Educated out of creativity

Educated out of creativity


Just watched again Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk of 11 years ago, in which he asked if schools are killing creativity. He said every public education system is predicated on academic ability, in relation to what is useful for getting a job. Children, he said, are benignly steered away from subjects (such as art, music and dance) that are unlikely to lead to a career.

As a consequence, large numbers of brilliant, talented people think they are not. We can’t afford to go on that way. We make very poor use of our talents. He has called for us all to innovate fundamentally, challenging what we take for granted, and “disenthrall” ourselves.

Hardly surprising that the clip has already had over 13 million views!

There must be many who succeed despite the curbs and inhibitions of schooldays. In my own boarding school we had neither newspapers nor radio. My route to self-expression came later.

How to tell a man he stinks?

Went to a Toastmasters meeting last evening, to try out a 20-minute Keynote speech. A club member of a certain age shambled in, after a long absence. You could smell him long before he arrived, and the stink of stale urine pervaded every corner of the room. For some reason he chose to sit beside me.

Being a Brit, I endured, and merely leaned as far away as possible. My instinct was to be direct and inform him of his malodorous contribution to the proceedings, but I did not want to make a scene, nor to give the man offence, despite the grievous harm he was inflicting on my olfactory sensors (which have still not recovered!).

I’m sure it’s not a rare occurrence, but how does one tell a person he stinks?

The speech? Oh, it won the award for Best Contribution to the Evening. Perhaps there was an element of appreciation for my forbearance.

Foxes’ wedding

It used to be said that the English always (and only) talk about the weather. But they are trumped by the Irish. The weather is always the first or second subject in a casual conversation.

One reason may be that there is such a lot of it here. Weather, I mean. That’s why the island is so green. The grass on my back lawn is six inches high, a week after it was last cut. Right now the sun is shining, but I’m certain the dark clouds will drift in from the Atlantical sea this afternoon and sprinkle some italic refreshment this afternoon.

Often we get sunshine and showers at the same time. I call it the foxes’ wedding and the monkeys’ dance, a popular expression from my childhood in India. I believe there are similar expressions all around the world, including “the devil is beating his wife”, to describe the sunshower.

Why Malware?

One of the ads that appear among the posts on Facebook offered to speed up my Mac which, like most computers, loses its zip from time to time. Bring a sucker for attractive offers, I clicked where indicated and got to the “install” stage before an insight prompted me to pause.

I quickly searched for reviews of the software and realized that it was a malware programme. It installs several malicious agents on your computer, to collect data about your finances and sells the data to nasty people.

So it seems that some brilliant bod sits down to write the code for a clever piece of software that is then marketed as a potential helper, but is actually a bit of virtual espionage. What a dispiriting misuse of talent!

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