Why I Rescue Books

I was once a High School student. Not so long ago that I have grey hair but recent enough to have been witness to the beginning of the end of Western Civilisation.

That experience is best shared another day when I have finished writing my book. There is one experience that I will share today. Our school which was supposedly underfunded had a pretty magnificent library for its size and location. I thought so anyway. When I saw it Freshman year I was ecstatic. I would be able to supplement the abysmal excuse for an education I was receiving with private study. Little did I know we would never be allowed to use it or check out books. It was completely for show. Never during any school day were we allowed to use the Library and it was closed and locked before school, during lunch period, and after 2 p.m.

I never figured out why we employed a librarian.

Now that you know the story you can forgive me for sneaking in and borrowing books when no one was around.  You should forgive me anyway. Sadly no one missed any of them.

That experience gave me a new outlook on the availability of books.

 

I rescue books simply for the reason that they are being destroyed and never replaced. Yes it is happening. I started seeing it all over my area. I witnessed boxes full of books being dropped into dumpsters by local businesses and charities. I have encountered colleges and universities discarding books on important subjects never to be replaced. Even seminaries are guilty.

I have always loved books and believe it is a sin to ban or burn books. That is why I have decided to expand my efforts. I don’t know what this will become but I can feel that it will be great.

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The Crumbling Pillars of Higher Education

One could say that I am an electronics hobbyist. I recently needed a new oscilloscope so I checked the local sources. I don’t need anything too fancy. I am just looking for a used CRT or Digital scope. Preferably 40MHz bandwidth or higher. I’m looking for the good reputable brands like Tektronix, Hameg, B&K , HP, Kikusui, etc.

For those who don't know what an oscilloscope looks like this is a public domain image of one from wikicommons

For those who don’t know what an oscilloscope looks like this is a public domain image of one from wikicommons

Typically these things are dirt cheap and can even be had for free if the local college is throwing them out. The problem is, between two community colleges and one major state university in my area, no one knew what an oscilloscope is. At the first two community colleges I spoke to professors in the Computer Science Department and with several “Lab Techs”. I spoke with “Engineering Professors” and the heads of the departments. I was floored. I asked: “I’m just looking to see if you have any electronic testing equipment that you might be getting rid of?” When asked to clarify I said I was looking for an old oscilloscope. The reply was “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” At the local major State University I spoke with the heads of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, the Engineering Department Head, and the Head of the Petroleum Engineering Department. They didn’t tell me that they didn’t have them or that I would have to check an auction, or even that they aren’t allowed to give them away anymore. They told me they didn’t know what an oscilloscope was and they seemed to be suspicious that they actually exist when I tried to explain what they do. These are people with Masters Degrees and Doctorates in various fields of Science and Engineering. Someone please help, I have found myself in the Twilight Zone.

Concerned yet? I am after this and my last news post about the busting of the peer review ring. I suggest reading books.

Understanding Basic Electronics (Softcover)

Understanding Physics: Volume 3: The Electron, Proton and Neutron

 

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Irresponsible Millennials by Guest Writer “Demosthenes”

Irresponsible “Millennials”

By Demosthenes

I am twenty four years old. I am supposed to be investing in the stock market, or so they say on Fox Business News. I am unpatriotic and irresponsible for not doing so. I am not supposed to be living with family. I am supposed to buy a house. I am supposed to get a four year degree at least and then supplement that degree with a graduate degree because bachelors degrees have become so ubiquitous. I am supposed to buy a car, life insurance, cable television, and a smart phone. Not only am I supposed to buy these things, but I am also expected to get married and have multiple children. Yes, these things are actually being said. I am going to add up the cost of these “responsibilities”.

  • House: Differs depending on Market. DFW area 3 bed 2 bath: $110,000

  • Four Year Degree at Non-Ivy League College: Approximately $30,000

  • Masters Degree at Non-Ivy League College: $20,000 (a steal as of 2014)

  • Car: 2014 Toyota Prius: MSRP 25,010 so maybe down to $23000

  • Smart Phone: Not Counted

  • Health Insurance (required by law): approximately $3600 per year

  • First year of having a baby (not including cost of birth) $6,282 – babycenter.com baby cost calculator

  • Life Insurance: (May need to tweak for age) $300 per year

The Total: $193,182 DEBT for one year of this “responsible grownup” life. That is before home upkeep, car upkeep, groceries, utilities, etc. Make no mistake, this is all debt. Every time I hear a news story about college I cringe when I hear about how “Mom and Dad” must feel about it. I cringe because “Mom and Dad” are not paying for college. The vast majority of students pay for college using student loans. The scholarships just aren’t there and “Mom and Dad” are not usually millionaires. If you apply for a grant, even if your parents give you ZERO support, even if you don’t even have a relationship with your parents, you have to use their tax returns when applying. If your parents make more than $20,000 per year (adjusted gross income) you don’t qualify. There are no grants for graduate students.

I also cringe when I hear that anyone who wants a job can get one, or is just being too picky.

  • Point number one: That’s easy for you to say. It is very easy for a forty year old with a long resume to say there are plenty of jobs. It just isn’t so. I hear “just take any job”. Sure. Then I’m not going to bother with paying $50,000 for degrees to work at a gas station.

  • Point Number two: Those mythical jobs are just not there. They are not. You can’t get a job digging ditches in this country. I have literally tried. It is so unreasonable and ridiculous to keep trying applications, I have started my own business to employ myself. That’s right, I’m not some welfare recipiant pretending I can’t find a job. I was a professional job applicant for years. The dirty little secret about those “Now Hiring” signs is that it is a flat out lie. Those signs help boost the reputation of those businesses. “Now Hiring” means “We are successful”. It also means “You can safely invest in our company”. There are whole neighborhoods of businesses in your city, any city, that have had these dishonest signs for years while they are in fact downsizing. Keep in mind, I’m not whining. (not that that is a legitimate criticism) I’ve started my own business. These are just the facts. Those who go inside to apply are turned away and told that they can apply online and it will go “on file”. Many times you can go on the company website and it will actually show you that your location isn’t hiring. I have filled out hundreds, possibly thousands of those applications.

My point is this: It is not responsible, reasonable, or even do-able to go down that list and follow those directions. Live your own life and make your own decisions. It is irresponsible to have children before you can afford to feed them. College is a decision that will affect the rest of your life. So is getting married, having children, and taking on the kind of debt we are talking about here. You can take your parents advice, but you don’t have to follow it. Remember they are probably not taking the reality of 2014 into account. Some things haven’t changed since 1978 but there is no such thing as “working your way through college”. That was when their student loan debt was eleven hundred dollars. Total. Remember that you will be drudging along in your career long after they are dead. Don’t listen to anyone tell you you can’t do something, and just as important, don’t listen when they tell you that you HAVE to do something.

Most of the garbage our generation catches is actually a symptom of a lack of responsibility on the part of the “baby boom” generation. All of them. The politicians, the parents, the teachers, all of them. That won’t be a popular opinion but I don’t care. When I grow up and go out into the world and there are no jobs, no money, no values, no morals, no standards, and no dignity, it is delusional to blame the generation that just turned 18.

Resources:

6 Ways Companies Are Secretly Screwing Over Job Applicants

Project Student Debt

Student Debt

“The College Conspiracy”

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