Wed Open thread: Breath of the Wild?

Hey everyone! It’s been an interesting week with lots to read.

For all of you who enjoy discussions about how private property came to exist, I recommend Privatization in the Ancient World.

And from The Economist, Escape to Another World:

Here’s a graph I happened to have on hand, not from this Economist article:

Meanwhile, for women, the struggle remains real:

And I’m sure this will make it into a post someday, but I thought it worth sharing now:

(Who’s adopting babies from America?)

 

For everyone else, how are you enjoying Breath of the Wild?

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8 thoughts on “Wed Open thread: Breath of the Wild?

  1. When I was younger, I wouldn’t think twice about buying a console, or even a new PC, for just a single game. Private school is expensive though…

    What does our cohort tend towards regarding schooling? I was planning on homeschooling, but there’s a very good Jewish school here that’s pretty strong on secular subjects, so I get to be a lazy dad for a few more years.

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    • I’m leaning towards homeschooling, mostly because schools around here seem to be either super-strict seatwork six hours a day for kindergarten, or all-in progressive schools… I would love for a school where they had straight traditional academics​ in short chunks, and plenty of time for kids to be kids (aka, recess)… Maybe it exists, but other than the occasional preschool, the buzzwords make it hard to assess… Is this school’s STEAM focus Singapore math, rigorous science labs, and figure drawing lessons, or is it some craft projects and iPad games plus some lectures on The Environment? (I figure even if I’m so disorganized in homeschooling that my kids basically are radical unschoolers, at least I’d have some message control…)

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    • Ultimately, I think that so long as the kid is happy and learning, it doesn’t matter which kind of school they attend. I have experience with “bad” public schools and “good” public schools; the principle difference in most cases is the other students. Americans tend to over-estimate the importance of particular schools or teachers on outcomes like SAT scores or future job prospects, while under-estimating their effects on kid happiness or life-long social contacts. (In this age of eternal electronic contact, it’s not unreasonable to expect that your kids might keep in contact with people they knew in elementary school long into the future.)

      I’d encourage any parent to consider various alternatives for their kid. Private schooling is expensive but can be very nice if you can afford it and your kid likes the school. Homeschooling has its obvious downsides, but it doesn’t cost much, (besides having a parent home) and you can do it anywhere; unlike mainstream schooling, you aren’t physically tied to any particular location. So you can save all of that money people often spend on a “good neighborhood” or private school and use it for other things, like financial security or long vacations in pleasant places.

      For some kids, homeschooling is genuinely the best option, but I understand parents who really can’t afford or don’t have the skills for homeschooling. Some kids get bullied at school and would rather homeschool, and some kids are social butterflies who’d be lonely at home. Some kids have academic needs–high or low–that just can’t be addressed in a regular curriculum, and some schools offer exceptional academic programs that parents can’t match. Sometimes a disabled kid qualifies for free help from their local district that’s actually, truly helpful, and sometimes disabled kids just can’t fit into the classroom/expectations.

      I know that sounds wishy-washy, but having done all of the major schooling options myself, I think it all really does come down to the individual needs of the student and their family. I think a kid would be better off unschooling in the woods than being ruthlessly bullied or being subject to an academic regime that’s a bad “fit” for them–

      –aside: from what I have personally observed in the classrooms, most kids “fit” just fine. Most teachers are hard-working professionals with lots of experience who are trained in the art of teaching things to small people. I have some gripes about Common Core Math, but math is also something I can teach at home in an hour a week, so there’s no reason to throw out the whole curriculum over this one gripe. All of the public schools I have experience with also have programs for low- and high- performing students; some of these programs are really quite exceptional. Some kids, though, still fundamentally do not “fit” well in the school they are attending, at which point school becomes a frustrating experience in learning that you suck rather than learning math. Kids with maturity/emotional issues fall here, because schools can’t really handle these; students really do need to be able to do a lot of emotional self-regulation and follow along with the class. This is why kids on younger side for their year are more likely to get medicated for ADHD–there’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just less mature than their classmates and so can’t sit still and self-regulate.–

      but for some kids, a mainstream school (public or private) really is the best place for them.

      I’ve known kids who’ve thrived in public, private, and homeschool. It’s all a matter of what’s best for that kid.

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      • I spent a semester in an Ed school program, which included sitting in on a local high school. Public school is completely off limits for me ever since. The level of indoctrination in the curriculum was absolutely bonkers. All the teachers with more than 10 years experience were stampeding for the exits and told me to quit before I was in too deep. I took their advice. It’s entirely possible that I’m overestimating the damage that postmodern curriculae is doing to young people, but the curriculum I went through as a kid in a very progressive city did a number on me, and if my kids can avoid going through communist and nihilist phases, I’ll consider my parenting a success.

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  2. I read an article a few years back about African-American kids getting adopted by Europeans… I think the focus was a family in the Netherlands…

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  3. I work for a non-profit private school. I guess you could call it “Elite” but it’s “Elite” based on merit over wealth. Only the richest families pay, the rest are on Scholarship and diversity is a key goal. It’s experiential education, with a lot of hands on, and outdoor activities. Our curriculum currently follows the International Baccalaureate. I’m not in the US and there’s only one school like us in the US but there are around 1800 IB schools there. There’s a lot of change happening right now with the curriculum and teaching styles at the upper levels. New systems are being developed. What was groundbreaking 40 years ago isn’t as much anymore because more and more schools are teaching this way.

    I’d love to see some trickle down to the public system but I think they’re hampered by pandering to the weakest students. The weakest students need help but the strongest students also need help to realize their full potential. There just doesn’t seem to be the money to do it which is kind of a farce. Being a non-profit means we have tiny budgets but giving up the huge bureaucracy allows a work environment that allows teachers and staff flexibility. It makes the work environment more positive thus encourages people that work here to give more and in other ways than just what’s written in their job description. It’s not easy but it’s effective and motivating.

    I haven’t played Breath of the Wild but it’s given me strong motivation to buy a switch. I don’t have much time to game but I’ve always been a Nintendo fan. Skipped the WiiU but Super Mario Galaxy 2 is probably my favorite game of the last decade. I don’t doubt they’ll be some gems other than Breath of the Wild coming.

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  4. Totally off topic, but we group cultures by their means of calorie production and find consistency well beyond that. It occurs to me that our postmodern breakdown includes many subgroups that are adopting cultural practices reminiscent of pre-industrial cultures. American urban blacks (versus church blacks) look an awful lot like a H&G culture. Chassidic Jews do, as well, but with holdover monogamy. Silicon Valley is starting to look pastoral.

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