Education Policy for Political Parties

Date: 23 Feb 15
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L7R 2B5
905 634 9538
For: Freedom Party of Ontario
Re: Your Education policy

Good day.

What you say about education is largely good and correct.

The parts that could be better are:

1. Education funding should follow the student, not the school board.

2. You do not mention curriculum. Ontario’s curricula follow the GTF (Guaranteed To Fail) model, exemplified by the Constructivist paradigm that has been thoroughly and repeatedly discredited. Google with search words and you will bring up one of the best of the many damning critiques of Constructivism. To be more specific and local, significant numbers (perhaps most) Ontario teachers are taught that it is not necessary to graduate a literate, numerate student. This problem goes right back to OISE, the Teachers Colleges, and the Education Faculties. It has been the same for generations – see the Kymlicka report of 1988 (call me if you can’t find it) and a CBC program of 1952 (again, call me about this, because you won’t find it).

3. Further on Curriculum: There is a place and a need for a central curriculum standard (covering the basics) augmented by a place for local variations. This, unfortunately in the Canadian context, means the government. But we could avoid most of our familiar government-dictated curriculum problems by using the Finnish model as explained in Sahlberg, Finnish Lessons, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2010.

Cheers,

Frank Gue

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Frozen plumbing

Date: 21 Feb 15
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng. (Professional Engineer),
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L7R 2B5
905 634 9538
For: Mr. Paul Berton, Ed. in Chief, The Spec
Re: Serious errors in an article on frozen pipes

GA, Paul.

The suggestions in this item range from good to questionable to dangerously wrong.

In priority order, dangerous first:

“Insulate all exposed outside water pipes … ” This will not prevent such pipes from freezing. The insulation will merely slow down the cooling process and delay the freezing a little. This is not an opinion. It is a fact of physics.

“Keep garage doors closed … ” This is merely a variation of #1 above. The freezing of such pipes will merely be delayed, not prevented. In fact, I think this one is irrelevant and can be omitted. No builder in his right mind would run pipes uninsulated through a garage; if he had done so, the unfortunate owner would have learned about it in the first cold snap of its first winter.

“Locate the master shutoff valve … ” Do this before thawing a frozen pipe, not after. It should read: “Before thawing a frozen pipe, close the master shutoff valve and drain the piping by opening all taps. Otherwise you risk dumping significant amounts of water in very inconvenient places such as inside a wall.”

” … near the water meter … “??? What use is that? The water meter is in a warm location, the burst pipe far away in a cold one. The pipe will not conduct heat more than a foot or two nor will water circulate inside the pipe. You have to apply heat on and near the split in the pipe.

I write all this from (a) ordinary engineering knowledge, and (b) bitter experience.

(Under (b): The builder of our house long ago ran a water pipe up a wall though fibgreglass insulation but closer to the outside wall that to the inside wallboard. Years later the pipe froze and burst. Cost of the resulting disaster: $32,000 plus endless inconvenience. I must here very cheerfully give AXA Insurance top marks: they did all we asked quickly, agreeably, and expertly.)

Paul, it is really quite essential that you correct the misinformation in this article, as it could result in serious financial and other problems for anyone following it. You should, of course, have it fact-checked first, perhaps by a physics prof at Mac.

Best,

Frank

Phonics for teaching reading

Date: 19 Feb 15
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington ON
To: EDUCAN
Re: Phonics

GA, all.

It is to tear out one’s hair.

Just one para from today’s post on this subject said:

“Unlike other fields such as medicine or science such disagreements
would quickly be resolved by evidence and proofs of practice and not sink to ideological
quarrels that disrupt standard practice.”

Sadly, not true. One only wishes it were. Witness the inexcusable practice by most of the Main Stream Media (MSM) of actively suppressing good science in favour of junk science. In January, for instance, NASA (no less, and of all people) issued a press release claiming there is “no more doubt” about global warming, citing a tiny increase in global temperatures that is well within the errors of measurement of such things. This press release ignores several basics of statistical science and physics. The Hamilton Spectator (for one) printed the NASA junk science but will not publish an orderly, scientific rebuttal. (Disclaimer: I am not actively for or against global warming hypotheses; I just want them presented using sound science.)

Happens all the time.

Back to phonics and reading:

Despite mountains of evidence in favour of phonics, the so-called “progressives” cling grimly to proven failures. Constructivism, which is at the heart of “progressive” teaching paradigms, has been thoroly discredited by better critics than I. Educators who wish to be educated to that effect can do no better than consult the link below.

Final thought: ” … teaching phonics in University … “??? Let’s see – was it Grade 1 or Grade 2 when I was taught to read using phonics? Grade 1, I think. Can’t remember – it’s back 84 years. University? Saints preserve us – they’re the only ones who can, evidently.

Gotta sweep up that pile of hair ….

http://www.cogtech.usc.edu/publications/kirschner_Sweller_Clark.pdf

Tobin tax Feb 15

Date: 12 Feb 15
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L7R 2B5
905 634 9538
For: Editors, The Economist,
London, UK
Re: “Still kicking”, p 63 of Jan. 312 edition, re the FTT “bad idea” 168 words

Dear Editors:

Little will be heard of this until we read that the financial transactions tax (FTT, Tobin Tax) has once more been dropped, owing to its promoters’ inability to get past the outrage of financiers whose oxen would be gored. Indeed, the practicalities of getting agreement among scores of jurisdictions dooms such efforts.

One way of getting one of the main benefits of an FTT (suppressing the violent oscillatory movements of capital into and out of an economy) was pioneered by the Chinese: impose a small delay upon every financial transaction.

This would be non-significant to any investor legitimately wishing to finance a productive, value-added enterprise; but would destroy the ability of an HFT to cause destructive waves of microsecond-spaced, no-value-added transactions, because an HFT’s profits depend upon light-speed turnover of funds.

Further, it would require little agreement with other jurisdictions; and would tilt FDI movements in the direction of productive, long-term investment rather than toward non-productive speculation.

There’s life in the FTT idea yet.

– end –

Global warming fraud

Date: 15 Feb 15

By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,

2252 Joyce St.,

Burlington, ON L7R 2B5

905 634 9538

For: Steve Buist, The Spectator

Re: Flawed science, Feb. 14 Spec

GE, Steve.

Good article. I hope some of the vaccination opposition takes it to heart.

However, when you write “ … even though something like 97 percent of eminent scientists believe in the premise of global warming”, you are a victim of several items in your own 10-point “literacy” guide.

That 97 percent is of a very small, very biased sample of folk some of whom were not climate scientists at all. Further, a “consensus” is not proof, merely an expression of opinion. There was once a consensus that there are only four elements, air, earth, fire, and water. Try that on with your Physics professor at Mac.

Consider: In a certain “survey” several years ago, three people were consulted, two of whom gave a certain answer. The “survey” was then publicized to the effect that “67% of those surveyed thought that ….. “ True statement, yes? Would you start a war based upon that statement? “Figures don’t lie but liars figure.”

I don’t suggest that there isn’t global warming; because in Burlington, on the walls of a 5-foot excavation right here on Joyce St., I can trace five warm-cool, cool-warm reversals. See the photo below.

Perhaps

we’re entering a warming period. We’ll know for sure in about 1,000 years. Watch for it.

Further,

The AGW subject, sadly, is well peppered with examples of misused math, invented data, and outright fraud. Example:

In January the Spec published under a black headline that there is no further doubt about global warming according to NASA, when, in fact, by NASA’s own figures there is lots of doubt and some deliberate misuse of formal statistics (I speak as a one-time statistics teacher). The tiny amount of global warming cited is far inside the percent probable error of the measurements themselves. This has to mean that the NASA people deliberately and fraudulently misused their own numbers. There can be no other interpretation. The next day there was a flood of contrary, debunking, hard evidence on the internet, none of which got published in the MSM that I consulted. You can find it today. Try search words “Global Warming fraud”. You’ll find hundreds in 0.46 second.

The MSM has historically demonstrated adherence to the Lemming Law (Everyone is doing it so I’d better do it too [cuz my tenure depends on it]) by lending influential credence to everything from South Sea islands to Dutch tulip bulbs to dot-com startups.

Steve, don’t be part of that. Your reputation is too good to be ruined that way.

Best,

Frank.

Price fixing internationally

Date: 13 Feb 15
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L7R 2B5
905 634 9538
For: Editors, The Economist,
London, UK
Re: “A peg in a poke”, Jan 31 edition 161 words

Dear Editors:

So, “ … currency pegs may eliminate volatility in the short term, but at the cost of a very big currency move if the peg gives way.”

There is no “if” about it. A currency peg is price fixing, of which big centralized administrations, particularly socialist governments, are historically fond and which historically fail.

Ironically, many governments, while stoutly proclaiming democratic purposes, often select bad means to good ends. Fixed exchange rates, like fixed interest rates, are among the worst of these. As Maggie Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, remarked to me on his visit to Canada, “Fixed exchange rates? They can be very useful except under unusual circumstances. Unfortunately we usually had unusual circumstances.”

Cheers,

Frank Gue

Economist re the Financial Transaction Tax

Date: 12 Feb 15

By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,

2252 Joyce St.,

Burlington, ON L7R 2B5

905 634 9538

For: Editors, The Economist,

London, UK

Re: “Still kicking”, p 63 of Jan. 312 edition, re the FTT “bad

idea” 168 words

Dear Editors:

Little will be heard of this until we read that the financial transactions tax (FTT, Tobin Tax) has once more been dropped, owing to its promoters’ inability to get past the outrage of financiers whose oxen would be gored. Indeed, the impracticality of getting agreement among scores of jurisdictions dooms such efforts.

One way of getting one of the main benefits of an FTT (suppressing the violent oscillatory movements of capital into and out of an economy) was pioneered by the Chinese: impose a small delay upon every financial transaction.

This would be non-significant to any investor legitimately wishing to finance a productive, value-added enterprise; but would destroy the ability of an HFT to cause destructive waves of microsecond-spaced, no-value-added transactions, because an HFT’s profits depend upon light-speed turnover of funds.

Further, it would require little agreement with other jurisdictions, and would tilt FDI movements in the direction of productive, long-term investment rather than toward non-productive speculation.

There’s life in the FTT yet.

– end –