21 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Essays Should Not Need to Argue a Point

The Age of the Essay September 2004 Remember the essays you had to write in high school? Topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, conclusion. The conclusion being, say, that Ahab in Moby Dick was a Christ-like figure. Oy. So I'm going to try to give the other side of the story: what an essay really is, and how you write one. Or at least, how I write one. Mods The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real ess...
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Pessimism in Predictions and the False Sense of Insecurity

You would think that the disappearance of the gravest threat in the history of humanity would bring a sigh of relief among commentators on world affairs. Contrary to expert predictions, there was no invasion of Western Europe by Soviet tanks, no escalation of a crisis in Cuba or Berlin or the Middle East to a nuclear holocaust.1 The cities of the world were not vaporized; the atmosphere was not poisoned by radioactive fallout or choked with debris that blacked out the sun and sent Homo sapien...
Folksonomies: perspective pessimism
Folksonomies: perspective pessimism
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18 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Comparative Alphabets

But when I had grasped the facts that spellings are often false, that words can be invented, and that explanations are often wrong, I found that worse remained behind. The science of phi- lology is comparatively modern, so that our earlier writers had no means of ascertaining principles that are now well established, and, instead of proceeding by rule, had to go blindly by guesswork, thus sowing crops of errors which have sprung up and multiplied till it requires very careful investigatio...
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13 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Phonetic Orthography in Spain and Italy

Fonetic spelling, in one form or another, has been, and is now, used by progressiv teachers in England and America as an introduction and an aid to the study of the current orthografy. Their experience is that children can spel correctly that is, fonetically the words they ar able to pronounce, as soon as they hav learnd the alfabet employd, and the principle of combining letters into sillables. In languages such as Italian and Spanish, that hav approximately fonetic alfabets, appro...
Folksonomies: spelling education
Folksonomies: spelling education
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There is a cost savings that comes with reducing the number of years spent teaching spelling.

24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Science Unifiers

Now it is generally true that the very greatest scientists in each discipline are unifiers. This is especially true in physics. Newton and Einstein were supreme as unifiers. The great triumphs of physics have been triumphs of unification. We almost take it for granted that the road of progress in physics will be a wider and wider unification bringing more and more phenomena within the scope of a few fundamental principles. Einstein was so confident of the correctness of this road of unificati...
Folksonomies: science unification
Folksonomies: science unification
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21 JUN 2014 by ideonexus

 There is a mass exodus into the virtual world

The real world just doesn’t offer up as easily the carefully designed pleasures, the thrilling challenges, and the powerful social bonding afforded by virtual environments. Reality doesn’t motivate us as effectively. Reality isn’t engineered to maximize our potential. Reality wasn’t designed from the bottom up to make us happy. And so, there is a growing perception in the gaming community: Reality, compared to games, is broken. In fact, it is more than a perception. It’s a phenom...
Folksonomies: education gamification
Folksonomies: education gamification
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17 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Fun With the German Response to a Sneeze

Do you guys in the US really say ‘Gesundheit’ ? It is so cute to see one of our words (particularly one unrelated to war or anything like that) put to good use in a foreign language. As somebody pointed out, ‘gesundheit’ just means ‘health’, and I am sure that this is already an abbreviation of an older habit of saying ‘may you be in good health’ (which just takes too long to say). There are some other interesting cultural differences: I had no idea that ‘achoo’ is the s...
Folksonomies: culture language german
Folksonomies: culture language german
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Gesundheit, Schonheit, Klugheit: Health, Beauty, Wisdom.

02 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Patriotism VS Nationalism

Can a Communist, who is an internationalist, at the same time be a patriot? We hold that he not only can be but must be. The specific content of patriotism is determined by historical conditions. There is the "patriotism" of the Japanese aggressors and of Hitler, and there is our patriotism. Communists must resolutely oppose the "patriotism" of the Japanese aggressors and of Hitler. The Communists of Japan and Germany are defeatists with regard to the wars being waged by their countries. To b...
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Mao appears to be arguing for balance and for the rejection of certain kinds of patriotism that hurt the homeland, as what he sees in Germany and Japan of the time.

20 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Death of Technocracy

What we are witnessing is the beginning of the final breakup of industrialism and, with it, the collapse of technocratic planning. By technocratic planning, I do not mean only the centralized national planning that has, until recently, characterized the USSR, but also the less formal, more dispersed attempts at systematic change management that occur in all the high technology nations, regardless of their political persuasion. Michael Harrington, the socialist critic, arguing that we have rej...
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This is not a dichotomy--there can be degrees of planning and emergence--but the problems with technocracy are true challenges.

13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Two Kinds of Cell Growth

In 1838, Matthias Schleiden, a botanist, and Theodor Schwann, a physiologist, both working in Germany, had claimed that all living organisms were built out of fundamental building blocks called cells. Borrowing and extending this idea, Virchow set out to create a “cellular theory” of human biology, basing it on two fundamental tenets. First, that human bodies (like the bodies of all animals and plants) were made up of cells. Second, that cells only arose from other cells—omnis cellula e...
Folksonomies: biology cells cell growth
Folksonomies: biology cells cell growth
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Hypertrophy and hyperplasia, cells either grow bigger or grow more numerous.