ATT Wireless Bluetooth Modem

Bluetooth is one of the many mini technologies supposed to set the world on fire, but never really achieving the kind of traction hoped for by so many. At best, it’s become a wireless solution for eliminating the wire between your cellphone and headset. I recently discovered a two other uses that don’t make Bluetooth my new favorite tech, but certainly bump it up a notch in my perception. First, ThinkOutside finally released drivers for their portable Bluetooth keyboard making it compatible with SmartPhones. If you are like me and don’t want a true phone/PDA combination, this is hot news. I also finally figured out the quirks to using my ATT Wireless data plan in combination with my laptop to create a Bluetooth modem connection to get me by when there’s no WiFi in range. It’s about time that $25/month started being something more than a way for me to read RSS feeds in the car.

  • Anonymous

    You’re perhaps my favorite writer on lockergnome of all time.

  • Theo Meacock

    well blow me down !

  • Theo Meacock

    well blow me down !

  • Theo Meacock

    well blow me down !

  • Ron Brunton

    Well written and presented. While I fully agree with the importance of science education, its role in public education has been deminished by funding cuts and restricted by political pressures.

  • Ken Weinkauf

    My grandfather used to say, “Stop and think.” He was a big advocate for taking things slowly, not reacting, and making informed decisions arrived at by his great mind. His tutelage has been with me my whole life and now that I am as old as he was when he said it to me, I say it to my grandchildren. And so the cycle continues…

  • Barry Etheridge

    “Both examples are symptoms of a general failure of our educational system (schools and parenting) to teach scientific reasoning. ”

    Sadly I feel your equation of science teaching with the propagation of scientific reasoning is itself ‘irrational’. Studies have shown again and again that even science graduates are not necessarily any better at the application of reason to their observations and experience than anyone else.

    The truth is that ‘irrationality’ has served us well as a species in the evolutionary stakes at least in so far as it encourages a ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude. It is not for nothing that the enduring image of ‘rationality’ in our society is the ‘mad scientist’ as the benefits of rational thinking only appear to be the devising of ever more subtle yet efficient way of killing others, ourselves, and the planet.

    Human beings will always be Kirk and not Spock, reactors not thinkers, and the failure of ‘rational’ and ‘logical’ people to recognise that serves only to make them more ‘alien’, suspicious and dangerous. Irritating as it may be the fact is that nobody was ever injured by NOT using a piece of equipment that emits electromagnetic radiation and, no matter how safe science may deem cellphone technology, you simply can’t get safer than that!

    So I’m afraid that I simply cannot accept your thesis that anything unusual or different “has been happening in the US since about 1980″ which is merely special pleading on your part for the promotion of science over arts as far as I can see. Emotion and bandwagoning always has been the prime mover in politics amongst the electorate and always will be whether every man woman and child is steeped in scientific thinking or not.

    And, whether you like it or not this is as true of scientists themselves as any other group. I’m sure it is comforting (to say nothing of self-aggrandising) to depict the debates over Darwin’s theories or global warming (to quote but two of a thousand such arguments) as ‘right’ against ‘wrong’, ‘intelligence’ against ‘ignorance’ and so on but this is a blatant lie. One only has to view the current rationalist ‘hero’ Richard Dawkins in action disparaging the work of Stephen Jay Gould or go back to the vile personal attacks of Newton on Hooke to see that there is nothing especially ‘rational’ about the conduct of science however indisputable the results may turn out to be.

    In an age where most scientific ‘breakthroughs’ are now largely mythological in nature (the Higgs Boson, dark matter etc. which ‘have to be there’ to validate our models even though there may never be any physical evidence for their existence whatsoever) science is teetering on the edge of becoming a parody of itself and we can hardly blame ordinary people for being less than convinced that it’s even vaguely relevant to everyday life.

    When all is said and done, if a piano is falling on your head, the logical thing to do is run like hell not calculate its acceleration due to gravity (taking into account air resistance, of course) and whether it was initially high enough to reach terminal velocity!

  • Bernhard Muller

    I think you are at least a century too late in your appraisal of when the widespread failure of “scientifically based” thinking occurred. I refer to Marx and his ideas about economics. They have been tried multiple times and always failed. And, as you say, today we have political parties that continue to push Marxian ideas against all evidence of their not working.

  • Craig DeForest

    @Barry, you may have missed my original point, which is that scientific reasoning is *not* commonly taught as part of any curriculum at present. As for 1980, I was referring to the alliance between the Republican party and the “religious right” to secure Reagan’s election, which profoundly changed the policies of that party (Why, for example, should everything be subject to deregulation except how women treat their own reproductive systems? The laissez-faire market dogma is at least motivated by traditional economic conservatism; the hyper-regulation of individuals is the opposite of laissez-faire politics.) I do not mean to judge the positions, here, merely to highlight the inconsistency of the dogma.

    @Bernhard, I believe you may be arguing about a political strawman. Nobody (in a position to do anything about it) is advocating anything like Marxism in America these days. The American political mainstream in 2010 would have appeared reactionary in 1970, and still appears so compared to the mainstream throughout the rest of Western civilization. Nevertheless, limited socialism (lowercase “s”) appears, despite our dogma, to be working just fine in Europe and in Canada — 12 counterexamples to “always failed”, if you like.

    Anyway, my beef is about lack of critical reasoning, it is not particularly about politics — except that one political party, in particular, seems to reject critical reasoning out-of-hand when it is inconvenient. I have no tolerance for “know-nothings”, and neither should you.

  • Bernhard Muller

    @Craig. We clearly have areas of agreement and areas of disagreement.

    Agreement: we do not teach our children critical thinking skills, or any semblance of the scientific method. I have taught at the post doctoral level at a major university, and have been amazed at the lack of understanding/knowledge/use of the scientific method in my students. Of course, the fault must lie with the preparation they have received in prior years.

    Disagreement: this is, clearly, a side issue. But I do not think the socialist/collectivist system in Europe is working terribly well at present; and many countries have backed off from some of their more collectivist policies. I don’t see Europe as a good counter argument to my “collectivism fails” thesis. And, when it suits them, the Democrats also ignore facts. If you wish, I will list instances, but I won’t’ do it now as that is not the thrust of this thread.