laid out in grids. Fashion and regulation shifted then to favouring winding streets and cul-de-sacs. Which turn out to be inefficient and dangerous"
safety  urbandesign  urban  urbanism  cities  suburbs  suburbia  density  cars  transportation  cul-de-sac  california  research  normangarrick  wesleymarshall  patterns  comparison  grids  traditionalgrid  fha  design  urbanplanning  2011  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Afghanistan journalist's sojourn in 'strange paradise' - latimes.com
"Emal Haidary left the 'interesting hell' of Afghanistan to visit the U.S. In Los Angeles, he found that the world's richest nation has its share of problems, but also the freedoms envied by others."
afghanistan  us  comparison  losangeles  2011  emalhaidary  culture  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
BBC - Dimensions: How big really?
"Dimensions takes important places, events and things, and overlays them onto a map of where you are.

Type in your postcode or a place name to get started."
history  science  maps  mapping  visualization  scale  comparison  classideas  berg  berglondon  bbc  dimensions  howbigreally?  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Numbeo: Cost of Living
"Numbeo is the biggest free Internet database about cost of living worldwide!

In the past 18 months, 169851 prices in 1725 cities entered by 16615 different contributors (information updated 2011-08-12)

Numbeo allows you to see, share and compare information about cost of living worldwide, by providing online software which :

• allows users to enter or edit cost of living for many cities in the world
• calculates derivated indexes such as consumer price index, domestic purchasing power and others
• efficiently compares all information

If you find something helpful or if you like the website, take a little time to help someone else, by contributing your local cost knowledge."
costofliving  comparison  cities  moving  economics  business  data 
august 2011 by robertogreco
PHRAS.IN - Say this or say that?
"Because spell checkers only do 80% of the job.

If you, like me, speak English as a second language, you know that using correct spelling doesn't protect you from writing those awkward sounding lines.

Tell me, how many times did you come up with two ways to say the same thing, and couldn't decide which one was the best fit?

My solution was to google both expressions and check out the number of web results.

Low figures meant that very few people ever phrased the sentence that way, thus it was probably incorrect.

On the other hand, higher numbers indicated common use, and the 3 line preview in the results helped me figure out if I was using the right form.

This tool does just that, in a much quicker and convenient way."

"Tip: You can get results straight from the address bar, just type http://phras.in/phrase1/phrase2 "
phras.in  writing  comparison  language  english  phrasing  usage  commonuse  classideas  wcydwt  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Scale of the Universe, Five Ways | Brain Pickings
"Since yesterday was 10.10.10, we’ve decided to celebrate this cosmic alignment of numerical symmetry by illuminating the measurements of magnitude. Today, we are taking five different looks at one of the most difficult concepts for the human brain to quantify and understand: The size and scale of the universe."
history  science  visualization  data  scale  time  distance  comparison  heat  measurement  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
In Defense of Hacks - By Toby Harnden | Foreign Policy ["Britain's press is sensationalistic, sloppy, and scandal-prone -- and America would be lucky to have one like it."]
"American newspaper articles are in the main more accurate & better-researched than British ones…But stories in US press also tend to be tedious, overly long, & academic, written for the benefit of po-faced editors & Pulitzer panels rather than readers. There's a reason a country w/ a population one-fifth the size of that of the US buys millions more newspapers each week. For all their faults, British "rags" are more vibrant, entertaining, opinionated, & competitive than American newspapers. We break more stories, upset more people, & have greater political impact. (BBC, with its decidedly American outlook on news, has become increasingly irrelevant…)…The danger of the fevered atmosphere in Britain…is that what Prime Minister Tony Blair once termed the "feral beast" of the media might be tamed & muzzled. Perhaps the worst outcome of all would be for it to be turned into an American-style lapdog."
uk  news  us  journalism  reporting  tobyharnden  bbc  comparison  readers  2011  rupertmurdoch  via:preoccupations  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Measurement and the Overpromise
The problem with measurement is that it does three very negative things: (1)…creates false comparisons against a fiction - "the average human" & "the average human experience." The child born in the village in rural Kenya is made to line up against Bill Gate's children, on a scale created by Bill Gates. Thus that child is "not white enough," "not Protestant enough," "does not read enough books," and simply lacks "computer time." (2)…ties us firmly to the past - we can only measure against a known… (3) measurement limits what a society thinks is important.…

And of course, "measurers" become "fixers."
irasocol  measurement  education  fixing  learning  tcsnmy  rttt  gatesfoundation  billgates  politics  policy  comparison  falsecomparisons  society  capitalism  2011  philanthropy  charitableindustrialcomplex  shrequest1  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  power  control  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Overworked America: 12 Charts that Will Make Your Blood Boil | Mother Jones
"In the past 20 years, the US economy has grown nearly 60 percent. This huge increase in productivity is partly due to automation, the internet, and other improvements in efficiency. But it's also the result of Americans working harder—often without a big boost to their bottom lines. Oh, and meanwhile, corporate profits are up 20 percent."
culture  politics  economics  business  work  labor  us  world  comparison  productivity  2011  overwork  wages  growth  employment  unemployment  disparity  inequality  vacation  maternityleave  childcare 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Self-evaluation maintenance theory - Wikipedia
"Self-evaluation maintenance theory refers to discrepancies between two people in a relationship. Two people in a relationship each aim to keep themselves feeling good psychologically throughout a comparison process to the other person.[1] Self-evaluation is defined as the way a person views him/herself. It is the continuous process of determining personal growth and progress, which can be raised or lowered by the behavior of a close other (a person that is psychologically close). People are more threatened by friends than strangers. Abraham Tesser created the self-evaluation maintenance theory in 1988. The self-evaluation maintenance model assumes two things: that a person will try to maintain or increase their own self-evaluation, and self-evaluation is influenced by relationships with others."
psychology  behavior  social  competition  brain  relationships  self-esteem  abrahamtesser  comparison  personalgrowth  progress  success  influence  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
How Grad School Is Like Trying to Make the NBA - storify.com
"What do you tell a smart, committed undergraduate who wants to become a professor and pursue a PhD?"
education  highered  highereducation  timcarmody  sports  gradschool  teaching  nba  basketball  comparison  2010  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
A Tax Day Celebration: Taxes Pay For Necessary Government Services And Make Capitalism Workable. | The New Republic
"The Nordic countries are far more homogenous than the U.S. and it’s an open question whether a society as diverse and unequal as ours would support such a high tax burden. (This is one of the points Douthat makes in his column.) But even if we do absolutely nothing but let current law stand--in other words, if we let the Bush tax cuts expire, allow the alternative minimum tax to remain in place, allow scheduled reductions in physician fees to take effect, and limit the control of health care costs only to the official projections for the Affordable Care Act--it seems likely that our tax burden would still not exceed what the Nordic countries face today, at least not for another 50 years.*"
taxes  us  policy  medicine  healthcare  scandinavia  comparison  2011  education  spending  austerity  austeritymeasures  busherataxcuts  government  nordiccountries  society  via:cburell  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
The Daily What: Word Clouds of the Day
"Word Clouds of the Day: Crystal Smith @ The Achilles Effect (a site that examines how young boys’ understanding of masculinity affects their perception of femininity) culled a list of words from 59 toy spots directed at either boys or girls and plugged them into Wordle to produce a word cloud illustrating which words are used most often in ads targeting boys (top) versus words used most often in ads targeting girls.

“This is not an exhaustive record,” Smith says, “it’s really just a starting point, but the results certainly are interesting.”

A complete breakdown of the facts and figures can be found here. A follow-up post with responses to common questions and criticisms can be found here."
classideas  wordle  advertising  toys  gender  femininity  boys  girls  words  language  comparison  masculinity  perception  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
A Draft Of My #TEDxRevolution Speech: A Kid’s Responsibility to Freedom | The Jose Vilson
"Let’s build schools that help us pull down that ceiling. Let’s de-emphasize schooling and more about learning. Let’s teach them extraction, and asking the questions behind the bubble sheet. Let them have breakfast; give them some! Make sure they clean up after themselves, though. Walk away from the chalkboard and repeat their names when they say something important. Implore them to say “I don’t get it” and don’t berate them for it. Don’t take their failures personally, but be sure they know why you’re disappointed. You’re planting seeds even when you’re not the only one tending the farm."
prisons  schools  schooliness  comparison  lists  control  freedom  responsibility  self-discipline  discipline  decisionmaking  democracy  revolution  rebellion  silence  order  hierarchy  authority  authoritarianism  dresscodes  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  criticalthinking  identity  questioning  schedules  reflection  teaching  cv  josévilson  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
US: Most Inefficient Healthcare System In The World
"If you look at the US fiscal situation, it's easy to see that Medicare is a looming black hole ready to swallow the entire economy. Reforming the entitlement seems necessary to prevent fiscal ruin.

But actually that's too narrow a way of looking at things. After all, the costs borne by Medicare are no more sustainable if they're shifted to private individuals. It's just the path is different.

The REAL problem is how expensive our healthcare system is compared to its benefits, at least relative to other countries.

This chart is from SocGen's Albert Edwards. As you can see, the US has the same life-expectancy of Chile at 7 times the cost.

Now, the root causes of this can be debated ad nauseum. We need to reform what we pay for. We need to lose weight. We need to end the doctor cartel, on and on you can go. But if you're looking for a problem THIS is it.

Solve it, and the Medicare crisis goes away."

[It's not quite that simple, but the charts are useful.]
healthcare  money  economics  2011  us  chile  comparison  lifeexpectancy  medicare  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Gym class. | The Fat Nutritionist [via: http://plsj.tumblr.com/post/3528103413/gym-class]
"If you want to destroy all the inherent joy in something, slap a grade on it.… [Go read what follows — it's good.]"

"“It’s considered cruel to keep a dog tethered to one spot without a place to run, or cooped up in a tiny apartment unless the owner is really dedicated to going on walks. Even my cats, the most indolent creatures ever to occupy the earth, need strings and foam balls and random, crumpled up pieces of paper to bat inconveniently beneath furniture. They sleep, eat, and poop for twenty-three-and-a-half hours of the day…but for the remaining thirty minutes? They are tearing shit up like it is their mission in life. Animals need movement, and even have an appetite for it, just as they do food and sleep. Also, humans are animals. We need to move. All of us — even those of us who are not physically gifted. But, just as with eating, external pressures and expectations get in the way of our ability to negotiate this very primal urge.”"
grades  grading  motivation  comparison  school  schooling  onesizefitsall  weight  obesity  exercise  movement  human  animals  instinct  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Teacher Pay Around the World - NYTimes.com
"American teachers spend on average 1,080 hours teaching each year. Across the O.E.C.D., the average is 794 hours on primary education, 709 hours on lower secondary education, and 653 hours on upper secondary education general programs."<br />
<br />
"In the United States, a teacher with 15 years of experience makes a salary that is 96 percent of the country’s gross domestic product per capita. Across the O.E.C.D., a teacher of equivalent experience makes 117 percent of G.D.P. per capita. At the high end of the scale, in Korea, the average teacher at this level makes a full 221 percent of the country’s G.D.P. per capita."
teaching  teachers  comparison  us  pay  salaries  workday  hours  via:grahamje  2009  international  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
NYC Public School Parents: What Finland and Asia tell us about real education reform
"And yet what lesson have the Obama administration and its allies in the DC think thanks and corporate and foundation world taken from the PISA results? That there needs to be even more high-stakes testing, based on uniform core standards, that teachers should be evaluated and laid off primarily on the basis of their student test scores, and that it's fine if class sizes are increased.

In a speech, Duncan recently said that "Many high-performing education systems, especially in Asia," Duncan says, "have substantially larger classes than the United States."

What he did not mention is that Finland based its success largely upon smaller class sizes; nor the way in which many experts in Asian education recognize the heavy costs of their test-based accountability systems, and the way in which their schools undermine the ability ofstudents to develop as creative and innovate thinkers -- which their future economic growth will depend upon."
research  asia  finland  testing  standardizedtesting  standardization  teaching  learning  policy  nclb  schools  schooling  us  china  pisa  comparison  korea  arneduncan  2011  barackobama  georgewill  business  democracy  rttt  classsize  pasisahlberg  politics  economics  money  misguidedenergy  respect  training  salaries  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Yong Zhao » “It makes no sense”: Puzzling over Obama’s State of the Union Speech
"Obama also said in his speech:

"Remember-–for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers—no workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors & entrepreneurs. We’re the home to the world’s best colleges & universities, where more students come to study than any place on Earth."

So who has made America “the largest, most prosperous economy in the world?” Who are these most productive workers? Where did the people who created the successful companies come from? & who are these inventors that received the most patents in the world?

It has to be the same Americans who ranked bottom on the international tests… [STATS]…Apparently they have not driven the US into oblivion and ruined the country’s innovation record."
education  rttt  obama  2011  policy  schools  innovation  china  india  children  learning  creativity  economics  teaching  publicschools  yongzhao  us  stem  moreofthesame  moreisnotbetter  competition  competitiveness  curriculum  pisa  comparison  history  future  nclb  arneduncan  reform  science  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
TeacherHaines Blog: Interview with Anna Hoffstrom (Part Two) [Some of the description of Finnish schools sounds a lot like TCS]
"school in Finland…informal & laid back…Students took shoes off along w/ coats, called teachers by 1st name, different grades were all sociable w/ each other. Kids were giggling & playing in corridors

academically much more advanced than US schools

kids start school at age 7 (studies show makes 1st years more effective & disrupts family life less), in same class w/ same kids from grades 1-6 in elementary & middle school grades 7-9

After 9th grade, students have to pick either vocational or academic high school…treat applicants much like colleges

education is compulsory until grade 9 (or until age 17), secondary school has tuition, children going to school use same public transportation system everyone else does. Bus fares, food, regular medical check ups paid for by government until child has completed compulsory schooling. Out-of-country field trips are common in grade 9

Finnish schools give students much more responsibility than US…makes them so academically capable"
finland  education  schools  policy  health  healthcare  comparison  us  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  responsibility  teaching  learning  lcproject  government  money  funding  transportation  publictransit  socialsafetynet  socialprograms  agesegregation  firstnamebasis  classideas  food  travel  classtrips  trust  stress  anxiety  annahoffstrom  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
How The Other Side Thinks « stone soup
"I was curious to see whether this correlation between educational values and leadership carries for other countries, and did a little impromptu research. I looked at the top 9 leaders of each country, and found their undergraduate major and/or graduate field. I started with the U.S., China, India, Singapore, and Germany. I would be interested in seeing others; however, I lack the language skill or Googling will to look them up.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but perhaps it should come as no surprise, given the results, that the Chinese government is less concerned about humanitarian issues than economic growth, infrastructure development, and technological advancement."
us  china  germany  india  singapore  policy  priorities  law  economics  government  leadership  leaders  humanities  humanrights  humanitarian  development  hujintao  barackobama  engineering  comparison  2011  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
ClubOrlov: America—The Grim Truth [A bit over the top, but there are some major truths in here, especially about the worry that results from the financial precariousness we feel as part of our system, lack of social safety net]
"Americans, I have some bad news for you:

You have the worst quality of life in the developed world—by a wide margin.

If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.

I know this because I am an American, and I escaped from the prison you call home.

I have lived all around the world, in wealthy countries and poor ones, and there is only one country I would never consider living in again: The United States of America. The mere thought of it fills me with dread.

Consider this…"
politics  collapse  us  economics  health  healthcare  expats  2010  via:mathowie  finance  well-being  qualityoflife  food  pharmaceuticals  work  balance  australia  fragmentation  teaparty  immigration  emmigration  canada  newzealand  japan  europe  comparison  middleeast  guns  safety  society  fear  dystopia  unemployment  decline  oil  peakoil  grimfutures  change  policy  freedom  germany  finland  italy  france  scandinavia  singlepayerhealthsystem  government  socialsafetynet  bankruptcy  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
University Diaries » From UD’s Christmas Reading [Tony Judt, from The Memory Chalet]
[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/2477115696/the-best-thing-about-america-is-its-universities]

“best thing about America is its universities. Not Harvard, Yale, e tutti quanti: though marvelous…not distinctively American–roots reach across ocean to Oxford, Heidelberg, …Nowhere else in world…can boast such public unis. You drive for miles across a godforsaken midwestern scrubscape, pockmarked by billboards, Motel 6s & military parade of food chains, when—like some pedagogical mirage dreamed up by 19th century English gentleman—there appears…a library! & not just any library: Bloomington boasts 7.8-million-volume collection in 900+ languages, housed in magnificent double-towered mausoleum…

100+ miles northwest across another empty cornscape there hoves into view the oasis of Champaign-Urbana: an unprepossessing college town housing a library of over 10 million volumes. Even the smallest of these land grant universities—UVt or Wyoming’s isolated Laramie—can boast collections, resources, facilities, & ambitions that most ancient European establishments can only envy.”
colleges  universities  education  learning  us  libraries  europe  comparison  highereducation  highered  nationaltreasures  books  collections  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

related tags

401k  abrahamtesser  academia  accessibility  accomplishment  accountability  achievement  achievementgap  activism  adaptability  addons  admiration  admissions  adulting  advertising  advice  afghanistan  africa  age  agesegregation  aggregation  aggregator  agilelearning  agilelearningcenters  aging  agriculture  airfare  airlines  akilahrichards  aldoushuxley  alexanderchee  alexpayne  alternative  amandaripley  amazon  americanfootball  analysis  analytics  anationatrisk  ancientcivilization  ancientgreece  android  anecdote  anger  anildash  animals  animation  annahoffstrom  anniedillard  antarctic  antarctica  anthonygalloway  anthropology  anxiety  aol  api  apple  applications  arabic  architecture  archive  arneduncan  arra  arrogance  art  arts  ashleyford  asia  asifamajid  assessment  athens  audio  austerity  austeritymeasures  austin  australia  authenticity  authoritarianism  authority  authors  automation  aztec  balance  banality  bankruptcy  barackobama  barckobama  basketball  bayarea  bbc  beauty  behavior  belief  beliefs  belonging  benchmarks  berg  berglondon  berkeley  berlin  betrayal  biases  billclinton  billgates  bing  biology  blame  blendedlearning  blind  blockprograms  blogging  blogs  bookcrossing  bookmarklet  books  borders  boston  boulder  boys  brain  brasil  brazil  britain  brooklyn  browser  browsers  budget  burnout  busherataxcuts  business  california  cameras  campaigning  canada  canon  capitalism  capybaras  careers  caring  carolblack  cars  cartography  cascadia  ceciliacheung  census  certainty  challenge  change  change.org  charitableindustrialcomplex  charities  charity  charlieloyd  charts  chat  chengdu  chicago  childcare  childhood  children  childrensbooks  childrensliterature  chile  china  choice  choices  chrome  cities  clarity  class  classideas  classsize  classtrips  climatechange  coding  coercion  collaboration  collaborative  collapse  collections  college  colleges  colonialism  coloniallegacy  color  colorado  coloradocollege  comfort  commentary  commoncore  commonuse  communication  communities  community  comparison  comparisons  competence  competition  competitiveness  computers  conflict  conformism  conformity  connectivity  constanceclassen  construction  consumer  consumerism  consumers  consumption  content  context  continuouspartialattention  control  cooking  costofliving  costs  countries  coworker.org  craft  creativecommons  creativity  credentials  crime  crisis  criticaldesign  criticalinquiry  criticalthinking  criticism  critique  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  css  cul-de-sac  culture  curiosity  currency  curriculum  cv  cynicism  dadt  daltonmcguinty  danhon  danish  darylbem  data  database  dates  davidhelfand  dc  debate  deborahmeier  decisionmaking  decline  defamiliarization  delivery  demands  democracy  demographics  denmark  density  dental  depression  depth  depthoverbreadth  derekthompson  deschooling  design  designanthropology  desktop  determination  development  developmentaid  dianeravitch  diet  differences  digital  dimensions  diminishingrewards  discipline  dishonesty  disparity  display  disruption  distance  distortion  diversity  dnc  documentary  documentation  doggoders  dogooderism  drc  dresscodes  drugs  dslr  dutch  dystopia  e-learning  eating  eatingdisorders  ebook  ebooks  ecology  ecommerce  economics  economy  editing  editors  education  effectiveness  efficiency  effort  egocentrism  eink  elearning  elections  electronics  eligion  elitism  email  emalhaidary  emissions  emmigration  emotionalintelligence  emotions  empiricism  employment  energy  engineering  england  english  entrepreneurship  environment  españa  ethnography  eulas  europe  evaluation  everyday  everythingisaremix  evolution  exaggeration  excellence  exchange  exercise  expats  expectations  experience  experimentation  experimenting  experiments  extension  extensions  facebook  failure  falsecomparisons  familiar  families  fardi  fareedzakaria  fastfood  fear  feedback  feedbackloops  feedreader  femininity  fha  fieldtrips  filetype:jpg  filetype:pdf  film  filmmaking  finance  finland  finnish  firefox  firstnamebasis  fixing  flexibility  flights  fonts  food  football  footfall  forecolosures  foreign  foreignaid  fragmentation  france  free  freedom  freeschools  fries  fun  fundamentalism  funding  fundraising  futbol  future  futurism  gadgets  gamechanging  gatesfoundation  gayrights  gender  gendergap  generaleducation  generalists  generations  geography  georgesperec  georgewbush  georgewill  german  germany  gifted  gifts  girls  givewell  global  globalwarming  glvo  goals  goalsetting  google  googleapps  googlebooks  googlereader  gouchercollege  govenment  government  grades  grading  gradschool  grammar  graphicdesign  graphics  graphs  greece  greenland  greentea  grids  grimfutures  groceries  growth  guns  habitual  hansrosling  happiness  hardware  hardwork  health  healthcare  healthinsurance  hearing  heat  heroes  hierarchy  high-stakestesting  highered  highereducation  highschool  hillarybrown  history  holism  homevisits  honesty  hours  household  housing  howbigreally?  howmanyreally?  howto  howwelearn  howweread  howwetach  howweteach  html  hujintao  human  humanitarian  humanities  humanrights  humans  humility  humor  hypocrisy  iceland  icelandic  identification  identity  illustration  im  images  imaging  immigration  impact  improvisation  inclusion  inclusivity  income  incomegap  independentschools  india  indonesia  industrialization  industrialrevolution  ineed  inequality  inflation  influence  infographic  infographics  infooverload  information  infrastructure  inlcusivity  innovation  inquiry  insiders  inspiration  instinct  insurance  intelligence  interaction  interactive  interdisciplinary  interested  interestedness  interestingness  interests  interface  international  internet  interview  interviews  intrinsicmotivation  introspection  intuit  investment  invisiblehand  ios  ipad  iphone  ipod  iraq  irasocol  isolation  israel  italy  jamesmollison  janchipchase  japan  jobhunting  jonahlehrer  joséantoniobowen  josévilson  journalism  judgement  juliacordero  kevinsystrom  kindle  knowledge  korea  kottke  labor  landscape  language  languages  latebloomers  law  lcproject  leaders  leadership  leapfrogging  learning  lecorbusier  legitimacy  lessonplanning  liberalarts  libraries  lies  life  lifeexpectancy  lifestyle  lindadarling-hammond  linguistics  listening  lists  literacies  literacy  literature  lithuania  live  living  local  location  longevity  losangeles  love  loyalty  lucaskwanpeterson  mac  maciejceglowski  maciejcegłowski  madagascar  magnitude  mail  maintenance  manhattancountrydayschool  manipulation  mapping  maps  markets  marshallmcluhan  martinbuber  marylstreep  masculinity  mashup  maternityleave  math  matrix  meaning  measurement  mechanics  media  media:document  media:image  medical  medicare  medicine  mentaldisorders  mentalhealth  messi  methods  metrics  mexico  michellerhee  microscope  microsoft  middleeast  military  millennials  minneapolis  mint  misconception  misguidedenergy  missedopportunities  mobile  money  monks  moreisnotbetter  moreofthesame  mortality  motivation  movement  moving  mp3  music  myspace  n800  naming  nationalism  nationaltreasures  nature  nba  nclb  negativism  negotiation  netnewswire  networking  news  newsweek  newyork  newzealand  ngos  ngramviewer  nigeria  nimby  nimbyism  nimbys  noise  nokia  non-competetitive  nonprofit  nonprofits  nordiccountries  normangarrick  norway  norwegian  noticing  notimpressed  nouveauriche  numbers  numeracy  nyc  obama  obedience  obesity  objects  observation  oecd  offcampustrips  oil  olfaction  onesizefitsall  online  onlinelearning  onlinetoolkit  open  open-ended  openness  openstudioproject  openweb  oppo  optimism  oratory  order  oregon  osx  overeducated  overwork  pacificnorthwest  panopticon  paradoxofchoice  paradoxofchoiuce  parenting  paris  pasisahlberg  past  patience  patterns  paulgraham  paulthomas  pay  pbl  peakoil  pedagogy  people  perception  perfectionism  perfectionists  perl  perseverance  persian  personalfinance  personalgrowth  perspective  persuasion  petergray  petitions  pharmaceuticals  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  philosophy  phones  photoeditor  photography  photojournalism  photoshop  php  phras.in  phrasing  physics  pisa  pitch  planning  platforms  plthomas  plugins  poems  poetry  poland  policy  politics  population  populationdensity  portland  portugal  possibilities  post-industrial  posterous  posters  poverty  power  practice  praise  predictions  presence  pretense  pretension  price  prices  pricing  priorities  prisons  privateschools  process  product  productivity  products  programming  progress  progressive  progressivism  projectbasedlearning  projectmanagement  proximity  pruitt-igoe  psychogeography  psychology  public  publiceducation  publicschools  publicservice  publicspeaking  publictransit  publicworks  publischools  purpose  python  qualityoflife  questioning  questuniversity  rabindranathtagore  race  racism  radiation  radiolab  rage  raidersofthelostarchives  raidersofthelostark  randallmunroe  ranking  rankings  ratings  rationality  rations  reader  readers  reading  readwriteweb  realestate  realism  reason  rebellion  recession  recommendations  recycling  reedie  reevaluation  reference  reflection  reform  regret  relationships  religion  repair  repairing  reporting  reputation  research  resilience  resistance  resources  respect  responsibility  restaurants  retail  reviews  revolution  rewards  rhythm  risk  risktaking  ronaldreagan  rss  rttt  rubrics  ruby  rupertmurdoch  russelldavies  safari  safety  salaries  sandiego  sandrabeasley  sanfrancisco  sarahendren  sat  satisfaction  satisficers  savings  scale  scandinavia  schedules  school  schooliness  schooling  schooloflife  schoolperformance  schools  science  screen  scrum  seanslade  search  searchengine  seattle  secondlife  secularism  seeing  segregation  self  self-centeredness  self-directed  self-directedlearning  self-discipline  self-esteem  sense  senses  services  sfsh  shaming  shanghai  sharing  sharingeconomy  shawncornally  shoes  shop  shopping  showandtell  shrequest1  sight  silence  siliconvalley  similarities  simplicity  singapore  singlepayerhealthsystem  size  skepticism  sl  sleep  slow  small  smallpieceslooselyjoined  smartphones  smell  sms  snarkmarket  soccer  social  socialactivism  socialcompetence  socialemotional  socialemotionallearning  socialism  socialmedia  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  socialpolicy  socialprograms  socialsafetynet  socialsoftware  socialstudies  socialusm  society  sociology  software  sound  southkorea  space  spain  speculativedesign  speeches  speechwriting  spending  sports  standardization  standardizedtesting  standards  startups  statistics  stem  stephendownes  stephenfry  stephenlevinson  stereotypes  stlouis  stores  stories  storybooks  storytelling  strategy  stress  studentdebt  studies  study  substanceabuse  suburbia  suburbs  success  sudio  suicide  sumofus  surveillance  sustainability  sweden  swedish  systems  systemsthinking  tarenstinebrickner-kauffman  taste  taxes  taxonomy  tcsnmy  tea  teachers  teaching  teaparty  tech  technology  teens  television  terrorism  testing  testscores  texas  texting  thewhy  tibet  timcarmody  time  timingold  timolankinen  tmluhrmann  tobyharnden  tokyo  tolisten  tone  tools  topost  toronto  toshare  touch  touchid  tourism  toys  tracking  traditional  traditionalgrid  training  transit  translation  transparency  transportation  travel  travelabroad  travelagents  trends  truckers  trust  truth  tumblr  tumblrs  tutorials  tv  twitter  type  typeface  typography  ui  uk  ukraine  unemployment  unfinished  unhappiness  universalhealthcare  universities  unpaidinternships  unschooling  urban  urbandesign  urbanism  urbanization  urbanplanning  us  usability  usage  ussr  utilities  ux  vacation  valueadded  values  vanitymetrics  via:anne  via:ayjay  via:cburell  via:cervus  via:coldbrain  via:grahamje  via:jenlowe  via:kottke  via:litherland  via:lukeneff  via:mathowie  via:preoccupations  via:robinsloan  via:tealtan  via:timmaly  via:tomc  violence  visual  visualization  wages  walledgardens  war  washingtondc  wcydwt  wealth  wealthdistribution  web  web2.0  webapps  webdesign  webdev  wechat  weight  well-being  wesleymarshall  whatswrongwiththispicture  whatworks  whining  wholechild  why  wiki  wikimatrix  wikis  williambennett  windows  wirecutter  wisdom  women  wordle  words  work  workday  world  worldcup  worry  writers  writing  ww2  wwi  xkcd  yahoo  yongzhao  youth  zoning 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: