What’s Wrong with Meritocracy? This nation uses a series of complex, almost arbitrary, tests to select its elite, who learn to excel in exams and at certain set up tasks, but who also lack imagination and self-reflection.
They’re obsessed with constantly climbing, and are often so blinded by short-term goals that they can be indifferent to how the world might be crumbling around them. The thing is, I could be describing either the Chinese or the American elite. The Economist magazine recently published a survey on the global elite that reads like David Brooks’ Bobos in Paradise, except without the wit, the intelligence, and the relevance. The report quite incredibly argues that the global elite is a meritocracy that ‘serves’ the people by creating new wealth, generating new ideas, and spearheading new causes—so we shouldn’t be too hard on them for monopolizing much of the world’s wealth and for nearly bankrupting the global economy. The two men who revolutionized US education couldn’t have been more different. Start your own summer camp! Baby Pictures and Baby Products for Moms and Kids - Tots and Giggles - Page 3.
Preparing Kids for the Unknown. Doctoral degrees: The disposable academic. ON THE evening before All Saints' Day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg.
In those days a thesis was simply a position one wanted to argue. Luther, an Augustinian friar, asserted that Christians could not buy their way to heaven. Today a doctoral thesis is both an idea and an account of a period of original research. Writing one is the aim of the hundreds of thousands of students who embark on a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) every year. In most countries a PhD is a basic requirement for a career in academia. One thing many PhD students have in common is dissatisfaction. Whining PhD students are nothing new, but there seem to be genuine problems with the system that produces research doctorates (the practical “professional doctorates” in fields such as law, business and medicine have a more obvious value). Rich pickings Other countries are catching up. Indeed, the production of PhDs has far outstripped demand for university lecturers.
The Power of Stupidity. Giancarlo Livraghi was recruited to Serendipia by Ron Lee and Jake Ghitis (see About Serendip Forum, 25 August, and following).
Giancarlo is a writer, living in Italy, who has been involved in advertising, and currently concentrates on "the human and social issues of electronic communication", having been a founder of ALCEI-Electronic Frontiers Italy. Among his writings in English is an on line newsletter. Giancarlo's essays on stupidity appeared originally in Entropy Gradient Reversals, and are mirrored here with his permission. Some additional information about Giancarlo is provided by Entropy Gradient Reversal as part of their posting of his second essay.
By Giancarlo Livraghi email@example.comJune 1996 [See also The Power of Stupidity, Part II, written 15 months later.] I have always been fascinated with Stupidity. My own, of course; and that's a big enough cause of anxiety. But things get much worse when one has a chance to find out how Big People take Big Decisions. First Law and Fifth Law. WE LOVE YOU. Magic Cabin - Childhood's Purest Treasures - welcome page. The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher, by John Taylor Gatto. Call me Mr.
Gatto, please. Twenty-six years ago, having nothing better to do, I tried my hand at schoolteaching. My license certifies me as an instructor of English language and literature, but that isn't what I do at all. What I teach is school, and I win awards doing it. Teaching means many different things, but six lessons are common to schoolteaching from Harlem to Hollywood. The first lesson I teach is: "Stay in the class where you belong. " In any case, again, that's not my business.
Nevertheless, in spite of the overall blueprint, I make an effort to urge children to higher levels of test success, promising eventual transfer from the lower-level class as a reward. The lesson of numbered classes is that there is no way out of your class except by magic. The second lesson I teach kids is to turn on and off like a light switch. The lesson of bells is that no work is worth finishing, so why care too deeply about anything? This is another way I teach the lesson of dependency.