The Daily View 3/8/2016

Homework is wrecking our kids: The research is clear, let’s ban elementary homework

And the Reddit discussion, which is more valuable than the article.

A common thread among commenters, growing up, is that homework was tedious and useless, yet scored high on tests, which is a common trait among smart people, who tend to test well. Salon is right, and I recommend homework be replaced with competency tests, which would not be as heavily influenced by patents nor waste hours of time. Or base grades only on tests. This is similar to the solution proposed to replace costly, time-consuming college diplomas with SAT and IQ tests, which are more accurate at assessing learning potential. Employers want employees who can learn quickly, and IQ and learning speed and job performance are highly correlated.

America has locked up so many black people it has warped our sense of reality

Black people are twice as likely as white people to be out of work and looking for a job. This fact was as true in 1954 as it is today.

That’s what happens when an achievement gap is an IQ gap. War on poverty, civil rights movement, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent on public education, entitlement spending, and other programs have not closed the crime gap, incarceration gap, nor the achievement gap. This is discussed in more detail here, here, here, and here.

How low will interest rates go?

They are going much lower. Would not surprise me to see the 10-yr bond go to .4% should the US economy enter another recession. All it takes is some weak data or the market falling a bit, and those bond yields drop like a stone. Low rates good for homeowners. James is right about deflation, not inflation, being in store for the future.

As more evidence of a SJW-backlash, Time magazine, a liberal publication, is being ridiculed on Twitter for putting Evelyn Waugh on a list of female writers. This also helps dispel the myth that liberals are more educated than conservatives.

It’s the left who are against web 2.0, calling it a ‘bubble‘ and ‘racist‘, when neither are true.

I mean, it wasn’t exactly the price. A mutual fund valuation committee’s decision that, say, Zenefits is worth 30 percent less than it was a few months ago doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone bought or sold shares at the new lower price.

Exactly. Fidelity and T. Rowe Price ‘markdowns’ are NOT the same as shares changing hands at a lower price, and there is no evidence shares of the hottest, most successful web 2.0 companies have done so. Valuations for Snapchat, Uber, Air BNB, and Pinterest keep rising. Only low-quality start-ups have seen valuations fall. Not a single web 2.0 company or stock I have praised has done poorly, and my predictions keep being right over and over, owing to my extensive knowledge about the consumer internet technology industry.

Related: Not Worried About Tech Valuations: Why It May Be Different This Time

Why he left

Why are so many smart people such idiots about philosophy?

Philosophy is important for more than just a while, and has serious, practical uses for all of society. There are countless examples of philosophy of mind theories’ relevance to neuroscientists, or cases where political philosophers have shaped politicians.
Historically, physics and mathematics have often overlapped with philosophy, and many great scientists engaged with philosophers to advance their own thinking. (Einstein’s work can be studied alongside that of Kant, for example.) The physicist behind the theory of relativity was also a philosopher of science and, as Hall points out, Einstein reconfigured our concepts of space and time—itself a philosophical undertaking.

This is further evidence we’re in a philosophy ‘boom’, with philosophy almost becoming a ‘STEM’ subject, with applications ranging from computer science, to quantum physics, to neurology.

Related: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Philosophy

And from Nerd Culture: Here to Stay:

I actually thing we’re in a philosophy boom, with recent developments in quantum mechanics and the synthesis between the two subjects. There is a lot of research in this area, about quantum mechanics, thought experiments (Chinese room), turing tests, complexity/computational theory of mind (Bostrom simulation argument, singularity) and connection to free will and other philosophical concepts. Philosophy becoming more STEM-like

He’s right: Learn To Code, It’s Harder Than You Think

All the evidence shows that programming requires a high level of aptitude that only a small percentage of the population possess. The current fad for short learn-to-code courses is selling people a lie and will do nothing to help the skills shortage for professional programmers.

It’s hard enough teaching kids algebra, let along coding, which is many magnitudes harder. And, no, HTML or ‘drag-and-drop’ doesn’t count.

People who are good at coding are ‘wired for success’ in today’s economy and will continue to earn more money than most people. Coding is the ‘new literacy’, but a lot harder and pays much more.

This story about being a fat passenger on a plane went viral. The viralness is evidence of the power of stories and narratives over consumerism and low-information pandering, even though I don’t agree with the article.

Southwest famously let director Kevin Smith board, then publicly escorted him off the plane for looking too fat for his seat. United will refuse to board you unless you agree to purchase an additional ticket at the day-of price, and who has $600 to spare? I check first class prices, where seats are slightly wider and put me at less risk of passenger complaints. $1000. I move on.

If you can afford to overeat, you can afford to buy an extra seat. I’m sure you pay in other ways such as an increased food bill, higher insurance premiums, and more doctor visits for obesity-related health problems. If you were really concerned about saving money, you would lose weight.

In that way, air travel is sadly familiar, a microcosm of what happens so often as a fat person. I am watched — and judged harshly — as I try — and fail — to fit into a space that was made for someone else.

This is part of the culture of ‘self’, where personal problems becomes vectors for sympathy and status seeking. It’s not the same as narcissism since this is often used in self-deprecating manner.