Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour, Another Useless Ritual

Yesterday, Saturday March 29th. I posted a short notice on Earth Hour which was from 8 to 9 pm in which everyone around the globe was supposed to turn off all their lights in order to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions which would supposedly be a benefit to planet Earth. As I visited various websites, I noticed many bloggers promising to turn on all the lights in their house as a counter protest. As symbolic protests go, I thought it was a good idea.

Many bloggers correctly pointed out that the so called Earth Hour blackout was utter nonsense and would have zero effect on the planet. Lubos Motl at The Reference Frame points out that "Incidentally, the believers who will replace light bulbs by candles should know that a candle produces as much CO2 as a 20W light bulb powered by average energy sources during the same time. Five candles replace the CO2 output of a 100W light bulb." Obviously, this is not about reducing emissions of CO2.
While the average citizen would be justified in ignoring the event completely, thinkers should not trivialize or dismiss it out of hand entirely. As Ayn Rand once advised, don't bother to examine a folly, ask only what it is designed to accomplish. In this vein I have a few thoughts.

My first thought is: the pushers of environmentalism's ideas-the university professors and other leaders of the movement-may want to know how many people, users of these ideas in the world, are willing to make little sacrifices, i.e. agree to take a 'little' poison with their food on the grounds that it won't hurt much. This can tell them where the principle of sacrifice-to-the-wilderness has been seeded and thus where to apply pressure to expand that principle by virtue of its own merit. By the same token, it shows where there is resistance to said sacrifices and thus indicates where more effort is needed. (Happily, my own city of Detroit declined to participate in Earth Hour. A rare spike of rationality? I doubt it. Con artists don't like to make sacrifices. They prefer to collect them.)

A second thought that occurred to me was: this could be an indication of how many people are still under the influence of the Kantian idea that everything in reality is 'mere appearance' and so to them appearance, like performing an altruistic ritual of shutting lights off, is everything. I for one am curious as to how many people turned their lights out last night for that hour then later went to bed thinking they did something that would nobly and virtuously help the planet. This is the same mentality we see in G-8 meetings where every year the planet's leaders gather and promise to loot their citizens' tax dollars and give them to the starving people of Africa all the while refusing to identify and correct the causes of said poverty. They then go to bed believing themselves to be righteous people. But I digress.

A third thought is that modern society has digressed from the real meaning of sacrifice--the surrender of a value for a non-value--to naming as a sacrifice that which is, in effect, a trade. It is common today to hear people refer to the exchange of a value in return for a greater value, a sacrifice. Of course, such an exchange is precisely what a trade is. Each person in a trade believes the value he is trading for is of greater value to him than is the thing he is willing to trade away.

By referring to trades as sacrifices in order to make them sound virtuous, one removes the concept trade from the realm of morality. It then becomes impossible for trades to be considered virtuous. At best they are considered amoral.

So now we have a situation where people are actually making trades but calling them sacrifices in order to feel moral. But this cannot sit well with those who know that the real meaning of sacrifice,--the surrender of a value for nothing in return, which means, to be virtuous, a sacrifice must include suffering,--is not actually being practiced today thus people are not really being virtuous. The question then becomes, in the minds of the sacrificers, how do we get society back to the morality of true sacrifice, i.e. suffering as a way of life? ( Now do you know why Africa is a not-to-be-developed continent? They are already living the environmentalist's ideal lifestyle.)

They, the sacrificers, get to this ideal society piecemeal. A little at a time. They try to get people used to the idea of giving something up and getting nothing in return. The way to do that is by inventing moral rituals which when performed, will make one a moral person. One must make sure however, that the ritual provides nothing in return to the sacrificer except the idea that he, the sacrificer, is being moral.

Some rituals of this kind include recycling, which does nothing for the planet and costs more that it saves. Switching light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent is another ritual which will cost way more than it's worth and does not help anyone, shutting off lights for an hour will have no affect on the planet except to return humans to the dark ages for an hour. In each of these cases the sacrificer gets nothing in return except the feeling of being moral. Later, even this will be removed when the pushers of sacrifice gain political power, i.e. the power of force. Then sacrifices will be forced as they were in Stalin's Russia and Mao's China where about 20 and 30 million people respectively were sacrificed and they didn't get to feel moral.

Expect to see a lot more of these useless rituals in the future as Americans are ceaselessly urged, cajoled, bribed and otherwise nudged to accept the real meaning of sacrifice, the surrender of a value in return for a non-value. This will continue until people realize that sacrifice is a primitive concept invented by savages and has no place in a civilized society. Today, people have a choice between altruism which causes men to regard every other man as a threat to whom he must sacrifice his values, or Objectivism the Philosophy of Ayn Rand in which Egoism, the morality of rational self interest, which requires men to respect his fellow man by respecting his rights, and provides man with a non-sacrificial way of life.

The question then is would people rather live in a society that regards men as sacrificial animals or one that requires men to respect each other?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

No Earth Hour

I didn't know it but thanks to Amy Nasir at Kindredist, there is an earth hour at 8pm tonight when everyone is supposed to shut off their lights for one hour till 9pm. Amy calls it Edison Hour and vows to turn on all her lights at that hour. I know it's a symbolic protest but a good one I think.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hillaryisms: I Mean, You Know...

I know this is a few days old but, Rule of Reason has a revealing post by Edward Cline on Hillary's attempted rationalization of her sniper-fire gaff. Evidently, she said:
œI went to eighty countries, you know. I gave contemporaneous accounts, I wrote about a lot of this in my book. You know, I think that, a minor blip, you know, if I said something that, you know, I say a lot of things – millions of words a day – so if I misspoke, it was a misstatement.”
Does she or does she not sound like a bubble-gum chewing, 17 yr old airhead? That paragraph almost makes Bush look like a linguistic scholar. Mr. Cline does an admirable job of cognitive critic when he points out:
I mean, you know, after all, what is the meaning of is? You know? I mean, I’m really inarticulate in this kind of bind, and I have a foggy memory of when exactly I was under sniper fire, or where. I traveled so much when First Lady as part of my experience. So when you catch me in a lie – I mean, a minor blip, a misstatement – it really rattles me, you know. But I’m sure I could think clearly if I got a call at 3 o’clock in the morning about an Iranian nuclear missile that incinerated Philadelphia, it wouldn’t rattle me at all, I mean, I have all that foreign policy experience. I actually touched the red phone in Bill's office, and that counts as experience, doesn’t it?
I concur, and they call Bush inarticulate.

The article goes on to say that all three major networks carried the clip of Hillary not running for cover. This is very much out of character for the MSM. There can only be one reason for such blasphemy, they want Obama to win. After all, everything will be forgiven by the DNC if Obama, a Democrat, wins.

If McCain or Hillary wins, expect the FCC to conduct an investigation to determine if networks' ownership is still serving the 'public interest.' (a sarcastic heh)

I wouldn't put anything past these candidates.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The "Only" Proper Space Race

David Veksler at Truth, Justice and The American Way has a 20 min. video at Ted Talks by space entrepreneur Burt Rutan. Evidently Mr. Rutan promised not to get into politics in this talk but what he does say is head-shaking enough. Plus, one has to admire his entrepreneurial spirit.

His theme seems to be: under government auspices, space technology development has stagnated and a new private, capitalist space race is needed, entirely funded of course with private money. His projection of the future is admirable.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Student Motivation Pt. 5

Pedagogically Correct Volume 2, Issue 9
March 19, 2008

"Pedagogy": The art and science of teaching.
:: Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
:: Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
:: Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog


Last time, I explained that in order for a teacher to properly motivate his students, he must really know the purpose of teaching his subject, and that purpose must set the standard for selection of the subject's content. Let me now add that the content selected must also be hierarchically appropriate if the purpose is to be achievable.

In a literature course, for example, the works selected for a given group of students must contain characters and themes to which they can relate. They must contain abstract material that the students are capable of grasping and can connect to their own lives. I once gave a workshop on hierarchy in education to the Maryland Homeschoolers' Association. In the discussion, I threw out, as a contrived example of the violation of hierarchy, the absurdity of reading Tom Sawyer to your toddler in the name of getting a jump on the classics. A parent approached me after the talk, thanked me for it, and confessed, his head low, that he had been reading none other than Tom Sawyer to his 2 and 5-year-olds, with what he had regarded as inexplicably disastrous results. It is not inexplicable-the works introduced to a child must not just be meaningful, they must be meaningful to him.

The value of the subject must also set the standard for the method of the course. Every exercise must be purposeful; it must be carefully selected to further the ultimate goal of the course. The method by which we achieve the purpose in literature is to have daily discussions of the reading, and daily writing assignments, that are integrated around the central value of the work-discussions that help the students to gain an understanding of the plot, of the characterization, and of the theme, so that they gain, over time, a deep appreciation for the story and for its meaning.

Key to this method must also be active integration of the material to the rest of the child's knowledge, including his knowledge of other subjects and the experiences of his life. He must not view the knowledge he gains as isolated, free-floating items of information, but as part of a whole, connected body of knowledge that he is working to master because of the guidance it will offer him in the pursuit of a fulfilled, happy life. Each subject has profound value-real, practical, selfish value-and the teacher must make a purpose of conveying this fact through connections to real life.

The final and most important principle of motivation is that the teacher must identify, explicitly and abstractly, the value of the subject to the students' lives. He must explain, as an important and recurring theme through every course, why the student is learning this, and what is the benefit to him. Motivation is fundamentally cognitive; it is knowledge itself-knowledge of the value of the material he is learning.

Andrew Lewis once gave a presentation to the VanDamme Academy parents about his method of teaching history. He said that the subject of history, as taught by most history teachers, answers five questions: Who?, What?, When?, Where? , and How? He then explained that a proper history course absolutely must answer two more questions: Why? , and the one most relevant to my purpose here, So what? This question must be answered not just in history, but in every subject.

The basic principles of motivation are really quite simple: the teacher must identify the value of his course, design the curriculum accordingly, and name the value explicitly. If he does this properly, he can dispose of the pizzas, gold stars, and rulers, and enjoy the radiantly eager response of children who really grasp what they are learning and why.

*************************************************************************************

Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
Now Anyone Can Understand The Fundamental Principles of Science Better than Most Scientists
"Fundamentals of Physical Science: A Historical, Inductive Approach"
By David Harriman, Historian and Philosopher of Physics

Learn all about it at our brand new website.

Here's what other Pedagogically Correct Readers are Saying:

"I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in physics, and I was amazed at how much I learned from David Harriman's course. This course stands head and shoulders above any other course or textbook I have encountered."

"It's perfect for someone relatively new to physics like myself; it's perfect for even advanced people who want a deeper historical perspective than is usually taught...I found Mr. Harriman's physics course to be an exciting walk through the fascinating world of physics."

"I think this type of course is needed for everyone, as in my experience, it's so far above the courses I've had throughout my life as far as the actual transmittal of knowledge is concerned...In short, this course has made science and math much more intelligible for me, and was completely worth the time and cost - I highly recommend it."

I was a physics major when I entered college, yet I can easily say that my actual understanding of physics is much greater as a result of this course than I can credit to any other class I've taken.

www.vandammescience.com

With this course you will:
* Finally understand the world around you, the world of science and technology, in a way you never thought possible. (No, you don't have to be a math wiz.)
* Learn the thinking methods of the greatest minds in history.
* Understand what all those physics equations and formulas you once memorized really mean.
* Be inspired by scientists' amazing 2500-year quest to unlock the mysteries of the physical world.
* And have a great time in the process!

All thanks to a one-of-a-kind science teaching methodology available in no other course or textbook.


www.vandammescience.com


Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
Lisa VanDamme's educational career began when a group of parents, disillusioned with standard public and private schools, hired her to educate their children. In 1998, she chronicled her successes homeschooling and explained the methods that made them possible in a lecture, "Reclaiming Education." The audience, fascinated by her insights about education, and inspired by the stories she told, gave her a standing ovation. In 1999, she made "Reclaiming Education" available in written form, to the delight of thousands of readers. Since 1999, the essay version of "Reclaiming Education" has been unavailable. Until now.

For the first time in almost 8 years, we will make this remarkable work available. And we are giving it away for FREE as an e-book to those who help us grow Pedagogically Correct by recommending it to their friends. Just send enter the email addresses of at least five friends who might appreciate an invitation to receive PC--along with a brief personal note, or our standard note below. We will not add anyone to our email database without their permission.


Click here to refer five friends and get your copy of "Reclaiming Education."

Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog
www.pedagogicallycorrect.com
Check out our 'blog, which will contain much (but not all) of the material we sent out in our newsletters. Spread the word!

VanDamme Academy
email: custserv@vandammeacademy.com
phone: 949-581-1881
web: http://www.vandammeacademy.com

Monday, March 17, 2008

What I'm Reading

I just finished reading The Capitalist Manifesto by Andrew Bernstein and highly recommend it to all my readers. It can be purchased online here or ordered at any bookstore. This has to be the most in-depth, scholarly dissertation on the nature of Capitalism I have ever read. Mounds of evidence showing how the protection of individual rights led to the enormous explosion in productivity and thus prosperity that was the early America.

Dr. Bernstein not only provides overwhelming evidence to support the practical arguments for capitalism, he also provides strong moral and philosophical arguments for it. He even destroys the popular myths against capitalism such as the claim that capitalism exploits the workers and creates poverty or the notion that capitalism needed slavery to get started, and many more. In fact, he clearly shows that those companies that did do harm to the public and workers were able to do so only because they had been granted special favors not found in a free market: laws passed by federal and state governments granting subsidies, permits and monopolistic status to them while forbidding competition--by law.

The book shows the squalid and short lifespans endured by humans before capitalism and compares that to the booming prosperity and longer lifespans after capitalism. There is much more in this book than just the above. I especilly like the theme which runs throughout; Capitalism, with its protection of individual rights, is the only moral system in history because it is the only one that recognizes and is conducive with mans' nature as a rational, productive, thinking being. I urge my readers to get a copy asap. You won't regret it.


Update: I neglected to mention that Dr. Bernstein has his own website here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Scary Government Intervention

On Wednesday's post I said that three articles at Junkfood Science were scary. But that was an understatement compared to this post.
Important news was issued yesterday on the legislative battle over the State collection of genetic material on newborn babies to use for government-endorsed genetic research without parents’ consent. Last night, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee voted against consent rights (ownership) of infant blood and DNA, reported Twila Brase, RN, President of the Citizens' Council on Health Care. That means DNA material on children can be stored and used by the government or third parties without the consent of parents. The bill (SF 3138) now goes to the Senate for a full vote.
The government is getting out of hand. They scream bloody murder if the label on a soup can or cereal box cover doesn't disclose a detailed description of every atom enclosed. But they have no problem helping themselves to your baby's blood test info without your permission i.e. hiding that fact from you.

It's a long post but well worth the read, and includes an example of how the urge to perform the altruistic ritual by the government in 1960 resulted in the crippling and deaths of countless babies and children.

In a private laissez-faire economy, any desired screening of newborns would be provided by the private sector and not without the parent's permission. If babies started to die it would make headlines in the media. There would be no way private hospitals could cover it up for long like governments can and did.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Childhood Obesity Police Attack

Sandy Szwarc at Junkfood Science is on a roll with several scary articles on what I call the #2 crises in America, obesity. (#1 is global warming.) Her most recent article reports on the new initiative of our new Surgeon General against childhood obesity. Evidently, a plump, rolly-polly Santa is not politically correct:
This is the second news-making childhood obesity move of the new Surgeon General, Dr. Steven K. Galson, M.D., MPH, who took office last October. His first, which gave most Americans their first introduction to him and an idea of what was in store, came in December when he declared that Santa Claus is too fat to be a good role model for children. As he told the Boston Herald: “It is really important that the people who kids look up to as role models are in good shape, eating well and getting exercise... Santa is no different.”
"Important?" To whom? Normally, this would be important to the parents of the child. But now we see the government usurping this responsibility to itself by declaring in effect that it knows better what is good for the child than the parents do. That parents aren't up in arms about this is really scary. Presumably too, a good role model will have to look like an athlete or kids won't be allowed to look up to them as role models.

After revealing just some of the initiatives and the foundations and companies behind them as well as some of the money they stand to lose or waste if the SG doesn't yell crises, Ms. Szwarc reveals another incentive motivating the medical commissar:
In promoting “Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future,” he said combating childhood obesity will require efforts from “every level of government and every level of the community.” He said that school programs must carry over into homes in order to combat the number of kids with “weight problems.” He equated public initiatives to make physical activity and a good diet seen as citizen’s responsibility with “what we did to tobacco... and taking it out of society and acceptable social engagement in this country.”
In other words, "we got away with it with tobacco, we should be able to do so with obesity too." Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks that principles don't matter; that allowing some government control over your life will not necessitate more control. The government already dictates the mental content of America's children, now they want to control the kids' physical behavior as well. What else could be the meaning of "every level of government and every level of the community?" You can bet your grandmother's last nickel that "carry over into homes" includes the use of force, not just a voluntary advisory or educational effort.

And consider the meaning of "taking it out of society and acceptable social engagement in this country." Acceptable? To whom? We know the answer to that now don't we. Make no mistake about it, this is where the parents discover that their rights and what is acceptable to them is not to be included in all those "levels" of government and community.

If this power grab campaign weren't bad enough, It isn't even supported by the government's own evidence:
As such, the country might reasonably expect their Surgeon General to know the government’s own statistics on child weights, as provided by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. These have shown that there have been no significant increases in the numbers of U.S. children considered “overweight” since 1999-2000. There is no epidemic of childhood obesity.

The country might reasonably expect their Surgeon General to have read the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ own Health United States 2007 report, which found no medical evidence of a crisis of childhood obesity or for a critical need to address childhood obesity. Children are not expected to live shorter lives than their parents, but are actually healthier and expected to live longer than at any other time in our history. Babies born in 2004 can expect to live 75.2 years if male and 80.4 if female. Compared to babies born in 1990, boys today are expected to live 3.4 years longer and girls 1.6 years longer.
And:
The country might reasonably expect the Surgeon General to have read the evidence provided by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which is charged with issuing careful, evidence-based findings that are supposed to be used by federal government for sound public health programs. After a comprehensive review of 40 years of evidence on childhood obesity screening and interventions, it has found no quality evidence to support or recommend behavioral interventions (diet and activity) for overweight in children and adolescents or that such programs improve health outcomes or physiological measures, such as blood lipids (“cholesterol”), glucose tolerance, blood pressure or physical fitness. Childhood obesity interventions, however, do risk harming children, they warned. The USPSTF concurred with the American Heart Association’s 1996 Scientific Statement for Healthcare professionals in concluding there was no evidence that any interventions to reduce or prevent childhood obesity — no matter how well-intentioned, comprehensive, restrictive, intensive, long in duration, and tackling diet and activity in every possible way — have been effective, especially in any beneficial, sustained way.
The article closes by asking:
If the Surgeon General and the HHS are not actually following science or medical evidence, even the government’s own, what are these programs really about?
They're about how principles, when accepted even only partially, will grow by virtue of their own merit, and how, if one doesn't want them to grow, they must be repudiated in their entirety.

Ms. Szwarc's next piece titled "
From the Food for Thought file: Can you be fired for eating a cookie or a steak or enjoying a glass of wine after work?
By Delaware News Journal reporter Eric Ruth, says in effect, that it is getting to look that way.

In still another post, it is reported that an honor student was suspended for buying a bag of Skittles. What has this to do with developing a child's conceptual faculty? Absolutely nothing.

I recommend spending some time at Junkfood science's site. One thing you will see repeatedly will be studies that do not support the sensational, alarmist wording of their press releases.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baptists See Biblical Duty to Stop G Warming

Monday's 3/10/08 edition of the Detroit News carried a paragraph under its Nation Briefs section titled "Southern Baptists pivot on warming."
NEW YORK -- In a major shift, a group of Southern Baptist leaders said their denomination has been "too timid" on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming. The declaration, signed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention among others and released today, shows a growing urgency about climate change even within groups that once dismissed claims of an overheating planet as a liberal ruse.
More evidence that the mystical religious right and the nihilistic secular left will set aside their hatred of each other long enough to cooperate in the destruction of their common enemy--capitalism.

Admittedly, the declaration was only signed by 44 Baptist leaders. I don't know how many of the 16 million Baptist flock they represent but this could be the beginning of a push to join the many other Christian evangelicals who have bought into the GW hysteria. JunkScience.com blog has a post which links to the entire NYtimes article.

I suppose the 'biblical duty' is being extrapolated from the phrases that say god wanted man to dominate the earth and rule over its many beasts. Doesn't that sound a lot like what sirs Gore, (James) Hansen, and the EU and UN are planning on doing? Trouble is, the only beasts they want to rule are humans.

There is finally the point that both the left and right see man as a sacrificial animal. A non-sacrificial way of life, as advocated by Objectivism where men deal with each other by means of trade and respect for each other's rights, is alien to the minds of both.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Student Motivation Pt. 4

Pedagogically Correct Volume 2, Issue 8
March 7, 2008

"Pedagogy": The art and science of teaching.
:: Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
:: Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
:: Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog


In this and the next newsletter, I will outline the principles that define a proper approach to motivation.

The first of these principles is that before a teacher can motivate the material of his subject, he must first carefully and explicitly identify the value of his subject. He must know, clearly and consciously, why a study of his subject is crucial to the child's life. This task is neglected for a variety of reasons. As I indicated in a past newsletter, the intrinsicist teacher does not regard his subject as having any value to the child's life; it is a duty imposed upon him, and the answer to why he should learn it begins, "Thou shalt..." The subjectivist teacher can offer no principled, absolute statement of a subject's value; value is relative, and depends on a variety of subjectively-defined, concrete goals, goals that change rapidly with the educational fashion. Even those with a more objective view of their subject's value rarely identify that value in terms so explicit that they can use it as an absolute standard guiding the approach of the course and can communicate that value explicitly to the students.

The VanDamme Academy brochure and website state concisely the essential value of each of the core subjects. On more than one occasion, a parent coming into the school has commented to me that until reading our website, he had never considered why each of these subjects is crucial. But the why-a statement of the indispensable value of this material to a person's life-is a prerequisite of a proper curriculum and of proper motivation; it should dictate the whole content and method of the course, and as I will explain, it must serve as the basic means of motivating the students.

The next important principle is that the purpose of the course must set the standard for the selection of its content. In literature, the purpose of teaching the child to experience literature as an art form sets the standard for the selection of works; the course must include those novels, plays, and stories that can achieve this purpose. If the purpose of reading is loosely defined in the teacher's mind as a way to expand the students' vocabulary, develop their ability to identify the main point of a given paragraph, and learn factual information in a fictional setting, then any textbook reader will do. If the purpose is a political agenda, of exposing students to other cultures, teaching them "tolerance," and shattering the belief that great literature is the province of dead white males, then any modern, PC novel, no matter the quality of its writing or depth of its theme (or even whether it has a theme) will do. A proper literature curriculum must be made up of literary classics for children and adults, classics that have endured because of the timelessness of their themes and the eloquence of their presentation. Exposed to great art from an early age, students become sophisticated and impassioned readers.

Next week, I will elaborate on this principle and identify one more essential key to proper motivation.



Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
Now Anyone Can Understand The Fundamental Principles of Science Better than Most Scientists
"Fundamentals of Physical Science: A Historical, Inductive Approach"
By David Harriman, Historian and Philosopher of Physics

Learn all about it at our brand new website.

Here's what other Pedagogically Correct Readers are Saying:

"I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in physics, and I was amazed at how much I learned from David Harriman's course. This course stands head and shoulders above any other course or textbook I have encountered."

"It's perfect for someone relatively new to physics like myself; it's perfect for even advanced people who want a deeper historical perspective than is usually taught...I found Mr. Harriman's physics course to be an exciting walk through the fascinating world of physics."

"I think this type of course is needed for everyone, as in my experience, it's so far above the courses I've had throughout my life as far as the actual transmittal of knowledge is concerned...In short, this course has made science and math much more intelligible for me, and was completely worth the time and cost - I highly recommend it."

I was a physics major when I entered college, yet I can easily say that my actual understanding of physics is much greater as a result of this course than I can credit to any other class I've taken.

www.vandammescience.com

With this course you will:
* Finally understand the world around you, the world of science and technology, in a way you never thought possible. (No, you don't have to be a math wiz.)
* Learn the thinking methods of the greatest minds in history.
* Understand what all those physics equations and formulas you once memorized really mean.
* Be inspired by scientists' amazing 2500-year quest to unlock the mysteries of the physical world.
* And have a great time in the process!

All thanks to a one-of-a-kind science teaching methodology available in no other course or textbook.


www.vandammescience.com


Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
Lisa VanDamme's educational career began when a group of parents, disillusioned with standard public and private schools, hired her to educate their children. In 1998, she chronicled her successes homeschooling and explained the methods that made them possible in a lecture, "Reclaiming Education." The audience, fascinated by her insights about education, and inspired by the stories she told, gave her a standing ovation. In 1999, she made "Reclaiming Education" available in written form, to the delight of thousands of readers. Since 1999, the essay version of "Reclaiming Education" has been unavailable. Until now.

For the first time in almost 8 years, we will make this remarkable work available. And we are giving it away for FREE as an e-book to those who help us grow Pedagogically Correct by recommending it to their friends. Just send enter the email addresses of at least five friends who might appreciate an invitation to receive PC--along with a brief personal note, or our standard note below. We will not add anyone to our email database without their permission.


Click here to refer five friends and get your copy of "Reclaiming Education."

Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog
www.pedagogicallycorrect.com
Check out our 'blog, which will contain much (but not all) of the material we sent out in our newsletters. Spread the word!

VanDamme Academy
email: custserv@vandammeacademy.com
phone: 949-581-1881
web: http://www.vandammeacademy.com

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Calling All Students!

Capitalism Magazine has an open letter by C Bradley Thompson to students who have read or are about to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Mr. Bradley says in part:
If you are a high school or a college student reading "Atlas Shrugged" for the first time, I hope you will do just one thing: Don't base your judgment of "Atlas Shrugged" on what your professors or I say or think positively or negatively. Instead, ask yourself--repeatedly--one question as you read "Atlas Shrugged": Are Ayn Rand's ideas true or not? And there is only one person who can answer this question: YOU!
This is so true. Objectivism doesn't want people to believe its principles. It wants people to know them. One does that by considering, studying and researching them, but by all means, arriving at their own conclusions. This attribute was the main impetus that kept me reading Ms. Rand's books until I did arrive at my own conclusion. I am now trying to live my life according to objectivist principles. And I very much enjoy it.

Heros

Joe Kane at Able Kane Adventures reports on a navy cameraman who was awarded a purple heart for being wounded in action. I say thanks to all our soldiers.

Joe also has a fascinating report on another hero Davey Crockett. This is an excellent example of what it's like when men think in terms of principles.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Inconvenient Poll Results

Lubos Motl at The Reference Frame links to a study at Texas A&M which shows that the more information people are given about global warming the less they fear it and feel responsible for it. Evidently, the alarmists are baffled by results which appear to be opposite of their intentions to inform the public of the imminent disaster of AGW. I can see several reasons for this. 1. More and more people either know or sense that a constant, incessant, ubiquitous campaign declaring X will lead to Y is actually marketing, not science. They would be right. In advertising, I think it is called a saturation campaign. 2. I think more people are learning that 'consensus' is a political term and not a scientific one and that scientific truths are not established by numerical head counts.

I can't remember the quote but Ayn Rand said something to the effect that throughout mankind's history it was always the educated class that was more in touch with reality while the masses were steeped in various irrational superstitions and belief systems. Today it is the reverse. The non-academic citizens are more in tune with reality, even if only on a sense-of-life level, while the learned classes are now wallowing in irrational belief systems, like postmodernism, pragmatism, multiculturalism, and egalitarianism just to name a few. There is one ism that is on the rise and is not irrational, Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand.