Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Borysenko on "anti-racist math" instruction in schools; more on locals and substack, could they work for me?


Loudoun County schools HQ

Karkyn Borysenko recently did a livestream regarding what an “anti-racist math class” would be like.

It’s hard to make an sense of the idea that a discipline that is dedicated to finding fixed truths could be “racist” or “supremacist”. 

I looked at the pdf  of the itinerary, which was quite repetitious and nebulous.  OK, a statistics experiment might be misleading because if biases of the people who participated (for example, babies tend to show preferences for associated with other children who look like them, true).  But that doesn’t invalidate the concepts of statistics.  Or an algebra “story problem” may seem contrived to remain culturally neutral.

TVO has an article (Askey Okwuosa) about similar attempts at “anti-racist” math in Canada, and practical applications.  You can make similar arguments about classical music (Neely, drama blog, June 9, 2020) with its emphasis on resolution of dissonance and form (until the modern era).  

Karlyn shared the pdf link ("Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction") only on her locals site, which you have to sign up for and join .  This, like substack, is  becoming more popular.  You can start out free and donate later.  The problem is that there is a limited number of such sites a reader even like me would support. 

I will be restructuring my own sites at the end of the year (details probably coming in October, it looks like).  I would not be able to attract subscribers without more focus on a narrow area (maybe power grid security and solar storm hardening).    . 

Tim Lee, who has written for the Washington Post, Vox, and Ars Technica, has started a substack subscription site called Full Stack Economics.

I have found it practical to maintain some subscriptions to major city newspapers and major periodicals (with a few of them I have trouble with the logon’s continuing to work), and a couple of Patreon’s (and I’ve had some trouble with my logon to that, as a patron, not as a creator). 

But it would not be practical to depend on too many of them for the sort of news and commentary consolidation I have been doing in these blogs – and as I said, changes are coming at the end of the year.

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