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Comment Death to Paper! (Score 1) 194

I have an HP printer/scanner at home that I pretty much use only for the scanner. My wife uses the printer on occasion, but I'm convincing her on the virtues of saving things as PDFs and putting them on her iPad. Likewise at work whenever someone wants to give me a printed copy of anything, I tell them to email or share the document. That way I can search for it, and I can search in it, and make changes/notes instead. Some of my coworkers are slowly picking up on this too. I can't wait for the day when we're truly paperless.

Comment Re:Google did it (Score 1) 70

Comcast does it as well. When I had their phone service, any calls I got would automatically be transcribed (often with humorous effect) and sent to me via e-mail. The only bad thing is it went to my Comcast e-mail address, which I almost never check.

Comment Re:Why children should NOT be taught to code (Score 1) 116

That is also why most people will not benefit from learning basic coding skills and will never advance beyond those basic skills. Coding is hardcore engineering and doing it well requires significant talent in addition to training and experience. Without that talent, your chances of ever becoming good at it are non-existent.

As an adjunct at a couple of colleges, in my mind the true value in having courses like this being taught in grades 9-12 would be to steer some students away from taking programming courses in college when they're not sure what they want to study. I'm not trying to be elitist either. I have taught many students who really weren't very interested in learning how to program, but were wedged into comp-sci because "that's where all the jobs are". I'd rather have them avoid this pitfall rather than when they're taking their 3rd or 4th programming course and deciding "I don't get this, it isn't for me."

Comment Re:They should make them all core subjects (Score 1) 116

After being misdiagnosed as mentally retarded, I was in Special Ed classes for eight years. I can reassure you that there's nothing special about being treated like an idiot.

They put me in Special Ed because they thought I was slow, but I stayed in Special Ed for the ladies.

Comment Why children should NOT be taught to code (Score 5, Insightful) 116

I had submitted this post about two weeks back, but it never made it to the front page. FTA:

I've written about this at some length in my book Beyond Technology. The argument depends upon assumptions about learning transfer -- the idea that learning in one context will automatically transfer across to others. This is to conceive of the brain as a kind of muscle: a good workout in the coding gym will have payoffs when we need our logical thinking skills to solve problems elsewhere. Similar claims are often made for learning the game of chess, or Latin. Yet there is no convincing evidence that learning computer programming enables children to develop more general problem-solving skills, let alone that it will 'teach you how to think', as its advocates claim.

While it seems intuitive that programming develops logical thinking, it may be the case that people who program already possessed that skill and programming merely reinforces it.

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller