Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
The implication of code.org is that there is some kind of barrier to computer programming for students. This is simply not the case. You wanna "code", great, start coding. All of the tools I use as a professional are freely available to anyone who wants to download them. There are countless thousands of free tutorials on-line for virtually every language. There is absolutely no barrier whatsoever to anyone learning to code.
But... There's a huge difference between "coding" and being a professional computer programmer. Anyone can do the former, almost no one can do the latter. The simple fact of the matter is, we get paid so much because this stuff is hard and requires talent. Not all humans can sing professionally and not all humans can program professionally. This has nothing whatsoever to do forcing children to learn musical scales or how make boxes and circles bounce around on a web page.
How about if we just let the people with a passion for programming do that and let everyone else be.
Under a plan called Operation Leakspin, the hackers will attempt to access all of the Wikileaks cables, sift through them and
Link to Original Source
Thomas Jefferson was a major proponent of dire necessity of public education for the continuance of democracy. He asserted four basic principals -
- "that democracy cannot long exist without enlightenment.
- that it cannot function without wise and honest officials.
- that talent and virtue, needed in a free society, should be educated regardless of wealth, birth or other accidental condition.
- that the children of the poor must be thus educated at common expense."
Are we educating citizens in America today? Nope, public education is grinding out worker drones that are specifically taught not to think. Jefferson would never have believed that the political sanction of free speech and inquiry that is occurring on campuses today would even be possible in the society he was envisioning. Let alone the outright programming of the populace to conform to the authority of the government, their employers, and God, in that order.
Instead of citizens capable of rational participation in their own government, we're producing franchisees of that Government, who've been formally taught, for seventeen years in most cases, that:
- every idea is just as important as every other idea (there's no way to prove anything definitively, so why not ID, etc. Gravity is just a theory, after all),
- that there are lots of ways to be intelligent (music intelligence, gee-its-too-bad-your-poor intelligence, etc.),
- that it's more important to feel good about your self than to actually achieve anything, and
- that worst possible thing they could do is form a judgment.
This process produces plenty of highly suggestible votes for the "democratic" process, since the sole and only criteria for participating in the democracy is the ability to fog a mirror. By not teaching anything about true politics it also produces a great deal of nihilistic apathy about the processes of government (which is much, much better from the incumbent office holder's point of view). Want proof? Ask the next person you see who their state representative is, who their city councilman is, and how the Electoral College works. Of course, if you need to look the answers up yourself... well, you get it.
So, what to do? Throw out public education? Beef-up public education? It really doesn't matter. Jefferson's ideal is unattainable because Americans are inherently uninterested in self-governance. The fact that nobody ever mentions the true purpose of public education in these discussions is prima facie evidence of our inability to successfully govern ourselves or even understand that we should. We'll continue on, living under the tyranny of the uneducated (though often credentialed with MBAs), uninterested, NASCAR-loving, not-particularly-moral majority, blissfully ceding our liberties to his majesty, Tyrannous Ignoramus, until our Chinese overlords put a stop to this "one-man-one-vote" nonsense. Probably sooner than later.