Computer Coding Meets 'Foreign-Language' Requirement
Four states are currently in the process of approving measures to allow high school students to fulfill foreign language-learning requirements with a computer language instead.
Four states are currently in the process of approving measures to allow high school students to fulfill foreign language-learning requirements with a computer language instead, according to John Lauerman of Bloomberg:
"Proponents say such an approach will help students get jobs and businesses compete internationally. By 2020, companies across the U.S. will have 1.4 million job openings requiring computer-science expertise and just 400,000 college graduates to fill them, according to Code.org, a Seattle-based advocacy group for tech education."
We've talked in this space before about how important it is to get young people interested in coding. We've also written at length about the value of learning additional spoken languages. What I'm getting at here is a two-part reaction to this news:
1. This is a great idea.
2. Why should it be one or the other?
Of course, what this eventually leads to is a debate over which subjects get axed in favor of others. Some would suggest American high schoolers learn too much redundant history. Others would say that history is much more vital than physical education. Still others would rightfully react with uproar if P.E. disappeared.
The only solution through which all bases are covered is if we as a society prioritize learning outside the classroom as well. Maybe this is through after-school programs or subsidized summer classes. Perhaps coding could become something of a team effort like Little League. However it works out, someone's going to feel like their favorite subject is getting the short shrift and not be too happy about it. But it still stands that, yes, coding is very important, as is learning Spanish or German or French or Mandarin or...
In the video below, computer programmer Larry Wall explains how his Perl language is not unlike human language:
Read more at Bloomberg.
Photo credit: MaIII Themd / Shutterstock
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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