Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Skills Do You Have? Kelvin Doe is 15 Years Old and a Self-Taught MIT Prodigy from Sierra Leone



This young man is an inspiration.

If the system falls down, and the big Reset comes, he will be running Bartertown. I doubt he will need a version of Masterblaster to keep control: Kelvin Doe is so sharp, he may invent a cyborg or some type of improvised power armor to serve as his enforcer(s).

Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, the Fukushima event, and other disasters, both man made and willed by Mother Nature, are reminders that most of us do not have the skills necessary to rebuild following such near cataclysms.

We have skills that are "practical" and "useful" for life in an information based economy where we can rely on either other's specializations.

For example, as suggested by the grand social theorist Emile Durkheim, societies are organized around systems of either "mechanical" or "organic" solidarity.

The former are highly regimented, very hierarchical, "traditional," and where individuals are not highly differentiated from each other in terms of their skill sets.

The latter are post-industrial and modern. They consist of highly specialized types of laborers, living in a culture that is more individualistic, and where the members are dependent on one another. These relationships (and the resulting social cohesion) are ostensibly enforced by means that are less coercive than those used in tribal and traditional societies, where clan groups, religion, and kinship networks are used to tie individuals together.

Watching this young autodidact and engineer from Sierra Leonne, I am forced to do my own skills assessment. I can fix some things, but not anything highly technical. I have a loose understanding of the principles underlying how electricity works in the abstract. But, I could not build you a generator. I can explain how a combustion engine works. I could not build one or do major repairs without a shop manual. At best, an academic type like myself would be taking lessons from young Mr. Doe to avoid being a mere laborer. Maybe, I could be a scribe, or a senior adviser, if I were lucky and proved my worth to him as someone wise, manipulative, contemplative, and devious when necessary.


Our post-industrial, service based, information age society is so very fragile: it is built upon the premise of disposability and "creative destruction. Do the folks who keep its computers and networks running, even know how to build a vacuum tube based or analog computer from scratch? Where would they find the parts? Could these wizards of information fix the very machines which they use on a daily basis?

Paper and books last for centuries or millenia. Digital files and "The Cloud" are ephemeral. What to do in a mass crisis, with a society that is built to disappear, where information is simultaneously both omnipresent and diffuse through the Internet, but where it does not actually exist in a real, tangible sense (except in archives, libraries, and the Government Printing Office repositories where we would all have to go in order to dig up some Cold War era pamphlets to restart our world)?

Kelvin Doe is an inspiration. His personal strength reinforces my deep commitment to always be unapologetic in how I call out and expose the deleterious impact of social inequality in the United States. How many young geniuses are wasting away in our failed public schools? What of the children who could change the world, but they are stuck in impoverished communities in our cities, rural communities, and out on the rez?

Racism, classism, and sexism are human productivity problems. Their great crimes against the Common Good, were of course, the micro and macro level assaults on human dignity, agency, and freedom. This was not the full extent of the offense. All of us suffer(ed) when talented people are not given the opportunity and resources to succeed, and where systems of privilege allow human mediocrities to do extremely well--e.g. the United States government's long history of subsidizing the upward mobility of white men, regardless of their skills or abilities--when they should be allowed to fail on their own merits.

Economic policies which encourage extreme wealth and income inequality help to perpetuate this system as well.

As we have seen in the Great Recession, inherited money becomes an entitlement where its beneficiaries believe that they are "innovators," "job creators," or especially "talented." In reality, the vast majority of the 1 percent are sitting on money made years ago and have confused their rent seeking behavior, and financial gambling, with economically productive activities. The gangster capitalists and the plutocrats are economic vultures who want the American people to believe that sacrificing their literal and metaphorical bodies to the financial carrion eaters is an act of noble sacrifice for "freedom" and "democracy." The Ayn Randians in the Tea Party GOP and their Right-wing talking point minions want you to die for them...and to be happy while doing it.

Some practical questions.

What can we do to support prodigies like Young Master Kelvin Doe in the United States? Why must the American leadership and elite class look abroad to Africa or Asia to find such talent, when it is right here in this country?

The global elite class is multicultural and multi-ethnic. What are we doing, if anything, to prepare all of our young people for this reality?

52 comments:

Steven Augustine said...

Simultaneously inspiring and worthy of bitter tears.

Steven Augustine said...

PS The kid comes right out the box with the *perfect* Sci Fi name, too!

Steven Augustine said...

@2:31: stripping copper wire with his teeth! The Old School Nerds will recognize that one immediately!

Adam H said...

Beautiful video. A point of contention on your:

"Paper and books last for centuries or millenia. Digital files and "The Cloud" are ephemeral. What to do in a mass crisis, with a society that is built to disappear, where information is simultaneously both omnipresent and diffuse through the Internet, but where it does not actually exist in a real, tangible sense (except in archives, libraries, and the Government Printing Office repositories where we would all have to go in order to dig up some Cold War era pamphlets to restart our world)?"

The information stored in the cloud (and other platforms) does in fact exist on servers and data centers which are backed up frequently. In reality , the form of storage is nearly as secure as print form, and just as real. The only place where the medium falls short is in its vulnerability to malicious activity (whether state actors or cyber criminals). This can also happen with books, but it requires a very different kind of cunning and risk to get it done.

I just want to warn against looking too nostalgically at the yeomen of the past who could build there own radios, etc (while I know that was not the point of your article). We have the expertise in the united states to put things back together if they fall apart, and many a technician would be wasting his time to know how to do that kind of thing when he could be focused on developing higher level systems while understanding what's beneath his feet on a decent enough level. Fortunately electronics are not nearly as advanced as most lay people assume, but rather the technologies are used in such a creative fashion that the illusion of "high-tech" is easy to come by.

All this is to say that we're still in the newtonian world here, and anyone reasonably schooled in logic should be able to put our society back together without cold war era pamphlets.

Other than al that, I couldn't agree more with the article.

chaunceydevega said...

@Adam. thanks for the teaching. Some questions, what if there is an emp? a computer virus? hell, what is the electricity goes out and the network is not maintained? floods that destroy cell towers and take down fiber optics? books can survive such things--the Cloud? digital information?

Can the average sys admin or software designer make a computer from scratch or even get the parts together to make an old school computer with switches and vacuum tubes?

I have a friend who is an archivist. He was explaining how even accessing information stored using old and out of date computer programs or media is increasingly difficult and in some cases not possible. Paper, brick, and mortar lasts. Will our digital plastic society make it? The info on CDs disassociates over time, correct? What about all of the digital info that is not backed up on paper?

There is a great book called A Canticle for Leibowitz. Classic hardcore sci-fi set in a post apocalyptic future. You would like it as the book engages many of these questions.

Black Sage said...

Why must the American leadership and elite class look abroad to Africa or Asia to find such talent, when it is right here in this country? – ChaunceyD

Those who consider themselves to be in collective control of this empire of ours don’t want Shaniqua, Jesus or Jamaal to develop their inherent talent because it is in fact a threat to the current power structure in place. The empire’s Plutocrats want nothing less and nothing more than a trained underclass, as opposed to an educated class of people.

Conversely, peering back through the annals of history, a trained underclass poses no threat, just as it is right now. They are usually happy with just having a job to pay the bills.

The so-called elites do not want an educated class of people where everyone is wholeheartedly nurtured and encouraged to reach their full potential. This will not happen because an educated class of people not only threatens the power structure, it shortens the apparatchik’s longevity and it will eventually remove the plinths upon which it rests.

And to answer your last question: “What are we doing, if anything, to prepare all of our young people for this reality?

The elites aren’t doing anything to prepare our youths on the home front for fear of being gradually uprooted from their lofty social and political positions.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Those who consider themselves to be in collective control of this empire of ours don’t want Shaniqua, Jesus or Jamaal to develop their inherent talent because it is in fact a threat to the current power structure in place. The empire’s Plutocrats want nothing less and nothing more than a trained underclass, as opposed to an educated class of people.

This is false. Entire professional fields are devoted to black uplift in one form or another. Too many underclass instead believe that the only way to be "authentic" is to keep themselves and their children as ineducable and unemployable as possible. The special and talented, such as this fellow from Sierra Leone, will find a way to break through. Too many others, believing themselves to have no prospects, just slap away society's helping hand and never even try.

chaunceydevega said...

@sanity and black sage. interesting. we may have a classic, right vs. left, institutions/structures versus behavioralism/culture/values debate jumping off here.

it is always fun when sociology magically occurs. done being a social science geek, but just had to note the context.

The Sanity Inspector said...

I might add that I have kept my eye on a number of remarkable black kids coming up over the years. It's great to see all of them succeed, but it's even better when it's children from a single parent home, because I know the odds they're overcoming.

Then there are the ones who frivol away their opportunities and then come down with a huge case of PMS: Poor Me Syndrome.

Razor said...

Ditto SA on the bittersweetness of CD's article.

Black Sage...I feel you.

Sanity Inspector, have you been hanging out with Cory Booker by any chance?

CD, I really liked the your piece and agree with much of what you said, but fear that you forgot to include the Democrats along with the Republicans when doling out the political obstructionists to the uplift of yuong people like young Kelvin Doe. It's OK now..the election is over.

Case in point, and I apologize for being a little off direct point, but like CNu, I have a burr in my side. It is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is agreement between hundreds of multinational corporations and most of the world's largest governments, including the US government, which has been being negotiated in secret, which will effectively create a private corporate control of those governments, having superseding power over the laws of the members-countries, including the US. If it is accomplished, despite the growing ourage following the disclosure of the leaked document's devast.atingly draconion provisions, tthere won't be much difference between the conditions of the people of Sierra Leone and the US. Research it.

Black Sage said...

This is false. Entire professional fields are devoted to black uplift in one form or another. Too many underclass instead believe that the only way to be "authentic" is to keep themselves and their children as ineducable and unemployable as possible. The special and talented, such as this fellow from Sierra Leone, will find a way to break through. Too many others, believing themselves to have no prospects, just slap away society's helping hand and never even try. – The Sanity Inspector

Huh! Indeed, there is nothing more non-promising than empty rhetoric, even more so when such nonsense is spoken by a self described Sanity Inspector. Self reflection does the most good when it’s applied to the man in the mirror.

What entire fields are devoted to Black uplift?

And if there are entire fields devoted to Black uplift, how come we haven’t seen a prodigy produced by them much like the kid from Sierra Leone?

In what form or another?

Do you truly believe that there are quite a few people within the underclass who want nothing more than to see their kids suffer through a life of hurts by remaining ignorant, due to a lack of education and skills?

Again, do you truly believe that there are those who slap away society’s helping hand and never even try?

If you believe the two last two questions put forth, well then, you must also believe that this country is utopian without bedeviled faults as well. Therefore, I say to you, keep living in your ensconce glass house; latte filled cupboard and your lily White, gated community.






chaunceydevega said...

@BS. I am wondering where those programs are too. Of course, there are knuckleheads in any group who won't take advantage of opportunities. Yes, there are limited federal programs for first generation, low income, poor, and minority youth who want to go to college, learn skills, etc.

But again, why do those programs need to exist? What is the causal story and history there? And in absolute terms white kids, from my memory, are still the largest beneficiaries of TRIO and other programs.


Moreover, the largest group of lazy knuckleheads are the children of the (white) middle class, upper class, and very elite. There are whole systems in place to support white mediocrity and replace failure with success. For black and brown folks not so much. I can share story upon story of the mess and fuckery that the children of elites have done and gotten away with in colleges and universities all because someone intervened on their behalf or an administrator intervened because they are "good kids."

Perhaps, SI as a conservative--or so it seems--believes that poor people in America choose to be poor. If they just "worked hard" and took advantage of our "meritocracy" they would be fine...nevermind that the greatest predictor of wealth and intergenerational class mobility is the resources of one's parents and grandparents. And that is not allowing for race as a variable.

I would not presume to speak for SI. I hope he chimes in and offers up a clarification.

chaunceydevega said...

@Razor. I heard about that policy but did not do any research. I will remedy that. The Dems and the Tea Party GOP are not equivalent in the harm done to young poor kids in this country. Hell, especially this election cycle, where Gingrich wanted to put them in poor houses to learn about "hard work" by being janitors. There is lots of blame to go around--the nature of the beast is multifaceted. But as a historical policy matter the Dems and the Great Society versus Reagonomics and Ayn Rand (with Nixon an odd blip) were a bit different on many issues. What happened in our central cities after deindustrialization and the gutting of the federal budget for urban communities is an effect not a cause.

Our chocolate cities went to hell not because they were led by black people.

CNu said...

Our chocolate cities went to hell not because they were led by black people.

rotflmbao....,

Kelvin Doe is a masterpiece of parental investment now being opportunistically marketed because of the long-term strategic value of Sierra Leone as a linguistically and culturally anglo-spheric garrison state and crucial uncontested beachhead (deep water ports) onto the continent.

Emotional negroes pay attention to schmaltz and NEVER think about the chessgame unfolding under Africom and under the long view of the Hon.Bro.Preznit's handlers.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. One claim is not exclusive of the other. And as a matter of fact, and I am sure you remember this, funding for major cities was cut precisely when black mayors took control. Africom and this young man? I get the pr jazz diplomacy angle as a matter of fact and history, operative here, perhaps yes, perhaps no.

nomad said...

"But as a historical policy matter the Dems and the Great Society versus Reagonomics and Ayn Rand (with Nixon an odd blip) were a bit different on many issues."

'Historical' is the correct word. It's almost ancient history. Those Dems of your were genuine liberals. They are just about extinct. The faux liberals of past 30 years have done little more than enable neoconservatism. Did a GOP president dismantle welfare? Is it a GOP president stomping to cut SS and Medicare? In a way the Dems are worst than the GOP. The enemy that pretends to be your friend can do a lot more harm to you than the enemy you know to be your enemy. Case in point: Barack Hussein.

nomad said...

Obvious error: "Dems of yore"

CNu said...

I get the pr jazz diplomacy angle as a matter of fact and history, operative here, perhaps yes, perhaps no.

There's no perhaps here. MIT is a military funded research and development facility which happens to conduct classes.

My response this morning was consistent with my response two weeks ago when it was brought to my attention. Watch the video a couple of times. MIT media labs, the PhD patron from Sierra Leone who identified young master Doe to the Institute, etc...,

lol, you know "feel good" ain't in the CNu vocabulary...,

What is there to say? Smart seeks smart, makes smart.

This is a sweet, handsome, clever boy, in whom vast parental investment is wholly obvious - I see nothing but goodness here and no hint of affirmative action on his behalf. The brother-patron in the media lab is hooking up one of his own, one who could do nothing but bring pride and protective investment from the broader community outside his family. Sierra Leone will be a MAJOR point of presence for anglo-american recolonization of one of the two last, great, remaining terrestrial frontiers. (Africa and the Arctic) This boy has the potential to become an ambassador for further extending that deep cultural interpenetration of the anglosphere into the afrosphere - now encompassing technocratic realms of interpenetration. He's ready Teddy, ready and clearly able.

Two questions go begging here;
1. What took them so long, i.e., the deeper engagement with the critical colonial boundary states?
2. What does it mean, if anything, for the profoundly alienated, dysfunctional, and failing communities right here in the homeland where parental investment of the kind on display here is a rarity?

Steven Augustine said...

As a parent, seeing Kelvin makes me get fairly misty-eyed. But when CnU writes...

"MIT is a military funded research and development facility which happens to conduct classes."

...it's impossible to add much to that. On the level of representing wasted (and slaughtered) potential in so many ignored/demonized young minds out there, Kelvin's story is deeply moving. As a geopolitical micro-pawn, Kelvin is something else entirely, but I don't even want to get into all that again (I ranted enough, already, for six lifetimes when they raped Libya and martyred the pan-Africanist Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi). I beez tard.

Black Sage said...

CNU's bowel movement of a post doesn't qualify for response!

nomad said...

"CNU's bowel movement of a post doesn't qualify for response!"

I dunno. Sage; it would be good to hear erudite people refute such Malthusian ideology. I don't consider myself particularly erudite, or knowledgeable about any thing but the thing that I have studied. So it would be good to hear from you and others on the subject. Now let me if I've got this right, as a non-social scientist, CNu, am I to understand all that a person needs to do to be successful in this life is choose the right parents?

The Sanity Inspector said...

@BlackSage: Therefore, I say to you, keep living in your ensconce glass house; latte filled cupboard and your lily White, gated community.

Wanna see my Freaknik photos?

You are skeptical that there are large scale efforts afoot to help Black America. I offer this: Go to http://www.usa.gov, the internet portal for the federal government, and type keyword "minorities". Note the number of results. Or for something more manageable, go to the Catalog Of Federal Domestic Assistance and search keyword "minority". And this is just the federal government, not the state, nor the NGOs, nor the myriad private individuals trying to make a difference. As to how much good they are actually doing, that's another matter. An ounce of family is worth a pound of charity and a ton of government. But these efforts do exist.

Producing prodigies is great, and no doubt there are plenty that never come to our notice. But the goal must of course be to provide the greatest good to the greatest number--a resilient black middle class, with room for those beneath to join them, and prospects for them to climb higher.

nomad said...

But, back to my earlier point about the faux liberals and the decepticon president: Case in point: Barack Hussein.

"Well because of the way Mr. Obama worked w/t Reps. to negotiate a crisis, preplanned in advance..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kTxY-oZuxB4#!

Is it okay the criticize him yet?

nomad said...

I mean, The election IS over. He won't be running again. What have we got to lose? ...Huh? ....Ohhh... the legacy... I see...no stain the legacy...

CNu said...

I dunno. Sage; it would be good to hear erudite people refute such Malthusian ideology. I don't consider myself particularly erudite, or knowledgeable about any thing but the thing that I have studied. So it would be good to hear from you and others on the subject. Now let me if I've got this right, as a non-social scientist, CNu, am I to understand all that a person needs to do to be successful in this life is choose the right parents?

rotflmbao..., hold your breath for that one hereabouts staymad - cause it's not gonna happen.

What will continue to be the case - here as elsewhere - is that silly, illogical, emotional negroes, overly racially identified with troglodytes and scallywags in whom insufficient parental investment has been made, will have their sorest and most tender racial corns rudely stepped upon by yours truly.

Kelvin Doe is an exemplar of substantial parental and communal investment being held up for ulterior display by the MIT media "community". I wish him nothing but the very best, he is richly deserving.

Too bad that MIT had to go all the way around the world to find such an exemplar...,

nomad said...


"Too bad that MIT had to go all the way around the world to find such an exemplar...,"

Maybe cause there's so few in the world. Evybody else had bad parents, even Kelvin's siblings. You don't have to be a soc scientist to see how ridiculous your premise is. Hey, I've got an idea. Let's wipe out all the useless eaters leaving only geniuses alive. The world will be a much better place.

CNu said...

Staymad, how'n'a'phuk you know?!?!?!

I went to MIT. I went to MIT on the shoulders of folks like Jim Gates and Shirley Jackson who genuinely broke ground and who were hard, hard, hardcore in their disciplines and had something profound to prove. Back in the 70's and 80's the number of black kids at Stuyvesant and Bronx Science was appreciable, not like it is nowadays, negligible and declining.

For once, it would be good if you knew even just a little bit about wtf you were talking about, instead of just stupidly, ignorantly and emotionally running your stankazz gums.

There are vastly fewer exemplars in the hood nowadays because there are vastly fewer "high-investment in offspring" two parent households in the hood that place a premium on education.

The reason that is so, is because these single-parent fusterclucks have yielded three generations of ignorant spawn having no appreciation for education, no respect for their "parents", elders, or themselves, and no conceivable prospects for the future aside from being an irritant and a burden on society.

My man Spence finally trying to tug at the kid-gloves just a little bit, complaining about some troglodytes on the city bus.

But you know what, these troglodytes should not have to be tolerated by anybody in polite society.

The main thing we can see about young Kelvin Doe is not that he's any kind of genius, rather, he is a polite, sweet, good natured boy reared by responsible parents and nurtured into pursuit of excellence and uplift, rather than a crass, vulgar, ignorant pile of two-legged promiscuous shyte just uglifying the countryside.

nomad said...

"The main thing we can see about young Kelvin Doe is not that he's any kind of genius, rather, he is a polite, sweet, good natured boy reared by responsible parents"

There's a lot of them in the hood dude. Quit propagating that myth. Give back, chump, and try to lift some of them up. And as for as all that ad homimem devices you try to use to shut me up, go fuck yourself.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree on Nomad with his above statement. How is Kelvin doe any different than many of the other children in inner cities who are polite, sweet and good natured? Yeah I'll admit, a lot of children are crass in the hood, but many are not. Only difference I see is that Kelvin is a genius- an accomplishment worthy of praise.

Lola

CNu said...

lol, I give back more by 7:00am most mornings than you've ever dreamt of doing in your entire gum-whooping lifetime.

If you want to free up the struggling/striving still locked up in the hood, then get on the bandwagon for expeditiously eliminating the troglodytes and scallywags keeping those good kids and their good parents down.

If you want to pay for and feed troglodytes and scallywags, knock yourself out, but don't even think about looking in my direction for racially identified support for your silly-assed delusions.

When the crocodile hunter got his silly ass kilt phukkin round with animals, it never occurred to me to shed a tear for him. If you get your just deserts crying over hood denizens whose parents don't care enough about them to bring them up right, then good riddance to your silly ass too!!!

I'm tard, tard, tard, of preposterous appeals from emotional negroes to me and other responsible black folks to squander even one more moment wasting time on somebody else's spawn.

You go fuck yourself with all that backwards jiggaboo guilt trip for somebody else's bastiches - nobody shares that mentality in the best of times - in what's around that signpost up ahead, it's a complete nonstarter.

Steven Augustine said...

Reasonably speaking, "all you'd need" (not to imply this would come easy) would be a place for x-number of Kelvins-from-the-Hood to live and learn *safely away from the hood*. The Hood itself (and the society that maintains it) is the Evil; get the kids young enough and you can save them.

Here's a Sci Fi scenario: a consortium of Plutocrats (of whatever colors) A) builds a hi-tech monastery on an island B) buys at-risk kids from their don't-give-a-damn (too far gone) progenitors C) the monastery raises the kids, with caring teachers and home-grown foodstuffs, until voting age (with enough sane ---and pedo-free--- supervision to prevent any Lord-of-the-Flies scenes). Would it even cost more than what Google spends on vitamin water every ten years? I'll bet Messrs Cosby and JZ could afford it.

The legal framework would have to be worked out, of course. But, just as you don't kick drugs without being insulated from drug culture for the duration, kids can't effectively kick Young Black Corpse Syndrome without, first of all, staying the fark out of the Hood. I'm familiar with quite a few "she/he was the first in her family who would'v gone to college" tales about kids who got the education and attention but not the protective custody... and ended up shot to death in cap-and-gown on the way home from the ceremony.

*No* kid at three or four or even five, six or seven is *too far gone* to be "re-programmed" in a positive way. I tend to think the first cut-off point has something to do with puberty.

Steven Augustine said...

Also, yeah: come on, friends: calling Kelvin a *genius* seems to have something to do with low expectations for Black kids. Gifted, clearly. But to earn "genius" you gots to prove Fermat's Last Theorem or somesuch dazzling shit. And do not doubt there are onyx-tinted children capable of it... the problem with genius-hunting (and recognition) being that the task requires no small proportion, in the hunter, of... genius.

nomad said...

Okay. gifted. Same point. There are many who are not so gifted; and just as sweet. Must be hard for these sweet souls to have suffer both victimization and vilification, huh?

And CNu, right now it's best for both of us if I don't read your drivel. My answer to all your foul ideology is what I said in my last post. GFYS.

Steven Augustine said...

*Gifted* kids are a result of nurture, not nature; almost every kid on the planet would be Gifted if we *let* them

nomad said...

damn right

CNu said...

SA - if no such provision was made for the overwhelming privation allowed to grind Haiti into the dust, through no particular crime or wrongdoing on the part of its most put-upon denizens, why in the world would you go so far as to suppose anybody should lift a finger for the fat, glossy, and obnoxious spawn of careless and irresponsible breeders who abandon their own to the very worst that Babylon has on offer?

It's just plain stupid to waste a single further cycle on anyone in the richest society in the world, who doesn't take advantage of the good things that are freely on offer and at their disposal. That negligence is inexcusable.

The Sanity Inspector said...

One thing that may be keeping more bright inner-city kids from excelling in later life is the sheer physical danger and social isolation they face growing up. Avoiding thugs, keeping to oneself in order to not have to endure the sneers of lesser students, and etc. are obvious survival skills in a bad neighborhood and a failing school. But when he goes on to college, that won't work. The workload is too heavy for him to bear alone. He's probably not the brightest person in the room anymore. He needs to network, open up, reach out, skills which his new peers may have learned much earlier in their freer, more relaxed childhoods. If he fails to do so, he'll be in a hard place indeed.

CNu said...

*Gifted* kids are a result of nurture, not nature; almost every kid on the planet would be Gifted if we *let* them

Truth!

But *we* are not responsible in any manner, form, or fashion for *your* failure of prophylaxis. *We* should not suffer a single moment because *you* didn't keep your legs closed or your pants zipped up.

Also, if the child hasn't been nurtured on a stimulus and vocabulary rich cognitive diet from infancy, you can absolutely forget about gifted. There's no bridging that 10-17,000 word toddler vocabulary gap that separates the eventual "gifted" from the rest.

Parental investment is the sine qua non..., absent that, cut the losses and move on.

CNu said...

One thing that may be keeping more bright inner-city kids from excelling in later life is the sheer physical danger and social isolation they face growing up. Avoiding thugs, keeping to oneself in order to not have to endure the sneers of lesser students, and etc. are obvious survival skills in a bad neighborhood and a failing school. But when he goes on to college, that won't work. The workload is too heavy for him to bear alone. He's probably not the brightest person in the room anymore. He needs to network, open up, reach out, skills which his new peers may have learned much earlier in their freer, more relaxed childhoods. If he fails to do so, he'll be in a hard place indeed.

The Sanity Inspector has condensed a volume of truth into a single paragraph!!!

Accept no substitutes.

CNu said...

In the past 30 days, I acquired 160 laptops to support distance learning and virtual academy for safe schools violators from the GSA http://computersforlearning.gov/

Those are kids who've been kicked out for 180 days or more. Fully 1/3rd of these kids are nurtured kids whose only offense was defending themselves against troglodyte and scallywag scum.

Back in the day, I personally put offending scum in the ICU, and never once got in trouble for doing so. But now, in the context of "zero tolerance" and no corporal punishment in schools, good kids aren't even allowed to defend themselves against mouthbreathing and knuckledragging scum taking up space and spoiling school for everyone.

Racially identified whiners who know NOTHING WHATSOEVER whereof they speak - are in large measure culpable for creating the environment in which good kids are forced to contend with the scum of the earth just in order to do what they're supposed to do.

Steven Augustine said...

CnU: re: My Sci Fi scenario:

Right-wing Think Tanks come up with grandiose, high-concept schemes for evil every week of the year, and many are implemented... as improbable as they would have seemed, on the drawing board, to Mr and Mrs Normal. I'm just dreaming here, in print, about Progressives growing an Imagination. (And, of course, btw, the "Charity" Orgs set up for Haiti are, in the end, NeoLiberal cat-doors for disaster-profiteering).

I say those doomed 3-year-olds are blameless... why can't some Cosbys, JZs, Fiddys, Snoops and John H. Johnsons intervene with a little pooled capital, boldly, *before* the kids grow into their Blameworthiness and sprout clones?

Hell, I'll even run the program for a symbolic fee of €1 per year (no dollars, thanks). Plenty of islands to choose from...

Steven Augustine said...

"Those are kids who've been kicked out for 180 days or more. Fully 1/3rd of these kids are nurtured kids whose only offense was defending themselves against troglodyte and scallywag scum."

When did Yankee school- discipline/"justice" become so irrational? The 1980s?

Steven Augustine said...

"It's just plain stupid to waste a single further cycle on anyone in the richest society in the world..."

Maybe, but... it's not as though the "problem" won't increase geometrically as a result of inaction.

Steven Augustine said...

Anecdote:

Early this year (or late last year) I was Googling/ YouTubing the Olde Neighborhood (BHO's claim to cred), and I found a video of two girls, roughly 15-years-old, who were bright, articulate, and funny-as-hell, doing "Valley Girl" imitations. One of the girls looked like a model/actress... really shockingly beautiful. They weren't thugs/mindless breeders/ monsters. They were delightful. Now, tell me the Hood is a justified death-sentence hanging over their heads. The one girl should be on her own "Mila Kunis" trip by now. Watching the video, I was moved by the talent and enraged by the unfairness of a world that would under-value two kids who are *valuable* even by the crassest, most venal metrics of Murrkka.

Writing off everyone out there is easy but wrong, I think. And I think we need to get in touch with a rage that aims higher than hapless kids.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu and Nomad. Ringing the bell. please return to your corners and refrain from using profanity.

@SA. I have to agree with you. How can you learn if you do not have the mental and physical space to be at peace? Many of our schools in poor communities are run like prisons...which is not a coincidence.

Steven Augustine said...

CdV:

Even worse: how can you learn if people are *mocking you* for learning? Or shooting you.

chaunceydevega said...

@Lola. That is one of my concerns too. We have so much talent right here in this country. We have black and brown entertainers who spend a million dollars on fake teeth and overpriced rims for cars and making it "rain" on strippers in nightclubs.

What is they invested in those laptops that are being given away in 3rd world countries and made sure every child had one in kindergarten. If you live in a low income neighborhood and qualify for public assistance you get free internet.

How many of those families have computers? Of those who do, how many are making sure that their children are being productive as opposed to downloading race minstrel crap hop and messing around on Facebook all day?

Steven Augustine said...

One more thing and then I stop haunting this thread (time to get child in bed)...

...two years back, around Xmas, daughter and I were in a mall (the European versions are closer to the pre-Caligulan Murrkkan malls of the early 1980s; you can negotiate these spaces without a golf cart, a sidearm and a day's provisions). And in this mall there was a "solar system" display for whatever reason... the Earth was about the size of a softball and Jupiter was (disproportionally) the size of a really big exercise ball.

Anyway, there was a weedy guy in charge of the display and daughter walked the length of it, naming all the planets *on sight*... she was four. The guy running the display was flabbergasted: "she's not even a member of the Master Race!" was, no doubt, what he was thinking. But I was thinking: "That's where you're wrong, Fritz."

Things could *so easily* have gone the other way, in America. And I put it to you, again, that the mess "we" are in is deeply intentional and running on schedule. Are we really going to Let This Happen?

nomad said...

i am already in my corner. notice how nice n quiet i been?

chaunceydevega said...

@Nomad. It rubs the lotion on its skin. Just kidding...couldn't resist.

nomad said...

Im hip. Like Obamites, I'm all in.

Adam H said...

@CD: I probably undercut the complexity of the problem which these post apocalyptic scenarios present. I think that the reverse engineering tasks involved are relatively straightforward, with a bottle neck of time. My assertion is that if you can construct a volt-meter (which can prob be done with any conductor, water, and salt, and a catalyst (yeah, I guess this part isn't easy either).

Anyway, with a voltmeter, and the assumption that the data isn't corrupted (another biggie I guess), Any small team of scientists could reverse engineer the storage techniques, data transfer protocols, etc, and ultimately extract the information contained with many forms of digital storage no matter how archaic -- It would just take vast amounts of time (so we would be kind of screwed for a while).

BIG QUESTION: Why is paper and pencil/printed media more secure in post apocalyptic scenarios than digital media (there is are a great deal of physical security measures that go into the storage of digital media and data centers, server rooms, etc)?

Books aren't immune to the forces of nature, or the evil intent of individuals or states. It doesn't strike me as easier to write a computer virus than it is to swap two books (one with dishonest modifications, and the other the original copy)?

To answer your question, the cloud won't survive as such, but the data will remain in the disasters you mentioned. And yes, this will make information more scarce, but it will not necessarily make it disappear entirely.

At any rate, I will check out your title suggestion.