You left out "or how scary/threatening it is," like bears, wolves, big cats, and so on. Of course habitat destruction "helps" a lot there too.
I don't know if you're getting your info from The Instutitute for Historical Review or Fox News, or somewhere like that, but we have the actual intercepts of communications in which Togo explicitly says to ambassador Sato that Japan is willing to surrender territories gained: Japan "has absolutely no idea of annexing or holding territories she occupied during the war." The War Department had these intercepts summarized/interpreted and ready for dissemination on 12 July 1945. This information was used and discussed in the run-up to dropping the bomb. We also have these discussions where the people deciding to drop the bomb or not considered the one request, to allow the emperor to live and remain considered "divine"; and we have the records of that committee rejecting this possibility. Further we have the Stimson memo that suggests that nukes be used to indicate to Stalin that he needs to slow down in Europe. Of course he knew we had the nuke, because his spies already had him building his own copy. Anyway, we've got all this info, and yet people still come back with, well, lies circulated by people who don't want to accept nuclear realpolitik. Here's the Togo-Sato intercepts: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/.... I think you can get the rest of it here: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/....
I've been there, first a grad student and now a professor. I also teach people about how to write, so I follow the research on this. First, as you age, this will happen some; it started for me in my early 40s. Second, you don't need a lot of these distractions. You might get push-back from people; you might think you need this stuff, but start aggressively using airplane mode on your phone. Use software on your computer that blocks distracting domains for a set period of time, or even go somewhere without internet access to work. Or leave your networked devices at home. Simple. Third, the body is part of this, nutrition, sleep, cardio exercise, are all shown to have significant impact on ability to concentrate. Fourth: pay attention to your moods, set work goals, don't whip up on yourself while making yourself work, etc. Fifth and final: keep all activity sustainable and form good habits (avoid bad habits like butt-chugging caffeine, popping Ritalin, or maintaining a marijuana fog).
"Without the state protecting them, they will fall under their own overwhelming incompetence." - King Neckbeard.
"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw
"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw
I'm assuming the question is Windows specific, and I use MacOS and Ubuntu, and haven't really had to use Windows since Windows 3.... So I'll just be only marginally helpful and say/ask, "Aren't there a ton of apps out there that do that already?" I know on Mac there's lots of little doodads that pop up a ruler. And doesn't OneNote, and a lot of other stuff, do that handwriting recognition? I know it's baked-in on MacOS; isn't it on Windows too? And doesn't any app, really, have the ability to make a template when it has "Save as", or if the file-system can lock a file? I'd bet Windows even has an equivalent to the Mac stationery file-attribute. Me, I get by with TextEdit (rtf editor), Keynote (presentation), and a free app called Highlight that throws a transparent drawing layer over my screen. I know everyone's uses are different, but--just to be clear--can't most of your problems be solved with some screen mirroring and a regular app? The bonus then is that you can transport your stuff to machines that don't have that bloated piece of Smartboard excrement on them.
Anthropology and Sociology are not typically considered STEM but "social sciences."
Common Core as a set of curricular guidelines isn't bad at all. The problems I see are: 1), the "coercion" -- cash-strapped districts really do have to jump at any money, so they rush into implementation; 2) more high-stakes standardized testing; that shit has already dominated and f*cked-up education; 3) corporate domination; Pearson and others stand to make fat, fat stacks of cash on the tests and the materials, and that's why they all poured money into the campaigns. I've seen first-hand what the Person vertically-integrated education ecosystem is like. They sell you shit in development, shit that doesn't work, and shit that's just plain shit. I hate them. NB: college professor at an institution that had a contract to use only Pearson; spouse is in instructional tech and shares my opinion. The best thing we could do is hire more teachers, pay them a little better, and start doing something to reduce the stranglehold that corporations like Pearson have on the education system. Stuff like Kahn Academy is fine, but I don't think online education gives students what they need, which is contact with an educated, adult mentor/teacher. (And, yeah, I know, a lot of teachers we have now don't fit that bill, but that's what young people need.)
I still wear an analog watch for those reasons. AND so that I can "subtly" glance at it when it's time to end a conversation.
I used to work at a planetarium helping school kids with telescopes. Our preferred scope was a dobsonian. I'd recommend a 4.5" dobsonian. The one sold by Orion isn't a bad deal, and they're pretty good quality. But that's $250. You can sometimes find a used dobsonian. A 6" or 8" would be a really good scope. I like the dobsonian because there's little to mess with. Too often the fancy scopes get between you and observing. And you might not even need a scope. There's a whole lot to be done with the naked eye or a cheap pair of binoculars (7x35 or 8x40 being good cheap choices, 7x50 being really nice). If you are on a really tight budget, a dobsonian is very easy to build. You'll need the mirrors, a spider, and a focuser. The rest of the stuff you can get at wally world or hardware stores. If you go that route, the best bang for your buck is usually a 6" f8 scope. But you can low-ball and even build as small as a 3" scope. In fact, a 3" f10 is a very, very simple mirror to grind. You'd done before you know it. You just then need to find someone to silver or aluminize it for you; it used to be easy to send a mirror off for surfacing like that.
YES! I am a university professor, and I can tell you that books are written saying this same thing. They go back to the early 1900s. The basic argument, from the academic side in the early days (like 1930s), runs like this: "University is for theory and cultural polish, community college is theory/polish for poorer or less-prepared people. Sure, industry wants us to do their training for them in junior colleges, but they should do it themselves. Besides, professors aren't good at professional training because we'll always be trailing the innovations of industry." To a degree that's a true statement. Sure, you can pull in engineers to do some teaching. But you won't get cutting-edge engineers at the junior college, and not many engineers (or other professionals) will give up the salary to be a professional. I, personally, differ in that I believe the "soft skills" and the theory and even education in the humanities all make better engineers. But I know that is not a widely-shared opinion on
I study feminism. I don't know where you are getting your historical information, but it's inaccurate. Yes, there were the nuts and extremists, like Valerie Solanas. There were and are women who hypothesize that patriarchal behaviors--which are distinct from or are a subset of male behaviors--are bad for humanity. And there are many, many other lines of thought from utopian free-love to men-are-bad. And stuff off in other directions. After a lot of study, I personally decided that the majority of feminist thought was positive for humanity, including men like myself. You can dismiss that as thought-crime, or you can do more reading. That's a bit of work, and it IS comfortable, isn't it, to have a scapegoat or a villain on which to hang all your troubles?
The MLA and others have reasons to not be forthright about the real issue: universities don't hire tenure-track professions nearly as often as they used to. Nowadays, over 70% of your humanities courses are taught by people off the tenure track, most of whom aren't even working full-time. The issue isn't "overproduction" of PhDs in the humanities as so many like to say. It's that universities don't want to pay for faculty. I know many may say "Good, those are useless elitest shits anyway." OK. Maybe we are. BUT consider what happens if getting the doctorate is as hard as it is now with as little payoff. Who can do that? Middle-class kids, or people who won't be taking on any risk to make this gamble? What then happens if we make it even harder to get the professorship by admitting fewer people into PhD programs. I'll tell you, from my experience, that having gone to good schools as a kid, having the right class markers, all that, those still make getting the PhD easier. As a first-generation college student, I struggled and struggled to get my doctorate and eventual professorship. If you reduce the number of people like me--ones who started out poor or middle-class or hispanic or black--you're only going to make it harder for the "token" students who do get admitted to hang in there with Biff and Buffy. Note also, I'm not talking about the Ivy leagues. I was a midwestern state school for my doctorate, and my classmates included the daughter of a VP of one of the big three automakers, the child of a megachurch preacher, a couple of heirs, and several people who were "comfortable" or who had family business they could fall back on. This was out of a group of 18. As far as I know, there were only three of us who were actually from backgrounds that meant our failure would have serious consequences. Anyway, I'm going on and on. The term for this is casualization of academic labor. Because we like big words. But what it means is that some of the things that seem like they'd punish the elites would only lead to more elitism.
And it won't be cheap for long in the US. The natty gas industry is lobbying for it to become a "foreign policy tool." They want to ship it across the sea, somehow making it cheaper on the European market than Russian gas. I wonder who'll end up subsidizing that? The struggling US economy, or the almost bankrupt European economies, or Germany?
I want to add a data points (anecdote). I'm an English professor. For several years, I've noticed that students will keep repeating the same easily-corrected mistakes in paper after paper. I offer corrections, advice, and instruction in class. I began to suspect that students were not reading the comments. I gradually came to believe that the phones out in class were not being used for note-taking. This semester I have taught a content-heavy lecture course. Since it's new, and I'm up for tenure, and student feedback is extremely important at my institution, I decided to kiss some ass by recording lectures during which I gave test review--especially since about 50% of students show up for class. I then posted those recordings on Blackboard for my students. Despite this, the test scores stayed around 60%. Now, this is asking questions like "Which of the following was the first Gothic cathedral?" (We talked about that cathedral for a week) or "Which emperor started the construction of Constantinople's first city walls?" (Dur, Constantine?) And students were getting these wrong. So I looked at the statistics for the audio files I'd posted. Out of four audio files, one for each test, one had been listened to. Bog standard MP3, low nitrate. No technical problem. And students WERE logging in to check grades. Nope. They clearly just gave not shit one about studying. (NB: I don't entirely suck as a teacher; my students typically compliment me for making material interesting, etc, on evals.) I read a lot about how helicopter breeders and spoon-feeding teachers are destroying the minds of youth. About how phones, etc, are destroying the minds of youth. Well. I don't know. But something is. TL;DR? Short version: Fuck this. When I get tenure, I'm going to spend all day in my office reading comic books.
I upgraded to Mavericks from Snow Leopard because a lot of my mainline apps were only getting Mavericks-compatible updates. The best thing I can say about Mavericks is that it doesn't suck as much as I expected. I'm not noticing a slowdown, but I moved to an SSD for the OS drive at the same time, and I'm on an '09 MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM, so those things may be concealing an OS-related slowdown. At any rate, I'd say that you shouldn't make the move to Mavericks if you don't have to, especially if you have an older machine. It's mostly just a bunch of stupid eye-candy. Yes, I know: App Nap!* Memory efficiency! Battery efficiency! But my battery use was already fine, RAM is often dirt cheap, and App Nap's main function on my machine is to pop up the rainbow pinwheel when I'm in a hurry.