Elsewhere on the internet...

The League of Reason has some social media accounts! You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter for some interesting links and things.

The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 9 posts ] 
The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11
Author Message
Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

Discussion thread for the blog entry "The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11" by Th1sWasATriumph.

Permalink: http://blog.theleagueofreason.co.uk/news/the-dawkinspz-protest-9611/
Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:54 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

I'm more disappointed with Grayling than anything. At a time when the public education system is under attack, not just in Britain but around the world, he abandons it for a money-making scheme with other high-profile intellectuals. It's pretty bad timing, especially with all the student protests in Britain, to go and set up a college charging abnormally high fees - of course there is going to be a back-lash against him.

Overall though, I do agree the protests are mis-targeted. People have to look to the harm that the government is doing, not to professors who are relatively minor players.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:20 am
WWW
RichardMNixonUser avatarPosts: 1047Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:45 pmLocation: USA Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

I'm confused at all the comments that this is a more "American-style" university. Is that a clever way to say "expensive"?
"When I come to my own beliefs, I find myself quite unable to discern any purpose in the universe, and still more unable to wish to discern one." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If we do not succeed, we run the risk of failure." ~ Dan Quayle
Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:12 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

Liberal arts college rather than a university, I think.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:20 am
WWW
rabbitpirateLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 101Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:29 pm

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

I have to agree that I don't really see the point of a protest like this. There is the old saying "you get what you pay for" and in this case you are being asked to pay more for what will be, in all likelihood, a far higher level of education than you would get else where. What I do object to is being asked to pay more for the same level of service, which is the situation for many students at the moment. I have just finished my first year at university and it cost me a little over ,£3000. In a couple of years time new students will have to pay ,£9000 for what is basically the same course. I think it is understandable why some people are annoyed by this, but I think they need to pick the targets of their outrage more carefully. I also agree with you that the idea of a university level education being a "rights" issue is rather foolish. No one is trying to take eductation away from people, no one is stepping on people's rights to go and get a higher education should they want it. All they are saying is that they will need to pay more for it than before. Yes this is a problem, but it is not a human rights problem.

Ok it's late and I'm very tired, I hope that actually made some sort of sense :P
Thetis: What if courage and imagination became everyday mortal qualities? What will become of us?
Zeus: We would no longer be needed. But, for the moment, there is sufficient cowardice, sloth and mendacity down there on Earth to last forever.
Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:29 am
WWW
doctormoUser avatarPosts: 11Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:18 pmLocation: Boston, MA Gender: Tree

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

Hmm, so by the powers of reason I shall attempt to be contrary.

Education isn't a human right but it is a social right, education is a way to copy effective knowledge and mental tools between those that do know and those that don't. The protest was foolish because they misunderstand the difference between human rights and common social sense.

It's incredibly foolish to deny anyone willing the opportunity to invest their time into their own education because of money; the economy does not benefit from an enhanced privileged education and mass ignorance. Coincidentally neither does society and the progress of enlightenment.

Higher educational facilities are, I must admit, rather ineffectual educational mechanisms. They baby undergraduates and pander to their inflated sense of entitlement. Anyone who can pay for a degree but doesn't care to put in the work, sure stick them through the money bleeding machine; anyone who wants a degree should be given one for free because they showed their keenness.

The trick for us is to think of clever ways of reducing the amount of time and numbers of people required to serve good education to the majority of people who are left wanting currently. If you can hold on to the principle of meritocracy and not succumb to the fatally attractive capitalists who believe everything should be expensive and nothing should be based on merit of mind but only on merit of wallet.

Assume that I, over a period of years, create an institute to teach guitar. It takes me a lot of time, money and effort, and is done with the aid of many people. In order to recoup my losses and in order to pay for the highest standards of tutelage, the costs are high.


As much as no one-person is entitled to any other one-persons time, no one company is entitled to recouping their investment. Investments are risk and we should never be lead down the path of assuming that society is responsible for business risk, this is exactly the path that has lead us to our current economic problems.

It's society that's responsible for enriching society and as members we have a small amount of responsibility to ensure we don't get in the way of that enrichment process by attempting to unjustly enrich ourselves by making the tools and processes ineffectual and time consuming. Making the effective educations only available to the privileged, we ensure that efficient educations never happen.

This goes as much for primary school numbers and literacy as it does for PhDs. Education shouldn't be a competition, in fact I believe we are short in thinking if we can not imagine mechanisms for teaching _everyone_ interested the very best PhD courses in all sciences and arts subjects.
Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:05 am
WWW
WelshidiotPosts: 569Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:57 pm

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

doctormo wrote:As much as no one-person is entitled to any other one-persons time, no one company is entitled to recouping their investment. Investments are risk and we should never be lead down the path of assuming that society is responsible for business risk, this is exactly the path that has lead us to our current economic problems.

It's society that's responsible for enriching society and as members we have a small amount of responsibility to ensure we don't get in the way of that enrichment process by attempting to unjustly enrich ourselves by making the tools and processes ineffectual and time consuming. Making the effective educations only available to the privileged, we ensure that efficient educations never happen.

This goes as much for primary school numbers and literacy as it does for PhDs. Education shouldn't be a competition, in fact I believe we are short in thinking if we can not imagine mechanisms for teaching _everyone_ interested the very best PhD courses in all sciences and arts subjects.
Hear, hear!
Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:40 am
Th1sWasATriumphLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 415Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:24 amLocation: About two feet behind AndromedasWake, with a brick in a sock

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

I couldn't allow a few of your points to go unquestioned.

doctormo wrote:They baby undergraduates and pander to their inflated sense of entitlement.


Surely you can't be making a generalised sweeping statement, one which seems to take a certain amount of bitterness as its catalyst? Are you saying all undergraduates have an "inflated sense of entitlement"? Well, they don't. I didn't, and most of my friends at Uni didn't either. I, like most of the aforementioned people, studied hard to achieve good results. In fact I can only think of one person who seemed to consider he was "entitled" to anything, and that was more his personality rather than his position as an undergrad. So what kind of research has led to your assertion that undergraduates - apparently as a homogenous group - have an inflated sense of entitlement? Indeed, once I completed my course I never really attempted to gain employment in areas that my degree (BA Hons English and Film Studies, 2.1) might have qualified me for. I even lost employment opportunities as a result of my qualification. I didn't leave thinking "well, I'm entitled to [x] because I have completed [y]!"

So seriously, where does your grossly over-simplified and somewhat vaudevillian characterisation of undergrads as a whole even come from?

To forestall any rebuttals on the grounds that my assessment of the protestors was somewhat personal and insulting, I can say that I was speaking only for the people who entered the hall and their colleagues whose propaganda I read online afterwards. I haven't attempted to generalise.

doctormo wrote:As much as no one-person is entitled to any other one-persons time, no one company is entitled to recouping their investment.


I'm afraid you're profoundly mistaken. I'm entitled to whatever I can legitimately charge for offering a specific skill or talent via tutelage, because it's my company. If people don't wish to pay such charges, then they can go elsewhere. I don't shop in Harrods, because they're too expensive for me; but they are entitled to charge what the hell they like for their merchandise, and it seems to work. How is anyone NOT entitled to attempt a recouping of startup expenses for their own, personally managed, business? Is it just that you think this should be the case, or do you have a rational explanation?

doctormo wrote:Making the effective educations only available to the privileged, we ensure that efficient educations never happen.


Grayling isn't trying to create an "efficient" education. He is trying to create a superlative education, one which rivals the most famous centres of learning in the country. And I say go to it even though I couldn't afford it.
An omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God would know exactly why I don't believe in him, but would send me to hell regardless. Have I just described your God?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwah_9O_4i4
Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:28 pm
doctormoUser avatarPosts: 11Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:18 pmLocation: Boston, MA Gender: Tree

Post Re: The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11

Th1sWasATriumph wrote:Surely you can't be making a generalised sweeping statement, assertion that undergraduates - apparently as a homogenous group - have an inflated sense of entitlement? So seriously, where does your grossly over-simplified and somewhat vaudevillian characterisation of undergrads as a whole even come from?


It's a sarcastic characterisation of over simplified motivation to contrast the rationale that students are lazy and self-entitled. I know enough students on the bottom rung of society to know that isn't true. But just in case anyone attempted to rebut with such a silly argument. Why would I go on about a student investing her time if I didn't think a student's time was worth consideration.

doctormo wrote:As much as no one-person is entitled to any other one-persons time, no one company is entitled to recouping their investment.


Th1sWasATriumph wrote:I'm afraid you're profoundly mistaken. I'm entitled to whatever I can legitimately charge for offering a specific skill or talent via tutelage, because it's my company. If people don't wish to pay such charges, then they can go elsewhere. I don't shop in Harrods, because they're too expensive for me; but they are entitled to charge what the hell they like for their merchandise, and it seems to work. How is anyone NOT entitled to attempt a recouping of startup expenses for their own, personally managed, business? Is it just that you think this should be the case, or do you have a rational explanation?


I should expand and unpack my quote: "no one company is entitled to recouping their investment from society or acting on it's behalf, government through any moral or social convention."

Your business can legitimately charge whatever it likes in the free market and society can alternately decide what is legitimate. In this case consider that we are talking about society looking after it's own enlightenment by investing in it's young adults. Businesses far too often claim moral/social rules to being allowed to charge large amounts of money for what should be provided by the state/society. Perhaps if capitalists would stick to free market mechanics and let society stick to moral/social convention we wouldn't have to try and untangle the two quite so often.

The problem with the word 'entitled' is that you appear think it means 'free to do' and it does not. It means 'a claim to receive something', usually from the commons of course ;-)

Th1sWasATriumph wrote:Grayling isn't trying to create an "efficient" education. He is trying to create a superlative education, one which rivals the most famous centres of learning in the country. And I say go to it even though I couldn't afford it.


Ah yes, superlative education. A situation massively open to abuse. I hope Grayling is a moralist and can see the hazards.
Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:07 pm
WWW
Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 9 posts ] 
Return to Blog of Reason

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests
cron