Category Archives: learning

>Carl B. Boyer

>Just as the death of Hypatia signals the close of the Library of Alexandria as a mathematical center, so does the death of Boethius signal the end of mathematics in the Western Roman Empire, but work continued for a few years longer at Athens. When in 527 Justinian became emperor in the East, he evidently felt that the pagan learning of the Academy and other philosophical schools at Athens was a threat to orthodox Christianity; hence, in 529 the philosophical schools were closed and the scholars dispersed. The year 529 is now taken to be the beginning of the medieval period. Rome at the time was scarcely a very hospitable home for scholars, and Simplicius and some of the other philosophers looked to the East for haven – scholars fled the West towards the more hospitable East, particularly towards Persia, where they found haven under King Chosroes and established what might be termed an “Athenian Academy in Exile”. Under a treaty with Justinian, Chosroes would eventually return the scholars to the Eastern Empire. During the Dark Ages, European mathematics was at its nadir with mathematical research consisting mainly of commentaries on ancient treatises; and most of this research was centered in the Byzantine Empire. The end of the medieval period is set as the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453.

>Michael Maddock, Raphael Louis Vitón

>“This is not your best work, and I believe you know it. I know you are better than this and I am going to help you get there.”
Many of us have had a great coach. If you have, you’ll remember times when you thought your tank was empty, that you’d delivered your all. But your coach saw even more potential in you, and made you believe in yourself, guiding you to a better outcome, maybe even to becoming a better person.

>Leon Watson


Most Brits think it’s an activity best learned behind closed doors.
But an enterprising Swedish schoolmistress thinks otherwise.
Ylva-Maria Thompson has opened the world’s first international sex school to teach its students how to be better lovers.
The Austrian International Sex School in Vienna offers ‘hands on’ lessons in seduction for £1,400 a term.
The ‘headmistress’ says anyone over the age of 16 can enrol at ‘the world’s first college of applied sexuality’.
Students live in a mixed sex dormitory block where they’re expected to practise their homework.
And at the end of the course, they are awarded a qualification.
The new school head said: ‘Our core education is not theoretical, but very practical. The emphasis is on how to be a better lover.
‘Sexual positions, caressing techniques, anatomical features. And we teach people hands on.’

>Cathy Davidson


The world of work–the world we live in–is so much more complex than the quite narrow scope of learning measured and tested by college entrance exams and in college courses. There are so many viable and important and skilled professions that cannot be outsourced to either an exploitative Third World sweat shop or to a computer, that require face-to-face presence, and a bucketload of skills–but that do not require a college education: the full range of IT workers, web designers, body workers (ie deep tissue massage), yoga and pilates instructors, fitness educators, DJ’s, hair dressers, retail workers, food industry professionals, entertainers, entertainment industry professionals, construction workers, dancers, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, landscapers, nanny’s, elder-care professionals, nurses’s aids, dog trainers, cosmetologists, athletes, sales people, fashion designers, novelists, poets, furniture makers, book keepers, sound engineers, inn keepers, wedding planners, stylists, photographers, auto mechanics, and on and on.
All those jobs require specialized knowledge and intelligence but most people who end up in those jobs have had to fight for the special form their intelligence takes because, throughout their lives, they have seen never seen their particular ability and skill-set represented as a discipline, rewarded with grades, put into a textbook, or tested on an end-of-grade exam. They have had to fight for their identity and dignity, their self-worth and the importance of their particular genius in the world, against a highly structured system that makes knowledge into a hierarchy with creativity, imagination, technical skills, and the array of so-called “manual skills” not just at the bottom but absent.
Everyone benefits from more education. No one benefits from an educational system that defines learning so narrowly that whole swaths of human intelligence, skill, talent, creativity, imagination, and accomplishment do not count.


>学校へ行っているときって、この勉強はいったいなんの役に立つのか? と、ずっと思いながら学校へ通っていたような気がするんですよね。でも、段々と年を重ねてくると、これはもうちょっと勉強しておけばよかったな、と思うことってけっこうあったりして。ただそれは、本当に自分が学びたいと思うときに学べるって、タイミングとしてあまりなくて…。
彼らは、学校を卒業して残りの刑期を終えたら、きちんと更生して、社会に出て行くと思うんですけど、ただそこで、それから先に豊かな社会生活が実現できるのか? 希望を持ったとして、その先に必ず明るい未来があるわけではないかもしれませんし、ドラマのエンディングも希望に満ち溢れたものではありません。でも人と人との係わり合いやふれあいの大切さという原則的な部分が、このドラマの骨にあるような気がします。

>David Bogoslaw


The week between Christmas and New Year tends to be a little wild on Wall Street. For one thing, trading volumes are thin, and some portfolio managers are looking to shuffle their holdings one last time before the year ends—and the combination may have an exaggerated impact on any stock movement, up or down. Also, many senior traders are on vacation, leaving more risk-averse junior employees in charge. This year isn’t likely to be much different, even if Washington did take away some of the motivation to game taxes when it settled the income tax and capital gains picture for 2011 and 2012.
Historically, the stock market has ended the year on an up note more often than not—the so-called Santa Claus rally. Since 1928, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has had a positive return 74.7 percent of the time during the last week of the year, with an average gain of 0.74 percent, according to Bespoke Investment Group, a money management and financial research firm in New York’s Westchester County. And in years when the S&P 500 Index has risen more than 10 percent, an average gain of 1.1 percent has come in the last week of trading, Bespoke says. As of Dec. 22, the index was up 12.9 percent for 2010.
The last week of the year also tends to show more stock swings than usual. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, has been higher in the last week than during the first week of December in 11 years out of 20. This December, the volatility index averaged 17.65 through Dec. 22. Over the past 20 years, the VIX has averaged 19.85 during the last week of the year.

>Bill Luby


I guess I should not be surprised that a VIX of 15.45 – the lowest since July 2007 – has all manner of pundits scrambling to pull some sort of explanation out of a hat and weave it into their favorite bullish or bearish forecast for the markets.
In fact, the new low in the VIX is not a big deal, at least during this time of the year. I have talked about this before on a number of occasions, including in VIX Holiday Crush and earlier this week in Chart of the Week: Historical Volatility Plummets in Seasonal Swoon. Call it the holiday effect or calendar reversion, but when the VIX’s 30-day window includes two holidays and two additional historically slow days in advance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, volatility has a tendency to take a vacation.
How strong is the tendency toward a low VIX? Well, consider that in five of the last eight years, the annual low in the VIX fell during the week leading up to Christmas. Last year, some may recall that the VIX made its annual low on Christmas Eve. Back in 2004, the VIX had its low for the year on December 23rd; and in both 2003 and 2006, the VIX bottomed out for the year on December 18th. Today’s low makes it five pre-Christmas bottoms in eight years.
So keep a close eye on the VIX and feel free to marvel at how low it goes, but consider that during the holiday season, experienced investors will give very little credence to the absolute level of expected 30-day implied volatility in S&P 500 options. Only after the first of the year should we take the VIX numbers seriously, regardless of how low prices and implied volatility levels may be marked down in the pre-Christmas shopping rush.

>Future Brief


Predictions are those statements made about future events that include specific details as to when, what, who, and so forth. Examples abound – where the Dow Jones will finish in 2011, whether the Eurozone can survive the year intact, whether gold will fall to $800 or rise to $2,000, $5,000 or whatever, who will win the Super Bowl, whether Barack Obama will choose to run for a second term or not, whether John and Mary’s marriage is going to end in divorce, the list is nearly endless. I don’t give much weight to the specifics, but will read the author’s reasoning if the subject interests me. However, I see predictions as guesswork and of limited use, if any.
I prefer forecasts which look at two or more potential future general scenarios, each with a different outcome, and which attempt to guess which general scenario is most likely, but never suggesting that that scenario is certain and always recognizing that future events that cannot be known now may change the forecast radically. It is the difference between saying, for example, “Gold will reach $3,000 an ounce by December 31st of 2011″ and “Gold will likely continue to increase in value in 2011, barring an unforeseen event”.

>Robert Graves


Ancient Europe had no gods. The Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, and omnipotent; and the concept of fatherhood had not been introduced into religious thought. She took lovers, but for pleasure, not to provide her children with a father. Men feared, adored, and obeyed the matriarch; the hearth which she tended in a cave or hut being their earliest social centre, and motherhood their prime mystery.

>Grace Mirabella


I am not a fashion maven. I never have been and never will be. You’ll never catch me saying things like “Think Pink,” and you’ll never see me wearing dark sunglasses during lunch at the “21” Club. I don’t play the fashion game; I don’t lunch, wine-and-dine with the fashion-y crowd, and I’ve never perfected the art of going backstage after a bad fashion show and telling the designer that it was “fabulous.”
The charge that I am not, somehow, a real fashion person has dogged me throughout the greater portion of my professional life, through my years as editor in chief at Vogue and through my tenure as founder and director of Mirabella. It’s a criticism that I have always claimed as a badge of honor. I don’t like glitz and I don’t like trendy things and I don’t like slapdash and silly fashion games. All of which has, at times, led some very influential people to conclude that I don’t like or appreciate fashion at all.
To me, fashion has always been a vehicle–a fascinating, sometimes magnificent vehicle–for helping women enjoy and delight in their lives. Fashion to me isn’t, and never has been, an end in and of itself You’ll never find me getting excited about shoulder pads or caring deeply, one way or the other, if hemlines go up or down. And you won’t find a magazine that bears my name going on about it either.












  • 飲み過ぎた翌日に数粒食べるだけで、急に頭が冴え始める。
  • 睡魔や倦怠感に襲われているときにも、数粒食べると脳が活性化して意欲が湧いてくる。
  • 空腹感に強い方なのだが、たまにものすごく腹が減ることもある。そんなときは、やはり数粒食べるだけで空腹感が一気に消える。
  • そして、酒飲みにとっての最強の秘策 ― 酒のつまみとしてラムネを1粒ずつちまちま食べるだけで悪酔い・二日酔いを防止できる。

>Zachary Shore


I believe we often blunder not because our thinking is wrong, but because it is rigid.
To be clear, let me make a distinction between three important terms. A mistake is simply an error arising from incorrect data. A blunder, in contrast, is a solution to a problem that makes matters worse than before you began. Finally, a cognition trap is the mental framework that led you to a blunder.



30分にもわたるぶつかりげいこの後に、兄弟子から暴行を加えられ急死した力士は、入門後もタバコを辞めず再三脱走を 繰り返したという。親方としては相撲を通じてなんとか素行を改めさせたかったのだろう。… チャンコの席でビール瓶で 殴ったのは … 普段は温厚な親方が …

>Jean-Henri Fabre

>Que vois-je là, à mes pieds ? Un bel oiseau vient de s’envoler de sa cachette sous l’auvent d’une large pierre. Bénédiction du Ciel, il y a un nid de crins et de fines pailles. C’est le premier que je trouve, la première des joies que me vaudra l’oiseau. Et dans ce nid, il y a six oeufs, joliment groupés à côté l’un de l’autre ; et ces oeufs sont d’un bleu magnifique, comme trempés dans une teinture de céleste azur. Terrassé de bonheur, je m’étends sur la pelouse et contemple.

>John Hamre


This session today – of course, this is the start and, I would argue, the most important part of it because we’re trying to really say, what are we trying to do … where are we going, what are we really planning for? What kind of a future do we have to anticipate? And how do we structure that …
Finally, we have to balance between current needs and future needs, between things like current operations and readiness and investment in capabilities for the future: research, development, procurement, et cetera.

>Isamu Noguchi


I learned the tricks… If you want to do academic things, you can do them. It is not difficult. Yet it is from this difficulty – the mistakes and dead ends – that artists develop, not through the quick solutions and not from something you learn and apply.

>Jerry Robertson


Eastern cultures inherently are better at sharing and organizational learning – the emphasis is on collective achievement. In western cultures the emphasis is on individual achievement.