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“This is Australia, we speak ENGLISH here”

As a parent there is nothing more useful and informative than your child’s report card  because it lets you know where your offspring are succeeding and more importantly what part of their education needs further effort. As such I welcomed the introduction of NAPLAN testing because its nationally consistent methodology and its easy to comprehend reporting does a good job of telling parents where our children stand in relation to their fellows on the all important skills of literacy and numeracy I also like the fact that this is a test for which there can be no “cramming”. Which is why I found the piece in today’s Age rather strange:

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I can’t help but think that Kevin Pope is entirely divorced form the real world and far too hung up with the ideology  of multiculturalism which seeks to accommodate new arrivals from other cultures rather than help them become part of the greater Australian  society. Kevin clearly needs to realise the same simple truth that my late  father in law used to enunciate to his mother when she would speak to him in their native Dutch “This is Australia, we speak ENGLISH here”  because there is no escaping the fact that all new arrivals and for that matter all indigenous people for whom English is a second language, will not find a fruitful life unless they are competent  in English. Language competency is the core business of our schools and If Kevin Pope can’t deliver that or at least give delivering that his best shot then surely he has no business being in the teaching game at all.

Cheers Comrades

Masters and their slaves

I have looked at the turgid prose of one Ricky Pannowitz before and found it wanting well it turns out that Ricky is a big fan of the NBN and he has written a rather long rant about its virtues on his blog and to day I’m going to look at just what he is arguing for and see if what he says stacks up.for the sake of this post I’m going to concentrate on his last three paragraphs, Mainly because his opening paragraphs are all rather confused and do nothing to put forward any sort of cogent thesis.
Anyway lets look at the guts of his argument.

Third world countries like South Korea warp past us and our future economy at the “LIGHT SPEED” of the real information Superhighway,” fibre to the house”. That not the light speed that those expert commentators say gen Y gamers travel at that we don’t need because it’s a monumental waste of money, glue and staples. That’s the speed at which real time medical imaging, teleconferencing, energy control systems, regionalisation and other future technological benefits, too visionary a higher concept for their poor toaster oven mentality to comprehend.

Hmm he starts with a bit of racism if you ask me, south Korea may be an Asian nation but it is very far from being in any meaningful sense of the “third world” its a modern industrial country and yes they do seem to have put a lot of effort into this technology but they have more than twice our population in a country about the size of Tasmania. Am I the only one here who can see that the economics for creating a complex network in such a small area make such fancy toys much more cost-effective than trying to create a similar network over an entire continent that has a much smaller population.

We seem to be content to be lost on a misinformation back road with an out-dated street directory from nineteen fifty rather than tackle this elephant in the room at the expense of the future.

Talk about mixed metaphors! Ricky has the pachyderm on a highway to hell without a decent map! Oh the humanity of it all!

When I explained the practicalities of what we have now ten years ago, you laughed at me as your eyes glaze(d) over.

Did we really? I don’t recall that at all so who precisely were you talking to about this stuff and do you have any proof for this claim?

Now it’s here everyone sees the benefits. See we were rite(sic) and have not failed you all.

The benefits are still very debatable Ricky because like a lot of technophiles you don’t seem to understand that just because something can be done does not mean that it should be done I just love some of the things that we can do on the net but I’m a discerning user who is less than impressed by the “gee Whiz” effect of new technology. and I always want to know if it will make life better or just inspire further devotion to the corporate empires of the technology makers

Don’t worry accountants build and the money will come, the business case will come, the economic rationalisation will come.

I think that Ricky is channelling Kevin Costner here:

When your bucket of ideological opposition is empty, the bipartisan visionary bucket is full of positive aspirational hope. Not everything has a quantifiable, economically rational cost.

Which means what precisely? I think that Paul Simon has some wisdom to share on the nature of technology and progress:

Just because something can be done does not mean that it should be done.

I sat around for years trying to figure out how to make money from the internet and looky now.

Yes look at all of the scams and schemers from Nigeria et al, Making money form the internet eh?

Furthermore, this nation was not was not three word slogans.

Do you want a “do over” on this sentence Ricky? You need it!

I find someone who has no credibility whatsoever on this issue using lies in three word slogans like “big white elephant” and “will not work’ an insult to Australians intelligence.

Clunk-o-rama!!!  I really hope that Ricky is better on computer networks  than he is on the English language because his prose is the real insult to any Australian’s intelligence.

This same language is being echoed by members of the Nationals in coalition who say they have the best interests of regional Australia at heart. Sorry I don’t buy that hypocrisy any more than the shadow minister for communications does.

The Nationals understand the real needs of those of us who live outside the big smoke far better than this pampered city boy who is in love with the idea of  super-fast internet.

This divisive Noism demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of the issue and its benefits capped by an unhealthy lack of vision.

It’s not a lack of vision Ricky is a long memory of visions espoused that have proven to be far less than the promise when they have actually been built

Do we want narrow focussed Luddite’s using divisive doomsday language running our fine nation; dictating its future? It’s this offensive and divisive political point scoring that threatens Australia’s future prosperity, not establishing critical infrastructure.

What we want is political players who can consider  the benefits in comparison to the costs of projects like the NBN, fan boys like Ricky are the last people that we should trust when it comes to the virtues of such large expenditures. We need to decide just how critical such infrastructure really is rather than just submitting to the Gee Whizz love of the new that drives the likes of Ricky Pannowitz.

We tried market forces, it did not work, let’s move on. So stand aside agenda benders or become road kill on one of the greatest asset’s a prosperous future economy can have; the road to information.

With out a purpose “the road  to information” is actually a road to nowhere but enslavement to the machines.

Who knows?,It may just lead to knowledge and ultimately wisdom. Don’t just take my word for it

I feel sorry for the slaves to the machines like Ricky Pannowitz because they don’t realise that the machines are meant to serve us rather than being our masters and that humanity has a higher purpose than being bricks in the corporate walls that define our society these days personally I don’t want to be another  brick  in the wall and I don’t want to see my children share that fate either:

So lets choose the future direction for our country that benefits its people rather than the corporate worshippers of Mammon and their sycophantic technophiles like Ricky Pannowitz.

Cheers Comrades

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