All entries for Friday 24 March 2006

March 24, 2006

Oh its on!

So I've just finished watching 30 minutes … oh dear.

Having had the message 'Private schools bad, Private schools evil' thrown at me continually to the point where one of the interviewees effectively accused parents who send their kids to private school of being racists. What happened? The second rate polemicist being this episode simply nodded.

He characterised the argument of parents who send their children to private school as being economically justified on the grounds of the following line of reasoning
1. Private schools have better teacher's.
2. Better teachers => better Exam Grades for children being taught
3. Better exam grades => better university accepts up
4. Better univesity => Better job => more money.

He then proceeded to counter argue this by throwing mud on what he was offered, without going into too much detail, I'll just raise a few issues.

My parents sent me to a private between the ages of 7 and 18 in order to give me a better education. This is not measured by the quality of exam results, how many pieces of paper I have with the letter A on, or any metric. In my opinion the only important element of the educational process is to teach the child to think. Once they know how to think for themselves everything else is ephemeral.

This is the opposable thumb of education: that one difference that draws the line between an advantageous education and one that offers nothing of practical benefit upon the person to which it is bestowed. I credit my middle school Religious Education teacher: Mr. Matthews (now Dr. Matthews) for helping me with that. By offering a rationally well thought out philosophy based upon his Religious views that forced me to challenge my own aetheist position and my worldview of the time. The worldview got changed, the aetheism didnt: but after him teaching me for a few years I had reasons why I held my views – and bloody good ones considering my age.

Perhaps Mr. Phil Beadle should give 30 minutes of his time to consider whether its fair for many independant sector schools to be put under financial pressure because the British University system is becoming increasingly pressured by the media to legitimise discrimination against independant schools. This is something that Mr. Beadle believes, if one is to judge his program as an honest account of his beliefs and yet something that he offers no criticise of.

An interesting week

Its coming! Snakes on a plane man! and according to imdb they have reshot to add extra Samuel L lines, such as, I want these motherf*king snakes off the motherf*king plane! I don't know how its going to become a cult classic with home saying all those asterisks though. Clearly if there is any justice in the world this is a contendor for the Palm d'Ore.

Charlie Sheen is raising conspiracy theory questions about 9/11 I bet this will raise his popularity. He claims there are important questions to be asked. I wonder if one of them is: You have the whitest white-part-of-the-eyes I've ever seen. Do you floss?

And in other news…

we are now relying on the French to enforce our consumer rights France wants to force interoperability between different DRM systems in the arena of mp3 players. A good thing for music player makers (except Apple) and a good thing for consumers. DRM is another one of those instances where a piece of technology is being used as a barrier to entry within markets. Apple are claiming that the French Government are trying to legitimise piracy. Interestingly enough the bill doesn't suggest that DRM should be outlawed, merely that interoperability should be enforced. The US Commerce Chief is now attempting to 'defend' the IP of American Companies.

Its a real shame that no one in Britain has had the balls to enforce such a law over here. This is so obviously overwhelmingly beneficial for anyone who isn't an apple shareholder its a ridiculous notion that anyone could actually oppose it. The government talks about enterprise and the benefits of the free market all the time (well Gordon Brown does, and he is the next PM) and yet here is a company obviously attempting to manipulate market forces and use a monopolistic position in one market to aid a monopoly in another and they do nothing. Of course this doesn't make headlines anywhere because 95% of people could neither tell you what DRM stood for, nor explain what it does. (Survey curtesy of Pulling number out of Your ass Statistics Inc.)

Ahh well, at least my fourth year project is near completion – happiness is close.

March 2006

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