Problem parents

British parents are becoming increasingly “abusive” towards teachers, a report by Ofsted has found. The schools watchdog said that teachers are coming under growing pressure from parents who expect instant responses to emails, complain when their children do not get top grades (regardless of effort), and defend their offspring’s poor behaviour instead of siding with …

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Tip of the week… how to win an argument

Many arguments are made with minimal understanding, or based on false premises. Simply asking for more detail and forcing someone to take you through their thinking step by step can expose this. It’s not enough just to give evidence that something is false. To convince the other party, provide an alternative explanation to fill the …

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The American meritocracy

In his book, “The Meritocracy Trap” Prof Daniel Markovits argues in the book that the American economy has become grossly inequitable and misery- inducing precisely because of the success of the meritocracy, which has divided the economy into the haves and have- nots in an unprecedented, legacy students, manner.  The meritocracy really do “earn” their …

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How BA fell from grace

Recently  90% of British Airways’ 4,300 pilots started a long-threatened strike. Almost all of BA’s 1,700 flights had to be cancelled and around 200,000 people had their travel plans disrupted. The first pilots’ strike in BA’s 45-year history has arisen over a dispute about pay: BA had offered its pilots an increase of 11.5% over …

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Time to say farewell to steak?

Soon, most of us will stop eating beef, and it won’t be because we’ll all agree with vegans that meat is murder. It’ll be due to the logic of advanced capitalism. The alternatives to meat now being developed – plant-based substitutes and vat-grown meat produced from cultured animal cells – will taste the same as …

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Pornography and the environment

Streaming of online pornography produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as the whole of Belgium, according to a new report by the French think tank The Shift Project. Its researchers found that the energy required to stream online videos is responsible for the emission of 300 million tonnes of CO2 a year – almost …

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Welcome to the age of plastic and the trash dump planet

Humanity’s appetite for plastic is already inscribed in the fossil record – suggesting that the current epoch could become known as the “plastic age”. For a groundbreaking study, oceanographers at the University of California San Diego examined annual layers of sediment off the coast of California back to 1834. Microscopic plastic particles began to appear …

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Evangelical support wanes among young people

From the  Washington Post Much white evangelical support for President Trump is based on a bargain or transaction: political loyalty (and political cover for the president’s moral flaws) in return for protection from a hostile culture. Many evangelicals are fearful that courts and government regulators will increasingly treat their moral and religious convictions as varieties …

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Emigration a greater concern than immigration

We hear a lot about immigration and the difficulties it presents from politicians seeking votes. But of greater concern in some countries is the flight of citizens abroad from countries like Romania, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations. Romania:  An estimated 3.4 million Romanians left the country in the …

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The characteristics of the Epicurean person

The following are, in my opinion, the characteristics of the Epicurean lady or a gentleman.    I make absolutely no apology for what some might see as old-fashioned ideas – they are simply what I would look for in a wife, a  lifelong friend, or a companion.  Gender is immaterial.  (not in any particular order …

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Chess

Russia has announced that chess is to become a compulsory subject in schools.  The Minster of Education and Science is quoted as saying, “Children playing chess have better academic performances.  Engagement with chess helps them with mental development”. As someone who never learned chess I think this is an enlightened idea.  It teaches kids to think …

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How to win an argument

Many arguments are made with minimal understanding, or are based on false premises. Simply asking for more detail and forcing someone to take you through their thinking step by step can expose this. It’s not enough just to give evidence that something is false. To convince the other party, provide an alternative explanation to fill …

Continue reading ‘How to win an argument’ »