Just finished listening to this talk back with Melbourne restaurateur and youth mentor Peter Coronica. Peter has employed over 1000 young people over the last 25 years.
He says parents play a vital role in preventing youth unemployment by getting kids off the sports ground, out of music class and into paid work as early as possible.
While broadly supporting Peter’s premise and experience, I took some exception to his ‘priorities’, wondering where those choices that he made, came from. Over the years i have read and listened to an array of educational experts and my conclusion is that a learning culture shows up with these characteristics that are applicable from 0 – 99 year:
Mimicry and modelling;
socialization, community engagement, and empowerment;
exposure to the natural environment;
building a knowledge base;
I realise that many of these characteristics come from people who have spent their career on one of these items as has Peter Coronica. And their individual focus tends, i think to skew that characteristic from its appropriate expression as within a wholistic framework constructed from all characteristics.
There is more I can say specifically about this framework for age appropriate development and learning, however the framework implies a great deal of change in the structure of education, learning, culture, productivity and economics. However, i believe it is the surer future for our children and young people: to have it all.
I am currently reading Marilynne Robinson’s book, “Absence of Mind.” While from a Christian perspective, Marilynne raises some insightful analysis of world history that shows up the philosophical ‘sloppiness’, prejudice really, that has become the hallmark of the aetheistic, positivist movement. Of course, I can fully understand the anger and frustration that has clouded their judgement in this manner, and reminded of Baha’u’llah’s exhortion, “When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, … so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth.” (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 264). I also fully recognise the value that the positivist movement has created for those societies, again reminding me of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha’s constant encouragement to build sciences that have ethical and productive outcomes.
The ongoing blindspot in the positivist aetheist movement is the failure to reconcile and engage with the enormous value that religious discipline has had in the world, and that the majority of expenditure on positivist science goes towards killing people. If we add to that the expenditure that is orientated towards technologies that allow the wealthy to increasingly dominate the populations of the world, often without providing best product or service that is available, then the unethical behaviour related to science probably projects towards the 90 percentile of expenditure. This is a very precarious place for the world to be. And, though I am feeling a little precarious myself from the economic downturn of the last couple of years, I think it was the best thing that could have happened to humanity. Yet whether governments, bankers, multinationals, actually understand what is happening, and are responsive to the lesson, will determine how many rounds and how severe these rounds of reconciliation of the balance, is needed, to build ethical institutions. While those capitalists are the only game in town supporting positivist research, will positivists be able to raise their game and join religionists in the move to a more ethical society, or will they, out of ongoing denial and hate, purpose to support the status quo?
Lenore Skenazy calls it SOA – Same Old Apocalypse – but Minneapolis Associated Press call it news. Well here is their list of things that constitute news which is a list of minor and major catastrophes as might effect an individual or a community. The people however, don’t think news is news, we think news is a reflection of our community, our world. And if the news is news, then we imagine our world is a litany of minor and major catastrophes. But if, says Skenazy, the news is nothing new but a Kabuki (genius allegory), a ritual format, then we really don’t understand our world at all. Presumably nor do the journalists.
So, how can we understand our world? Perhaps it would be a start to get out there and mingle with the fellow man and woman. Help them out. Volunteer. Engage.
It was a sad day the national telecommunications builder, Telstra, had its telecommunications highway privatized. When I lost ADSL connectivity recently, my telephone & isp took 7 days to find out from Telstra that they had a network outage. I found out from friends who used bigpond that there was an outage but they had their connectivity restored within a day. The failure of Telstra to inform providers of outages is giving them a vital advantage in the market place. Several people I spoke to about my problem said, “Why do you think I use Bigpond”. In otherwords, it is common perception that Telstra’s ownership of the telecommunications highways, leads them to act in ways that disadvantage the users of other service providers. My vote goes to the Government who buys back the telecommunications highways, for the benefi and equity of all Australians. The equity is important. The current government has promised to cover 98% of Australia’s population with broadband. While 2% doesn’t sound like much of a lack of coverage, 2% of the Australian population is the 600,000 people who live in the vast expanses of remote Australia. This 2% is the population who will most benefit from good broadband coverage. It is not sensible that we are not planning to roll out fibre optic cabling to all towns across the nation. Along with water and energy development, telecommunications bandwith infrastructure to all communities is a vital purpose for this nation. Governments should not have given the keys to the door of the henhouse to wolves, but now they have, they should chase out the wolves, take back the henhouse, and ensure the chickens have all the supports for good laying seasons.