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Education

The Case For Teaching Ignorance 234

HughPickens.com writes: In the mid-1980s, a University of Arizona surgery professor, Marlys H. Witte, proposed teaching a class entitled "Introduction to Medical and Other Ignorance." Far too often, she believed, teachers fail to emphasize how much about a given topic is unknown. "Textbooks spend 8 to 10 pages on pancreatic cancer," said Witte, "without ever telling the student that we just don't know very much about it." Now Jamie Holmes writes in the NY Times that many scientific facts simply aren't solid and immutable, but are instead destined to be vigorously challenged and revised by successive generations. According to Homes, presenting ignorance as less extensive than it is, knowledge as more solid and more stable, and discovery as neater also leads students to misunderstand the interplay between answers and questions.

In 2006, a Columbia University neuroscientist named Stuart J. Firestein, began teaching a course on scientific ignorance after realizing, to his horror, that many of his students might have believed that we understand nearly everything about the brain. "This crucial element in science was being left out for the students," says Firestein."The undone part of science that gets us into the lab early and keeps us there late, the thing that "turns your crank," the very driving force of science, the exhilaration of the unknown, all this is missing from our classrooms. In short, we are failing to teach the ignorance, the most critical part of the whole operation." The time has come to "view ignorance as 'regular' rather than deviant," argue sociologists Matthias Gross and Linsey McGoey. Our students will be more curious — and more intelligently so — if, in addition to facts, they were equipped with theories of ignorance as well as theories of knowledge.

Comment Re:Simple solution (Score 2) 468

Someone should ask him to list all 100 of his ways it could present an officer safety issue.

I can name a few reasons that speed traps present a civilian/driver safety issue...

Let's be honest here: Police traffic fines have almost nothing to do with safety anymore. They're about income for whatever governmental organization the police represent.

Comment Re:Choose a CMS you like (Score 1) 302

Honestly, if you just want to get a site with a few pages up for a client without a ton of money to spend, wordpress is the perfect solution. It takes mere minutes to set up a wordpress blog and install a theme, then just customize the images/content and you're done.

I think Wordpress is pretty horrible under the cover, but in the realm of "it just works," it's hard to beat for simple web sites.

Comment Re:i heard that Sony hack was insiders (Score 1) 231

Google is a thing, btw.

http://gawker.com/a-lot-of-sma... This article aggregates a lot of what I'm talking about.

The fact remains that regardless of their will, NK doesn't have the physical or technological means by which to hack sony and offload hundreds of TB of stolen data...

Comment Re:i heard that Sony hack was insiders (Score 1) 231

More like based on "convenience." True professionals (unlike the government agencies in question) have come forward several times with what effectively amounts to proof that NK couldn't possibly have hacked Sony. The government is simply using this as a tool to get more leverage against NK. Can't say I blame them, because "deception and manipulation" is the name of the game in government/politics, but it's still just BS.

I mean...when the hacker "organization" comes out and says "we're not north korea," and starts making fun of the FBI for arriving at that conclusion...you can probably bet it's not NK.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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