“It makes me feel like the car doesn’t care about me” (car with no wifi)

“It makes me feel like the car doesn’t care about me” (car with no wifi)
Commercial for Chevrolet 4G LTE WiFi In-Car Entertainment

Did she really just say that?!?!?!


– Novelty effect

– Shifting baseline

– Screen Addiction
(My take is that screens can suck you in and use up time (not necessarily “waste”…) but for most people (not just kids) it doesn’t get out of control, but for some % of people it does. Either due to a combination of genetics and/or personal circumstances.)

– Movie: Her (2013)

– Led by Robots, Roaches Abandon Instincts – New York Times

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Filed under novelty effect, shifting baseline, technology influences

Today I walked to school. The Red sox won last night.

“Today I walked to school. The Red sox won last night.”

From my school journal when I was 7, turning 8 in 3 days. (back in the 1970s)

I think I walked pretty much by myself on the way to school, and maybe with 2 or 3 friends on the way back. I remember having to wait in class until all the buses had left before the walkers were released.

I mean, that’s pretty amazing, given that my school was a full 1/2 miles walk and on 2 roads without a sidewalk. But I don’t remember thinking anything of it. It was just normal. Today (2015) that would seem pretty unusual I think.


— Marco’s Village
“I wrote an article a year ago that described my son Marco’s roaming range. Well, he’s 6-1/2 now, and I’m happy to say that this range has expanded considerably. I call the area pictured below “Marco’s Village” because he’s familiar with many people and places within this area. He feels safe here, and we feel comfortable letting him roam within this area.”

— A 1979 first-grade readiness checklist asks if your child can travel alone in the neighborhood, but not if she can read.

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Filed under free-range kids, kids -- freedom and responsibility, safety, shifting baseline

ecovillage AND don’t fly

Article title could read… if everyone lived in an ecovillage and DIDN’T FLY… (old news that flying wrecks one’s footprint score since it makes it so easy to go so far….) https://theconversation.com/if-everyone-lived-in-an-ecovillage-the-earth-would-still-be-in-trouble-43905

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Filed under erik-green, green

Sherry Turkle: Alone Together

Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other

Read the 1 star reviews
e.g. “I think there is also a nostalgia at play here — treasuring the forms of communication one grew up with rather than the new because they are familiar and comfortable. Understandable, but not a great basis for a critique.”

I’m sure she has some (possibly) valid points, but she could probably sum them up in a 5 point outline or a 5 page paper or article. Not 360 pages.

My quick points would be:
1. easier to keep difficult emotions at arms length (text not phone not face-to-face)
2. can’t always easily discuss complicated stuff this way. some combo of online and F2F helps.
3. allure of the device (consumerism) and/or screen (we are wired for moving things, blue light, etc)
4. motivation of companies to sell devices and sell monthly plans vs our personal interests
5. personal info / privacy concerns
6. time suck

But it’s not all bad of course so have learn to live with it. Some huge advantages:
1. info resource of web/youtube/etc
2. cell phones/GPS–security

In other words, I think we can learn to live with it. Just as we’ve learned (eventually) to live with widespread access to books, radio, phones, tv.

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Bruce Freeman Rail Trail – Framingham Spring 2015 Update

Trails Connecting Framingham

“Bike Friendly,” and “Bike Connectivity” are two terms heard
with increasing frequency in Nobscot and Saxonville, two historic
villages in Framingham. They are situated at opposite ends of Water
Street about a mile apart as the crow flies. Residents of each village
are actively engaged in a series of visionary sessions designed to
give residents influence over the inevitable changes both villages
face over the next decade. There are certainly many challenges and
opportunities unique to each village, which must be considered as
each explores its options for future development.

Both communities have one common feature – a rail trail. In
Saxonville, the mile-and-a-half Cochituate Rail Trail is now
complete and is enthusiastically enjoyed by residents for a number
of different health, recreation, and social purposes. The BFRT will
be a key feature of Nobscot as the trail brings people to the
Hemenway School, the new Framingham Library, and the shopping
center. Over the last decade construction and planning of the trail
have been proceeding slowly from the Lowell-Chelmsford line
south to Framingham. Sudbury, Nobscot’s neighboring community
to the north, is now planning the design of its portion of the trail.

The major stumbling block at this point for both Sudbury and
Framingham is that the right of way of these last seven miles of the
proposed trail is under the private control of the rail company CSX.
The goal is now to place the control of the right of way in the hands
of either local or state government. In other words – and this reality
cannot be overemphasized – the land on which the trail will be
constructed in these two communities must first be purchased.

Progress toward this transfer has been arduous over the last 14
years, but hope has been reignited. Town officials from community,
state transportation officials and representatives of CSX met in late
April to seek a mutually successful transfer of the property to a
public agency. Once this transfer is complete, both Sudbury and
Framingham can complete the BFRT in their respective

In addition, discussion is also beginning to find ways to connect
the BFRT to the Cochituate Rail Trail in Saxonville, the Upper
Charles Rail Trail in Holliston and Milford and the Central Mass
Rail Trail in Sudbury.

These possibilities for connections are extensive and exciting.
Connecting the various rail trails in the region will offer residents a
significant additional option for transportation. If you would like to
find out more about the development of this inter-modal
transportation system or would like to become more involved to
help make it a reality in MetroWest send an email to
jhstasik@verizon.net (John Stasik, the Framingham BFRT rep) with your thoughts.


Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Spring 2015 Newsletter

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The ADHD Personality: A Normal and Valuable Human Variation

Great article…

The ADHD Personality: A Normal and Valuable Human Variation
For good evolutionary reasons, some people are highly impulsive
by Peter Gray on Aug 19, 2010 in Freedom to Learn

Continue reading

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Filed under ADHD, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Is the Common Core killing kindergarten?

Is the Common Core killing kindergarten? – The Boston Globe

I guess you know the answer…

No brainer. 2 main points in the article 1) drilling shows nothing if kids aren’t developmentally ready 2) People are different. And any benefits fade quickly for those who ARE ready, and the negatives DO NOT fade for those who are not (shown in studies both in reading and math)

I would add: 3) school in general ends up being at least 90% extrinsically motivated learning, because people are all different and interested in a HUGE range of different things AND at different times. So to expect someone to be interested in the same topic at the same time at the same pace, etc. it difficult. If school were not compulsory, ok, but it’s not.

Anyway, my kids have been going to Sudbury Valley School since they were 4 where all of this is moot, thank goodness, because it’s just left to the kids themselves, with the staff and other adults in their lives to support them as they desire. http://sudval.org/

My kids are each very different from each other. One has a dyslexic brain (one of the 5% or so) and it has been frustrating the heck out of him that reading hasn’t just clicked like it has for most of his friends, cousins, etc. So he has been absolutely loving going to an amazing, enthusiastic reading tutor on the side who has been helping with his decoding skills. His choice. But to imagine this in a non-age-mixed, compulsory school setting is difficult.

Peter Gray: How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development. Academic skills are best learned when a person wants them and needs them.

– “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities… It is neurobiological in origin, meaning that the problem is located physically in the brain. Dyslexia is not caused by poverty, developmental delay, speech or hearing impairments, or learning a second language, although those conditions may put a child more at risk for developing a reading disability.” http://www.ldonline.org/article/14907/

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Filed under Common Core, dyslexia, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School