“and I would create a more robust communications team to foster improved public relations”- Jill Underly on Wisconsin taxpayer funded K-12 Governance

Molly Beck: One of the most influential lawmakers over the state budgeting process said he wouldn’t support increasing funding for the state education agency because its new leader elected Tuesday was heavily backed by Democrats and teachers unions.  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, made the statement just an hour after Pecatonica School District Superintendent Jill … Continue reading “and I would create a more robust communications team to foster improved public relations”- Jill Underly on Wisconsin taxpayer funded K-12 Governance

Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

Transcript [Machine Generated PDF]: Deborah Kerr: [00:43:53] Um, whose turn is it to go first? Okay. That’s fine. Yeah, we’re pretty good at figuring this out. Um, [00:44:00] so that’s one thing we can do. Um, yes, I support the FORT. I fo I support the Praxis test. So you gotta think about something. Why … Continue reading Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly

Wisconsin Democracy: Liberal groups are winning the money race in the so-called “nonpartisan” state school superintendent race, where Pecatonica Area School Superintendent Jill Underly faces Deborah Kerr, a retired Brown Deer schools superintendent. Three groups that generally back Democratic candidates in partisan elections – A Better Wisconsin Together, Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin – … Continue reading 13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly

Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school

Daniel Bice: No one has been a bigger promoter of public schools during the race for state school superintendent than Jill Underly.  That was, no doubt, a large part of the reason that Underly, the Pecatonica school superintendent, has won the endorsement of state and local teachers unions. But back when it was her decision to … Continue reading Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school

Commentary on federal education practices

Hams Bader: The Biden administration is expected to reinstate the Obama administration’s 2014 school-discipline guidelines, which prodded schools to suspend all racial groups at the same rate, even if there was more misbehavior among students of one race than another. In response to those guidelines, and worried about being investigated by the Education Department, some … Continue reading Commentary on federal education practices

The Biggest Enemy of Campus Due Process from the Obama Years Is Back

KC Johnson: ‘One of the most sweeping bipartisan judicial rejections of an administration’s policy in decades,” commentator David French recently noted, involved the Obama administration using Title IX to undermine due process on American college campuses. The administration’s record, French wrote, “has been rejected by judges across the ideological spectrum and has cost universities millions.” Given this … Continue reading The Biggest Enemy of Campus Due Process from the Obama Years Is Back

Civics: “The most startling aspect, to me, about the modern institutional media is its hyperconformity”

Niccolo Soldo: This hyperconformity seems to have developed in two phases: Phase One was a collapse of previously distinct media types (network TV, cable TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, et al) into just “web sites” and now “mobile apps”. This was not their fault. Phase Two was the virtually universal industry-wide adoption of a strident ideological … Continue reading Civics: “The most startling aspect, to me, about the modern institutional media is its hyperconformity”

Begin With The End: What’s The Purpose Of Schooling?

Michael Horn: That means, as Stephen Covey wrote in one of the best-selling non-fiction books of all time, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” beginning “with the end in mind.” Or, as Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe wrote in the context of education in “Understanding by Design,” good teachers start with the goals and … Continue reading Begin With The End: What’s The Purpose Of Schooling?

Begin With The End: What’s The Purpose Of Schooling?

Michael Horn: What’s the purpose of schooling? Even though it may seem like a straightforward question, once you scratch the surface, it’s anything but. There are countless views on the topic. But as we seek to build schools back better—and not just return to how schools operated prior to the pandemic when the system writ … Continue reading Begin With The End: What’s The Purpose Of Schooling?

Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Election

Will Flanders and Libby Sobic: For many years, Wisconsin has reserved the position of state superintendent of schools for someone steeped in union politics and promising the status quo. But over the past year, COVID-19 has turned many such situations on their heads and polarized politics in a way never seen before. The superintendent election … Continue reading Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Election

Part 2 Discipline: Can corporal punishment bring back discipline?

Armand Fusco: What is the real underlying reason why schools put up with disrespectful, outrageous and uncivil student behaviors? Unfortunately, the culture of victimology is the insidious philosophy that permeates the school and the societal landscape e.g. troubled kids are not responsible for their actions—they are viewed, instead, as victims of school and society’s injustices. … Continue reading Part 2 Discipline: Can corporal punishment bring back discipline?

Trends in U.S. Adult Physiological Status, Mental Health, and Health Behaviors across a Century of Birth Cohorts

Hui Zheng, Paola Echave: Morbidity and mortality have been increasing among middle-aged and young-old Americans since the turn of the century. We investigate whether these unfavorable trends extend to younger cohorts and their underlying physiological, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms. Applying generalized linear mixed effects models to 62,833 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination … Continue reading Trends in U.S. Adult Physiological Status, Mental Health, and Health Behaviors across a Century of Birth Cohorts

Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent election

Scott Girard: [I have received 3 text messages and a door knock from a paid lit drop person, for one of the candidates. Guess?] 13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly, running against Deborah Kerr. In that same forum, Kerr outlined a plan to decentralize the Department of Public Instruction by … Continue reading Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent election

Social isolation during COVID‐19 lockdown impairs cognitive function

Joanne Ingram, Christopher J. Hand and Greg Maciejewski: Studies examining the effect of social isolation on cognitive function typically involve older adults and/or specialist groups (e.g., expeditions). We considered the effects of COVID‐19‐induced social isolation on cognitive function within a representative sample of the general population. We additionally considered how participants ‘shielding’ due to underlying … Continue reading Social isolation during COVID‐19 lockdown impairs cognitive function

Wisconsin’s open and closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools; on the April 6 Ballot

Wispolitics: State superintendent candidate Deb Kerr called for all K-12 schools to reopen for in-person instruction, claiming “the science is clear” such a move is kids’ best interest. Meanwhile, Kerr’s opponent Jill Underly slammed her for lying about the science behind reopening schools. At a Saturday news conference on the Capitol steps, Kerr warned the … Continue reading Wisconsin’s open and closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools; on the April 6 Ballot

Civics: Special Interest Grants and US election sausage making

Will Flanders: In the last few days, a debate has jump-started regarding grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) following reporting from Wisconsin Spotlight on questionable activities in Green Bay.  CTCL is a foundation heavily funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.   It describes its mission as “ensur(ing) elections are secure, voters have confidence in election outcomes, and democracy thrives as civic engagement grows.” However, … Continue reading Civics: Special Interest Grants and US election sausage making

A proposal to decentralize the Wisconsin DPI

Rory Linnane: Deborah Kerr, one of two candidates competing to lead the state Department of Public Instruction, said she would move or rehire most of the agency’s over 400 employees  away from Madison and into offices around the state.  “Under DPI’s current model, agency staff are plucked from the Madison area, and that’s not inclusive … Continue reading A proposal to decentralize the Wisconsin DPI

Dividing by Race Comes to Grade School: Students, ages 5 through 11, are urged to ‘check each other’s words and actions’ and become committed activists.

Bion Bartning: We started to ask questions. I have always felt a strong connection with Martin Luther King Jr. ’s dream of an America where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I advocate genuine antiracism, rooted in dignity and humanity. But the ideology … Continue reading Dividing by Race Comes to Grade School: Students, ages 5 through 11, are urged to ‘check each other’s words and actions’ and become committed activists.

Estimating Students’ Valuation for College Experiences

Esteban M. Aucejo, Jacob F. French & Basit Zafar: The college experience involves much more than credit hours and degrees. Students likely derive utility from in-person instruction and on-campus social activities. Quantitative measures of the value of these individual components have been hard to come by. Leveraging the COVID-19 shock, we elicit students’ intended likelihood … Continue reading Estimating Students’ Valuation for College Experiences

Civics: News outlets paid off old editorial promises with new headlines: Ponzi journalism.

Matt Taibbi: This technique of using the next bombshell story to push the last one down a memory-hole — call it Bombholing — needed a polarized audience to work. As surveys by organizations like the Pew Center showed, the different target demographics in Trump’s America increasingly did not communicate with one another. Democrats by 2020 … Continue reading Civics: News outlets paid off old editorial promises with new headlines: Ponzi journalism.

“The oligarchization of American elites and the parallel pauperization of the citizenry”

Andrew Michta: Collectivism in any guise, including its postmodern progressivist variety, has been historically antithetical to a free society. The idea of the self-constituting citizen, endowed with rights and constrained by law, has been indispensable to the forging of a stable democratic political system in America, legitimizing its institutions and ultimately birthing a cohesive nation … Continue reading “The oligarchization of American elites and the parallel pauperization of the citizenry”

Wisconsin DPI superintendent candidates talk equity, school funding in forum

: Six of the seven candidates to become Wisconsin’s next state superintendent of public instruction participated in a forum Wednesday night focused on funding and equity. The Association for Equitable Funding hosted the virtual forum with candidates Steve Krull, Jill Underly, Sheila Briggs, Troy Gunderson, Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams and Deb Kerr. Candidate Joe Fenrick was unable … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI superintendent candidates talk equity, school funding in forum

The Need for Ideological Diversity in American Cultural Institutions

David Bernstein: 13. Rather, I am concerned about institutional legitimacy. When you have a country divided into two tribes, and one tribe increasingly dominates most major cultural institutions, regardless of why, those institutions will gradually lose legitimacy within the other tribe. 14. Imagine instead of liberals and conservatives, the U.S. was divided between Catholics and … Continue reading The Need for Ideological Diversity in American Cultural Institutions

The First Amendment doesn’t come with an exception for “disinformation.”

Robby Soave: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) told her social media followers earlier this week that Democrats in Congress might respond to the Capitol riot with some sort of “media literacy” initiative. The phrase media literacy ordinarily implies helping individuals make sense of the media landscape, but AOC seems to have more in mind than that: She suggested … Continue reading The First Amendment doesn’t come with an exception for “disinformation.”

Top Contributors to the Candidates for Wisconsin School Superintendent

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign: Seven candidates who want to be the state’s next top school chief in the upcoming spring elections collectively raised more than $200,000 last year. The seven candidates will face off in the Feb. 16 primary. The top two finishers will vie for a four-year term as state school superintendent in the April … Continue reading Top Contributors to the Candidates for Wisconsin School Superintendent

Commentary on The Wisconsin DPI candidate Nomination Process

Elizabeth Beyer: “I think it is becoming a little too precise to say that adding one title in an otherwise completely perfect document should be sufficient to overcome the nomination,” she said. Hendricks-Williams has worked in Gov. Tony Evers’ Milwaukee office and as an assistant director of teacher education at the state Department of Public … Continue reading Commentary on The Wisconsin DPI candidate Nomination Process

ALGORITHMS FOR DECISION MAKING

MYKEL J. KOCHENDERFER, TIM A. WHEELER, AND KYLE H. WRAY This book provides a broad introduction to algorithms for decision making under uncertainty. We cover a wide variety of topics related to decision making, introducing the underlying mathematical problem formulations and the algorithms for solving them.

Seven candidates file paperwork to run for Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction (2 Madison School Board Seats are uncontested….)

Devi Shastri: State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor announced a year ago that she would not seek another term. Gov. Tony Evers named Taylor as his replacement in the post in 2018, when he was elected governor. This is the first open race for the position in 20 years. The candidates are: Deborah Kerr, the former superintendent of … Continue reading Seven candidates file paperwork to run for Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction (2 Madison School Board Seats are uncontested….)

How Claude Shannon Invented the Future

Quanta: Science seeks the basic laws of nature. Mathematics searches for new theorems to build upon the old. Engineering builds systems to solve human needs. The three disciplines are interdependent but distinct. Very rarely does one individual simultaneously make central contributions to all three — but Claude Shannon was a rare individual. Despite being the … Continue reading How Claude Shannon Invented the Future

A better way to search through academic literature

Inciteful: Find the most relevant literature, faster The vast majority of academic search engines focus on “importance” (as measured by number of citations) and keyword matching to retrieve their results. They typically show you stats about who the papers cite and who cites those papers. But there is value and information in the underlying structure … Continue reading A better way to search through academic literature

Civics: Civil Liberties in Times of Crisis

Marcella Alsan , Luca Braghieri, Sarah Eichmeyer, Minjeong Joyce Kim, Stefanie Stantcheva, David Y. Yang: The respect for and protection of civil liberties are one of the fundamental roles of the state, and many consider civil liberties as sacred and “nontradable.” Using cross-country representative surveys that cover 15 countries and over 370,000 respondents, we study … Continue reading Civics: Civil Liberties in Times of Crisis

Civics: Why can’t we talk about the Great Barrington Declaration?

Tony Young: You probably haven’t heard of the Great Barrington Declaration. This is a petition started by three scientists on October 4 calling for governments to adopt a policy of ‘focused protection’ when it comes to COVID-19. They believe those most at risk should be offered protection — although it shouldn’t be mandatory — and those … Continue reading Civics: Why can’t we talk about the Great Barrington Declaration?

“The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge” Story Gets Even Stranger

Eugene Volokh: The legally strange dimension: A claim that the magazine article author sexually harassed the subject of her article, apparently by “seek[ing] inappropriate personal and romantic intimacy with Plaintiff.” See Hay v. New York Media LLC, a breach of contract, libel, and sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Bruce Hay (representing himself) against New York Media … Continue reading “The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge” Story Gets Even Stranger

Commentary on 2020 K-12 Governance and opening this fall

Wisconsin State Journal: Unfortunately, the Madison School District announced Friday it will offer online classes only this fall — despite six or seven weeks to go before the fall semester begins. By then, a lot could change with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Dane County recently and wisely implemented a mask requirementfor inside … Continue reading Commentary on 2020 K-12 Governance and opening this fall

Surrounded by Government Failure, Why Do People Still Believe?

Veronique de Rugy: New data confirm what we already knew; namely, that many people did not wait for the governments to lock down the economy to stay home and shelter in place. Such fear-based behavior contributed much to the economic collapse. That means that most consumers will be careful and watch out for their health … Continue reading Surrounded by Government Failure, Why Do People Still Believe?

How French “Intellectuals” Ruined the West: Postmodernism and Its Impact, Explained

Helen Pluckrose: Postmodernism presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but to modernity itself. That may sound like a bold or even hyperbolic claim, but the reality is that the cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism have broken the bounds of academia and gained great cultural power in western society. … Continue reading How French “Intellectuals” Ruined the West: Postmodernism and Its Impact, Explained

Penrose: from mathematical notation to beautiful diagrams

Katherine Ye, Wode Ni, Max Krieger, Dor Ma’ayan, Jenna Wise, Jonathan Aldrich, Joshua Sunshine, and Keenan Crane: We introduce a system called Penrose for creating mathematical diagrams. Its basic functionality is to translate abstract statements written in familiar math-like notation into one or more possible visual representations. Rather than rely on a fixed library of … Continue reading Penrose: from mathematical notation to beautiful diagrams

Commentary on The Price of “we Know Best

Brendan O’Neill: It’s worth thinking about the largeness of this scandal. Ferguson’s scaremongering, his predictions of mass death if society didn’t close itself down, was the key justification for the lockdown in the UK. It influenced lockdowns elsewhere, too. Of course, this isn’t all on Ferguson. He does not exercise mind control over Boris Johnson. … Continue reading Commentary on The Price of “we Know Best

History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future

Laura Spinney: Turchin set out to determine whether history, like physics, follows certain laws. In 2003, he published a book called Historical Dynamics, in which he discerned secular cycles in France and Russia from their origins to the end of the 18th century. That same year, he founded a new field of academic study, called … Continue reading History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future

K-12 Tax & SPENDING Climate: The Emerging Millennial Wealth Gap

Reid Cramer, Fernaba R. Addo, Colleen Campbell: The Millennial generation is on a much lower trajectory of wealth accumulation than their parents and grandparents. Dramatically so. Their generational balance sheet, tabulating assets and liabilities, is historically poor. Despite its dramatic emergence and real world consequences, the Millennial wealth gap has received scant attention to date. … Continue reading K-12 Tax & SPENDING Climate: The Emerging Millennial Wealth Gap

Black Madison school staffer appeals firing for repeating student’s racial slur

Logan Wroge: On Oct. 9, Anderson, who had worked at West for three years and at East High School for eight years before that, said he responded to a call about a disruptive student who was being escorted out of the school by an assistant principal. When the situation with the male student escalated, Anderson … Continue reading Black Madison school staffer appeals firing for repeating student’s racial slur

These Are the Best Books for Learning Modern Statistics—and They’re All Free

Dan Kopf: The books are based on the concept of “statistical learning,” a mashup of stats and machine learning. The field of machine learning is all about feeding huge amounts of data into algorithms to make accurate predictions. Statistics is concerned with predictions as well, says Tibshirani, but also with determining how confident we can … Continue reading These Are the Best Books for Learning Modern Statistics—and They’re All Free

‘Virtue Signalling’ May Annoy Us. But Civilization Would Be Impossible Without It

Geoffrey Miller: Ever since grad school, I’ve been fascinated by moral hypocrisy as a hallmark of virtue signaling. People say they believe passionately in issue X, but they don’t bother to do anything real to support X. That kind of behavior seemed highly diagnostic of hypocritical signaling, and hypocritical signaling is bad, because hypocrisy is … Continue reading ‘Virtue Signalling’ May Annoy Us. But Civilization Would Be Impossible Without It

An Obama-era regulation is likely to establish unconstitutional racial quotas

Lucas VebberWilliam D. Flanders: The Fordham Institute’s recent survey of teachers has brought the issue of discipline reform back to the forefront. But even as teachers say that discipline policies are leading to unsafe educational environments, a new federal rule threatens to further exacerbate the issue. In the final month of the Obama Administration, the … Continue reading An Obama-era regulation is likely to establish unconstitutional racial quotas

The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking

Jonathan Zittrain: Like many medications, the wakefulness drug modafinil, which is marketed under the trade name Provigil, comes with a small, tightly folded paper pamphlet. For the most part, its contents—lists of instructions and precautions, a diagram of the drug’s molecular structure—make for anodyne reading. The subsection called “Mechanism of Action,” however, contains a sentence … Continue reading The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking

Top journals retract DNA-repair studies after misconduct probe

Holly Else: “This is terrible for the field, as it is for any field”, in particular because the investigator’s grants could have gone to more deserving researchers, says James Brown, a cancer researcher at the National University of Ireland Galway. Many scientists have used the Nature paper to build an understanding of DNA-repair processes mediated … Continue reading Top journals retract DNA-repair studies after misconduct probe

K-12 Tax &Spending Climate: America’s Biggest Economic Challenge May Be Demographic Decline

Neil Irwin: A new report from the Economic Innovation Group, a Washington think tank funded in large part by tech investors and entrepreneurs, adds rich new detail, showing that parts of the United States are already grappling with Japanese-caliber demographic decline — 41 percent of American counties with a combined population of 38 million. At … Continue reading K-12 Tax &Spending Climate: America’s Biggest Economic Challenge May Be Demographic Decline

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Teacher Pensions and Accurate Accounting

Chad Aldeman: But this result is impossible. According to the same official state projections that Rhee and Joyner apply to their sample, Colorado’s teacher pension plan assumes that 37 percent of males and 34 percent of females will leave in their first year, let alone make it to five years. Rhee and Joyner are trying … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Teacher Pensions and Accurate Accounting

Civics: Civility on the Decline — A Crisis in Free Speech and Violence

SG Cheah: Professor Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist mentioned how males tend to be more skilled than females at civil discourse. He opines the reason behind that was because all face-to-face discussions between males were backed by the underlying threat of violence. Males tend to be better at logical and controlled debates because males are … Continue reading Civics: Civility on the Decline — A Crisis in Free Speech and Violence

You find, for example, an obsessive attention to what today we would refer to as ‘literacy’ and ‘critical thinking skills’”

Jeff Sypeck: But when you look at the manuscripts, the classroom texts, and the teaching methods of the early Middle Ages, you find habits and practices that I think would warm the hearts of pretty much everybody in this room. You find, for example, an obsessive attention to what today we would refer to as … Continue reading You find, for example, an obsessive attention to what today we would refer to as ‘literacy’ and ‘critical thinking skills’”

Civics: Resisting Law Enforcement’s Siren Song: A Call for Cryptographers to Improve Trust and Security

Cindy Cohn: The world is waking up to something that digital security experts have known for a very long time: Digital security is hard. Really hard. And the larger and more complex the systems, the more difficult it is to plug all the security holes and make them secure and trustworthy. Yet security is also … Continue reading Civics: Resisting Law Enforcement’s Siren Song: A Call for Cryptographers to Improve Trust and Security

Americans Aren’t Practicing Democracy Anymore; As participation in civic life has dwindled, so has public faith in the country’s system of government.

Yoni Applebam: The results have been catastrophic. As the procedures that once conferred legitimacy on organizations have grown alien to many Americans, contempt for democratic institutions has risen. In 2016, a presidential candidate who scorned established norms rode that contempt to the Republican nomination, drawing his core support from Americans who seldom participate in the … Continue reading Americans Aren’t Practicing Democracy Anymore; As participation in civic life has dwindled, so has public faith in the country’s system of government.

Do children have a right to their parents’ medical information?

Shaun Raviv and Mosaic: I told the Pates about ABC’s case and the worry that it could theoretically push the duty of care too far in the U.K. They said that their lawyer mentioned a similar concern with Heidi’s case back in the early 1990s, when HIV was still essentially untreatable and killing thousands of … Continue reading Do children have a right to their parents’ medical information?

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire Even if you don’t think it’s likely, it’s always best to be prepared.

Tyler Cowen: So what would the decline of America look like? I don’t ask the question because I think it’s happening (yet?), but because even the most inveterate optimist should be interested in the dangers, if only to ward them off. Here’s the cleanest tale of hypothetical decline I could come up with, keeping away … Continue reading The Decline and Fall of the American Empire Even if you don’t think it’s likely, it’s always best to be prepared.

“Yes, to Year Around School” Podcast Transcript (Not in the Madison School District)

Scoot Milfred and Phil Hands: Usual mumbo-jumbo, we do on this podcast. Why don’t we invite in today some experts to talk about our topic which is around school. Which Madison is finally going to give a try this fall to experts. I know very well we have all hands on deck here. We have … Continue reading “Yes, to Year Around School” Podcast Transcript (Not in the Madison School District)

Days After Exiting Harvard Presidency, Faust Joins Goldman Sachs Board of Directors

Kristine E. Guillaume: Goldman Sachs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein ’75 praised Faust for leading Harvard through “a decade of growth and transformation” during her presidency in an emailed statement Thursday. “Her perspective and experience running one of the most complex and preeminent institutions in the world will benefit our board, our … Continue reading Days After Exiting Harvard Presidency, Faust Joins Goldman Sachs Board of Directors

Centralization risks

John Robb: For the first time in history, announced researchers this May, a majority of the world’s population is living in urban environments. Cities—efficient hubs connecting international flows of people, energy, communications, and capital—are thriving in our global economy as never before. However, the same factors that make cities hubs of globalization also make them … Continue reading Centralization risks

The myopia boom Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why.

Elie Dolgin: Other parts of the world have also seen a dramatic increase in the condition, which now affects around half of young adults in the United States and Europe — double the prevalence of half a century ago. By some estimates, one-third of the world’s population — 2.5 billion people — could be affected … Continue reading The myopia boom Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why.

The Book That Incited a Worldwide Fear of Overpopulation

Smithsonian: As 1968 began, Paul Ehrlich was an entomologist at Stanford University, known to his peers for his groundbreaking studies of the co-evolution of flowering plants and butterflies but almost unknown to the average person. That was about to change. In May, Ehrlich released a quickly written, cheaply bound paperback, The Population Bomb. Initially it … Continue reading The Book That Incited a Worldwide Fear of Overpopulation

FOR A MEANINGFUL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

CÉDRIC VILLANI : Since the 1956 Dartmouth conference, artificial intelligence has alternated between periods of great enthusiasm and disillusionment, impressive progress and frustrating failures. Yet, it has relentlessly pushed back the limits of what was only thought to be achievable by human beings. Along the way, AI research has achieved significant successes: outperforming human beings … Continue reading FOR A MEANINGFUL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Tactical Tech tells us what they would have asked Mark Zuckerberg

Marlene Melchior: In Part 2: Diehm discusses the “echo chamber” effect of Facebook’s interface. He says that while Zuckerberg made “apologetic commitments” and rolled out an interface with new privacy controls, ultimately “there’s no transparent way of actually assessing whether or not this interface either works better or even has any meaningful effect on the … Continue reading Tactical Tech tells us what they would have asked Mark Zuckerberg

Civics: Sandvine, the first-Canadian, then-US company enabling Turkey, Syria, and Egypt to poison innocent users’ web traffic with spyware, threatened @Citizenlab to stop the report.

: We have reviewed carefully your letter dated March 7, 2018. The pending Citizen Lab report concerning the use of Sandvine’s PacketLogic Devices (“Report”) is a peer-reviewed, comprehensive research paper on a serious issue of significant public interest. As is its standard protocol, Citizen Lab has engaged in best practices in conducting the research underlying … Continue reading Civics: Sandvine, the first-Canadian, then-US company enabling Turkey, Syria, and Egypt to poison innocent users’ web traffic with spyware, threatened @Citizenlab to stop the report.

Civics: Presidents Obama, Trump, The FBI, Politics and the FISA Court

Andrew McCarthy: So we arrive at the knotty question for Obama political and law-enforcement officials: How do we “engage with the incoming team” of Trump officials while also determining that “we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia”? How do we assure that an investigation of Trump can continue when Trump is about … Continue reading Civics: Presidents Obama, Trump, The FBI, Politics and the FISA Court

What’s The Difference Between Children’s Books In China And The U.S.?

NPR: What are the hidden messages in the storybooks we read to our kids? That’s a question that may occur to parents as their children dive into the new books that arrived over the holidays. And it’s a question that inspired a team of researchers to set up a study. Specifically, they wondered how the … Continue reading What’s The Difference Between Children’s Books In China And The U.S.?

Free Speech Is Starting to Dominate the U.S. Supreme Court’s Agenda

Greg Stor: To get the U.S. Supreme Court’s attention these days, try saying your speech rights are being violated. Whether the underlying topic is abortion, elections, labor unions or wedding cakes, the First Amendment is starting to dominate the Supreme Court’s agenda. The court on Monday granted three new speech cases, including a challenge to … Continue reading Free Speech Is Starting to Dominate the U.S. Supreme Court’s Agenda

The Trinet

Andre Stalz: The internet will survive longer than the Web will. GOOG-FB-AMZN will still depend on submarine internet cables (the “Backbone”), because it is a technical success. That said, many aspects of the internet will lose their relevance, and the underlying infrastructure could be optimized only for GOOG traffic, FB traffic, and AMZN traffic. It … Continue reading The Trinet

Honoring the English Curriculum and the Study of U.S. History—Sandra Stotsky

Sandra Stotsky, via Will Fitzhugh: “Advocates of a writing process tended to stress autobiographical narrative writing, not informational or expository writing.” It sounds excessively dramatic to say that Common Core’s English language arts (ELA) standards threaten the study of history. In this essay we show why, in the words of a high school teacher, “if … Continue reading Honoring the English Curriculum and the Study of U.S. History—Sandra Stotsky

Predicting Crime in Portland Oregon

Jorie Koster-HaleAug: Predicting future crime poses a particularly interesting data challenge because it has both geospatial and temporal dimensions and may be affected by many different types of features like weather, city infrastructure, population demographics, public events, government policy, etc. In September 2016, the National Institute of Justice launched a Real-Time Crime Forecasting Challenge to … Continue reading Predicting Crime in Portland Oregon

Questions “National Teacher Shortage” Narrative, Releases Facts to Set the Record Straight

NCTQ (National Council on Teacher Quality): Our nation has open teaching positions that need to be filled by trained teachers. This is not a new national crisis but rather one America has been living with for years due to our unwillingness to adopt more strategic pay approaches. With rare exceptions, states have also shown no … Continue reading Questions “National Teacher Shortage” Narrative, Releases Facts to Set the Record Straight

Is LIBOR, Crucial Financial Benchmark, a Lie?

Matt Taibbi: The admission comes by way of Andrew Bailey, head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. He said recently (emphasis mine): “The absence of active underlying markets raises a serious question about the sustainability of the LIBOR benchmarks. If an active market does not exist, how can even the best run benchmark measure it?”  As a few … Continue reading Is LIBOR, Crucial Financial Benchmark, a Lie?

Measuring the Fiscal Health of State Pension Plans

Greg McGinnis: A state pension plan’s annual funded ratio gives an end-of-fiscal-year snapshot of the assets as a proportion of the accrued liabilities. In aggregate, the funded ratio of these plans dropped to 72 percent in 2015 from 75 percent in 2014. Across the country, funded ratios for plans reviewed by The Pew Charitable Trusts … Continue reading Measuring the Fiscal Health of State Pension Plans

The cognitive differences between men and women

Bruce Goldman: “I wanted to find and explore neural circuits that regulate specific behaviors,” says Shah, then a newly minted Caltech PhD who was beginning a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia. So, he zeroed in on sex-associated behavioral differences in mating, parenting and aggression. “These behaviors are essential for survival and propagation,” says Shah, MD, PhD, … Continue reading The cognitive differences between men and women

‘Emergency’ effort to address teacher shortages reflect larger education issues

Alan Borsuk: t’s an emergency. It says so right there on the legal papers: “Order of the State Superintendent for Public Instruction Adopting Emergency Rules.” But it’s a curious kind of emergency. Elsewhere in the paperwork, it uses the term “difficulties.” Maybe that’s a better way to put it. Underlying the legal language lie questions … Continue reading ‘Emergency’ effort to address teacher shortages reflect larger education issues

Life below the surface of the earth (and on Mars) — a Five Books interview

Five Books: What life exists below the surface of the earth? Previously biologists believed the only subsurface life was at the soil zone, that you go a metre down and it is inconsequential, except for in caves. But even then the people looking in caves didn’t realise the caves were being formed by sub-surface life. … Continue reading Life below the surface of the earth (and on Mars) — a Five Books interview

William Baumol, whose famous economic theory explains the modern world, has died

Timothy Lee: Decade after decade, health care and education have gotten more expensive while the price of clothing, cars, furniture, toys, and other manufactured goods has gone down relative to the overall inflation rate — exactly the pattern Baumol predicted a half-century ago. Baumol’s cost disease is a powerful tool for understanding the modern economic … Continue reading William Baumol, whose famous economic theory explains the modern world, has died

The purge turns Turkish academia into a slaughterhouse; Turkey into an ‘intellectual desert’

Yavuz Baydar: When I heard the news on late Tuesday night, I did not know who to pity more than the other. I knew a few of the victims, but the first one I thought was a soft-spoken, elderly gentleman; Prof İbrahim Kaboğlu, from Marmara University, a top Turkish expert on constitution and law. His … Continue reading The purge turns Turkish academia into a slaughterhouse; Turkey into an ‘intellectual desert’

The Minimalist Beauty of a Renaissance-Era Geometry Book

Julia Friedman: In Perspectiva Corporum Regularium, Jamnitzer rotates and carves each of the solids to demonstrate how they might function as the building blocks of the world. Though science has since demonstrated the atom to be the most basic part of all matter, Jamnitzer’s studies possess a captivating artistic merit. With the manipulation, repetition, and … Continue reading The Minimalist Beauty of a Renaissance-Era Geometry Book

A Closer Look at Elementary Mathematics: Undergraduate Elementary Programs (UW-Madison Mentioned)

nctq Why teacher prep programs should have strong preparation in elementary mathematics Teaching elementary children the fundamentals of arithmetic—dividing fractions, operations with signed numbers, or basic probability—requires a deep understanding of the underlying mathematics. For elementary teachers, it’s simply not suf cient just to know “invert and multiply.” One must know and be able to … Continue reading A Closer Look at Elementary Mathematics: Undergraduate Elementary Programs (UW-Madison Mentioned)