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Constitution Class: Fifth Amendment

Along with the 1st and 2nd, the 5th is probably one of our most famous amendments. It gives you the legal right not to narc on yourself, but it’s had a broader impact than you might think. Here’s what it says: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual...

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This Weekend, Please Do This.

We recently lost a family member, and as you might expect it’s Brough up some issues that should have been completely preventable. Please make sure you’ve provided for a time when you or the other adults in your household might become seriously injured, or even killed. Please get in touch with your adult siblings and ask them to do the same. PLEASE PLEASE get in touch with your parents, if they’re still with you, and insist they...

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Constitution Class: Third Amendment

At least this one’s not controversial. The Third Amendment to the US Constitution, part of our ten-amendment “Bill of Rights,” is one of the most direct reflections of its times: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.Third Amendment to the US Constitution This one’s pretty simple: leading up to the American...

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Constitution Class: Second Amendment

Hoo boy. The US has a love affair with guns, and a lot of my overseas friends—many of whom live in less gun-friendly countries—just don’t get it. So let’s start with the text of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.Second Amendment to the US Constitution The history of the Second...

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Constitution Class: The First Amendment

If you live outside the US, or even if you live in the US and just haven’t been especially interested in government stuff, our Constitutional amendments might seem a little confusing — especially given the contexts in which they’re often raised in the press. This series will explore each amendment in as nonpolitical a way as possible, and we’ll begin with the First. When the Framers of the US Constitution were writing it, they...

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How to be a #DailyLearner

I hear (and see) lots of folks mention that they’re a “lifelong learner.” It’s a fantastic attitude, but… well, for me, it doesn’t always feel like enough. Here’s why. Lifelong learner sounds more like a willingness to learn. And being willing to learn is great, but it’s also fairly passive. Just because you’re willing to learn doesn’t mean you are learning. Learning is a Muscle From the perspective of cognitive...

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Making a Soft Skills Book: Part 2, or, Title Dynamics

In the previous Part of this series, I talked about the basic origin of my new book. But there’s a twist. The same week the book — titled, Soft Skills: How to Success in Your Technology Career — launched in Manning’s “Early Access Program,” we decided to change the name. I’d never loved the “Soft Skills” title, to be honest. I know it’s the term everyone uses, but it’s just hollow for me. These are skills nearly...

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Making a Soft Skills Book: Part 1

This week saw the release of my new book, Soft Skills: How to Succeed at Your Technology Career. It’s a spiritual successor to several books, including one by another author, and I thought it might be fun to share a bit about the new book’s genesis and development. Manning had a previous book named Soft Skills, but discontinued that for various reasons. But the book had a big following, and I knew one of my tasks would be to...

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[political explainer] Is Pelosi staging a coup?

US House Democrats introduced legislation to form a “commission” to weigh in on the fitness of the President to serve. President Trump went nuts. Is this a Congressionally led coup? TL;DR: No. The 25th amendment, which clarified the Presidential line of succession and lays out certain rules under which the Vice President may temporarily assume the duties of the Presidency, has always allowed for a Congressionally established...

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Please stop asking for “advanced” learning content

I’ve been teaching technologists various topics since… oh, 1997 or so, when I taught my first Windows NT 4.0 MCSE courses. God, I’m old. Anyway… the very best way to frustrate an experienced tech teacher is to bemoan the world’s lack of “advanced” content. So please stop doing it, and here’s why: The world of technology people breaks down into two main groups: those who proclaim themselves to be n00bs, and those who...