75 Per Cent of Australians Believe Xenomorphs Have Been Found

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75 Per Cent of Australians Believe Xenomorphs Have Been Found

 

More than three-quarters of Australians believe microscopic life has been found on other planets and almost half believe humans can be frozen and thawed back to life, despite neither being true.

These are some of the findings from a survey of 1,250 people commissioned by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Called Fact or Fiction, the survey was conducted as part of National Science Week 2011 to assess whether Australians can separate what is happening in the "real world" from what we see and read in science fiction.

The survey asked people whether eight scientific technologies seen in feature films, such as light sabres, invisibility cloaks or hover boards, were science fact or fiction.

ANSTO's Discovery Centre Visitors Centre team leader Rod Dowler says the results were a surprise.

"This survey has confirmed that willingly or not, we believe in science fiction movies more than we realise," he said.

Only one-quarter of respondents were aware that it is possible to grow an eye in a dish, although 44 per cent correctly believe flying cars exist.

But it is not all bad news.

While many of us might dream of being able to travel through time, more than 90 per cent of survey respondents correctly identified it as still being in the realm of science fiction. A similar survey in Birmingham, United Kingdom, found 30 per cent of respondents thought time travel was possible.

Who wants to live forever?

The survey also revealed the older we are, the longer we want to live, with 46.3 per cent of respondents aged 65 years or more listing "reversing the ageing cycle" in the top three areas of science they would like investigated, compared to only 13.2 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Despite this, only 10 per cent of those surveyed wanted science to discover the secret for immortality.

According to Mr Dowler, three-quarters of respondents said they were interested in science, with most receiving their information from television news stories. Only 6 per cent sourced their information from science magazines and 3 per cent from science centres.

Last year, a survey commissioned by the Australian Federation of Scientific and Technological Societies found 30 per cent of Australians thought dinosaurs and humans co-existed and one-quarter believed the Earth took a day to orbit the Sun.

Mr Dowler says despite the potential for science fiction to blur the line between reality and fiction, it serves a very useful purpose.

"Science [fiction] films can be very inspirational to scientists and the general public, getting more people interested in science and setting the bar for the types of technology we would like in the future," he said.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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The fact only 6 per cent

 

read science magazines and 3 per cent frequent science centres - I assume both figures include online content - is not very encouraging. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

read science magazines and 3 per cent frequent science centres - I assume both figures include online content - is not very encouraging. 

Why is reading magazines/webzines and frequenting centers so damned important? Because with the exception of some monthly reading materials, most of them I perceive to be just trash info fed to mainstream populace, I don't think either of those two %s are all that relevant to understanding actual science as opposed to commonly-held urban legends about science.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Quote: believe microscopic

Quote:

believe microscopic life has been found on other planets and almost half believe humans can be frozen and thawed back to life, despite neither being true.

 

Only in America

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

believe microscopic life has been found on other planets and almost half believe humans can be frozen and thawed back to life, despite neither being true.

 

Only in America

 

 

Um, the article was a survey in Australia.

Granted there are plenty of ignorant people in the US and I wouldn't expect the numbers to be much different if the poll was done here.

 

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Chuckle

Kapkao wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

read science magazines and 3 per cent frequent science centres - I assume both figures include online content - is not very encouraging. 

Why is reading magazines/webzines and frequenting centers so damned important? Because with the exception of some monthly reading materials, most of them I perceive to be just trash info fed to mainstream populace, I don't think either of those two %s are all that relevant to understanding actual science as opposed to commonly-held urban legends about science.

 

I knew some one would raise this.

The implication - and I have to concede this is an assumption - is that the rest of the population gets its scientific knowledge from scifi movies, TV shows (like Life on Earth) and scifi books, the newspapers and memories of science classes at high school. 

I'd argue that magazines like SciAm, PLoS, New Scientist and web sites like Science Daily (and all the magazines) are far more worthwhile sources than these.   

I certainly wondered whether some percentage of the group were avid readers of weighty scientific tomes or hands-on experimenters but the questionnaire did not ask them about this. 

Like a lot of people here I get plenty of info from books but for the latest information you can't beat a weekly magazine or a good online news source drawing from research centres. As a journalist, I have to confess to a bias on behalf of print people. 

A good science journalist can channel a researcher's consciousness stream or bring a complex field of study into focus. Nor do I think popularity of writing reflects anything about the quality of the science behind it. 

But I certainly agree there's plenty of filler and lazy reporting in the world. It happens to me sometimes, too. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

believe microscopic life has been found on other planets and almost half believe humans can be frozen and thawed back to life, despite neither being true.

 

Only in America

 

 

 

Doesn't really matter to me, as far as laypeople go. To me this is no more relevant to real life than whether or not the average person knows what the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl was, or what artist has the best selling music album of all time.

When creationists try to force their religious beliefs in the classroom, that's a different issue altogether - but the average person has no use for any of this knowledge, unless they are majoring in a related college field. So it's more of a reflection of priorites than it is intelligence or education - if a person has no use for a specific field of knowledge, then they're not likely going to know much about it - anymore than I know about, um figure skating or the history of pornographic cartoons. lol

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Think of it this way - if my

Think of it this way - if my grandma, who spends all her free time sewing quits doesn't know much about how cars work, then why should I care? On on the other hand, if my auto mechanic doesn't know about how cars work, then that would concern me.

The idea that not having knowledge about something - just for knowledge's sake, not for actual use in one's life - is inherently "bad", doesn't hold water with me. Unless not having this knowledge is  playing a direct negative role in one's own life, or in others' lives - it's irrelevant to me.

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Recovering fundamentalist wrote:

The idea that not having knowledge about something - just for knowledge's sake, not for actual use in one's life - is inherently "bad", doesn't hold water with me. Unless not having this knowledge is  playing a direct negative role in one's own life, or in others' lives - it's irrelevant to me.

 

I agree with RF.  I admit, I would like to be more science...  literate(?) but in all actuality it would only be useful to me if I planned on working in that field or arguing with theists, and I plan to do neither.  I'll admit I would have believed some of those things were possible except for the few I've actually read about in my own time, but I don't find that embarrassing because I happen to be more knowledgeable in other fields, such as psychology, because that's what I spend my time reading about.


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Guys and girls

 

 

wouldn't we agree from the get-go that 'science' is a label that applies best to a way of gathering knowledge rather than a particular data set?

It certainly bothers me that people, on the basis of no peer reviewed evidence, no coherent method of gathering knowledge and filtering bias, believe things that are false. 

Personally, I think a comprehension of ways of gathering knowledge, including the strengths and weaknesses of each method, should underpin all education. 

The fact I live in a nation in which the vast majority of people rely on assumptions and opinions to inform their beliefs and actions, is unsettling to me. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:I

Atheistextremist wrote:
I knew some one would raise this.

The implication - and I have to concede this is an assumption - is that the rest of the population gets its scientific knowledge from scifi movies, TV shows (like Life on Earth) and scifi books, the newspapers and memories of science classes at high school. 

I'd argue that magazines like SciAm, PLoS, New Scientist and web sites like Science Daily (and all the magazines) are far more worthwhile sources than these.   

I certainly wondered whether some percentage of the group were avid readers of weighty scientific tomes or hands-on experimenters but the questionnaire did not ask them about this. 

Like a lot of people here I get plenty of info from books but for the latest information you can't beat a weekly magazine or a good online news source drawing from research centres. As a journalist, I have to confess to a bias on behalf of print people. 

A good science journalist can channel a researcher's consciousness stream or bring a complex field of study into focus. Nor do I think popularity of writing reflects anything about the quality of the science behind it. 

But I certainly agree there's plenty of filler and lazy reporting in the world. It happens to me sometimes, too. 

 

 

 

Actually, I feel the need to borrow from recovering fundie just below your post. You really shouldn't care all that much what laypeople think, as they are almost guaranteed to be less well-informed than the intellectually pronounced individuals of skilled labor within a given culture. I have no reason to doubt this is true in Oceania as well. As for juvenile penis-measuring contests like the sort Pineapple seems to be aiming for... well, what true relevance are they?

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We should also consider the

We should also consider the effects such a low public knowledge of science has on the raising of scientists.  If only 6% regularly read science writing then it's a safe bet that less than 6% are scientists (or trying to become scientists).

 

O.T.  Peppermint, you look startlingly like a younger version of my aunt.

 

 

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Recovering fundamentalist wrote:
Think of it this way - if my grandma, who spends all her free time sewing quits doesn't know much about how cars work, then why should I care? On on the other hand, if my auto mechanic doesn't know about how cars work, then that would concern me.

 

The idea that not having knowledge about something - just for knowledge's sake, not for actual use in one's life - is inherently "bad", doesn't hold water with me. Unless not having this knowledge is  playing a direct negative role in one's own life, or in others' lives - it's irrelevant to me.


 

I see where you are going. For the most part, I agree with you. I used to have a mechanic who could visually inspect for busted parts. Then he would point and say “Do you see that?”. Well, I can see what he is pointing at but I am not the one getting $80 and hour to know why that item is a problem.


 

Even so, the survey seems to show an ignorance of really basic things. What I call the bullshit alarm is just not functioning for way too many people.


 

For example, I would question the number of people who think that flying cars exist. Getting the right answer is not the same thing as knowing about the few which have been built. If people can be that dumb about time machines, then they can be basing an opinion on the Jetsons or the deleted scene from Clerks 2. And just how many loose wires do you need to think that time machines exist?


 

Facing the implication of the study, schools are just not teaching people to think. Both in the US and in OZ. The OP also briefly mentions England as well.


 

Really, what is up with people these days? Look at some of the things that we have done in decades past. I mostly know from the US perspective but people from other places could fill in local details and get to the same place.


 

We built the Panama canal, the huge suspension bridges, the TVA and went to the moon. As I say, those who come from other places should consider their own things. Canada and South Africa have interesting Nuclear Reactor designs. Of course, I cannot be an expert on everywhere but no nation does those things while raising a generation of dummies.

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Zaq wrote: We should also

Zaq wrote:

We should also consider the effects such a low public knowledge of science has on the raising of scientists.  If only 6% regularly read science writing then it's a safe bet that less than 6% are scientists (or trying to become scientists). 

 

The problem being with this supposition, is that even if it's true, you only need to read a few pages of history to understand that "ignorance of the masses" has always been present, and a century or so back, it was just that much worse. I thought it wouldn't take a Freudian-level psychologist to figure this kind of shit out and point it out at RRS, but apparently, it does. People, in general, have always had some measure of ignorance about them... hell, even most RRSers have a level of ignorance about them, it just tends to be much lower than average.

Yet, even in eras of history where only aristocrats could afford any measurable education, wise men, "philosophers" (ie the scientists of their day, before 'Method), physicists, chemists, and astronomers are still coming forth to prominence and disappearing from prominence after their level of contributions to human knowledge had diminished. And yes, in an era before the scientific method, greek philosophers did contribute to the knowledge of whatever culture they were a part of, and they were often the only source of scientific knowledge for a number of centuries. Subject for a different thread.

One other thing I'd to point out is that even if '100%' passes muster for knowledgeability of modern science, only a small % of those people will ever want to be a scientist, and yet also have the potential for meeting the qualifications. This basically points to Jungian personality types, and that about 10% of the human race fits into a category compatible with something other than junk science, layperson jobs, management, or engineering jobs unrelated to R&D. In some systems, this category is called 'intellectual', in others 'rational'.

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Recovering fundamentalist wrote:
Think of it this way - if my grandma, who spends all her free time sewing quits doesn't know much about how cars work, then why should I care? On on the other hand, if my auto mechanic doesn't know about how cars work, then that would concern me.

 

The idea that not having knowledge about something - just for knowledge's sake, not for actual use in one's life - is inherently "bad", doesn't hold water with me. Unless not having this knowledge is  playing a direct negative role in one's own life, or in others' lives - it's irrelevant to me.


 

I see where you are going. For the most part, I agree with you. I used to have a mechanic who could visually inspect for busted parts. Then he would point and say “Do you see that?”. Well, I can see what he is pointing at but I am not the one getting $80 and hour to know why that item is a problem.


 

Even so, the survey seems to show an ignorance of really basic things. What I call the bullshit alarm is just not functioning for way too many people.


 

For example, I would question the number of people who think that flying cars exist. Getting the right answer is not the same thing as knowing about the few which have been built. If people can be that dumb about time machines, then they can be basing an opinion on the Jetsons or the deleted scene from Clerks 2. And just how many loose wires do you need to think that time machines exist?


 

Facing the implication of the study, schools are just not teaching people to think. Both in the US and in OZ. The OP also briefly mentions England as well.


 

Really, what is up with people these days? Look at some of the things that we have done in decades past. I mostly know from the US perspective but people from other places could fill in local details and get to the same place.


 

We built the Panama canal, the huge suspension bridges, the TVA and went to the moon. As I say, those who come from other places should consider their own things. Canada and South Africa have interesting Nuclear Reactor designs. Of course, I cannot be an expert on everywhere but no nation does those things while raising a generation of dummies.

 

Hmm, the problem might be that people are spending too much time on TV, movies, and video games - personally I think this is our biggest detriment - but I'm not very fond of the education system today - I really think it should teach more "common sense related" subjects.

As far as the people surveyed go - maybe a handful of them are "Alex Jones" types who have tons of conspiracy theories about how the govt secretly has time machines and flying cars. But I think the rest of them probably saw it in a movie, didn't give much thought when they took the survey, and just say "uh yeah we have flying cars". It does show a lack of common sense or overall interest in the real world.

If the education system was better, this might help - but on another hand I think the problem starts at home, and has to be blamed on the parents, as well as the individual student.

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I say the majority of the

I say the majority of the problem is the education system.
Did you know American companies hire out of nation because other countries have smarter applicants? I saw a guest on a Maher episode from an, I believe, oil company, who said they hire foreigners because the locals are too stupid to do the job. The education system needs to have its head ripped off so we can make a new one. Teachers need their authority back. Curriculums need to be set that have function yet don't waste time. How many people who learn algebra in school use it later? Probably 1-5%. Useless course unless you're headed into specific types of careers. The average walmart employee will never use it, and most jobs are walmart type jobs these days.

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Kapkao wrote:Stuff about

Kapkao wrote:

Stuff about ignorence of the masses

I don't think scientific illiteracy is the source of societies producing fewer scientists. But it can be an indicator because social systems that inhibit science may also reduce scientific literacy.  If Americans reacted to "scientist" the same way they react to "janitor," I would expect fewer Americans to pursue a career in science, and I would also expect fewer Americans to read (or even produce) scientific magazines or watch scientific programming.

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Vastet wrote:I say the

Vastet wrote:
I say the majority of the problem is the education system. Did you know American companies hire out of nation because other countries have smarter applicants? I saw a guest on a Maher episode from an, I believe, oil company, who said they hire foreigners because the locals are too stupid to do the job. The education system needs to have its head ripped off so we can make a new one. Teachers need their authority back. Curriculums need to be set that have function yet don't waste time. How many people who learn algebra in school use it later? Probably 1-5%. Useless course unless you're headed into specific types of careers. The average walmart employee will never use it, and most jobs are walmart type jobs these days.

Amen brother amen

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Vastet wrote:I say the

Vastet wrote:
I say the majority of the problem is the education system. Did you know American companies hire out of nation because other countries have smarter applicants? I saw a guest on a Maher episode from an, I believe, oil company, who said they hire foreigners because the locals are too stupid to do the job. The education system needs to have its head ripped off so we can make a new one. Teachers need their authority back. Curriculums need to be set that have function yet don't waste time. How many people who learn algebra in school use it later? Probably 1-5%. Useless course unless you're headed into specific types of careers. The average walmart employee will never use it, and most jobs are walmart type jobs these days.

Yeah, because indians are so competent and apt at whatever plebian software/CS task that has been outsourced to them. Luckily and apparently the people at the top of any number of corporate ladders payed attention after receiving  numerous complaints about indian call centers, because some of them switched to domestic call centers.

 

Unfortunately, there's no way to tell if an American company uses a website made in India, unless you work for said company and coordinate said Indians, because they'll ask such novel questions as "What does the <a> tag do?"

 (Yes, I'm a developed world snob, but I come by it honestly)

Quote:
Curriculums need to be set that have function yet don't waste time.

Teach life skills instead of general knowledge, huh? For better or for worse, most of education... in fact, I'd say everything with the exception trade schools and things like med school, only serve as quality filter on labor and help students develop "a mind that works". Unfortunately, public schools in America fails somewhat at even that.

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LOL Telemarketers go

LOL
Telemarketers go overseas for cost. Service would be the same no matter where it was located. I was talking about jobs that pay hundreds an hour or are salary based, which require intelligent and knowledgeable people, which America is lacking compared to many other countries because of the shitty education system. Mentioning some telemarketer in India who gets minimum Indian wages is laughable.

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Right. Call centers are in India because Indian college students work for way lower wages than American college students. Once they finish with school, they come here because we don't graduate enough of the high priority workers ourselves. That and we pay more.

 

Also, not actually Indians so much as one of the three categories of skilled worker visa is shut down to them for 5 years.

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Vastet wrote:LOL

Vastet wrote:
LOL Telemarketers go overseas for cost. Service would be the same no matter where it was located. I was talking about jobs that pay hundreds an hour or are salary based, which require intelligent and knowledgeable people, which America is lacking compared to many other countries because of the shitty education system. Mentioning some telemarketer in India who gets minimum Indian wages is laughable.

Nice, but only one tiny part of my post dealt with customer support centers. No, not telemarketers. Customer service monkeys. The rest dealt with outsourced IT, namely coding. Since that also happens to be a big part of recently outsourced industry.

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kap, if an Indian company is hiring people who can't even code html 4.0, then they will not stay in business very long as they will fail to deliver any service that any company would deliver payment for.

 

On the other hand, if they do have competent employees, then American companies are going to them because they are fairly cheap. In which case, I don't really care if I go to some web site which happened to be programmed by competent people from another country.

 

In any case, web development for companies can be done cheaply anywhere because the development part is getting to opening day for the most part and then only being needed when changes must happen. Server costs and bandwidth are what soak up the great part of the cash and those are ongoing costs.

 

Besides, we have people coming in from the rest of the world to do the work here. The fact is that we are not graduating enough people with those skills ourselves. All of those countries where skilled foreign workers come from are graduating enough talent to send surplus over here. The actual works then make US level wages and if they live frugally, they can wire US cash back home where it will buy a great deal more than local money will.

 

So we are getting hit a few different ways for not encouraging the local talent to develop. Companies outsource tech work because they can get it cheaper. Companies that don't outsource are still hiring talented foreigners and cash for work done in the US ends up being spent in other countries.

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Kap, if an Indian company is hiring people who can't even code html 4.0, then they will not stay in business very long as they will fail to deliver any service that any company would deliver payment for.

I think you underestimate how many incompetent managers there are east of the Pacific, who don't care about the end result or the efficiency in which it gets done, only that it does get done on time by someone with the bare minimum of necessary skills, and can do said task on a much lower budget. This is merely one example I know of, and yes... it's a 2nd party anecdote.

For the most part, the main point isn't the quality of work done overseas (in terms of Chinese MFGs, it isn't all that great.) It's simply that labor is moving offshore simply because it means lower labor costs. Of course, if every industry was unionized, and had the equivalent of the WGA, or UAW, I might actually be sympathetic to companies moving offshore or towards non-unionized manufacturers. However, this is not the case. It's simply a race to lowest cost. Fortunately, China, India, Indonesia, and the Phillipines have finally started to catch up with the US in GDP per capita and in costs of living, though all 5 are still  a long ways off. Eventually, they will catch up with us, and corporations will have to find some other highly educated developing country populace to exploit, or move back to the good ol' developed world. It's a pipe dream, but it's well underway. Now all we need to do is find a way to cut down on India and China's sanitation and obligate parasite/disease problems. Then it might be worthwhile to learn Hindi and Cantonese.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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I think YOU underestimate

I think YOU underestimate how many incompetent managers there are PERIOD.
Menial labour jobs are escaping because of costs, in that all 3 of us agree so lets drop it and stop pretending to have an argument hmm? My original post was referring to SKILLED labour, which is escaping because China and other nations have superior education systems. Not because they work cheap. They don't. If you have the knowledge and skills to get such a position, you aren't tied to that country which doesn't pay you what you are worth. You are a valued commodity. You are smart enough to know that, and to market those skills. And most companies have no problem relocating someone who's skills they value.

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Vastet wrote:I think YOU

Vastet wrote:
I think YOU underestimate how many incompetent managers there are PERIOD. Menial labour jobs are escaping because of costs, in that all 3 of us agree so lets drop it and stop pretending to have an argument hmm? .

He reduces me to suggested silence because he thinks I'm trying to start an argument about bad management with him. You... are aware that I don't necessarily address one sole person when I reply to someone's post, right? Sometimes, I do leave subtle (apparently too subtle) hints for someone to take the bait, and bite. Cuz I love it when people 'bite' when I have a rhetorical ambush set up for nearly every possible outcome. Yay, Sun Tzu.

 

ANYWAYS... back to topic...

Quote:
My original post was referring to SKILLED labour, which is escaping because China and other nations have superior education systems

Yeah, so was mine, for a large part.  I'd debate China having better public schools than America, but there's really no way of overestimating the decline in our education. I will say that a FEW schools* are better than China's, partly because China is slow to stratify education based on student merit, I guess because it too closely resembles what those evil western capitalists do. [/sarcasm]

*The charter schools, that is.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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If I really thought you were

If I really thought you were trying to start on argument on management skills I'd have posted a lot more than a one-liner. Sticking out tongue

I won't disagree that the finest schools in North America are still amongst the finest schools in the world. It's the public education system that has gone to shit. These days kids are being taught to believe in themselves above and beyond their capabilities. It's literally a course for credit in high school (based on anti-bullying & anti-depression psychological studies). Add to that teachers who discredit evolution and other sciences, and teachers teaching subjects they know nothing about (I have personal and anecdotal experience to draw on for all these claims), and you have the makings of a horrible system that fails far more often than it succeeds. The result is that high end companies don't have a large enough pool of skilled labour to draw upon locally, so they look elsewhere to fill out their available positions.

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The problem is exacerbated

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there a game of catch up to be played by secondary education. Harvard, Yale, Princeton; these schools and a few others have been the top schools for decades. But where are the new schools to keep up with a growing population? Every year they turn away more students than the last, because they don't have the capacity to keep up with growth. It is in fact likely that a graduate with honours of Yale 50 years ago wouldn't even be accepted into the school today.

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Vastet wrote:If I really

Vastet wrote:
If I really thought you were trying to start on argument on management skills I'd have posted a lot more than a one-liner. Sticking out tongue I won't disagree that the finest schools in North America are still amongst the finest schools in the world. It's the public education system that has gone to shit. These days kids are being taught to believe in themselves above and beyond their capabilities. It's literally a course for credit in high school (based on anti-bullying & anti-depression psychological studies). Add to that teachers who discredit evolution and other sciences, and teachers teaching subjects they know nothing about (I have personal and anecdotal experience to draw on for all these claims), and you have the makings of a horrible system that fails far more often than it succeeds. The result is that high end companies don't have a large enough pool of skilled labour to draw upon locally, so they look elsewhere to fill out their available positions.

Well, you aren't going to like this much, but their are many conservatives who would agree with most of what you just said, especially the part about "kids are being taught to believe in themselves above and beyond their capabilities", only in RW-speak, the doctrine is called "Every kid is a winner" and it's despised across the political spectrum, but most of the loathing I've seen comes from right-wingers like me.

 

As for the  rest of your post, you've made it impossible for me to disagree with you, which is rather boring.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:
He reduces me to suggested silence because he thinks I'm trying to start an argument about bad management with him.

 

OK Kap, I don't think that anyone can put you to silence. I addressed what you posted in such a way that you had no answer. Well, I can put you to silence with four mouse clicks. That really is not the point though. You made an indefensible post and I called you out on it. You did not have even your usual reply.

 

 

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The problem that I see going on is that we just keep lowering the standards until nobody has to try very hard to get ahead.

 

Don't get me wrong here. If a neighborhood pet contest wants to hand a four year old a certificate for having the cat with the longest tail, that is fine by me. However, once we get into real learning, it needs to be about real learning.

 

Granted, most people will never use quadratic equations. Still, learning how to think is a skill that everyone should have when they get out of high school. Really, if we can decide which topics are useless, I would rather dump social studies.

 

Another issue we have in the US (Vastet, I don't know how this plays out in Canada) is that we have a law that when you are old enough to possibly be needed to work the family farm, you can opt out of school. OK, I see how that worked out well 150 years ago. Today, not so much.

 

That law is still on the books and as it applies now, 16 year olds can simply decide that they are done with mandatory education. As a result, we have a vast army of adults who are only qualified for jobs which involve the words “would you like fries with that?”. Seriously, WTF?

 

Really, nobody will expect that really dumb people must learn advanced math but I don't have a problem with telling people that they must learn enough to carry them through life. I would even favor extending the mandatory education phase with an extra two years for those who need the extra help. If you are ready to move on at 18, then fine but if you are not, then you stay until you are 20. If you still don't get basic ideas, then you can mow lawns for a living.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Kapkao wrote:
He reduces me to suggested silence because he thinks I'm trying to start an argument about bad management with him.

 

OK Kap, I don't think that anyone can put you to silence. I addressed what you posted in such a way that you had no answer. Well, I can put you to silence with four mouse clicks. That really is not the point though. You made an indefensible post and I called you out on it. You did not have even your usual reply.

Um, ok... the quoted portion wasn't even addressed to you. Why don't you try the actual reply this time, then we'll talk... or don't, and we can continue to exchange petty barbs until one of us crosses the line.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Well, you

Kapkao wrote:
Well, you aren't going to like this much, but their are many conservatives who would agree with most of what you just said,

It may surprise you and others to know I don't identify myself as a Liberal. I have many Conservative leanings. Mostly fiscal, but not soley so. Any time I chart my political leanings I end up as a Centrist.

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