The water we swim in: Robert Pondiscio on culture and school performance

This extract is from is a great Econtalk discussion of How the Other Half Learns. Recommend. Robert Pondiscio: They [Success Academy Charter Schools] require an extraordinary level of parent commitment both in time and responsiveness. And it just seems pointless to deny that for some number of parents, this is simply too much. I want to be clear here that…

A project

The thing that I’m recommending for a lot of people now is to find a sphere of activity, no matter how small or how local, that you feel you can control and you can do at home and you can contribute to. This feeling of powerlessness may set in that will cause people to panic more or become too depressed…

Bark less, wag more

Rule 12. Be Kind – everyone is in a battle We go through life judging others. I’ve often wondered if one of the reasons we sometimes judge ourselves harshly is to give ourselves an excuse for judging those around us harshly as well. Judging has many virtues. It helps us decide who to spend time with, who to work with,…

Russ Roberts on inequality and poverty

Our age right now – this might change – is obsessed with inequality. And it disturbs me deeply that inequality is conflated with poverty. They’re not the same thing. A lot of people blame the condition of the poor on inequality as if the world was a zero sum game. If you press the person who says that [they’ll say]…

The switch (2)

“What am I hoping to get?” Once we’ve admitted to ourselves that we’re doing our work (at least partly) for ourselves, we can think more clearly about our motives by asking “What am I hoping to get from doing this?” And we’re probably hoping to get several things: the knowledge that we’ve helped someone, the satisfaction of a job well…

Podcast recommendation: Econtalk – Andy Matuschak on Why Books Don’t Work

This is a fantastic interview that takes Andy Matuschak‘s controversially titled essay as a springboard for a not-really-controversial but fascinating discussion of teaching, learning and tech informed by Matuschak’s work at Kahn Academy. Highly recommend. Highlights to follow.

Podcast Recommendation: Econtalk with Alain Bertaud on Cities, Planning, and Order Without Design

This is a great episode of Econtalk. Bertaud uses labour markets as a lens for thinking about cities. Helpful examples of emergent order and the challenges (impossibility?) of planning in complex adaptive systems. Highlights (coming up) include: Discussion of the importance of culture and context in how cities develop; Bertaud’s explanation of his broader-than-usual understanding of labour markets; When planning…

Podcasts: starting points for learning about AI

Stuart Russell on After On with Rob Reid A thought provoking interview and excellent introduction that sounds a note of caution about AI and gives good reasons for doing so. Highlights include: some interesting stuff about how people and robots process goals and the huge number of actions and priorities that make up a single ‘simple’ action (around 32 minutes);…