The Internet of Things (Watching Us)

The Creepy New Wave of the Internet by Sue Halpern | The New York Review of Books. The Internet of Things Watching Us is coming. I can’t see the efficiency being worth the loss of privacy in most cases. But I carry a tracker (cell phone) around like most everyone else anyway, so I know this can sneak in eventually and seem OK.

Memorization and Repetition Still Needed for Learning

I believe in learning for understanding, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning. But even so, real fluency still requires some drill-and-kill. The problem with focusing relentlessly on understanding is that math and science students can often grasp essentials of an important idea, but this understanding can quickly slip away without consolidation through practice and repetition. Worse, students often believe they understand something when, in fact, they don’t. via How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math – Issue 17: Big Bangs – Nautilus.

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Managing WordPress via git

I reorganized my self-hosted WordPress system to use git to manage the WordPress code and to move the content outside of the WordPress directory. That way I should be able to do a simple git pull and git checkout $newversion to update my WordPress. I’m also keeping my content directory under change management (separately) so that I can update plugins through the web and be able to roll back. $HOME/blog/wordpress is a git clone of git@github.

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Can’t be understated

According to FirstRead, the Iraq war’s effect on American politics can’t be understated, even 10 years later So, according to that, anything that can be said is overstating the effect. One can’t state anything less about the effect. Of course, they mean “should not be understated” rather than “can’t be understated”. But they could probably care less.

Google Reader, RIP

Google just announced that Reader will be unavailable as of July 1. Damn! This makes me think that I should never rely on Google products for anything important. Docs, calendar, etc. Time to start looking for alternatives to each.

Perfect health diet

For the last month I’ve been trying the Perfect Health Diet and I’m pleased. My weight has remained low where it had dropped when I was sick. My strength is mostly back to where it was before I fell ill. It feels like my energy level is improved and my attention span is perhaps better than it was. At first the name of the diet seemed pretentious but I get that it’s a play on how the authors, a husband and wife team, both have PhDs.

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Making better decisions

New Scientist mag has a May 2007 article on “Top 10 ways to make better decisions“. Here is what I got from it. Don’t fear the consequences > Rather than looking inwards and imagining how a given outcome might make you feel, try to find someone who has made the same decision or choice, and see how they felt. Remember also that whatever the future holds, it will probably hurt or please you less than you imagine.

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This blog has languished. I tend to put more stuff on Facebook these days (

Predicting happiness when making choices

From “Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth” by Diener and Biswas-Diener, 2008: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to incorrectly predict their own future emotions in general, and future happiness in particular: Focusing on a single salient feature or period of time in a choice, rather than looking at the big picture. Overestimating the long-term impact of our choices. Forgetting that happiness is an ongoing process, not a destination Paying too much attention to external information while overlooking personal preferences and experience.

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Your brain is like a pile of sand

From Disorderly genius: How chaos drives the brain your brain operates on the edge of chaos. Though much of the time it runs in an orderly and stable way, every now and again it suddenly and unpredictably lurches into a blizzard of noise. systems on the edge of chaos are said to be in a state of “self-organised criticality“. These systems are right on the boundary between stable, orderly behaviour – such as a swinging pendulum – and the unpredictable world of chaos, as exemplified by turbulence.

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Fred C Yankowski

Batavia, U.S.A.
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Developing applications for edtech and blockchain in Go, Python, Elm, and PHP