Science in SA...

#41
The funny thing is that in the early days (up to the 1960s) the Left was actually encouraging science. During the later 19th / early 20th century, at least in Germany, there existed trade union connected educational socities for workers, which e.g. invited university professors to hold lectures. Understanding science and education were seen as a way forward and to improve oneself.

I think the change came when modern science became more and more abstract and often counterintuitive (e.g. modern Physics) and demanded a lot of detail knowledge. Then suddenly science became the tool of capitalism to control the masses.
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#42
Oh, I don't claim to understand it, I simply have 'faith' in science and leave it at that.
However about five years ago I got 'Einstien's Beetle' by Mark Southworth out of the library on the basis that it claimed to demonstrate his theories in a way a peasant such as myself could understand.
It does and is recommended.
The weird thing was I already knew most of it from reading science fiction when younger.
I actually found the original books Einstein wrote for the public the best. He had the rare gift of being able to explain complicated things in simple words (quite rare for a German scholar, most do it the other way around).
Other two physicists with a gift for teaching were the late Richard Feynman, and your Stephen Hawking.
 
#43
Was just going to cite them! My mother is a leading light in the local branch, although these days the classes in her area are more likely to be ladies of a certain age discussing William Morris or Feminism in the Late Victorian Novel than horny-handed machinists brushing up on their algebra and trigonomics.
 
#44
Here it used to be the "Arbeiterbildungsvereine" (Worker's educational clubs), but they are mostly gone. I'm a blue collar worker myself and when we were in the breakroom, I was mostly the only one reading a serious newspaper or a book. The others were reading the "Bild" (Germany's equivalent of the "Sun") and the usual topics were the last night on the lash, souping up their cars, football or imaginary exploits with women.
 
#45
I wonder whether our learned colleague would be able to give us a précised history of the abilities of Sangoma's? The Zulus unfortunately didn't have the ability to smite their foes with lightning (surely they would have if they could?) so had to opt for making their shields impervious to bullets. Unfortunately for them erstwhile "Western Modernity" overcame this with a miracle of their own, a Short-Chamber Boxer-Henry .45 calibre miracle.

Whilst I'm confident that their have been massive advances in the field of witch-craftery over the past century-and-a-half (lightning smoting as an example) I can't help but feel that there has been a bit of lazy thinking and lack of forethought by the Sangoma community as they tried a similar invulnerability potion as used in 1879 at Marikana leading to the unfortunate loss of thirty-four lives.

Given the perilous state of education in SA (South Africa: 85% University Failure Rate - The New Observer) and that she supposedly represents the cream, I cry for the beloved country.
 
#49
...Given the perilous state of education in SA (South Africa: 85% University Failure Rate - The New Observer) and that she supposedly represents the cream, I cry for the beloved country.
And yet they riot and burn down campuses demanding free education so they can fuck about even more with no financial consequences in place, instead of getting their heads into their studies.

You couldn't make up this shit.

Free education would work if standards were raised and only the top three percent made it to uni, based on academic effort and results. As it stands now, any life failure (of the correct hue to meet the quota system) is able to roll up and demand a place with menaces, then spend the next year pissing about whining about witch doctors and safe spaces. Funding those would be a financial disaster.
 
#50
And yet they riot and burn down campuses demanding free education so they can fuck about even more with no financial consequences in place, instead of getting their heads into their studies.

You couldn't make up this shit.

Free education would work if standards were raised and only the top three percent made it to uni, based on academic effort and results. As it stands now, any life failure (of the correct hue to meet the quota system) is able to roll up and demand a place with menaces, then spend the next year pissing about whining about witch doctors and safe spaces. Funding those would be a financial disaster.
And I believe the types of degrees are largely unbalanced - very few science graduates. Most pip for a degree that will give them a cushy gubernatorial job.
 
#51
Re the Sokal experiment; I found myself in recent years in a large corporate in a country bordering the RSA. Despairing of the gobbledegook some of our new young graduates were coming out with following courses at South African universities, I sent out a memo to them all, including our senior managers, based on a piece many here have seen (I think it originally appeared in the 'Staff College and Officers' threads):

Future Security Aggregation Evaluation – 2014+
Senior Embedment Security Advisor



Thank you for partaking in this initial discussion on the first cut of the Future Security Aggregation Evaluation paper. To avoid the chicken and egg scenario we should talk turkey here and perhaps get early visibility of the proposed generic framework so that we can get our ducks in a row. There is clearly room for a meeting of minds for a corporate approach to the overarching requirement of the main gate business case, as outlined on the pie chart, to give us the equities in this issue.

We are all over the map on this one, so I am minded to give you a tasker. I want you to think out of the box and articulate a blue-skies vision which we can take forward as a think-piece in order to vector in on societal global paradigms. I know you are not sighted on this issue but we really need to leverage some coherence across the piece and engage with our pan-customer community to enable them to deliver some tangible and holistic outputs for this nutrition challenge against best-class peers.

No names, no pack drill, but if the chips are down we can fight this one up the chain of management with a view to achieving interoperability and a commonality of standards. The big cheese may be a sandwich short of a picnic, but I don't want a bun fight if the badgers come into the cake shop, so let’s pick the low hanging fruit and be prepared to move up country with this one – tamasha or no tamasha. We all know which way the cookie crumbles.

However, before jumping into bed with the idea, we must push the envelope out as far as possible with a view to joining the party before they come over the hill in some numbers. I refer to that self-licking lollipop, “Disaggregation – a Case to Answer”; it’s fast becoming a dog's breakfast. At this range I see a potential own goal on our hands and before we're completely blown out of the water we should be prepared to go around the buoy again. A wholly synergistic approach is needed; after all, a results driven mindset might have us on a slippery slope if we go off-piste. We should probably take this to a 'win win' situation and get the ticks in the boxes. At the end of the day, no one should be out of the loop and we should fast track a value-added bottom line. Our core business must remain with the movers and shakers and, if we hit the right buttons, we can flick their switch.

It is clear that we're not dealing with a level playing field and the main effort must be to cross the start line with the pot of gold firmly in our grasp before someone moves the goal-posts. The knock on effect of touching base with lessons learnt from the big picture is to go the extra mile and play hardball. There may be too much smoke and mirrors, so I suggest we park the first idea, go firm where we are on the second and surge with the third using some pretty fast footwork if we are to meet the aggressive timelines otherwise there will be nothing on the clock but the maker’s name. And no standing on the touchline just because it’s a sticky wicket.

Thinking on the hoof, I am in the picture with the more bangs for the buck argument, but we must inform the debate in the grand scheme of things. Run the idea up the flagpole and let's see who salutes it – my ears tell me that we're all reading from the same sheet of music here. Fast-forwarding slightly, I have lodged a fiver with the grown-ups, which means we’ll need a cradle to grave solution on the back burner otherwise we’ll run out of steam and end up throwing the baby out with the bath water and have to rely on the stove-piped legacy.

As to the first idea, you will need to dine à la carte to capture the underpinning metrics, and also consider the force drivers so that this workstream informs our baseline position and facilitates some boiler-plated headline goals for the future. Naturally, by teasing out the air gaps you will produce the delta and square the circle. I hear what you say but this is not a zero sum game and the actualité will need to be harmonized in order to ensure buy-in and the overall bespoke architecture. There is a basket of workstrands which will inform your chapeau-piece in the round and you must ramp these up, or down, as necessary – and don’t forget to prioritise the parameters. Fly kites if you must but we really need to test all sub-concepts to destruction, holding our stakeholders' feet to the fire, while remaining alert to the mood music. As this must be a joined-up wake-up call, the taxonomy of our change management needs to be taken forward in a timely manner. We will therefore need to cut to the chase with this project to keep empowered.

I judge that an enhanced strawman might be handy, which could chime with the hooks exposed during our recent workshop. By all means optimize the overall granularity of the piece by drilling down and mapping across to other position papers, but cross- walk or flag-up any emerging arenas so that you continue to engage with our development agenda. I believe it is time to take ownership and display intellectual rigour by clearly articulating a road map which will, of course, require milestones and signposts to give a coherent direction of travel. I aim to close the loop with a sensitivity analysis. The first cut must reflect a seamless step-change by incentivising sub-optimal solutions for those going off-line. To avoid mission creep, an enduring and robust construct is required. You may therefore need to weave in and populate a new value set. Close with the deliverables before the bar gets raised - but no quick 'n' dirty solutioneering or excursions: this would be counter- intuitive, when what is needed are enablers with the embedded fidelity to fill any lacuna.

Let me know when you are good to go with a tightly-nested capping paper, we need to get our dog into the fight asap. If you need to engage with me I'll be getting traction on my maritime platform for the next 24/7 and no throwing the toys out of the cot just because it’s Friday afternoon or you’ll be swimming with the sharks.
This was put into a Monday Morning Meeting agenda to be discussed, and they all took it at face value, with much argument back and forth, and a great deal of deep thinking and furrowing of brows, before I let them off about half an hour into the nonsense. I tend to think that the intellectual maturity of the people in any society has much to do with the maturity of the society itself; it's environmental, hereditary and possibly genetic, although that's probably the Nazi Bastard in me talking. Look at Ireland, for pete's sake.
 

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LE
Kit Reviewer
#52
I read that and was astounded people actually tried to think about it.
Mega bit of writing, yours ?
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#53
#56
And I believe the types of degrees are largely unbalanced - very few science graduates. Most pip for a degree that will give them a cushy gubernatorial job.
Correct. Very few science and technology degrees. Those students tend to be the ones getting their heads down in the books and working. It's the underwater basket weaving and sociology types who have too much free time and a sense of entitlement and self righteousness who go around torching stuff and complaining about what happened 200 years ago.

The really sad part is that those who do want to apply themselves because they're not entitled and know they're on the hook for student loans if they fail are getting royally fucked over by the entitled ones.
 

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