A new educational channel dedicated to improving scientific literacy has been created by Matt Berkowitz. Some may remember Matt from his lecture on assessing scientific research here:
The channel’s first video with a description of what is ahead:
From the about section: “This channel is dedicated to improving public science literacy. Improving the world appears to be directly related to society’s alignment with an evidence-based approach to solving problems (social, economic, political, etc.). Therefore, one of the most important features to the public health of any society is the degree to which people are educated in scientific affairs.”
I strongly suggest subscribing and following this channel as Matt has been a beacon of scientific literacy for some time now. This is something that every human being should understand before engaging in debates about public policy. I also feel scientific literacy has a lot to do with one’s own well-being. Do yourself a favor and keep up to date with this project.
YouTube Channel Located here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceLiteracy
Facebook Page Located here: https://www.facebook.com/ScienceLiteracyChannel?fref=ts
As the title suggests, Libertarian Socialists Rants is an anarchist perspective on the political landscape, current world events, and the past. LSR’s has also taking on some of the more profound right-wing extremists, racists, and pro-capitalists across the YouTube field inducing hilariously enjoyable response videos.
Here is the link to Libertarian Socialists Rants YouTube channel.
Top 5 Favorite Videos from Libertarian Socialists Rants
In the 21st century it is entirely reasonable to house and feed every human being on the planet. The current system lacks the ability to make this goal a reality. Countless buildings sit empty and/or inhospitable and good food is consistently thrown out. Due to the abhorrent nature of the socioeconomic system we occupy, two inspiring ideas have emerged.
The Fight for $15 campaign promotes a minimum wage hike to compete against rising costs of living and seeks to secure a living wage for the hard-working people of this nation. They make the respectable claim that the current minimum wage employees cannot make enough to properly survive off of their current pay. This movement has grown in strength and has already had success on some ventures.
The other day I came across an article that highlighted Carl Sagan’s critical thinking toolkit. Being very familiar with Carl Sagan, I knew what this was, but simultaneously, I was in a debate with some people promoting pseudoscience. This caused me to realize the profound importance that is thinking critically and applying the scientific method to our problems instead of relying on faith and/or baseless intuition.
So I asked myself, What is the most important piece of knowledge that every human being should understand?
I started to think… there’s a lot of vague (but important) motto’s like ‘Never give up‘ or ‘always follow your dreams‘ that are very valuable pieces of information. Perhaps a more practical piece of information would have a larger effect such as the knowledge of economics or a basic understanding of every human language.
During Zeitgeist Day 2015, Jen Wilding presented “Money: What is it good for?”
This presentation highlights a rather important topic and some very important premises about the movement towards a post-scarcity society. Simply, the topic discussed is why do we rely on money in society today (or, in the future). It’s evident that in times of scarcity money has been a tool used to decide who has more value or who deserves a valued good/service. However, today we have advanced technology at our disposal and can start to think about a post-scarcity society were everyone could be housed, fed, and cared for properly.
Money proponents often talk about how money is required to keep people motivated. In this lecture, Jen Wilding provides some examples and studies that seem to prove them wrong.
She starts by asking people what they would do if money was not a problem. Ask yourself this question and think about it for a moment. My guess is that very few people would say that they would be lazy couch-potatoes all day. Personally, I would continue my studies of mathematics and the sciences to someday help humanity on a further path. To realize this shows that money is not the only motivating factor. Furthermore, she makes a clever statement:
“I consider the laziness that people might fear, which is a behavior we definitely see in our current market system, is actually a behavioral response to not having the freedom to choose work that would be quite satisfying to that person and still having their basic needs me.”
In the beginning of the lecture she highlights some important premises on why money is not actually in coherence with the market system vision that is often taught.
- It presumes consumers have equal voting power.
- It presumes consumers are omniscient.
- It presumes business owners and advertisers would never mislead customers.
- It presumes the best possible quality is always a factor in a purchase decision instead of quality relative to a limit of choices fitting budget restrictions.
- It presumes that the people with the most money in society have rightfully earned it through the public purchase consent relating to their high quality goods and that they serve our best interest.
Point 1 is clearly false. There exists an extremely large gap between the wealthy and the poor. In a capitalist system, how much money you have dictates your voting power.
Point 2 is proven false by one simple example. The next time you go to the grocery store look around at all the various competing items. Do you know anything about these items? Do you know the difference between the various companies producing the items? Of course not, you’d have to grocery shop for an endless amount of time before you could actually make informed decisions based on what you buy (what you vote for).
Point 3 should be viewed through the scope of the profit motive. Business owners have a high profit motive to mislead consumers into buying their product. Considering their product the freshest or the healthiest product available places the product in good graces with potential consumers, even if it false advertisement.
Point 4 regards the idea that you vote with your dollar. Unfortunately, not all of us are wealthy and often have to make sacrifices that we don’t want to make such as buying a low quality item compared to a higher quality one. By doing this, we inadvertently “vote” for the cheaper, less durable item. This has disastrous effects on the environment (think of the trash build up from low quality items).
Point 5 claims that people who have gained wealth have done so properly and based off the public’s feedback and desire for the individuals goods or services and thus, are ideal representatives of the public. I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell do not want the wealthy having that much voting power.
All in all, this is a short version of the interactive presentation that Jen Wilding gave during Z-day 2015. For more lectures on similar topics, checkout TZM’s official YouTube channel.
What is konoz?
“konoz is a website where YouTubers can transform their videos into courses, and learners can support their favorite creators. Think of it as a personal Khan Academy for YouTube educators.” – FAQ
konoz is an educational platform that is bridging the gap between outdated educational methods and the new frontier of technologically advanced educational methods. Right now, konoz is in its alpha stage and is being tested before being released to the public. However, if you have a class (on just about anything) you can get in on the platform now.
What is the variety of courses like on konoz? As of today, there exists over twenty different physics based courses, plenty of math courses, history courses, computer science courses and so on with regards to your traditional educational catalog. However, konoz is not limited to the traditional outline. You can also learn how to garden, dance, brew, and play pranks on people thru the konoz platform. It is all neatly organized by categories and easily searchable.
konoz Intro Video
Why is konoz important?
konoz offers free access to education to anyone with an internet connection. Currently, konoz is compatible in three languages with plans to expand shortly. With a platform as robust and easy to navigate as konoz offers, educators and students can effortlessly connect and share information.
I am a current member of konoz alpha and have enjoyed navigating around the website and checking out the physics section. I am hopeful to dedicate some time towards making a polished course available on konoz in the near future. I have two alpha invites available to those who are interested in joining the community. Please send me an e-mail or leave a comment here if you are interested in the alpha invite to konoz.
A message from YouTube educators – konoz
A very important link regarding a topic that has created a virtual landfill of ‘scientific’ studies around the internet. It’s just not that easy to get scientifically correct information as it seems.
The virtual landfill:
“We talk about civilization as though it’s a static state. There are no civilized people yet, it’s a process that’s constantly going on… As long as you have war, police, prisons, crime, you are in the early stages of civilization.”
“At the beginning of World War II the U.S. had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.”
During the thousands of years of monetary system, most workers have been paid just enough to make it necessary that they return to work, even when higher wages have been possible. How else can the wage-payer keep the workers coming back?
“You know that you can’t go out there and change the world tomorrow morning. It just takes time, and the realization of that does not produce frustration. What produces frustration, is when you expect the world to join with your cause it’s so reasonable. It is not reasonable to unreasonable people.”
Over winter break I decided to acquire a Wacom Bamboo tablet so that I could create educational videos/tutorials online and broadcast them via YouTube. The end goal is to host an abudance of creative calculus style videos that focus on conceptual understanding of the problems and a good source of examples a long with a range of extra materials to help the user.
Before I could do all that, I needed to experiment with the software/hardware and see what my possibilities are. Little did I know how difficult it was speaking to a camera and trying to get all the information out in a reasonable amount of time. So, on average, I’ve ended up spending an hour or so on a ~10 minute physics problem transferring about half of the information that I wanted to get to the user. With that being said, my confidence is growing and my knowledge about the tools is progressing. It’s also been a hell of a study tool for me.
Here are my first two videos. Hopefully they are the start of a very long project that ends up helping many people understand mathematics and physics. Feel free to leave a comment here or on YouTube if you have a suggestion for me.
Three Step One Dimensional Kinematics Equation Problem
Two-Dimensional Kinematics Problem
Well… there a start…