Regression Continues in Math Education

algerbra

The year is 2015. Computers are used daily by almost everyone. Demand for programmers is as high as ever. Data is ubiquitous, but useless without human brains for interpretation. Twenty-first century educators will surely rise to meet the demand of our ever evolving, ever expanding technology.

Unfortunately, it seems that instead of education rising to meet demand, it is in fact regressing, to a state that has not been seen before. Evidenced by San Fransisco’s Refusal to offer Algebra 1 to 8th graders, educational institutions are unable to adapt to the modern world.

I’ve spent over a decade working with the educational system, mainly teaching at the college level. I taught my way through a Ph.D. I studied math and loved it (well, most of the time). I’ve seen the results of the public education system for a while. From that vantage, there doesn’t seem to be any progress.

Why is education going in reverse when compared to technology and other economic sectors? Why are children not better problem solvers sooner? Why are some students learning high school algebra in college? Why are some colleges thinking of making a remedial course to prepare students for a remedial course? Oh, and by the way, remedial is now called developmental. Not only is secondary education failing, we’re changing our language to hide this fact. [Read more…]

An Open Letter to Conspiracy Theorists

illuminati

Dear Mr. Conspiracy Theorist,
You need help. No wait, that didn’t sound right. I apologize. What I meant to say is, you’re right about everything. Except you aren’t. About most things. But you still are… Argh, this isn’t working. Ok, here’s the deal: I understand and appreciate where you’re coming from with stuff. But you believe some crazy things that just aren’t so. And it’s because of something missing inside. Don’t worry, I’m your friend. I’m here to help you.

I get it, we all need hobbies. Some play sports. Others are makeup enthusiasts. Some people get into politics, and still others are history buffs. Some people do board games. Like, all the time. Religiously. Seriously, they can’t even go out and date because they have some weekly board game on every night, and heaven forbid they miss one in order to get some action. Who the hell would choose… anyway, I’m sorry, I’m getting distracted here. Point is, I understand your pursuit of extracurriculars. It’s just that some of this stuff you get into is kind of a little nutty. Okay, really pretty insane.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly understandable. I agree with a lot of what you think, I really do! Skepticism towards the official news story is healthy. Of course the government lies. And yes, I definitely think they’re behind a lot of the crazy and terrible things happening in the world today. Same goes for the corporations. But some of this stuff is just crazy. No, those aren’t chemtrails, that’s just plain old condensation. The official 9/11 story is pretty sketchy, but the alternative conspiracy theory is even worse. No, there aren’t crisis actors everywhere. Yes, Sandy Hook was a real place, and real kids died there. And please stop denying their existence. You know there are dozens of grieving parents who lost their little children there, and rubbing salt into the gaping wounds in their hearts is nothing short of barbaric. Please, stop. You can do better. [Read more…]

Did You Honor Secession on July 4th?

indy

This year, did you truly honor the meaning of Independence Day?

No, this isn’t one of those terrible 4th of July guilt trips. Did you have a barbecue? Good. Did you stuff greasy food into your face until you could barely move? No problem. Get so drunk you almost thought hitting on your bikini-clad cousin was a good idea (bonus points if her significant other was there)? Perfect. Did you completely forget about the troops for a blissful, fleeting day? Great, those bastards have already inserted themselves into every major holiday. However you had a blast, you were doing it right. Liberty means being free to have a good time, no matter how you may do that.

I’m talking about the spirit with which you commemorated the occasion. The reason for the festivities. Because whatever flag-waving, America-loving, patriotism-pimping vibe courses through Independence Day, let’s not forget what it’s all truly about: secession. [Read more…]

Why Liberty Attracts Scumbags

scumbag

News flash: I care deeply about the cause of human liberty. I believe government is the greatest blight on human achievement and well-being. Of all political labels I most closely identify with libertarianism. So much so, in fact, that I moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project in order to join other like-minded liberty lovers in ushering in a new era of freedom and progress for mankind.

And, naturally, I’d want to believe that people who think like me are the best this world has to offer. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s very far from the reality.

Now don’t get me wrong, most libertarians are decent people. In fact, the majority of the most humble, generous, hard-working, kind, and intelligent people I’ve come across are liberty activists. I know many people of great achievement, selfless compassion, and brilliant humor who easily outclass their counterparts outside of the liberty movement. However, that doesn’t change the fact that a sizable chunk of this movement is comprised of some real lowlifes. [Read more…]

Why We Should Criticize Chris Kyle

kyle

There’s a hero’s story sweeping the hearts and minds of America. The legend of a righteous warrior who piled enemy bodies high. A marksman whose heroism saw no equal. The legend of Chris Kyle. A legend that we must crush.

To be honest, I don’t really care either way about Chris Kyle. In my view, he was a hired killer like so many others who have participated in the wars of the last decade or so. He had similar motivations and actions to the thousands of veterans of both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and deserves no special praise or condemnation beyond any normal servicemember.

Yet I feel the need to criticize Chris Kyle’s legacy. Why? Because we can’t.

There are plenty of reasons why we might scrutinize the wars and their moral justifications, including those who carried out these conflicts’ implementation. Raise a disagreement with American hero at large Chris Kyle, however, and face a swift backlash. Not on the issues. Not on the wars. Not on Kyle’s actual record. No, the condemnations offered heretics such as myself concern the basic premise of questioning purported heroes at all. It isn’t being wrong that’s the sin. It’s dissenting. And that’s frightening. [Read more…]

Peaceful Society Through Martial Arts (Porcfest 2014)

A strong people is a peaceful people, and widespread practice of the martial arts is a key way to develop the kind of society ready to not be governed. Talk delivered at the 2014 Porcupine Freedom Festival in Lancaster, New Hampshire.