A better future.

It seems that learning computer sciences is gaining speed. America is starting to pick up its slack in this area by making computer sciences a requisite in schools across America.  NPR has a great article HERE.  I spoke about my own experiences with learning code from online websites in my previous blog named “Trials of Learning”.

Today, I came across a great website that has listed sites that offer to teach code, along with pros and cons.  CareerFoundry Blog is much more succinct and offers a way for people to decide, at a glance, which site is best for them.

It’s funny – despite computers and computer-based programming becoming more and more apart of everyday life, the majority of the people using these technologies still have no real concept about how these things function.  Not only can this cause frustration in actually using any computer-oriented device, this ignorance can cost people opportunities. The discrepancy between schools and students with access to computer science classes is costing children opportunities, as USNews talks about in this article.  Why all the hubbub? Without an education or basic understanding of computer sciences, people can fall behind in work force related opportunities.  In order to have a better standard of living, many people are jumping on the idea that learning about computers is probably a good thing.  Of course, there are still gaps in education and jobs relating to the computer sciences. These discrepancies cover the usual: gender, race, etc.  The US Census Bureau has an interesting article all about this from 2013 HERE.

But I’m not here to focus on just the negatives – there are many positives.  The Internet is chalk full of positive personal anecdotes (like this ONE) about how learning computer sciences have helped people not only overcome financial problems, but also self-worth issues. In a world that is constantly trying to progress and move ahead, an investment in a computer-oriented education seems like a no brainer.

In this light, I hope to keep the ball rolling on my end in order to obtain the necessary qualifications to better my situation in life.  Although there are many cons with the options for learning code free, it really just comes down to sweat. You still have to learn, yes, the old-fashioned way. There is no Matrix-style way of learning that is going to automatically put this information into your brain. I think that many people blur the line between the convenience that computers add to our lives, and the learning process about these computers. It still takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error.  I’m working on tweaking these things to my style of learning. I’ve figured out that I need a structured time-table to motivate me to keep learning.  I also need others around me to talk about what I’m learning.  Because of this, I think that college classes would be best for me. However, free coding classes and library books are great tools I use to help fill in the gaps.

Computers aren’t going anywhere and it’s time we learned to make the most of them in order to advance ourselves as well.  Here’s to a better future.

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Opinion Time (aka Soapbox Time)

Alrighty, let me just get my little pedestal in place before I start ranting.  There.

First of all, I am so tired of hearing about Chick-Fil-A.  There are various aspects to this, such as how often does this happen without getting as much media coverage?  Again, if the media hadn’t blown it up to begin with, would it have gotten this far?  Also, it brings us back to the whole Christians who worship a God that teaches tolerance and love to all.. not really doing that.  As one of my friends pointed out, replace “Gay” with “Black” and this is 1960.  Secondly, who the hell cares how two people have sex?  Why is it such a big deal if people of the same gender want their rights recognized?  Hello!  In the Bible they did things like trade women into marriage for other property, marry at a young age, make the brother of the widow’s husband marry her.. etc..  We don’t do those things anymore, why can’t we accept this one?  Oh wait, it goes back to prejudice and intergroups.  Don’t want to have a stronger group uprising against the White, Middle-Aged, Middle Class.  Because those are the people I see complaining about this whole fiasco.  Ugh.

This type of mentality is why Romney is so popular these days.  He is backed by the upperclass white.  This will be his downfall when voting time comes around.  He’s not relatable.  When I watch the broadcasts of his speeches, his audience is a sea of white, older faces that are auspiciously dressed.  Shocker.  When I watch Obama speak, the audience is multi-colored, multi-aged, and multi-classed.  He’s relatable.  As much as the American people don’t like the fact that Obama can’t wave a magic wand and fix everything wrong with this country (that the people are causing by the way), they dislike Romney more.

As for that magic wand, let’s take a closer look.  Perhaps things would not be so bad financially if.. oh wait, I know it is easy to look back and reprimand.  The thing is, I’m guilty of it too.  I had to learn my lesson.  Don’t buy things you can’t afford.  It is that simple.  If we as a country did that, I think it would help to solve a lot of issues.  I am not saying it is the magic pill, I’m saying it would definitely help.  Another few things that would help?  Getting rid of career politicians with life-long cadillac insurance and retirement plans.  Getting rid of archaic Government programs that were designed to assist the soldiers and their families from wars from almost a century ago.  Stop putting them into law!  We can’t afford them.  It’s time to restructure and develop a new system that truly addresses the issue, doesn’t just get you re-elected.

Last rant-o-da-day, have you watched the news lately?  I got news for you, it ain’t news.  I’d like some good, old-fashioned information.  Not this hyped up, jacked up, make believe world story crap that is designed to cause drama and not inform.  Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings are turning in their graves.

Okay, I’m done. Thank you for listening, you’re a great audience!  Have a good night.  Don’t forget to vote for.. oh wait.

Income anyone?

I guess the income gap between men and women is now making “trendy headline news” as Yahoo! reports on the worst offenders of the United States.. surprisingly, they claim it is Wyoming(Yahoo!, 2012).  Personally, I would have thought it might have been something like Alaska where there are twice as many men as there are women, but what do I know(NationalAtlas.gov)? Of course, there are many factors effecting the reasons behind why the disparity persists and how to change it. CNN News’ article “Gap Remains Between the Sexes When it Comes to Income”(2012) discusses not only why the gap persists, but what the Obama Administration plans on doing about it. According to the article, many things are changing in the modern-woman’s life. More women today are college educated, having children later life, and not getting married. Because of this, any policies put into place to ensure equal pay for women will need to be flexible and definitely not a “one size fits all”. This is also true for policies that will be implemented for other minority groups.

Not only are women experiencing changes, but the poor are experiencing a greater income gap from the rich. The best discussion of this disparity that I have found is at Propublica.org. The article at this site titled “America’s Growing Income Gap, By The Numbers”(2012) not only describes the how’s and why’s of the disparity, but also gives things to take into consideration that can change these factors. Some examples would be a person with less annual income having more in savings while a person with more income may have more things to pay for.. Makes sense. However, even with these things in mind, the article claims that the gap is growing between the rich and poor. There are even some nifty graphs to look at and a fun interactive map to explore how severely effected your geographical area is by this gap. Of course, there is still one type of income gap to discuss: racial.

The income disparity between whites and blacks is not getting any better, according to Julia Isaacs. She did a study for the Brookings Institute, using the data from the censuses of the last thirty years. She discovered that although incomes have increased for both whites and blacks, it has increased much less significantly for black families(Isaccs, J., 2007). On the flip side, a study done by the Pew Research Center(2012) reveals that Asian Americans make more than white americans do. The study even goes on to say that they are also considered to be happier overall. Who said money couldn’t buy happiness?

For a much more in depth analysis (though not quite as up to date) of the income gap, William Sundstrom has a very interesting article titled simply “The Income Gap”.

REFERENCES:

Stropoli, R., (2012). Wage Inequality in the U.S. Persists. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 07/18/2012 from: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/wage-inequality-u-persists-181752413.html

US Census Bureau. (2000). Population by Sex for the United States 1990 and 2000. Retrieved on 07/18/2012 from: http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/people/IMAGES/gender-tbl1.gif

Goyette, B. (2012). America’s Growing Income Gap, By the Numbers. ProPublica. Retrieved on 07/18/2012 from: http://www.propublica.org/article/the-u.s.s-growing-income-gap-by-the-numbers

Isaacs, J., (2007). Economic Mobility of Black and White Families. Brookings Institute. Retrieved on 07/18/2012 from: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2007/11/blackwhite%20isaacs/11_blackwhite_isaacs.pdf

Pew Research Center. (2012). The Rise of Asian-Americans. Retrieved on 07/18/2012 from: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/06/19/the-rise-of-asian-americans/

Sundstrom, W., (1997). The Income Gap. Santa Clara University. Retrieved on 07/18/2012 from: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v9n3/income.html