[links] Link salad falls into another week

Some Books Are More Equal Than Others — A middle school teacher is snotty about the classics versus that genre trash. Because, you know, you can’t learn anything from reading genre.

The secret of nym — Ah, words.

You Will Want Google Goggles

Do You Really Believe What You Say You Believe? — A question I have often asked myself, as the vast majority of faith claims are so staggeringly improbable on the sheer face of things that I never quite believe the believers. A failure of my own imagination, obviously, but a sadly persistent one.

Here are some of the death threats sent to a climate scientist — Because when you don’t have reality on your side, you’re pretty much stuck with invective and lies. C.f. the entire conservative movement, essentially. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Members of Congress trade in companies while making laws that affect those same firms — Mmm. Ethics. I expect no less from conservatives, but come on, Democrats. You’re supposed to be the good guys.

Old vs. YoungThe Generation Gap is Back. Politics, American style.

US citizens leaving the country to avoid stiff tax bills — Now that’s trickle down economics. (Via David Goldman)

Scalia’s ‘intellect and integrity’ — He’s a conservative. The ends will always justify the means, all the while decrying the evil of situationalist liberals. ‘Nuff said.

?otD: When is your Monday?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.25 (solid)
Weight: 240.2
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate

2 thoughts on “[links] Link salad falls into another week

  1. Cora says:

    Not being American, I don’t really get the concept of summer reading at all. When German kids have holidays, they really have holidays and don’t have to do any “summer assignments” and can read (or not read) whatever they please. Indeed, “summer reading” seems like a concept tailor-made to make kids hate reading.

    Never mind that this teacher’s suggestions are absolutely horrible. Middle school covers, unless I’m misinformed, grades 5 to 8, i.e. the same grades I teach. And most of the books, both fiction and non-fiction, she recommends are not books I would assign to students that age. Dickens and Jane Austen are okay for 7th and 8th graders, as is “To Kill a Mockingbird” though since my students are ESL kids, we don’t read them until grade 11 or 12. I wouldn’t assign “The Red Badge of Courage” at all, but then it’s not exactly the most relevant of classics for Non-Americans. “Iqbal” is actually sometimes read in 8th grade at my school and it’s one of the better choices. I wouldn’t foist “Hiroshima” or “Night” on young readers at all, except at the relevant points in history class.

    Never mind that I find this current American focus on non-fiction strange anyway. Because IMO English classes and literature classes in general should focus on fiction. Non-fiction is fine and some of those books or excerpts thereof would work in history or social studies classes, but very little in the way of contemporary non-fiction is suitable for literature classes.

    About the generation gap link, what stunned me was that younger Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to social security cuts, unlike older Americans. Which would make older Americans rather stupid, considering that they benefit from social security.

    Otherwise, the pattern is not so different than what I see in Germany, though more extreme. You see plenty of young people at protest marches against unemployment insurance cuts and even pension cuts, but you never see old people at marches against anything except pension cuts. Indeed, a lot of old people support cuts in unemployment benefits or education spending (unless it affects their own grandkids) in a typical “I got mine, now screw you” mentality. They’re all in favour of social security (or the German equivalent) though.

  2. Penn Jilette in his latest book argues that few religious people actually believe in their religious beliefs. The main thrust of the argument is that if you really thought certain activities would punish a person to eternal damnation, how could you think you’re a good person and not be an incredible annoying ass working to convert people?

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