Friday, July 04, 2014

Don't learn to code. Learn to think.

Below is is my usual response when I see an article stating that everyone should learn to code: 
Rather than programming, it is more important to impart the thinking of computer science (CS) than a specific implementation. Programming can be an end point for some students, but it is likely that programming itself will be increasingly automated, so that one needs more the general concepts common in CS. Even then, programming itself is to some degree a grunt task that one progresses beyond: 
The following are typical components of a CS degree:
  • algorithms & flowcharting
  • systems thinking
  • logical systems and set theory
  • object-orientation & patterns
  • probability, statistics, mathematics
All of the above can be useful in an increasingly automated and data-driven world.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A response to Making Schools Poorer by Diane Ravitch | NYRblog

Not a criticism of Ravitch's article, but a response to a response of mine:
Guilt? Rather than blaming [put pet peeve here] it would be productive to focus on ways of improving educational outcomes. Blaming [put pet peeve here] will not change anything, unless the precedents for [put pet peeve here] are changed for the better. Yes, I think that the issue is sociocultural and that there are an array of contributors to educational outcomes, but the problem is larger than individuals, i.e., single-mothers, and requires some system-level changes: 
  • America the anti-intellectual...
  • Sports defining the school experience
  • Teacher education and selection
  • Resource allocation (inequality, taxation, etc)
  • Social welfare focused on the underprivileged

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Right to Write -

In an article, The Right to Write -, I commented on the right to write, since writers are sometimes questioned on the validity of their writing, e.g., Harriet Beecher Stowe with Uncle Tom's Cabin:
One, people always have the right to write, but readers concurrently have the right to reject said writing. Much personal criticism of depictions from writers is whether the depiction seems valid or plausible, but even that is an exercise in empathy, since it requires one to experience that depiction ideationally. 
Two, there is a streak in Americans, and maybe anyone, that states that you cannot understand 'my pain', usually the death of a child or some horrific personal lose. Over a longer term I have sensed that people most easily accept empathy if it is expressed by someone with similar experiences, an aspect I believe is part of human nature. I find both irksome, since they deny empathy.

A Response to an Open Letter to James Damore

I posted a comment in response to An Open Letter to James Damore by Debra Sterling , below: It doesn't get mentioned, but some of the ...