Walter Marx

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Walter Marx
Posted 4 months ago
Christopher Emdin: Teach teachers how to create magic
I think you miss the point entirely. He is talking about engaging students by observing and emulating the neighborhood they live in. You have to speak their language in a way. This isn't just limited to black inner city schools, though generally that is where teachers have the most trouble communicating in this country. It also applies to rural schools and suburban schools, white, black, and Hispanic communities as well. If you look and act like an outsider, fewer will listen to you and you will have a hard time teaching. Learning involves trust as much as anything, and few trust an outsider, even if they can understand what they are saying.
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Walter Marx
Posted 4 months ago
Christopher Emdin: Teach teachers how to create magic
Yes, the point of watching the important places and people of the neighborhood is also to learn to communicate. Words are never enough. Our species spent much more time without language than we did with it. Learning powerful gestures, ways of saying the words, and other things teach you how to communicate as much as the details of what you want to communicate. Communication are far more than just words on a page, and education is far more than just reciting facts at people.
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Walter Marx
Posted 8 months ago
Elif Shafak: The politics of fiction
I am sorry, but if you look at it objectively, I believe that English is more technical than Turkish. American English has created many technical terms that others have adopted for lack of adequate terms in their own language. English is a mishmash of other languages with different rules for different words. There is no fluidity in English because of its disparate parts. Almost all other languages are more fluid and better designed for oral story telling. English is also, for some of these reasons, one of the hardest to learn as a second language. I think your interjecting politics into the distinction speaks more toward your bias than hers.
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Walter Marx
Posted 8 months ago
Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover
Seems like crowdsourcing to solve problems and to allow students to help teach themselves. I have always thought it was silly to fear word problems, or math in general. If you are not teaching real world applications for math, then you are not teaching, you are clocking time. Math is a way of thinking that simplifies the universe in a way that allows us to see and understand things we otherwise couldn't. It has nice clear cut rules of logic that the real world follows even when it doesn't want to. I think one of the worst disservices conventional math education commits beyond the lack of real life applications is to teach that there is only one way to solve a problem. Even the simplest of problems can be rationalized in many different ways. If you can't visualize math, it remains an obscure and abstract concept, that makes it much harder to resolve. Thinking there is only one way to solve a problem means that if you don't understand that one way there is never any way you will solve the problem. This follows through into so many other areas, crippling your reasoning, it isn't funny. Problem solving is a process, not an equation. An equation is a tool, not an answer.
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Walter Marx
Posted 8 months ago
Yann Dall'Aglio: Love -- you're doing it wrong
It is perhaps a reflection of how short the concept of love is, but the Inuit have dozens of names for snow, depending on circumstance, nature, texture, and so on. Yet we only have developed one term that is used for both someone we live with and a plate of snails. We stumble to describe the relationship with have with the other person, yet we have simple and well defined terms for the various stages of the life of the snail, from beginning to plate and beyond. We create words for every thing, situation, and function. Why only the one old term "love"?
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Walter Marx
Posted 8 months ago
David Puttnam: Does the media have a "duty of care"?
Self, Family, Community, Society. When put in that order, I would argue that it is generally a survival of the fittest model (what some seem to think we should move toward) Some societies it is Family, Self, Community, Society. I would argue that it is generally a hunter gatherer model, where family units provide for themselves and sacrifice for the family. Tribalism, where the community is all primarily related and often isolated to varying degrees from others. Community, Family, Self, Society I would argue is more an agrarian model, where larger communities must support each other, large family units gathering together in order to provide a wide ranger of goods and services to further the purpose of the larger community. What the speaker seems to be promoting is Society, Community, Family, Self, which in many ways would seem ideal for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is safety and advancement of the whole. The one thing that seems to get in the way of this evolution at every step is Self (EGO). At some level, too many always want themselves on top of the pile, and that always devolves back to the first standard, me first and the rest of you have to fight for yours or you don't get any, like a pack of starved vultures fighting over a rotting carcass. It is a sad state of affairs when that happens. Unfortunately, "the press" that seems to think so much of itself has become nothing more than a commodity, traded like apples or wheat. It goes to the highest bidder and serves the purpose of its owner. This is not new. Newspapers around the turn of the last century used to determine Presidential elections with the stories they ran. Today it is being attempted by 24 hour "news" networks in a very clumsy way. Outside of your local news, there is no real impartial reporting on any of those "news" networks, and they hardly even pretend anymore. CNN tries, but they can barely spend 15 seconds on a topic and impart no importance to any of it.
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Walter Marx
Posted 8 months ago
David Puttnam: Does the media have a "duty of care"?
He has a point about pure Libertarianism or a liaise faire economic model would have many people get sick and possibly die before one small business is closed down, rather than inconvenience a whole industry with regulation. This is why that sort of thing only functions in third world countries where the government is weak and can be easily bought off. It provides no benefit to society as a whole.
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Walter Marx
Posted 8 months ago
Peter Donnelly: How juries are fooled by statistics
The numbers do matter a lot, and uncertainty in one or more can make a big difference. In reality, you are more likely to be working with a range of numbers, instead of one solid number. Of course, I also left off the effectiveness of the vaccine, which is never 100% as the problem currently implies, neither is the coverage. There is always a percentage of the population that doesn't get vaccinated for one reason or another, people with compromised immune systems, and so on. On the other hand, you can also target vaccines to populations at increased risk. Of course, if the exposure to the disease is very low, then the vaccine may kill more than it helps, so a disease that only infects one in 100,000 is likely not the best to be cured with a vaccine but with a test and cure method, and hopefully the cure isn't as dangerous as chemotherapy often is. It would be interesting to see a program that puts this all together with uncertainty factors and some sort of visual display that would give you a good idea what your options are with the information currently available. I think it would be good for patients, doctors, and likely policy makers for assessing risk.
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Walter Marx
Posted 8 months ago
Peter Donnelly: How juries are fooled by statistics
So, say you have a disease that kills 10% of the people that get it. You have a test that is 99% accurate at detecting it. 1% of all people get the disease. You have invented a vaccine that will prevent 99% of the population from getting it, but it kills one in 100,000 that take it. You also have a cure that will work 80% of the time, fail 10% of the time and kill the patient 10% of the time. If the test is the only way to detect the disease in time to treat it, is it better to get the vaccine, take the cure, or do nothing at all? How do you judge? Which one kills more healthy people and which one cures more sick people. Try it with a population of 300,000,000 as with the US and see what you get. Then tweak the numbers a little bit. This is a real world problem, that crops up all the time. People often rely on one test result when cancer is detected. Chemo doesn't have the best of survival rates in many of its variations. This is also something to be considered with diseases such as polio and I am sure you can think of other examples. Is it more important to cure more people or avoid needless deaths or are there other issues involved? Statistics are all too often used to simplify a complicated issue, and that frequently is where the mistakes lie.