Friday, August 29, 2014

The Culture that is Germany: The compassion gap

This is a old, but thanks to Emily Skarbek, I just saw it and I love it.

Each of the Euro countries polled think that their own country is the most compassionate in the EU, but 6 out of the 8 can agree on the least compassionate country.

Take a bow Angela, you even edged out France as "most arrogant"!



Also kudos to the Poles for apparently not understanding the first question.


Is Kim Williams in bed with Big Vegan?

Well he's the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology.

And he's a vegan.

So naturally, "some critics suggested that Dr. Williams and the college were “unduly influenced by industry,”"

Ah yes, he must be in the pocket of the notorious Big Vegan cartel!

Is this a great country or what?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dan Drezner's vocabulary problem

We all like to use big words and look cool, but we need to be sure we know what they mean or we can make some serious funny.

Take this doozy from Dan Drezner in the WAPO:


"Most political scientists are prodigious researchers"


Clearly Dan has no idea what at least one of the following three words mean, "most" "prodigious" or "researchers".

Let's help him out by making a more coherent and less inaccurate statement:


__________ political scientists are ___________    ______________ .

Give me your preferred styling in the comments.

By the way Polifacts has already rated Dan's statement as "Pants on Fire".



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Will Choose Free Will


Free will is about choosing: The link between choice and the belief in free will 

Gilad Feldman, Roy Baumeister & Kin Fai Ellick Wong
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, November 2014, Pages 239–245

Abstract: Expert opinions have yielded a wide and controversial assortment of conceptions of free will, but laypersons seem to associate free will more simply with making choices. We found that the more strongly people believed in free will, the more they liked making choices, the higher they rated their ability to make decisions (Study 1), the less difficult they perceived making decisions, and the more satisfied they were with their decisions (Study 2). High free will belief was also associated with more spontaneous associating of choice with freedom, and with the perception of actions as choices. Recalling choices (Study 3) and making choices (Study 4) led to a stronger endorsement of the belief in free will, and an additional effect of the level of choice involved in the choice. These findings suggest that the everyday social reality of beliefs about free will is a matter of how people think and feel about choice.

Monday, August 25, 2014

At Keith Gaddie's House

Here's what happens every fall at Keith Gaddie's house. 

His wife has to get him out from under the bed.  He makes a "fort" under there, with cushions...

Monday's Child

1.  Old guy, still working.  At 101.  It's not causal, in the sense that people who work longer live longer for that reason.  But it is true that people who live longer and feel better may enjoy working longer.

2.  I bet Mike Peterson is saying, "See!  SEE!"  About this.

3.  So, Dick Morris got in all sorts of trouble for toe-sucking.  But this marmot can go around lens-licking and there is no reaction?  Why do we even have a highly militarized local police force if marmots think nothing of lens-licking?

4.  Patents that kill...

5.  An interesting perspective.  If this is right, then it is the LIBERTARIAN part of the left that is prospering, and the statist part that is foundering.  I'd kind of like to believe that's true.

moremoremoremore!

Friday, August 22, 2014

This week's sign of the apocalypse

People, it comes to us from Hinds Community College:



People if blatant discrimination like this can occur against innocent cute goats, why do we even have a government at all?

Hat tip to MK


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Funny, But a Bit Edgy

One of the great things about Chris Rock is that you can't quite be sure if he's laughing at you, or with you.

Especially smug white people (and that's me, I recognize).  What's really going on here?

NSFW.  Funny, but NSFW.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How not to flip your classroom

Over at inside higher ed, Rob Weir reports,

Last spring, my best friend decided to flip his introduction to computer science class. He posted reading assignments and an online quiz on Friday, closed the quiz at 10:59 on Monday, and walked into his 11 a.m. class that day and introduced higher-level material based upon what students were supposed to have mastered. Some students did really well, some had tried taking the quiz without careful reading, and some simply didn't get what the text was telling them. One could take a hardball approach and say that those who tried to skip the reading got what they deserved and the clueless were in the wrong class. Insofar as my friend was concerned, though, flipping flopped.

People, this is a big fail. The guy is throwing away valuable information and is not really trying to help his students learn. In fact, he's kind of being a dick.

How about this? Post some short videos, instead of long reading assignments, have the online quiz due well before the next class, check the quiz to see what students are having problems with, start the next class by with a mini presentation on the problematic stuff, try some peer instruction on that material, give a mini presentation on some higher level stuff and follow that with peer instruction too!

 In Rob's, example, flipping didn't flop, the lazy-ass professor flopped.

Flipping is not "you go read the basics and then I'll lecture all class period on advanced material".

Flipping is "you get prepared before class, and then we will do problem solving during the class period."

Flipping does not excuse the professor from the responsibility of making sure the students understand and master the basic material. Flipping does not put a wall between the online and in-person components of the class.

It is actually much harder to run a flipped class well than to go the old "sage on the stage" route that Rob enjoys so much.

But I will say this, if you aren't going to put the work in, please don't "flip" your class.

Note: this is cross-posted at Cherokee Gothic as well.