Abraham Lincoln: Full Spectrum

History has been very kind to Abraham Lincoln, often referencing him as “Honest Abe” and “The Great Emancipator”.  This may due in part to stories of his early life, the struggles he endured and the heights to which he climbed politically.

One must wonder just how accurate these gushing descriptions are of the actual Lincoln, though.

The truth, as is so frequently the case, is far more complicated, and indeed darker than the saintly narrative inherited by America.

If he were alive today, could Lincoln own an NBA team?

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

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The Crucifixion of White People…

serhasacomplaint

Crucifixion, which was how the carpenter reportedly martyred himself, “is a form of slow and painful execution in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead.”

It is also apparently what happens when someone receives any consequences for their racist actions.

First Paula Deen. Then Phil Robertson. And now poor, philandering racist Donald Sterling.

The usual argument is that racism is obviously bad, but perhaps more like wearing white after Labor Day bad and not something worse punishing anyone for so severely or, well, at all. And the first amendment grants all Americans the right to say odious things and suffer no economic repercussions, right? Even if that’s not at all how a capitalist economic system works. I thought Americans loved their capitalism? And unfettered capitalism is colder than the Oregon Coast in February.

Mike Pesca at…

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Finding True North

Dedicated to the Game

[Note: this post builds on 3 previous posts, Jesus Christ: Error Theorist, Men, Mores and Mimbos: The Strange Case of Moral Fact, and Chaos Theory]

People talk a lot about meaning and purpose. Most consider those two things quite important. But for concepts held so dear, most people have an ill-formed notion of meaning and purpose. That most hold the two ideas to be roughly equivalent is testament to the squishiness of the concepts. Meaning and purpose are quite different things overall, but they do have one thing in common, and their one commonality may account for much of the confusion between the two and otherwise.
The feature which they share is that each idea can be held as a tautology. Actually, that’s about it for purpose, because purpose is the action of an intent. Talk of purpose assumes intent. So, reasonable talk of purpose is local…

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Gaming in early childhood education

Teaching in a digital world.

Gaming in early childhood education.
Digital gaming programs (DGP) both online and static provide children from birth to eight years old, the opportunity to engage in information communications technologies [ICT]. The use of digital games from an early age allows for progress and to become digital fluent. Educators embracing a child ability to become a digital native, a feature of children born in this era will prepare the foundation on which more advanced technological skills can be established (Howell, 2012). Educational curriculum expectations require that ICT will be used and incorporated through all other domains of learning, thus the cross capability. Different DGP promote learning through not only specific learning targets but engages a child in a fun and enjoyable learning experiences.
A child’s fluency in ICT promotes lifelong learning skills in a rapidly changing in a technology advancing world. Applying ICT skills in the early years through DGP create…

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Response to David Graeber: If basic income is so good, why not start with the Koch Brothers?

The Real Movement

Par7731873 This Graeber article, “Why America’s favorite anarchist thinks most American workers are slaves” , is just chock full of the most egregious bullshit on the basic income issue possible.

There are two possible directions for the Left to take at this point and both are said to achieve the same goals. The first is basic income and the second is reduction of hours of labor. For some reason, David Graeber has suggested the working class should be fighting for the first, not the second.

The oddest thing, however, is that I have very little to dispute with many of Graeber’s points in the article. His argument for basic income is a convincing one that any supporter of reducing hours of labor would embrace — and this might just be the problem.

First, Graeber lashes out at the welfare and social benefits bureaucracy:

“The problem is that we have this gigantic…

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Malcolm Gladwell and the 10,000-Hour Rule

The Hardest Science

A new paper out in Intelligence, from a group of authors led by David Hambrick, is getting a lot of press coverage for having “debunked” the 10,000-hour rule discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. The 10,000-hour rule is — well, actually, that’s the point of this post: Just what, exactly, is the 10,000-hour rule?

The debate in Intelligence is between Hambrick et al. and researcher K. Anders Ericsson, who studies deliberate practice and expert performance (and wrote a rejoinder to Hambrick et al. in the journal). But Malcolm Gladwell interpreted Ericsson’s work in a popular book and popularized the phrase “the 10,000-hour rule.” And most of the press coverage mentions Gladwell.

Moreover, Gladwell has been the subject of a lot of discussionlately about how he interprets research and presents his conclusions. The 10,000-hour rule has become a runaway meme — there’s even a Macklemore song about it. And if you google…

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“The Soul of Black Folk”: Race, Work, and Talent

riversandstone

In a recent interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Neal deGrasse Tyson–astrophysicist, internet icon, heir to Carl Sagan as The Great Public Scientist– made an interesting point when asked to comment on his position as a scientist who happens to be black.  Any listener could tell that he was annoyed that race was even brought up; like any self-respecting scientist (and unlike so many humanities academics, ZING!), Tyson wanted to talk about the soundness of his work, not his racial or ethnic identity.  However, when pressed on the race issue, he opened up, speaking of when he was a teenager who was both obsessed with astronomy and a talented wrestler, and encountering many teachers encouraging him to pursue wrestling rather than science.

This sort of low-level racial stereotyping is both common, and unsurprising.  Our white-dominated society has long had fewer problems with successful black entertainers (musicians, actors, athletes, from…

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“They” Invented Race

The Next Social Construct

I attended a very interesting keynote speech tonight at UMKC. Edward James Olmos spoke about Cesar Chavez, civil disobedience, and the plight of the Latino, but the most fascinating thing he said all night was this: “They invented race to make it easier for us to kill each other.” Boy did he hit the nail on the head.

As ambiguous a word as “they” is, we all know that it is a technical term for any powers that be. And “they” had a very good reason for wanting “us”, another technical term for anyone who is not in the powers that be category, to kill each other. It was the only way they could convince us that they were a necessary entity to begin with. This is a very Hobbesian approach to the problem of proving legitimate rule by consent. This problem and Hobbesian approach still exist today in our…

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BATMAN pararescue team tests Google Glass

DefenseSystems report : Air Force’s BATMAN team testing Google Glass

The US Air Force’s BATMAN ( Battlefield Air Targeting Man Aided kNowledge ) pararescue team plans to implement the new technology into their operations.  The team is part of the 711th Human Performance Wing/Effectiveness Directorate.

From the 711th’s Fact Sheet:

“The men and women of the Human Effectiveness Directorate are responsible for developing the human-related technology for systems crucial to continued aerospace superiority. The staff also works to transfer the same or similar technology to civilian applications whenever appropriate. The directorate is organized into five divisions located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio,and Ft. Sam Houston,Texas.”