Assorted links

by on June 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Physical, paper books with embedded hyperlinks, via Michelle Dawson.

2. Why it's hard to find good teachers in China.

3. How they are improving Rybka.

4. Baseball markets in everything edition, unused ticket edition.

5. Does Sherlock Holmes act like an expert?; related links here.

6. Why schools test often.

7. How they test priests.

Gabe June 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I thought Rybka was a referance to Henry Rybka. It is not easy to forget Rybkas gestures of disbelief whe he was told to stand down.

Marian Kechlibar June 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Hard to say. Rybka is “small fish” in Czech, and it is also a normal, though infrequent, Czech surname. It may be a hint to “Deep Blue” as well …

Donald A. Coffin June 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Addendum–or a single link to a website with all the links…

E. Barandiaran June 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Tyler, I hope you find relevant and reliable sources for your posts on China. Good luck.

Gabe June 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Tracy…you are aware that the people in this country voted for GWB twice and Obama once? that is all the evidence I need that independent thinking has been supressed for at least 12 years.

The NYT,War Street Journal and Washington Post are still in business right? well then obviously there is a big segment of the population that thinks so little of their own skills of analysis that they rely on institutions that are known liars for their news.

Duncan June 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Umm… why don’t they just include the text of a hyperlink, so the reader can type it into a web browser? That sounds like it would be a lot easier for the printer as well as for the end user than scanning barcodes.

Gabe June 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm

yes, it’s the 10% that decides 98% of our elections.

Careless June 2, 2010 at 8:39 am

Umm… why don’t they just include the text of a hyperlink, so the reader can type it into a web browser? That sounds like it would be a lot easier for the printer as well as for the end user than scanning barcodes.

You really want to have a book full of things like in the text, which you’d then have to type out?

Gabe June 2, 2010 at 11:32 am


“the abandonment of the post-WWII Keynesian consensus”

I’m still waiting for this one…the current debate amongst the “consensus making” economist illustrates that Keynsianism is still running the show. Your optmism about how great things are seem to be based on some Keynsian/Pro-fed Chicago School consensus that recovery is coming and some mix of new taxes and spending growth slowdowns are going to get the deficit back down to 3% of GDP and things will go on charmingly.

Meanwhile my view of things is more in line with what Marc Faber/Jim Rodgers and various Austrians are predicting. The parasitical nature of our government is destroying the host…growth is slowing over the last several decades due to the growth int he parasite. Corruption and decay is rampant in our institutions and the consequences are finally resulting in broad based anger among the population. How this will play out is unpredictable inflation/deflation etc, but we will not return to 70′s/80′s/90′s economic growth without massive reform/renewal in our political institutions….none of this has happened yet as all recent solutions have been to extend and expand the crisis with more debt and economic distortion and pretend that everything is good. I guess we will see which view is right over the next decade….I truly hope that you receive boundless utility points as you enjoy the “right” of gays to use the same tax forms as straights.

Gabe June 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

you are missing my points.

I don’t think the change in attitudes on gay marriage is a very important indicator of how well our schools supress indepenedent thought. I like gays, but my snark about tax forms was a subtle hint at the importance of this “issue”.

Keynsianism has been discredited in the eyes of reasonable people(including you), yet it still dominates our policies and our academic institutions. So yes the government has been very effective at maintaining a bad situation in spite of mountains of evidence that does lead independent thinkers away from the bad situation.

Thank goodness for the internet, private schools, homeschooling and self education. I find it odd that you credit the small moves away from keynsianism to public schooling.

TracyW June 3, 2010 at 4:02 am

Gabe – I picked gay marriage not because of the issue itself, but because there are various legislative and judicial changes I can point to that show that attitudes have changed in recent years. I have never attributed the change away from the post-WWII Keynesian thinking to public schooling, I simply observe that the change happened even though there was public schooling. Failing to prevent something is not the same as causing something.

I am prepared to believe that most people don’t think independently, I just see no reason to believe that this is because of anything schools do, nor do I believe that in the absence of schools more people would be thinking independently. Judith Harris, in her book The Nurture Assumption, presents some good evidence that children are normally socialised by their peers, not their parents or teachers. This, combined with schooling, offers a model for increased social change in the 20th century without needing any changes in independent thinking. Let’s say a small number of people think independently, and will do so almost regardless of what sort of schools they attend. Most people however adopt the attitudes of their peers, and will do almost regardless of what sort of schools they attend. Schools increase the number of people who can read and write, thus meaning that the independent thinkers’ ideas can be communicated to a wider audience more effectively. Thus the few independent thinkers, when they come up with what sounds like a good idea, influence their more open-minded readers, who in turn influence their friends, and so we can get social change. I’m not saying that this model of mine is definitely right, just that it’s a plausible third option between “schools cause independent thinking” and “schools suppress independent thinking”.

(I’ll also note that I’m talking about what normally happens. I understand that autistic kids for example apparently are not so influenced by their peers. I also find it plausible that a really abusive school or a really abusive parent could traumatise their students so much as to damage their brains and prevent independent thinking or peer socialisation, although I don’t want to think too much about the details.)

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