Is anyone else exhausted?

Is anyone else tired of the constant struggle to get the federal government to invest in our nation's future (hello, there's a T in STEM!). I confess that I'm getting tired of hearing them talk out of both sides of their mouth simultaneously (see exhibits below). Aren't you?


Technology is important!

Technology is not important!

Or, in graphical form...

[FYI, $272 million is the amount a single state, Pennsylvania, spent on child care two years ago. It's also a little less than the movie Meet the Fockers grossed in the U.S. Divided by about 54.7 million public school students, it's about $5 per public school student. Some national investment, huh?]

Maybe Tim Magner, our new director of the Office of Educational Technology, can do something positive. I heard his talk from the AALF conference (thanks for the podcast, Andy!) and it sounded like he was on the right track (now if only he and his office had more power and influence...).

In the meantime, please keep fighting the good fight:

  • Mission Critical Campaign
  • Befriend your ideological opposite. It’s fun.

    Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.

    Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
    • Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
    • Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
    • "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
    • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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    Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.

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    • There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
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    Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

    Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

    Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
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    • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
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    • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
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    UPS has been discreetly using self-driving trucks to deliver cargo

    TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.


    PAUL RATJE / Contributor
    Technology & Innovation
    • This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
    • UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
    • TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.
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