I remember the St Barthélémy

Since I lived in Québec I always wonder what Je me souviens means to them.

This cryptic stuff seems like a feeling in the air du temps that is immaterial, no one can tell you what it is, but is there. Something everybody ignores, but everyone shares that makes them special.

It is unsettling to see this written everywhere, to see every one agree it is important, but unable to tell you what it is.

It has something to do with their french speaking identity, but also something more, their rude, uncanny free ways. If Québec is important to me, it is because it triggered my own Je me souviens.

Grand ma was sometimes telling me souviens toi de la Saint Barthelemy.

When I say I am huguenot it is a partial lie, but my brain has this je me souviens strongly imprinted.

What was the Saint Bart?

During the absolute monarchy, my family who was french since the roman and non catholic christians were persecuted. St Barthelemy was a night during which the dragons went to kills protestant in their sleep in the name of the catholic religion.

Then the protestants good were seized. And then, they were kicked out of France.

My family joined the eastern diaspora. The western diaspora went to the new world, in America. 300 huguenots were in the Mayflower, some went to Acadie (and were later persecuted again for other reasons).

Both diaspora wished for a freer world were persecutions (including religious one) would stop.

My family is threaded with links from all European country that accepted refugees: Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland ...

When France showed up signs of re-opening itself once again, they went back.

Just to be persecuted once again, because in the context of the growing world war one ... their involvement in working hard to tie germany and france was seen as suspicious.

They also were militing for a laïc country. Not one in which religions are authorized or regulated, but just a private matter separated from the state. In both ways : religion don't tell the state what to do or say, in exchange religions leave the state to its duty of social concord. A pure orthogonality of state and religions.

In the beginning of the XXth century the french national assembly took 1 hours do debate if the Glaenzer family was in fact patriots enough. Exposing to the nation the life and accomplishment of the kids. A grand national bullying/doxing to show how suspicious a 3rd generation (re)-immigrated family was. Nothing to do with religion. Just raising nationalism.

After this 3 of the 6 kids went to America. 3 stayed. I belong to their descendants.

Then world war II came, yet another part of the family went to take refuge in the USA over the fear of being alsacians.

And then my generation came. And I met randomly a new cousin from another branch that just immigrated to Canada and we celebrated our weddings. It is awesome to have been with my 2 distant cousins of this family. 

Since centuries, my families have been marked by persecution, or economical immigration seeking refuge all around the world while being contributors to exchange and wealth of nations. Bringing knowledge, know how, entrepreneurship. They never victimized.

They never gave hope, always rebuilding, resettling integrating and raising again, bringing their support to a more tolerant society.

But, sometimes, a little voice murmure in our ears that we should always be scared and that dark times don't announce themselves. We should always be vigilante.

Je me souviens... de la Saint Barthélémy is my personal je me souviens.

I am pretty sure this words of wisdom are still orally transmitted in a lot of huguenot families ... something is itching.

Just to be sure: here is my gift to the english speakers. Some old french wisdom that is part of North America's great history: Souviens toi de la Saint Barthélémy.

Modern education is the biggest financial bubble.

I am educated. Yet, I suggest my education result in a financial bubble at first.

 Education can be either privately funded, or publicly funded.

The USA has a cursor set on favouring private funding, and Europe more on public funding.

Be it student loans or public debt, education ends on the market. Either in the form of stock values in the portfolio of banks (like in 2007 with the housing crisis), in the form of education values or in the form of state obligations.

Some may argue that investing is not made to yield instant returns. And that is the purpose of financing costly investments. Education being the example of investments that are supposed to give results after decades, or generations. Exactly the reason to be of the financial market.

However, we do face more than one problem with education right now.

The most obvious one is we are experiencing the opposite of what was promised: education makes people weaker on the job market. Partly because of regulations requiring more and more costly diplomas to make a job. This regulation made in the purpose of protecting customers have resulted in de facto corporatism.

Prices are increasing for the customers because diploma makes it hard to hire, competition diminishes and the capacity of investment for producing from both workers that bought educations and institutions is diminishing. Liquidities are increasingly burnt on years of non productive leisure that are actually siloing the student on fast changing markets.

Regarding the private market, students invest in a risky product with a lack of information that burns there capacity of saving, and as a result, bright educated people even if successful by luckily picking a trendy occupation are delayed in developing a business. I do talk about the pretty lucky one.

Of course there are people like Martin Shrekly that succeeded by going in public university and having a well paid job. Well, he is kind of smart.

The point is loans are not infinitely inflatable, thus the loans granted for education are pressuring the other loans. Double effect. And if public university exists; it is thanks to public funding, thus debts, thus delayed taxes. Thus less liquidity available for entrepreneurship.

There was a time when education was profitable. And it happened when our actual influential politicians were going to school ... just after world war II.

The problem, is that we cannot wish for managers, engineer, educated workers to disappear due to a war. We could. But, I will assume we are no psychopaths.

The market is saturated.

And what happens when a market is saturated? Competition on the offer diminishes its offer to survive.

The 2 productions of university are students and research. Research is wrongly measured by the number of quoted publications. It should be measured by the number of meaningful publications.

A publication is meaningful if (A) it can be reproduced (B) it can diminish the number of information required to understand a phenomenon (so to say its appearance result in burning former papers without loss). Trend in academic research are diverging on these 2 points.

Does it means the education is not working? Of course, it is. But another important parameter should be its efficiency.

When Einstein, Lavoisier and other great geniuses did their work they did not needed to work for a university. Now, universities/schools have a monopoly on official knowledge. No one imagine education can be transmitted in other places anymore, except maybe at google or apple if you want to learn making an app.

Knowledge, can also be acquired having a job, making stuff by yourself and learning. But nowadays, entering a profession, any profession requires formations or apprenticeship sanctioned by diploma. Except, maybe the coder/devops/UX experts IT market which is exceptional.

I can make bread, ham, alcohol, music, write... I can sell nothing because ... regulations requires me to have diplomas. Does my alcohol or bread is different than the «authorized one»? No, I follow exactly the same recipes with the same knowledge. Cleaning,  yeast, sugar or flour, water, temperature, deprivation of oxygen, time.

So, to enter the market only the few that are either having savings, able to take a loan or a state ready to take more debts for you is the ultimate condition for having commercial activities. It results for the community in a less competitive market, and more friction to get hired, hence more unemployment.

Socialists, communists and liberals shared a dream: luck should not be what drives our destinies. Your own quality should be your best assets to succeed in life.

The luck to be well born with the right sex, in the right place, the right religion, color of skin, or wealth.

The exacerbated competition on the work market by the regulation is fueling this bubble. And an exacerbated competition results in cheating.

When I say cheating you imagine students cheating at their exams. I mean parents cheating.

I was raised in a white neighborhood and went to public school pretty whitish. According to statistics my city have not changed. Yet, my former public school is dark tanned.

These kids are there because, the white kids are not there. Especially the teachers' kids. They are in all the catholic private schools around. I met some white teachers explaining me they could not jeopardize the future of their kids for some stupid principles because education is important.

They did like the rich parents, and those who could followed the example of the teachers of public schools did. Resulting in a massive ghetto.

So basically, parents are trying their best at biasing the system (cheating) in favour of their own kids. Actually the Ivy League schools that refers to themselves as highly competitive are NOT.

The universal recipe for cheating on education is moving in the right neighborhood. But who can move to the right place nowadays?

You are competitive when the competition is opened to everyone. Weirdly enough the top 3% are over-represented at the gates of these schools. You are not competitive when you deny the competitions based on wealth of parents hence luck in birth. Elite kids often share neighborhoods and common schools since kindergarden. How is it a competition to select the best of the nation?

Yes there are as always exceptions. But the shape of the Gaussian of the success odds in education are not in favour of competitive system. Still, more money is dropped in making the schools look more selective.

Unless we still live in monarchy most of the success of elite school student is either birth or parents cheating. And that what companies and administrations are buying at a very high price. Price that drips down in the cost of your goods and in your taxes.

Then comes the basic problem of education: the schools.

Do you really learn something at school?

Most teachers I met think they teach useful knowledge.

Most students I used to know where unable to make any simple calculation of compound interests rate with a master in math, understand an administrative paper with a master in literature, fix their electricity with a master in physics or even make their own booze or cultivate their weed with a master in biology.

In Information Technology workers brag about their level in mathematics. It is a vast joke. Most coders I knew where unable to make a moving average correctly. They were able to pass the interviews still. The whiteboard exams with R/B trees and elite knowledge. But, the sad truth is basic knowledge are lacking.

It feels weird. Educated coders seem smart on edge points that are seldom required in coding, but they sux at basics.

So ... knowledge seems to be a synonym for building a coterie. Having cabalistic words you can exchange to prove you belong to an elite club where job is secured wages guaranteed. Like a club.

I have been a mover. You may think no formation are required. Hell no.

I integrated fast in the team even though I was a newbie because I showed respect to my coworkers some younger and accepted they taught me. The one «diplomed» from the official formation knew some edge points but were so certain they knew everything and arrogant with the one lacking of diploma that they failed at being first enjoyable coworkers and then at improving.

So here comes another part of the bubble; education fails at making better, practical respectful persons.

Having been too much on the bench of university I have experienced the problem: the first quality of a student is to obey and regard the elder with reference while being conditioned that we are the one that can change the future because we should be confident in our knowledge.

If you want to change the future, doubting and questioning the present should be required. Else, you are taught to be a delusive tyran.

For instance, for the same reason I hate open space, I hated my 500+ amphitheater for learning. I hated our noisy spaces for directed sessions. I hated to be 40 hours per week on a bench.

I improved my notes the day I said fuck you and decided to skip lessons and worked on my own in calm environment and resume doing sports.

Open space sux. It is proven. However, they are bound to stay for a long time  because students have been conditioned to be unable to work otherwise.

They have been conditioned to have their teachers' eye set on their hard work. They have been taught to love it.

Remove the open space, and you have kids that never learned to work by themselves and to deliver on their own that will look like a bunch of headless chicken running amok.

Schools does not offer formations it offers deformation of most of the students. It make them delusive and unprepared to work by and for themselves. It fails at delivering new disruptive minds that are truly confident at building knowledge. Schools aim at reproduction not disruption.

Thus I re-affirm that education in its actual form is a bubble. We invest in it expecting future return over investments while what education provide is unsustainable conservative practices.

It turns into stock values, obligations, private loans, bank valuations and one day, the bubble will burst. It highers the cost of employment, inflate prices and costs of administrations.

And believe me, when it will burst, a lot of associated bubbles will burst in a nice snowball effects that are based on excessive values granted to diplomas.

Education is still a good thing. It is just we confuse schools, universities, required diploma which are our implementation to transmit education with the real deal.

Don't ask me what the real deal is: I don't know. But I am convinced it is not gross to doubt our system and question its market value because that what education is supposed to teach us.

Education is not a religion it is learning to question the traditions and accept them when we accept the answer. I am not convinced our system worth the investment extorted by the private and public system to under-informed citizens.

Avoiding fakes news: Why and How

Why you should care about fake news?

Truth is you should not. You should care about interesting articles and contempt the literacy level of journalists. Yes this is shameless journalism bashing

Anyway this is not about "how and why" avoiding fake news it is much more about the questions how and why are not equivalents and that they lead to a real problem.

First I challenge you to read press article every day. You will see especially among the ridiculously pedantic french self designated fact checkers les decodeurs from the reference newspaper lemonde that most of the articles on fact checking are titled with why...? and this is the majority.

Now let's look at how often people ask why vs how in google trends (experience reproduced with same result in french).

Basically people want to know HOW and news like to tell us WHY.

I am gonna develop a saying from one of my physic teacher that I respect for saying:

Why is a question of religion calling for an opinion, How is a question of science calling for an explanation of the mechanisms.

Asking why man evolves from primates? is not the same as How man evolves from primates? .

If your answer the HOW question you will leave to the persons an examination of the mechanisms, letting readers build their own personal opinions. And honestly I find it normal for persons to actually doubt, refute and criticize the evolution. A good theory does not get discredited by opinions but by facts, and I would accept as progress if someone would come to give a better alternate equally simple explanation of the origin of humanity on earth. His/Her motive I could not  care less. To be simple religions do not provides simpler predictive and check-able mechanisms.

Good debates comes from discussing on what matters : the facts and mechanics, not your motives.

The funny part of evolution is funnily that it get rids of any design or motive to explain evolution, it is a non opinionated mechanism regarding purposes based on randomness. The evolution says that there is no need for an intention to obtain human on earth. It just kicks God of the creation of Human, which basically

The strength of Darwin was to answer the question how can we explain the variation of the species and ignored the question why.

It actually is not an atheist theory, it is God agnostic. It does not deny the existence of God, it just states whether God exists or not he is not involved in the process.

And well religions contempt randomness as much as journalists. They want to be the smart guys unveiling you the hidden motives behind news. News and media are all opinionated. I do not mind. No readers mind. We all like opinionated people with whom we can build a nice utopia.

But I think and notice that all readers even if leaning in the same direction as a media wants to make their opinions by themselves. They ask google how. We are better all left checking facts by ourselves.

How should therefore be present in more wording of news and article than why.

Does it means WHY does not matter?

Today I saw an article that the cours constitutionnelle invalidated the decision of  the parliament on making Google pay tax as any other companies on the territory.

It took me 4 pages of google specialized search to have access the document on the motivation of the decision. Because, the motivation of this institution have to be based on the constitution. And I wanted how it was possible. For this I needed the answer to the question why.

Bonus here is the answer : Google has been cleared of paying tax because else it would break the rules of egality in front of the law. Google does tax dodging (illegal evasion) but they must be authorized do tax dodging since it is the norm. Every one does it, so they cannot forbidden to do it.

That is much more the information I was looking for. Basically this country is the farm of the animals where physical citizens cannot do what moral entities can. Some animals are more equal than others but that does not bother the experts of the constitution.

So, are there really any fake news at all in the beginning?

I have done an unnice claim about journalists. Sure I hate the way they write in any language, but this purely an opinion without any grounds. My trollesque opinion is that they are educated yet idiot that do not understand the difference between how and why.

However, I should be ashamed. This does not matter at all.

Here we have a problem that does not require hidden motives of journalists, or complex mechanisms to analyse the problem. Why is not a good question here.

What we can guess from google trends by opposition to a frequential analysis of the title is that there is a gap between what people ask and what media answer.

And I think that it is as simple as that : news are seen as fake because the offer is not in conjunction with the demand.

Journalists question motivations too much in regard of mechanisms when something happens and are not curious enough of the motives of actors when they take a decision. Maybe, medias ignore the raise in literacy of their readers and may need to speak to their readers as smart people.