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K 'Y

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VI-2005:
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and about time too - british education appears at last to be modernising

“When Eden Sedman joins Westfield Primary School in September, she will sit neatly at a desk with all the other little boys and girls, ready to greet the teacher and learn her lessons.

“But when the register is called on Thursdays and Fridays, Eden's name will be absent, her desk will be empty and the child herself will be nowhere to be seen.

“Eden will be one of the first children in Britain to embark on a part-time schooling, a revolutionary new concept that is already popular in America and is taking off in this country.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#uk_education_010805


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any mobile phone use while driving is dangerous

“Mobile phone use in the 10 minutes before a crash was associated with a four-fold increased likelihood of crashing.

“This was irrespective of whether the driver was using a hand-held or hands-free phone.

“Similar results were found for the interval up to five minutes before a crash.

“ "Although this may lead to fewer hand-held phones used while driving in the future, our research indicates that this may not eliminate the risk.[...] ”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#mobile_accidents_140705

capitalism comes to chinese ‘marriage’

A society in rapid change modernises at jet speed. Changes taking a century in the west are taking but a few years in china..

Still the old fogeys whinge on about the ‘good old days’. How will the Chinese cope with the changes occurring over a few years?

This is a living laboratory that probably will not last long.

“In the past, couples often did not demonstrate affection inside a strict, loyalty-based family hierarchy. It was better not to, as Harvard sociologist Martin Whyte points out, since it might suggest a son's loyalty was not entirely clear. Couples always lived with the husband's parents, and in times of argument, sons were expected to side with family elders, not wives. Sons were dependent on parents. Divorce was discouraged and nearly non-existent. Marriages were arranged among families or inside "work units;" a main criterion was the communist or "revolutionary" credentials of the spouse's family.”

“ Wealth, it turns out, has caused many urban Chinese to think and behave in ways that don't always include families. Boarding schools have tripled in the past decade. Extramarital relations have skyrocketed. As the cost of living increases in urban China, many young women, often from outside the city, are subsidized by men.

“Typical is Yu Weijing, 25, who stays in Beijing by being enrolled in graduate school. Her boyfriend is 40, divorced, has a son, and owns a pharmacy. They stay together five days a month. He pays her rent. She is now dating another businessman, and wonders if she should change income sources, since she hears the pharmacist is also dating [...] .”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#chinese_bargains_130705

what is narcissistic personality disorder?

In answer to a question based on a recent case.

Probably not much different from ‘psychopath[1] - a spoilt child, constantly reinforced, never told no.

These personality disorder labels are slop.

Related to this particular case, it is possible that a child has parents who try to ‘live through it’, presenting their offspring as ‘their’ work in progress, and maybe putting heavy emotional pressure on the child to ‘succeed’.

Anger is a widespread response to ‘spoiling’. There is often very much anger. The child can read its treatment by the parents as ‘uncaring’, which it is. The parent will not take responsibility for saying no. For then the parent would be ‘unpopular’and, thus, may receive the brunt of a child’s frustration/anger. The child then tends to live in cotton-wool, not knowing ‘where it stands’.

The child grows, then it has to eventually deal with the real world, but without much orientation. Eventually, the world starts saying ‘no’. That is an affront!

Always being given what it wants, the child assumes it ‘deserves’, you can work out the rest.

related material
establishment psychobunk [linked to other briefing documents in this series]

end note

  1. See also a quotation from Adolf Hitler.
the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#narcissistic_300605

who owns the child? ‘social’ ‘services’ and the government, of course

Secret ‘courts’ and more psychobabble.

“How seriously should the allegations that Rachel was a danger to her daughter be taken? Ben Sacks is a professor of psychiatry who has acted as an expert witness in many court cases centring on the care of children. After reading the relevant documents, he said, 'The reports submitted by the council in pursuit of its plan for Charlotte's forcible adoption simply do not present any evidence to justify the removal of the child from her mother.... Dr Y, for instance, places great emphasis on a technique she terms "story stems" [in which the child under examination is asked to continue a story whose elements are given by the psychiatrist]. I know of no evidence showing that this technique has any validity at all. To me, the grounds put forward for taking this child away are wholly speculative. They consist in predictions of what might happen. They do not involve observations of actual harm.... I do not understand how a child can be separated from its mother when there is no evidence that the relationship is actually causing damage: there is only a prediction that it might be damaging in the future [...] ”

“How is it possible for judges to uphold applications for forcible adoption which seem to be based on so grotesque an interpretation of 'the welfare of the child'? Such a procedure could surely not survive scrutiny if the public knew about it. The public, however, does not know about it. The courts which order forcible adoptions operate in secret. Legislation passed in 1960, and updated and confirmed by the Children's Act of 1989, makes it an offence not merely to report the evidence presented to a court during an application for the forcible adoption of a child, but also for any of those involved to pass on documents relating to such cases to any third party [...] ”

“ [...] There were more than 3,000 forcible adoptions in the year 2002-03. Most of them were contested. Rachel Drew's case may or may not be exceptional - the secrecy surrounding the family courts means that nobody knows. [...] ”

and that is just a small part of this hidden world. (ab)

related material
establishment psycho-bunk

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#who_owns_the_child_240605

home schooling, christianism and politics in the usa

“ [...] eighty-five per cent of the students at Patrick Henry, was homeschooled, in her case in rural Idaho. Homeschoolers are not the most obvious raw material for a college whose main mission, since its founding, five years ago, has been to train a new generation of Christian politicians. Politics, after all, is the most social of professions, and many students arrive at Patrick Henry having never shared a classroom with anyone other than their siblings. In conservative circles, however, homeschoolers are considered something of an élite, rough around the edges but pure - in their focus, capacity for work, and ideological clarity [...] ”

“ [...] about a million and a half children, as many as two-thirds of whom are thought to be evangelicals, are taught at home [...] ”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#homeschooling_240605

‘planning’ improvements at stonehenge

English Heritage, a UK government-funded agency, has proposed a face-lift to the renowned prehistoric stone collection, trapped between two major West Country roads, and its access points.

In true British bureaucratic officious style, delays caused by government departments separately ‘considering’(not even deciding upon) various proposals may make any adequate improvements just too expensive.

“English Heritage, a government-funded agency that has responsibility for the site, has long wanted to make visits to Stonehenge nicer. When it was set up in 1984, it said that improving Stonehenge would be its priority. Twenty years later, the latest version of the plans include an overland train that would bring tourists from a car park 25 minutes away, a visitor centre costing £57m and a plan to hide the nearby road in a tunnel. But those plans haven't got anywhere either, to the frustration of Sir Neil Cossons, English Heritage's current chief executive.”

“In addition to this, the druids are determined to make sure that the Highways Agency chooses to dig a proper tunnel (which is expensive), rather than just sinking the road and putting a roof on top of it, which would disturb more of the archaeologically interesting plain. King Arthur Pendragon, a druid king and pagan priest who boasts that he was arrested 30 times while protesting against the building of a road to bypass Newbury, promises "the biggest protest in Europe" if the government takes the cheap option.” [Quoted from Economist print edition]

Planning application pages: revised documentation - to be read in conjunction with the original documentation. Note the documentation is so large that Salisbury District Council provides it on a cd [apply for one here].

related material
fighting for civil liberties in the uk
stonehenge aotearoa opens / stonehenge in new zealand!
360° virtual tour of Stonehenge / four 360° tours

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#stonehenge_190605

a report, from the field, of difficulties in training iraqi soldiers and police (baghdad)

Difficulties like

  • when people are oppressed for a generation and seeped in fear,
  • when you do not speak their language,
  • when Jihadis and Ba’ath socialists want to gain or regain power.

“An hour later, the men returned to Forward Operating Base Summerall, a sandy expanse behind concrete barricades and concertina wire a few miles outside town. They followed US military protocol: Each soldier dismounted from the vehicle and cleared his weapon. [Corporal] Zwayid stayed in the truck, handed his gun to a friend and asked him to clear it.

“ "Get down and clear your own weapon!" Cpl. William Kozlowski shouted to Zwayid in English.

“Zwayid answered in Arabic. "That's my weapon," he explained, pointing to his friend.

“ "Corporal, you're a leader!" Kozlowski shouted back. "Take charge!"

“Zwayid smiled at him. "What's he saying to me?" he whispered. ”

Lead from moonbat.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#training_160605

gaming north korea Four GoldenYak (tm) award
Though long and requires effort, it is highly recommended for the dedicated.

This article is much better organised and reported, than the similar gaming of Iraq that I posted at the abelard.org news service yesterday.

“McInerney was blunter. "I would say to the North Koreans, 'If a nuclear weapon or weapons go off in the United States, you are a target'" - even if we don't know for sure that North Korea was responsible.

“Gallucci didn't want to do that. "The idea that if a nuclear weapon were detonated in an American city without attribution, we would tell North Korea we were going to attack them, does not sound like the United States of America. We have to do better than that. And I don't want to wait, by the way, for the detonation of a weapon. Let me be clear here: the trigger for my action is not detonation; the trigger is incontrovertible evidence that the North Koreans have transferred fissile material to a terrorist group."

“ "But you'll not get that incontrovertible evidence," McInerney said. "That's my point."

“ "I believe we have to begin to act before that happens," Gallucci said. "I would advocate - and I am now going to use softer language - moving toward the use of military force to deal with the accumulation of fissile material even before transfer. When exactly you do that - I think that's got to be squishy. I'm not prepared to tell you exactly when that is." ”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#north_korea_140605

james fallows on a mythical melt-down in the usa and on gaming iran

I regard the following interview with James Fallows as rubbish, based on academic voodoo economics.

[Listen using realplayer or windows. The full item is 48 minutes, with the interview starting a few minutes in.]

However, a central issue of  ‘economics’ is that people can incline to act in accord with the way they perceive the real world, rather than in accord to the world as it is, thus bringing about that which is feared.

This linked item is a discussion from the point of view of  “we are all dooooooommmmmeddddd”, otherwise characterised as the end of US dominance due to economic collapse.

Some suggest that the USA is already on its way to dooooooommmmm because the USA, including the government, “is living above its means”.

But buying an extra SUV or plastic swimming pool is not “living above your means”, it is merely immaturity. You could not obtain those things if they were “ above your means”, the very fact that you have obtained them is full demonstration that the items were within your means.

One needs to consider just what is meant by “above their means”. Many people live “above their means”, and many others do not, in the sense that some ‘borrow’ and some do not.

People either obtain things or they do not. They either eat or they do not. The first does not matter, the second does. After a person has ‘purchased’ something on tick [credit], they either keep it or they do not. While they have it, they can use it. If it is ‘repossessed’, they can no longer use it. That does not remove the fact that they had use out of the item. The users / ‘owners’ mostly do not die if the item is removed (an exception would be a dialysis machine).

If the item had not been in the market, the person would not have been able to use it. In this sense, it is not possible to “live above your means”. The standard of living is what it is, and fiat money is widely irrelevant to this.

All countries have problems, I’d much rather have the mostly slight problems of the United States than those of China or Africa.

Meanwhile, the Cassandran angst that the American Empire may one day, in the unspecified and unknowable future, come to an end is more Chicken Licken-style speculation.

marker at abelard.org

Having been somewhat interested, but not much impressed with Fallows’ 2016 economic speculation, I looked further at his attempt at writing up war gaming Iran, and was appalled....

“Exactly what learning from Iraq will mean is important but impossible to say. "Iraq" could become shorthand for a comprehensive disaster-one of intention, execution, and effect. "Usually we don't make the same mistakes immediately," Graham Allison said. "We make different mistakes." In an attempt to avoid "another Iraq," in Iran or elsewhere, a different Administration would no doubt make new mistakes. If George Bush is re-elected, the lessons of Iraq in his second term will depend crucially on who is there to heed them. All second-term Presidents have the same problem, "which is that the top guys are tired out and leave - or tired out and stay," Kay said. "You get the second-best and the second-brightest, it's really true." "There will be new people, and even the old ones will behave differently," Gardiner said. "The CIA will not make unequivocal statements. There will be more effort by everyone to question plans." But Kay said that the signal traits of the George W. Bush Administration - a small group of key decision-makers, no fundamental challenge of prevailing views - would most likely persist. "I have come to the conclusion that it is a function of the way the President thinks, operates, declares his policy ahead of time," Kay said. "It is inherent in the nature of George Bush, and therefore inherent in the system."

“What went wrong in Iraq, according to our participants, can in almost all cases be traced back to the way the Administration made decisions. "Most people with detailed knowledge of Iraq, from the CIA to the State Department to the Brits, thought it was a crazy quilt held together in an artificial state," Allison said. Because no such people were involved in the decision to go to war, the Administration expected a much easier reception than it met - with ruinous consequences [...].” [Quoted from worldthreats.com]

The Iraq action has been, widely and generally, highly effective and successful. Claims suggesting that it is “a disaster” are to be expected from lightweights. However, suggesting that the Bush administration went into Iraq on such trivial grounds and unrealistic expectations would explain why so many on the left do not seem to comprehend the real and serious necessity of removing Madsam and working to stabilise Iraq.

I sure hope no-one in the administration takes advice on anything serious from people of such apparently low intellectual capability as suggested in the article.

he web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#fallows_130605

“you’re all so boring” - hanson

“A final suggestion for these unhappy and privileged few: To end your obsessions with the pathologies of America and the West, find a way to create your own alternative sports, literature, corporations, soft drinks, and filmmaking in the non-West.

“It is not that we Americans are mad at what you say. It is just that you have all become so hypocritical, then predictable, and now boring - you are all so boring.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#boring_290505

another socialist starts to grow up

Those who have the honesty, guts and intelligence to leave the cult that has often had them in thrall for decades, have much to teach those who study human nature.

“Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.

“I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.”

“Like many others who came of age politically in the 1960s, I became adept at not taking the measure of the left's mounting incoherence. To face it directly posed the danger that I would have to describe it accurately, first to myself and then to others. That could only give aid and comfort to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and all the other Usual Suspects the left so regularly employs to keep from seeing its own reflection in the mirror.”

“True, it took a while to see what was right before my eyes. A certain misplaced loyalty kept me from grasping that a view of individuals as morally capable of and responsible for making the principle decisions that shape their lives is decisively at odds with the contemporary left's entrance-level view of people as passive and helpless victims of powerful external forces, hence political wards who require the continuous shepherding of caretaker elites.

“Leftists who no longer speak of the duties of citizens, but only of the rights of clients, cannot be expected to grasp the importance (not least to our survival) of fostering in the Middle East the crucial developmental advances that gave rise to our own capacity for pluralism, self-reflection, and equality [...].”

related material
denialism

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#conversion_270505

on prison

"[...] More than half of those entering prison have been using Class A drugs. In some inner- city local prisons as many as eight out of ten men are found, on arrival, to have Class A drugs in their system. Most of these have never received any treatment. Most of the crimes they have committed are connected with the need for money to buy drugs. Each afternoon as the vans arrive from the courts the prison service is confronted, immediately and dangerously, with the failure of society to deal effectively with drugs.”

“What is it all for? The slogan 'prison works' is often used as if locking up offenders provides the answer to crime. Yet there is something odd here. The number of prisoners has hugely increased. In 1986, when I was home secretary, there were 44,000 in England and Wales; when Labour came in 1997 the figure was about 60,000; it has just reached a record total of 75,550. If 'prison works' in reducing crime, then obviously a sensational increase in the number of prisoners should produce a sensational reduction in crime. But it hasn't. It is precisely those who argue most fiercely that prison works who go on to argue that crime has increased - at a time when magistrates and judges have been slamming offenders into prison as never before.”

“ [...] Three out of five prisoners are reconvicted within two years of being released. The reconviction rate for young male adults under 21 over two years is 73 per cent. Three quarters of imprisoned burglars reoffend and are reconvicted. These figures are not surprising when you consider the kind of people we are talking about. By their own stupidity or worse they find themselves in a hopeless position even before they enter prison. Their levels of literacy and numeracy are awful [...].”

“You may judge a civilisation by the way it treats its prisoners.”
Winston Churchill as home secretary, about 1913 (from memory).

Just perhaps, David Davis [UK Conservative shadow Home Secretary/Interior Sectretary] is beginning to catch on:

“And, at the same time, only an unshakable commitment to the rule of law buttressed by traditional institutions - jury trials, habeas corpus, presumption of innocence - can make the citizen both free and secure.”

Will David Davis dare talk of conditions in British prisons, or will he also run in fear from civilised standards in order to appease the daft old fogies?

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#prison_180505

idealism, realism, courage and wisdom
from Chrenkoff, one of the best blogs in the universe.

“President Bush's foreign policy gets attacked from many different quarters. Realists off all political stripes argue that it is too idealist and too naive. The increasingly isolationist left deems Bush's foreign policy hypocritical (why Iraq, and not North Korea or China?) and too realist in a sense that underneath all the lofty rhetoric it is really motivated only by the base commercial and power-politics considerations like control of oil supplies.

“In fact, Bush is a realistic idealist, or idealistic realist, and his foreign policy faithfully translates into cold hard realities of international politics a simple prayer attributed to the theologian Dr. Rheinhold Niebuhr. I'm sure you know it - framed, it adorns many a kitchen wall from Poland to Portland, or dangles from many key-chains around the world:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

“This is it, in essence: there's plenty we would want to do - every autocrat in the world deserves to be deposed and his people given freedom and democracy - but for various reasons we cannot make it happen everywhere at the same time, so for the moment we'll only pick those fights we can win.

“Iraq took courage. North Korea and many other places require serenity. Fortunately, W has got the wisdom.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#wisdom_140505

dutch academic institutions seek to break information cartel

“DAREnet guarantees free and open access to all content for everyone. No restrictions.

“At the beginning of 2005, DAREnet provided access to 47,000 digital data and objects at sixteen institutions.”

marker at abelard.org

“The SURF programme Digital Academic Repositories (DARE) is a joint initiative of the Dutch universities to make all their research results digitally accessible. The KB (National Library of the Netherlands), the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) are also cooperating in this unique project. Coordination of the programme is being taken care of by the SURF Foundation.”

Elselvier Science, a major part of the cartel controlling academic publishing, is twitching. Vast amounts of such work are funded out of taxes by governments.

Note:

“Due to overwhelming attention for Cream of Science and DAREnet the website has encountered an overload. Since the official launch on Tuesday May 10, the number of hits has greatly exceeded our expectations. Unfortunatly the system cannot handle this; the downside of the success. At this moment extra capacity is being set up. We hope you understand this temporary delay and have patience or try again later.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#DAREnet_130505

the intelligence-enhancing nature of popular culture

Despite the interminable whining of the old fossils as they yearn for the ‘good old days’, the evidence remains that modern young people are getting steadily brighter than past generations.

From a book review of

image credit: amazon.com Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
By Steven Johnson, Riverhead, 1573223077, 30 May 2005, $16.77

 

“Although example rigging could skew his argument wrongly, Johnson builds a convincing case that popular games and shows have generally grown more cognitively taxing. To be sure, plenty of schlock still appears on TV. But today's schlock is better than yesterday's, Johnson suggests. In one comparison he pits ''Battle of the Network Stars" vs. ''Joe Millionaire." If the former promoted only mind-numbing passivity, ''Joe Millionaire," for all its silliness, at least compels next-day ''water-cooler conversations" about the competitors' decisions and strategy, Johnson notes, seemingly drawing only on his seat-of-the-pants impressions.

“The greater complexity, Johnson argues, is ''creating minds that are more adept at certain kinds of problem solving." Thus, he says, today's pop culture is ''largely a force for good: enhancing our cognitive faculties, not dumbing them down." ” [Quoted from boston.com]

The review is a recommended scan.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#popular_culture_090505

some horse sense from paul johnson
but can the cotton-wool left ever put away their dogma and learn?

Necessary qualities of leaders

  • moral courage
  • judgement
  • sense of priority
  • conservation of energy
  • sense of humour...

marker at abelard.org

“Everyone is currently welcoming what appears to be a "democratic spring" in the Middle East, whether it be in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Egypt. But there's no general willingness among Democrats--especially those who call themselves liberals--to recognize that the use of force is sometimes necessary in a wicked world. The principled realist is bound to ask: Would all this talk of democracy be taking place if Afghanistan and Iraq had not held free elections? The answer is, obviously: No. Would elections have taken place had the Taliban still been in control in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein still been in power in Iraq? The answer: No. Who removed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein? George W. Bush and the American armed services. Could this have been accomplished by any othermeans than the use of force? No. Indeed, diplomacy and pressure were tried again and again.

“Nobody in his right mind--certainly not a President who believes in democracy and is a man of high principles--wants to use force. Force is a dangerous, blunt instrument. It is a step into the dark, with often unpredictable results. It is a weapon of last resort. But if Mr. Bush hadn't been willing to use it, the Middle East would still be the same desolate, hopeless area it was at the time of 9/11--a region of cruel and irremovable dictatorship, where democracy had no charge and the people were resigned to perpetual oppression.

“Bush's use of force has changed all that. Democracy now has a chance; and freedom, perhaps, has a future. We can't bank on anything, for the enemies of democracy and freedom are still powerful, heavily armed and totally ruthless. But hope is on the rise. The U.S. has planted the seeds of democracy, and its armed forces are in the area to ensure that those seeds are nurtured. That is progress.” [Quoted from forbes.com]

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0505.php#horse_sense_030505
the web address for the article above is
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