|(AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)|
"The 12-year-old from Florida is spending two weeks at a summer camp in a program that teaches programming skills to young people."Of course such a youth camp seems to be beneficial and of course may even be productive as far as developing skills early in life which will enhance further learning ability. But then there was the real motive further down the article which was given as to future career moves on the part of these youths who were given this head start. Our modern day world is obsessed with getting ahead and climbing the corporate ladder. Acquiring many material possessions are advertised as the key to happiness in life. But such has not been the case and such goals, which are propagated by this push for consumerism, have required a fair amount of raping the Earth for it's natural resources. Indeed, most of our globe's National economies are based on this industrial worldview of dominating markets through competition. But this philosophy is also killing our planet. Many of the promised job market promoted in the article will not even be there for the majority when they graduate.
"There will be 1.4 million computing jobs by 2020 but only 400,000 computer science students by that time, according to Code.org, a nonprofit with a list of who's who in the tech world on its advisory board including Twitter creator Jack Dorsey and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston."
"And the jobs pay well. The median annual wage for a computer programmer, for instance, was $71,380 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, jobs for network and computer systems administrators are growing at double the national average, with a median annual salary of $69,160."
(Source: Yahoo News)
"Coding Camps for Kids rise in Popularity"
This is not just a kids only issue. The countless modern day social media outlets which compete for the average adult's online obsession and multiple companies who provide electronic devises which have made addicting people to a virtual world where advertisers of consumer goods can be exploited on a constant basis is also another issue.
|Photo: R. Anderson|
"Science is passed on through
Storytelling" - Rafe Sagarin
When Existing Scientific Methods Fall Short
"The scientific method as it is usually taught to college students works by formulating a hypothesis, then devising an experiment to test that hypothesis, do the experiment and either reject, accept or modify the hypothesis depending on the outcome. But this approach, the authors say, falls short when tasked with untangling the myriad of factors that influence global process such as climate change or changes affecting entire ecosystems."
“You have to break your experiment down into very small pieces to make sure there aren't any confounding factors,” Sagarin said. “You have to focus on a very small number of variables to obtain statistically valid results, but of course climate change and other big environmental changes involve huge numbers of variables.”
In other cases, it may be unethical to test a hypothesis by performing experiments, for example when studying how changing temperatures shift the geographical distribution of organisms.“It would not be ethically acceptable to do the experiment you want to do to test this, which is transplanting species outside of their range and then see if they survive.”
In contrast, simply going out into nature and observing might lead to unexpected and valuable discoveries, as Sagarin learned during his time as an undergraduate student at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station at Monterey Bay, Calif. In his effort to learn what animals inhabited the tide pools just outside the institute, he had to dig deep into the library and dust off a scientific publication from the 1930s.
“All I did for my undergraduate thesis was repeat exactly what this guy in the 1930s had done – looking at every square yard along a transect line traversing the shoreline, counting the animals and comparing that to what he had found 60 years earlier.”
His observations, belittled by his fellow students as antiquated biological “stamp-collecting,” turned out to have a profound impact."
(Injecting my personal opinion: this is also very illustrative, not only of the youth immature behavior which would be expected, but often in our modern times this same exact type of conduct is exhibited by supposedly Adult Academics)
“We found that the numbers and varieties of species had completely changed,” Sagarin said, “and when compared to long-time records of water temperatures, our findings were consistent with the idea that the warming climate was affecting these populations. It was one of the first studies showing that climate-related change in animal communities was something that is happening right now, not something out of a computer model that may or may not happen in the future.”The beauty of looking at archived references is that quite often the present system lacks what evidence that there once was in the way the Natural World once operated, no matter how detailed, specific or what subject you may be researching. Presently, I'm reading once again both dairies and/or journals of Juan Baustista de Anza and two of those of his traveling companions on his trek from Yuma to San Jacinto Valley. Many of the things he wrote about as far as geographical regions and observable plant communities which existed back then were right on accurate, even though many of those features today are either completely gone or so altered as to be completely changed. But by a comparison I did when I first read these dairies, everything was pretty much the way he said it was as far as the ecological bio-diverse richness of these areas. Admittedly, when I first moved to Anza Valley and read a Chamber of Commerce Brochure of the area and quotes of Juan Bautista de Anza describing the area as a lush paradise, I originally considered it a joke or an economic PR campaign of the local business enterprise community. But I was dead wrong. Though the region has gone down hill ever since like so many other areas of the globe, what it once was could be rebuilt, if only studied and replicated. I then compared his Diary record to the accounts told to me when I did interviews with people in their 80s & 90s back in 1982 up in Anza California who came from families that were the original homesteaders of the area in the late 1800s and this was further clarified, confirmed and authenticated when I actually went out into the field and found some remnants of various plant indicators which told of a far different climate environment than we have at present. Or perhaps I should say at least at that time period back then of 1982. Since then things have further deteriorated and the area's forest timber line has further retreated up higher elevation slopes.
Fortunately there are others who are Field Workers so to speak, like the Chaparral Biologist Richard Halsey, his staff and followers who see for themselves how Nature actually works through hiking , exploring and hands on rebuilding techniques in Habitat Restoration Projects. Such a hands on education almost becomes burned into a person's very own DNA by means of recorded information inside brain cells. Want to learn about something and retain that information ? Then get off your back sides and get physically out in the field and observe things. Don't take my word or Richard Halsey's, Bert Wilson's, Roger Klemm's,or Rafe Sagarin's word for it, get out there and see things for yourself. Below is a photo illustration of the Chaparral Institute's program of educating people at a very young age to instill appreciation for the Chaparral Plant Community and even that in itself is a lesson for parents and/or other adults. You need to actually start from infancy training these kids while young. Parents need to stop using the Television or Internet Video Games as a baby sitter.
|Image - ChaparralConservancy.org|
Chaparralian extraordinaire Richard Halsey leads village church kids on a Chaparral Lands Conservancy Nature Walk on Carmel Mountain
|Cahuilla Olla - museumca.org|
"In the 18th and 19th century, Science was curiosity driven; now we are in an era of science-driven by need - the need created by massive global change that is forcing us to move away from the small-scale, highly controlled experimental data approach. We are forced to use any data we can get to understand this very complex, multi-scaled, global phenomenon."
"Increasingly, scientists find themselves going back to old records, such as vintage photographs of glaciers that reveal how they have receded"
"Science is becoming far more open to ways of observing the world that haven't typically been a part of academia," Sagarin said, "such such as traditional knowledge of Native Americans, local knowledge of fishermen, or loggers, or the collective efforts of citizens who count birds in their neighbourhood. In the 1930s, more people in the U.S. A. went to birding parties than to professional baseball games in their neighbourhood."
Actually, Duncan Harkleroad is one of those human story books from which if you respect an older persons experience and background knowledge of the past for which you may actually learn something. Much of the Natural World as it once was and behaved ecologically, no longer exists. This is what was meant by Rafe Sagarin when he spoke of going back into historical records and archived photographs. Some of those Archives are actually people and they are quickly disappearing. Duncan Harkleroad is one of those people. But you'd better hurry if you want to meet him. He must be in his 70s by now. You can purchase his book through Amazon, or write him as I did from the address below. You may even write directly for the book at: Duncan Harkleroad, PO BOX 390234, Anza, CA, 92539-0234