Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Neil Postman - The End of Education


The title of my book was carefully chosen with a view toward its being an ambiguous
prophecy. As I indicated at the start, The End of Education could be taken to express a severe
pessimism about the future. But if you have come this far, you will know that the book itself
refuses to accept such a future. I have tried my best to locate, explain, and elaborate narratives
that may give nontrivial purposes to schooling, that would contribute a spiritual and serious
intellectual dimension to learning. But I must acknowledge—here in my final pages—that I am
not terribly confident that any of these will work.
Let me be clear on this point. I would not have troubled anyone—least of all, written a book
—if I did not think these ideas have strength and usefulness. But the ideas rest on several
assumptions which American culture is now beginning to question. For example, everything in
the book assumes that the idea of "school" itself will endure. It also assumes that the idea of a
"public school" is a good thing. And even further, it assumes that the idea of "childhood" still
As to the first point, there is more talk than ever about schools' being nineteenth-century
inventions that have outlived their usefulness. Schools are expensive; they don't do what we
expect of them; their functions can be served by twenty-first-century technology. Anyone who
wants to give a speech on this subject will draw an audience, and an attentive one. An even
bigger audience can be found for a talk on the second point: that the idea of a "public school" is
irrelevant in the absence of the idea of a public; that is, Americans are now so different from
each other, have so many diverse points of view, and such special group grievances that there
can be no common vision or unifying principles. On the last point, while writing this book, I
have steadfastly refused to reread or even refer to one of my earlier books in which I claimed
that childhood is disappearing. I proceeded as if this were not so. But I could not prevent myself
from being exposed to other gloomy news, mostly the handwriting on the wall. Can it be true,
as I read in The New York Times, that every day 130,000 children bring deadly weapons to
school, and not only in New York, Chicago, and Detroit but in many venues thought to provide
our young with a more settled and humane environment in which to grow? Can it be true, as
some sociologists claim, that by the start of the twenty-first century, close to 60 percent of our
children will be raised in single-parent homes? Can it be true that sexual activity (and sexual
diseases) among the young has increased by 300 percent in the last twenty years? It is probably
not necessary for me to go on with the "can it be true's?." Everyone agrees and all signs point to
the fact that American culture is not presently organized to promote the idea of childhood; and
without that idea schooling loses much of its point.
These are realistic worries and must raise serious doubts for anyone who wishes to say
something about schooling. Nonetheless, I offer this book in good faith, if not as much
confidence as one would wish. My faith is that school will endure since no one has invented a
better way to introduce the young to the world of learning; that the public school will endure
since no one has invented a better way to create a public; and that childhood will survive
because without it we must lose our sense of what it means to be an adult.

Postman, Neil. The End of Education Redefining the Value of School . 1st. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1995. Print.

Friday, 25 October 2013

I recommend TTC Unexpected economics by Timothy Taylor.

What every young person should know about banking

By Karolina Rudaś

Banking and the economy are equally important in our lives. I would fairly say that there are ten useful things about banking each young person should be familiar with.

1.     Have a current account. In the past we used to keep money at home in a sock. Nowadays it’s not very practical to keep large sums of cash at home.

2.     Know how to use a debit card. Both a current account and debit card help you to learn how to use your own funds and economize.  If your parents give you pocket money on a monthly basis, just like a salary, by the time you are earning your own salary, you will have learned by trial and error if by no other means, how to plan your monthly expenses.

3.     Know how powerful credit is – you can borrow funds to help you to buy things earlier than you could otherwise. Be careful however, interest accumulates. You should understand that owning on credit reduces your monthly costs at the expense of overall costs.

4.     Be aware of the interest trap – it’s easy to borrow money but you borrow somebody’s money and repay your own. Before you take another loan ensure you have a reasonable expectation of sufficient future revenue to cover your debt.

5.     When you borrow money you have to pay back the capital, interest and fee. Lenders never give money for free. Financial institutions, not banks, tend to charge more but present the offer in disguise.

6.     Always read carefully before you sign. If the document states there are general terms as an integral part of the documentation always ask for it and read it. If you don’t understand, ask the clerk, it’s his duty to explain. If you don’t understand, don’t sign.   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/man-writes-terms-credit-card-bank-accidentally-approves-article-1.1422388

7.     Remember that a credit card is another form of loan. It’s easier to use but you have to repay it just like any other loan. Always be aware of deadlines for repayment and know what your limits are.

8.     Know your basic customer rights. It’s always helpful.

9.     Security – in the modern world you must have online access to your account. Be sure that your ID and password are safe.

10. Safety of your credit card and debit card – never keep the card in your wallet and never keep your PIN code with your card. The best way is to keep your card is in a Faraday cage– a simple business card case. And remember that three numbers at the back of your card are the most sensitive information  (e-payment), so cover them.
With regard to the economy I think that there are many important issues that young people should be aware of. At least they should have basic understanding of the following concepts.

1)     Understand what economic growth means for the country.

2)     Understand the basic connection between politics and the economy. In general they should be aware that such connections exist.

3)    Understand the influence of the global economy on the Polish market. Poland is not an island. Our country has commercial relations with the global economy and therefor is prone to economic austerity.

4)     Understand how the Warsaw Stock Exchange works.

5)     Understand the foreign exchange market in Poland. Nowadays we are more accustomed to using foreign currencies therefore young people should know how this market works.

6)     Understand that inflation can be useful, provided it’s really low (almost crawling).

7)     Understand the banking system in Poland.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Who controls the world?



"The people starting their careers now will suffer substantial wage losses throughout their lifetimes" --Eben Moglen.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Debunking Charlatans

Water: The Great Mystery is pseudo-science at its worst.

Post a comment on this chicanery.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Short Answer Questions

01. What is the "hole in the wall" project?

It's a project where children in remote areas have access to a computer which allows them to teach themselves without a teacher.


Sugata Mitra


Meg Ray homework

:Homework for Monday, complete the exam questions with model answers. Add a tl;dr. The first one has been done for you.

Define the following terms as they are used by Psychologist Meg Ray.

Extended adolescence
Adolescence is commonly understood as beginning at birth and ending with the end of puberty. Extended adolescence is the detrimental prolongation of adolescent behaviours beyond puberty and the deferment of adult roles and adult responsibility. Some consequences named in the video include not being able to have the career you want, not being able to marry the person you want, not being able to have the children you want.


Extended adolescence is a continuation of pubescent behaviour post-puberty. Biological adulthood without social or mental adulthood.


Neologism describing a new generation of young adults trapped between adolescence and adulthood. They are mostly people who still live with their parents. They don't have jobs; or their jobs are part-time and often paid.  Twixters tend to marry later and defer other important life decisions until later as well. synonym: kidults, peter-pan, young-at-heart, empty of wallet.

Polish equivalent: gniazdowniki (people who won't leave the nest)

Being intentional and making mindful choices.
Doing something on purpose. Thinking out your actions and acting on them.

To infantalize is to treat an adult person like a child or reduce their status to that of an infant or child.

Trivialized defining decade
Deprecating of value of your twenties.

Benign neglect
Ignoring or dismissing as unimportant some issue immediately which manifests adverse consequences much later.

Blowing it
Failing to take advantage of an opportunity, when you are messing up, or screwing up, or doing something wrong

Robbed of urgency and ambition
Society's attitude towards twentysomethings encourages them to waste time, delay important life decisions, slack off. This is epitomized in the phrase "Your 30s are your new 20s"

Identity capital
An investment in who you want to be and what you want your life to look like. Identity capital is achieved by exploring work opportunities and engaging in meaningful relationship.