Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some Good Reads...

  • Jameel & JBM discuss Tzohar's trying to give their own hechsher on heter mechira where the Rabbanut won't. Interesting.
The rest all via Freakonomics, which is sometimes really interesting, though it's on and off:
  • On teaching kids things at a very early age, and whether it helps them later on (basically "no"). Excerpt:
    They found that the children were very much a product of what they were exposed to by their parents: between 86 and 98 percent of the words in their vocabularies were also words their parents used. Across four years, the average child from a professional family would have heard nearly 45 million words spoken to them, the average child from a working class family, 26 million, and the average child from a family on welfare, 13 million. That means that compared with the affluent child, the poor child would be starting school with an astonishing deficit of 32 million words of language experience. How can that child's entire educational career not, on some level, become a demoralizing case of catchup? As long as parents are exposing their children to a nurturing, vibrant environment, reading to them regularly, and speaking with them intelligently, they should feel free to put the flash cards away.
  • This one is about race and happiness, but I thought a separate line was interesting:
    Are you happy? Well don't try to be happier; you might become less happy. That is the gist of a multi-cultural study published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
    It's an interesting argument, depending on what that means...
  • Finally, Levitt is proud of his kid figuring out how to cheat. Nice.
I found it all interesting, anyway. What do you think on the happiness and education pieces?