The Copenhagen Wheel

Friday, December 20th, 2013

The Copenhagen Wheel is now available for pre-order — for just $799:

The Education-Industrial Complex

Friday, December 20th, 2013

The education business has a short memory, Steve Sailer notes, which keeps it from getting discouraged but also prevents it from learning from its mistakes:

One reason fads are so common in public schools is that the incentive structure pays more to administrators with Ph.D.’s. A doctorate in education means you came up with some gimmick and then spent a few years documenting it. Education schools are thus novelty generation machines. Nobody gets to call himself “Doctor” for being good at making old ideas work together.

Outside of Ed schools, however, novelty isn’t enough.

Media Liars

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I’m Lying) recommends 14 books that show you how the media really works:

The Brass Check: A Study of American Journalism by Upton Sinclair
Nearly 100 years ago, Upton Sinclair self-published this muckraking exposé of the corrupt and broken press system in America. It will change your understanding of journalism much in the same way that The Jungle changed your perceptions of industrial agriculture in that era and in today’s times. The title is a reference to prostitutes, which in Mr. Sinclair’s estimation, most journalists were. It’s a fitting indictment even now, when journalists are paid by the number of pageviews their articles get, or worse, churn them out in the digital equivalent of a sweatshop. There is not a page in this book that does not apply as much today as it did back then and every person whose life or career is affected by the media in any way needs to read this book.

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America by Daniel J. Boorstin
Our former Librarian of Congress wrote this book, but don’t let that scare you away. Because in 1960, before talk radio, Fox News or blogs, he was able to successfully predict the false reality and echo chamber that our media culture was going to become. According to Mr. Boorstin, a “pseudo-event” is any event or announcement created solely for the purpose of getting the attention of the media. This creates a kind of unreality, where everyone is performing not for the people but for publicity. Well today, when 99% of the news is a press conference, press release, premiere party, “leak,” “exclusive,” or celebrity tweet, you have to say he was right.

Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism by W. Joseph Campbell
Let’s be clear: there was no golden age of journalism. The media has always been bad. And instead of improving, it spent a lot of time and energy making up its own myth. The reality is that William Randolph Hearst and the yellow press did not cause a war with Spain. Walter Cronkite did not end the Vietnam War by turning against it. People did not riot in the streets when passages from The War of the Worlds were read over the radio. And it wasn’t the Washington Post that brought down Nixon. All of that was media myth making. The news is notoriously inaccurate and our memory of it is even worse.

This thinking sounds familiar:

I get that a lot of these books are old. Some are really old. But that’s a good thing. It means they stood the test of time and survived many media — from print to radio to TV to cable to the internet. I’m convinced they will still be relevant fifty years from now, which is why I am hoping you’ll read them and benefit from them.

What you’ll understand from each of them is that the real threat of media manipulation doesn’t come from the outside. It comes from the media itself. They are the real manipulators — not publicists, not politicians or the CIA.

Strong Genetic Influence on Educational Achievement

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

A recent PLOS ONE paper reports a strong genetic influence on a educational achievement — in the UK, at the end of compulsory education there, at age 16:

We have previously shown that individual differences in educational achievement are highly heritable in the early and middle school years in the UK. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether similarly high heritability is found at the end of compulsory education (age 16) for the UK-wide examination, called the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). In a national twin sample of 11,117 16-year-olds, heritability was substantial for overall GCSE performance for compulsory core subjects (58%) as well as for each of them individually: English (52%), mathematics (55%) and science (58%). In contrast, the overall effects of shared environment, which includes all family and school influences shared by members of twin pairs growing up in the same family and attending the same school, accounts for about 36% of the variance of mean GCSE scores. The significance of these findings is that individual differences in educational achievement at the end of compulsory education are not primarily an index of the quality of teachers or schools: much more of the variance of GCSE scores can be attributed to genetics than to school or family environment.

This should surprise no one.

Their suggestion doesn’t seem to rely especially on their findings:

We suggest a model of education that recognizes the important role of genetics. Rather than a passive model of schooling as instruction (instruere, ‘to build in’), we propose an active model of education (educare, ‘to bring out’) in which children create their own educational experiences in part on the basis of their genetic propensities, which supports the trend towards personalized learning.

Personalized learning makes sense regardless of where the variation comes from.

Korean Gamer, Kim Dong-hwan Gets Special U.S. Visa

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Professional StarCraft player Kim Dong-hwan couldn’t get a student visa to come to the US, but he could get an athletic visa:

His manager, Andrew Tomlinson, put together a lengthy application of around 500 pages, including recommendations from members of the gaming community.

Bingo. The U.S. authorities approved Mr. Kim’s application earlier this month, granting him a P-1 Visa with a five-year term.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Securities says a P-1 visa is for someone “internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.”

Foreign baseball players joining the U.S. Major League usually enter the U.S. with the same visa.

Peak Parsi

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

In 1941, the religious community of the Parsis in India peaked at 115,000, Volkmar Weiss remarks:

This 0.03% of the population of India provided 7% of all engineers and 5% of all physicians in the entire country. Parsi female literacy today is 97%, the highest in India. For generations their women have been educated, they study and marry late and end up having fewer children. Since 1953 their birth rate has sunk below the magic number of two, and may at present be even less than one per family. If this does not change, by 2020 there will likely be only about 23,000 Parsis in India. The Parsis symbolize – even in a more pronounced way than the secularized Jews – the fate of the industrialized society and of its elites. The Parsis, who have been characterized (Kulke, 1974) as “engines of social change”, share their fate with the childless feminists. Because they will have exterminated themselves by failing to reproduce, the culture they represent will be replaced by the culture of those who are more prolific.

Situational Awareness and Good Sense

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

If you see someone who is advertising their criminal tendencies and your alert level goes up, that doesn’t make you racist, police officer Chris Hernandez argues:

It means you’ve got some sense, you don’t ignore obvious signs of danger and you’re being situationally aware. If you spot an obvious threat like those I’ve described, then identify pre-assault indicators, you may have just saved your life.

Note that the victim in this assault does not appear to be paying any particular attention to his surroundings. He’s simply walking down what appears to be an alley, face forward, minding his own business. He doesn’t seem to give a second thought to the fact that the young black males approaching him are spread out almost all the way across the alley, leaving him only a small gap to pass through. And he takes no action at all when one of the young males moves sideways toward him. My guess is that the victim never recognized any signs of impending danger. In this case the young males don’t, by appearance alone, seem to be threatening. But some of their behavior before the attack certainly suggests a threat.

Let’s look at the first indicator I mentioned. The young males are spread out, taking up most of the alley. While that might just mean those kids are selfish jerks, it could also be an intentional effort to channelize the victim into what we soldiers call a “choke point”: an area where a victim’s freedom of movement and action are restricted. When soldiers plant land mines, dig ditches and emplace concrete obstacles, it’s not to simply stop enemy vehicles. It’s to force them into a specific area, like a narrow mountain pass, where they can be easily ambushed. Those attackers did the same thing to their KO game victim.

Now take another look at the video, right around the 00:21 mark. Even in the blurry, distant video you can see the attacker make an obvious, deliberate move to his left just prior to throwing the punch. While it might seem that the victim had almost no time to react before being punched, he actually had more than enough. If he had noticed the signs, he could have stopped and waited for the group to pass. He could have kept his eyes on the young men, giving the non-verbal clue that he was watching them as closely as they were watching him. Even if he had walked into the choke point they created, he still could have ducked or sidestepped once he saw the punch about to be thrown. Any of those countermeasures could have kept him from laying facedown and unconscious on the pavement.

But here are my questions: did the victim walk blindly into an ambush even though he felt uncomfortable when he saw the group of young black males approaching him? Did he intentionally disregard signs of danger, because he didn’t want to appear racist?

One night I arrested a murder suspect. He had stabbed someone to death at a bar, and I found him the next night as he was hurriedly loading possessions into a truck prior to his planned escape from town. I snuck up and surprised him in his front yard; when I ordered him to put his hands up and lay on his stomach he ignored me, protested his innocence and started walking toward me.

I repeated the order. He ignored it and kept coming. He wasn’t cursing, he wasn’t saying “I’m going to kill you”, his demeanor suggested he was friendly. But his actions told a different story. He kept ignoring my commands. He kept walking toward me, despite the fact that he could easily hear me from where he was. He kept talking over me, trying to appear casual. He was about to attack.

Because my flashlight was in his face, he couldn’t see my pistol pointed at him. Despite his apparent friendliness, I knew he was “innocently” closing distance. I expected him to go for a knife, and was ready to shoot him. The sudden appearance of another officer made the suspect stop.

But here’s the twist. The suspect was an illegal alien. He was speaking Spanish as he protested his innocence. Was I being “insensitive”, not considering that he may have been confused rather than uncooperative? Was I stereotyping by assuming he had a knife? Should I have given him the benefit of the doubt and not kept my pistol on him?

It turned out I had arrested the suspect once before, and he had been verbally aggressive and threatening. When I saw him in court later he cursed me out. His friendliness was just an act. Had I given him the benefit of the doubt, and if I hadn’t had backup, I have no doubt he would have stabbed me.

One night I had to run a mental patient off from a truck stop. He had been there for hours bothering customers. I didn’t realize he was a mental patient until I saw the sunglasses he was wearing (at night) still had the “Made in China” sticker on a lens. That, and when I told him he had to leave his first question was, “But then where will I get refreshments?”

I asked for his name and date of birth, then called in a warrant check. The man hadn’t been threatening before that. But as soon as he heard give his name over the radio, he went silent, dropped to one knee, hung his head and covered his face.

I backed away, drew pepper spray and made sure I had space to go sideways if he came at me. When he suddenly sprang back to his feet, angrily demanding to know why I was harassing him, I was prepared for an attack. But he didn’t come at me, maybe because he saw my stance and intermediate weapon in my hand. He left peacefully.

He was black. His race had nothing to do with it. I saw black customers in that truck stop all night, every night; nobody called the police on them and I didn’t run them off. But his behavior made the employees call the police, and his unmistakable pre-assault indicator made me take defensive measures.

On another night I stopped two black men in an area known for narcotics trafficking. The passenger looked like a crackhead. The driver was well-dressed, polite and articulate, but was nervous as hell. I asked the driver to step out and walk to the hood of my car.

The driver and I had a pleasant conversation. Until I asked for consent to search his pockets. Then he stiffened up, went silent for a few moments. When he turned around and put his hands on the hood, his back was rigid and head held way high. I could feel his heart racing as I checked his front pockets. But I also noticed something else, which was even more threatening. His passenger, still sitting in the car, was turned almost all the way around, watching us intently. He was waiting for something to happen.

I broke off the search. The driver was probably about to fight, and the passenger would likely have joined in. I was by myself, with backup at least a couple of minutes away. I chose discretion over valor.

Later that night, I found the driver again. His passenger wasn’t with him. I went ahead and searched the driver that time. And he resisted, because he had about ten rocks of crack in his pocket.

Was I racist for asking to search the driver, or for suspecting he was about to fight? No. I recognized behavioral clues. But one night on another call, I totally missed the signs.

A friend and I arrived on a disturbance call in the projects. The call wasn’t serious, and we detained a “suspect” who wasn’t acting the least bit threatening toward us. He was about 19, tall and thin, wearing saggy, loose-fitting running pants with a drawstring. We asked him to sit on the curb. He complied, and my friend stayed by him while I went to the patrol car’s computer to check him for warrants. As I got in the car, I absentmindedly noticed that the young man had pulled his pants up and was tying the drawstring.

The young man was wanted for violating probation on a felony charge. I walked back to the young man and tried to grab him. From his sitting position, he bolted. We lost him.

That kid knew he had a warrant. When I went to my car he knew I would see the warrant hit. He casually tied his drawstring so his sagging pants wouldn’t interfere when he ran. I missed that obvious clue, and was lucky it was a “pre-run” rather than “pre-assault” indicator.

So what did I learn from the above examples? I learned that watching for clues is much more important than looking at race. Yes, race can matter; I doubt anyone would argue that black victims of Klan assaults in 1950?s Alabama shouldn’t have paid attention to certain white males around them. But race isn’t the most important indicator, and isn’t what I would tell anyone to watch for.

Look for behavior. Look for nonverbal clues. Ask yourself why someone is taking the actions they’re taking. Don’t be afraid to take steps to protect yourself, whether they’re small steps like changing direction or big steps like drawing a weapon. Remember that for all the media attention paid to the Knockout Game, the chances of you becoming a victim are infinitesimally small. Remember that KO Game players can be multiracial. And remember that being aware of your surroundings, looking for pre-assault indicators and exercising good judgment does not make you racist.

Wrestler-Turned-Politician Inoki Plans Trip to Pyongyang

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Japanese pro-wrestler-turned-politician Antonio Inoki is planning another trip to North Korea:

A nationally recognized professional wrestler known for his protruding jaw and for slapping people to “instill the fighting spirit,” Mr. Inoki is popular in North Korea for being the protege of the late Rikidozan. The legendary wrestler originally hailed from Korea and is considered the founder of professional wrestling in Japan. Coincidentally, Sunday was the 50th anniversary of Rikidozan’s death in 1963.

You may be wondering, so, how did Rikidozan die, anyway?

On December 8, 1963, while partying in a Tokyo nightclub, Rikid?zan was stabbed with a urine-soaked blade by a man named Katsuji Murata who belonged to the ninky? dantai Sumiyoshi-ikka. Reportedly, Rikid?zan threw Murata out of the club and continued to party, refusing to seek medical help.

Another report states that Rikid?zan did indeed see his physician shortly after the incident, and was told the wound was not serious. He died a week later of peritonitis on December 15. It is rumored by Kimura that his murder was in retaliation for when Rikidozan attacked Kimura during a wrestling match, after Kimura delivered an errant kick to Rikidozan’s groin, ignoring a pre-match arrangement and attacking Kimura for real.

Paleo Manifesto Author John Durant

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

“When I’m talking to a libertarian,” John Durant (The Paleo Manifesto) says, “and I make the point that the USDA food pyramid is not God’s truth, they’re like, ‘Oh, right, of course it isn’t.’”:

The talk isn’t really about libertarianism — or even about the paleo diet.

Stanene

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Stanene — atom-thick tin — is a topological insulator:

While the interior of such a material is an electrical insulator, the outside edges and surfaces are electrically conductive. If exploited properly, this weird property of topological insulators can make it possible for electrons to flow without resistance.

To understand, an explanation of how electrons move in topological insulators is needed. Like tiny twirling bar magnets with north and south poles, electrons spin as they move around in a material. When electrons move around in the surfaces and edges of topological insulators, the direction of their spin becomes aligned with the direction of their flow. A consequence of this effect — known as the quantum spin Hall state — is that flowing electrons can’t easily reverse direction. That is true even if they hit an impurity within the material — an event that in normal conductors causes electrons to scatter backwards and dissipate energy.

When electrons travel along the surface of a three-dimensional topological insulator, they generally can’t bounce backwards, but they can still jostle each other sideways, wasting energy. But in two-dimensional topological insulators — surfaces that are just one atom thick — flowing electrons become restricted to a single lane, eliminating all interference. Recent experiments confirm that electrons can zip along the edges of flat topological insulators with 100 percent efficiency.

In the past decade, researchers have made topological insulators from compounds of electron-rich, heavy elements including mercury, bismuth, antimony, tellurium and selenium. None of them were perfect conductors of electricity at room temperature. Then Stanford University theoretical physicist Shoucheng Zhang and colleagues decided to investigate tin, a similarly electron-rich, heavy element. The team’s calculations suggest that single-atom layers of tin are topological insulators where electrons flow perfectly at and above room temperature.

Tom Wolfe-Lite Social Satire

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Steve Sailer describes David Brooks’ The Thought Leader as Tom Wolfe-Lite social satire:

As a literary format for fictional social satire, Brooks’ method where the main character ages but society doesn’t has some major advantages for both author and reader. The most natural genre for novelists is the lightly fictionalized autobiographical novel, but what it was like to grow up in, say, Westchester County in the 1980s isn’t necessarily all that galvanizing a subject matter in 2013, especially for somebody of satirical bent: hair metal bands really aren’t that funny anymore. They’ve been done. We’re more interested in the author poking fun at what’s going on right now, but an autobiographical character can only live in 2013 for a year.

So, Brooks’ invention is to write an autobiographical novel always set in the eminently satirizable present.

The traditional alternative for a The Way We Live Now satirical novel is to invent a bunch of realistic characters of different ages and different backgrounds and have them interact in a well-crafted plot. But, that’s hard work. Wolfe, for example, only was fully successful at it in The Bonfire of the Vanities. Hence, this Brooks method has promise as a genre that shouldn’t demand as much talent and time from the author as traditional ones.

I presume somebody else in the long history of literature did this before Brooks, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of who.

Terracotta Warriors Inspired by Ancient Greek Art

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The famous terracotta warriors buried near the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor, were inspired by ancient Greek art:

Before the First Emperor’s time, life-size sculptures were not built in China, and Nickel argues the idea to build so many of them, so suddenly, came from kingdoms in Asia that had been created and influenced by Alexander the Great’s campaigns.

Nickel translated ancient Chinese records that tell a tale of 12 giant statues, clad in “foreign robes” that “appeared” in Lintao in what was the westernmost part of China. (The word “Lintao” can also mean any place far to the west.)

The records do not say how this appearance happened, who brought them there, or who exactly the statues depicted; they do reveal the statues were larger than life, rising about 38 feet (11.55 meters) high, with feet that were 4.5 feet long (1.38 m). They so impressed the First Emperor that he decided to build 12 duplicates in front of his palace by melting down bronze weapons that had been used for war.

On each duplicate an inscription was created telling of the “giants” (the original statues) that appeared in Lintao. The inscriptions, recorded by Yan Shigu, who lived around 1,400 years ago and used an earlier written source, said that in the “26th Year of the Emperor, when he first brought together all-under-heaven, divided the principalities into provinces and districts, and unified the weights and measures, giants appeared in Lintao …”

The First Emperor duplicated these statues despite a “heavenly taboo” that “he who recklessly follows foreign models will encounter disaster,” wrote Ban Gu, a historian who lived almost 2,000 years ago. Ban worked for the dynasty that had overthrown the First Emperor’s dynasty and, as such, tried to cast him in a negative light.

These giant duplicates no longer exist, having been destroyed in the centuries after the First Emperor’s death. Because the duplicates were displayed publicly in front of the First Emperor’s palace ancient writers left records of them behind, Nickel told LiveScience. Meanwhile, the Terracotta Warriors, though they survive to present day, were buried in pits out of sight and, as such, no record of them survives today.

The Thought Leader

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

David Brooks describes the Thought Leader:

The Thought Leader is sort of a highflying, good-doing yacht-to-yacht concept peddler. Each year, he gets to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative, where successful people gather to express compassion for those not invited. Month after month, he gets to be a discussion facilitator at think tank dinners where guests talk about what it’s like to live in poverty while the wait staff glides through the room thinking bitter thoughts.

He doesn’t have students, but he does have clients. He doesn’t have dark nights of the soul, but his eyes blaze at the echo of the words “breakout session.”

Many people wonder how they too can become Thought Leaders and what the life cycle of one looks like.

In fact, the calling usually starts young. As a college student, the future Thought Leader is bathed in attention. His college application essay, “I Went to Panama to Teach the Natives About Math but They Ended Up Teaching Me About Life,” is widely praised by guidance counselors. On campus he finds himself enmeshed in a new social contract: Young people provide their middle-aged professors with optimism and flattery, and the professors provide them with grade inflation. He is widely recognized for his concern for humanity. (He spends spring break unicycling across Thailand while reading to lepers.)

Not armed with fascinating ideas but with the desire to have some, he launches off into the great struggle for attention. At first his prose is upbeat and smarmy, with a peppy faux sincerity associated with professional cheerleading.

Within a few years, though, his mood has shifted from smarm to snark. There is no writer so obscure as a 26-year-old writer. So he is suddenly consumed by ambition anxiety — the desperate need to prove that he is superior in sensibility to people who are superior to him in status. Soon he will be writing blog posts marked by coruscating contempt for extremely anodyne people: “Kelly Clarkson: Satan or Merely His Spawn?”

Of course the writer in this unjustly obscure phase will develop the rabid art of being condescending from below. Of course he will confuse his verbal dexterity for moral superiority. Of course he will seek to establish his edgy in-group identity by trying to prove that he was never really that into Macklemore.

Fortunately, this snarky phase doesn’t last. By his late 20s, he has taken a job he detests in a consulting firm, offering his colleagues strategy memos and sexual tension. By his early 30s, his soul has been so thoroughly crushed he’s incapable of thinking outside of consultantese. It’s not clear our Thought Leader started out believing he would write a book on the productivity gains made possible by improved electronic medical records, but having written such a book he can now travel from medical conference to medical conference making presentations and enjoying the rewards of being T.S.A. Pre.

By now the Thought Leader uses the word “space” a lot — as in, “Earlier in my career I spent a lot of time in the abject sycophancy space, but now I’m devoting more of my energies to the corporate responsibility space.”

The middle-aged Thought Leader’s life has hit equilibrium, composed of work, children and Bikram yoga. The desire to be snarky mysteriously vanishes with the birth of the first child. His prose has never been so lacking in irony and affect, just the clean translucence of selling out.

He’s succeeding. Unfortunately, the happy moment when you are getting just the right amount of attention passes, and you don’t realize you were in this moment until after it is gone.

The tragedy of middle-aged fame is that the fullest glare of attention comes just when a person is most acutely aware of his own mediocrity. By his late 50s, the Thought Leader is a lion of his industry, but he is bruised by snarky comments from new versions of his formerly jerkish self. Of course, this is when he utters his cries for civility and good manners, which are really just pleas for mercy to spare his tender spots.

“Is this the cynical David Brooks?” Tyler Cowen wonders. “The Straussian David Brooks? Both? Something else altogether?”

Sending Plants to the Moon

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

NASA is planning on sending plants to the moon — or, rather, on having plants sent to the moon:

Can humans live and work on the moon? Not just visit for a few days but stay for decades? A first step in long term presence is to send plants. As seedlings, they can be as sensitive as humans to environmental conditions, sometimes even more so. They carry genetic material that can be damaged by radiation as can that of humans. They can test the lunar environment for us acting as a “canary in a coal mine”.

If we send plants and they thrive, then we probably can. Thriving plants are needed for life support (food, air, water) for colonists. And plants provide psychological comfort, as the popularity of the greenhouses in Antarctica and on the Space Station show.

Good idea, but how can we send plants to the Moon soon? Hitchhiking. Thanks to Google, there are many potential rides to the moon in the near future, with commercial spacecraft companies competing to collect the Google Lunar X-Prize in 2015.

We are constructing a small technology demonstration unit to study germination of plants in lunar gravity and radiation on the Moon. The self-contained habitat will have a mass of about 1 kg and would be a payload on a commercial lunar lander – the Moon Express lander, part of the Google Lunar X-prize competition. After landing in late 2015, water will be added to the seeds in the module and their growth will be monitored for 5-10 days and compared to Earth based controls. Seeds will include Arabidopsis, basil, and turnips. This will be the first life sciences experiment on another world and an important first step in the utilization of plants for human life support. Follow up experiments will improve the technology in the growth module and allow for more extensive plant experiments.

Minimizing the IQ You Need

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Civilization is a device for minimizing the amount of fluid intelligence you need to function, Steve Sailer says:

You don’t need to turn military history into a superb epic oral poem like The Iliad anymore: you just write it down. Nowadays, you don’t have to go the library to read it. You can look it up on the Internet.

A huge problem with educational reform efforts is that they are typically designed by people who have high confidence in their own fluid intelligence [IQ] relative to the average. Combine that with the contradictory dogma that students must all have equally high fluid intelligence — Jefferson wouldn’t have written it into the Declaration of Independence if it weren’t true — and you wind up with remarkably little critical thinking about education fads like critical thinking.

In contrast, the military tends to assume that everybody is an idiot who will find a way to screw up massively and probably get himself and large numbers of people around him killed, so it’s best to break things down into simple steps so soldiers can rely upon crystallized intelligence [knowledge and skills] rather than fluid intelligence.

But the notion that the public schools can learn anything from the military has been out of fashion for just under 50 years. The people who took control of education 45 years ago may talk all the time about critical thinking skills, but they sure don’t like critical thinking about themselves and their ideas.