Monday, July 20, 2015

What Makes You Special

(Note: I just got Dragon voice control software, and this is my first blog post spoken entirely with Dragon and without typing. Let me know if it sounds any different).

When I first wrote my unschooling post, I was annoyed that I only had percentiles instead of raw data. But I realize now that percentiles also have a use value, because percentiles tell you what makes you special. For example, my self-efficacy score changed from 0 in the current condition to 95 in the unschooling condition. While I don’t know that my raw score jumped 95 points, I know that in the current condition, having low self-efficacy set me apart from other people. I know that in the unschooling condition, I have higher self-efficacy than 95% of the population. When I wrote the unschooling post, I felt like I didn’t have the real data I needed. I felt like there was nothing I could prove without my raw data. While it would be nice to know how I changed from the current condition to the unschooling condition, there is a lot of value in seeing how my percentiles changed. In the unschooling condition, I have more self-efficacy, assertiveness, and intellect then most of the population. These are qualities that make me very special in the unschooling condition, qualities that do not set me apart in the current condition. So, while it would be nice to know how my raw scores changed from one condition to the next, the fact that I went from having less self-efficacy than almost all of the population to having more self-efficacy than 95% of the population is extremely valuable knowledge, and is just as significant as if my raw score had gone up by 95 points. The data in the unschooling post shows not only how I would be different if I had been radically unschooled, but how what would make me special and would set me apart from other people would have been different than what sets me apart now.

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