Dan Heisman's Looking for Trouble is exposing me as a lazy, lazy thinker. Which is what it's supposed to do. So my goal for my tournament on Saturday isn't to win anything, it's to not be lazy.
On skepticism: a lot of people like being skeptical or suspicious these days. Why can't their method of skepticism be science instead of directed at science? There's a healthy amount of skepticism within science about past results without having to step outside "science" to criticize anything. This is specifically directed at Tea Partiers, anti-vaxers, believers in alternative medicine, people who think Big Pharma is in bed with The Illuminati in a conspiracy to make us all sick with fluoride and flu shots... I readily admit that most of what people are anti-science about are things which directly impact their lives and where science has little noticeable effect. Then again, their thoughts on electricity would probably be quite muddled if they ever really thought about it. Semiconductors just work, they don't need to think about them, much less be skeptical about them... Something recently came up in some comments on my diary: people are right to want to perform a "critical assessment" to whatever options they take, but the "critical assessment" should be scientific, and a typical consumer doesn't have the apparatus to do so. The typical consumer has unequal options that are considered equally without the proper tools to judge. For instance: vaccination. There are two views to consider, I guess. That means they are given equal weight in the mind for consideration. Perhaps slightly more weight is given to the pro-vax position a priori because it's the default option, and for some people it might be the other way around because they hear a lot of celebrity gossip. This is wrong. The default position should be weighted, like, 99.9% in this case. The anti-vax position has a tremendous burden of proof to overcome before you even let it come into conscious consideration. Of course, yes, any treatment option has a cost/benefit consideration, that's why we don't vaccinate for smallpox or anthrax in the general population. The first is very effective, but may kill you and is obsolete because smallpox has been eradicated. The second isn't terribly effective, may kill you, and is unnecessary for the general population. However, if you suspect you're going to be up against somebody who may have made biological weapons out of either, then it makes sense to consider them. Different countries have different vaccination recommendations because of this, so it's perfectly rational to disagree about some specific vaccines if you have specific reasons for doing so (MMR DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR THIS EXEMPTION (specific examples might be varicella and TB)).
The Wifing Unit is thinking about becoming a Montessori educator. It's not a cult, like Waldorf. I think it's wrong to believe in a child's "true natural way of being" and that the role of education is to help them act out the "inner directives of nature", but I don't think the results they'll get are bad. It's not the worst educational philosophy and the methods themselves - I can't evaluate them. Most education sucks. Anyway, she'll have to hang out at a Montessori school, I guess, to figure out if she likes it. I guess we need to figure out if she needs to find a school who'd be interested in her before she goes and gets training or whether it works the other way around, but, whatever the case, something needs to get figured out eventually, as a big part of it all is 9 months of student-teaching somewhere. It's kind of amusing, though, I'm looking at directions to some of these places on google maps, and they're like "35 minutes, 45 minutes in traffic" when they go by the airport or go through downtown. More like "35 minutes, 1:45 in traffic". It's like the highways form a box, with downtown in the lower right, the airport in the upper left, and our house and the places we want to go on the opposing corners. When the roads are clear, yeah, 35-45 minutes. Otherwise... I just glanced through job listings, there were a couple places that listed assistant/intern positions that offered tuition reimbursement for further training and were in the age groups the wifing unit was interested in, but, IIRC, they were all too far away for our current situation, but I could be wrong. One was in Crystal Lake. NOT POSSIBLE. But, also, our lease is up in October, the student teaching would start in August/September, and we're thinking of moving. Anyway, I approve of this idea.
I have a test tomorrow. I have a take-home test starting today. The test tomorrow might be tough, I'm having trouble remembering some of the stuff and I quit studying to play chess whenever I try to buckle down. Whatevs, I'll do okay.
Seriously, though, I'm ready for internal opportunities to get back to me. It's been a while, and I do know that there hasn't been anything in that department since then because I have a search agent thing, but, still...
"She doesn't like it too hot! She doesn't like it too cold! Room temperature!" Thus saith the Electric Six.
I just went to the bank, activated my new debit card, and got a roll of quarters. In retrospect, I should've gotten two instead of getting a roll of quarters and $10 in paper money. I don't really have any need for paper, but plenty of need for quarters.
Anyway, I've got to get back to working on my Potemkin Village. I think I'll call it that in my meeting tomorrow.
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