On age mixing and modern schooling…

“… before 150 years ago, no human social group—town, village, tribe, community—thought the best way to help young people grow into responsible adults was to isolate them (by law) from responsible adults for 13 years.

Separating the young from the old is one of the great mistakes of modern education…”

FROM:  LINK

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Filed under Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Letter to the editor (Infantilization of Teenagers)

To the Editor:

Re “Why Teenagers Act Crazy,” by Richard A. Friedman (Sunday Review, June 29):

Studies have shown that about half of American teenagers meet the criteria for some form of mental illness, including anxiety disorders, but I disagree with Dr. Friedman that this is largely because of the properties of a teenage brain. That is a myth perpetuated by a handful of researchers, some of whom are funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which has successfully created a huge new market for psychoactive drugs by promoting the faulty “teenage brain” idea.

In more than 100 cultures around the world, teenage turmoil is absent; such cultures don’t even have a word for “adolescence.” If the teenage brain were responsible for the turmoil of our teenagers, we would see it everywhere. We don’t.

The turmoil of our teenagers is due entirely to societal practices that infantilize young people and isolate them from responsible adults, trapping them in the frivolous, media-controlled world of “teen culture.” Anthropological research also demonstrates that when Western schooling and media enter cultures where teenagers are highly functional, they typically take on all the pathological characteristics of American teenagers within a decade. The problem is our society, not the brain.

ROBERT EPSTEIN
Vista, Calif., June 30, 2014

The writer is a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and the author of “Teen 2.0.”

ORIGINAL AT:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/anxiety-in-teenagers.html?_r=0/p>

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Filed under Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

3 somewhat related posts…

“As a software engineer, I’ll deal with all the technical headaches, but I won’t tolerate it as a consumer. Technology seems to be failing us faster than it’s helping us.”

http://blog.joemoreno.com/2014/09/apple-rant-failure-of-technology.html

Blogging (rather than writing at silos) is making a comeback.

http://blog.henrikcarlsson.se/im-taking-back-my-content/

and

http://mustapha.me/2014/08/blogs-are-cool-again/

“The best you can do is stop feeding the flames and stop paying attention.
If you’re having a rough day on social media, try taking a break. A big break. Delete the Twitter app or bury it in an obscure folder. Don’t check it for 24 hours. Go longer if you can. The difference is bigger than you might assume. It’s eye-opening.”

http://www.marco.org/2014/08/29/wirecutter-resolved

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Filed under contrarian, social media, tech, thinking

using employee happiness reviews in choosing one product over another

Let’s say you are on the fence about which product or service to buy.

–One consideration is the environmental track record of the company as a whole.

–Another is to consider the makeup of the individual product itself. It’s likely (for example) that the lighter product will have less impact (as a very rough rule of thumb).

–Spending less is also always good, since it frees up your money to be used in more productive ways. Choosing between a $200 phone and a $15 phone? Get the $15 one and give the $165 to your favorite non-profit/NPO/charity.

–As well, you probably can’t go wrong looking at how well they treat their employees. For instance: Virgin Mobile or Lycamobile for a cell phone prepay plan?

https://www.google.com/search?q=reviews+virgin+mobile++site:glassdoor.com

https://www.google.com/search?q=reviews+lycamobile++site:glassdoor.com

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Filed under erik-green, erik-reviews, green, shopping

overhangs and screens on inside

Another obvious preference in this age of increasingly common violent rain storms in New England are 2 preferences when building:

1. largish overhangs (ideally applied after doing air-sealing on exterior sheathing)
2. windows with screens on the inside (casement vs double hung)

The issue being that it’s a little annoying not being able to look out one’s windows for hours after a 20 minute 2″ rain storm because one’s window screens are soaked. Granted, it doesn’t happen that often, so not sure it’s worth worrying about too much, but if one is on the fence, it’s something to consider.

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Filed under advice, climate change, green

Tornadoes and WEA wireless emergency alerts

Lots of tornadoes in MA this year (compared to the roughly 0-1 average noted at the NOAA page) so WEA is coming in handy, if you have a smartphone handy.

http://www.fema.gov/wireless-emergency-alerts (our non smartphone doesn’t support them… seriously considering getting an unlocked moto-g (GSM) and lycamobile sim card ($0 a month prepay plan) that would just sit in the house waiting to alert. The alert came 4 minutes after the worcester tornado hit though.

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Filed under green

“Gene, an accomplished guitar player, sent me a long email on the subject of motivation, with some ideas I’ve never seen before. Condensed excerpt:

To master any truly difficult skill it’s not enough to just want it; you have to be obsessed. If you have to force yourself to pick it up you’re screwed; if you have to force yourself to put it down you know you’re on the right track.

You told me that the only thing you’ve ever had to force yourself to stop was video games. Ask yourself: why exactly are video games so addictive? Of course it’s because of the constant reward system. Every thirty seconds you get a reward of some kind. The next question is: how can I duplicate this experience in other areas?

When I was learning to play, I always broke any challenge down into it’s smallest possible chunks. A fast lick might seem impossible taken as a whole, but how difficult is it to play the first three notes? If I play those three notes over and over for ten minutes, always keeping it down to a tempo at which I can play it correctly at all times, will I be able to work them up to performance tempo in those ten minutes? Assuming you haven’t chosen something way beyond your level, the answer is probably yes!

By doing it this way, you’re creating a lot of very small, quick successes for yourself. If you set yourself a goal to bring those first three notes up to performance tempo and you succeed in just a few minutes, the flush of success releases endorphins in the brain. If you continue to duplicate that experience every few minutes you get addicted to practicing.

Talent is an intuitive grasp of rapid learning. Fortunately you don’t really need that intuitive understanding… that’s what a teacher is for! Unfortunately most teachers haven’t analyzed their own formative years sufficiently to understand the ingredients of their own success as players. I have consistently found that students who listen to me and practice as I described above will progress ten times faster than anyone else.

It’s also true that these are the students who become obsessed. I’ve believed for years that they listened to me and practiced in this way because they were obsessed, but since I’ve come to believe that I had cause and effect confused. They become obsessed because they practice this way!”

http://ranprieur.com/, Sept 1, 2014

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Filed under addiction, mentoring / apprenticeship, talent vs skill, teaching, video games