Friday, December 31, 2010


Today I'm adding another link from For the record, I remembered that I wanted to write about this before I remembered that it was a video too.  I do have more sources.

In this talk, Arthur Benjamin suggests a completely new strategy for changing our country's math education. It's a fact that the United States is falling behind other developed nations in math and science scores on standardized tests. While I disagree with standardized testing to some extent, it does reveal some truth. Also, it's no secret that the United States is cutting funding on the Arts in schools and I think that the competitve nature of our education system is suppressing the creative side of our students' brains.  While this is a topic that I want to discuss more in the future, I find it interesting that of the two hemispheres of our brain, our education system has spent much more time and money developing the left side because it's easier to teach, despite which, we, as a country, are failing to produce math and science professionals, all in the process of killing our students' creativity and imagination.

Benjamin proposes that calculus should not be the pinnacle of our secondary math curriculum. Not that calculus should be abandoned, but that it should be left for post-secondary education. He suggests that statistics should be the pinnacle for every student who finishes high school, which is knowledge that is directly applicable to the digital age and invaluable for any person that handles money.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Through this blog I will attempt to exhibit ideas that I find interesting and pertinent to the world today and that are derived from art, archticture, environmentalism, science, engineering, and topics that may not have concise titles but are related to misconceptions in data analysis and the scientific method that arise in contemporary culture which deserve more exposure.

To start us off I am including a talk from given by architect and co-author of the book Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough.  There's an excerpt from the book that I found interesting that outlines a fundamental problem in a worldwide system to regulate industry in order to decrease waste and pollution.

"In Systems of Survuval the urbanist and economic thinker Jane Jacobs describes two fundamental syndromes of human civilizations:  what she calls the guardian and commerce.  The guardian is the government, the agency whose primary purpose is to preserve and protect the public.  This syndrome is slow and serious... It represents the public interest, and it is meant to shun commerce...  Commerce, on the other hand, is the day-to-day, instant exchange of value.  The name of its primary tool, currency, denotes its urgency.  Commerce is quick, highly creative, inventive, constantly seeking short- and long-term advantage, and inherently honest:  you can't do business with people if they aren't trustworthy.  Any hybrid of these two syndromes Jacobs characterizes as so riddled with problems as to be 'monstrous.'  Money, the tool of commerce, will corrupt the guardian.  Regulation, the tool of the guardian, will slow down commerce."