Saturday, January 26, 2013

Forced direct learning

I think I know what's wrong with kids ... forced direct learning. Everything is about learning. Letters and numbers on toys. Toys are colored. Toys have shapes. Toys play music and sing along stories. Books have buttons and noises. "Baby can read" movies. Mickey talks to kids and waits for them to respond to how many of something there are on the screen (it is the most awkward time used during a tv show I've ever seen, they should use the dead time for ad placement).

What happened to kids just having basic cool shit? Wood blocks, no color. Some balls. Bikes. Action figures. Dolls. A yo-yo. None of that has anything to do with direct learning. Bang stuff around, throw it, build. Then you go to school and learn. Learn from your parents. Learn indirectly from the interaction of things around you. What happened to cool ass cartoons with stories that taught lessons through actions rather then having counting and color games, plus dead air time with funny cartoons looking back at you with extremely large eyes?

Kids figure out they are being taught, forced, then they don't care. They realize they could have had remote control cars verses the color learning truck. Then they put aside learning and beg for cool shit you never gave them.

Give your kids some basic cool shit, be a good parent, and then they might care about direct learning in school. In 10 years they aren't going to accredit their intelligence to a jump start they got with that alphabet bear you gave them in place of reading with them.

You know who likely had some cool toys when they were a kid? Einstein ... from Wikipedia:
His father once showed him a pocket compass; Einstein realized that there must be something causing the needle to move, despite the apparent "empty space".
A damn compass! I bet his dad never explained why and how it worked to him. This is what I am talking about.

Executing sftp commands via ant

I've been working on porting some korn shell scripts to apache ant lately. In the rewrite, I had to implement some sftp steps. Some were straight forward, get file. Others, I had to remove files via the sftp connection. The ant "scp" task doesn't provide this. So, I had to basically mimic the shell script implementation. Here is a sftp directory list:

I learned two things here. First, how to pass commands in general via sftp, which I never had to do. Second, how to do it via ant, meaning not doing it in ant and calling to the shell via ant.

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