Reading between the lines of this article, the reporter comes across as terrible. Note the opening sentence: "Skim through Wednesday night's college basketball scores, and you might have the same two questions I did a few minutes ago." So the incubation period between stimulus and article was "a few minutes." In other words, "Here's some crap I just thought up right now." Which could be the title of just about any of my blog posts, but I'm not a professional. Am I idealistic about my journalism? No, I just want my journalists to help preserve the mystique.
Later, the reporter writes, "None of that is clear at this point because Carter did not immediately return messages seeking comment." The reporter called Carter for comment while writing, got a machine, left a message, kept writing, and submitted his article (or, more likely, clicked on "post"). How much time elapsed between leaving the message and publishing the story? Does the reporter give us an indication with his choice of the word "immediately"? I imagine Carter comes in the back door while the machine is beeping to signify the end of a recording, he hits redial, and the reporter lets it go to voicemail because it's all moot now.
The last paragraph of the story is a synopsis of the movie "Coach Carter," which is sort of like a summary of Ken Carter's life, but without all the annoying nuances. Spoiler alert: not everyone in real life "came to appreciate his tactics."
Here's an article about a nine-year-old girl discussing with her teacher his choice of sexual partners. Not my idea of the "sweetest letter," but then, that's just me.
I understand how this came up in class, and I respect that the teacher asked the principal for guidance when he contemplated what to say to the class. I think the tolerance lesson could have proceeded just fine without the personal angle.
I get what the teacher says about his colleagues freely discussing their spouses. I just think there's a difference between a man saying, "My wife and I..." and a man saying, "I am sexually attracted to women." A gay teacher who just references his husband is closer to the first, but a gay teacher who says "I'm gay" is closer to the second.
I don't know. I just think there should be a way to have this discussion that doesn't invite imagining the teacher in a sexual setting. Maybe, as long as this is relatively new to society, there's no way to mention it that doesn't invoke sexual images. But I think, with nine-year-olds, there is.
Again, I don't know. The teacher was responding to the class reaction to gay people, so there was some value in saying, "Well, you know me and I'm not like that." I still think, though, there's a way to handle this that doesn't involve a sex discussion with kids incapable of really understanding a sex discussion. But I think when it comes to thinking that some kids are too young for a sex discussion, I'm in the minority these days. (Hell, I'd be in the minority in the household in which I grew up.)
Here's an article about the passing of Peak Driving in the U.S. and its ramifications. I initially wanted to share this because of DOT's continual refusal to acknowledge this change. Since 1999, not only has DOT ignored the change, but they haven't even updated the projected growth rate. Maybe I could see a gradual decrease in the slope of each subsequent projection, but they continue to insist the real world will be brought into submission to their model.
Generally, I continually tell my students to be wary of any graph that shows a dramatic change in slope when the T-axis moves from the past to the future. Unless there's a really compelling reason to believe the future will be very different from the immediate past, lines with a sudden kink at T=today are really just saying, "We'd like this to be true." For a good example of such graphs, look at every budget projection ever produced by the Obama administration.
Another interesting point about this article is that nowhere in America are jurisdictions planning for the new post-peak reality. And the sky-high cost of infrastructure construction means it will only get worse. DC just spent a billion dollars for a subway to the airport that doesn't go to the airport. You want your subway to the airport to actually go to the airport? That'll be another billion.
@bryan_caplan I also wonder if there's any infrastructure that's not "crumbling."— Bo Bayles (@bbayles) December 21, 2014
Bryan Caplan recently retweeted someone noting how every description of infrastructure is "crumbling." But there's this alternative description: missing.
Of interest to me lately: students who take notes on computers think it helps them learn and they are wrong. Most of my students sit in absolutely stillness until I've written something interesting on the board, at which time they get out their phones and take a picture of it. (Who am I kidding? Their phones were already out.) Related: people who think they are good multitaskers are actually bad multitaskers. And depressed people have more-accurate worldviews. This is a theory that I like to call, "See everyone really does want you dead."
That seems like enough for now.