In 2013, I purchased And Man Created God amid a wave of the rebirth of a
rationalist, athiest wave of thinkers coming to the fore. In retrospect, this
movement is commonly called New Atheism. Around that time, Christopher Hitchens
published God is not Great; Sam Harris, The End of Faith; and Richard
Dawkins, The God Delusion. Amid this shift in honest discussion of
anti-theism, atheism, and belief, I was curious as to when and why theism became
a core part of mankind’s lifestyle. Why posit this thing that so clearly lacks
evidence? Whence this desire?
This books does not answer those questions. Indeed, they might not have any
answers that can be reliably extracted from the historical record. Rather, the
book performs an inventory on the characters and propositions of religions near
the beginning of the common era (AD, if you’re old school) and what happens to
them around the time of the rise of Christianity.
In the time covered, religions had reached a stunning level of vibrancy and
diversity: god-kings of Africa, an organized Greco-Roman pantheon, the sons and
daughters of jealous Yahweh, the binary split of evil and good in
Zoroastrianism, etc. By the end of this period, the widest-reaching religions
that will spread to the most adherents have adopted a common character:
urbanist, universalist, personalized mystery religion appealing to
supernatural agents of divine law on behalf of the humiliated.
I was recently reduced from the staff of the Flatiron School and, after my
GitHub accounts were terminated, I still had a ton of repos that had been
forked from the company’s accounts to my own. The GitHub web UI doesn’t help
with bulk actions, so I scripted it.
Use hub’s low-level API to generate a death list in a file
Over the last year, my team and I have created a single-source-of-truth
accounting for the Software Engineering program at The Flatiron
School built on AirTable. I believe this system offers a superior
means for managing curriculum development, documentation, and collaboration.
I’ve written a series of posts documenting this solution that starts here.
The audience for the full series is fellow-educators or content-production
pipeline managers. In this post, I’ll provide an introduction to the problem at
Let me express thanks to our executive sponsor, my boss, Brian Tobal as
well as my staff: Jen, Maxwell, Mohawk, our previous collaborators Jason and
Daniel. Let me also thank the countless issue-reporters or pull-request authors
that helped along the way. It was Brian’s faith in the idea of “modular”
curriculum and support for it at the organizational level when the ROI was
murky that gave us the time to prove the payoff to our convictions.
I believe that the secret to designing thoughtful educational experiences as
well as teams that design them is building a robust artifact that I call an
An “accounting” can be grasped by this graphic:
To translate into words, the accounting:
documents the binding between atomic student capabilities ("Learning Goals") and macro-objects ("Lessons") or nth-order macro-objects (e.g. "Unit", "Modules", or "Products"), and
calculates the chain of dependencies for any given capability that includes its recursive dependencies back to first principles (i.e. transitive dependencies)