Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Critical Thinking

WIRED has it that TV is dead. All the entrepreneurs are 23 and it's YouTube from now on. Some of them are worth millions. I wonder what they spend their money on, Opal Fruits?
I don't doubt they are right, but here looms a big, big problem. I'm not kidding, I teach a bunch of twenty three year olds, and it's not uncommon they join the course not knowing what capitalism is, what almost anything is. They are already post graduate students. The extraordinary duty of the old is to actually teach these people something, I fear that legions have already given up, and that via various forms of condescension, latent Buddhism, and some kind of fear, people are less prepared to teach people anything, and instead, just act as therapists.
The media doesn't help matters, endless emotion, endless troubles, endless dissuasion, always orientated to the local rather than the general. It's just like Soviet TV, but in reverse (what a surprise!) In the end, you just have endless crap either way. Of course, the media is enjoyed (as industry of choice) by twenty three year olds thinking it's wonderful.
There is a solution, if people in education had the balls they would run critical thinking courses over ten weeks for every twenty three year old that feature ten texts that force them to actually read something and join the dots and think way beyond their boundaries. It's amazing, I've got a large number of the results in a pile on the table. Julie thinks I'm showing off when I say, 'Just pick one!' she does, 'This is amazing!' she says! It's not difficult I say, any day of the week. So far, I haven't had to fail a single one.
William Burroughs is one key text. Students should learn that language is a virus, that they are being sold a pup, or even a miniature mirror polish Jeff Koons purple balloon pup, which I note I could buy tonight from Nottingham, on E-bay, in a special presentation case for £85, I'll admit I'm tempted.

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