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Since we are all a bunch of copyright respecting people over here, I thought this might interest some of you: Fun and Games with Copyright

By means of a curriculum devised by the movie industry, the Scouts will be instructed in basic copyright law and learn to identify five types of copyrighted works and three ways that copyrighted materials may be stolen.

Interesting (and somewhat sneaky move by the MPAA). Bet there's no mention of Fair Use there. But does anyone think that teaching a lot of teenage boys (and girls, for that matter) how copyrighted material can be stolen could backfire?

Also, WTF is up with our weather? IT SNOWED. IT'S SUMMER. (OK, technically it's spring, but November only gets pushed into spring because they're only allowed to have three months in summer, not by virtue of its temperature.)
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Kinda old, but: What is the Worth of Words?

It’s time to acknowledge that in a truly multimedia environment of 2025, most Americans don’t need to understand more than a hundred or so words at a time... Young people today, however, have plenty of literacy for everyday activities such as reading signs and package labels, and writing brief e-mails and text messages that don’t require accurate spelling or grammar... In 2025, higher-level literacy is probably necessary for only 10 percent of the American population.

While the author may have a point about the changing educational requirements of modern society, I question his central thesis that higher tech = less reading. I've certainly been employed in jobs where anything more than basic literacy was not required, but then again, these where low-tech, manual labour jobs - the very sort of jobs that technology tends to replace. Of course, I guess you could argue that the people running the technology don't need to be able to read either - until something breaks. Eventually, someone will have to RTFM. This assumes, of course, that the people designing the system were capable of writing one in a coherent manner. (Ok, he did say that some people will have to be able to read properly - I'm just dubious that he regards only 10% of the population as employed in jobs which require any sort of 'abstract communication' or 'organising and planning large enterprises'.)

I'd certainly hate to see the reaction of my boss to the statement that 'writing brief e-mails and text messages don't require accurate spelling and grammar'. And I can't wait for him to start communicating with me via pictures and text messages...

Anyway, I can (kind of) understand, if not agree with the majority of his arguments, although I think they are biased by a tech-centric view which regards other skills are inferior and ultimately unnecessary. Until I got to this:

The nation’s leaders must be able to read; for those who follow, the ability should be strictly optional.

Does this sound like an incredibly bad idea to anyone else? A highly educated 'ruling class' and an a semi-illiterate population? Cause that's always worked out so well...

Or this entire thing could be some kind of weird joke, and I'm just to tired to get it. *yawn*


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