Be a Person

You do not need to go to college to get a good job. You do not need good grades to get into college. You do not need to load up on extra curricular activities. You do not need to get a high paying job.

Be a person. Take classes that you  care about and want to learn more about. Join clubs that interest you. Look for a school that is a good match. Find the school that is the best for you. Look for a job that is interesting not one that necessarily pays the most. Be unique. Be daring. Be who they want to be. Be prepared to work hard, but look for meaning in your life. Look for meaning in your studies. Look for meaning in your job.  Redefine success. Make mistakes. Learn from those mistakes. Grow. Adapt. Change the world. Stop being part of a system. Start being a person. Be different.

[This post is mostly a response to the film Race to Nowhere and the song “Don’t Stay in School”“Don’t Stay in School” by Boy in a Band.]

Bubble Bobble

I was initially intrigued and rather happy that Terry Jones of Monty Python had made a film about the boom and bust cycle entitled Boom Bust Boom. While I agree that pluralism in discussion of economics is important and that economists may become too focused on generating elegant economic models that they fail to incorporate the entire picture of the economic world, Boom Bust Boom fails to live up to these very valid principles. Continue reading

A Liberty-ish Look at Bing Political Index

The Bing Political Index is not super helpful in determining where we are on issues based on Freedom. The main problem is it is on a left-right scale. Sometimes neither side is really on the side of freedom. But hey, they added Gary Johnson to the Bing Political Index, so we’ll have a look anyway. To provide the most contrast, we included screenshots of the US public trend line compared to the most extreme state in the liberty-ish direction we could find on the issue. The grey line is the US public.Everything in this post should be taken with a grain of salt.

If you look at the winning issues versus losing issues, the winning issues are the issues that politicians are harping on. However, very often the US Public reacts negatively to these politicians’ stance on the issue. It seems like the more politicians push a given issue, even if they are not on the liberty side, the US public seems more inclined to take the liberty-ish side. Continue reading

How Facebook Picks the Posts You See

In recent years, Facebook has changed the way it decides what content the user sees. I noticed this while working with Songs of Freedom and Spirit of the Indies. The methods used to promote content no longer worked. Now it seems like you need to purchase advertising in order for anyone to see a page’s content in their newsfeed. Facebook told Tech Crunch that they are focusing on keeping users happy on Facebook and giving them the content that they want to see. They provided a simplified formula that initially reminded me of the aggregate demand formula.

V = I*P*C*T*R
I = user interest in the creator.

P = the post performance among other users

C = content creator's past post performance among other users

T = type of post the user prefers

R = recency

*And about 100,000 other factors

In the past, images tended to be more popular. However, if a user likes a lot of the text based statuses that their friends post, Facebook may be more inclined to show that a text based status. You may need to post a variety of content to see which type of content your audience prefers.


No Use Crying Spoiler

One of the issues that has kept people from voting 3rd Party is the spoiler effect. To debunk this so-called spoiler effect, Gary Johnson has said that he would draw about the same amount of votes from both parties. Looking at the stats at Real Clear Politics, it appears Gary Johnson is correct. If you compare the polls with Johnson to the polls without Johnson, the net effect to both candidates appears to be a wash. Continue reading

Google launches Project Bloks, a tangible programming learning tool

I have said that GUI [graphical user interface] is the best way to start programming. However, I have come to realize that tangible, physical programming may be the best place to start.  Google is launching a project to create tangible coding blocks to help beginner coders better visualize the coding process. As Sheena Vaidyanatham states in the video, a key element to learning programming is persistence. You do not know the true joy of programming or mathematics until you encounter a challenging problem and find the solution through persistent tinkering. That is a skill that trumps knowing syntax any day.

Coding is Not Over.

While I do not like that Lauren Mendoza frames her argument as an attack on coding, she has a point. She seems to be operating under a different definition of coding. It appears she has noticed an over emphasis on syntax in the field and that has lead to a very negative perception of code. I concur with a lot of what she says. I find the nuances of syntax a bit annoying myself. I also prefer to use a graphical user interface [GUI]. I also believe coding should be about solving new, interesting problems and not an assembly line of redundancy and syntax. But I do not believe that coding itself should be a thing of the past. I would not say that GUI and coding are mutually exclusive. You can code using a GUI and coding can allow users of different skill levels to use the same interface. Continue reading

Pandering Fuels Ignorance

While I have been very critical on Weld, I find his views on marriage equality refreshing. Too often politicians are so afraid of public opinion that they would rather be hateful and ignorant than right (Simon). While this issue is easier to see in the Republican Party, Democrats, such as Hillary are guilty of it too. You can see how Hillary’s views on marriage equality have progressed at Continue reading