Category: History, Science & Technology

Technology killing off vital skills – Part 2

Two months ago I wrote a post commenting on an article in The Daily Mail Online on how the increase of technology is causing a decline in other, what some consider to be, vital skills. If you recall, I measured up pretty well with skills like map-reading and fire-starting, and aside from the potential need to perhaps Google how to make certain knots (like if, for example, I decide to actually become a pirate), I’d be quite able to survive without my smart phone.

You should know by now never to take any promise I make on this blog seriously, like the promise I made to tackle the second half of that list within the week. But let’s remedy that, shall we?

Continue reading “Technology killing off vital skills – Part 2”

To Quote or Not To Quote

To Quote or Not To Quote

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’m making a career change. I briefly mentioned FreeCodeCamp, but thought I’d tell you a bit more.

FreeCodeCamp was started by some people who looked at the ever growing need for capable programmers and decided to do something about it. So they wrote a curriculum that will give users a solid grounding in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the three languages on which the visible side of the web is built, and on top of that give users the opportunity to build up a portfolio of projects that will help them get that coveted first coding job.

Sounds like any coding boot camp, right? Wrong. FreeCodeCamp has some very important differences.

Read on to find out what they are

On learning to type

On learning to type

Of all the subjects I took in school, none were so useful as typing, which I took in the ninth grade. My taking it was actually a happy accident: our school had both an academic and a technical track, and had I taken technical drawing as I’d intended I would have wound up in a class with the students taking the latter, with the result that I would have had, let us say, less experienced and less able teachers for key subjects such as Science and Maths.

As I was a straight-A student this was less than desirable, and between the principal and my mother I was convinced to switch. While I had really enjoyed technical drawing, I have never regretted the choice, though, as it’s the only one of my high school subjects (besides languages) that I still use on a daily basis. I can crank out a respectable sixty to seventy words a minute if I know what I want to write (knowing what to write about is a whole different problem…)

I had heard of alternate keyboard layouts to the standard QWERTY before, but did not think going to the trouble of learning one was worth the effort. Then Thursday, on a whim, I decided to give Colemak a try (because learning all things JavaScript is not already enough of a challenge).

Continue reading “On learning to type”

Technology killing off vital skills – Part 1

According to The Daily Mail Online twenty vital skills are apparently dying out in our “world of technology and convenience”. Naturally I found myself checking how I measured up against the list. Do I have what it takes to survive in a world without tech? If Google goes offline and the world wide web unravels, will I be able to keep the threads of my life together?

Continue reading “Technology killing off vital skills – Part 1”

On thinking before you share

In 2008 Nicholas Carr wrote an article in The Atlantic, titled Is Google Making Us Stupid. Very shortly, he argued that the way we engage with content online is ultimately having a detrimental effect on our ability to engage with longer, printed texts. Because we can open an article and search instantly for the exact piece of the text we need, we are slowly losing the ability to search for relevant information in textbooks and printed articles. (Hey! Perhaps that’s why my studies are such an uphill battle for me. It’s all Google’s fault.)

Carr’s article sparked numerous responses and studies into this topic, and we’ve yet to see whether he was right or not, but I believe that there’s another part of the internet that’s making us dumber. Or rather, lazier (though some might argue that’s the same thing).

I’m speaking of social media, and in particular, the sharing culture.

Continue reading “On thinking before you share”