Tuesday, September 12, 2017

For progressives Convergence seems yet elusive - but still possible!




Part I: just a copy of a recent short Facebook post (09/12/2017)
So, the convergence2017.org (The People's Convergence Conference) meeting is over.
None of them has ANY mentioning of the event which supposedly had to change the political landscape.
Jackie Salit from http://independentvoting.org/ was there, too, but Independentvoting.org does not mention the event as well.
What happened to the converging?
It is a very well known fact that political collaboration requires a special set of goals, and skills, and more. So far the leaders of those old and new political groups have not shown the presence of those goals and skills and more.
So far all they do is opening a debate club (National Conference Call at independentvoting.org), or running a conference on political science (convergence2017.org).
Instead of initiating cooperative managing, they have slid in agitation and propaganda.
Agitation and propaganda are important! But without solid collaboration all those political groups will NOT make any difference.
The right approach is at
www.3dForce.net

Part II: reflection on part I
If you read a mission statement or the goals of many new and old progressive groups and parties, you will find that they all look very similar. You read about anger people feel toward the dysfunctional government, about a minimum wage, about the health care, student loans, etc., etc., etc.. 
None of those ideas are new; they just have risen to the political surface during the 2016 presidential campaign. But no one knows for how long people will be feeling frustrated and agitated. That is why nowadays every political group is trying to attract as much attention as possible.
The leaders do understand that none of the groups will ever have enough followers to compete with the two major parties. That is why – the hunt for the “big fish” (everyone wants to be able to say “Bernie sanders is with us!”). That is why some motion to build a collaboration (convergence2017).
The first problem is that the leaders of all active political groups would like to absorb all other groups and have everyone under their tent, but no one wants to be absorbed.  
The second problem is that all those groups live in an illusion, or in a dream, so to speak. They dream of the 3d-party President of the United States.
Freshly grown groups, like "DraftBernie", dream that the next President will be one of them. They don't understand that this would be like trying to run a marathon before learning how to walk. 
Experienced, seasoned political figures, like Jackie Salit, look for one candidate from all the independents. Take, for example, her recent piece “Finding Otherness”(independentvoting.org). It is worth to read. But the most of the reading will be about options for the presidential run in 2020.
Each problem has a solution, though.
To solve the first problem, group leaders need to reject an idea of building one new super-party. It is impossible (at least for a foreseeable future), but also not needed.
They have to build a coalition which is not based on ideological principles (which for many are dogmas), but based on (a) mutual enemy; (b) mutual goal – but the goal has to be specific.
To solve the second problem, the leaders need to set one specific political goal – such that they all would benefit from its achievement; and which is also achievable – so, not the Presidency.
Such specific and achievable goal is to take three seats from the Senate Republicans.
This will demonstrate the power of the people not affiliated with the Republicans or the Democrats.
But most importantly, this will give the “outsiders” real political power.
After that the Republicans will fear the “outsiders”, and the Democrats will notice them (and both parties will hate them – the price to pay for having real political power).
I call all “outsiders”, i.e. active members of political groups not affiliated with the Republicans or the Democrats – the 3-d Force.
The website: www.3dForce.net gives more reasons for the goal I just outlined above.
The question is – if the leaders of the groups do not want to build an effective practical (I would say – pragmatic) collaboration, can we do anything about it?
Yes, we can!
It does not matter if you are in “DraftBernie”, or “SocialistAlternative” or else.
Ask yourself, do you want to march, protest, collect signatures, write petitions, and more, and feel good about yourself; or you want to march, protest, collect signatures, write petitions, and more, and feel good about yourself, and also having real political power?
If you like the latter, you should put some pressure on your leaders, you should tell them to set aside the ideological differences and reach out to all other political groups with establishing a coalition for achieving one specific political goal – bringing both parties in the Congress down to the minority, by taking down three Republican Senators.
The current political climate makes this task possible!
But this climate may not last for long.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Who are the real wealth creators?


Part I: it is a copy of the Facebook post by Dr. Reich (@RBReich)
"This morning Trump tweeted: "We are the highest taxed nation in the world - that will change."
Baloney. The most meaningful measure is taxes paid as a percentage of GDP. As you can see from the graph below, the U.S. has the 4th lowest taxes of any major economy. (Only South Korea, Chile, and Mexico ranking lower.)

And the wealthiest 1 percent in the U.S. pay the lowest taxes as a percent of their income and total wealth of any country anywhere – and lower than they’ve ever paid even in the U.S.
Once again, Trump and the Republicans are dealing with a non-problem, while ignoring the biggest problems.
What do you think?"

Part II: Some of the thoughts generated by this post
Let’s use that thing, I heard it’s gray, don’t know, never seen it, a brain, and try to force it into acting, people call it thinking.
Imagine that one day all WallStreet brokers disappeared, the NY Stock market isn’t open, all bankers are gone, too. And everyone who owns more than a hundred million bucks is out. What would happen? Well, at first – confusion, chaos, even panic, but soon enough new people would come and make the wheels run. It would have been a bumpy ride, but at the end a new structure would be put in place and functioning.
Now imagine that all low and middle level working folks are gone. No more baristas, drivers, nurses, teachers, professors, policemen, firemen, engineers, etc., etc. The world is left with only people who own more than $100,000,000. I am pretty sure, soon enough most of them would just die from starving.
This mental experiment is an illustration of the important fact, that people who own a lot of money are NOT wealth creators. People who work every day helping each other and creating new things – food drinks, cloth, devices – those people are wealth creators. The only reason rich are rich is because they collect from everyone – from every single one – some of the wealth created by that one. And the portion they collect has been growing and growing – disproportionally, without any reasonable explanation.  Simply because the rules have been bent in such a way that the most of the wealth created by people is taken away from them – the distribution of the wealth is being skewed greatly to the benefit of very few. And taxes play a huge role in this distribution. Not to see it means being blind, or bought, or brainwashed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The worst birthday gift to Senator Sanders

The worst birthday gift to Senator Sanders

Since the very first day of its existence, DraftBernie people dreamed of making Senator Sanders to officially join their “party”.
The feeling was NOT mutual.
Senator Sanders is the most popular politician in the Country, and it is clear why DraftBernie people want him.
But why would Senator Sanders want to join DraftBernie, or, for that matter, ANY OTHER PARTY?
The #1 thing people love about Senator Sanders is that
he IS an INDEPENDENT!
A real one.
The minute he joins a political party, he will become just one of many other politicians playing games with people and donors – at least in the eyes of many people in the country.
Does he see it the same why as I, and millions of people watching the politics, see it?

I do not know.
It remains to be seen.
On September 8, 2017, on the Senator Sander’s birthday, DraftBernie people prepared for him an “ambush”.
They invited Senator Sanders to their party – literally – to officially establish a new “progressive” political party (http://convergence2017.org/).
Of course, the event has been made to seem as a collaborative effort of many progressive movements, but at its core – it is same old DraftBernie people luring Senator Sanders into their crowd.
There are two main facts on which DraftBernie activists are building their arguments.
1. Many people who used to go with the Democrats do not like them any more (due to various reasons).
2. A large portion of the political population is represented by Independents.
However, even within this seemingly favorable political climate, DraftBernie activists are struggling with attracting peoples’ attention. They want to build “ A New Progressive Supermajority Party” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fork-in-the-national-road-new-progressive-supermajority_us_599af3b1e4b033e0fbdec630), but they cannot do it just by screaming out progressive ideas, and attacking the Democrats for not being progressive enough.
Hence, they are trying to push a pressure on Senator Sanders, using all the means available, including his birthday.
But what has Senator Sanders been doing all this time?
For starters, so far, he has been rejecting DraftBernie’s proposals.
Seemingly, he has been spending his energy on activating the leftists/progressive forces within the Democratic party. These actions are absolutely within his strategy he laid out in his book.
However, he cannot not see that the internal changes in the Democratic party require a very long time to happen. By the time those changes may happen, the political landscape may change.
People may turn away from the Democrats much sooner than the Democrats may be able to reform themselves.
That may significantly hinder Senator Sander’s political agenda. That is why he is looking for another way to proceed, which, so far, does not include joining any third party, despite the fact that many Americans do not like neither the Republicans, not the Democrats.
According to this poll (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/09/gallup-60-of-americans-want-a-new-political-party-but-why.html)A majority of Americans, 60%, say a third major political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ of representing the American people.”
However, the answers to any poll heavily depend on the way the questions have been framed. Reading the numbers in the way that 60 % of Americans are ready to vote for a single new party is just wrong.
The poll clearly says that at least 60 % of Americans do not like nether the Republicans nor the Democrats. But that is that.
All political “outsiders” (i.e. politically active people who do not want to affiliate themselves with any of the two major parties) currently represent a large number of small independent activists groups.
They do not have a significant political power.
Of course, if all those small political groups and movements would join their forces, and coordinate their actions on every possible political scale – from towns, and cities, to states, to Washington – that could make a huge difference.
But the approach chosen by DraftBernie’s people will not work.
First, they make a big mistake in treating the Democrats as an enemy.
Second, thinking that in the near historic future a third-party Presidential candidate can win is a delusion, and the way to political power should be based on a different agenda (more on this at https://teachologyforall.blogspot.com/2017/04/3party.html).
What does it all mean for Senator Bernie Sanders?
One thing for sure is that he cannot join any obscure party. That would look the same like a big-league athlete (e.g. LeBron James) would join an obscure school team (e.g. Boston University). Your first thoughts would be: "Is he dying?", or "Did he lose his mind?", or "Did he join a cult?'
And it also means that to propel his political agenda, he needs to step out his comfort zone – a political operative, and step into a new zone – as a political leader, champion, or a “messiah” (so to speak).
As the most popular politician, he has the power to converge many different groups toward himself.
But to do that, he CANNOT join any specific political party.
To do that, he has to invite everyone – every single political activist who does not want to be affiliate with the Republicans or the Democrats – to join their political forces.
Instead of stepping in DraftBernie’s party (which would be the worst birthday gift ever), Senator Sanders needs to ask everyone step toward him.
Eventually, this political activism should lead to a formal establishing of a wide coalition (more on this at www.3dForce.net).
And the Democrats need to embrace and support the formation of this political 3-d Force, because, ultimately, it will benefit their cause (https://teachologyforall.blogspot.com/2017/08/dem3df.html).
For Senator Sanders, his upcoming birthday would be a good day to make such an announcement.
That announcement would be the best birthday gift from him to the Country.

 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Why Should the Democrats Support The 3-D Force?

Why Should the Democrats Support The 3-D Force?


 

First of all, The 3-D Force is NOT a 3-d party.
In this post; https://teachologyforall.blogspot.com/2017/08/mawa.html you can find a clear description of the difference between the two.
And in this post; https://teachologyforall.blogspot.com/2017/04/3party.html you can read more on the true role of a third party in the current political climate.
DraftBernie people and other similar groups who call themselves “progressive” are at war with the Democrats.
They blame the Democrats in – well – everything bad what happened in the politics.
I do understand the reasons behind that sentiment. I also blame the top Democrats in many things, including being arrogant, shortsighted, bought by the big money, and eventually they brought to us President Trump.
However, the political calculus shows me that the Democrats are not enemies; strategically, they are allies.
And the Democrats need to understand that a new “progressive” force is the best thing which could have happened to the Democrats.
Firstly, the Democrats will have to sharpen their ideas, reshuffle the top people, and that will make the party stronger.
Secondly, every political action which brings more people into politics is good for the democracy.
But more importantly, the 3-D Force (the right one, the smart one) will be fighting the same enemy the Democrats are fighting, i.e. the Republicans.
Let’s imagine, that one Republican, one Democrat, and one 3-D Forcer are fighting for the same chair (could be a local election or a national, does not matter).
There are only five possible outcomes.
1. The Republican candidate is much stronger than all other candidates, and wins. Well, there is nothing what can be done at this point in time.
2. The Democratic candidate is much stronger than all other candidates, and wins. Well, there is nothing what can be done at this point in time.
3. The Republican and the Democratic candidates go head to head; there is no obvious leader. In that case, the 3-D Forcer will make all the difference. Two weeks before the election day the 3-D forcer can appeal to his or her supporters to through their votes to the Democrat. Why? Because most probably, the Democratic candidate will present ideas which are much closer to the ideas of the 3-D Forcer, and electing him or her would be just the right thing to do.
And that is what the 3-D Force is about – doing the right thing at the right time;
making a clear pragmatic decision (not bound by an ideological dogma).
4. Another situation may happen when all three candidates go head to head. In that case, the Democrat and the 3-D Force should negotiate and forge the agreement and go to scenario # 3.
5. Finally, the last possible outcome is that the 3-D Force candidate is obviously stronger than the other two. It means, the Democrats could not find a good candidate, hence need to rethink their approach (which is already a good thing). Also, the Democrats should agree that having the 3-D Forcer is better than the alternative.
As one can see, out of five possible situations, there is only one which is really bad for the Democrats.
And that is why the Democrats need to embrace and support the formation of the 3-D Force (www.3dForce.net).
Unfortunately, people who are trying to create the new movement (a.k.a. Convergence), so far have no correct vision of the role that movement has to play, and the strategy that movement has to follow.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

To: Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education


To: Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (https://www.mbae.org)

Dear Members of the Alliance,
The report titled “Mass. business leaders focus on real world skills, good teachers”, prepared by TheMassInk Polling Group in September 20, 2016, states, quote,
“Businesses are still struggling to fill positions, and see a disconnect between schools and preparing students for jobs.” (https://www.mbae.org/2016-ma-employer-survey-on-education-and-workforce-readiness/)
1.



2. During the course of several decades, numerous reports, analytical papers, working papers, public speeches, TV and radio shows, even bills have been focusing on the low quality of a significant part of the American recent graduates transitioning into a workforce (or even the absence of American graduates in certain important professional fields; https://teachologyforall.blogspot.com/2017/02/nostudents.html).

3. Logic forces us to make a conclusion that the problem is not local, not temporary, but systemic and systematic. This conclusion is not a surprise. Education represents a large part of a society. The social, economic, and political situation in the country is very complex and complicated, and no single existing problem has a simple and obvious solution. Old models do not work anymore.

4. It makes sense to broaden the discussion, to start the discussion from a square one, to include in the discussion people who can offer non-trivial, unorthodox views on the matter. At the least, this step would help to initiate generating of more ideas.

5. This is why I would be happy to make a short presentation to the members of the Alliance on the roots of the problems within education and the pathways to solve them.

6. I have been in the “trenches” for many years, teaching math and physics and more to many students, starting from the 5th grade and going up to a college level, a university, and teacher preparation programs. I am good at teaching (for example, you may check what students said in the past at http://www.teachology.xyz/evvv.html).

In addition to extensive and successful teaching, I also have been writing on the methodology of teaching in general, on teaching physics, and on teacher preparation (for example, you may check http://www.teachology.xyz/index.htm).

Some of my views may be seen as “perpendicular” (but not opposite) to some of the mainstream approaches. However, the majority of my ideas, principles, and techniques have been successfully used in the everyday teaching practice (you can find the summary of my work in my book: “Becoming a STEM Teacher: A Crash Course for People entering Profession”).

I believe that good education represents the core of a successful society.

Sincerely,

Dr. Valentin Voroshilov




List of Publications on Education Available Online

Eventually I will issue another book, with the collection of the publications written after my first book. I will call it “The Perpendicular Man”, because many (not all) of my views are perpendicular (not opposite!) to the mainstream views on education and in education.

1. What Would Businesses Do if No Foreign Students Could Come In the Country Anymore?

2. A note on a connection between immigration and science

3. Is Artificial Intelligence Already Actual Intelligence? 

4. Thinking about becoming a STEM teacher? Think again!

5. Will Artificial Intelligence Save, Replace or even Affect Education Practices? (a venture capitalist’s view)

6. What does an educator need to know about a brain?

7. Numbers Say: The High School Physics Teachers Shortage Will Be Fixed In 130 Years.

8. Why Did Russian Cyber Forces Beat Their U.S. Adversaries in 2016? The Answers Is Rooted In The State Of Education In The U.S.

9. Why Do Many EdTech Startups Fail? Really!

10. Will the Yidan Prize Affect the Evolution of Education? Too Soon to Say.

11. XQsupesrschool – a blessing or a waste of money?

12. To Mr. Jeff Bezos in respond to his tweet.

13. Why do students drop a class and what to do to prevent it from happening?

14. To test or not to test? This is NOT the right question!

15. Facilitating In-Service Teacher Training for Professional Development

16. How I flipped my class without even knowing it.

17. Who and why should learn physics?

18. Physics as a Door into STEM Education

19. “Physics course to Every Student! Physics into Every School!”

20. A General “Algorithm” for Creating a Solution to a Physics

21. What does “thinking as a physicist” mean?

22. Learning aides for students taking physics.

23. A Map of Operationally Connected Categories as an instrument for classifying physics problems and a basis for developing a universal standard for measuring learning outcomes of students taking physics courses (a novel tool for measuring learning outcomes in physics).

24. Math self-test for students planning on taking a physics course.

25. Some things smart people said about teaching!

26. Why do Science Teachers Leave a School?

27. Do we really know if active forms of learning better than a simple lecture?

28. Fundamental Laws of TeachOlogy: a Handbook For a Beginner Teacher

29. On the Socratic method

30. Critical Reading of “Making Sense of Confusion” by Jason E. Dowd, Ives Araujo, and Eric Mazur

31. How much of the NSF funded “fundamental” scientific educational research is really fundamental? And why The Traditional Approach Adopted by the NSF 
does Not Advance the Science of Education

32. To all business leaders, leaders of charitable organizations, philanthropists, and everyone who is not satisfied with the current state of the educational reform

33. Four Critical Educational Projects

34. Treat Education Like Space Exploration

35. Education reform needs a new paradigm.

36. How is The Third Program of the USSR Communist Party related to education reform in the USA?

37. Why have hundreds of millions of dollars been spent on developing the common core math standards if most people had not really wanted them?

38. Searching For Visionaries!

39. What Infrastructure Do We Need to Build to Promote Education Research to a True Science?

40. A concept of a truly new kind of a school as a part of a new kind of a facility designed and designated specifically to study learning and teaching processes.

41. Full elementary physics course

42. A video message to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Mss. Betsy DeVos.

43. “A Convenient Lie” or “What Research University Faculty Tell Themselves About Their Teaching”

44. My latest book "Becoming a STEM teacher: a crash course for people entering the profession".

45. What do my students say about me?

46. My short resume

47. My full resume

48. This list of publications, including not available online (including printed in peer-reviewed sources)