All these computer classes are great for the natural learner, the 20% or so of students who have that ability. But these are the same students who have been graduating high school for year, who can go to the public library and learn everything that they would if they got an MBA(one of good friends did this), who, like reported in the NYT today, did not complete school but invented Scotch Tape.
While we need to make sure not to apply negative pressure to these kids, which means to let them take the online courses, give them independent study, allow to explore, we also cannot use this an excuse to stop the more expensive education of the kids who really need to be taught. The correlation between online courses and independent skills(Or as it says, habits of the mind) in no way indicates that online courses teach independent skills. Sure, you could put a kid a computer and give him an F if she does not complete statistics, but is that teaching? Some would say yes. I would say we are accepting that most of kids will be semi-skilled laborers without the jobs to insure a high rate of employment, which means more welfare checks.
I learned to use a computer in middle school based on a teletype. My first real job was using MS Excel on a Mac. If I had been taught how to use a program, I would have been screwed. But I was taught a how to think how computers work, the skill of programming and use a computer, not just an application. I had to transfer my skills of using a t-square and triangle to using a 2d based schematic program to a 3D based rendering program. I can thank my teachers in high school for focusing on best practices instead of rote mechanics.
I firmly believe that if a kid goes to college, they should go to college for something they love. If they learn how to think and how problem solve, they be more likely to complete a degree with something they love, and if they are smart enough to work as they move through college, they will gain skills that will get them employment. If they go don't go to college, then get work that will teach you something. The entry level job should not only be about pay, it should be about learning.
There is no way to know what the world is going to look like in 30 years when today's teens are stuggling to complete that last 15 years of work before retirement, when all the kids who are born in 10 years are going to sniping at her back to take her job away because they are more up to date. Look how few parents were buying their kids computer in 1984. I wonder how many wish they had.
In any case there are probably more significant way that a person contributes to the carbon problem. Cars are a good example. Petrol is mostly carbon, and no matter how clean we make the exaust, and it is clean, there is still carbon that has to be expelled as CO and CO2. Asking someone how much petrol they consume a year is therefore a much better indicator, although in the UK the car ownership and use is probably not as great as in the US.
Then there is food. A kilowatt hour of electricity is like a kg of CO2, burning a gallon of gas is like 8kg, and eating a pound of beef is like 50 kg. Eating chicken, according to the OECD, cuts that in a quarter. So someone who uses too much electricity but each chicken instead of beef, or even tofu with cuts in a quarter again, is probably doing more good that some who has beef every day but is very frugal on the electricity.
I think that 3D printers have a market and will get to the point where they will be Sold in Stores My concern with Home Depot is their ability to market them positively. Sure, $4K is low enough that many people will but it and take it home and try to use it. But if Home Depot is trying to push 3D printers to just anyone, many of them are going to get returned because they can't print washers. And the reviews are going to be bad, and 3D printing technology is going to be pushed back 5 years.
On a related note, broadcaster have been increasingly ignoring the public service mandate, and our government has been complicit in this. Aero is just another example of the giveaway of public resources to the privileged few.
Here is the difference between Aero and Cable, and the reason the so called loop hole is valid. Cable collects all the broadcasts signals and retransmitts all those signals along to all subscribers. The fee is the right to collect and retransmit en masse.
There is also and issue of the broadcasters use of the public airwaves. In exchange for this use, it is assumed that the tax payers of this country have access to free programing. Aero is a service that allows us to access that free content. Cable is a service where you buy access to content. Aero is a service where you specify a program to watch, or to record, and that one program is transmitted to you and only you. Cable is a service where all the programs are transmitted to you to be selected in immediate real time, even switch between channels, or channel in channel.
Here is an example, and everyone can decide if this is illegal. Tivo allows a broad range of remote capabilities. Suppose I opened a service in which I filled a warehouse with Tivos and antennas. End users would enter a contract where they would rent a Tivo and antenna. They would use the TIvo interface to control the content. I would have no control over what was being transmitted. Would that be illegal? What if I built a custom DVR and a custom interface? Would that be illegal? What if I used a Tivo and 'shared' each one so that six different users?
This is why the ruling is so bad. It reduces our rights to do as we wish with the content that we have given up bandwidth to receive. In excange for use of the the public airwaves, we have the right to free over the air content. That means content that we collect using an antenna and then consumer for personal use. We can record it to VCR, take that tape with us on a trip, and watch it elsewhere.
The only appropriate thing for the broadcasters to do in response to Aero, it they did not want aero to add a convince for users, is to stop using the public airwaves. Go 100% cable or stream over the internet. This is second major problem with the SCOTUS decision. If broadcasters cannot deal with Aero retransmitted a single show to a single user, and if they have become so dependent on cable, then clearly they are wasting bandwidth that could be used for other purposes. The best thing that could have happened to US, if the broadcasters are as inefficient as it seems, is that Aero put them out of business and then we would have all this bandwidth that can be sold to firms that can use it efficiently. All the SCOTUS has done is save the buggy whip industry.