Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Carl Sagan said "Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart" and Terence Kealey, of Vice Chancellor of the University of seems to be living proof.
He claims that Female Students are a perk of male lecturers job!
What an outrageous thing to say. Notwithstanding the fact that we are all adults and we know all about the birds and the bees. A university is a professional learning environment, where students are 'learners' not targets of lustful attention.
He has clearly had a humour bypass, and has been entirely gullible in regard to the impact of his 'laddish' statements. This has entitled him to a free entry in my Jackasses Squidoo lens. You can vote for him in the Jackasses roll of fame now!
"Normal girls - more interested in abs than in labs, more interested in pecs than specs, more interested in triceps than tripos - will abjure their lecturers for the company of their peers, but nonetheless, most male lecturers know that, most years, there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration and who asks for advice on her essays. What to do?
"Enjoy her! She's a perk."
The damage this type of utterance can have to the student / lecturer trust is immense. Does the student now think they have achieved the grade through academic achievement or through personal appearance? What will future employers think? Might they begin to think 'is she really qualified?'
How do male lecturers behave now? Will any sort of familiarity be construed as a 'come on'? Might they over-compensate and mark more harshly to avoid accusations of 'babe-ism'? Will any glance at a female student lead them vulnerable to a raft of accustations?
I think Doctor Lurve should step down.
Much has been researched in this area
Physical Attractiveness and academic performance
Sexual harassement on a university campus
Expectations, Impressions, and Judgments of Physically Attractive Students
Interested in become a student at a British University? check out...
Choosing A British University
The food company Sharwood's make a big thing in their advertising about travelling the world to find recipes that they can bring us in their products.
Now am I missing something? If they take a recipe that has been shown to them and they don't pay a royalty then isn't that stealing?
If they modify the recipe then they should state that they have done this and not claim that the recipe is authentic.
We get hot under the collar about child labour. We should do the same in this instance.
Friday, 18 September 2009
I'm presently in a Social Media - So What? zone We're told that everybody's doing it and that if you're not doing it you seriously ought to consider doing it.
If you need to know the best way to do it then Scott Monty shows how the 'social-media book' industry has swung into overdrive to bombard us with the wisdom of gurus.
Not only that there are gurus telling us which gurus are the most guru-like. I guess this could be called Gurullia Marketing.
Authors and social media I get, Journalism and social media I get, knowledge collaboration I get, but where is the evidence of the direct influence of social media on the way organisations produce products and serve their customers?
Go on. Google it, google anything to do with the impact of Social Media on business strategy and you'll find nothing. You'll find lots about how its the 'new marketing paradigm'(puke), lot's about how to craft the right social media strategy itself, lots about how fantastic it is to listen in conversation and narratives and even...now hold onto your multi-media phones folks...'speak to other human beings!'.
But So What What happens with the accolades and the complaints? what happens with the deep semantic analysis of positive and negative sentiment. Where does it all go? What impact does it have? what changes are made as result?
No one can tell you. Check out academic journals too, there's nothing there!. Not a jot.
Millions of people are blogging and interacting and telling each other 'what' they do with their social media budgets. The really smart people simply spend their time advising others 'what' they should do with their social media budgets. The tools might have changed but has the nature of getting the business job done changed in any substantive sense at all?
Reporting hits, twits, and bits of info is simply that...a description of what 'is'. Where is the sense-making, where are the implications? Are there any implications? What, if anything, are people doing with all of this conversational data?
No one it seems can explain 'how' social media is changing what businesses do in any strategic sense. Have they got smarter? Have they got faster? Have they got smaller? Have they got bigger? Have they become more effective in any way shape or form?
Perhaps Social Media is simply that great big coffee machine in 'the cloud'. A place to idly pass the time chatting with others in an unproductive way at some other guy's expense.
Amber Naslund of Altitude Branding take a look at who controls who.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Another mega-seller from Dan Brown raises an important question. How do you decide what is Fact and what is Fiction?
I forget who said it but, human beings are curious (perhaps not enough!) because they can believe things that aren't true and disbelieve things that are true. Dan Brown skillfully taps into his habit of ours.
Basically when reading any of Dan Brown's books, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Daemons and now The Lost Symbol, he is challenging us to sort out fact from fiction. Or is he? What if he is simply writing a good story that stimulates our imagination to see patterns and make connections that are in no way connected to the truth?
When you read the The Lost Symbol which bits do you choose to believe and which bits to reject? On what basis do you this? What evidence are you willing to trust? Is it the word of someone else? How do you choose between person 'A's word and person 'B's word? Is it seeing, hearing of some other sensory input? Do rely on a memory of some perviously related facts? Do you work it in your mind and if it stacks up you go with that?
So here we have a problem. We might believe Dan Brown's story The Lost Symbol but can we really know the facts?
I can't wait for the sequel, I remember hearing a famous author saying that given the facts so far it is a logical move for Dan Brown to follow The Lost Symbol with The Lost Marble.
Beware of people who claim to have all the answers! and this includes a [celebrity author] like
Lost Symbol Fan? check out The Lost Symbol
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Saints preserve us! Have the staff at Flinthshire council got nothing better to do with their time?
Concerned at the historical (and hysterical) innuendos about the name of the traditional British pudding they have decided to rename this popular dessert
They hoped to put an end to the nudges and winks of customers by renaming the classic pud 'Spotted Richard' or Sultana Sponge Pudding
Now wonder they don't work in marketing and advertising. They've clearly had an inspiration bypass. This is Political Correctness gone made. The scourge of post-modernist language deconstruction and connontation mania has finally reached the humble British pudding.
They may even be more dismayed when they learn that the etymology of Richard means 'Hard Ruler'!!
Ooer missus give me some of your hard ruler baby!
Perhaps it might be better named Flintshire Folly.
Here's the recipe so you can make your own without having to trouble the delicate sensibilities of Flintshire County Council serving staff.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Whilst the physical battle is being fought in Afghanistan. The war is being fought in the mind.
"Ali and Sarwar went to deliver aid to the refugee camps - and their experiences radically altered their world view.
Abdulla Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of the group, was shocked by the appalling conditions. His anger was compounded by the failure of the 2003 mass protest against the Iraq war." BBC
Howard Gardner suggests that changing minds is as difficult as pushing string.
So, researchers agree that there is no real absolute version of 'social truth', and that people have differing views on what is right and wrong.
Mind you I suppose the clue is in the title when it comes to deciding legal matters. A 'Judge' is exactly that. They make judgements not measurements.
I cannot tell a lie because you might not think it is one. You could always pop to the Honesty Lab to see if I'm right.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
The aptly named 'G' fo Gullibility 20 claim to have come with a way of controlling the banks.
They have come with no specific limits on the amounts our banking friends can get.
Does the G20 seriously think that the bankers are running scared? Of course not. What they say sounds good.
Have you ever heard a paper tiger roar.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
The Howard League are urging the educational development of Prison Warders and the The Prison Officers Association say: see All prison officers should be educated to degree level
"The Prison Officers Association said personal qualities not qualifications helped make a good prison officer.
It added the idea was "naive and narrow-minded".
What more compelling evidence is needed than this for a significant intellectual up-skilling of people in Prison Service!
It is not a question of either/or. Either /or thinking is indicative of lower order intellectual ability. Of course excellent social skills are needed. Aren't they in any profession?? Prison officers will be accomplished social influencers. And...
If the profession is develop beyond mere 'single loop' problem solving it needs critcially reflective practioners. People with the intellectual tool kits to enable them to characterise and make sense of their worlds and experiences in new and imaginative ways.
To suggest that prison officers don't need professional development is the outlook of the Luddite and indicative of the intellectual experience of the people running The Prison Officers Association.
This way of thinking is typical of the rear guard argument of a paradigm that feels under threat. it is indicative of a paradigm that is less than self assured. It is a Psychic prision from which the POA doesn't want to escape from.
The POA should read:
The advantages and disadvantages of a university degree
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Benjamin Franklin:"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of."
C. S. Lewis:
"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."
"Time and tide wait for no man. A pompous and self-satisfied proverb, and was true for a billion years; but in our day of electric wires and water-ballast we turn it around: Man waits not for time nor tide."
So can anybody explain the Cosmetics Industry to me please? and more importantly can anybody explain the obsessive use of psuedo-scientific many barrelled gobbledy gook product names!
What the heck is "re-perfecting"? basically it implies "you are now ugly but you can do something about it!"
When you just read the words without the packaging and the glamorous model its clear these products are creation of the advertising mind. A mind that heightens fears and worries, turns them into a problem, and then offers a miracle solution all wrapped up in quasi scientific jargon for added "authoritative effect and enhanced scientific underpinning" sounds good eh! want to buy some?
Youth Surge SPF 15.
Superdefense SPF25 Age Defense
Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer
Turnaround Concentrate Visible Skin Renewer
Repairwear Deep Wrinkle Concentrate
Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream
Total Effects Targeted Wrinkle Repair
SPF 20 FACIAL ARMOUR
DERMELECT CONFIDENCE INJECTION CREASE CONCENTRATE
and so on...
So is there a solution? I think there is because most non corporately hitched scienists would recommend a good diet and exceriseover face cream.
How about this? Sit back in your chair and I'll turn back time. Close your eyes and I'll transport you there. I've re-created...
My Youth Club Disco
Get dancing and stay young!
Other ways to keep us young are being worked on by scientists who reckon that soon there will be 100 year olds with the body of a 50 year old
Fountain of Eternal Youth by Lucas Cranach