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Comment Remaining ignorant is not smart (Score 1) 273

There is a movement today to advocate strict suppression of all ideas that don't agree with the consensus or "approved" view of things. No matter how wrong those "alternative" ideas may be, that truly is the path to disaster.

The correct path is to teach everyone logic and scientific thought so that people can effectively determine the truth for themselves.

Instead, we seem to treat students as if they were all idiots who must be "protected" from "wrong information". You can't do that without creating obedient sheep. You may be one of those who think obedient sheep would be a good thing, until someone else, with completely wacky ideas, starts leading your sheep off into the hinterlands.

Instead of trying to suppress all the information we think is wrong, we should teach people how to think and how to evaluate information. That really is the only way to effectively protect them.

Comment Re:Great. Let's sit here and wait for the next wav (Score 2) 422

of climate change deniers.

Of course, we're not going to do anything about the problem. Of course not.

What exactly is a "climate change denier"? Is that someone who denies that the climate changes? Would you be so kind as to point to a specific example of someone who has actually said the climate hasn't changed, isn't changing and won't change? I certainly don't know of anyone who is that stupid.

(Although, it does seem that some people think the climate shouldn't change and that, because it is changing, that's a Bad Thing. But those aren't the skeptics.)

Or by "climate change denier" do you mean someone who doesn't believe in future predictions of disaster? If so, could you explain how someone "denies" a future prediction? One either believes a prediction or doesn't believe it but it hasn't happened so there is nothing to "deny" or "accept".

Comment Re: I like it. (Score 1) 306

Do the editors, marketers and the rest have to work harder if more books are sold? How does pricing ebooks at $15+ or $10 affect what editors, marketers and such make? The only ones who would be affected by the pricing and quantities sold are author and publisher.

Comment Hello past, meet future (Score 1) 306

Pricing ebooks at 15+ is a ripoff and the consumers know it. There is no manufacturing, no distribution, no storage, no over-printing, no loss from damage/theft. It's almost all profit. If you sell a dozen or a million, the costs to "manufacture" and "distribute" all the ebooks sold is just about the same. Unlike physical books the "manufacturing" and "distribution" costs do not increase as quantities rise.

So why not price them to sell more?

Oh, no! We have to protect the old way of doing business! To hell with the readers. To hell with authors getting their books into the hands of more readers. To hell with the future. The past has worked very well, thank you very much.

Comment Re:Teaching standards (Score 1) 661

In case someone doesn't understand why their chapter on "Climate Change" is so very bad, let me quote from the report itself (which, outside of the chapter on climate, is not bad at all):

From its inception, one of the principal goals of science education has been to cultivate students’ scientific habits of mind, develop their capability to engage in scientific inquiry, and teach them how to reason in a scientific context. There has always been a tension, however, between the emphasis that should be placed on developing knowledge of the content of science and the emphasis placed on scientific practices. A narrow focus on content alone has the unfortunate consequence of leaving students with naive conceptions of the nature of scientific inquiry and the impression that science is simply a body of isolated facts.

No matter what one's view is on Climate Change, everyone should object to this chapter's deliberate failure to encourage students to question, investigate, analyze and evaluate the actual data for themselves.

Comment Teaching standards (Score 1) 661

The recommendations start well. They introduce their chapter on scientific and engineering practices by saying

From its inception, one of the principal goals of science education has been to cultivate students’ scientific habits of mind, develop their capability to engage in scientific inquiry, and teach them how to reason in a scientific context.

The idea, they say, is to stress "the importance of developing students’ knowledge of how science and engineering achieve their ends while also strengthening their competency with related practices."

Their "practices for K-12 science classrooms" include things like:
"Asing questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)"
"Planning and carrying out investigations"
"Analyzing and interpreting data."
"Engaging in argument from evidence"

But, when they get to the section on "Climate Change", all that goes out the window.

By the end of grade 12, they want students to "know" that

Global climate models are often used to understand the process of climate change because these changes are complex and can occur slowly over Earth’s history. Though the magnitudes of humans’ impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are humans’ abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts. Through computer simulations and other studies, important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities, as well as to changes in human activities. Thus science and engineering will be essential both to understanding the possible impacts of global climate change and to informing decisions about how to slow its rate and consequences—for humanity as well as for the rest of the planet.

How does that stack up with actually teaching science:
How are students supposed to question computer models?
How are students going to investigate computer models?
How are students going to analyze and interpret computer models?
How are students going to engage in argument from computer models?

This is not teaching science. This is teaching trust in authority and their mysterious "climate models". Trust us. Trust our "climate models".

Comment Re:We've gone beyond bad science (Score 1) 703

OK. I'm sorry. You will probably misinterpret what I said and continue this silly discussion. I'm sorry you took offense. All I wanted to do was help improve your response to the skeptic. I felt it was weak and, as I said, not responsive to the actual comment. It would have been more effective to have challenged them to prove their assertions or provided your own facts to disprove their assertions, or both. Your response was more like "Yeah? Well, well ... your mother wears army boots!" I was trying to help. Sorry I wasn't able to. Please disregard all my posts to you on this. Never mind.

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