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Category: other rants (Page 1 of 205)

The Myth of History

Ask most people in this country to free associate with “Fourth of July” and they’ll probably respond with stuff like fireworks, bar-b-que, parades, and overly-militaristic displays.

Because, as expressed by the great philosopher David Letterman, Independence Day “is the time of year when Americans indulge in their two favorite pastimes: drinkin’ and blowin’ stuff up.”

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Learning to Tell Better Stories, Better

Thanks to Television

We are about half way through the limited series from The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attach on the Capitol.1 They seem to be getting big audiences, both watching live or streaming the episodes, despite that rather verbose title.

There’s a good reason why people are talking about these proceedings as if it was an offering from Netflix or another of the too-many streaming services: it’s all about the story telling.

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The Challenge of Normal

Hawk's Nest 2

Two years ago, when it became clear that the pandemic was going to cause major disruptions to schools, I started reading tweets, posts, and articles about how this might lead to major changes to the education system. Some were by people I actually respect.

However, I was very skeptical that anything, even a world-wide public health emergency, would substantially alter the way we do schooling in this country. There is just too much institutional inertia and the fervent desire on the part of just about everyone to get back to “normal” was too loud.

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Saving Nothing

Winkler Lake

Have I mentioned how much I hate Daylight Saving Time?1

I’m taking a break from Twitter, so this will be a tweet-sized rant on the topic. Feel free to ignore it.

Since humans invented “time”, humans can do stupid things with that concept.

But don’t call it “saving”. Nothing is being “saved”. Especially light.

You’re just abruptly shifting time by an hour twice a year.

So be honest. Call this stupid idea what it is: “Needlessly fiddling with the clock”.

Sorry if I exceeded the 280 character limit. That’s what a blog is for.

The photo has nothing to do with the topic. It shows the lake at Winkler Botanical Preserve, a small, privately-owned park hidden in the Mark Center area of Alexandria.

1. Rhetorical question. At least 13 times in nearly twenty years of ranting here.

Clogging Up The Free Flow


A recently-passed Florida law will require public universities in the state to conduct an annual “viewpoint diversity” survey of students. The governor says he’s “concerned about the free flow of ideas on campus and whether higher education stifles free speech from conservatives”.

For reasons I don’t understand, Jay Mathews really likes this idea.

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