A wide variety of factors have been keeping me from blogging very regularly these past few weeks: preparation for my first set of provincial exams, a bad cold, a friend’s family problems, my family problems, and many other things. I plan to set a sort of regular schedule for myself once things settle down a bit, but until then, I’ve been collecting information for… something. I don’t know what it is yet, but these islands of information will eventually have a purpose. Until I get it together, these are some the subjects I’m working with, which may or may not become future posts:
I keep running into this topic as a byproduct of my research on giftedness. If you’ve heard the current ‘expert theory’, that it takes forty hours of commitment a week for ten years to become an expert at anything, it’s sort of along those lines. There seems to be a lot of psychological research going into what makes an expert right now… or at least a lot of coverage of it. Most of my own interest is its relation to gifted children.
Some links: “The Expert Mind” – Scientific American (Aug/06), “A Star Is Made: Where Does Talent Really Come From?” – The New York Times Magazine Freakonomics Column (May/06), “The Origins and Ends of Giftedness” – Ellen Winner (.pdf)
After an encounter with this article about the ideal reading level for Wikipedia, I feel strongly compelled to write a post of my own about the subject. It fits in nicely with all the Web 2.0 subject matter I’ve been blogging lately. The only thing that’s stopped me on this is trying to find the right angle to approach it from–I know what I want to say, but I’m still figuring out the best way to say it. (For more direct information, here’s a discussion on the Wikimedia forums about their ideal reading level.)
Seems to have become a major focus of mine. I can’t say much except there are major changes to the system in my area that I don’t approve of… and there’s a lot to be said about approvements (or lack thereof) elsewhere in North America and the proposed changes to the No Child Left Behind Act. There’s too much to say on this to put into a single post… I might blog about one or two of these things later, though.
I’m still keeping up with the daily developments in American politics, but it’s starting to make me very pessimistic about the next two years. Things are so bad right now that I’m not outraged at anything anymore… and so much has gone wrong that it will really take a miracle to get things back on track. I probably won’t be blogging very much about this until post-campaign in 2008, when we might have someone competent in office and (hopefully) we’ll start to see some change. The only thing that has me really upset right now in the world of politics is that whoever wins the presidency in ’08 will be slowed down in their own policies by having to clean up Bush’s mess first. He’s the proof that anyone who is raised to be a president… shouldn’t.
I think I’ll end with a very wise note about politics from the late Douglas Adams that sums up my own feelings on the subject:
“The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of who you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact, that those people who most want to rule other people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. The summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.
…Who can possible rule if no one who wants to do it can be allowed to?”
– Douglas Adams, “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.” (Ch. 28)