Americans Are Hindus?

Perhaps I don’t understand a Newsweek article advocating Americans have more in common with Hinduism than Christianity?

First, the numbers of Americans who agree with the sentiments are 65%, 30%, and 24% respectively for each argument. We’d use numbers as strong as 30% and 24% to illustrate people are opposed to something. Of course, we’d use “only” to precede the terribly small number.

Second, the one decent argument, that Americans are accepting there are many paths to God can be found in many of the world’s religions. The Baha’i Faith takes it a step further. God started each of the major religions to bring all of humanity together in moral maturity. Yes, there are differences. However, distilling the teachings down to what they teach about morality, there is far more in common than distinct.

Hinduism is more than respect for people choosing their own path to God, being spiritual, or cremation. Americans are much more complex than these ideas as well.

Videogames in the Classroom?

Yes!!

Videogames in the Classroom? – Newsweek Education – MSNBC.com:

Where parents see hours wasted in front of a screen, these scientists see potential. An FAS study released this week, titled “Harnessing the power of video games for learning,” reports that best-selling games are built in surprisingly pedagogical ways. Players improve at their own pace. Beating a level requires experimentation, failure and learning from mistakes. Most new games can be played online, requiring collaboration and leadership. Game play is precisely calibrated to balance challenge and progress. It’s a stark contrast to a typical classroom in which one teacher tries to engage 30 students with printed information. “It’s like hiring an individual tutor for every student,” says FAS president Henry Kelly of using videogames to teach. “There’s a big argument going on now about whether kids are being tested too much or too little. In a game, you’re continuously being tested and you don’t mind it.”

Admittedly, I agree that most games on the surface don’t appear very educational. Also, saying these things are there and measuring their effects are two different things. What are the negative side affects? C’mon people, hawking something without overwhelming evidence is pretty underwhelming. 🙂

Is America Repeating Roman History?

This article about the novel Imperium (a fictional biography) suggests there are parallels between Rome’s transition from a Republic to an Empire and where we stand in America. If true, then we are right now on the cusp of a great turning point. Imperium is historical fiction. So how much of it is not real?

Rome Returns – Newsweek: International Editions – MSNBC.com:

When a band of pirates ravaged the Roman port of Ostia in 67 B.C., the Roman general Pompey the Great was granted extraordinary powers to manage the crisis. Despite vehement opposition from the aristocracy, who suspected his motives, Pompey was handed absolute control of the sea and the coast for 50 miles inland. “The pirates’ raid on Ostia was a kind of 9/11,” says author Robert Harris, whose new novel “Imperium” (416 pages. Hutchinson) is climbing Britain’s best-seller list. “A precedent was set of special military commands and the suspension of liberties, which was applied first to Pompey, then Caesar, then the whole constitution. You can make a strong case that was beginning of the end of the Republic.”

I’ve already ordered it. It sounds like a good read. 🙂