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New translation, the Magna Carta


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recruiting for google

"the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability."

“...intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.”

"LAST June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies — noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer.

"Don’t get him wrong, Bock begins, “Good grades certainly don’t hurt.” Many jobs at Google require math, computing and coding skills, so if your good grades truly reflect skills in those areas that you can apply, it would be an advantage. But Google has its eyes on much more."

Worth a scan.

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on choice/option overload

A useful little article.

"It could be one of the most memorable economic studies of the last half century. Researchers presented an array of tasty jams and enticed shoppers to buy a jar. In one version, there were six varieties shown to shoppers. In another, there were 24 jams. The second, larger array attracted more traffic. But the smaller array led to ten times more purchases. Sometimes, they concluded, too many options repel us. The researchers called it ‘the paradox of choice.’ You might call it ‘feeling overwhelmed by options.’ .."

"Second, a very large home builder, with semi-autonomous branches in many different parts of the U.S., reduced the number of options available to home buyers after they had selected a model and went about customizing it. The way the company operated, home buyers would customize their homes, advised by a consultant, in a design center. Home buyers faced 24 backsplashes for kitchen counters, 34 tile floors, 17 ovens, 21 refrigerators, 9 master bath tub packages, 13 master bath counters, 159 carpets, 37 hardwood floors, 41 vinyl sidings, 150 kitchen cabinet styles, 65 countertops, 21 kitchen faucets, 43 bathroom faucets and 26 fireplace options, among other choices.

On average, consultants spent 20 hours with each home buyer, outfitting the home. The company dramatically reduced options in many of these categories, again as a cost-cutting measure. The results were striking: reduced paralysis (four hours with a consultant rather than 20), more upgrades, less regret and more customer satisfaction. The streamlining also enabled the home builder to build homes more efficiently and economically because the construction crews could work faster with fewer errors when there were fewer variants available..."

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new pope's first real encyclical

There are 288 paragraphs of the average length of those below. This is almost a book, much longer than most encyclicals.

Francis's concern with poverty is prominent, and many leftists are attempting to distort this into an attack on 'capitalism', but he is arriving from a South American perspective.

from Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”)

53. Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. ... Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us

59. Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future. We are far from the so-called “end of history”, since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.
60. Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. This serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions – whatever the political ideology of their leaders.

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a more sane approach to the grammar school ideology

"This is clearly an experiment — and an ambitious one. We describe the WLFS as "a grammar school for all" (Harold Wilson's original definition of a comprehensive), but can all children really access a grammar school curriculum? The conventional wisdom, even in high-performing comprehensives, is that a classical liberal education is only suitable for children in the top half of the ability spectrum, with less-able children (usually those from more deprived backgrounds) being steered towards a combination of academic, technical and vocational subjects. It is that shibboleth that the founders of the WLFS have rejected. We believe that, with the right support, it's possible for all children to complete their secondary education with a storehouse of general knowledge — and we draw inspiration from a number of schools that manage this successfully, such as Mossbourne in Hackney and the Renaissance Arts Academy in Los Angeles."

From the same item:

"...419 schools in England were rated "inadequate" by Ofsted last year; only one of them was a free school. Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, estimated that in 2012 at least two million English children were attending schools that were either inadequate or required improvement, which might explain why a fifth of school leavers are functionally illiterate and functionally innumerate. That was the conclusion of a government-funded study carried out by Sheffield University in 2009. Professor Greg Brooks, one of the study's authors, said this had been true for at least 20 years."


"...Thanks to the last government's failure to address this systemic failure, England is the only country in the OECD survey where results are going backwards, with 16-24-year-olds performing worse than the older cohorts...."

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who owns the child? offsted socialist wants to snatch children of the ‘poor’ ever earlier

“...Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury – is calling for formal education to be delayed until seven, with play-based activities being adopted in nurseries and infant schools.”

“...the poorest children lagging just over a year-and-a-half behind the wealthiest.” [At 5 years old!]

Marker at

“Baroness Morgan said that many deprived children had “low social skills”, poor standards of reading and an inability to communicate properly, meaning they were “not ready to learn” when they entered the first full year of school. She called for the creation of a new generation of “all-through” schools that combine nurseries with primary and secondary education – enabling children to be enrolled at the age of two or three and remain up to 18.”

The aspiration of Baroness Morgan will be thwarted. The real evidence is that you need to start at birth or prior!

So unless and until the State starts to snatch the children at birth - the objective of state socialism! - this will not work. The children of educated middle-class parents are far better off educationally than those from uneducated and incompetent parenting. So snatching them is the very reverse of effective.

But socialists claim to want all people to be equal, so this has become and aspiration that dare not speak its name, whereas soft PC protestantism wants to believe in Rousseauian run free and run wild nonsense.

Neither Atkinson nor Morgan are prepared to face the real facts as they pursue their various mentally sloppy ‘idealisms’.

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the c-grade culture and low expectations

"There is currently a cohort of approximately 40 year 11 students in our school who wander the corridors in a permanent state of ashen-faced grimness, wearily dragging their feet as they move from room to room. They are the intervention cohort. The C/D borderline students who may as well wear sandwich boards marking them out as so, just in case their peers had somehow missed the fact they are being mysteriously removed from registration, summoned to endless booster sessions and harangued by every member of the senior leadership team who has had a quick look over the mark book of late. They are victims of the C-grade culture: an insidious little plague affecting students and teachers alike. The energy devoted to those students would likely be enough to power several counties."

Year 11 is far too late.

If taught well from early on, from birth as far as I am concerned, the exams are mostly a pushover.

Able teaching requires education to think, not education to parrot. Education to think is far more difficult for among other reasons, most current teachers cannot think well.

Parrot teaching is very sub-optimal. Some children manage to ‘survive’ it because of home support, while a very few work their way out of the mindless obedience that parrot learning requires. In other words, part of the reason that the UK has produced so many innovators is the very fact that UK education is so poor. It doesn’t manage to break the spirit of all pupils, just most of them.

As an illustrative example. Teachers have clung to look-say ‘teaching’ for decades because it gives quick apparent ‘results’, whereas teaching sanely through phonics is hard work and takes much longer, but the pupil ends up able to tackle any reading material without ‘help’ from adults.

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