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Amazon may well be the most evil company in tech

Last week, I had a hardware emergency. A kid in a small-town hardware store spent about 15 minutes helping me find the right nut. I had the troublesome part with me, and used a vise on their worktable and their wrench to twist it in place. The nut cost 50 cents. I asked the kid if he could accept tips; he said no. In front of his manager (or at least…

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Why Teachers, Parents, and Society at Large Have Destroyed Kids’ Love of Learning

I have experimented with rewarding students for embracing complexity, taking risks, and for celebrating their failures. Returning to musical theater after a 25-year break has been a valuable lesson in humility for me, and a reminder of just how scary it is — exciting and scary — to do something new. The truth—for this parent and so many others—is this: Her child has sacrificed her natural curiosity and love of…

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Employers unhappy with new generation of workers

Show up, prepared and on time, not just when you feel like it. Take directions gratefully — and this means not being offended if you’re corrected in public. Knowing a particular skill or craft is not as important as knowing how to learn new things — and that means a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, into a scary new place where there is no step-by-step YouTube tutorial…

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Television is Now the Second Screen for Kids with Tablets

Of course, not all kids have tablets, and at least some of what the kids are doing on their tablets is watching videos. There’s only so much one can draw from a survey-based study, and much more that could be learned from a controlled experiment that actually gives kids the choice and reports what they do. [I]n households where tablets and smartphones are accessible, they’ve now taken the lead with…

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On Night, Darkness & the Past

When we banish the dark, what do we lose? The stars, of course. But what else? Archaeologist Colleen Morgan reflects. In Turkey and Jordan I’d sleep on the roof, watching shooting stars and satellites, feeling the depth of space all around me. In cities, hell, in most places, all the artificial light flattens the sky, makes it a far-away, vaulted ceiling. In moonless nights in the desert the night sky consumes you,…

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Boosting the Signal: Peaceful Protesters in Baltimore are the Norm

Video of people throwing rocks or burning cars appeals to our baser emotions (anger, fear, disgust), which leads to faster, more intense emotional responses that TV can use to make money (by packaging our eyeballs and selling them to advertisers). TV news is very good at capturing our attention. Images of hundreds of peaceful, determined faces appeal to our higher emotions, which are not as easy to monetize. I want…