Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Get your telescreen!

It seems that poor children are losing out on education if they don't have access to internet porn and World of Wastetime at home. I would say they have an advantage by being offline while going through education. In fact, several advantages.

1. They won't read bollocks like this and therefore won't be influenced by it.

2. The Internet is a fantastic timewasting machine when you have a deadline for something you don't really want to do. YouTube alone can delay any productive activity by days.

3. They are totally immune to cyberbullying.

4. They are totally immune to online porn.

5. They are totally safe from rancid old paedos pretending to be little girls.

6. Information on the Internet doesn't go back much further than 1980. That's why I kept seeing scientific papers repeating work that had been done in the 1950s and which was available to anyone who understood how the library 'stack' system worked. The later PhD students never even considered looking outside the Internet.

7. They won't spend their days turning into The Mighty Phlegm, Warlord of the Blue Galaxy and Ruler of the Margins, might spend some time actually playing outside and could even learn the difference between a sheep and a tree.

8. They won't start thinking that Wikipedia is Truth.

9. The Government won't know where they are, what they buy, who their friends are... ah. I see.

Never mind. I thought it was actually about education there, just for a moment.


William said...

More to do with a quango/fake charity justifying it's existence than anything else.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Well yes, but just because some fakecharity says this, doesn't mean that it isn't true.

My lad goes to a posh school where they have to learn about ancient Greeks and Brætwalders and similar bollocks, and the only way I can help him with his homework is to look it up on Wiki.

OK, so 99% of what goes on on the internet is meanindless doodling, but to be fair, 99% of what kids learn in their books at school is either propaganda, lies, conjecture or religion*; ditto newspapers; ditto what the man in the pub says.

The key is finding out which 1% isn't.

* Some things, like melting point of water at atmospheric pressure, or 13 squared are pretty much a given, but who is to say that Shakespeare was really the best playwright?

Anonymous said...

Ban the calculator and bring back: The slide rule!
Log books!
Pot belly stoves in the corner of the class room!
The cane!
Kids are far to comfortable to learn anything, with or without a computer.
They would all be more keen to leave and get a job just to keep warm.
It worked for me.

Leg-iron said...

Mark - yes, but the kids in the State propaganda machine have suffered 'teach to the test' for years. They only need to know what's in the test and they are smart enough to realise that. I had to learn photosynthesis and the life cycle of the liver fluke and neither were in biology A level (although the liver fluke came up in S level, so it wasn't all wasted).

There was no Internet. Only books and teachers. Both were largely unhindered by political interference. We don't need the Internet in schools, we need the politics out.

Oh, and the best playwright in the history of mankind was Ernie Wise. Everyone knows that. He said so himself.

Leg-iron said...

I have a slide rule and I know how to use it. Somewhere I have a circular one which isn't as good but is weird enough to keep.

I also have the book of log tables, cosines, tangents etc. and can use those too.

I remember rushing to get the desk next to the huge cast iron radiator in winter or at least not to end up in one of those next to the steel-framed single-glazed windows with frost on the inside. Detention was a real threat back then because the caretaker shut down the boiler before he went home.

There was the threat of the cane too. We had a headmaster wise enough to seriously restrict its use. He knew the pain we imagined was greater than any he could inflict. He just had to show the cane and we'd behave.

Now - no threat of punishment, no danger of being too hot or too cold, no detention without parental permission... if I had grown up in that environment I might be Oswald Moseley by now.

There's one coming up through the system, we can be sure of that.

JuliaM said...

"They won't spend their days turning into The Mighty Phlegm, Warlord of the Blue Galaxy and Ruler of the Margins, might spend some time actually playing outside and could even learn the difference between a sheep and a tree."

Yet, there's plenty of research to show that regular players of PC games are better at multitasking and problem solving...

Leg-iron said...

Julia - I've heard that too, but you could get that effect with an Xbox or Playstation. Even a second hand one.

It's cheaper and they can't be bullied on Facebook or groomed by Glittermen.

I don't want to sound like I'm arguing to keep kids offline. I'm arguing against pushing them online.

Some just aren't ready.

microdave said...

Yes, I too have a Thornton slide rule and (think) I still know how to use it. I never had much success with log tables, although my father used to design buildings with them....

Point #2 - Yes agreed, why do you think I'm posting this? Sorry, that's probably unfair, as the level of intellect here is (much) higher than found on YouTube. Points #3 & 5 see below:



I was considering posting as "Anon", but that would be the cowards way out. However I expect there will be a knock on the door shortly.

Finally the W/V is "absoles" or at least I think that's what it says, my eyes have gone funny...

Anonymous said...

IMO Leg-Iron's argument is flawed. It probably is necessary to have some sort of computer to search the internet effectively, if only to be able to type easily & save/print off results.

However, the lack of a computer/internet connection won't stop children time-wasting on the net - since practically every mobile phone these days has some sort of connectivity. And with skype/friendface/email/MSN Messenger all available for free on cheap PAYG phones, they can still feel intimidated whenever the phone's switched on.

Incidentally, agree re ignoring old research. But that's nothing new. A friend was pressured to (re)do medical research involving animal testing, when the objectives of the project had already been covered by 3 previous papers. But despite the published results, the research was carried out again.

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