A clean, well-lit place to vent
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First day of Fall 2014 term, this is image #1 for "enhanced learning" in my courses.
Damn you, Trudeau, for drawing today's strip at the end of the academic year. We educators will have to wait until September to print this out and post it on our office/classroom walls.
I teach in classrooms with computers. At one point instructors could see what was on the student's screen. That changed with smart phones (and budget cuts for underutilized software). It truly amazes me that many students will come to class and spend the whole time browsing or chatting on the web. Perhaps I'm teaching to those who don't care about the cost or don't care about the grade or have some social dependency for perpetual communication and support. Whatever the case, time and money is being wasted. It had been my practice to call on students who were otherwise engaged with an irrelevant or non-existing topic. It went like this:
Instructor: "Well, Mr. Smith, which argument has the most merit?"
Student: "Uh, sorry I wasn't paying attention."
Instructor: "I know. That is why I called on you."
Most of the class would smile. Now many won't know I called on a student. Sigh...
Electronic Sniper: As a 44-year-old college student I have to ask, where can I sign up to be on the team for this? Back when someone else would have been paying for it, perhaps I would have been the same way. But today, I want my money's worth!
In this past week's Classic strips from 1974 I think Uncle Duke doesn't quite look like himself. but resembles a character who came on board later -- Jeremy Cavendish, fellow bird-watcher to Dick Davenport, and later wannabe-boyfriend of Dick's widow, Congresswoman Lacey Davenport
Uncle Duke? All this time and I don't think I ever knew he had a family connection to anyone else...
Sigh. I'm beginning to think I wish Zonker were my best friend. He's such a nice guy.
God, I miss Walter.
I'm loving the synchronicity on the Flashbacks page today, though I think Uncle Sigmund would be interested to know why GBT is so interested in how people put their trousers on.
Today's strip is the only time I have disagreed with Doonesbury. Automation puts people out of work who would be doing the simpler tasks. With increasing technological demands, it is mostly the better educated, more creative and more intelligent people who are able to find work. At the risk of sounding elitist, I suggest these are the very people who would be doing original creative work if they were freed from the need to earn a living. Moreover, people with well-paying jobs generally work many more than 40 hours a week. I further suggest the majority of corporations would prefer machines over people -- no strikes, no complaints, no retirement, no benefits to pay. Look at how people who could once be free of work at least when they were in airplanes, their cars, or their homes are now expected to be constantly engaged.
In this particular march towards automation, the reach of outsourcing enabled by the digital age finds a much larger number of "skill communities" vanishing locally, since they are not being integrated into sort-of-similar automated versions of what they were doing previously. "Skilled labor" dwells in communities of old and young, vendors and suppliers, which depend on commerce to finance their continuity. These communities cannot be stopped and started at will. They are complex networks that, with enough lean years, can go away and maybe not come back.