Monday, November 12, 2012

The main problem with our educational system

When nearly everything in education is dependent on the quality of the teachers, then if you want to improve the quality of education, you have to have, and retain, the best teachers.

The Best Teachers in the World | Hoover Institution:

Unfortunately, due to a confluence of circumstance this is impossible in the US. The first of those circumstances is the hodge-podge approach to local, city, county, state and federal, each operating essentially independently, funding for education we spend far more on administrative tasks than on teacher salary. But teacher salary won't solve the problem. Teachers unions make it increasingly difficult to get rid of the bad teachers and there is no way to get any reliable method of teacher evaluation through the roadblocks thrown up by teachers unions. The system of training and certification of teachers is also deeply flawed. There are other serious problems as well, but those spring to mind as pretty big obstacles.

Friday, November 09, 2012

The secrets of sleep which we mean that sleep is full of secrets that we have no idea about. It's kind of silly when you think about it: it's one of the most central activities of our lives. We spend easily a third of our lives doing it, and yet we know virtually nothing about it, the mechanisms behind it or even why we need it.

Oh, sure, we know some of the chemicals involved, we know the effects, but the deeper questions of why and how precisely our body accomplishes the task are still quite beyond our understanding.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Voodoo Neuroscience

Now THIS is an interesting article: Voodoo Neuroscience Revisited

How many studies would be debunked if we really knew how much of it was cherry-picked data? I'm guessig a LOT. Mostly because when you've been sinking all your effort and time into something, you want it to pan out, so you'll be more likely to make these kinds of errors, deliberate or not.

Genetic interests

FuturePundit: Intellectual Interests Genetically Predetermined?:

File this under the "Free Will" debate. The weird part is the choice of major linked with the different disorders. Wild.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Your brain is awesome

Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth | Health Tech - CNET News:

Throw this on the stack of "Artificial intelligence is still WAY off" - cause it is.

Placebo: everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask

Disgruntled PhD: Placebos: All you never wanted to know (Part 4) - Neurobiology:

I recommend looking at the archives of the post and reading all 4 parts of the series - even though it WAY more information than you'll want.


Sleep makes your memories stronger:

I've posted plenty about how sleep helps memory, so just add this to the pile.

Illusory perception

The illusion of time: Perceiving the effect before the cause : Neurophilosophy:

Who knew that we experienced optical illusions so frequently?

Yahoo! Optical Illusions

Optical illusions and brain teasers | SharpBrains:

Another great catalog of optical illusions. I'm a sucker for this stuff.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Look at Data Like a Statistician, Minus the Ph. D:

This is a fundamental skill that I think everyone should have. Learn how to look at statistics. Learn to understand what they mean. You don't have to be able to do the math, but you should be able to at least interpret results.

Quantum Psychology

Quantum Psychology? « Permutations:

This is a new realm of study, but it is growing in popularity. This article is from early 2010, but I've already seen several in late 2011. To me it's incredibly fascinating.

And now for something completely different...

John Cleese on neuroanatomy « Mind Hacks:

John Cleese could read binary code and make it sound funny. This is a brilliant video.

Can you love your job?

Beyond Passion: The Science of Loving What You Do:

This is a fantastic article that provides a lot of very good basic information about motivation and the principles behind motivation that are contrary to a lot of "common sense" principles that are very prevalent today.

Don't get scammed

The 7 Psychological Principles of Scams: Protect Yourself by Learning the Techniques — PsyBlog:

This is helpful information for anyone.

Don't be afraid to fail

Be Open to Failure | Psychology Today:

It's a well known aspect of motivational research. If you are willing to take chances and are not afraid to fail, if you are willing to learn from your failures, then you will be more successful. At anything.