a site designed to encourage young people to learn coding
in school, in order to move
into careers where such skills are (allegedly)
useful. You know, like mine.
There's a long array of famous, semi-famous, and not-at-all-famous people endorsing this effort on the front page, with pictures and encouraging quotes. (Bill Clinton: "At a time when people are saying "I want a hot babe good job - I got out of college and I couldnt find one," every single year in America there is a standing demand for 120,000 people who are training in computer science.") Check it out.
One of my past jobs was trying to teach introductory programming to mostly-unwilling students. Very unpleasant! But maybe I just sucked at it.
My snarky take: out of the dozens of people on the page, how many would even know how to start writing a computer program? Could even recognize a control structure or say what an array is?
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, sure. Maybe Steve Ballmer too. But Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Marco Rubio, Snoop Dogg? I don't think so.
Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights
in Education (FIRE), has a nice article at Forbes
discussing the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) incident where an instructor
facilitated an in-class activity where students wrote "JESUS" on
a sheet of paper and were directed to stomp on it. A student, Ryan
Rotela, refused, complained to higher-ups, and (as a result) was
subjected to disciplinary measures.
Greg says that FAU has (finally) "apologized and dropped all charges against Rotela." But there's a more general point:The fact is that universities these days rely on double standards to function, as the overwhelming majority of colleges, like FAU, maintain unconstitutional speech codes that typically ban inappropriate, offensive, or hurtful speech. If the plain language of these codes were followed, they would not last a day, since every professor and student would be found guilty of violating them. In order to exist, these kinds of codes must be selectively applied.
The University Near Here has been awarded a red light rating from FIRE for its clearly-unconstitutional speech code. It's only a matter of time before a clueless administrator attempts to enforce it against an intransigent student, and UNH (once again) becomes a nationwide laughingstock.
If you're feeling too happy and optimistic, a good remedy is to
check out what people are saying about Obamacare.
At Reason Peter Suderman notes
HHS Secretary Sebelius admission that insurance
premiums will go up, and that a study by the Society of Actuaries
estimates the rise as 32% over the next three years; and nobody
thinks Obamacare's "exchanges" will be ready to go when they are
At NR, Yuval Levin has a long
post highlighting that the Obama Administration is urging its
spokesdroids to stop claiming that Obamacare will bring healthcare costs.
People, you see, might get upset about such blatant lies made
to their face.
(It was OK to lie about this before the law was passed.)
And even the way-too-optimistic "rosy health-costs scenario" predicts eventual fiscal disaster.
So we're screwed unless politicians (and the voters who elect them) put on their big-boy pants and start taking this seriously. And what are the chances of that?
- At Reason Peter Suderman notes HHS Secretary Sebelius admission that insurance premiums will go up, and that a study by the Society of Actuaries estimates the rise as 32% over the next three years; and nobody thinks Obamacare's "exchanges" will be ready to go when they are supposed to.
If you're using the default view of Pun Salad: over on the
Books page, I look at
Holidays in Heck by P.J. O'Rourke and Way Down on the High
Lonely by Don Winslow. On the Movies page, recent entries
are for Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, Wake in Fright,
and Wreck-It Ralph.