[PLUG-TALK] The Telephone: Hidden History of What we Take for Granted

Rich Shepard rshepard at appl-ecosys.com
Sun Feb 10 17:34:58 PST 2013

On Sun, 10 Feb 2013, Keith Lofstrom wrote:

> Now if we could only get rid of the cutsy numbers-to-letters substitution
> that some companies use for their main line. "1-800-I-FLY-SWA" - okay,

   There's a company in Missoula, MT, with an Idaho area code to their phone
nuber (208). I asked why and learned it was because there were no Montana
area code numbers available that spelled their name. Sigh.

   However, things will soon become much worse. There's an article in today's
Washington Post -- the Web version -- that reprints a letter from a retire
high school teacher warning college/university faculty why the students
entering their facilities are grossly unprepared and have no idea how to
learn or communicate. Apparently, it all started in 2001 with the No Child
Left Behind act. That put the focus of everything K-12 on standardized test
scores so schools, and their teachers, focused all effort on teaching how to
score high on these tests. The recent Race to the Top federal program
exacerbates the problem. It's a depressing article, but demonstrates that
all we thought about K-12 failures were underestimates. I'm sure glad that
I'm not younger. And I see the results of uneducated young adults in many


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