Books by Joseph Ganem

Fake Science Is Killing Our Schools - and Our Republic

Science is both a method for understanding and a guide for decision making. It can and should be the foundation for citizenship: logic, reasoning, challenging claims, making choices based on verifiable fact. Authentic science education is key to producing informed, engaged citizens. It can’t be separated from the culture in which it operates.

Instead, we’re in the most vicious cycle imaginable for a democracy—but perfect for a corporatist kleptocracy. With agenda-driven leaders using pseudoscience to justify bad educational policy, education has become a dehumanizing tool for mass producing compliant workers who accept what they’re told and do what they’re asked.

Physicist and educator Dr. Joseph Ganem rips the lid off of this neatly packaged scam. He exposes the dangers of pseudoscience in the hands of decision-makers, educators, and students. In nothing less than a compelling new vision for 21st century education, he calls us to reject pseudoscience in all forms, engage in a collective search for truth, and commit to an authentic education for every child.

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A Time-dependent Turing Test

This book provides a novel framework for understanding and revising labor markets and education policies in an era of machine learning. It posits that while learning and knowing both require thinking, learning is fundamentally different than knowing because it results in cognitive processes that change over time. Learning, in contrast to knowing, requires time and agency. Therefore, “learning algorithms”—that enable machines to modify their actions based on real-world experiences—are a fundamentally new form of artificial intelligence that have potential to be even more disruptive to labor markets than prior introductions of digital technology. To explore the difference between knowing and learning, Turing’s “Imitation Game,”—that he proposed as a test for machine thinking—is expanded to include time dependence. The arguments presented in the book introduce three novel concepts:

(1) Comparative learning advantage: This is a concept analogous to comparative labor advantage but arises from the disparate times required to learn new knowledge bases/skillsets. It is argued that in the future, comparative learning advantages between humans and machines will determine their division of labor.

(2) Two dimensions of job performance—expertise and interpersonal: Job tasks can be sorted into two broad categories. Tasks that require expertise have stable endpoints, which makes these tasks inherently repetitive and subject to automation. Tasks that are interpersonal are highly context-dependent and lack stable endpoints, which makes these tasks inherently non-routine. Humans compared to machines have a comparative learning advantage along the interpersonal dimension, which is increasing in value economically.

(3) The Learning Game is a time-dependent version of Turing’s “Imitation Game.” It is more than a thought experiment. The “Learning Game” provides a mathematical framework with quantitative criteria for training and assessing comparative learning advantages.

The book is highly interdisciplinary—presenting philosophical arguments in economics, artificial intelligence, and education. It also provides data, mathematical analysis, and testable criteria that researchers in these fields will find of practical use. The book calls for a rethinking of how labor markets operate and how the education system should prepare students for future jobs. It concludes with a list of counterintuitive recommendations for future education and labor policies that all stakeholders—employers, employees, educators, students, and political leaders—should heed.

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Are You Being Duped By Numbers? Do Something About It

You see the "deals" every day: two for the price of one ... a lifetime of savings ... offer only good if you buy today ... low, low, low monthly payments ... zero percent interest! The sound too good to be true, and they are! While not technically illegal, companies spend millions of dollars advertising intentionally misleading numbers to take way more of your money than necessary. Tired of getting ripped off?

Part expose of widespread numerical trickery, part guide on how to shop intelligently, The Two Headed Quarter will forever change the way you decide to buy. Packed with handy resources, tables, charts, and worksheets, this one-of-a-kind book takes the guesswork out of buying everything from fruit juice to financial services.

You'll learn:

  • Why 0% financing can be the most expensive way to finance a purchase
  • How women can be treated "equally" and still lag behind men on pay
  • Why average investors do worse than market averages
  • What conditions are needed to make money gambling
  • How much fat, sugar, carbs, and salt are really in the food you eat
  • What kinds of insurance you actually need
  • Why it's so difficult to get out of debt
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