Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Math is Racist

7/17/19 College Fix:
"Math equity” doesn’t mean 1 + 1 = 2.
The term refers to the growing insistence among educators that teaching math in the classroom comes with some inherently biased methodology that must be addressed.
Proponents of “math equity” also stress the importance of social justice issues such as race, diversity and gender in math education — a trend that’s catching on.
More professors and educators are tweeting under the hashtag #MathEquity to share strategies on the topic, and webinars and other pedagogical sessions on it abound.
“Equity-based mathematics teaching requires more than implementing new curriculum or using specific practices because it involves taking a stand for what is right,” the website for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics states.
“It requires mathematics teachers to reflect on their own identity, positions, and beliefs in regards to racist and sorting-based mechanisms. It involves noticing students, learning about the worlds they live in, and building mathematics that comes from these worlds. And finally, it involves engaging other educators in partnerships to build equity-oriented communities.”
As I commented:
Many years ago, when I was taking the required multicultural studies class, the text we were using asserted that even the boolean logic of computers was Western in origin and thus suspect of having general applicability outside the West. Glad to know our missiles and aircraft stop working in the Third World. What did Winston confront in 1984? 1+1 = whatever the Party says it does. 
Another comment I must emphasize to those whose children are still K-12:
Homeschool and teach your child to become the CEO of Brawndo.

Today's Linux Disappontments

I was not thrilled with ubuntu GUI, so I downloaded the debian KDE ISO.  It starts up in the shell with no obvious way to start a GUI.  (This is why I am skeptical of Linux.  Almost nothing is adequately documented; unsurprising for a system that makes no profit.)

I am pleased to see that Microsoft has something call Window Virtual PC, which does what it sounds like.  Trying to start it running either Windows 10 or 7 and it complained that I need a 686 version, not x64.  Everything that I have downloaded so far has been 64-bit, without problems.  So I am now downloading the 32-bit versions.

I Think This Would Be Just Perfect for Chicago Gangs: Leave It There

7/16/19 CBS Miami:
Frank Robb, the owner of Crocodilian Specialist Services in St. Augustine, took his talents as an alligator expert to the Windy City, when authorities asked for his help capturing an alligator that had been on the loose at a local park for several days.

A Reminder of Our Past Sins

The culture that put men on the moon was intense, fun, family-unfriendly, and mostly white and male
Be ashamed.  Be very ashamed.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Running Ubuntu Linux

From a USB hard drive.  First step: see if the Lenovo USB Dock works. Maybe install VMWare with Windows 10 as client.  The GUI that it defaults to is certainly different from Windows--way different. To see all your applications, click Activities in upper left corner.  I think Debian's GUI is more intuitive.

My, that was fun.  I was informed that I should do a full update of the distribution, something like "sudo apt-get update"; it turns out that 109GB free on a 111GB drive is not enough.  So I verified that I could access files on the Windows hard drive.  I double clicked a very small Excel file, expecting either a complaint about no file type associated (or optimistically) opening LibreOffice Calc.  Instead both screens went black and dead.  I am increasingly unimpressed with Ubuntu Linux.  Microsoft is in no danger.

Maybe I will install Windows 10 on this USB hard drive, and use that to see if I can live with Windows 10.

But first, I installed Oracle VirtualBox to see if the problem installing ubuntu under VMWare might not be there under VirtualBox.  I must have installed VirtualBox in the past and there is a linuxCNC client under it, but it runs so slowly as to be useless.

I thought of installing debian on the USB hard drive, but it appears that Rufus deleted that ISO when installing on the USB hard drive.  Like I said a few days ago, Linux is so hard to get working in a useful manner that I am very close to just upgrading to Windows 10, perhaps dual boot Windows 7 & 10.

Selling the ScopeRoller Business is Like Breaking Up With a Girl

I am negotiating the sale of ScopeRoller to a reader in Europe.  You have a some very good memories and a few bad memories (in this case, dealing with unhappy customers and an unfortunate interaction between a spinning drill bit and my thumb), but the fit for your life now just doesn't justify keeping it going.  You start going through stuff that you shared in preparation for shipping it its new home and you feel a sense of loss, even though you know the breakup is the right thing to do.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

How Did Epstein Become a Billionaire (Is He?)

7/11/19 New York Intelligencer discusses how real hedge fund billionaires have never heard of Epstein's firm, nor do they know of any any customers.  They suggest that whatever money is invested may be under threat of blackmail:
I think he’s engaged in blackmail. The reason I think this is that I read the Palm Beach police report when they did the search warrant. Epstein had advanced warning they were coming, so he scrubbed the place as much as he could, but he left wires and audiovisual cables for uploading video files to computers, and I guess the Palm Beach Police themselves installed some of his audiovisual surveillance equipment in his residence — it’s a service they apparently do, putting in security cameras for residents. And some of his victims, like Virginia Roberts, in her court filings, said that Epstein remarked to her that “information is king,” and mentioned that Bill Clinton was there because “he owes me a favor.” He bragged that that’s how powerful he was. So I suspect, based on that evidence, that’s it’s likely, since that’s the way Epstein operates, is he uses information to his advantage. Does he get investment money for his hedge fund that way? That’s a strong possibility. Does he not have to pay back investors maybe using the blackmail information as a threat? That’s a possibility.

Hint: If you are rich or powerful, or plan to be so, don't do anything that might be criminal or embarrassing in front of a possibly hidden video camera.  Even better:  don't do anything that might be criminal or embarrassing.  The scrubbed Wikipedia page has been unscrubbed.