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Comment This is like the whole "learning styles" thing. (Score 1) 307

"Learning styles" takes an undeniable truth, that different people find it easiest to learn in different ways, exaggerates it to a falsehood (i.e., that people can only learn the way that's easiest for them), and then converts it to BS (e.g., "I'm a visual thinker, that's why I'm no good at math.")

The underlying mistaken assumption is that education should never require you to try something you find difficult or unnatural. If you are indeed a visual learner, that's something that you and your teachers can and should exploit, but you need to learn how to learn in modes that don't come easily to you. Life doesn't always give you a choice of forms for lessons you need to learn. Sometimes you ought to read the manual; other times there is no manual. You need to be adaptable to either case.

It's important to be sensitive to the fact that some students are introverts -- although that doesn't necessarily mean "shy" or "socially awkward"; that's just a stereotype, it's not what "introverted" means. But it is undeniably true that group work comes less naturally to introverts than extroverts. Nonetheless they still need to learn to work that way, just as extroverts need to learn how to work independently. If you just taught students to be able to do what comes naturally to them, what's the point of education?

Comment Re: the work he has put in does warrant appreciati (Score 2) 146

Self-amusement can't be a practical purpose for a hobby project?

It's one of those things we couldn't have imagined when the Internet was thrown open to anyone back in the early 90s. We didn't anticipate it would be used to spread cat memes, revive white supremacist ideology, or more to the point usher in a new golden age or priggery.

Comment Re:Punish the (really) guilty (Score 1) 956

I'm following the discussion at the Dallas morning news on this, and one word that comes up over and over is "normal". It's not normal for a kid to build something like this -- so he must be up to something. One popular theory is that he planned this to get arrested and start the whole media circus.

In these peoples' tiny little minds, you have a choice: you can choose to be "normal" or you can choose be some kind of deviant. Well if that's the case, I'll take "deviant" please.

Comment Re:Email the school and let them know what you thi (Score 1) 956

Don't for get the Chamber of Commerce; if you own or manage a business, why not let them know by posting on their Facebook ( or twitter feed ( how this affects your perception of Irving Texas as a place to do business.

Comment Re:Punish the (really) guilty (Score 1) 956

Because it takes balls for a cop to stand up and say, "I screwed up, because even though I'm supposed to protect people from things like bombs I have no friggin' idea what one looks like. I go by what I've seen in the movies." And obviously the cops in Irving don't have any, so they're hemming and hawing and implying that some kind of crime must have been committed, although they can't figure out what that might be.

Comment Re:Innocent until proven guilty (Score 1) 956

Tinkerers and inventors used to be a big thing in this country too, but we're no longer a country that makes things; we're a country that lives by managing the assets past generations have left us. No wonder we're afraid of immigrants and smart people -- and smart immigrants are our worst fear.

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