Thoughts on Online Math Courses

Cerro Coso Community College offers an online AA degree in mathematics. You take three semesters of Analytic Geometry and Calculus (I, II, II), Linear Algebra, and two other elective math courses. (I don’t have to take gen ed since I have a BA or higher.)

A university lecturer friend of mine has concerns over the amount of information learned by students in online math classes, and I think it is a fair concern. Having just finished my first online math course, I thought I’d review it.

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Third Theatre To Your Left, And I’m Going To Need To See Your Assho’

Another potential target for civil lawsuits would be Century Theaters, where the shooting took place. It was reported that Holmes entered the theater through an emergency exit before throwing off gas canisters and using at least two guns in the shooting. One may wonder just how Holmes got in through the emergency exit and if the theater did enough to protect the crowds. That said, metal detectors and pat-downs aren’t standard at most U.S. movie theaters. (emphasis mine)

Sweet buttery Christ, preserve us from a future with TSA checkpoints in random public spots. Is there any civil liberty people won’t willingly give up to protect them from something scary, but incredibly unlikely?

Julian Sanchez: What Follows from “You Didn’t Build That”?

Julian Sanchez, showing why he deserves to be <heart>’ed hard and often:

Maybe, however, the point is more along the lines of the Nagel/Murphy “Myth of Ownership” argument: Since you didn’t earn whatever wealth you have all by yourself, without external help, you can’t really claim to deserve or be entitled to it—it’s a matter of luck you’re not one of those smart, hardworking people who didn’t get rich, after all—and so “we” (apparently meaning “the government”) get to take back however much “we” think is appropriate.

But this one proves rather too much doesn’t it? You didn’t assemble your own DNA, or design your own reproductive system—your parents, and before them eons of evolution, built that. If you have religious or beliefs and practices, you didn’t build that—you inherited them from a whole tradition of thought, transmitted through institutions made of other people, in books written by other people, created using printing technology invented by other people. You have views on politics you want to express? You didn’t build those alone either—and you probably even want to do it over a computer network that the government subsidized a very different and primitive early form of decades ago.

I think we all remember when Hillary Clinton approached Angela Merkel with tears in her eyes because the German Chancellor wouldn’t consider restructuring Greek debt.


Good God, your know someone is on the fringe when you cannot tell the difference between someone pretending to be a crazy feminist, and a skepchick-type feminist expressing their opinion.  That’s right, feminism in the secular movement has reached poe-tastic proportions!

So lets see if you can tell me which one of the following is someone pretending to be crazy, and which is a serious feminist (being supported by who else but ‘Freethoughtbloggers’ and skepchick).

Is it a)

There has been a lot of sexually harassing by text (textual harassment) at TAM, and therefore the skeptichicks are planning to implement a policy banning such harassment at their conferences.  To ensure that women feel safe at conferences this policy will strictly prohibit people sending unwanted text messages, specifically including the following:

( . ) ( . )


or is it b),

…that wearing a T-shirt at TAM saying that says…

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California State University, Bakersfield offers bullshit, for a small fee

So, it’s come to this.

Image (S/S: 17July2012)

California State University, Bakersfield–my beloved alma mater–is offering classes in pseudoscience. Granted it is through the extended university and also granted that the EU is generally a profit center for Universities, but that is no excuse. What doth it profit a man to gain $209 if he loses his intellectual integrity?

If you’re unaware that the three courses described above are pseudoscientific twaddle that don’t belong in a reputable University, then turn off your goddamned computer right now and pick up a book. (Start with Carl Sagan, move to James Randi, then turn your computer back on and go to

The President works in mysterious ways

I’ve noticed (though I’m by no means the first) that the religious and the politically partisan share some common thought patterns.

God is good and everything that is good comes from God. God gets 100% of the credit for good things (“Praise the lord, we found a cool apartment!”) and 0% of the blame for the bad things (“That tsunami was just a natural disaster. Maybe it was caused by man’s sin.”) If a prayer request appears to have been answered, well then it was God. If a prayer request goes unanswered, well mysterious ways. (Penn Jillette once said he wished he could play poker in mysterious ways.)
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What I meant to say…

Gerard Murphy of Catholic Monthly Newsletter has opinions.

Helping victims of a College Education

ONE tragic side effect of modern education is that it leaves many young people more obtuse than they were when they first entered college or university. They end up with their B.A.s, Ph.D.s or M.Sc.s, and not knowing God, or with no vibrant relationship with him.

Can you imagine going to school to study Mathematics and not being taught that 1+1+1 can equal 1?

Yet, having thus become no-brainers and no- hopers, they think they are so cool.

“Cool” is a word the kids today use, right?

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