The Internet Isn’t Always a Data Dumpster

The internet has proved to be an invaluable resource. The world’s knowledge is available at lightening speeds, transmitting from our fingertips directly to our brains. While the internet has ushered in a new digital era, everything that has a connection isn’t gold. The method that we receive all of this data can actually make us dumber.

When scrolling down to the comment section of any article, at least one person makes a comment or asks a question that is actually answered in said article. Taking into account that many of these comments are just the product of trolls; many people don’t read fully or retain the information. Not surprisingly enough, this is because our brains are specifically outfitted to process information on the internet.

In an article by Fortune, the author explains how this method of distracted learning is not conducive to remembering information for long periods of time. The overwhelming amount of information that is available and the way that it is presented may essentially be useless for comprehension.

According to a study in the Journal of Digital Information, those who read documents with hypertext didn’t retain as much information as those who read text without links. Indeed, book reading is under stimulating. That is a good thing because your brain can transfer this information from your “working memory” to “long-term memory.” Neuroscientists have discovered that long-term memory isn’t just where you store random facts, but “schemas” that help you organize thoughts and concepts. But there is only so much you can transfer into your long-term memory at once, what scientists call the “cognitive load.”

If the bulk of the information you seek is gathered from internet sources, how much have you actually learned? Think about the last few books that you have read. The likelihood of being able to recall the plot, characters and your general emotional response to the story is highly likely. Upon using the internet, a person has read hundreds, if not thousands of articles. Can you recall specific information about any article that was read longer than 6 months ago?

This cannot be deduced for all those using the internet as a resource. Interest and general willingness to learn are also factors.  Research with intent provides endless insight into new ideas and concepts. It is also safe to assume that many click-bait articles or things read in passing have made its way to the data dumpster.  Reign in the internet searches and focus on content that is meaningful to you,  you will be smarter for it.


Daily Inspiration: Learn Beyond Your Prejudice

Nas Daily is a world traveler that posts videos on Facebook about the people he meets and interesting concepts about those places. His videos are informative and can be fairly moving.

In today’s video he had an interaction with someone who holds a prejudice against people from his home country. He tried to change the view of the people that he is conversing with.

Nas reminds us that no matter what we see, are taught, or experience it is unwise to generalize entire groups of people. You exclude yourself from amazing interactions and relationships when you don’t learn beyond your prejudice.

Kansas Offers Opportunity For Student Loan Repayment

Student loan debt is no stranger to higher education seekers. As the demand for education has increased over the years, so has the price; leaving millions of people in debt and scrambling to make ends meet. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.

These loans are great avenues for people to get a degree, that simply can’t afford it. The government has found ways to make repayment of federal loans more manageable through income driven repayment plans and public service forgiveness. Private loans operate under the specific terms of the lender. If you fall under hard times with repayment some options include: refinancing, forbearance and bankruptcy.

Kansas is offering another repayment option. The Kansas Department of Commerce is inviting young people to find a better solution to their debt problems with the Rural Opportunity Zones program.

There’s something special about life in rural Kansas. Something authentic and wholesome. Something that makes it the ideal place to live, work and raise a family. And thanks to the new Rural Opportunity Zones program, there’s never been a better time than now to make rural Kansas your new home. If you’re looking for lower cost of living and better quality of life, Kansas is your best choice.

Rural Opportunity Zones are 77 counties that have been authorized to offer one or both of the following financial incentives to new full-time residents:

  • Kansas income tax waivers for up to five years
  • Student loan repayments up to $15,000

In this instance, one hand washes the other. Counties offer a chance to eradicate debt, while bringing new life to areas that have been declining since 2010. Small town life, isn’t necessarily idyllic to those graduating from college but great things can come from unexpected places. Kansas could prove to be an amazing opportunity to gain experience, save money, life comfortably and pay off debt.

To qualify for student loan repayment one must establish residency in a qualified county after July 1, 2011, hold a degree (associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s) and have an outstanding balance. For more information on this program visit Rural Opportunity Zones.


Convenience To Contraceptives On Campus

It is not a secret that young adults attending college are sexually active. Even though the media has evolved to be extremely sex ‘forward’, the topic of sex is still taboo.

Women and men may still face scrutiny and some colleges are looking to ease that burden; with contraceptive vending machines. Since 2012, Shippensburg University, University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, Davis have installed ‘wellness’ machines on campus.

Health education programs in high schools vary widely across America. They employ conservative or progressive curricula to inform students about sex. By the time these students get to college, their experiences are different.

Wellness machines provide condoms, Plan B, and pregnancy tests for the convenience of all students. Ultimately, making it a great resource for reserved and liberal students who are engaging in sexual activity to stay safe without judgement.

Earlier this month, Stanford University became the latest school to install these vending machines.  According to an article by the New York Times, more schools are looking to provide these services.

Parteek Singh, a recent graduate who urged U.C. Davis to install the machine, said he had heard from people at more than 30 schools who are interested in learning how to do the same thing on their campuses.

“This will be big,” Mr. Singh said. “It’s just the beginning.”

This appears to be a new trend for schools that are looking to turn this taboo topic into new and improved health services for their students.

Culture in Financial Planning

If you have been watching the news or  walking the streets you’ve probably realized that America isn’t really financially sound. With all the hems and haws about how to fix these financial problems, the root is overlooked. How does one get into financial problems? Let’s examine the typical American. The typical American probably rents, wishes more for their general lifestyle, has too many dependents, over-consumes and doesn’t have a significant safety net. One would think that we would have a more “enlightened” grasp on how to prepare for the future. Traditional American culture is almost more extinct than that invisible nest egg. In 2012, the typical American is either backstroking in debt and/or just struggling to stay afloat.

Should heads shake at the Baby Boomer generation for their lack of traditional accommodation? Society has fallen off the radar when it comes to general values and appropriate consequence. Each generation seems to lose touch with what it actually means to be financially responsible. The ever expanding debt balloons in American households is astounding and a direct result due to piss poor financial planning education! Society is more worried about keeping the latest technical gadgets in your hands vs. making sure that when your 65 you still don’t have to work.

Financial education is the only way to combat our glutenous culture. Although teaching youth the concept behind economics is beneficial, let’s try a different approach. In addition to telling me, how people are going to take my money, how about you teach me how to keep my own? Food for thought, I guess. If you want to eat a chicken, you chop its head off right? Well, if you want the typical American to halt this downward spiral, disengage the temptation. Teaching individuals what it means really means to earn money, save, and make responsible decisions.

Life expenses can be unpredictable and even the best financial planners may run into issues along the way. Preparedness is often overlooked as the key to remain out of financial ruin. However, many people when they have reached the retirement age have yet to retire because it is not feasible. The main contributor is poor planning or lack of the correct planning. Rebuilding a stability among Americans is dependent on the redirection of values to catch up with the culture.

Failings of Public Education

America’s education system is that of a failing one. We all might ask who is to blame for our country’s ridiculous shortfalls? The government? the lack of discipline from a family system? The drive or will of the student? All of the above. As a nation we have failed ourselves and future contenders to provide adequate and competent “competition”.

The government, although trying, has not been successful in restoring America’s education system. Mainly attributed to the lack of funding and TLC. But what about the schools that do receive funding? Well, that brings us to dark side of standardized tests and falsely obtained grades. The desperate or shall I say selfish need to fund, has completely undermined the concept of education. Obviously, schools that perform well on standardized tests and receive more desirable scores are rewarded with a nice price package. This comes with two problems: the curriculum and the loser. Firstly, schools who are competing for funding, tend to base their curriculum solely on test drilling exercises. Students themselves are hostages of a non-quality learning environment. Low performing schools which happen to be typically affiliated with low-income areas, are at an extreme disadvantage. If the students can’t already catch a break, they attend schools that don’t provide much relief. Since the schools are already at less than up to par status, the chances of reform there are very slim. If a student is unable to change schools due to district rules, then, we know the possibilities.

The issue of a failing education system still has yet to be addressed. The state’s as well as the federal government contain the power to raise the standards of the education system as a whole. The cohesiveness between what the law requires and what is implemented through teachers, administrators, and education officials. Though we know that total avail is probably impossible, we can come closer to it. Now, who do I talk to about these student loans?