Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

NYTimes: The Last Time You Used Algebra Was... : The argument often surfaces, not only regarding math but a lot of the other subjects taught in school: why did I bother to learn X if I never needed to know it?

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it assumes that from an early point in their lives, we can know exactly what knowledge and skills a child will or will not need in their lives to come. While it is true that, for example, a lot of us grow up to never need to use the math we learned in school, learning math has enabled many of us to go on to work in the sciences, etc, etc. The same can be said for any other topic.

The point I'm getting at is that the educational system should provide all students with the widest range of opportunities for their future lives. A student who doesn't learn math, biology, music, english, etc... well, they'll never know what kind of lives they could have had, since they would have been frozen out of so many options from early on.

Of course, if your goal is to produce a subservient, dependent population who are able to do little more then perform minor, machine-like tasks within heavily automated, de-skilled jobs, well, you really don't need to be too concerned whether John Q. Public learns math in school. No, your kids will learn plenty of math at their private school, and they'll tell John Q. Public what to do. They'll do the math for him.