Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TWIC: How I should be titling my posts...

Wordpress and a few other sites run a 'better blogging' article every few months.  I do hope that others read this blog and get something useful from it, but it mostly seems a storehouse for things I find interesting.  SEO isn't that interesting to me and I don't make money from this blog.  Still it is number four on this list, Number five: use at least one image for each post, is one I really need to remember.
Another recurring them is 'routines of famous creative people'.  Here is an example from Business Insider.
A.J. Jacobs: “Force yourself to generate dozens of ideas.”
In an interview for the series How I Write, Jacobs talks about his daily writing routines and dishes out some advice for young writers …
My kids wake me up. I have coffee. I make my kids breakfast, take them to school, then come home and try to write. I fail at that until I force myself to turn off my Internet access so I can get a little shelter from the information storm.
I am a big fan of outlining. I write an outline. Then a slightly more detailed outline. Then another with even more detail. Sentences form, punctuation is added, and eventually it all turns into a book.
I write while walking on a treadmill. I started this practice when I was working on Drop Dead Healthy, and read all these studies about the dangers of the sedentary life. Sitting is alarmingly bad for you. One doctor told me that “sitting is the new smoking.” So I bought a treadmill and put my computer on top of it. It took me about 1,200 miles to write my book. I kind of love it — it keeps me awake, for one thing.
Ani Alexander interviewed Gabriela Pereira.  I think both are writers.  I've kept the tab open for a while so I guess I think it's important.  You know what? This cold that I have that is sucking all my energy away from me is kinda important right now.  If I felt better, maybe I wouldn't be snarky about this:
Quote 1: There are no accidents in writing.
Quote 2: Every word should be in your writing for a reason.
Is it the virus talking or do these kinda contradict each other? Pereira has a book out next spring called DIY MFA.
The Washington Post discusses why America's obsession with STEM is dangerous.
If Americans are united in any conviction these days, it is that we urgently need to shift the country’s education toward the teaching of specific, technical skills. ... and about new initiatives from companies, universities or foundations to expand STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) and deemphasize the humanities.
I think Fareed Zakaria has started with some confusion. Engineering definitely fits the description of "specific technical skills" but Science and Math do not. The big difference is that the latter two are ways of looking at the world and fit this description (intended for liberal arts): " A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity. Exposure to a variety of fields produces synergy and cross fertilization." He also describes 'design' as outside of STEM.  I don't understand why he thinks this.

What the Hell does this mean?
One final reason to value a liberal education lies in its roots. For most of human history, all education was skills-based. Hunters, farmers and warriors taught their young to hunt, farm and fight. But about 2,500 years ago, that changed in Greece, which began to experiment with a new form of government: democracy.
Science people can't understand democracy?  I would say scientific training is what allows people to test political claims and improves democracy.
As Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found, science enriches art but art doesn't empower science.

I think Zakaria has a point about Engineering and over specialization in education. The majors at my university are ridiculously specific and I wonder what will happen to the students in my Bodyguard class - seriously, that's an actual major my university offers.
The CBC short story Prize is available to be won.  Entries are due by Nov 1.  You might have to be Canadian.  I'm using my sick-card to justify not having read the information at the link.
Misbehavior In School Pays Off For Some Students. I don't know if this relates to creativity at all but it might.  Certainly, previous research on teachers showed the most creative ones typically made trouble.
when we recognize that misbehavior in the classroom can be reflective of two very different non-cognitive skills—externalizing and internalizing behaviors—a much more nuanced story emerges. Both of these characteristics are associated with lower schooling attainment. However, whereas internalizing behaviors, like being unforthcoming, depressive or withdrawn, predict lower earnings, externalizing behaviors, such as aggression, predict higher earnings. In other words, the externalizing factor lowers schooling attainment, but appears to have value in the labor market. This finding calls into question the role of schooling in identifying and cultivating skills that are productive.
David Malki retweeted something from Farooq Butt that I like.  I hope the embedding works.

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