27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Having Kids Makes One Cognizant of the Brevity of Life

Having kids showed me how to convert a continuous quantity, time, into discrete quantities. You only get 52 weekends with your 2 year old. If Christmas-as-magic lasts from say ages 3 to 10, you only get to watch your child experience it 8 times. And while it's impossible to say what is a lot or a little of a continuous quantity like time, 8 is not a lot of something. If you had a handful of 8 peanuts, or a shelf of 8 books to choose from, the quantity would definitely seem limited, no matter ...
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16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Early Attempts to Replace Teachers with Games

The current push to bring digital games into school is, strictly speaking, not the first, nor even the second time that educators have pushed for individualized instruction via machines. But it is decidedly the most nuanced, humanistic, and thoughtful. The first actually took place in the 1950s and early 1960s, when a small group of educational psychologists proposed doing away with teachers altogether and replacing them with self-paced, preprogrammed instruction on so-called "teaching machin...
Folksonomies: history learning automation
Folksonomies: history learning automation
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16 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Secular Morals in Parenting

My own ongoing research among secular Americans — as well as that of a handful of other social scientists who have only recently turned their gaze on secular culture — confirms that nonreligious family life is replete with its own sustaining moral values and enriching ethical precepts. Chief among those: rational problem solving, personal autonomy, independence of thought, avoidance of corporal punishment, a spirit of “questioning everything” and, far above all, empathy. For secular ...
Folksonomies: parenting secularism
Folksonomies: parenting secularism
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 The Problem of Inferring Anything about the Star Trek Uni...

The second problem has more to do with using Starfleet as the lens through which we draw conclusions about Federation society. If I were to show some alien society a documentary about the United States, set primarily on a US aircraft carrier, with ~90% of the situations and characters taking place in a military context, my alien viewers would draw some very interesting inferences about the US (or, more broadly, all of human society). They'd think we were a rigidly hierarchical society. They'd...
Folksonomies: observation bia scope
Folksonomies: observation bia scope
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19 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 The Decline in Reading is Because of Limited Time

With e-books becoming more dominant and less money coming into the industry, the bookstores die (they're already highly marginal now). With bookstores' death, so go the publishers (after all, any established author will make more money from self-publishing and now the *one* (incredibly important) thing the publishers offer - shelf space - is gone). With publishers gone, we all essentially become slush pile readers. The books are nearly free, but the constraint is *time*, not money, and with ...
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Not money, time is a limited resource.

21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 The Terran Computational Calendar

Synchronized with the northern winter solstice, the terran computational calendar began roughly*10 days before the UNIX Epoch. Each year is composed of 13 identical 28-day months, followed by a 'minimonth' that houses leap days (one most years and two every 4th but not 128th year) and leap seconds (issued by the IERS during that year). Each date is an unambiguous instant in time that exploits zero-based numbering and a handful of delimiters to represent the number of years and ...
Folksonomies: timekeeping standards
Folksonomies: timekeeping standards
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Zero-based, resets off the winter solstice, begins 10 days before the UNIX Epoch.

03 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 keyframe

n. a moment that seemed innocuous at the time but ended up marking a diversion into a strange new era of your life—set in motion not by a series of jolting epiphanies but by tiny imperceptible differences between one ordinary day and the next, until entire years of your memory can be compressed into a handful of indelible images—which prevents you from rewinding the past, but allows you to move forward without endless buffering.
Folksonomies: meaning perception time
Folksonomies: meaning perception time
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A moment that marks a transition in our lives, but really serves as a signifier for a long gradual change.

31 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Science Demands Reliable Instruments

Men can construct a science with very few instruments, or with very plain instruments; but no one on earth could construct a science with unreliable instruments. A man might work out the whole of mathematics with a handful of pebbles, but not with a handful of clay which was always falling apart into new fragments, and falling together into new combinations. A man might measure heaven and earth with a reed, but not with a growing reed.
Folksonomies: measurement
Folksonomies: measurement
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One can measure with a stick, but not with a growing reed.

07 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 1 Kings 20:10-12

10 Then Ben-Hadad sent another message to Ahab: “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if enough dust remains in Samaria to give each of my men a handful.” 11 The king of Israel answered, “Tell him: ‘One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.’” 12 Ben-Hadad heard this message while he and the kings were drinking in their tents,[a] and he ordered his men: “Prepare to attack.” So they prepared to attack the city.
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One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.

25 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Take Hope in the Complexity of Nature

Meantime, let no man be alarmed at the multitude of particulars, but let this rather encourage him to hope. For the particular phenomena of art and nature are but a handful to the inventions of the wit, when disjoined and separated from the evidence of things. Moreover, this road has an issue in the open ground and not far off; the other has no issue at all, but endless entanglement. For men hitherto have made but short stay with experience, but passing her lightly by, have wasted an infinity...
Folksonomies: wonder discovery experience
Folksonomies: wonder discovery experience
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While humans have wasted time on meditations and exercises of wit, there is an endless world of experience awaiting them.