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'[OT]: ramblings, the "quickening"'
2001\06\02@061339 by Roman Black

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Just some new weekend ramblings, are people
familiar with the concept of "the quickening"
which is explained my many people in many different
ways, but is basically the fact that the human
species is developing to become quicker, learn
quicker, apapt quicker, reach adulthood quicker,
etc etc.

The information age has a lot to do with this,
and easy access to information. I like old b/w
movies, and it is really surprising to see the
maturity of (say) 20yr old person in the 1940s.
Today a 15 yr old would have equivalent or greater
life experience, even if most of it is by
observation of others (mainly fictional others?)

As an engineer one thing that occured to me
recently is the sheer volume of high frequency
stimuli that young brains are exposed to...

Have you watched a music video show lately??
Non-stop alternating images, all very intense
and symbolic, at frequencies that would drive an
older person crazy. Like stuff from a 50's horror
movie about "brainwashing".

Surely this is training (burning?) high-speed
neurons in young developing minds... And this made
me think, what about us in 50Hz countries??

If US teenagers get their neurons burned by years
of flashing images at 30 images/sec and UK/Australian
teenagers get theirs flashing at 25 images/second,
is this going to have a significant effect on the
evolution of human consciousness over the coming
years??
-Roman

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2001\06\02@081912 by Jinx

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> As an engineer one thing that occured to me
> recently is the sheer volume of high frequency
> stimuli that young brains are exposed to...

The downside to a lot of available information and gimmicky
presentation is overload and reduced attention spans. The
teachers I know have noticed it over the last decade and say
a classroom is harder to control or keep busy. There are
teachers on the list, maybe they'd like to comment on that

What I've seen myself is a veering away from basics as so much
now is pre-packaged. Kids are no more adept at hunting for
information sources than we were. I think the claims that they are
completely Internet savvy (compared to their "ignorant parents")
is incorrect

> Have you watched a music video show lately??
> Non-stop alternating images, all very intense
> and symbolic, at frequencies that would drive an
> older person crazy. Like stuff from a 50's horror
> movie about "brainwashing".

As above, pre-packaged junk. And I try to say that with an open
mind. Look at Top Of The Pops for example. An endless parade
of groups like Five or jiggying-about skinny birds. In "my day"
there was so much more variety. Which I might add is very popular
today as classic hits or r'n'r. I have a few friends who are DJs,
and between us we can't even imagine what the hell could be
considered material from this decade for a classic station in 10
years time. It's all so superficial

{Quote hidden}

Despite the alleged fitness boom, I think people are getting softer
and also not necessarily more intellectual. Look at the vast number
of 9-5ers who go thrill-seeking at the week-end, perhaps as some
sort of stress relief or trying to hold onto some sort of bloke-iness

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2001\06\02@094548 by Dave Dilatush

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Jinx <spam_OUTjoecolquittTakeThisOuTspamCLEAR.NET.NZ> wrote...

>The downside to a lot of available information and gimmicky
>presentation is overload and reduced attention spans. The
>teachers I know have noticed it over the last decade and say
>a classroom is harder to control or keep busy. There are
>teachers on the list, maybe they'd like to comment on that

A good friend of mine here in the US has been teaching in rural Iowa
for over thirty years, and we often talk about the changes she's seen
in her students over the years.  
Aside from a drastic reduction in attention span, she's noted that
today's students are much more easily distracted than those in the
past; they expect everything to be made "fun" for them, and quickly
get bored and whiney when their classroom environment doesn't mimic
the fast-paced, rapid-fire style they've experienced with television;
they become very upset when asked to do anything that is not easy, or
when faced with a problem for which a solution is not immediately
apparent; they expect to be given "an 'A' for effort" even if they
cannot produce any results; and they have absolutely no comprehension
of the reality that someday, they will have to support themselves by
actually ***USING** the skills their teachers are trying to teach
them.

>What I've seen myself is a veering away from basics as so much
>now is pre-packaged. Kids are no more adept at hunting for
>information sources than we were. I think the claims that they are
>completely Internet savvy (compared to their "ignorant parents")
>is incorrect

I think they're much LESS adept at hunting for information.  How many
of the questions posed here on the PICLIST are answerable simply by
going to Microchip's website and reading the device datasheet, or the
Midrange Reference Manual, or by rummaging through Microchip's
collection of application notes?  It seems quite a few people either
don't know this information is available or are too impatient to look
for the answers themselves.  Perhaps they learn this in school: don't
bother reading the book, don't bother crunching the numbers, just ask
the person sitting next to you for the answer.

The same comment applies to many of the EE questions.  The National
Semiconductor, Analog Devices, and Linear Technology websites- and
many others- each contain HUGE collections of application notes
covering a wide range of electronic design topics ranging from the
basic to the exotic; yet many people seem either blissfully (or not so
blissfully) unaware that all that valuable knowledge is even there, or
they simply don't want to spend the time to wade through it.

T'was once said, "If I catch a fish and give to to someone, I've fed
him for a day; if I teach him to fish, I've fed him for a lifetime."

Teaching people to fish is great stuff; handing out fishes is a drag.

DD

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2001\06\02@114735 by Dan Michaels

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Captain Jinx wrote:
>> As an engineer one thing that occured to me
>> recently is the sheer volume of high frequency
>> stimuli that young brains are exposed to...
>
>The downside to a lot of available information and gimmicky
>presentation is overload and reduced attention spans. The
>teachers I know have noticed it over the last decade and say
>a classroom is harder to control or keep busy.


Yes, but this is made up for by grade inflation, so it's a
wash, right? [or a double whammy, whichever ...]
========

In "my day"
>there was so much more variety. Which I might add is very popular
>today as classic hits or r'n'r. I have a few friends who are DJs,
>and between us we can't even imagine what the hell could be
>considered material from this decade for a classic station in 10
>years time. It's all so superficial
>

Of course, "I am the Walrus" is really really deep.
===============


{Quote hidden}

Definitely appears to be true in BigMac&FriesAmerica, but I wager
that Roman still gets out the ole rocket bike for stress relief on
weekends too.

Regarding TV image rates, I believe the actual updata rate is
50/60 "interlaced" frames/sec. 25/30 is too close to the flicker
fusion frequency of human vision. The utilities chose 50/60 to
be high enough for humans to not see the flicker [however, remember
the old monitors in the 80s], but low enough to attract every
mosquito in the neighborhood.

Also, slower update rates, like in VR goggles/etc, do lead to
vision problems and sometimes epilepsy, probably more serious
potentially than 50/60 consciousness differences.

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2001\06\02@121927 by Dale Botkin

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On Sat, 2 Jun 2001, Roman Black wrote:

> If US teenagers get their neurons burned by years
> of flashing images at 30 images/sec and UK/Australian
> teenagers get theirs flashing at 25 images/second,
> is this going to have a significant effect on the
> evolution of human consciousness over the coming
> years??

Perhaps 50Hz teens will tend not to be quite as stupid as 60Hz teens...

I try to limit the stupidity of mine.  We don't allow MTV, VH-1 and some
other channels into the house.  We are, of course, the world's meanest
parents.

Dale
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On my desk I have a workstation...

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2001\06\02@121935 by James R. Cunningham

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Are you saying that today's 15 year old has greater life experience than
a young adult fighting for his life during WWII?  I have friends who
fought for most of the major powers during that war, and I'd say their
40's life experience has stood them in good stead for the remainder of
their lives.  Not that any of them wish to repeat the experience.

Jim

Roman Black wrote:

> and it is really surprising to see the
> maturity of (say) 20yr old person in the 1940s.
> Today a 15 yr old would have equivalent or greater
> life experience, even if most of it is by
> observation of others (mainly fictional others?)

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2001\06\02@122746 by Roman Black

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Jinx wrote:
>
> > As an engineer one thing that occured to me
> > recently is the sheer volume of high frequency
> > stimuli that young brains are exposed to...
>
> The downside to a lot of available information and gimmicky
> presentation is overload and reduced attention spans. The
> teachers I know have noticed it over the last decade and say
> a classroom is harder to control or keep busy. There are
> teachers on the list, maybe they'd like to comment on that
>
> What I've seen myself is a veering away from basics as so much
> now is pre-packaged. Kids are no more adept at hunting for
> information sources than we were. I think the claims that they are
> completely Internet savvy (compared to their "ignorant parents")
> is incorrect
>


Yes but maybe this involves a re-thinking from our
point of view too. What could be considered lazy
a few years back might be simply "slow" now.

Teenagers always think they are smarter than their
elders, this was not the main point, the point is
that maybe they are used to (and capable of) stuff
that is becoming quicker and quicker.

Mind you, I think discipline is very lacking, the
few teenagers I know who did martial arts (etc)
have a very different attitude towards achievement
than those who think the TV and classroom represent
"real life". Having a skilled person kick them around
soon teaches them that they are NOT anything special,
and to BE special involves lots of work...

Any thoughts on the 50Hz/60Hz issue?? Have you noticed
this?? Have you been training your own neurons?? :o)
-Roman

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2001\06\02@124234 by Roman Black

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Dave Dilatush wrote:

> A good friend of mine here in the US has been teaching in rural Iowa
> for over thirty years, and we often talk about the changes she's seen
> in her students over the years.
>
> Aside from a drastic reduction in attention span, she's noted that
> today's students are much more easily distracted than those in the
> past; they expect everything to be made "fun" for them, and quickly
> get bored and whiney when their classroom environment doesn't mimic
> the fast-paced, rapid-fire style they've experienced with television;
> they become very upset when asked to do anything that is not easy, or
> when faced with a problem for which a solution is not immediately
> apparent; they expect to be given "an 'A' for effort" even if they
> cannot produce any results; and they have absolutely no comprehension
> of the reality that someday, they will have to support themselves by
> actually ***USING** the skills their teachers are trying to teach
> them.


I think one thing that could be done is to capitalise
on the "quickness" of the students, to place them in
a competitive environment with the final results based
on actual performance. This soon shows the good from the
bad, and leaves most of them in the middle trying harder.

To truly integrate, the teachers themselves must become
more like the students and subject to the same quickening.
I deliberately expose myself to the music video shows
until it becomes "normalised" and play games like Quake
"reaperbot" where the computer opponent can be adjusted
in skill and speed. It might be slightly harder for an
older mind to quicken but it is not impossible. Some of
the fastest martial artists I have seen were in their
forties or fifties.

I remember a teaching aid in the early '70s. One of my
friends brought one home from school. It was a mechanical
device with a number of words, and could be set to show
the word very quicky, like a camera shutter. It was a
'70s "new" way of teaching reading skills. This is very
similar to the typical music video show which requires
instant recognition of a complex image.

I'm sure devices like this can be used to develop speed
of thought skills that more "natural" living would never
challenge.
-Roman

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2001\06\02@125133 by Roman Black

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James R. Cunningham wrote:
>
> Are you saying that today's 15 year old has greater life experience than
> a young adult fighting for his life during WWII?  I have friends who
> fought for most of the major powers during that war, and I'd say their
> 40's life experience has stood them in good stead for the remainder of
> their lives.  Not that any of them wish to repeat the experience.


Hi James, I have the greatest respect for those
that put their life on the line for something
they believed in. Those incredible experiences
will have taught lessons that no young nintendo
addict will ever learn. :o)

What I was talking about was simply the stimuli
and response of modern childhood. Like the difference
between tree-houses and dolls at 13 yrs old compared
to flashed 30Hz images of complex scenarios.
Like a bombardment of things at the limit of human
recognition, don't you think this has an effect on
the young mind?? Abilities develop as a result of
stimuli, if the stimuli comes so much quicker and
more intense the minds must develop quicker and
to a greater level.

I really believe that things that bothered the
great minds 20 years ago are annoying the young
minds of today, even if it is only the few that
can drag themselves away from the latest Blink
182 filmclip.
:o)
-Roman

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2001\06\02@130549 by James R. Cunningham

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Yeah, I do.  I think those who were young adults in the 40's got it from
another source.  Young adults in the 50's - 70's may not have.  The youth of
today do have quite a source of stimuli, but I'm not sure they are any quicker
or more versatile than some octogenarians that I know (with the exception of
physical reaction time, and even there -- my dad had faster reactions at 85
than I did at 25).

Jim

Roman Black wrote:

> Like the difference
> between tree-houses and dolls at 13 yrs old compared
> to flashed 30Hz images of complex scenarios.
> Like a bombardment of things at the limit of human
> recognition, don't you think this has an effect on
> the young mind??

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2001\06\02@131003 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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       Wow, that's what I call a crazy subject :oD

>ways, but is basically the fact that the human
>species is developing to become quicker, learn
>quicker, apapt quicker, reach adulthood quicker,
>etc etc.

       It's a very interesting phenomena, of course connected to the nowadays easy acess to information!

>As an engineer one thing that occured to me
>recently is the sheer volume of high frequency
>stimuli that young brains are exposed to...

       Via our "video and audio" ports or RF?

>Have you watched a music video show lately??
>Non-stop alternating images, all very intense
>and symbolic, at frequencies that would drive an
>older person crazy. Like stuff from a 50's horror
>movie about "brainwashing".

       Never saw an old video clip? It was the same! The invention of Rock'n'Roll music brought us high frequencies for the masses :o)

>Surely this is training (burning?) high-speed
>neurons in young developing minds... And this made
>me think, what about us in 50Hz countries??

       Does neurons keep burned by thinking? Or exercised and better-fitted?

>If US teenagers get their neurons burned by years
>of flashing images at 30 images/sec and UK/Australian
>teenagers get theirs flashing at 25 images/second,
>is this going to have a significant effect on the
>evolution of human consciousness over the coming
>years??

       Haha, let's see what happens, got me curious :o)

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2001\06\02@131627 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>I think they're much LESS adept at hunting for information.  How many
>of the questions posed here on the PICLIST are answerable simply by
>going to Microchip's website and reading the device datasheet, or the
>Midrange Reference Manual, or by rummaging through Microchip's
>collection of application notes?  It seems quite a few people either
>don't know this information is available or are too impatient to look
>for the answers themselves.  Perhaps they learn this in school: don't
>bother reading the book, don't bother crunching the numbers, just ask
>the person sitting next to you for the answer.

       But asking for the solution on the list IS searching for an answer. Surely he/she will find an info that's more detailed and concise than ones you find in the data book.

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2001\06\02@132035 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>I think one thing that could be done is to capitalise
>on the "quickness" of the students, to place them in
>a competitive environment with the final results based
>on actual performance. This soon shows the good from the
>bad, and leaves most of them in the middle trying harder.

       And so people would be selected by these results, and the "bad" people would be marginalized. And you brought a new BIG problem to the world.

>To truly integrate, the teachers themselves must become
>more like the students and subject to the same quickening.
>I deliberately expose myself to the music video shows
>until it becomes "normalised" and play games like Quake
>"reaperbot" where the computer opponent can be adjusted
>in skill and speed. It might be slightly harder for an
>older mind to quicken but it is not impossible. Some of
>the fastest martial artists I have seen were in their
>forties or fifties.

       One thing is a relaxed mind for decades. Other is a trained mind for speed and good reflexes.

>I remember a teaching aid in the early '70s. One of my
>friends brought one home from school. It was a mechanical
>device with a number of words, and could be set to show
>the word very quicky, like a camera shutter. It was a
>'70s "new" way of teaching reading skills. This is very
>similar to the typical music video show which requires
>instant recognition of a complex image.

       Subliminal messages? :oD

>I'm sure devices like this can be used to develop speed
>of thought skills that more "natural" living would never
>challenge.

       So play Quake, do you have anything better to develop your reflexes and thoughts? :o)

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2001\06\02@143749 by Bob Ammerman

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> Perhaps 50Hz teens will tend not to be quite as stupid as 60Hz teens...
>
> I try to limit the stupidity of mine.  We don't allow MTV, VH-1 and some
> other channels into the house.  We are, of course, the world's meanest
> parents.
>
> Dale

Nope, we are. We only have 'broadcast service' on our cable connection.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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2001\06\02@153408 by Dale Botkin

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On Sat, 2 Jun 2001, Bob Ammerman wrote:

> > Perhaps 50Hz teens will tend not to be quite as stupid as 60Hz teens...
> >
> > I try to limit the stupidity of mine.  We don't allow MTV, VH-1 and some
> > other channels into the house.  We are, of course, the world's meanest
> > parents.
> >
> > Dale
>
> Nope, we are. We only have 'broadcast service' on our cable connection.

We're close.  "Basic" cable service actually saved me about $.20 a month
on my cable modem bill... the cable-modem discount for cable TV customers
was that much more than the basic service.  They think,of course, that NO
ONE could ever put up with only basic service,and will soon be spending
$50 or $80 a month for full service, plus of course pay-per-view WWF
<gag!>.

All I want to add is a few channels, like the History Channel, A&E, CNN,
Discovery Channel and maybe Speedvision so I can watch some non-NASCAR
racing once in a while.  Until I can do that without twenty channels of
garbage, they can keep it.

Dale
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2001\06\02@165328 by trm

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You HAVE to get Speedvision ! Did you know the rest of the world doesn't race on
ovals ? :-) Really they have a really broad selection of racing. Also, some
really neat stuff from the '50's & '60's before all the commercialation (sp ?)
of racing. Cars with the coutry colors, not billboards.

Ted

Dale Botkin wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\06\02@194119 by Jinx

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> > "I Am The Walrus" is really really deep then ?

Compared to "Gettin' Jiggy With It", yes. The emphasis now is on
the beat. In previous eras it was about melody. Take a good honest
look at what's in the charts now and compare it to the variety of the
60's/70's/80's. It was fun then, now it's just one more thumpa-thumpa
"song" after another. Don't get me wrong, I do listen to contemporary
stations and some I like, but I would think long and hard about buying
a CD by anyone on their playlist

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2001\06\02@211208 by michael brown

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>>I think they're much LESS adept at hunting for information.  How many
>>of the questions posed here on the PICLIST are answerable simply by
>>going to Microchip's website and reading the device datasheet, or the
>>Midrange Reference Manual, or by rummaging through Microchip's
>>collection of application notes?  It seems quite a few people either
>>don't know this information is available or are too impatient to look
>>for the answers themselves.  Perhaps they learn this in school: don't
>>bother reading the book, don't bother crunching the numbers, just ask
>>the person sitting next to you for the answer.

>        But asking for the solution on the list IS searching for an answer.
Surely he/she will find an info >that's more detailed and concise than ones
you find in the data book.

And much more efficiently, unfortunately they will miss out on the "hundred"
other pieces of unrelated trivia that adds to their knowledge base.  They
also miss out on learning how to quickly use a table of contents or index.
They also fail to exercise their ability to deal with data in alphabetical
order.  Ever watch a young person try to use a telephone book, or look
something up in a dictionary?  Children today seem to need instant
gratification and when something actualy takes effort they are quickly
(immediately) discouraged.  Yet they will play a game (video) indefinitely
when their can only be one outcome (they eventually lose).  This amazes me.
The dichotomy of easily giving up on a problem that can be solved, yet
working incessantly on one that can't be solved is truly amazing.

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2001\06\02@220038 by Dan Michaels

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C.Jinx wrote:
>> > "I Am The Walrus" is really really deep then ?
>
>Compared to "Gettin' Jiggy With It", yes. The emphasis now is on
>the beat. In previous eras it was about melody. Take a good honest
>look at what's in the charts now and compare it to the variety of the
>60's/70's/80's. It was fun then, now it's just one more thumpa-thumpa
>"song" after another. Don't get me wrong, I do listen to contemporary
>stations and some I like, but I would think long and hard about buying
>a CD by anyone on their playlist
>

How's about "... running down the road, trying to loosen my load, I
got 7 women on my mind. 4 that wanna own me, 2 that wanna stone me,
1 says she's a friend of mine ...". Deep, man. Catchy, but deep.
Do you think there really is a "major" difference today? Hormones
is hormones.

However, as you and several others have pointed out, the major fallout
of the supposed quickening is that kids [as well as probably everybody
else - I am sure] have a shorter attention span today, and more
difficult time disciplining themselves to really get deeply into
things that most would consider boring.

Deep thinking and systematic problem solving is probably suffering
and going to suffer in the future. OTOH, probably only a tiny
fraction of humanity has ever been responsible for most of the
real progress anyways, so as long as they stay with it, it
probably won't make any difference anyways.

I recently saw that if you took the world's "entire" population and
scaled it down to just 100 people, only 1 in 100 would have a college
education, and only 1 in 100 would have a computer. Just the same,
the wheels keep turning.

Regards Roman's idea about 50 vs 60 hz, I really doubt there is
anything to that, putting everything else into perspective.

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2001\06\02@220251 by Dave Dilatush

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michael brown <.....n5qmgKILLspamspam@spam@AMSAT.ORG> wrote...

>And much more efficiently, unfortunately they will miss out on the "hundred"
>other pieces of unrelated trivia that adds to their knowledge base.  
That's a good point, one that didn't occur to me.  When I think about
it I realize that most of the useful information I've gathered, I
found while searching for (or trying to understand) something else.
When someone asks another person for "the answer", that answer is all
they'll get.

>They also miss out on learning how to quickly use a table of contents or index.

Or a search engine.

DD

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2001\06\02@220306 by David VanHorn

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At 08:05 PM 6/2/01 -0500, michael brown wrote:
>Yet they will play a game (video) indefinitely
>when their can only be one outcome (they eventually lose).  This amazes me.
>The dichotomy of easily giving up on a problem that can be solved, yet
>working incessantly on one that can't be solved is truly amazing.

The games people are very good at hanging that "big win" out there, and
making it look like an accomplishment.  In a way it is, but in the larger
world, it's mostly worthless.

They do have good marketing people.

"Gotta Get 'em All!"

:)

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2001\06\02@221111 by Dan Michaels

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Roman wrote:

>Teenagers always think they are smarter than their
>elders, this was not the main point, the point is
>that maybe they are used to (and capable of) stuff
>that is becoming quicker and quicker.
>

In "general", They are probably faster at shifting gears,
but cannot get anywheres as deep into anything.

>Any thoughts on the 50Hz/60Hz issue?? Have you noticed
>this?? Have you been training your own neurons?? :o)

There really doesn't seem to be much to this, Roman.
Everybody knows the british are much more "intellectual"
oriented that americans, and the brits have 50 hz, while
we have 60.

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2001\06\02@221933 by Dale Botkin

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Yeah..  I don't watch NASCAR, and quite frankly even though I'd love to
*drive* an Indy car, I don't watch the 500.  Turn left, turn left, turn
left, pit...  *yawn*.  Give me F1 -- wait, no, too many soap operas.  How
about GT and road racing.  Yeah, that's the stuff.  And airplanes too,
from what I've heard...  nothing as beautiful as P-51's rounding a pylon.

Dale

On Sat, 2 Jun 2001, Ted Melton wrote:

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2001\06\02@223429 by Jinx

face picon face
> How's about "... running down the road, trying to loosen my load,
> I got 7 women on my mind. 4 that wanna own me, 2 that wanna
> stone me,1 says she's a friend of mine ...". Deep, man. Catchy,
> but deep. Do you think there really is a "major" difference today?
> Hormones is hormones.

Yes, I really do. "Takin' It Easy" (The Eagles) is an example of popular
music that's well-engineered, well-composed, and well played. Not
especially my style, although I have actually performed it in a covers
band. Deceptively simple, yet a level of depth and sophistication that
is very difficult to replicate

> However, as you and several others have pointed out, the major fallout
> of the supposed quickening is that kids [as well as probably everybody
> else - I am sure] have a shorter attention span today, and more
> difficult time disciplining themselves to really get deeply into
> things that most would consider boring.

One of the things I am grateful for is that I'm old enough to have gone
to school when things weren't "easy". No printers, no scanners, no
www, it took some effort to produce an essay or make homework
look presentable. I'm also grateful that I have an affinity for trivia and
general knowledge. I keep my eyes and ears open all the time. There's
much to be said for specialising of course, but specialism and general
knowledge aren't mutually exclusive

> Deep thinking and systematic problem solving is probably suffering
> and going to suffer in the future. OTOH, probably only a tiny
> fraction of humanity has ever been responsible for most of the
> real progress anyways, so as long as they stay with it, it
> probably won't make any difference anyways.

I could be selfish and say that the fewer tech-savvy people around,
the better for us that are already into it. Casual contacts with school
groups in the area leads me to believe that micros and practical
electronics has not yet reached secondary schools to any meaningful
degree. Sport, however, is everywhere at every age group, yet sport
is something that I reckon most people stop doing as soon as they
leave school

> I recently saw that if you took the world's "entire" population and
> scaled it down to just 100 people, only 1 in 100 would have a college
> education, and only 1 in 100 would have a computer. Just the same,
> the wheels keep turning

Yes they do. But how does a minority steaking ahead influence such
"nasties" as multi-national conglomerates and globalisation ? Power
is still largely top-down

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2001\06\02@224054 by Jinx

face picon face
> Yeah..  I don't watch NASCAR, and quite frankly even though I'd love to
> *drive* an Indy car, I don't watch the 500.  Turn left, turn left, turn
> left, pit...  *yawn*.  Give me F1 -- wait, no, too many soap operas.  How
> about GT and road racing.  Yeah, that's the stuff.  And airplanes too,
> from what I've heard...  nothing as beautiful as P-51's rounding a pylon.

I had exactly the same opinion of oval racing until I got very interested
in CART, although they also race on streets and road tracks too. F1
is now one big money-making yawn, it is just so predictable. To the
uninitiated, oval racing does look boring. However, throw in a few
position-changing pit stops, fuel management and draughting and
you have some damn fine tactical racing. What makes it especially
interesting for me is that most races could be won by just about anyone
in the field. And not a Ferrari or McLaren in sight

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2001\06\02@224509 by Bill Westfield

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>> The emphasis now is on the beat. In previous eras it was about melody.

I've heard that the same thing was said when "they" introduce the Waltz. :-)

"Rural iowa teacher", eh?  What?  They complain that kids don't get pregnant
at 14, married at 15, and settle down to a life of barely-getting-by as a
rural farmer?

I think you can "blame" a lot on "the media" presenting a more unified
picture of what consitutes "normal" (I'm including the news media and other
"good" stuff, as well as fictional depictions such as MTV/etc.  Like it or
not, people shape their lives on their understanding of "normalcy", whether
they strive for it or fight against it (and of course, all your "standard"
deviations from normalcy are all well depicted in THEIR "normal" modes as
well.)  We've reduced the function of imagination and thinking, drawing a
broad spectrum of "here's the way people are - pick a spot.  Yes, we're
pretty sure we've shown you all the spots you could possibly be interested
in."  As a result, the 15-y iowa farmboy not only has been exposed to as
much as yesteryear's 20y old, but they've also been exposed to nearly the
SAME things as the 15-y city dweller, and the wealthy 15-y suburb dweller.
It's a troubling loss of diversity, in the same sense that species
extinctions are worrying even if the species was valueless, nearly unknown,
and extinguished wholely by natural forces instead of by man.

It's bad for adults, too.

And it's bad for evaluating other people - you "know" about so many labels
you could attach to someone, you're liable to do so without really finding
out what they're like...

BillW

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2001\06\03@023241 by Bill Westfield

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>> But asking for the solution on the list IS searching for an answer.
>> Surely he/she will find an info that's more detailed and concise than
>> ones you find in the data book.
>
> And much more efficiently, unfortunately they will miss out on the "hundred"
> other pieces of unrelated trivia that adds to their knowledge base.

I dunno.  I think I've picked up "hundreds of pieces of trivia adding to
my knowlege base" by participating in things like PICLIST instead of
just reading manuals...

:-)
BillW

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2001\06\03@023504 by Quentin

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michael brown wrote:

> And much more efficiently, unfortunately they will miss out on the "hundred"
> other pieces of unrelated trivia that adds to their knowledge base.  They
> also miss out on learning how to quickly use a table of contents or index.
> They also fail to exercise their ability to deal with data in alphabetical
> order.  Ever watch a young person try to use a telephone book, or look
> something up in a dictionary?  Children today seem to need instant
> gratification and when something actualy takes effort they are quickly
> (immediately) discouraged.
Actually it is not just the children today but adults as well.
How many of you have installed a PC a couple of years ago for family and
friends and told them to call you when they have a problem?
How many of you still say that today?
I don't, in fact when it comes to PC's nowadays I keep myself dumb. Or I
tell them to go RTFM.
I don't mind helping, but I at least expect some effort from their part
to look up the information themselves. They got it all, why not use it?
(I guess I'll be the world worse teacher, hehe).

>Yet they will play a game (video) indefinitely
> when their can only be one outcome (they eventually lose).  This amazes me.
> The dichotomy of easily giving up on a problem that can be solved, yet
> working incessantly on one that can't be solved is truly amazing.
Maybe because they will always get another chance with it (restart)? In
life, they only have one chance and it is to much to handle. But I
agree. Even in the games they prefer something where they don't have to
think and their skill is measured by how good they can handle the mouse
and keyboard.
They would rather get gratification from a computer and the computer
doesn't care if they loose the game ("You want to play another game?"
-Wargames movie). They don't have to handle (or can not handle) the
analysis of other humans if they fail.
And then there is the escape from real life. Which can be not a problem,
we've been doing it for years by reading books. The only difference is
that we used to create our own fantasies, now it is created for you.

Quentin

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2001\06\03@050319 by Roman Black

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michael brown wrote:
> >Yet they will play a game (video) indefinitely
> > when their can only be one outcome (they eventually lose).  This amazes me.
> > The dichotomy of easily giving up on a problem that can be solved, yet
> > working incessantly on one that can't be solved is truly amazing.

Ummm, that's because it is FUN. There are some
differences between work and fun, Tom Sawyer
understood all too well and dare I say so do the
game manufacturers, even if too many teachers
don't get the difference.

That the reason I train my reflexes etc with
quake reaperbot, the work becomes fun. How much
time a week would I spend in painful "right at the
edge" reflex training WORK?? That would be awful.
:o)
-Roman

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2001\06\03@100229 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>agree. Even in the games they prefer something where they don't have to
>think and their skill is measured by how good they can handle the mouse
>and keyboard.

       Try not to think playing a good game of Quake World, and tell me how much times you were fragged (since you will never frag anyone, hehehe)


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2001\06\03@121613 by Dan Michaels

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BillW wrote:

>I think you can "blame" a lot on "the media" presenting a more unified
>picture of what consitutes "normal" (I'm including the news media and other
>"good" stuff, as well as fictional depictions such as MTV/etc.  Like it or
>not, people shape their lives on their understanding of "normalcy",


Definitely, the media has a lot to do with it. Plus the corporations
who are willing to pay $250,000 for a 7.5 sec ad on the tube.
"Normalcy" now comes in small sound bites, Roman's quickening. We
are all subject to this, not just the kids.

The other big factor is kids want to "be cool", ie, to fit it.
Peer pressure is a major force in everything kids do. My feeling
about youth has always been, if you live through your teenage years
and 20s, then eventually you will settle down - at least most will.

This thread, I think, is just debating human nature, and not
recognizing it as such. Roman's quickening is a fact in today's
world, but we just have to learn to deal with it.

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2001\06\03@124108 by Dan Michaels

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At 02:35 PM 6/3/01 +1200, you wrote:
>> How's about "... running down the road, trying to loosen my load,
>> I got 7 women on my mind. 4 that wanna own me, 2 that wanna
>> stone me,1 says she's a friend of mine ...". Deep, man. Catchy,
>> but deep. Do you think there really is a "major" difference today?
>> Hormones is hormones.
>
>Yes, I really do. "Takin' It Easy" (The Eagles) is an example of popular
>music that's well-engineered, well-composed, and well played. Not
>especially my style, although I have actually performed it in a covers
>band. Deceptively simple, yet a level of depth and sophistication that
>is very difficult to replicate
>

History shows that kids have "always" thought they were smarter than
their parents, that each new generation thinks that "it" has discovered
sex, that people tend to be more liberal in their early years, that
they go through a few wild years growing up [look at the american
president's daughters right now], and then those that survive into
their 30s eventually settle down and become more conservative [look
at the surge in republicanism in america as the baby boomers age].
The last part of the equation is, you eventually get old and grey
and cranky, and then you die. This is human nature.

I think all you guys arguing are unconsciously looking back at your
misspent youths, and are worried that the current kids are just
having more fun than you did ;-).
============

........
>> I recently saw that if you took the world's "entire" population and
>> scaled it down to just 100 people, only 1 in 100 would have a college
>> education, and only 1 in 100 would have a computer. Just the same,
>> the wheels keep turning
>
>Yes they do. But how does a minority steaking ahead influence such
>"nasties" as multi-national conglomerates and globalisation ? Power
>is still largely top-down
>

Uh, you overlooked one thing. The multi-national nasties are the
1 in 100 with college educations and computers. They are the
"streakers" today. The movie "Rollerball" that was originally made
in the early 70s has been rewritten anew for this day and age, and
is scheduled to be re-released this summer. Report back concerning
multi-nat'l nasties after viewing it.

Also, if you want to read about what is really going on in all
this, take a look at book named "the Fourth Turning", by Strauss
and Howe. History really "does" tend to repeat itself on roughly an
80-year cycle. There are more conservative and liberal peaks and
valleys, separated by transition zones. The last liberal peak was
in the 60s and 70s, ~40 years ago, and we are currently in the
conservative valley [note - use of peak and valley are simply
rhetorical here] , but the "fourth turning" towards the next
cycle is just around the corner.

Technology changes, but human nature stays the same. This is the
basic premise underlying why there is such a thing as cycles
of history, and why kids rebel and always think they are smarter
than their parents.

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2001\06\03@182837 by trm

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I'm really into the F1. I got into it back in the '60's with Jim Clark & Lotus.
Really, for the cars. It's just amazing that they can turn the engines to 18,000 rpm.
Wow ! But the GT & Prototype cars are really interesting, too. Did you see the
Mercedes flip over at Le Mans acouple years ago ?

Ted

Dale Botkin wrote:

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2001\06\03@210922 by Dale Botkin

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On Sat, 2 Jun 2001, Dan Michaels wrote:

> There really doesn't seem to be much to this, Roman.
> Everybody knows the british are much more "intellectual"
> oriented that americans, and the brits have 50 hz, while
> we have 60.

Umm, yeah.  The Spice Girls were SO much more cereberal than, say, the
Backstreet Boys...   8-)

Dale
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2001\06\03@212229 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>Umm, yeah.  The Spice Girls were SO much more cereberal than, say, the
>Backstreet Boys...   8-)

       Did cerebrus changed place in the last 10 years?


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2001\06\04@042752 by Roman Black

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> On Sat, 2 Jun 2001, Dan Michaels wrote:
>
> > There really doesn't seem to be much to this, Roman.
> > Everybody knows the british are much more "intellectual"
> > oriented that americans, and the brits have 50 hz, while
> > we have 60.

Actually, isn't this a proof or sorts? Maybe the US teenagers
are just that bit "ahead" in the quickening, this would be
characterised by less patience, higher desire to have
everything they want "now", less desire to work hard and
long to get something... Although of course these are the
negatives, and like anything there are positives, like the
quicker adaptability, quicker to go out on a limb to acheive
something, quicker to challenge conventions and risk a lot
on that challenge.
-Roman

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2001\06\04@074400 by Jinx

face picon face
> I think all you guys arguing are unconsciously looking back at your
> misspent youths, and are worried that the current kids are just
> having more fun than you did ;-).

They can have as much fun as they like - I had a bloody good time
when I was a kid and would hardly swap any of it. To me, it seems
as if kids now are getting old before their time. Pushed to success
perhaps more than we were a generation ago and missing out on
their childhood. Or a childhood as we know it anyway

==============

I came across this article today, which may surprise anyone whose
kids did/do homework. I've paraphrased some parts of the 4 pages
and this is pretty much the gist of the whole thing

It's under the title "Homework Hell", with the the sub-title "Homework -
kids hate it, parents hate it, teachers hate it - why do we put up with
it ?

Homework has come to seem such an integral part of getting an
education that most parents simply assume that it's beneficial, like
taking medicine or exercising - no pain, no gain. It may come as a
surprise then that the effectiveness of homework is not clear-cut.
In fact, by keeping our kids' noses to the grindstone we may be
turning them off real learning and stopping them from developing
into creative, independent thinkers, the sort of people who will be
highly valued in the workplaces of tomorrow.

In a recent and controversial book "The End Of Homework : How
Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children And Limits
Learning", US academics Etta Kralovec and John Buell took a
hard look at the activity that most of us take for granted.

Kralovec and Buell cite the work of several researchers who have
analysed the hundreds of studies on homework. In the only major
overview, Harris Cooper analysed homework research conducted
over the past 50 years. He found little conclusive data to support or
refute its value as a means of improving academic achievement.

"The conclusions of past reviewers of homework research show
extraordinary variability. Even in regard to specific areas of application
such as within different subject areas, grades or student ability levels
the reviews often contradict each other"

In other words, homework may or may not help. And in any case, not
by very much, concludes another researcher, Bill Barber. "If research
tells us anything, it is simply that when achievement gains *have*
been found, they have been minimal, especially in comparison
with the amount of work expended by teachers, students and parents"

Cooper says "There is no evidence that any amount of homework
noticeably improved the academic performance of elementary pupils"

(the article then cites a test at Durham University which found those
elementary/primary students that did the most homework in maths,
reading and science got the lowest SAT scores for those subjects.
The highest scores were by those who did homework once a month)

What cannot be measured is the personal growth, knowledge and
self-esteem that might have accrued had the the students had the
time to engage in other activities besides homework, such as
hobbies, community involvement or interaction with family and friends.

(this is after the article mentioned up to 30 minutes homework per
subject per day or 2 to 2.5 hours)

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2001\06\04@075642 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 11:42 PM 6/4/01 +1200, you wrote:

>It's under the title "Homework Hell", with the the sub-title "Homework -
>kids hate it, parents hate it, teachers hate it - why do we put up with
>it ?

Anyone else think this is a massive load of cr*p?

I see Asian kids spending significantly more time doing homework,
and excercises compared to North American kids in particular. It *is*
beneficial IMHO. The discipline is also beneficial.

Have they eliminated the factor that kids who are a bit slow
upstairs may be assigned extra homework? It sounds like the
"scientific" study that led to the conclusion that disciplining
kids resulted in bad behaviour, based on a *correlation* between
discipline and bad behaviour. Well, dunh, if a kid chases his
sister with the garden shears he gets spanked more than if he
doesn't. Doesn't mean the spanking caused the kid to terrorize
his sister.

I'd hate to see a bunch of kids that are so open-minded and
free of the discipline of homework and work of any kind that they
cannot write English (or whatever their mother tongue is) sentences,
can't handle mathematics and can't concentrate long enough to
accomplish anything of value.

Already North American kids spend SIGNIFICANTLY less time in
school, and SIGNIFICANTLY less time on homework after school than
their Asian competitors. "Self esteem" ? Gimme a break, they'll
have more self-esteem when they know they can handle tough problems,
not when you stop giving them tough problems or stop asking them
to try. The few that don't, well the needs of the many outweigh the
needs of the few, at least according to Mr. Spock, supposedly an
expert on child development, IIRC. ;-)

Best regards,

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2001\06\04@085640 by Jinx

face picon face
> >It's under the title "Homework Hell", with the the sub-title "Homework -
> >kids hate it, parents hate it, teachers hate it - why do we put up with
> >it ?
>
> Anyone else think this is a massive load of cr*p?

One of my favourite talk-back hosts often uses phrases like "OK, you
lefty pinko PC social engineers have had your go, now it's our turn"
for example when some kid claims assault by his parents or gives
a policeman a mouthful because he knows he can and get away
with it

I don't see how doing less work can get you better grades. If you
don't know the subject how can you answer the questions ?

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2001\06\04@090333 by Jinx

face picon face
> to try. The few that don't, well the needs of the many outweigh the
> needs of the few, at least according to Mr. Spock, supposedly an
> expert on child development, IIRC. ;-)

Who recently did a 180 on all the theory in his books from his
expert days

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2001\06\04@100730 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 12:57 AM 6/5/01 +1200, you wrote:
>
>I don't see how doing less work can get you better grades. If you
>don't know the subject how can you answer the questions ?

Speaking of which, the _Singapore Math_ program has been highly
recommended to me. If you do a web search you will find suppliers,
it's inexpensive (about US$30 for the materials).

Not learning by "rote", rather they expose the student to all kinds
of different problems from different angles, so they gain
confidence and experience.

It might be worth giving it a try if there are any children you
care about that might not be getting the absolute best schooling.
It covers Kindergarten to College.

For the sad current state of affairs, check the actual comparative
test scores out here:

http://isc.bc.edu/timss1999i/pdf/T99i_Math_03.pdf

Needless to say, you can't be even a mediocre engineer without a
good grasp of math.

Best regards,

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2001\06\04@101816 by Dan Michaels

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Dale Botkin wrote:
>On Sat, 2 Jun 2001, Dan Michaels wrote:
>
>> There really doesn't seem to be much to this, Roman.
>> Everybody knows the british are much more "intellectual"
>> oriented that americans, and the brits have 50 hz, while
>> we have 60.
>
>Umm, yeah.  The Spice Girls were SO much more cereberal than, say, the
>Backstreet Boys...   8-)
>


Hi Dale, if you travel throughout england and the rest of europe,
you will find that the people over there have an immensely greater
knowledge and understanding of america and the rest of the world than
we have over here of other cultures. And that, given that there is
a much greater percentage of us who go to college. Americans have
become so ........ self-absorbed - and this is just the tip of the
iceberg.

- dan
===============

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2001\06\04@103322 by Dan Michaels

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Spehro Pefhany wrote:
Jinx wrote:
>
>>It's under the title "Homework Hell", with the the sub-title "Homework -
>>kids hate it, parents hate it, teachers hate it - why do we put up with
>>it ?
>
>Anyone else think this is a massive load of cr*p?
>
>I see Asian kids spending significantly more time doing homework,
>and excercises compared to North American kids in particular. It *is*
>beneficial IMHO. The discipline is also beneficial.
>

Bingo, in american colleges wherever there are significant asian
students populations, the asians are running away with all of the
trophies hands down. The key is mainly "disciple" and "desire". Our
basic american [ie, anglo] culture is lacking is it of late, as others
have pointed out, fed by the media short-attention span frenzy, and
lax educational system - too little homework, too little emphasis
on working hard to "earn" your grades, too much grade inflation.

And don't think this is only in american grade schools, etc. I
spent the year 1994-95 in Germany teaching computer stuff to people
in the MILITARY [ie, american soldiers overseas]. These guys were
horrid students, yet to talk with them, they all "expected" an A.
Seems in order to keep their lucrative contracts with the military,
the agencies/people supplying the education had been conditioned
to give the students what they wanted - A's. No one had clued me
in to this scam.

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2001\06\04@103528 by Dan Michaels

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C.Jinx wrote:

>
>I don't see how doing less work can get you better grades. If you
>don't know the subject how can you answer the questions ?
>

Ha. Template exams and grade inflation.

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2001\06\04@104539 by Dan Michaels

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Roman wrote:
>> On Sat, 2 Jun 2001, Dan Michaels wrote:
>>
>> > There really doesn't seem to be much to this, Roman.
>> > Everybody knows the british are much more "intellectual"
>> > oriented that americans, and the brits have 50 hz, while
>> > we have 60.
>
>Actually, isn't this a proof or sorts? Maybe the US teenagers
>are just that bit "ahead" in the quickening, this would be
>characterised by less patience, higher desire to have
>everything they want "now", less desire to work hard and
>long to get something... Although of course these are the
>negatives, and like anything there are positives, like the
>quicker adaptability, quicker to go out on a limb to acheive
>something, quicker to challenge conventions and risk a lot
>on that challenge.


The american kids are probably ahead in being "less" disciplined
and motivated to work hard, but the asians are light years ahead
in being able to "deal" successfully with the increased pace of
changes. In american colleges today, asian and asian/american
students are the front runners. This all goes to discipline and
attitude. Basic cultural differences today.

Roman, I think your 50/60 hz business is total hooey [you know
that word in Oz?]. The "content" of the media is what is
important, not the frame update frequency. Buy, buy, buy,
quick, quick, quick, and lip, lip, lip, are setting the pace.

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2001\06\04@104554 by Dale Botkin

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On Tue, 5 Jun 2001, Jinx wrote:

> > to try. The few that don't, well the needs of the many outweigh the
> > needs of the few, at least according to Mr. Spock, supposedly an
> > expert on child development, IIRC. ;-)
>
> Who recently did a 180 on all the theory in his books from his
> expert days

Someone (or maybe both of you) seem to have *Dr* and *Mr* Spock confused.
Mr. Spock, a fictional character from Star Trek, was the source of the
quote; Dr. Spock dispensed advice (mostly bad) to parents for decades.

Dale
--
A train stops at a train station.  A bus stops at a bus station.
On my desk I have a workstation...

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2001\06\04@122106 by Roman Black

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Dan Michaels wrote:

> Roman, I think your 50/60 hz business is total hooey [you know
> that word in Oz?]. The "content" of the media is what is
> important, not the frame update frequency. Buy, buy, buy,
> quick, quick, quick, and lip, lip, lip, are setting the pace.


Ha ha! It *was* just a rambling... :o)

Remember the first rule of prejudicial analysis;
Everything is affected by the things around it.
The size of the effect is usually based on how
close it is, how intense it is, how often it
happens, etc.

So the music videos flashing high speed images
at an engrossed teenager must have some effect.
Considering the amount of time they spend staring
at this "mind training" device anyway... ;o)
-Roman

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2001\06\04@131106 by Dan Michaels

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Roman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Man, don't you ever sleep - must be 3 in the morning there :).

I have no doubt but there is a certain mesmerizing, brain-washing,
and mind-numbing efect to all this stuff, but certainly the 50/60
difference accounts for maybe 0.01% of the effect, but all the
other things are about 99.99%. Time to put this thread to bed.

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2001\06\04@131539 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
> > > It's under the title "Homework Hell", with the the sub-title
> > > "Homework - kids hate it, parents hate it, teachers hate it - why
> > > do we put up with it ?
> >
> > Anyone else think this is a massive load of cr*p?
>
> I don't see how doing less work can get you better grades. If you
> don't know the subject how can you answer the questions ?

The problem is that homework has to be well designed if it's actually going
to be educational.  Too often you get long strings of problems that the
poorer student can't do on their own without lots of stress/anguish and yet
is just "make work" for the better student.  Neither learns much by doing
it or being required to do it.  I don't think anyone has quantified the
characteristics of "good homework", though.  I have a couple vivid memories
of assignments I didn't do... ("read or watch the sports report and record
as many synonyms for "beat" as you can.")  Not to mention that calculus
final I went blank on because I hadn't done enough homework, even though I
pretty much understood all the material...

> And don't think this is only in american grade schools, etc. I
> spent the year 1994-95 in Germany teaching computer stuff to people
> in the MILITARY [ie, american soldiers overseas]. These guys were
> horrid students...

The US military hardly selects for good students...


> [singapore math program]

Is that the one with 6 hours of classes and 8 hours of stduying/homework
each day?  No thanks!  At least, not till the products of that educational
system start changing the world...

Part of the problem is that there's so much more to learn these days.  We
add all sorts of things to what we consider "basic knowlege" (ie computer
skills, multi-culturalism) and then complain that students don't get
concentrated education is some area that's been de-emphasized.  In the US,
this frequently shows up as an oscillation between an english/"humanities"
curriculum and a math/science emphasis.

BillW

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2001\06\04@131743 by Lawrence Lile

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I've noticed the same phemnomemon, often kids don't want to do the hard
mental work that is required to get to the resolution of a problem - they
seem to think they can always skip to the end by looking it up on the 'net
somewhere.  There's no process in an MTV clip, just a stream of random,
unrelated images tied together by a song.  They'd rather look the answer to
the puxzzle up in the back of the magazine, read the end of the mystery
novel first.  They weant to skip the process in mental excercise, either
i.e. Math and Programming.  Now, kids have always been lazy.  But the
tendency seems to be reinforced.

Even us PIClisters suffer from this.  It is literally easier to ask the LIST
than to figger it out for yourself, and you'll probably get three solutions
versus the one you'd 'a thought 'a.   I try to avoid asking the list a
question unless I'm really stuck, or the question is really interesting.

-- Lawrence Lile


{Original Message removed}

2001\06\04@142309 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
BillW wrote:

>> And don't think this is only in american grade schools, etc. I
>> spent the year 1994-95 in Germany teaching computer stuff to people
>> in the MILITARY [ie, american soldiers overseas]. These guys were
>> horrid students...
>
>The US military hardly selects for good students...
>

Just the same, they felt they were "entitled" to high grades. Something
about, "well I'm here, so ....".

Bottom line is, youth is youth. When you're young, your job is to gain
knowledge - mainly by experiencing the world in all its good and bad.
If you live long enough, you may get a chance to turn this into wisdom.
==============

>
>> [singapore math program]
>
>Is that the one with 6 hours of classes and 8 hours of stduying/homework
>each day?  No thanks!  At least, not till the products of that educational
>system start changing the world...
>

OTOH, Singapore just "may" take over the world one day - at least
the high [thinking] ground.

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2001\06\04@151038 by Dan Michaels

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BillW wrote:

>The problem is that homework has to be well designed if it's actually going
>to be educational.
..........
>The US military hardly selects for good students...
>
>
>> [singapore math program]
.........
>Part of the problem is that there's so much more to learn these days.  We
>add all sorts of things to what we consider "basic knowlege" (ie computer
>skills, multi-culturalism) and then complain that students don't get
>concentrated education is some area that's been de-emphasized.  In the US,
>this frequently shows up as an oscillation between an english/"humanities"
>curriculum and a math/science emphasis.


Despite all the other factors being talked about both here and in the
US at large, as someone who spent several years as a teacher [oh lord,
why did I ever quit? it was so much easier than real work! :)], I still
think the larger part of the problem is "attitude", and that most things
being discussed at the national political level today are just plain
wheel-spinning.

I am not sure whether the following numbers are 100% accurate, but at
my old alma mater, UC/Berkeley, as I understand it, 40% of the current
student body is asian or asian/american, whereas they only make up
about 7% of the population at large. Since I assume Berkeley still
admits students based mainly upon "merit" [how else could you possibly
get this 40%], I suspect this says a very lot about the motivation and
educational attitudes of the asian students --> and their families.

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2001\06\04@181352 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
   Despite all the other factors being talked about both here and in the
   US at large, as someone who spent several years as a teacher [oh lord,
   why did I ever quit? it was so much easier than real work! :)]

You weren't doing it right, then.  (depending somewhat on your definition of
"real work".  There ARE jobs that don't consume nearly all of your waking
hours and parts of your dreams at night, right?  Real 8-5 jobs without
"homework"?  That pay enough to support a reasonable lifestyle in
non-extravagant parts of the country?  Lots of people have them?  Things
like accountants and salesmen and generic business administration, perhaps?)


   I still think the larger part of the problem is "attitude"...

Unless you can explain the origin of the "attitude" problem, you're stuck
with comic-book thinking ("yea, Dr Doom is just an EVIL supercriminal!")
Perhaps it's all this equality and opportunity stuff.  We're just not ready
to tell people "learn this until you can do it better than most people, or
you'll end up a ditch-digger." ((interestingly, there doesn't seem to be any
lack of competitive spirit when it comes to sports or entertainment...)
Perhaps the only thing Singapore has over the US is the depths of failure as
a threat:

   From: "Jose S. Samonte Jr." <EraseMEdyoweespamEraseMEUSA.NET>
   Subject:      Re: [Re: [Re: [PIC]: Would anyone understand...?]]
   To: @spam@PICLIST@spam@spamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU

   No sir Vasile.
   My life wouldn't go on if I'm not able to do this project.
   I would fail my studies if I'm not able to do this. Then
   I wouldn't be able to study for a year because my parents wouldn't
   be able to send me anymore to school, that's why I really want to
   graduate, so I would be able to work, and help my parents.

In the US, we expect the government to support us (and our parents) if we
fail.  Or perhaps people have just given up hoping that (education/etc)
will allow our children to have a better life than we did, because the
life we had was pretty damned good, and the things that look to make the
future worse are out of our control...

BillW

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2001\06\04@184323 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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face
>Actually, isn't this a proof or sorts? Maybe the US teenagers
>are just that bit "ahead" in the quickening, this would be
>characterised by less patience, higher desire to have
>everything they want "now", less desire to work hard and
>long to get something... Although of course these are the
>negatives, and like anything there are positives, like the
>quicker adaptability, quicker to go out on a limb to acheive
>something, quicker to challenge conventions and risk a lot
>on that challenge.

       And beautiful girls. Man, english girls are ugly! :o)


---8<---Corte aqui---8<----

Alexandre Souza
.....taitospam_OUTspamterra.com.br
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2001\06\04@193528 by Jinx

face picon face
>Man, english girls are ugly! :o)

What did you do with the charm school refund Adonis ?  ;-)

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2001\06\04@194204 by James Newton. Admin 3

face picon face
WE DO NOT MAKE STATEMENTS LIKE THAT ON THE PICLIST.

No, it is not funny and I don't care if it was a joke.

First Warning.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
.....jamesnewtonspamRemoveMEpiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

{Original Message removed}

2001\06\04@204409 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>         And beautiful girls. Man, english girls are ugly! :o)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Some people's eyes are, regrettably, rather warped.

Beauty is found most anywhere if you want to understand what beauty is.
True beauty, as the term is generally understood to mean by the majority, is
outside the perceptions of each individual.
You can of course narrow down your personal definitions of beauty to exclude
certain aspects of physical structure to whatever degree you wish.
Your loss if you do.



       Russell McMahon

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2001\06\05@005356 by Dan Michaels

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BillW wrote:
>    Despite all the other factors being talked about both here and in the
>    US at large, as someone who spent several years as a teacher [oh lord,
>    why did I ever quit? it was so much easier than real work! :)]
>
>You weren't doing it right, then.  (depending somewhat on your definition of
>"real work".


I was just kidding - making it sound like teaching is so easy, any ole
engineer could do it!
=================


There ARE jobs that don't consume nearly all of your waking
>hours and parts of your dreams at night, right?  Real 8-5 jobs without
>"homework"?  That pay enough to support a reasonable lifestyle in
>non-extravagant parts of the country?  Lots of people have them?  Things
>like accountants and salesmen and generic business administration, perhaps?)
>

........ working at Cisco.
==========

>
>    I still think the larger part of the problem is "attitude"...
>
>Unless you can explain the origin of the "attitude" problem, you're stuck
>with comic-book thinking ("yea, Dr Doom is just an EVIL supercriminal!")
>Perhaps it's all this equality and opportunity stuff.
..........


I think I already explained it, however, I went to the web and
found some stats:

www.uwiretoday.com/topnews120100003.html
http://www.floratec.com/new_world_order/minority_population.htm

This year, "asian" students made up 43.6% of the freshman enrollment
at Berkeley, while "white" students made up 30%. However, asians make
up only 12% [I had thought 7%] of california's population, while
whites make up 49.8%.

You live in CA down the road from Berkeley [I presume], Mr. Bill,
so maybe you can explain the disparity in student enrollments,
if not "attitudes".

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2001\06\05@012556 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
    There ARE jobs that don't consume nearly all of your waking
   >hours and parts of your dreams at night, right?

   ........ working at Cisco.

I don't think so.  I had an employee here once who claimed to feel
guilty that she only wanted to work 40 hours/week while being paid
for 30 hours/week...


   You live in CA down the road from Berkeley [I presume], Mr. Bill,
   so maybe you can explain the disparity in student enrollments,
   if not "attitudes".

No, I'm not wondering if the attitude difference accounts for the
enrollment difference - I can believe that.  I want to know where you
think the attitude difference comes from.  I mean, presumably the asian
and white (applicatnts) went to similar primary schools, and I don't
really think even white trailer trash teaches their kids "don't do
anything and the government will support you...")  It'd have to be a
relatively subtle difference...

(Of cousre, I guess I'm guilty.  I should have put my kids in expensive
ultra-accademic supercompetitive private schools.  But I didn't.  I'm
thereby failing to stress the importance of accademics, right?)

BillW

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2001\06\05@111209 by Dan Michaels

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BillW wrote:

>    You live in CA down the road from Berkeley [I presume], Mr. Bill,
>    so maybe you can explain the disparity in student enrollments,
>    if not "attitudes".
>
>No, I'm not wondering if the attitude difference accounts for the
>enrollment difference - I can believe that.  I want to know where you
>think the attitude difference comes from.  I mean, presumably the asian
>and white (applicatnts) went to similar primary schools, and I don't
>really think even white trailer trash teaches their kids "don't do
>anything and the government will support you...")  It'd have to be a
>relatively subtle difference...
>

I suspect it is mainly cultural. Family environment and cultural
tradition. Amongst what would be considered classical "whites", the
only group I know of who has a similar tradition are the jewish.

I grew up in upstate NY and orginally went to Rensselaer - which in
those days probably had a proportion of jewish students from NYC,
similar to asians at Berkeley today. Their basic approaches to life
and education clearly had a different perspective than the typical
anglos I knew, and grew up with of course.

Very few intellectuals would argue that classical white america
has anything approaching an intellectual tradition. There are a lot
of american "traditions", can do, marlboro man, shoot first ask questions
later, kickass, beat the competition, we're #1, whip the bad guy,
etc/etc/etc, mostly promoting brawn over brains - and I don't think
intellectualism is one of our traditions.

Jimmy Durante once sang a song [I heard it on NPR this weekend],
"Once .... I read a book ..... the only book I ever read ...".
=============


>(Of cousre, I guess I'm guilty.  I should have put my kids in expensive
>ultra-accademic supercompetitive private schools.  But I didn't.  I'm
>thereby failing to stress the importance of accademics, right?)
>

This is a myth. Again, I think, you are blaming the problems on the
"schools", again I think, this is wrong. This is today's knee-jerk
reaction when thinking about education - and I'm saying people are
looking under the wrong stone.

Do you think that "all" the bright students went to private high
schools? Maybe Harvard and Stanford students, but certainly not
Berkeley, Champaign-Urbana, Ann Arbor, etc.

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2001\06\05@120032 by Wendy J Olend

flavicon
face
I mean, presumably the asian
>and white (applicatnts) went to similar primary schools, <snip>
>It'd have to be a relatively subtle difference...

>I suspect it is mainly cultural. Family environment and cultural
>tradition.

When I was in grammar school, I pretty much sailed through my classwork;
not because I worked hard, but because everything was easy for me.  When I
reached Middle School (about 12 years old), I enrolled in Introductory
Algebra and, for the first time, I found my work difficult.  I had never
learned how to wrestle with something I didn't understand or keep pounding
away until it made sense to me.  Needless to say, my grades were not
pretty.  When my mother (a wonderful woman, but not an academic) would ask
why my grades were slipping,  I'd tell her that the work was hard, and I
was doing the best I could.  I learned to settle for "good enough" and to
give up when something was "just too hard".

I have since learned to work hard for what I want, but I often wonder how
different my life would have been if diligence and persistence had been
instilled in me as a small child.

It seems to me that cultures with a strong academic tradition know how to
challenge their children at all stages of development.  For example, if an
American child breezes through their homework in 20 minutes, they are
likely to be praised for being so quick.  Perhaps in the more academically
inclined cultures, this situation would be met with a family member
recognizing that the assignment was too easy, and finding the child some
challenging supplemental problems.  It appears to me that coasting is
simply not allowed.

Just a few thoughts,
Wendy

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2001\06\05@125052 by Dan Michaels
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face
Wendy Olend wrote:
..........
>I have since learned to work hard for what I want, but I often wonder how
>different my life would have been if diligence and persistence had been
>instilled in me as a small child.
.........>


The best thing about not being dead, is that
today is the first day of the rest of your life.

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2001\06\05@155126 by jamesnewton

face picon face
I very much identify with what you are saying here...
...the Navy beat a work ethic into me, but my life would have been much
better if it had happened earlier.

I am now attempting (with out any qualifications, talent, ability,
experience, preparation or even a single clue, thank god for my wife!) to
raise a little boy (now 4) and a little girl (now 6) and instilling
motivation, persistence and determination is my number one goal.  But how
does one do this?

I try to encourage them to keep trying on their own when they come to me for
help with anything. I'll make suggestions or point them in a direction
sometimes, but usually I just say "I know you can do this... keep trying"

When my (monkey) daughter gets herself into a position where she is scared
to move (up a tree, upside down by the heels on the playground 10 feet in
the air) I run to stand under her (with my heart pounding), but ignore her
pleas for help saying "You got into this and I know you can get out..."
until she does.

When my (very aggressive) son gets frustrated with his blocks or whatever
and starts beating the s**t out of them I say "Don't hit! Think!"

I try to lavish praise according to how hard something was for them to make
rather than according to how pretty it is or how much it touches my heart.

But now they don't ever want to clean up their room. The girl whines and the
boy simply refuses. I threaten to (and often do) throw their toys in the
trash. If they do anything on it I reward them but it doesn't seem to help
much.

It seems to me that as I work to make them more self reliant and self
motivating, they are less interested in pleasing me (or my wife) or doing
what I ask them to do. They have little respect for my desires because they
have been taught (by me) not to rely on me but to "do it yourself".

I'd like to hear any advice... from parents ONLY. Please. Sorry, but if you
don't have kids, you can't hope to understand.

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2001\06\05@163656 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
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JN wrote:
...........
>I'd like to hear any advice... from parents ONLY. Please. Sorry, but if you
>don't have kids, you can't hope to understand.


!!!!!!!!!! Adults are just grownup kids, James.

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2001\06\05@172239 by Dave Dilatush

picon face
James wrote...

>I am now attempting (with out any qualifications, talent, ability,
>experience, preparation or even a single clue, thank god for my wife!) to
>raise a little boy (now 4) and a little girl (now 6) and instilling
>motivation, persistence and determination is my number one goal.  But how
>does one do this?

Whatever you're trying to instill, my opinion is it's a lot easier to
instill it if you severely ration the electronic entertainment.  I did
this with my two boys (now 21 and 25).  
At first there was a lot of whining, wailing and gnashing of teeth
when we started "No-TV" evenings and weekends, but then they started
doing what I wanted them to do: take the initiative and create their
own entertainment.

I think too many parents succumb to the lure of the "electronic
babysitter" and do their children (and themselves) a huge disservice
by letting the kids sink into a state of passivity in which they come
to expect the world to constantly entertain them.

One thing I almost never heard from my boys, after we started this,
were the words, "I'm bored!"

Just my opinion...

Dave

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2001\06\05@182419 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 12:49 PM 6/5/01 -0700, you wrote:
>
>It seems to me that as I work to make them more self reliant and self
>motivating, they are less interested in pleasing me (or my wife) or doing
>what I ask them to do. They have little respect for my desires because they
>have been taught (by me) not to rely on me but to "do it yourself".
>
>I'd like to hear any advice... from parents ONLY. Please. Sorry, but if you
>don't have kids, you can't hope to understand.

Well, I understand, James (boy 5-1/2 yrs old, stubborn as all get out, varies
between amazingly thoughtful and very aggressive), but I'm not sure it
helps. ;-)

They'll have to please other authority figures in the future, and do it
with finesse while simultaneously advancing their own agenda. That skill
is necessary for the lone wolf (with clients) as much as the company
man or woman.

IMHO, you may as well work on withholding discretionary things to get
them to do your will (unless they can charm you out of it), because that's
the way it works in the real world. If you don't show up at work, if you
don't convince people you are working, you don't get paid, sooner or later.

The only thing worse than people who refuse to try to please others is
the ones who slave away but fail to create the *impression* that they
are doing so. They end up doing all the work and not getting results.
I'm not sure this can be taught other than by example!
And from what I've seen, I think you are doing a great job at it, BTW.

Best regards,


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2001\06\05@184708 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Thanks! Err... wait, what was that? <GRIN>

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2001\06\06@060909 by Roman Black

flavicon
face
James Newton. Admin 3 wrote:
>
> I am now attempting (with out any qualifications, talent, ability,
> experience, preparation or even a single clue, thank god for my wife!) to
> raise a little boy (now 4) and a little girl (now 6) and instilling
> motivation, persistence and determination is my number one goal.  But how
> does one do this?
>
> I try to encourage them to keep trying on their own when they come to me for
> help with anything. I'll make suggestions or point them in a direction
> sometimes, but usually I just say "I know you can do this... keep trying"

> It seems to me that as I work to make them more self reliant and self
> motivating, they are less interested in pleasing me (or my wife) or doing
> what I ask them to do. They have little respect for my desires because they
> have been taught (by me) not to rely on me but to "do it yourself".
>
> I'd like to hear any advice... from parents ONLY. Please. Sorry, but if you
> don't have kids, you can't hope to understand.


No I don't have kids, but I was a good kid myself.
Does that count?? You need to have a couple of nights
a week with no electronics, and encourage reading.

I could read at 5 simply because my mother used to
spend many hours with me sitting with her and looking
in books, childrens books obviously. Reading is a
discipline all in itself, and the fun and reward are
self contained. Much like a video game, the great
entertaining endings only come after the "work" of
reading it. My (English) parents would often turn
the TV off and say "read a book instead" and I would
not have any choice. It's a big mistake giving 4 and
6yr olds too much choice.

You said:
> what I ask them to do. They have little respect for my desires because they
> have been taught (by me) not to rely on me but to "do it yourself".

This is bad. At that age you should be in TOTAL control.
Sure they will play up like kids do, but you need to
have a discipline setpoint. Once that point is reached
they absolutely will comply. My Father used to undo his
belt buckle, and instant compliance from me. Although
in my entire childhood I only got strapped on the buttocks
maybe 4 or 5 times, I knew he WOULD follow up with the
belt if I didn't comply straight away. So I behaved very
well and benefitted because of it. I worked hard in school,
respected my teachers and saw many of my rebellious friends
for the losers there were (and were becoming).

Owning a retail store we see many kids, and they all want
to touch all the TV's etc. 90% of them are ratbags and
won't comply with the parents orders no matter what.
At that age I would do exactly what I was told, if I
touched a TV and parent said "don't touch that" I
would stop touching it. For the entire time in the
shop. That's the way it should be.

Unfortunately the kids who are not disciplined go on
to have lousy lives, never listening to teachers, cops,
employers, etc. Absolute discipline is VITAL to give
a child a chance at having a great life. :o)
-Roman

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2001\06\06@101131 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 08:03 PM 6/6/01 +1000, you wrote:

>This is bad. At that age you should be in TOTAL control

That's funny- and probably illustrates as much as anything
why James specified 'parents only'.

IMO.. the wisdom in being a parent is to know when to assert
control and when to let it go. A kid that is subjected to
constant domination will be a really screwed up adult. When
children (IME) are shown clear, consistent limits to their
behavior they seem happier. The latter, though, is where the
questions arise- to what extent do we live in a world where
our limits are self-imposed based on what was drilled into
us as children?.. probably largely unconsiously by our
parents.. there are a million limiting aphorisms we all
say (and more dangerously, think) all the time. OTOH, I
don't mind my children being limited to only actions that
are ethical (and legal), so long as they are aware that
others may not feel bound by the same rules.

It's been interesting watching T-ball (a kid's form of
simplified baseball).. the coaches know when to let the
kids blow off steam and fool around and when to get them
to pay attention. If they stop having fun, you lose them.
Things you discover yourself seem crisper and more alive
than dead facts that are shown to you. Setting up the
'discovery' situations without the kids feeling it's all
a sham is a trick of teaching. Too much, when everything
works out, can lead to unrealistic expectations. Not every
path we go down leads to wonder and enchantment, a lot of
them are dead ends, peter out, or worse.

It's really a constant negotiation with a very clever, but
not yet worldly little entity. I, personally, reserve
corporal punishment almost entirely to very rare occasions
such as when the child has physically endangered themelseves
or others (eg. running onto a crosswalk without looking).
Usually the thought of being excluded or having treats
withheld is more effective than a swat on the bum for
deliberate disobedience anyway.

Best regards,


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2001\06\06@103938 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Roman Black wrote:
........
>
>Unfortunately the kids who are not disciplined go on
>to have lousy lives, never listening to teachers, cops,
>employers, etc. Absolute discipline is VITAL to give
>a child a chance at having a great life. :o)


Roman, "absolute" may be a little strong. A graded level,
commensurate with age and relative maturity, may be more
effective. 5000 years ago, already, in the earliest known
manuscript about man, ie the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Sumerians
already had it figured out:

"Give him play so he is not cut free; pull him in lest he be lost"

Clearly, our generation did not invent disciplinary problems.

best regards,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
==========================

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2001\06\06@112050 by Roman Black

flavicon
face
Dan Michaels wrote:
>
> Roman Black wrote:
> ........
> >
> >Unfortunately the kids who are not disciplined go on
> >to have lousy lives, never listening to teachers, cops,
> >employers, etc. Absolute discipline is VITAL to give
> >a child a chance at having a great life. :o)
>
> Roman, "absolute" may be a little strong. A graded level,
> commensurate with age and relative maturity, may be more
> effective. 5000 years ago, already, in the earliest known
> manuscript about man, ie the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Sumerians
> already had it figured out:
>
> "Give him play so he is not cut free; pull him in lest he be lost"
>
> Clearly, our generation did not invent disciplinary problems.


Hi Dan, I hope nobody misunderstood me, I really
meant that there should be a clearly defined "setpoint"
of discipline. All kids play up and need to play up.
But there needs to be a definite point where it goes
from a "stop doing that" to a definite "this is where
it ends".

I think it is like an exponential curve, it starts
with some harsh words and there is a "knee" where
it gets serious. Kids will always push to the "knee"
point, I did, but they need to know the severe
consequences after the knee do exist.

Trouble is that too many parents will take it to the
knee and then just cop-out when the kids push it further,
which just teaches them to ride that limit as it does
not matter.

In the shop we see this all the time. Like:
"dont touch that" -grab, "dont touch that" -grab/smack,
"dont touch that" -smack again etc etc. It just continues.
With my parents it would have been "dont touch that"
-comply.
:o)
-Roman

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2001\06\06@122247 by Dan Michaels

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face
Roman wrote:
.......
>In the shop we see this all the time. Like:
>"dont touch that" -grab, "dont touch that" -grab/smack,
>"dont touch that" -smack again etc etc. It just continues.


Roman, sorry to hear that your employees are so undisciplined
that you have to smack them repeatedly to get them to comply.
In america, we never have that problem.

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2001\06\06@161949 by michael brown

flavicon
face
> Roman wrote:
> .......
> >In the shop we see this all the time. Like:
> >"dont touch that" -grab, "dont touch that" -grab/smack,
> >"dont touch that" -smack again etc etc. It just continues.
>
>
> Roman, sorry to hear that your employees are so undisciplined
> that you have to smack them repeatedly to get them to comply.
> In america, we never have that problem.

Right.  Young american employees wouldn't show the initiative to do anything
that wasn't absolutely necessary.

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2001\06\22@221110 by James Newton

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Life is what happens while you are making other plans.

James Newton (PICList Admin #3) .....jamesnewtonSTOPspamspam@spam@piclist.com 1-619-652-0593

Dave Dilatush wrote on 01-6-2 19:08:
(SNIP)
When I think about it I realize that most of the useful information I've gathered, I found while searching for (or trying to understand) something else.

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