The failure of education is that during 16 years students live in a world in which every problem has an answer. Then they graduate to find out that the world is not a model. That reality is more complex than any one answer. As they become adults and formal education clashes with reality the result is frequently anxiety or fanaticism. None are good choices.
Education should embrace ambiguity. Teachers should stop pretending to know it all. My father was an astrophysicist. He had a PhD from Harvard. But his best contribution to my education was to explain to me that whatever I learned was but an approximation to an answer. He was a hopeful skeptic. He thought that through science humanity’s understanding of the world would increase. I am a hopeful skeptic as well. And what I teach my seven children is that what we now call knowledge is but Continue reading "Hopeful skeptics"
I consider myself progressive and liberal. But if I try to put myself in the role of a Republican president here are a list of smart conservative agenda moves that I would consider. To me this list would do much better for Trump than depriving people from health care access, attacking free trade agreements, disrupting the relation with Mexico for no clear objective, attacking global diplomacy by increasing military spending and reducing State Department spending and a series of poor initiatives that Trump is proposing. So here’s what a “good Trump” could do with the tremendous political power he has.
Promote tax changes that create jobs:
Eliminate capital gains tax for anyone who uses the gains from a sale of real estate or financial assets to invest in private qualifying businesses that create jobs.
Health care changes that require going against the Pharma lobby:
Allow government to negotiate prices from Continue reading "A Trump conservative agenda that make sense"
As Trump says he loves the uneducated. And by tying lower education to residence and higher education to income, our society can’t stop producing his type of voters. The best universities in the USA can only accept about 3% of those who turn 18 every year. So a country that provides elite education for only 3% of its population shouldn’t be surprised, that a candidate who preys on the rest with reality TV appeal and groundless proposals, can get elected.
And then there’s deteriorating job quality. Yes we still have jobs, like we still have car owners. But the trend towards massive automation is about to take a few more exponential steps. And as cars will Continue reading "The next Trump "
A lot of the conversation on inequality centered around how zoning laws are pricing a new generation out of the housing market. True here. Not true in Atlanta, Berlin, Miami. Are restrictive zoning laws a problem? Yes, but are they the reason why there is inequality? Only partly, and depends where. I have another explanation for inequality and that is: inheritances, elite education, uneven distribution of talent.
Another Bay Area centric explanation was that pervasive technology is causing violence. Do we believe that Syrians or Libyans are killing each other because they have Facebook or Twitter? Not really. Hutus and Tutsis killed each other without smartphones and with machetes. I Continue reading "The world as seen from San Francisco "