Wed. June 12, 2019 – Wednesday already?

70F and 90%RH. I suppose it doesn’t have to get hot today, but I bet it will….

Inventor camp for the kids is even less inventive than last year. The kids really like it, but they are not inventing, or even really ‘making’. They mostly use junk to decorate other junk. No electronic tear downs at all this year, and no electronic or electro-mechanical work at all.

Some discussion about teaching the last couple of days. My feeling is that for kids from traditional western culture (basically white middle class kids with parents) we know very well what works. We put a man on the moon with slide rules and skull sweat (as the old SF writers would say.) Repetition to learn facts. Algorithms to apply a problem solving method using those facts. For the kids with an interest and aptitude, teach the theory that powers the algorithms. This results in some small but not insignificant fraction of kids who can ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ and develop NEW theory, applications, and new facts.

The issue in modern schools is that liberalism won’t let them believe those traditional methods will work with brown people (see Jaime Escalante’s story for example), and they don’t work without the social and cultural foundation of middle class western civ.

Kids from chaotic cultures need MORE structure in school, not less. But almost all of the ‘new’ methods reject structure (because the liberal hippies rejected it *as adults*). The ‘noble savage’ mythos and the ‘natural man’ mythos feed into the problem too. Since so many of the children of the 60s culture think of themselves as unacknowledged geniuses, and have been told they are full of potential just waiting to be unlocked, they believe that all they have to do is remove “barriers” to learning and the kids will express their inner Einsteins without teachers having to teach them- they just guide them on their ‘learner’s journey’…

This flies in the face of everything we know about humans. Half are below average. Few are geniuses. Chaos breeds chaos. Entropy increases without localized energy expenditure. Most humans will do “just enough” to get by (and this might be an inherited survival trait in a resource constrained world.)

We as a society need to figure out what to do about it. Never mind the 2/3 that don’t speak english, or the ones who are already criminals, or the ferals who are only there because they are forced by law… the kids who can learn and want to learn are the ones we need to find and encourage because those are the ones who build the world.

But I’m late getting the kids up for their camp, perhaps more later.

n