Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘General knowledge

titbits #127

Archaeologists discovered 12,500-year-old rock paintings in the Colombian Amazon. Tens of thousands of artworks depict humans and Ice Age animals including mastodon, horses, and fish.

Sanmitsu is Japan’s buzzword of the year… It refers to the “three C’s” of social distancing—avoiding closed spaces, crowds, and close-contact situations.

If anyone tells you that your daydreams should account for your “old Age”, then fuck those daydreams and fuck his life

Are you a Romantic? Sure, in my daydreaming stories. Isn’t it the definition of being Romantic?

So many daydreamer Romantics turned out to be the worst nightmares inflicted on the individuals as well on society

I feel so sorry for myself: I am too slow, in expressing my affection and attachment to you

If you have no patience to do your due diligence on fact-checking research, at least make sure your general knowledge is vast enough to discriminate faked news and faked facts.

The bedouin tribes mentality are compatible among themselves. For example, the Arabian Peninsula pseudo- States and Israel. Israel colonial implanted tribes in Palestine

Urban social structure is meant to accommodate many economic and social classes in order to function and exploit.

And ‘Choice’ remains our greatest gift whether we don’t see it or recognize its existence in transforming our life. Yes, life is a journey and our tomorrows are dependent on every action we take and every step we make. We are the author of our destiny, even partially, and it is a huge responsibility that most of us abdicate from. early on.

Is China owning the narrative of vaccine diplomacy by using “powerful” images to get headlines “on the cheap? China is providing “free vaccine” in small amount to many African nations such as Egypt (300,000 shots, Algeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Zimbabwe., Rwanda…

Freedom? People refuse to act on obtaining freedom: They want the Liberty to enslave people, physically, emotionally and intellectually. Freedom demands to confront injustices and indignity in order to free others. Freedom is Not what the silent majority is ready to shoulder. Actually, the “American Revolution” wanted the liberty to keep importing slaves. And the US is still at it, till now and at a larger scale.

Private universities of all kinds outnumbering traditional and public ones?

Posted on September 23, 2010

Corporate universities have increased two folds in the last decade and number around 4,000 universities.

It is estimated that over 4 million people study in specialized universities financed and run by corporations. These “specialized” students will outnumber the well-established traditional universities very soon.

Corporate universities are no longer the exclusive domain of the first 500 corporate listed in “Fortune“, but it is becoming “urgent in the competition race in global economy” of “International school for administration development” in Lozano (Switzerland) says Mike Stanford 

Stanford goes on “It is not easy to switch from general knowledge to practical methods .” Hands-on learning is the motto for these corporate universities.

In developing States, corporate universities are supplementing the rare traditional universities in what the corporation need in specialization.  

Since over 40% of experienced engineers are going into retreat, it is urgent that new practiced engineers fill the void.  Apparently, only 25% of graduate engineers and 15% of accountants and financial analysts are ready to work for multinational corporations.

Most graduates are not initiated and trained to communicate efficiently among different cultures and working in teams.

Corporate universities are not offering diplomas yet, although they are affiliated with traditional universities.  The courses are tailor-made for specialized expertise and for short duration.

Basically, corporate courses are of applied sciences in nature, targeting strategic business expansion.

In 1961, McDonald started its own corporate university in Oak Brook (Illinois) in order to standardize cooking and preparation methods. General Electric, Siemens, and Motorola colleges are already world-wide features.

A sample of corporate universities demonstrates the reasons for heavily financing universities  with the latest technologies and facilities tailored-made to the benefits and interests of companies.

In Moscow, you have “Corporate Hydropower University” teaching managers of industries the latest technologies and specialization in turbines and power generators.

In Rio de Janeiro, “Pertobrass University”  offers engineers continuing education on ocean oil extraction in deep reserves 7,000 meters below the Atlantic Ocean. It is becoming the leading corporation for oil extraction in deep water (about 24% of all new ventures); it will need an additional 9,000 new engineers by 2015 (which traditional universities in Brazil cannot graduate).

Another example,  “Emphasis higher education center” in New Delhi has two landing spaces for helicopters, a geodesic dome, movie theaters, resembling to “Epcot center” and Disney; it is being expanded to accommodating over 15,000 students with private rooms and computers at a cost of $150 million. 

Chris Gobalakrishna, Director of “Emphasis”, says: “We are trying to bridge the schism between what traditional universities produce and what industry demand”

Many of these corporate universities are flexible in even locations. 

For example, the Russian “Oporombrom” sends teams of teachers to 20 factories manufacturing and assembling helicopters and airplanes for 3 days sessions.

Many publicly owned enterprises and private companies have vast pools of practically illiterate employees.  Thus, these corporate universities update the bright employees and steer them to becoming experts in restricted domains.

The interest of corporations and the social exigencies of governments will dictate the following trends:

First, traditional universities (led by public universities for shortages in allocated budget) will shorten the graduation schedules for undergraduate studies.  Humanities will mostly be eliminated and engineering courses reduced to the basic courses.

Second, the indoctrination of students to the capitalist system and its requirements will be shifted to secondary and high school years.

Third, “educated” people will be encouraged to join the working force earlier than currently planned in order to compensate for shortages in younger generations and the lengthening of “life expectancy” among the aging population.

Fourth, it is more profitable for corporations to lead new hired educated workers to specialized types of targeted expertise as competition demand.

Fifth, graduate studies will be restricted to the brightest and to rich families who can afford to maintaining the “nobility” hereditary status in the family.

Are you aware of a few of your idiosyncrasies?

We behave according to the biases we accumulated from our environment. Idiosyncrasies are the norm in life. Even when we become conscious of a few of our biases, it is doubtful that we get the necessary stamina to change.

We’re all biased species. It becomes an unconscious behavior. Our experiences (and idee-fixe in our surrounding) shape who we are.

The perception of our race, ethnicity, gender, height, weight, sexual orientation, place of birth, and other factors impact the lens with which we view the world.

How can we recognize and acknowledge our own biases? Does identifying our kinds of biases (like affinity bias, halo bias, perception bias, and confirmation bias) make a difference in our daily decisions or change our viewpoints?

It is important to make a distinction between 3 broadly different approaches: objective, polemic, and deceptive. This distinction isn’t metaphysical. It’s a question of intent.

In order to discriminate among fake news, facts, objective statement, value judgment… we require vast general knowledge in many fields of study and apply our experimental mind on each subject matter. Otherwise, people will offer the excuse of “common sense” to absolve their laziness in the mind

It is Not an easy endeavor that should span a lifetime and be conducted with the passion of learning, credibility, fairness in treating readers…

Note: I usually edit any piece in my own style and add comments.

Biases All the Way Down, Some Biases are More Troublesome Than Others

danielwalldammit posted on wordpess.com

When I listen to people complaining about indoctrination in the schools or dismissing perfectly sound journalism by chanting the mantra “fake news,” I’m always struck by the hopelessness of trying to reason with them.

Phrases like “just the facts” spill from their mouths, their keyboards, and their keypads quite often, and not a few of them are happy to remind us that facts do not care about our feelings.

These phrases do not usually convey skepticism.

They do not challenge us to provide evidence or compelling reason. Instead, they signal an absolute barrier to any hope of meaningful communication.

These phrases did not become popular in the American political vocabulary because they help to explain the problem with erroneous or dishonest journalism.

Nor have these phrases been generally used to correct flawed textbooks or abusive teachers.

As they are commonly used in America today, these phrases consistently provide thoughtless people with a shield against unwelcome information.

As I listen to such folks talk, or read anything they write, I can’t help thinking those who find nothing but bias in academia or mainstream news are often the same folks who speak of objectivity in terms of the most naive realism.

They think Facticity is part of their cultural capital, they own it, and so they invoke it freely in encounters with others.

Ask these people what it means to do a good job as a teacher or a journalist, a documentary film-maker, etc. and they will describe an absolute devotion to facts coupled with a complete absence of subjectivity.

They have few thoughts as to how that works, but the goal seems pretty obvious to them.

If pressed, some might concede that such an account of any given subject never really happens, but they are likely to insist that it should be an ideal of sorts, a goal to which one ought to aspire.

They don’t understand that the ideal itself isn’t even coherent. You cannot describe a fact without injecting yourself into the description.

Even the facts you choose to relate reflect a choice and a value statement about what is and what is not important in a story. So, does the language you use to describe those facts, and of course the conclusions you draw from whatever you take to be the settled facts of a story also reflect all sorts of choices about what lessons might be worth learning from the world around us.

We never actually get a purely factual account of anything; we can’t even conceive of it in the abstract, because the most rigorous visions of evidence-based reasoning are themselves saturated with value judgements and personal biases.

If objectivity is meaningful at all, it is as a element in relation to subjectivity, (or perhaps inter-subjectivity), not as a pair of alternatives from which we choose. We can speak of an object only in relation to a subject. To imagine the one without the other is to indulge in fiction.

To those who suppose this fictional objectivity is reality, I suppose it is the rhetorical equivalent to reality television, a pretense to veracity offered with a smirk and wink even as any claims to meet that standard unravels unravels around us.

This naive realism goes hand in hand with a pan-partisanship in the consumption of information.

As nobody ever actually meets these impossible standards of objectivity, it provides a ready excuse to dismiss any information one doesn’t wish to hear.

You can always pick apart the choices other people make when they try to state facts. You can quibble over the language they use to express themselves or ask why they think this fact here is important and not that one there? Nobody meets the standard in actual practice, so each and every source of information comes ready-made with all manner of excuses for rejecting it. One has only to make exceptions for those one wishes to keep after all. If those exceptions seem selective, well then, by what standard would anyone presume to make such a judgement?

All of this leaves us with is a sense of bias which provides license for more of the same, and a way of talking about bias that reduces everyone and every approach to information to the level of open partisanship and nothing but partisanship.

All biases are equal in this mindset, because those adopting it do not really think about how one sorts a reasonable account of any given subject from a foolish one. They needn’t accept the authority (or the credibility) of a judge, or a scholar, or a journalist, because they can find evidence of a personal point of view in each.

This flattening of critical merit makes every controversy into a sort of intellectual playground, a range of possibilities all of which possess equal intellectual merit. It puts every couch-potato responding to a 3-minute news segment on Covid19 right on par with a scientist who has studied infectious diseases throughout her career. It empowers the Dunning-Krueger effect, in effect, by denying that there is any meaningful difference in knowledge to begin with.

I keep coming back to this, not because the problem is conceptually interesting, but because I find myself talking to so many people who seem to live in this mindset. They know what sources they like, and they know which sources they cannot be bothered with, but their own explanations boil down to a kind of unacknowledged voluntarism. Intellectual rigor of any kind simply does not enter into this mindset, because every actual stance is, for them rooted in pure personal bias.

A professional historian writing about World War II might as well be their friend Frank who told them about a thing he saw once in a movie. A journalist summarizing countless hours of research enjoys no more credibility than the first thought that jumps into their own head upon hearing the story.

A medical doctor talking about a global pandemic is easily trumped by a blog post detailing an elaborate conspiracy theory. These same people are happy to sing the praises of objectivity, and in particular to use high standards as a foil against their enemies, but in practice, their mental life is a playground of choices made on thin pretexts. That is all they hear from others; it is all they produce themselves.

I find myself struggling to produce a simple account of objectivity and bias, one which affirms neither this naive realism nor this practical pan-partisanship.

If I am thinking about bias in the presentation of information, and I am, I usually want to make a distinction between 3 broadly different approaches, objective, polemic, and deceptive. This distinction isn’t metaphysical. It’s a question of intent.

When I refer to an account as objective, I do not mean to suggest that its author has achieved some miraculous account devoid of any personal bias. What I mean in such cases, is that the author has made an effort to express the relevant facts of the story, and perhaps to provide an account of the different positions others have taken on the subject.

I will still have questions about the author’s specific choices, the accuracy of their descriptions, and if I know something about the subject, I am likely to sense bias creeping into their narratives. When I call it ‘objective’, it is because I can still see a few objective information creeping through the haze of personal bias, and because I perceive the author’s goal as being rooted in the objective features of the story. Whatever their personal views, there is something about the facts of the matter that has their interest. If they are doing their job right, it will have mine as well.

If I am ever tempted to dismiss the prospect of an objective account as a result of the many subjectivities that always seem to accompany them, I have only to consider some of the alternatives.

There is a world of difference between someone who is trying to tell a story based on the facts as they understand them, and someone for whom a story is solely an instrument of their own personal agenda. While bias might count as failure in the former case, in the latter, that bias is precisely the point.

If ever we forget the merits of an objective account, their absence is certainly noticed whenever we encounter polemic work.

An author or speaker whose primary goal is the advancement of a partisan view tells a very different story than one who is trying to give us an objective account. The facts they elect to provide are not merely shaded by personal bias, they are explicitly chosen on that basis.

One literally doesn’t get any information that doesn’t help the polemicist build his case. His language too is chosen for the purpose of expressing a clear stance on the subject in question. We don’t expect of such writers that they will spend a lot of time on things that don’t facilitate their own argument. To do so would be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Let’s take for example the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan at the end of WWII. I have plenty of textbooks that provide a basic and brief account of this event. One of the major controversies of this story is the question of whether or not doing so was necessary and/or justified in any sense by the circumstances facing the allies near the end of that war.

Any author trying to tell me that story will normally provide some account of the reasons for dropping the bomb, and in doing so, they are likely to show some sense of their own take on that controversial subject They will cover the facts most relevant to their position on the subject, and they will likely describe them in language that suggests some degree of their own sense as to whether or not the decision was sound.

Some authors try to address the controversy by providing an account of the controversy itself, telling us what different people have said about the question over the years. In such cases, it would not be unreasonable to expect they will do a better job of accounting for those positions they agree with than the ones they do not agree with.

All of which is very different from reading a text in which an author takes a stand on that very question. You can find such readings. You can find people who will tell you the decision was absolutely appropriate, and they will make the case as to why.

Others will describe it as an atrocity, and they too will provide an argument as to why that is the case.

In neither of these instances would one expect the polemicist to spend a great deal of time covering facts which don’t help their case. If they do, it will only be to show how their position deals with these facts after all, and so their account of these seemingly neutral features of the story will of course be largely an exercise in stretching a specific viewpoint to cover the facts in question.

None of this is a terrible thing. There is a place for polemics in human communication. My point is simply that a polemic is very different from an attempt at an objective account.

If bias is a bug in the former; it is a feature of the latter, a genuine benefit. If polemic writing is well done, it leaves us with a clear vision of the viewpoint expressed within it. It is a good thing, but it is a different kind of than we get from those trying to write a more thorough and objective account.

(How about the US didn’t want Stalin to occupy all of Korea before Japan ceasefire? Japan had to surrender and stop Russia advances)

Whatever the goals of a writer or a speaker, whether it be polemic or objective, we can also distinguish between those who show a certain respect for truth and reason and those who are consciously deceptive about such matters.

Even the most strident of polemicists is perfectly capable of telling the truth as she understands it and using reasoning that is at least plausible rather than fallacious.

On the other hand, some people are just bad actors: Not only do they make a conscious choice to advance a single point of view; they are willing to deceive to us in the service of that point of view. Their account of the facts will contain not mere errors but conscious lies, and their reasoning will include deliberate cases of misdirection.

Such people are not merely influenced by personal values and personal agendas; they operate free of any moral or intellectual restraint. Lest we forget that objectivity matters, or give up on it altogether, an encounter with such a deceitful soul ought to remind us that facts matter after all, and so does sound reasoning.

I really do not mean to advocate some naive objective metaphysics, but I am sure some folks will say the way I have tried to qualify my use of the term here is inadequate, but this post isn’t really meant to outline an epistemological theory.

This post is mean to describe some differences in communicative practice. The need to do so is motivated less by abstract philosophical questions than a general sense that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain any standards of honesty or intellectual rigor in public discourse.

The problem isn’t just that some people cannot tell the difference between sound journalism and internet gossip; it is that such people increasingly dominate our public discourse and they are increasingly able to obscure such distinctions for purposes of public policy.

Much of their ability to do so lies in their ability to find personal or political bias in even the most professional of publications (whether scholarly or journalistic).

My point here is not to suggest that some people are above personal bias; it is calling attention to the different ways in which bias enters into the work of public media.

For some people bias is a problem they can never really seem to escape.

For others, bias is precisely the point.

For some, it is the only point.

Tidbits #59

Not every member in a political/ideological movement who read all the works of His leader/founder necessarily comprehend the entire principles and conjectures/assumption behind the “dogma”.

If you didn’t do your due diligence to acquire vast general knowledge and the causes of current marches/demonstrations… around the world, and didn’t confront injustices and indignities heaped on minorities…, you implicitly sided with the Silent Majority and are basically a racist in one way or another.

Too much outflow of cash in US and Europe in a dwindling market consumption and decrease in internal market expansion means future steep inflation. The Lebanese currency no longer correlate with $, and is irrelevant to how the $ fluctuate

There’s a playbook in Washington that Presidents are supposed to follow. It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses.

I looked at detailed map of the Silk Road and connecting rail transport. Turkey and Iran are mightily in. Syria and Iraq are totally out of it. So why USA, France and England had to destroy and ruin Iraq and Syria? No economic benefit to be generated from this destruction.

A Palestinian kid girl slapped a soldier for invading her home and killing her brother. She is in jail.
A Jewish settler made a Palestinian kid swallow kerosene and burned him alive. He is walking free. Why?

L’ Amérique Blanche est un syndicat, déployé’ pour protéger son pouvoir exclusif de domination et de control sur les corps Noirs et Latine. Sinon, les Blancs cesseraient d’ exister.

The main phases of western colonial powers wealth accumulation. 1) slave trades, 2) first industrial revolution and child labor, 3) second industrial revolution and mass infrastructure and transport and exploitation of their colonies, 4) the 30 years of China internal instability, famine and inequities, 5) The fall of Berlin Wall and invasion of multinationals of world markets. And what now? China is in the forefront at all levels. The colonial powers have to dig into its “reserves” of sovereign funds of centuries of looted wealth in order to fend off mass revolts of serious decrease in standard of living

How to contain Covid-19? Taiwan’s relative success was no accident—it began its journey with a functioning health-care system and fresh memories of SARS. Robust testing, contact tracing, and isolation methods were supported by an existing system that used centralized, real-time, electronic health data recorded on each individual’s health card. Holding steady with only 0.03 deaths per 100,000 people

England refuses to open its eyes and ears. Britain has reportedly given up on a US-UK trade deal this year. Officials blame the pandemic for the delay,. As if Barack Obama didn’t warn the British voters before the Brexit referendum Not to expect much from the US to cover Britain budget deficit or bolster any special dual trade deal if it withdrew from the EU. Now the EU has decided on a $800 bn package to alleviate Covid-19 meltdown, and Britain is Not part of the beneficiaries.

Bangladesh (160 million) goes digital, and more effectively delivers social services to those who need them. An accurate census was the first step to expand technology use across one of the world’s most populous countries.

What I have been doing in the last 18 years is considered by the community as “haram” for males to do. Like taking care of my old parents, changing their diapers, maintaining the house, cooking, washing, doing the dishes, moping… And yet, I’ m no longer young and Not even married. I have been shocking many in the silent majority who cannot perform anything if Not aided by “servants” and “professional” cleaners.

What? A great-looking ergonomic solution? Are we into fashion design or mainly into minimizing aches, pains, safety and health in bad design of products and environment?

When all the US liabilities are accounted for, US national debt amount to $135 trillion, Not the official $26 trillion. The US printed (balance sheet) over $10 trillion. Mind you that during the financial crisis  of 2007, US printed less than one trillion

China’s outsize banking losses reflect the sheer size of its mammoth banking sector which, in terms of customer loans, is as big as the US, Japanese, German, and UK systems combined, say S&P analysts.

On an average, India’s states and union territories collected about $2 billion in monthly taxes from the sale of liquor in 2019

Redundant. Redundant at all stages of life. Still hoping for breakthrough?

You join people at an event and you are not noticed, invisible, no one even that mean to ask you a question.

Those who “knows” you, know that you never talk, participate in the conversation or even ask a question.

When young, my parents never sat with me or my sibling in a one on one conversation. I was Not to join the invited people and listen to their conversation.

Actually, my parents were “stranger” to me when I was dispatched to a boarding school at age 5. My brother and sister were even much younger when they were sent home to save them from Africa diseases.

They paid me visit, one summer out of two, since they were working hard in Africa to eek out a living, in towns lacking of everything, even electricity.

The most memorable moment I heard this word Redundant was from an elder British person working at headquarter as the official letter writer to the company. Sort of only educated elder British colonial figures can deliver obtuse and confusing letters to suppliers…

I was hovering around in the maintenance shop at the headquarter in Warri, Nigeria, and waiting for my airplane ticket to be ready and receive the order to leave. That was in 1980.

This British “official” saw me, smiled and threw at me: “Are you redundant?”. He was expecting of me to be totally flabbergasted at this unusually “difficult” expression and he resumed: “Do you understand what redundant means”? I felt this urgent retort back at him: “What about you? Do you feel pretty redundant these days”?

This British person behaving as a remnant of the colonial era was Not that bad. He had a library in his home and I borrowed a few English books from him to fill my time, 6 months prior to this date. You don’t find people enjoying reading after a day work. Do you?

Yes, I was mostly a very quiet person and didn’t participate in any discussion for over 50 years.

In my youth, I was the forgotten person that they recalled existed and they needed to fill the bus for a trip. We had many trips in summertime. People sang, laughed, danced, cracked jokes… and I kind of felt aloof, having no talent in any of these “entertaining” skills.

Ten years ago, I decided to be funny and entertain the gathering by describing my “redundant situations” in life.

People found me hilarious, on the basis that deep down I am explaining their emotional condition, mainly that everyone knows that he is redundant.

Cracking jokes at my expense. And that is the initial stage before you earn your badge of honor of speaking frankly on the other people redundant life.

Let me be clear: almost all of my life I felt disoriented and trying hard to get me a “talent” in anything to be “hirable”. Vast general knowledge in almost every subject matter was Not a negotiable subject in any productive job.

No surprises that jobs are mostly boring and your work acquaintances are Not used to share but their boredom and redundancy expressions.

You realize that you do have a quick mind, if you decide to talk about your limitations, limitations shared by most and wanting to be reminded of them and laughing at them.

Note: I say: If a quote with the proper context matches your state of mind at a period run with it. Feeling obligated to refer to “who said what he said” is Not only redundant but dangerous in spreading “religious concepts” that are hidden within the quote.

If there is a Creator (or a bunch of them) for this entire Universe and all the species, your personal existence should Not mean much to Him. If there is No creator, you have wasted your life on an abstract concept that brought death and destruction for the living.

 

Google finds STEM skills aren’t the most important skills


  • Lou Glazer is President and co-founder of Michigan Future, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Michigan Future’s mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations.

A Washington Post column on research done by Google on the skills that matter most to its employees success. Big surprise: it wasn’t STEM. The Post writes:

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both brilliant computer scientists, founded their company on the conviction that only technologists can understand technology. Google originally set its hiring algorithms to sort for computer science students with top grades from elite science universities.

In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998.

Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the 8 most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last.

The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.

Those traits sound more like what one gains as an English or theater major than as a programmer.

Could it be that top Google employees were succeeding despite their technical training, not because of it?  After bringing in anthropologists and ethnographers to dive even deeper into the data, the company enlarged its previous hiring practices to include humanities majors, artists, and even the MBAs that, initially, Brin and Page viewed with disdain.

This is consistent with the findings of the employer-led Partnership for 21st Century Learning who describe the foundation skills for worker success as the 4Cs: collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.

And the book Becoming Brilliant which adds to those four content and confidence for the 6Cs.

And consistent with the work on the value of a liberal arts degree of journalist George Anders laid out in his book You Can Do Anything and in a Forbes article entitled That Useless Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket.

It’s far past time that Michigan policymakers and business leaders stop telling our kids if they don’t get a STEM related degree they are better off not getting a four-year degree. It simply is not accurate.

(Not to mention that many of their kids are getting non-STEM related four-year degrees.)

And instead begin to tell all kids what is accurate that the foundation skills––as Google found out––are Not narrow occupation-specific skills, but rather are broad skills related to the ability to work with others, think critically and be a lifelong learner.

The kind of skills that are best built with a broad liberal arts education.

The Post concludes:

No student should be prevented from majoring in an area they love based on a false idea of what they need to succeed. Broad learning skills are the key to long-term, satisfying, productive careers. What helps you thrive in a changing world isn’t rocket science. It may just well be social science, and, yes, even the humanities and the arts that contribute to making you not just workforce ready but world ready.

Note: About time students takes seriously the importance of general knowledge in everything they undertake. Most important of all is to learn designing experiments, developing the experimental mind that does Not come naturally, but with training.

 

Design is basic to all human activity.

“All men are designers. All that we do, almost all the time, is design, for design is basic to all human activity.

The planning and patterning of any act towards a desired, foreseeable end constitutes the design process.

Any attempt to separate design, to make it a thing-by-itself, works counter to the inherent value, of design as the primary underlying matrix of life.

Design is com- posing an epic poem, executing a mural, painting a masterpiece, writing a concerto. But design is also cleaning and reorganizing a desk drawer, pulling an impacted tooth, baking an apple pie, choosing sides for a back-lot baseball game, and educating a child.

Design is the conscious effort to impose meaningful order.” – Victor Papaneck

A few people place Information Theory/technology at the center of all sciences and knowledge. I prefer to locate Design in the center.

Designing require vast general knowledge and an experimental mind to fine-tune and frequently re-design what targeted certain species, genders, ethnic idiosyncrasies.

We indeed need to recognize that we have to get interested in psychology, sociology, geography, history… and every discipline that affect our comprehension of “ How to design and who are our target users

The more we are involved with what people want, the more we focus on the health and safety of the users (mentally, physically and emotionally) of what we design.

The moment we consider ourselves ” a professional” in design, the more we get alienated from the target user and intention of the design. Thus, connectivity and communication with the larger segments of the population insure better receptivity to our designs.

Unfortunately, the skills and knowledge of how to design experiments is badly lacking in curriculum: These skills do Not come naturally and require many periods of initiation of what are the causes, the catalysts, the controlling variables and the interdependence of variables affecting outcomes.

Note: It would have been a great purpose to publish our day-dreaming projects, with details. Precising the kinds of disciplines required to fine-tune the planning and execution of the project, along with the proper people ready to take on the project full-time..

How mind acquired knowledge? (Nov. 25, 2009)

Berkeley, the British philosopher of the 19th century, insists that we cannot directly comprehend objects with just our senses: our senses are causally linked to phenomena that are affected by the objects. In this case, the “existence of objects” becomes problematic if we try to insert a third transmission factor between the subject and the object to account for our comprehension.

Hume, another British philosopher, claimed that causal relations, among other concepts considered essential, cannot be understood from matters that are offered to our senses.  According to Hume, the sensed brute matter is our only source of knowledge and thus, it modifies our understanding but it should never leads us to formulating laws: “empirical knowledge is never certain”.

Hume warned against indulging into metaphysical concept (as the true opposite to objectivity). This word “metaphysics” aroused this erroneous fear that got the subsequent contemporary philosophers rattled and wrote thousand of obscure pages just to sound objective.

This anxious fear of extending metaphysical notions prompted philosophers into describing objects as equivalent to their qualities or characteristics, thus, evaluating relations is equivalent to evaluating qualities.

Consequently, contemporary philosophers reached this understanding that sure and stable knowledge has to be founded on reasoning such as it is done in geometry and the principle of causality.

The paradox, said Einstein, is that we learned that most reasoning systems do not necessarily generate certainty in any field of science or that they are intimately necessary for our knowledge development.

The traditional reflection that we need a speculative concept-based system of thinking to mediate between object and subject has been disrupted by physical sciences.

By the by, the conviction that transformations of our senses lead to comprehending brute matters relied on a double proof:

First, the impossibility of acquiring knowledge by the sole speculative thinking and

Second, empirical research enhanced our knowledge base.

Bertrand Russell in his “Inquiry into meaning and truth” stated:

“We all start with the realism that objects are what they appear: grass is green, snow is cold, and stone is hard. Then physics teaches us that color, heat, or hardness are different in quality or characteristics of what we might have experienced.

The observer is in fact registering the impressions of the grass, snow, or stone. When science attempts to be objective it sinks, against its will, into subjectivity.

Thus, naïf realism leads to physics, physics then demonstrates that realism is false. Logically false, and thus false.”

To avoid their concepts of being labeled “metaphysical” the scientists have been formulating boundaries or axioms to their concepts.

For example, in order for a concept not to degenerate into metaphysics first, enough numbers of propositions must be linked to the sensed world. And second, the conceptual system must have essential functions of re-arranging, organizing, and synthesizing the sensed “reality”.

A system expresses a game of logical symbols ruled by logical arbitrary given propositions.

Einstein is not bothered at all by the term metaphysics: he does not mind accepting an object as an independent concept in spatial-temporal structures. As he views it, it is unavoidable bypassing metaphysical concepts and thus, there should be no need to be apprehensive of a concept being considered metaphysical.

Einstein thinks that concepts are logical creations of the mind, that it cannot be due to inductive reasoning from the sensed experiences.

For example, prime numbers are considered invention of the mind. That concepts are extracted from the sensed brute matters is a reasonable contention, but what is wrong is to exclude all concepts not considered to be related to the sensed world as metaphysical concepts.

What is so fishy about contemporary philosophy is that they avoid dwelling on the processes of hundreds of thousands of years that was necessary for human brain to acquire the necessary associations and images of objects and expressions, of metaphors, and abstract analogies.

It is my contention that reasoning methods of induction, deduction, and logical systems of rules are but organizations and descriptions of mental processes of the brain and memories for retrieving and recalling stored information.

I believe that the neo-cortex has been undergoing specialized connected areas for expert specialized and restricted disciplines for work or labor divisions.

General knowledge is going down the drain and I believe restricting knowledge to specialization will result in man destruction and moral oblivion.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2021
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