Discussion Group Issues Bill Schrader Pavilion 12 Noon 15 April, 2015



A – The US used 3,000 troops and spent millions of dollars to build 11 treatment units that treated 28 ebola patients in Liberia. What does this say about mid-term politics, the US Army, and containing medical emergencies?

B –  Starting with “13% of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers move schools or leave the profession every year.”, Professor Ward argues that a familiar litany of complaints – testing, new curricula, loss of control, etc.  The latest data from the National Centre for Education Statistics  2007-08 found 7.6 moved and 8.0 percent left.  Lets assume an average teacher teaches for 25 years.  Then we would expect  4% leavers a year, so the number is roughly double.  However, other data shows,

•After 3 years, 1/3 of new teachers leave the field

•After 5 years, almost half of those new teachers have left.

•In inner city schools, 1/2 of the teachers quit within 3 years.

So the real cause is early quitting due to poor mentoring of new teachers.  Is professor Ward pursuing a political agenda?

C – The good news is that the increase in green energy is now larger than the increase in fossil fuels.  This is five years earlier than most forecasts two years ago.  Can we still save the climate?

D –  The Journal of Brief Ideas is a Discussion Group Coordinator’s Valhalla.  For example these 13 lines show how neighbourhoods become racially segregated over time even if preferences are initially very small, and then extends it to intellectual schools, i.e. Keynesians versus the wrong ones, and even outlines remedies.  Is the neighbourhood example convincing to you?  What about professors?  Is it better to read some original 80 page articles?

E – “Our Fragile Intellect” is a 2012 article by Crabtree, published in the journal Trends in Genetics. Crabtree’s speculative and controversial thesis argues that human intelligence peaked sometime between 2,000 and 6,000 years ago and has been in steady decline since the advent of agriculture and increasing urbanization. Modern humans, according to Crabtree, have been losing their intellectual and emotional abilities due to accumulating gene mutations that are not being selected against as they once were in our hunter-gatherer past.[4][5] This theory is sometimes referred to as the Idiocracy hypothesis.[6]   Assuming its true, will we be saved by our iWatches?

F – A couple of years ago when I first read this brief article, I thought it escalated to a uncontrolled diatribe. Now I tend to see things in a moral (really immoral) context.  Things are so bad that we require people like Dickens and Orwell to make us appreciate their immorality.  Agree?





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