Friday, September 04, 2015

What's Weaker Than a Photo Montage? A Collection of Links

Wang Xiaolu wrote on July 20 that China's Security Regulation Commission was thinking of ending its market intervention. A news article about Wang's situation says, "The Commission immediately denied the report. It regularly made interventions up to mid-August." Is it so hard to believe that the commission was discussing in late July whether to end a policy that ended in mid-August? But he must be guilty because he's already confessed.

An Islamist's Sophie's Choice: is it okay to destroy a bit of Quran if that bit of Quran calls into question the authenticity of the Quran? Honestly, though, I'd hate to see a bunch of Christians use this finding to attack Islam, since Christians (rightly) dismiss such stories when they are used against Christianity. Firstly, supposing we can carbon date something to within a decade is foolhardy. Secondly, disagreeing with a widely-held popular assumption is not the same thing as disproving anything. If the fragment really is from Muhammed's lifetime, all that shows is that the assumption that the Quran wasn't written down for several generations is incorrect. Yes, maybe that means it didn't come from Muhammed, but it doesn't require that to be true.

More on the theme of rich Chinese kids attending university in the U.S. As a teacher at "the international division of select schools to chart their path to higher education abroad," I can tell you that there's a lot of truth here. The top four reasons my students studied economics last year were: 1)They'd been told that's how you get rich, 2)Their parents wanted them to (Why? See #1), 3)They'd been told it would get them into a good college (So what? See #1), 4)They'd been told smart people study economics and they wanted to signal their intelligence. Only a handful studied economics because they wanted to learn economics. Now that the word is out around campus that I make my students actually learn economics, interest in my class is dramatically lower this year.

Unschooling can be awesome if you do it the way Laurie Couture describes it here. But every unschooler I've actually known just ends up playing 21 hours of Minecraft every day. You can't remove structure without also removing media. (We're not unschoolers, bee tee dubs, so there's no need to call CPS, as many meddling friends of unschoolers actually do. I used to half-jokingly say, "Thomas Jefferson Education families make our family look like Asians.")

Chinese police enforcing Chinese laws in the United States aren't spies, they're invaders. (That doesn't mean there aren't Chinese spies around, though.)

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