26 December 2003

Education in America

A couple of tidbits on our school systems.

[source, source]

in a survey I conducted last spring, music teachers said songs that could be considered American children’s musical heritage often aren’t part of the public school curriculum. Among their comments: “My school is low socio-economic, so I teach only pop music.” “Our curriculum is multicultural. We do not teach songs of the American culture.” “These songs aren’t in my textbooks, so I don’t teach them.” “These songs aren’t appropriate for us. I teach in Hawaii, not in America.”

[source, source]

The children sit in a circle. Some are wearing mittens; others are waiting expectantly with little plastic shovels. The rules of the game state that a few of the children must do nothing but sit and watch as the action begins. On the leader’s “Go!” the children scramble for 100 pennies that have been scattered on the floor in the center of the circle. […]

During the second part of this exercise students are asked to devise plans for a fair distribution of the pennies. They are asked to pass judgment on the other students who did or did not give away some pennies to others, and whether or not there should be a redistribution of wealth in America, and how to accomplish this redistribution.

Of course, it would be silly to ask “how can we get more pennies?”.

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Virtual property rights in China

[source, source]

A Chinese court has ordered an online video game company to return hard-won virtual property, including a make-believe stockpile of bio-chemical weapons, to a player whose game account was looted by a hacker. […]

The company argued that the value of the virtual property only existed in the game and was “just piles of data to our operating companies.”

This went to court in China. Why didn’t the company just return it? Why was it worth going to court over? That said, it’s quite interesting that a Chinese court made this decision (although maybe not - this is the kind of property that a Communist government wouldn’t be concerned about).

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Petard watch


The latest Palestinian suicide bombing and a ceaseless spate of attack alerts may leave Israel no option but to take unilateral steps stripping Palestinians of land they seek for a state, political sources said on Friday.

Reuters is actually leading a story with the concept that perhaps violence by Palestinians might, in some way, be contributing to the lack of peace in the Middle East? That’s a very bad sign for the terrorists.

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