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I LOVE the connection between our color vision and the rise and weathering of the Tibetian plateau!

Everything is so connected:)


The education comments has spurred a lively discussion with a half dozen of you. Bjarne notes http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/09/a-warning-to-college-profs-from-a-high-school-teacher in the Washington Post on the failure of No Child Left Behind that is troubling, but reflects what I'm hearing from professors teaching intro courses these days.

Several people recommended Save Our Science - an eBook by Ainissa Ramirez of Yale available in iBook and Kindle editions



It is worth reading. Change is certainly necessary, but is an enormous challenge in the US.


Discussion continued focused on one of Danah Boyd's recent talks.

Danah is a careful anthropologist of teenagers and has a good track record for reporting developing trends for good or not to good. I've heard some complaints about the coding practices of kids in their early 20s that square with this, but have no idea how representative that is and assume there are always complaints. Also the notion of companies rapidly changing may be taking place in a few startups, but many of them have always exhibited cultures that are apart from the mainstream


Several said they've seen the changes Danah notes and that, while they are good for quick prototyping, the depth of the result is often shallow and the quality suspect - ok for some uses, but not for others. But that is a very small part of the world. What is more interesting is if this collaborative nature is widespread and, if so, sustainable. There have been other culturally inspired workplace changes that haven't stuck and some that have,


There is a lot of commentary on e-learning these days especially MOOCs. To sort out signal from noise and hype three people recommended the e-Liberate blog as a starting point



Several people have written noting some of the counties with "good" education systems - notably those in Northern Europe - don't push as many people into colleges and offer training for the trades as a separate career path. Many of the community colleges in the US offer training for the trades, but they are under budgetary attack. The for-profit alternatives are much more expensive - often more than five times as much.

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