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Of Virginia Tech and video games: will somebody please do the math? April 25, 2007

Posted by @Doc in Blacksburg, Counter-Strike, Jack Thompson, Seung-hui Cho, Video Games, Virginia Tech.

Video games killed those kids at Virginia Tech!!! So said self-credentialed media scholar Jack Thompson, whose uninformed hissy fit commenced roughly eight seconds after the shooting ended. Of course, FAUX News was happy to hand him a mic and point a camera at him.

If only they’d taught math at Jack Thompson’s school. (more…)


Thoughts on Virginia Tech April 19, 2007

Posted by @Doc in Blacksburg, Columbine, Education, school discipline, Virginia Tech.
1 comment so far

I won’t sit here and pretend that EducationF1rst would have prevented this week’s tragedy in Blacksburg. Clearly there are pathologies here that no system in a nation of 300 million can expect to catch all the time. I like to think that a broad program of reform addressing curriculum, community investment, discipline and teacher quality would make these things at least a little less likely, but even if it did how would I prove it?

All I can do is acknowledge that things went horribly wrong, and in doing so take a moment to point people toward a few things that perhaps provide insight and support, as well as maybe an idea or two about practical steps we should look into.

  • Jo Scott-Coe properly questions the limits of standardization and wonders about the corrosive effects of our misguided emphasis on piecemeal tactics instead of a truly holistic strategy.
  • Jim Booth, whose wife works with the spouse of one of the victims, searches for solace in the words of our master poets.
  • My good friend Dr. Denny wonders, as I imagine a lot of professors are right about now, what would he do?
  • Robert Silvey expresses his frustration at America’s gun culture.
  • Gavin Chait, who lives in Cape Town, offers America a little perspective by noting that we’re not really as violent a culture as we sometimes imagine we are.
  • Being an entrepreneur and partner in a firm that sells technology that could have potentially helped alert students of the danger bearing down on them, I ask whether more lives might have been saved had the university acted last September. I also take time to consider Iraq, which has 3.5 Virginia Techs every day.
  • Finally, I offer to the entire Tech community and the residents of the great state of Virginia my deepest sympathies. I live in Colorado and was here during Columbine. It felt like somebody had killed my family – a feeling that was never really rational, but it was very real and it’s one I’ll never forget. We’re thinking about you.