Saturday, July 7, 2012

America vs. Samaria

So a lifeguard is fired for saving the wrong life. From the view point of unrestricted capitalism, this makes perfect sense. Like the fire departments that let your house burn down if you didn't pay the county for fire service (yes, it really happens), privatization requires such penalization for the uncovered victim (he must take responsibility for failing to protect himself by signing up for our service)and for the lifeguard (he gave away our services to an uncovered individual).

Privatization, got to love it! It takes away the evil socialist concept of public service and replaces it with the sacred concept, "pay or die ". Thanks to privatization, we can become a nation of bad Samaritans. We already have a head start.

An exchange

I commented on a Huff Post entry in which the author speculated and bemoaned the low level of facts in current political attitudes and beliefs.   -- --

My comment was as follows.

Suggested corrections:
From: How can so many people be so arrogantly ignorant?
To: How can so many people be so willfully ignorant?

Answer: It's easy. Knowledge results from work, hard work

A comment was made on my comment, as follows.

nice, simplistic answer.

To this I made the following response.

Actually, I see the matter as deeply complex.  Seeking the answers to my query raises intense philosophic and psychological issues.  Why are people willing to surrender their intellect to their emotions?  What role is played by confirmation bias and other innate tendencies?  How much moral and practical responsibility is engendered by deliberately deceitful media outlets?

The ramifications are worthy of an academic specialty.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A group of teachers were caught In the act of smearing their students' abilities and personal attributes.  One teacher was fired for similar misconduct in an earlier incident. Then -- After her suspension, Munroe was reinstated at the school because she had a "legal right to her job," but was fired last week for poor performance. --

Is any educator surprised that a teacher posting such personal denigrations of her students was also performing poorly in carrying out her duties?

Respect is a two way street. Teachers who deserve react are those who respect their students and their communities.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

From a Huff Post report:

-- In an interview with the BBC, the world's most famous physicist, Stephen Hawking, said Higgs deserved the Nobel Prize. Hawking said he had placed a wager with another scientist that the Higgs boson would never be found.

"It seems I have just lost $100," he said.--

If this unnamed other scientist is Kip Thorne, I suggest Hawking stop making bets with him. It seems Thorne always wins.

My point is that while I am delighted to see our sports/celebrity obsessed culture paying attention to scientists, I fear we are tending to impose celebrity upon those scientists. Dr. Hawking is brilliant, but he is not Einstein, and even Einstein was often wrong. Science is the most successful branch of philosophy because it allows practitioners to utilize a set of procedures and methodologies which correct for the human failings of said practitioners. In other words, science works because it allows for and overrides the human failings of scientists.

We should respect and admire researchers, but let's be careful to remember they are not to idolized.