Sunday, February 16, 2014

Things I've Read Lately

Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White by James Baldwin (1967)
"We hated many of our teachers at school because they so clearly despised us and treated us like dirty, ignorant savages. Not all of these teachers were Jewish. Some of them, alas, were black. I used to carry my father's union dues downtown for him sometimes. I hated everyone in that den of thieves, especially the man who took the envelope from me, the envelope which contained my father's hard-earned money, that envelope which contained bread for his children. "Thieves," I thought, "every one of you!" And I know I was right about that, and I have not changed my mind. But whether or not all these people were Jewish, I really do not know."
Learning Modern Algebra From Early Attempts to Solve Fermat's Last Theorem
"But complex numbers arose in the middle of calculations, eventually producing real numbers. To understand this phenomenon, mathematicians were forced to investigate the meaning of number; are complex numbers bona fide numbers? Are negative numbers bona fide numbers?" 
Children's Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction
Extending Children's Mathematics: Fractions & Decimals 
"We found that teachers have a great deal of intuitive knowledge about children's mathematical thinking; however, because that knowledge was fragmented it generally did not play an important role in most teachers' decision making."
Keys to a Rubbled Kingdom
"There's no earthly reason I should be upset that the city is again in disarray. I didn't go because I thought we were going to solve the problems of the Iraqi people. I sure as hell didn't go to defend my country. (Rusty mortars only fly so far.) I went because that's what you do for the dead. You keep the things they give you."

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