blueollie

Sports Center, PC-ness, kids are NOT scientists, etc.

I’ve often heard that “children are natural scientists” followed by our schools taking that out of them. Frankly, that is nonsense. Science is hard and often counterintuitive as Adam Rutherford writes:

But evolution is not obvious at all, and it took thought and experiment and hard tenacious graft to reveal that truth. The real structure of the universe – the atomic, subatomic and quantum – was concealed from our eyes for all but the tiniest fragment of our tenure on Earth. We humans are awful at perceiving objective reality. We come with inbuilt preconceptions and prejudices. We’re dreadful at logic, and see patterns in things that are not there, and skip over trends that are. We attribute cause and agency to chance and coincidence, and blame the innocent as the root of all manner of evil. We use the phrase “common sense” as an admirable quality for scrutinising the world in front of us.

If this all sounds misanthropic, it’s not. Blind, directionless evolution gave us the gumption and the tools to frown at what we see, and ask if it really is how things are. Science is quite the opposite of common sense.

Our senses and psychology perceive the world in very particular ways that are comically easy to fool.
Common sense deceives us all the time: the horizon tells me the Earth is flat; people seem to get better after taking homeopathic pills; spiders are dangerous; a cold snap ridicules global warming. Of course, it is tricky to challenge someone’s opinion successfully if it is based on their learned experience. But that is exactly what science is for. It is to extract human flaws from reality; it is to set aside the bias that we lug around. Our senses and psychology perceive the world in very particular ways that are comically easy to fool. But the great strength of science is that it recognises the human fallibility that cripples our view of the universe. The scientific method attempts to remove these weaknesses.

This needs to be taught; it does NOT come naturally.

Yes, kids are naturally curious but undisciplined exploration will usually lead to nonsense.

But children are not scientists. As ever, anything of value comes with effort, not by grace. Science is a particular way of thinking, not beset but enabled by doubt, and it comes from teaching.

Double Standards Part I
When does a teacher get light punishment for seducing and raping a student? Answer: when the perpetrator is female and the victim is male:

Erica Ann Ginnetti, 35, was arrested in January in Lower Moreland after police were tipped off when the victim showed photos and videos of the woman to his classmates. According to court records, the photos included images of Ginnetti in a bikini, and others in just her underwear or thong. A video sent to the teen showed her undressing in a “sexually charged manner.”

The teacher and student were in frequent contact in July 2013, after the two had sex in her car parked at an industrial park.

Ginnetti pleaded guilty last year to sexual assault and disseminating sexually explicit materials. The maximum sentence for the two crimes was seven to 14 years behind bars, Philly.com reports. Instead, Judge Garrett D. Page gave the woman just 30 days of jail time. Ginnetti will also have to register as a sex offender.

But..think about it. Somehow, male on female rape is…”scarier”; the act can be done aggressively and penetration is asymmetrical. The above: well, it does sound creepy and “yucky” and I can see how it can cause emotional and psychological harm.

Riots
Kentucky basketball fans are “heartbroken” that their team had to “settle” for a 38-1 season and a Final Four appearance (sounds wildly successful to me…but I digress).

So some of them (predictably) rioted and burned things:

Thirty-one people were arrested after Kentucky fans set fires in Lexington, police said, after the Wildcats’ undefeated streak came to a stunning end at the hands of Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament Saturday.

Sporadic fires were seen being set as the large crowd, chanting anti-Wisconsin slogans, gathered on State Street, which is adjacent to the University of Kentucky’s Lexington Campus.

Lexington Police Department spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said the crowd set fire to multiple objects, while a number of people were injured — some of whom were transported to a local hospital for treatment. None of the injuries were serious, Roberts said.

I don’t see anyone defending this behavior, but I miss the widespread statements about “those people” being “thugs”.

Double Standard: the “N-word” and its use.

We see white students widely condemned and expelled for use of this word (I think that the expulsions are improper, by the way).

Now a black student uses it…and it gets noted but no big deal is made of it. And yes, the black player uses it when referring to a white player?

A reporter asked Karl-Anthony Towns a question about Frank Kaminsky during Kentucky’s press conference after its Final Four loss to Wisconsin, and Andrew Harrison appeared to mutter a snide remark under his breath.

He’s frustrated, he’s heartbroken, and he probably never would’ve said this if he thought anybody could hear him. But still. Those mics are very, very sensitive!

Harrison apologized on Twitter early Sunday morning and said he called Kaminsky to wish him luck in the final.

A satire site made fun of this: (and anyone who doesn’t think that the Wisconsin basketball team is athletic has rocks in their head)

wetoldyousocfmb

But you know what? In my opinion, this is a case of a frustrated, heartboken young man letting “locker room” talk slip out in public. To me, this really indicates that he saw the Wisconsin player as another basketball player; just another member of the larger basketball fraternity. This isn’t the PR that the public likes, but I doubt that this is a big deal to the athletes.

This is similar to what Colin Kaepernick said:

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Kaepernick used the N-word last week when he was penalized. In the Levi’s Stadium locker room after the game, Houston told the Tribune he didn’t hear anything.

Now that Glazer’s report has been out there –- though denied by Kaepernick -– Houston confirmed that is what happened.

“He was just saying inappropriate language,” Houston told the Tribune on Monday night at MetLife Stadium. He said Kaepernick cursed at him, including using the N-word.

Asked if he was insulted, Houston said it’s more a “cultural thing.” Houston reiterated that he incensed Kaepernick on the play by saying “nice pass” at the end of a Kyle Fuller interception.

Humor
This is Sportcenter:

sportscenter

April 6, 2015 - Posted by | basketball, big butts, butt, racism, science, social/political | , ,

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