Do you smell the pending dystopia?

Maybe my "this will lead to dystopia" sensors are overcalibrated, maybe not.

Super SEALs: Elite Units Pursue Brain-Stimulating Technologies

Money quotes:

"In experiments, people who were watching these screens ... their ability to concentrate would fall off in about 20 minutes," Szymanski said. "But they did studies whereby a little bit of electrical stimulation was applied, and they were able to maintain the same peak performance for 20 hours."

So, at least a few people got to concentrate on a screen for twenty straight hours?

"They're training at this amazingly high level, and the amount they can train is actually limited by things like physical recovery," Wingeier said. "They want to be able to maintain those incredible physical standards as efficiently as possible. That helps them avoid injury. If I was to sum it up, it's kind of all about just training a little bit smarter."

Wow! That sounds so benign. And so modest in aim.

Nice spin, man. Very nice.

Damn, Hagrid

I’m re-reading Philosopher’s Stone… ve-e-e-e-e-ery slowly, coz I’m reading it in Spanish… and here’s a new question:

Doesn’t Hagrid seem to know a lot more magic than Harry & Co. did by third year?

1) able to send massive amounts of letters (duplicated)

2) able to sort of magically auto-fill the address on the letters

3) able to tail Harry & the Dursleys (my, what a lame punk band that is) across southern England

4) lights a fire

5) partially transfigures Dudley into a pig

6) seems to be able to fly without a broom???? (holy craaaaaaaaap)

7) gets the boat to travel to shore without rowing, also speeding it up

Roughly speaking, I could expect Harry and Ron to be able to do #1, #4, and half of #7 by third year.

Hagrid seems to have diligently pursued his magical education post-expulsion.

When I was younger, so much younger than today...

This is hard to write, but I miss my LJ mates. So here goes nothing.

This part went on a bit longer than I thought it wouldCollapse )

Well, that was a long wall of text about me. The point of this post -- inasmuch as I can find a point -- was to try to reconnect. Maybe that was too much honesty, but I feel like I've not been honest enough with myself and others in the past, so I'm trying to correct that. I'm sure I'll overcorrect sometimes.

What I would love is to know how you all are doing.

Also, has anyone ever successfully found their meaning in life? (she asked, casually) If so, maybe share with me? And anyone else lurking. I think more of us are still looking than have found it. ;)

A room-temperature mess

All I'm trying to do is identify the Massachusetts state standards to make sure my curriculum objectives this year aren't omitting anything essential for English 7.

I'm used to California, which was well along in its Common-Core-ification (I was trained on "new standards" and we have been testing with what we called CAASPP or SBAC, the Common Core test, for years).

Massachusetts... much to my surprise, I thought socially and politically they were the same state, only Massachusetts has a shorter New England temper and more unpleasant New England winter... likes its old standards and is only tentatively adopting a state-developed "new" test (with Common Core elements).

I'm a bit confused right now. It's not a concern, in a few weeks I will have this stuff coming out of my ears, but I am damn glad I looked it up in advance of orientation tomorrow.

* Much like ACA, MA "already did this" in education before the feds got around to it (during a time with a Republican governor and Democratic legislature, no less). The "grand bargain" of 1993 was the No Child Left Behind precursor: schools got more money in exchange for high-stakes testing.

* They refer to the new Common Core test as PARCC out here (technically, I think this is because there are rival testing Common Core consortia, it's not just that they are arbitrarily calling it a different name, it's actually a different test. But I like to pretend that they are just being difficult because it amuses me.)

* The NYT article said the new state test will be out this spring 2017. We'll see just how far along that actually is soon enough...

* My new principal and district are very keen on state testing and what "programs" different schools are in based on the scores. I don't know how they plan on comparing this year to last, though. (In CA, we simply haven't really done much with scores the past couple of years. 2017 will be the second "live" year in a row, however, so I'm sure the bureaucrats back there are figuring out all sorts of delightful new categories as we speak.)

Anyway, these are it.

Ian MacDonald, Revolution in the Head, Quote #1

Ian MacDonald's book is most famous for his song-by-song account/review of Beatle creative history. What is often omitted (probably from boredom) are his long, learned essays in the intro and conclusion.

I wasn't bored. History geek heaven.

With their uncanny clone-like similarity and by all talking chattily at once, The Beatles introduced to the cultural lexicon several key Sixties motifs in one go: 'mass'-ness, 'working-class' informality, cheery street skepticism, and -- most challenging to the status quo -- a simultaneity which subverted conventions of precedence in every way. Briefly a buzzword among Parisian poets and Cubists before 1914, simultaneity was revived in the early Sixties by Marshall McLuhan in texts hailing society's liberation from the 'tyranny' of print by electronic media (of which the most dominant was, and is, television). Deploring linear thought and fixed points of view, which he saw as sources of conflict and tension in the Western mind, McLuhan welcomed the chaotic 'flow' of media simultaneity, communal exchange, and amplified sensory experience. Little read today, he was a prophet of modern fragmentation -- of multichannel TV, multiculturalism, multimedia, multipolar politics, polymorphous sexuality, and the extreme critical relativism of Deconstruction. In their characters, collective and individual, The Beatles were perfect McLuhanites.