I confess I get a laugh out of the drivel that comes from Academia.
Yesterdays example of noise making people obese for example, or yet another tedious announcement from the EU – that four cups of espresso can "damage your health". I treat them all to to the same reply – "so fucking what?" or even "who fucking cares?".
I came across a piece today though that is a little outside the norm of these "studies" and pieces of crap "research" as this is merely the opinion of an "expert".
OK, so he's an "academic" [am I supposed to tug the forelock?] but is he serious, or just trying to get his name in the papers?
I fully agree with him on one point – the best way to learn is from our mistakes. Stick your finger in a flame, and you won't do it again. It is the way all knowledge has advanced through the ages, and the wisdom of those who have made errors is passed on to new generations.
Where our friend goes wrong though is there are two types of mistake. I'll call them the Conscious and the Unconscious. For example, when I type my shit out on these pages, I make mistakes by the ton – spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. I read over my stuff and [with the help of the little squiggly red line] I try to correct those errors. These are Conscious errors because I am well aware that they are mistakes. I correct them, otherwise my ramblings would be even more difficult to read than normal. However, an expert in grammar or punctuation would find hundreds of Unconscious errors that I am unaware of because I simply don't care and have never learned the strict rules.
What this "scientist" seem to be advocating though is that errors are there to be praised and glorified. What a steaming pile of horseshit! I write 2 + 2 = 5 and leave it so that my teacher can have the opportunity to pat me on the head and say I'm wrong, or do I erase the 5 and replace it with a 4? If the former, then I may as well stick with my 2 + 2 = 5 as I'll still get a pat on the head, because otherwise I would be "competitive", and anyway mistakes are my "friend".
He rightly states that "Out in the big wide world nobody is going to be following you around, marking your work, organising your time for you, in the 21st century you are going to be the designer, the architect, the curator of your own learning." Is he however willing to live in a tower block designed by one of his students? Will he drive a car or cross a bridge that's the brainchild of his philosophy? The architect designs two inch deep foundations for the tower block, because sure aren't mistakes all right? Or the motor engineer uses string to operate the brake because teacher said that it's OK to make mistakes.
The "scientist" seems to be advocating the philosophy that we shouldn't be competitive. We are all equal. We are individuals who shouldn't be judged on our achievements. Character is more important than education.
Fuck that. I only want to deal with people who are experts in their field and if they have left a trail of bloodied non-achievers in their wake then all the better.
Maybe Professor Claxton should be erased?