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what3words | Addressing the world

Ingenious system uses a sequence of three ordinary words to pinpoint any 3x3-meter square on the globe.

Constitution of the State of Sequoyah

In 1905, delegates from across Indian Territory met to draft a constitution for the proposed State of Sequoyah, incorporating the land of the Five Civilized Tribes and the Quapaw Agency. Many of the leaders in this constitutional convention, including Charles Haskell and Alfalfa Bill Murray, would go on to lead the drafting of Oklahoma's constitution soon thereafter, producing a strong resemblance between the two documents in length and subject matter.

One interesting aspect: The Sequoyah Constitution forbids the government from funding religious organizations, but it also invokes "the blessing of Almighty God" in the preamble, mandates that "Sunday[] shall forever be respected as a day of rest" and forbids public office to anyone "who denies the existence of a Supreme Being."

Constitution of the State of Sequoyah

In 1905, delegates from across Indian Territory met to draft a constitution for the proposed State of Sequoyah, incorporating the land of the Five Civilized Tribes and the Quapaw Agency. Many of the leaders in this constitutional convention, including Charles Haskell and Alfalfa Bill Murray, would go on to lead the drafting of Oklahoma's constitution soon thereafter, producing a strong resemblance between the two documents in length and subject matter.

One interesting aspect: The Sequoyah Constitution forbids the government from funding religious organizations, but it also invokes "the blessing of Almighty God" in the preamble, mandates that "Sunday[] shall forever be respected as a day of rest" and forbids public office to anyone "who denies the existence of a Supreme Being."

Latin should be taught in every state primary school, says leading academic | The Independent

"Professor Dennis Hayes, an expert from the University of Derby and Chair of the College of Education Research Committee, has warned that Latin and ancient Greek along with modern languages are in danger of becoming 'the preserve of public [non-state] schools'.

"The revival of classic subjects within state schools would 'transform education', he has claimed, and urges state schools to do more in offering children a classical education...

"'As a minimum, Latin and classics should be taught in every primary school and continued into secondary school with the addition of ancient Greek,' he said, adding that the subjects could be offered by state schools through the Classics for All programme or the use of retired Latin teachers...

"However, the problem lies in teachers' attitudes, he said, adding that the teachers in his own training sessions would 'hate' the idea of teaching classics in all schools, because 'they think the only thing you need is Google'.

"'They confuse information with knowledge,' he said."

More here from Cambridge classical scholar Mary Beard:

"'There are all kinds of subjects that raise children's aspirations. That said, Latin, Greek and classical civilisation can be an eye-opener.

"'They offer all kinds of new ways of understanding the modern world as well as the ancient, and they are a wonderful way of exploring foundational literature and ideas, without having to ask the way to the train station in them.'"

Karaites, the Jews History Forgot - Tablet Magazine

Sola scriptura Jews: "And since at least the eighth century CE, Karaite Jews across the world have kept to an interpretation of Judaism in which the Bible is taken as the ultimate authority on religious practice. Long centered in Egypt, Turkey, and Crimea, Karaites will consider the insights of the Oral Law, but they don't accept their rulings as binding, and outright reject rabbinic traditions that contradict the plain meaning of scriptural verses.... In some ways, the Karaites still live in the mind-set of the Talmud, where each scholar can consider and establish law according to his own understanding of the Bible. A Karaite motto, quoted in much of their literature, is: 'Search scripture well, and don't rely on my opinion.' This doesn't make it a total free-for-all--like rabbinic Jews, Karaites derive law from scripture according to their own traditions, scholars, and standards of legal interpretation. They just don't think man's word can ever override the written word of God."

An Update on Gender Imbalance in MIT Admissions Maker Portfolios

This is a disappointing bit of obsessing by MIT's administration about an insignificant difference in behavior among students seeking admission. Applicants can submit various kinds of portfolios -- research papers, video/audio of music or theater performances, art or architecture, and "maker" portfolios -- something you've built. Female applicants are more likely than male applicants to submit portfolios in every category except maker portfolios -- three times more likely than men to submit an art or architecture portfolio -- but MIT isn't worried about that. They're worried that men are about 2.5 times more likely than women to submit maker portfolios:

"We solicited advice from readers and took additional steps to increase the representation of women and the diversity of projects featured in public presentations and portfolio materials. After another admissions cycle, we regret to report that the patterns have not changed much.... As we approach the next admissions cycle, the Admissions Office is continuing to work on improving representation and recruitment, including an initiative, in partnership with Maker Media, that will leverage their intellectual property and community of Maker Faires with admissions' database of prospective students to help encourage more women to take up 'making' and identify as makers."

The researchers write: "However, the persistence of this pattern, despite several years of prior work to improve representation and reach targeted populations, leaves us questioning what other dynamics may be in play." Maybe reading Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus would help.

Here's the stat that jumps out at me: Men make up almost 70% of the applicant pool, but are only 51% of the admitted students, and only 53% of the entering freshman class. (By comparison, in 1984, women made up 29% of the incoming class.)

The man who brought you Brexit | Sam Knight | Politics | The Guardian

"[Daniel] Hannan, who is 45, is by no ordinary measure a front-rank British politician. He has never been an MP, or a minister, or a mayor. Instead, since the age of 19, he has fought for what he calls British independence - fomenting, protesting, strategising, undermining, writing books, writing speeches and then delivering them without notes....

"Hannan may have contributed more to the ideas, arguments and tactics of Euroscepticism than any other individual. It was Hannan, in 2012, who asked Matthew Elliott, the founder of the Taxpayers' Alliance, to set up the embryonic campaign group that later became Vote Leave. Elliott, who is 38, describes Hannan as the pamphleteer who made Brexit seem like a reasonable proposition for millions of people. 'I can't think of anybody who has done more on this,' he told me. Others laboured too, of course, and Elliott cited veteran Tory MPs Bill Cash and John Redwood, who spent decades attacking the constitutional and economic aspects of the EU - 'but Dan is the only person who has successfully created a whole worldview,' he said. 'And also then done better than anyone else to be the propagandist for it.'...

"Besides, to allies and enemies alike, Hannan's role has never been on centre stage. Trying to characterise his contribution to Brexit, many people I spoke to likened him to dogmatic intellectuals from the past who came first and prepared the way. Admirers mentioned Patrick Henry and Tom Paine, whose writings catalysed the American Revolution. Opponents compared Hannan to Trotsky. 'You have got to have hard arses,' the Marquess of Salisbury, a long-term Eurosceptic and Hannan supporter, told me, 'who are morally courageous, who consistently make the arguments, who don't mind being unfashionable.'...

"Concentrating on arcane goals such as breaking up the EPP was a telltale move of the hardcore Eurosceptics. Another inch gained. Another bolt loosened. 'Our goal in politics should not be to get the right people in,' Hannan told me once, paraphrasing Milton Friedman, the American free-market economist. 'It should be to set the incentives so that even the wrong people will do the right things.'"

Afraid to speak up: In the era of trigger warnings, a tenured professor stays silent - The Washington Post

Prof. Rajshree Agarwal, director of the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a Cato adjunct scholar, says that self-censorship in the face of social pressure can be as deadly as government censorship to innovation and inquiry.

"German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann first wrote about the 'spiral of silence' in 1974. She recognized the human fear of isolation and people's willingness to keep unpopular opinions to themselves to avoid backlash. Even majority opinions can be stifled when the media amplify minority voices and makes them seem dominant.

"People often discuss academic freedom in the context of the First Amendment, which prohibits prior restraint imposed by heavy-handed governments. The spiral of silence is something different, and perhaps an even greater threat to the human spirit that drives innovation....

"Most people recognize the financial risk involved in starting an enterprise. But fearless leaders also take reputational risks. They must overcome the fears of retaliation, ostracism and derision that feed the spiral of silence....

"...I have been frontally attacked as a Koch 'stooge' by a professor in philosophy who did not even know me, when I chose to become the founding director at the Ed Snider Center. Such comments can take a toll on anyone, including tenured professors. Students and assistant professors who 'think different' are even more vulnerable because of the imbalance of power in academia....

"Greg Lukianoff, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, highlighted the dangers of shutting people up under the guise of political correctness during a Snider Center free speech forum last week. 'It's really hard to innovate if you're afraid to open your mouth,' he said.

"People need filters. Self-regulation is part of emotional intelligence and necessary for reasoned and respectful discourse. But the distinction between self-regulation and self-censorship becomes blurry when a culture of fear silences opposing viewpoints in higher education.

"Rather than looking to others to fix the problem, though, it is imperative to remember that we are intellectual entrepreneurs, who must muster the courage to speak up. Because ideas matter, and academia is their marketplace."

1990's Kenyan Video Surfaces of Obama Complaining About White People, Refusing to Tour With Them | RedState

An interesting 20-minute documentary by President Obama's half-sister, Auma Obama, about his visit to Kenya, with his then-fiancée, in the early 1990s.

Family Life: Anniversary Gifts

Family Life, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, offers some creative ideas for the traditional gifts for each anniversary.


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