[time-nuts] Help - Hope?

Bill Hawkins bill at iaxs.net
Mon Jan 2 23:39:36 EST 2006

As a data point, I visited MIT last November and headed for selected
spots, some last seen in 1960. The Edgerton Center on the 4th floor
of Building 4 had a class in session doing things with 555 timers and
LEDs. The instructor told me that they have resources for 12 students.
They get 25 applications, from grad students to local high school

Lessee, there are about 4000 MIT undergrads, and about 15 are interested
in a hands-on lab. Maybe that's to be expected, but I remember how
disappointed I was when the EE department tore out the rotating equipment
lab and replaced it with courses in vector math in 1955. I switched to
Mechanical Engineering because they hadn't gone completely abstract.

OTOH, engineers live to create stuff with other people's money. The
building blocks keep changing, but the urge to build is still there.
I build computers with motherboards and power supplies and cases, etc.
I build a time lab with boxes purchased from eBay.

The thing is, we have lost the 7-12 group, the Boy Electricians, the
Gilbert chemistry sets and the magic of radio. TV promised to be an
exceptional teaching tool, but selfish people with an unending greed
turned it into a behavioral modification tool to create consumers.
Kids learn early to concentrate on consumption and forget about how
the world works. The people with the most influence on kids don't want
consumers that know how to think, especially not creatively.

I can't do anything about it, although I did donate to the Edgerton
Center, so I play with time and wait to see if Limits to Growth was
right about the population collapse in 2020.

Best wishes for the new year, but don't blame me if it keeps getting worse.

Bill Hawkins

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