My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.


But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.


It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Conspiracy Theories

Had an epiphany while waking up this morning. Not new ideas, deep impressions. (Epiphanies tend to be such, not new information or synthesis, not factuality, deep impressions.)

Bill Gates is not really an evil genius. Nathan Myhrvold seems a bit more evil, but not as smart. Steve Ballmer is a gorilla. These guys are pains in the neck, but not really to be feared as much as to be avoided.

Steve Jobs? Johnathan Ive? Tim Cook?

Well, I would be more concerned about Apple as the defacto monopoly than Microsoft. I've been of that opinion since the days of the Apple II. I like their stuff to a certain extent, but I don't want to live in a world dominated by their tech.

But they are not the leaders of the conspiracy either.

The computer industry has seen more than one might think would be its share of plot and intrigue.There is a reason for this.

Conputers are much more about controlling the flow of information than about calculating. Programmable computers are, erm, programmable. Wonderful for enforcing protocol, if only there weren't that pesky halting problem. And that inscrutable NP complete nonsense. (It is nonsense, of course, right?)

Managerial types who get a taste of programming tend to be more than a little like the proverbial dog getting a taste of egg. And they unfortunately develop a blind streak relative to the limits of computers.

Control, control, CONTROL!!!!

No, this was not my epiphany.

You know, now that I'm back from work, I'm not sure what the epiphany was. (And that's not exactly atypical for epiphany, either.)

Years ago I had an epiphany about conspiracies. If you take the Bible seriously, conspiracies come as no surprise. We know they existed from Cain. And we know who the leader of the conspiracies is, too.

And there is something about the leader of the conspiracies that we know, he can't keep his stories straight. He was a liar from the beginning. If he could keep ever his stories straight for very long, he would quite possibly cease to be the devil.

Management that can't keep its stories straight tends to make for a volatile organization.

Thus, we can be sure that all conspiracies will sooner or later crumble under their own weight of lies.

Jesus said that we should fear God and not man. (He also tells us that God is watching us up close, not from a distance, that He knows when every sparrow falls or something like that.)

We need to recognize that there are conspiracies. We need to be cautious of them. Sometimes we need to take action relative to them. But we must never fear because of them.

[Note (15-17 July 2015)
One of my siggnatures used to read like this:

Be careful when you look at conspiracy.
Look first in your own heart,
and ask yourself if you are not your own worst enemy.
Arm yourself with knowledge of yourself, as well.

I think a lot of people misunderstood my intent. I do not mean to deny the existence or the dangers of conspiracies. I mean to point to what we, as individuals, can do about them.

So I changed that signature to point here, which is a bit of a half-way measure.

A little more to the point:

We can read in Moses 4: 4 about the spirit of deception and where it leads.

Conspiracies are one of the sub-themes of much of the Book of Mormon. They are often referred to there as "secret combinations". (I think this means the men and women combining to help each other to do bad things, and also the combinations of philosophies designed to confuse, mislead, and discourage people from thinking for themselves, among other things).

Third Nephi ch. 6 is rather poignant. Here, two cultural groups, the Nephites and the Lamanites, after having united to defeat a secret combination and restore peace to their land, prosper, get cocky, compete excessively, get their feelings hurt, and then start building the combinations up again. This leads to wars, and the complete destruction of their government.

And that is what that signature is supposed to be all about.

[For the record, I expanded a little further on this concept here. JMR20160106]

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Courtesy is courteous.