Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First snow.

Our first snow came in late yesterday through last night.  We still have snow falling lightly thanks to the lake effect.  We did our grocery shopping on Sunday when it was dry, mild and sunny.  So far the accumulation is less than an inch--just enough to make driving a bit miserable.

This amuses me and not in a "ha-ha" way.  After years during which educators focused attention and resources on the so-called STEM subjects to the detriment of the reading and writing, employers now complain that job seekers can't communicate.  I don't think the blame should be laid on the colleges and universities.  By the time I was out of sixth grade I knew the difference between its and it's, and could name the parts of speech as well as use them properly, and was reading at a 12+ grade level.  Remember that scene during the George Zimmerman trial (for killing Trevon Martin) where Martin's girlfriend was shown a letter she said she couldn't read because it was in cursive?  I heard some comments on the girl's mental abilities which the pundits assumed were lacking somehow.  I thought "Well, duh!!! Are they even teaching cursive writing any more?"  I ask because just about that time the Indiana legislature was considering requiring schools to teach cursive after many years of not.  It has been, admittedly, a long time since I was in grade school.  Both the technology we depend on and the jobs most of us do have changed.  Those changes do require us to change our education system to adapt.  But what will happen if we have to "write" something someone else will need to read and we haven't a keyboard, a computer, and tablet, etc.?  Will we be able to use a pen or pencil to write the message legibly and can the person who has to read it actually read it however legibly we might write it?  What happens if you have a power outage and your computerized cash register doesn't work any more?  Can your employee (or you) write down the items a customer wants to purchase, add them up and correctly calculate the tax, and then make change accurately?  I remember when that happened at a little store where I worked at the time.  The owner and I were able to do all of that for the customers in the store at the time and then we closed until the power was restored.

It was only a matter of time before this happened.  Why those very smart idiots who developed the malware that it wouldn't go beyond its original target is beyond my understanding.

I saw this story first on Sunday on either Reuters or the Daily Mail--not on any U.S. national media.  I guess it wasn't dramatic enough since the the fire and explosion after the derailment of a train of oil tankers didn't take out a large section of a town.

Remember what I said yesterday about water?  Well, here is Nestle at its old tricks.  I love the semantics of the ploy: water is a "need" not a necessity."  Therefore, it is ripe for commercial exploitation and, if you or your children don't have the money to buy it, tough on you.  Between Nestle (and its fellow pirates) and the fracking industry--we are well and totally screwed.

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