Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And Policy-Makers Wonder Why Americans Do Poorly in School

I could rant and rave about the anti-school attitude embodied by children's advertising, but I prefer to give two examples from adult-land.
(I'm tired, and more at a loss for words than usual. Please forgive the portemanteaus.)
*A popular NYC radio station makes elaborate fun of an ad posted in a local paper (I don't know which one) in which a research facility is looking for meth users. I don't remember the details, but the facility wanted to pay the users X hundreds of dollars if the users stayed with them for Y number of days. And rather than supporting this as a worthy step in the fight to understand and control the addiction behaviors which fuel the drug culture, this prominent media outlet spoofs it as ridiculous.
*There exists a magazine (it starts with "W" and ends with "ed," and is an anagram of a synonym for "eerie." I have no wish to be Googled by its fans.) which seems to be an entry into geekdom for the non-geeks. One would think, therefore, that it would portray geekdom in a positive light.
Oh, no.
--October's issue: they profile a topologist. A knot theorist, to be more specific. And comment, in parenthesis "(yes, they give out doctorates for that)".
--September's issue: they discuss the peer review process for scientific articles. It starts out seeming to be reporting from the side of the scientists (vs. the non-scientists, not vs. the editors), with a not-snarky tone, and one is lulled into thinking that this will indeed present a sympathetic entry view into science. Approximately 2/3s of the way through the article, the author mentions a website called arXiv. Another parenthetical comment: "(The X is supposed to be the Greek letter chi; it's pronounced "archive." If you were a physicist, you'd find that hilarious.)"
--The November cover, which I'm quite astonished Pharyngula has not yet commented on, is "The New Atheism: No Heaven. No Hell. Just Science. Inside the crusade against religion."
Yeah. Well, that just makes me want to run out and get a job in science. Doesn't it you? because look at the abuse you'll get from your supposed allies when you do.


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