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Yesterday I sat down at our piano, a piano purchased by my mother’s mother. It is a lovely Baldwin Hamilton upright with acceptable action, lovely bright sound, surprising resonance. I play it when I can, though Ess sometimes asks me to stop. The point of this story, though: I didn’t have to earn it. It was given to me. In the care of my mom’s sister, who was moving, it found its way to me because I still played piano.



An excerpt from The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers:

The disrepute into which Formal Logic has fallen is entirely unjustified; and its neglect is the root cause of nearly all those disquieting symptoms which we have noted in the modern intellectual constitution. Logic has been discredited, partly because we have come to suppose that we are conditioned almost entirely by the intuitive and the unconscious. There is no time to argue whether this is true; I will simply observe that to neglect the proper training of the reason is the best possible way to make it true. Another cause for the disfavor into which Logic has fallen is the belief that it is entirely based upon universal assumptions that are either unprovable or tautological. This is not true. Not all universal propositions are of this kind. But even if they were, it would make no difference, since every syllogism whose major premise is in the form “All A is B” can be recast in hypothetical form. Logic is the art of arguing correctly: “If A, then B.” The method is not invalidated by the hypothetical nature of A. Indeed, the practical utility of Formal Logic today lies not so much in the establishment of positive conclusions as in the prompt detection and exposure of invalid inference.


Deficit of Play

Few articles I read, only about one a year, get saved on my computer. These are articles describing an invaluable overarching idea, a critique of our modern world so potent that I want to reference it so I don’t forget it and can incorporate it into my own life planning. The following is one of those articles.


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Immigration, Education, Bandwidth

I appreciate Thomas Friedman’s optimistic outlook after he attended the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search:

“If we can just get a few things right — immigration, education standards, bandwidth, fiscal policy — maybe we’ll be O.K.”

The Travesty of Higher Level Education

From “the more things change, the more they stay the same” desk at tumbledry HQ: a quote that, I think, you may find applicable. (I hope Katy finds it enlightening, as well):

I will not go for a doctorate, because it would be of little help to me, and the whole comedy has become boring.


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Occupational therapy


In Manhattan, the brutally competitive nursery and kindergarten admissions process is leading many parents to sign up their toddlers for therapy. “Preschool admissions tests loom large,” said Margie Becker-Lewin, an occupational therapist on the Upper West Side. “In many cases, parents know there is nothing wrong with their child, but they feel caught in the middle.”


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Teacher jobs

Nice to put some numbers to that which I am always complaining about. Paul Krugman, in “The Uneducated American”, about the United State’s continued trashing of the educational system:

Of those lost jobs, 29,000 were in state and local education, bringing the total losses in that category over the past five months to 143,000. That may not sound like much, but education is one of those areas that should, and normally does, keep growing even during a recession. Markets may be troubled, but that’s no reason to stop teaching our children. Yet that’s exactly what we’re doing.


Victimized Chinese students

In China, records of your schooling and achievements therein are tracked by a single, government-protected file. Sometimes, corrupt officials steal these files from poor, high achieving individuals. They then sell the files or use them for their own advancement. Victims are left with absolutely no recourse. They must find menial jobs far below their training. The article, Files Vanished, Young Chinese Lose the Future, goes on to explain what happened when a group of parents tried to petition for document recovery on their children’s behalf:


Scientific ignorance in the U.S.

Scientific ignorance in the U.S. - The article, which is behind a registration wall (bugmenot to the rescue), talks about the classes not of economy but of knowledge in the United States.


This Will Be Difficult to Tag

Ok, here we go. Since one of the purposes of this site is to preserve things in which I am interested for posterity: I will now embark on an image-powered summary of some of my interests from the past week.

Interest 1: Vega4
This music group sounds like Snow Patrol; that’s a good thing. I like ‘em … I caught them on the radio (not on the television, though I must admit that seems to be one of the best place to hear new, alternative music these days); I’ve been thinking about getting their album ever since. A quote from a PopMatters review follows:


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