Two sets of rules then for child schooling
This is expected perhaps. One set of rules for them and one for everyone else. Not surprising anyone is it?
A recent New York Times profile portrayed Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as the megacorp's human side – in contrast to reptilian boy emperor Mark Zuckerberg. While Zuck once chose to deny, quite categorically, being a lizard – "I'm gonna have to go with 'no' on that," he replied – Sandberg often plays the caring, human half of …
I'd be awfully surprised if Aldous Huxley hadn't read "The Power of Propaganda" amongst many other similar texts of the period. Starting in the early 1900's there was pretty much an explosion of books exploring the topic of media used for political purposes.
> "I'd be awfully surprised if Aldous Huxley hadn't read "The Power of Propaganda"..."
Aren't all successful fiction writers really propagandists themselves? The only difference is that they freely admit what they are doing up front by calling it "fiction," which helps with the whole byline thing too.
Other titles come to mind:
The Little Golden Book of the Prince
Whose Boat Is This Boat?
The Art of War and Virtues
Dick and Jane Play Corporate Tax Haven
The Taking Tree
The Very Hungover Catepillar
Oh, the Shit You Don't Know!
Sorry... got lost for a moment. It turns out there is a small industry of these parody books.
Aren't all successful fiction writers really propagandists themselves?
Sure, if you're a sophomoric thinker with no understanding of rhetoric.
Noting that fiction, or any other use of language, is inherently an attempt at persuasion is nothing new. The best known modern, sustained explorations of that thesis are probably the work of Toulmin and of various rhetoric scholars of the Constructivist school; but the basic idea goes back to antiquity.
Reducing it all to "propaganda", however, discards any useful distinction among applications of rhetoric and intentions of rhetors.
Obviously they are all lizards and also have not grown up?
Mine has an eReader in the pocket with all the children's & YA classics, such as E.Nesbit, George Macdonald, Lousia M. Alcott, Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, R.L. Stevenson. Also more adult ones; Wilkie Collins, J. Conrad, Austin, the various Brontë sisters and many others.
Even Einstein allegedly said we need Fairy Stories. These people either don't actually read real fiction at all, or won't admit it.
I've newer kids & YA books on paper, both ones read from age 10 to newest ones read when my Grandchildren are reading.
Come on people, what do you expected those C-suites to say? They are allowed a PR stunt ("tell us more about The Real You"), and they obviously follow the instructions their PR manager has set up for them.
They obviously won't answer "Machiavelli's The Prince", or "comic books"; On the other hand giving some well-known children's book titles would be a missed occasion, and they didn't become what they are by missing occasions. So they go for the surgical strike, with a clearly defined (and most importantly, unique) message which can be tied to them as an individual, defining trait.
(My point, in case it was lost: That doesn't make them any nicer, it's just that their answers are not as strange as the article seems to believe.)
> when the reply is so blatantly a lie
They didn't really lie, they just never answered the actual question. They just ignored the question and named whatever seemed to best justify their actions, or sounded witty and/or clever (to them). It was just another PR exercise for them, a question like "if you were a color, what color would you be": You would never mention your true favorite color, you know there is only one right answer possible lest you want to pass for a sociopath... It's not a lie, it's basic career management.
Disclaimer: I'm not related in any way or condoning any of the people mentioned in the article, I'm just trying to be just here. I'm usually the first to suspect and mistrust everything and everyone; But this isn't one of those cases. This is just a non-event blown up because the people involved are celebrities. (IMHO, YMMV, etc.)
"They didn't really lie, they just never answered the actual question. They just ignored the question and named whatever seemed to best justify their actions"
Just as bad, if not worse. Do you want to hand over large assets and other people's money to people who cannot be bothered to understand things and just parrot an agenda? Reality can be a harsh mistress.
I can kind of understand not wanting to admit to having a childhood collection of My Little Pony annuals, or indeed the collected works of Ayn Rand lined up in order of tedium, but with their backgrounds surely they can do better than that?
They were asked a question, the answer they gave was untrue, that's a lie.
If when asked "How old are you?" I reply "10" I'm lying, even though that is the correct answer to the question "How many fingers do you have?". If I say "I have 10 fingers" then I'm not lying but it's clear I'm answering a different question.
They just replied to the question without clearly stating they weren't answering it so they were lying.
It should come as no surprise that the Valley's elite prefer a school that bans or limits the very tech the parents make their money from, Silicon Valley is full of crazy beliefs — anit-vaxers, adherents of "organic water" and Ayn Rand for example. It's no surprise that they also believe without evidence that "too much screen time" is somehow damaging their kids (more than having reptilian overlords as parents?)
"The first school based upon Steiner's ideas was opened in 1919 in response to a request by Emil Molt, the owner and managing director of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company in Stuttgart, Germany, to serve the children of employees of the factory.". (for free).
Nothing elitist in that background, but if you put a high price on it and there are a limited number of school it will, no doubt, feel like that, but there is nothing against science and computers and so forth.
... hampered by "the three Rs", we managed to create teh IntraWebTubes.
Basic education does not require iFads/Fandroids. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and point out that the existence of such devices in the K-12 classroom is actually a distraction that takes away from learning the basics.
Grade-school == "the three Rs", in my mind.
I'll allow typing as "writing", *please* teach kids to type!
But IT? Or programming? Only as electives in highschool. Not everyone is capable of that kind of career ... Let 'em figure out that they are interested in that kind of focused, job oriented myopia in college/uni ... kinda like veterinarians, geologists, engineers and psychologists.
YES there are exceptions to the rule ... nurture the exceptional kids in given fields! Don't drag 'em back to the depths of the great-unwashed's lowest common denominator ... but don't expect the entire class to grok the concept of and/nand/or/xor gates, Not everybody is wired that way.
Well, Jake, for once I'm going to disagree with you slightly. Reluctantly, because it happens so rarely.
Back in the day the English élite school system taught Latin. There were historical reasons for it which aren't relevant here, but one benefit it had was that it introduced its little victims to the idea of structured thinking - grammar - and the idea that not everything is relative but some things are right and some are wrong. One of the things they would often learn is logic, because this was extensively written up by the Greeks and the Romans.
Logic gates should be part of maths (they were part of O level maths in my day and helped get me a summer job in a mainframe department) but the mere concept is valuable. Many people can't argue logically because they don't even grasp the concepts of inclusive and exclusive OR.
But computer science is in my view an extremely good Latin substitute. Get your syntax wrong and either things don't work or give unexpected results. You have to learn a grammar. You have to use dictionaries, even if we call them something different, like reference manuals. The difference is that when your work is done, instead of handing it to a beak who may cane you if you make mistakes, you can test it and see the results.
Even html/css teaches some of the things that Latin did. Like grammar.
I think every child should be taught at least one foreign language (I made sure all mine did and they have also all studied in non-English speaking countries), but just as Latin was once the language that helped you get on everywhere, so an understanding of what computers do and how software works is immensely useful for many careers. That isn't likely to change.
"Get your syntax wrong and either things don't work or give unexpected results."
English has similar issues, for similar reasons. It's a consequence of the fact that all human languages have illogical bits & bobs, usually for historical reasons. Thankfully. Without them puns would be impossible, and how dreadful would that be?
To address your concerns, perhaps we should specifically teach the meaning of "or". Shouldn't take more than an afternoon at roughly age 6. Shirley that would save a lot of money, and save a lot of time for important things ... like Critical Thinking. Neither of which require the use of computers.
"It's a consequence of the fact that all human languages have illogical bits & bobs, usually for historical reasons."
That argument was how I kind-of reconciled myself to Python.
In passing, I'd take your point and say it supports my thesis. If you are a native English speaker, you speak a language which has no regular structure worth speaking of, very little grammar and which, like Python, depends too much on page layout. Learning a regular language like Latin, German or Russian is a valuable introduction to the concept of structure.
Umberto Eco wrote a book about the search for the perfect artificial human language in which he describes the attempts to structure languages almost like early computer programs. All have failed. The trick to bring off is to know when to stop trying to be regular and when to admit reality is a mess.
"Back in the day the English élite school system taught Latin.".
It was the same in other European countries too, and the reason in one word is "Europe".
Perhaps England is a bit more of a museum in that respect. Incidentally I would never send a kid to a only same gender school.
However, when you distill it down to basics, English is still a very precise language, when used precisely. It is just as easy to convey logic in English as it is in Latin, Russian, German & etc. In theory, we are already teaching the kids English, right? Shirley it's not all that much of a stretch to teach them to use it logically and precisely when warranted? Adding in computers only confuses the issue ... which is teaching logical thinking, not computing.
As for admitting reality is a mess ... Ain't nowt daft as t'English Language ... thankfully. When you think about it, this place would be awfully boring if we all spoke^Wtyped the same dialect and with the same slang. English is a garbage dump of a language, and one I love dearly.
Evidently you never studied Latin - moreover it was taught in countries where languages have the same structured grammar far more complex than English. Latin was taught because it was Latin, the language of the Roman Empire and the Church, thus the language of the Law, and of those who count. A way to keep the serf distant. It was OK when it was a lingua franca for ideas exchange (but under the Roman Empire it was Greek....) - later it became just a flag some people need to wave to show they were highly "educated" - since learning Latin is far, far, far easier than learning mathematics - or philosophy.
"EIt was the same in other European countries too, and the reason in one word is "Europe".
Perhaps England is a bit more of a museum in that respect. Incidentally I would never send a kid to a only same gender school."
In fact the reason is the Holy Roman Catholic Church, not "Europe".
On your last paragraph, I agree that England is about to turn into a museum.
"since learning Latin is far, far, far easier than learning mathematics - or philosophy."
Some sort of citation for that is needed.
As it's evident I never learned Latin - presumably the poor syntactic structure of my posts gives it away - I am obviously unqualified to comment to your mind; but my own view is that it depends what you mean by "learning Latin".
If you just mean learning the basic grammar and a small vocabulary, that is in no way equivalent to learning mathematics - but it is roughly equivalent to learning simple arithmetic.
However, when pupils get on to the more complex stuff, prosody, verse, metre, and the system of ideas that informed the Latin speaking élite, it gets rather more complicated. There's quite a long way from "the ramparts of the enemy are long" (cf Molesworth and the Shorter Eating Primer) to "Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris Italiam fato profugus Lavinaqe venit littora", just as there's quite a long way from Janet and John to A Dance to the Music of Time.
As for philosophy, though, one of the reasons it's difficult is that most of the earlier authors didn't have a scientific framework and our understanding of linguistics, so in some ways it's like alchemy. Which they tend not to teach in chemistry courses nowadays, for some reason.
I had to learn Latin, studied it for eight years, as it was still compulsory in the school I attended. I became quite proficient as my grandfather was also a teacher, and my father's teacher a renowned Latinist (who also won the Certamen Hoeufftianum), and I could easily go beyond pure school exercises. So I really have nothing against Latin itself (or ancient Greek or Sanskrit, etc. etc.). But I fail to understand the aura built around it - sure, once it was the language of the ruling class, but now?
Despite what people think, learning Latin, with all its grammars and inherent exceptions, it's fairly easy - maybe a little more complex for English speakers - especially now they think they don't need to learn any foreign language - but far easier for others (i.e. Italians or Germans...)
It's a set of rule, and you apply them - you just need to memorize them. They are fixed in stone now (being a dead language) and never change. It takes some effort just any other language, but it's not rocket science. Being an old language is great to understand and study previous and following ones, but it's still a matter of languages.
You are not required to solve any difficult enigma - as in any other language, you study how others write, and imitate them. Sure, you can become a better or worse speaker/writer, but even mistakes will still make you intelligible.
Mathematics, on the other hand, it's not just memorizing - here is where real thinking skills come into play, especially when you need to find yourself a path to solve a problem - and there's only one right "solution" - although there could be different paths, some more "elegant" than others, and any mistake will hinder you to achieve it.
I'll never thank my high school math teacher enough, because she taught us how to solve problems using logic, instead of just handing out lengthy repetitive calculations exercises. Unlike the previous one.
Philosophy too needs to use reasoning, and while unlike mathematics there could be "different solutions", still it requires a bigger logic effort than Latin. My philosophy teacher too encouraged "confutationes" - as long as they were well thought and built (not like internet "deniers"...)
Something you can't really do in Latin - those are the rules and you can only apply them, maybe with some poetic exceptions if you feel like Catullus, because your Lesbia is hurting your feelings (but good luck with the metre...) - but you can't really apply any reasoning to them.
Showing you don't really need an old language to learn thinking skills.
That's why politicians may know Latin, but very rarely they will be very well versed in mathematics, or even philosophy.... and usually are only proficient in the twisted logic of rhetoric.... which was mainstay of Latin education...
@Voyna i Mor
Let's agree, but you used four words against my one word, and it's an interesting topic.
One interesting question is this - "why did the industrial revolution start in Europe".
More than one thousand years ago our friends around Baghdad were far ahead of us in mathematics and science in its various forms. But then a priest stepped in and progress stopped.
Then about 500 years ago a chap, Martin Luther, broke the power of the Catholic Church in Northern Europe and what we call the Age of Enlightenment become possible*.
The priests started to preach in their native tongue but teaching Latin in schools did not end.
As the good programmer I think I was and good at copy/past as you have to be, here is some regarding Latin.
"Latin was originally spoken in the area surrounding Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language, initially in Italy and subsequently throughout the western Roman Empire. Vulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian. Latin, Greek, and French have contributed many words to the English language. In particular, Latin and Ancient Greek roots are used in theology, biology, science, medicine, and law.".
While I did not attend a "Latin" school I had my fair share of phrases in Latin as it's part of our European heritage.
And my favourite is - Ceterum censeo Brexit esse delendam.
*according to Bertrand Russell
Arab scholarship stalled, not so much because "a priest stepped in" as because the Caliphate disintegrated into many independent, contentious kingdoms. Great science goes hand in hand with great empires. Disunity always slows learning.
And the industrial revolution didn't start in Europe, it started in England. Largely because the English common law tradition fostered the attitude that pragmatism should always trump ideology. Sadly, too many British people today have forgotten - or never learned, or understood, or internalised - that rule.
Oh dear, oh dear Veti,
Is it shocking to you that England is a product of Europe, people, language, religion, culture and geography.
I have not claimed the industrial revolution did not start in England, nor will I, but it's the result of a chain of events that started in Europe. And one of those highly important events was to take the church out of science. It's not quite like that today but you might recall how hard it was, even lethal, to claim the earth was not the centre of the universe.
As for the "priest", his was Imam Hamid al-Ghazali.
This might help.
there was an enchanting feature of the EU government - used to be easy to find, but I couldn't this time. anyone knows? link?
There is network of schools, each in a different EU capital. Children of EU government employees able to easily move from one to another of these schools, as they have the same classes, etc., not the local national curricula. Only a small percentage of "locals" were allowed to be enrolled.
Think about this.
Papa (or Mama, or both) work for the EU government. Sames as the parents of all my classmates. Some of them high ranking. I grow up among these peers. Tomorrow, I start my career in EUcracy, business, whatever. I have all these friends all over the place already.
Think about this.
This is breeding (at EU taxpayer expense) a tight network of second-generation powerful upper class
twits Ladies and Gentlemen, separate from the rest. One set of rules for them, another for us.
A (shudder!) New Nobility. All nationalities represented.
Except, ha!, Britons.
BTW, El Reg could do worse than making an expose on this.
(Waldorf? a joke, compared) (a.c.for no want no trouble with mylord and mylady)
"Children of EU government employees able to easily move from one to another of these schools, as they have the same classes, etc., not the local national curricula."
Isn't that the IB program? The idea being that you can get shifted at short notice and be able to carry on your schooling in a different country.
Since they (and other specialist schools, like the NATO ones who teach in English) are available to the locals too, I'm not sure there is whole class issue, any more so than the fee paying school system already enables that.
If you want to join the EU technocrats, then you'll meet more like minded people when you do your bachelors in European Studies than in your high school.
"El Reg could do worse than making an expose on this."
Probably more the gruinard's style, since getting your kids into a nice school seems the pre-occupation of the UK middle classes. My kid is Dutch, so I don;t really have to worry about bad schools in the same way.
No, not IB, it was a specific EU Commission scheme for their employees, local kids admitted only if necessary to make up a minimum number of students per class. It used to be you could find all the regulations online. It could be they killed the project, or that, wisely, it's no longer in your face.
I used to love all those books by Biggles about Capt W E Johns.
Must just add here that the worthy self promoting answers that they all gave that didn't answer the actual question asked are the most Silicon Valley thing ever, and rather than condemning them to the ridicule they so richly deserve, will undoubtedly receive much praise from the similarly mush brained narcissistic self actualizing smug leaders of the tech world in California.
Because they act in a very different way than what they say you should act. Like Zuck taping his laptop camera, and buying all the properties around him, to ensure his privacy.
I'm not surprised they are well aware of the risks of excessive dependency on electronics - after all they have well funded studies about how to make people more dependent on it turning them in zombies to make money from.
And frankly, we don't need only "coders" - btw what's wrong with "programmers" or "developers"? Do they hint at more independent people. while "coder" look to hint at someone who just write code without thinking?
...the people in question were asked to help assemble a "box of books" for children, and their answers reflect that; they never said they read whatever they picked as kids:
"Ewing says she kept her brief fairly open: She asked these people to identify children’s books that inspired them. Some of them chose books from their own childhood, but others chose books that they had read to their own children–thereby passing on their love of reading to the next generation–or books that they had recently stumbled upon."
Fast does write that
"Some of them chose books from their own childhood, but others chose books that they had read to their own children–thereby passing on their love of reading to the next generation–or books that they had recently stumbled upon. "
That strikes me as not unreasonable, though I might not hire any of them to run or stock a children's library.
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