Toy guns

“This isn’t even about guns. For a child that age, guns have nothing to do with danger, or violence — much of the fascination has to do with remote control. I can stand over here, and change the state of that object, clear over there. This might be a curious thing for someone to bring up about it, but we should be discussing that aspect of it more often because far from being merely harmless, that’s an important part of a child’s development. Children have a need to become accustomed to achieving direct effect on the world around them; getting comfortable with the idea of engaging action, as a leader, on an individual level, and seeing that action translated into a consequence. Later on they can become acquainted with the concept of irreversible investments, and point-of-commitment. What you do today, you cannot undo tomorrow. From that, comes the understanding of responsibility.” — The Next Thing to Destory: Toy Guns


Recent American history

Busing; Something to think about; or not.

Speaking of criminals

In this paragraph from The Trivium, the topic is ambiguity:

“Telephone books add addresses, empirical descriptions, to proper names in an effort to make them unambiguous in their reference. The identification cards of criminals are attempts to make a proper name unambiguous by supplementing it with an empirical description, a photograph, and fingerprints, which are regarded as unique in the truest sense of the word, because no two are exactly alike.”

Would anyone today assume identification cards were for criminals?

It reminds me of King David’s census, in chapter 21 of First Chronicles.

Thought for the day

“We can’t save the intellectual, any more than the biological environment by teaching the ignorant to protest. We can do so, however, by teaching them to love: the books, the music; the birds, and all Creation.” — Summer Reading, by David Warren

Hunger strike at Yale?

The graduate students at Yale are on a hunger strike: they won’t eat until they get hungry. On the one hand, that’s not a bad habit to form. On the other hand, what a bunch of wimps.

It reminds me of the (no doubt embellished) story of the Irish monks back in the day (800 AD?) who competed in advanced asceticism. The monks on the hill announced they’d fast for so many days. The monks in the valley said they’d fast for one day longer than their brothers up on the hill. One group sent a provocateur over the the other to say the brothers had broken their fast early. So the hungry monks broke their fast. Then the provocateur let it be known they hadn’t really broken their fast, and so had won.

Meanwhile, the Yale College Republicans had a barbeque.

One might say Yale isn’t making their graduate students miserable; the graduate students are making Yale miserable. But nobody’s really all that miserable, just irritable and a bit peckish, except for the Republicans.

Nuh uh! Nuh uh nuh uh nuh uh! Racist! Nuh uh!

“As a result of these disparate admissions standards, many students spend four years in a social environment where race conveys useful information about the academic capacity of their peers.” — Hard Truths About Race on Campus, by Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim

Clearly what’s needed is a generously funded graduate center to support a program to give students the tools to successfully ignore this kind of “information.”

UPDATE 19 May 2016: Gist: college policies to promote Diversity cause the racism they seek to eliminate.