Saturday, 16 April 2016

Serendipity Strikes. Yet Again!

I have been idling about listening to Milton Friedman's Free to Choose series on Youtube.  Yetserday and today it was this one:

Checking my emails after that there was this from Capx.

What goes around comes around.

My personal view is that the primary purpose of a national education system is to nationalise education. Ditto health care. Nationalising education is all about control.  Nationalising health care is all about fear, that is to again increase control.

20 comments:

Bayard said...

It's amazing how "un-nationalised" the national education system in the UK was until recently. It wasn't until Ben Elton took the piss out of the Dept of Education for not even having a national curriculum that such a thing was imposed and it was only when the Blair government realised the propaganda possibilities offered by the state schools that they were used for that purpose as well. Not bad for something started in the C19th.

DBC Reed said...

Having taught at most post-primary levels up to degree level,I would have none of this freedom malarkey and go back to the wise methods of Napoleon who took time off from conquering decadent monarchies and other evolutionary throw-backs to institute a system whereby everybody was taught the same syllabus at exactly the same time and he could look at his watch and know what page they were on all over France.A child could change schools over a weekend in term-time.Responsible UK parents now fear getting a new job as it disrupts a child's GCSE or A level studies (what with all the whizzo private-sector examination boards who ,insanely, are supposed to compete).
All the freedom entrusted to schools has produced is the proliferation of junk subjects such as Maths which Simon Jenkins took apart inimitably recently. As is obvious to even the dullest schoolchildren , teaching algebra to 10yr olds is institutionalised
child abuse. Nothing more than simple whole-number arithmetic is necessary in ordinary life. And people have calculators, do they not?
The end result is that anybody with any feelings becomes terrified by Maths and accepts that formulae-filled Economic arguments are above their heads which is why the country is run by what the Sorbonne students of 2000 called Autistic Economics.
How come so many graduates don't get that commercial Progress always results in Poverty if it just puts land prices up? How many have been so zombified by education that they can't accept that "the majority of money in the modern economy is created by commercial banks making loans" even when the Bank of England spells it out in simple language in a special bulletin?

Lola said...

DBCR. Thank you for proving Mf correct.

Bayard said...

"Nothing more than simple whole-number arithmetic is necessary in ordinary life. And people have calculators, do they not?"

Not all the time, they don't. Brains don't need batteries. Also I still use algebra and trigonometry in daily life from time to time. However, I would agree with you that once kids have learned to read, write and add up, they might as well go out and get a job, if they want to. However, the problem AFAICS is not so much the teaching of junk subjects, but the raising of the school leaving age to massage the youth unemployment figures and the use of schools a state-provided creches so that both parents can work to pay off that nice big mortgage they've taken out.

Lola said...

B. Me to re maths. It's very useful to know how to set out a true right angle with just a tape measure and three sticks.
Not only that, but maths properly taught exercises ones brain exercises ones mathematical muscles if you like.

DBC Reed said...

I once taught voluntary remedial English and discovered that a lot of the students were traumatised. On the English side, spelling reform would appear to be an urgent need.Why not "frend" etc?
But most of the trauma came from maths phobia. A colleague(old spelling) of mine, the Head of Drama went into complete meltdown when he had to submit sides of figures giving 5% of attendances for drama classes. I conducted a survey amongst staff and students of the college of the product of multiplying a half by a half: only students fresh out of school got it right.
The problem with Milton Friedman star of such flops as ' Monetarism' or 'Thicky Thatcher and her pals'is that just changing the ownership and management of schools will not improve the syllabus which needs careful study, advice from the Inspectorate and field trials.And to get rid of algebra for starters.And cut all the homework.Is it any wonder that teenagers take "Hunger games" as a reference point?

Bayard said...

"On the English side, spelling reform would appear to be an urgent need.Why not "frend" etc?"

Is there any language that has logical spelling? On the plus side, at least English doesn't have genders and very little in the way of cases or declensions. German and French genders, now there's illogical for you.

Lola said...

DBCR@ 10.52. No. And No.

DBC Reed said...

@B From "Spell it out" (2012) by English language guru, David Crystal: "We need orthography to be predictable. There has to be a systematic relationship between sounds and letters .In a perfectly phonetic spelling system the relationship is one-to-one: each sound is represented by one letter, so that it can be easily written and each letter is pronounced with one sound so that it can be easily read. Some languages ,such as Welsh and Spanish ,come very close to this goal.."
Inn the same year in ,Guardian letters, Nigel Hilton of the English Spelling Society blamed "our antique and irregular spelling system that virtually guarantees literacy failure.." for the fact that" the acquisition of literacy in English takes up to three times longer than out European competitors ,hence the necessity for the early start" at five years of age instead of "the European standard of seven."

Bayard said...

500 years ago, the state was able to impose a reorganisation of spelling on English, because it was only spoken by the English (and they made a bollocks of it, then). Now it is spoken all over the world, it is not such an easy matter; it's been fossilised, like the QWERTY keyboard.

DBC Reed said...

@B We managed to change over to a decimal currency easily enough. Some people would carry on using the old spellings out of natural conservatism but the new spelling, being phonetic, would at least be understandable surfetting, shrowd,begger etc .(Actually these examples are from "Twelfth Night", rather making Crystal's main point that English was well on its way to evolving phonetic spelling , until lexicographers started interfering and inserting nonsense letters to show a word's classical origins etc.)

Bayard said...

"@B We managed to change over to a decimal currency easily enough."

Yes, but that was only us who had to do that. We also managed to change from the fairly arbitrary Imperial units of measurement to the metric system, but they still haven't followed suit in the USA. Likewise, Britain may simplify the spelling of English, but that wouldn't mean that any other country does. So then our poor children would have to learn the simple British New English Spelling and the complicated Rest of the World Old English Spelling. That would really do their heads in.

Lola said...

DBCR and B. It might be that English spelling will evolve towards simplification anyway, whether mandated or not. Look at how texting is carried on. Much of that is semi-phonetic. (Not mine, obviously. Mainly because it annoys my children...). In any event English is a classic example of a 'market' language. People all over the world adopt and adapt it. Lastly, spelling simplification would ruin the lives of crossword compilers, punsters and poets.

DBC Reed said...

@L The point I was trying to make was that schooling will not change by the operation of market forces because the essence of the problem is the curriculum which appears to be set in stone but is actually getting bigger by the accretion of more junk.It is market forces that enforce "correct spelling" even though it is a frightening arbitrary mess. It is market forces that enforce an over complicated maths syllabus when most people only need whole number arithmetic .Geometry should be taught because it creates things of beauty.
You seem incapable of accepting that private business creates enormous expensive private bureaucracies that interlock and control politicians, media etc. Socialism in UK started out by saying that, for instance, unifying Transport in London would knock out the bureaucracies of nine tenths of the competing (unsafely) bus companies.There is less bureaucracy in the NHS than in the US bollox system.And it is much less determinant of policy.

Dinero said...

Not quite sure what whole numbers in the comment above refers to , but agree decimal fraction divisions are a distraction from the actuality.

For example what is 3 divided by 4 . well the answer is there in the question just put the 3 over the four and that the answer 3/4. The same goes for any other division sum. Just put it in the form of a fraction, as their is nothing inferior about fractions.

Or percentages. Just translate the word "percent" from the Latin . "per one hundred"

Then the question what is 5 % of 100, becomes " what is 5 per one hundred of 100," and the answer is clear - 5.

Bayard said...

"Socialism in UK started out by saying that, for instance, unifying Transport in London would knock out the bureaucracies of nine tenths of the competing (unsafely) bus companies.There is less bureaucracy in the NHS than in the US bollox system."

All that says to me is that one large organisation will have less bureaucracy than many smaller ones doing the same job. It doesn't say that state-owned organisations are less bureaucratic than private ones. No doubt the amount of bureaucracy in the railways decreased when the many private companies became four big private companies and decreased again when those four big companies became British Railways. However, once nationalised, British Railways became steadily more bureaucratic whilst diminishing markedly in size.

Robin Smith said...

Surely its to condition our children. To adopt the current paradigm? Today that is christian atheism. Well since the ideology was incepted mid 19th century.

Lola said...

B @ 09.04. Yep. It's called producer capture. In nay event the point is that the private bureaucracies were competing with each other which in turn keeps them lean and mean. DNCR's argument is straight out of the cl4.4. socialist manifesto - and it has always, but always, failed.

DBC Reed said...

@L More competition; more firms each with their own bureaucrats; some bureaucrats in marketing to fend off competition = competition increases bureaucracy.
Please quote the "socialist manifesto" you refer to. In fact, I got the anti competition argument from King Gillette.

Bayard said...

"You seem incapable of accepting that private business creates enormous expensive private bureaucracies"

I'll accept that, Parkinson's Law and all that, but private bureaucracies have nothing on state ones. I was once was given a tour of the Old India Office, a handsome Victorian building in Whitehall, from which the whole of India was administered. It is now a small part of the Foreign Office and we no longer have an empire.

OTOH, I think it would be truer to say that large organisations create bureaucracy. To return to the original subject, how much bureaucracy do you get in a school which has about 100 pupils?