Sunday, March 28, 2021

PAVLOVIAN

Alas, not the dessert.

Regarding the recent necessity of transferring the entire school curriculum online, I have heard numerous contradictory reports; running the gamut from high praise to complete waste of time. One can easily imagine the various factors attendant on the various opinions held. And all are probably true, with the consensus averaging into the middle range. This concurs with my opinion; this process has been fairly successful, in that the averagely diligent pupil and parents, combined with the averagely diligent teacher, has produced an averagely successful outcome – within the limits imposed. Whatever damage has been done to pupils by the lockdown and the necessary online classroom they have been attending for the last year is trivial, at least as far as their learning is concerned.

Regardless of the various personal outcomes, though, one would be correct and fair in claiming that, from a strictly operational viewpoint, this has been well-handled by schools. And so, I nod an approval to the IT monkeys behind it all.

However, that small blessing of my endorsement dispensed with, I now wear my worried face.

And this is because now that this trial run of remote, screen learning has been proven, both in the operational sense and in the apparent wide parent acceptance (admittedly, with no choice!), we can expect more of the same. More of the same means even more time spent looking at screens, and at an ever younger age. And when the new upgraded virus revisits its old haunts in its 2021-2022 Tour – and we have been promised this by the philanthropist king of the vaccines and his CDC courtiers – everything will be already in place for the stay-safer option of a more permanent remote learning ‘experience’. Of course, children already spend too much time in class looking at screens anyway, but at least this 2D experience is somewhat mediated by the 4D presence of classmates in meatspace. This new learning will do away with this distraction, and the need for the teacher-avatar to get changed out of their pyjama bottoms.

My worry is that these developments further legitimise the life online, from being an adjunct of teaching and learning, to being the main means. As I see it, the most important second order effect of this is to embed deeper in the child’s mind all the techniques and gimmicks, from garbage-level computer artwork to the lab rat level electronic feedback, of laboratory-style animal training as the default form of human learning. And to make the teacher rely on pre-made resources to facilitate this – such resources often made by the same interests that own and promote the online learning platforms! Thusly, making these geegaws and symbols the same foundation for our children’s school learning as they are in our adult world. i.e., the principal means of informing our distorted world-view and training our responses to this. Everything on-screen and everything controlled by those who own it. Their ambition for our future 4D world curated through their control of our children’s 2D world.

Online learning is ultimately an enemy of our children.

In short, this is programming in the manner of Pavlov. I would remind you that his famous experiments were with dogs. Alas, the powers that direct this coming mind experiment consider us and our children as an animal much further down the phylogenetic scale.

What think ye?

 


Sunday, March 21, 2021

MORECOMBE PROMENADE 1953

 

Full circle

 

I saw him leave a pretty girl

and walk over the road

for round two

carrying the gravity of a grown man

but still with a youth’s speed

and adding a corporal’s stripes.

 

I said to my girls, Just walk on. Go!

Which they did, for the first time ever,

without question or complaint;

their female antennae sensed

the danger in my voice

as I saw in my mind’s eye

 

him back 10 years and inside a circle

of part shocked, but mainly thrilled, pupils

punching the shit (and dentures) 

out of Mr Porter.

And curing him forever, I’m fairly certain,

of his famous facetiousness.

 

I tried not to look hostile or too afraid.

He noted my girls who had stopped

at safe distance and were watching.

Clearly understanding the intention

and my expectation of, at 51 years old,

another fistfight.

 

Excuse me, Sir, you won’t remember me, but…

I remember you, Williams.

I just came over to tell you, Sir,

you were right and  I want to apologise

for my behaviour back then.

Seemingly, the Army finally did what I tried to do.

 

Well, I’m glad to hear that you

are keeping out of trouble? 

Well, sort of, Sir. I’m putting it to

best use in the boxing ring.

I’m Northern Area Army Champion.

And so, we chatted for a while


his girlfriend was brought over

who turned out to be his fiancée.

Congratulations were given and

had I not been with the girls

I would have suggested a celebratory drink.

Never was one warranted more.

 

Removed from his angrier younger self

he had become a personable young man

and hardly carrying menace, excepting

a physique which suggested

the ability to prevail.

30 years of teaching and every day

 

a fresh lesson, and this the best.

A kid just not kitted out for school

who finally found his feet when

he found a better use for his fists.

Bad boy made good, my own tiny role

a justification for tonight’s whisky.


This poem is a true story. And it is a story that is nearly always true about a pupil, no matter who they are; time fixes things.

This is from my Queens of the Reich which is linked above.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

WORKING MEMORY: IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!

 

It’s brain science.

That portion of brain power that is free on the point of introduction to a new idea, to actually engage with this new idea. This is obviously a limited resource, and so logically one should strive to de-clutter the introduction process of extraneous material and leave the working memory (in this case of a child in class) free to get on with the task of learning something new. A typical pupil, coming fresh to a new lesson, has a working memory of four to six items, or facts, that they can hold in their mind at the same time as they engage with the lesson. Use up this working memory before the new lesson has started and the child will struggle to understand what they are supposed to be learning, or properly focus on the task.

Of course, as we are talking about brain function which is hardly understood, even by brain scientists, this is just a metaphor, but it conforms to reality as we commonly experience it; don’t give someone too many new things to do at the start of learning something new, or you’ll confuse them.

And so, schools being what they are, this is what we do. Flying in the face of science, common-sense and our own everyday experience, we, as mandated by pedagogic practice, clog up the minds of our pupils before the lesson has started with; targets consulted, learning powers to be activated, skill sets accessed, required group protocols, Walts and Wilfs*; and so, as a consequence, their working memory is gone!

This is all supposed to help by making the lesson content and intention explicit. Certainly, to someone ignorant of the concept of working memory, this pre-lesson loading may create the impression of great thoroughness and intellectual endeavour, with all the learning bases touched, but really, it does the opposite.

Those children who can, eventually come to ignore all this pre-lesson excess and keep their working memory safe for the lesson. The others? That’s why we have remedial.

What think ye?


*   Actually, these learning twins can be a useful mnemonic, if used sparingly!  It tells the pupil what we are learning and what the teacher wants to see in completed work. In school, of course, they are battered to death daily.

 


Thursday, February 25, 2021

A TROUBLESOME INHERITANCE

 Boys are the best!

The recent tragic loss of an outdoor life due to Covid restrictions has got me thinking about little boys. No, not that way! – this way:

I wonder if it seems to them - as it does to me - that everywhere boys turn, society is against them? For it would not be unreasonable for a visiting alien lifeform, say from a Star Trek type future, on consuming our media to conclude that boys were  an unfortunately gendered sub-species currently transitioning to an improved, less troublesome version, via beneficial drug regimes and UN sponsored fem-ducation.* Of course, little boys cannot consider this as directly as I have expressed it, but perhaps they sense something hostile radiating from their teles and i phones. Certainly, the idea that your entire society was somehow against you, merely for being what you are, would have been literally unthinkable to boys of an earlier age. But now?

And this whimsy leads us to reflect on the long war against boys going on in primary school; partly; this is intentionally directed against their interests and natural proclivities, and partly as the unconscious expression of a hostile, feminist-inspired mindset natural to certain female teachers of our time. All this takes place against a backdrop of unrelenting attacks against White adult males in wider society and it is naïve to assume that such poisoned filtrate does not reach little boys. Although it may seem from the practical way they continue their activities, that such attacks pass them by, we must not confuse the absence of direct evidence for the evidence of absence.

Here we argue that this effect translates to a slow trauma of self-doubt, confusion and disappointment. The psychic weight of this builds up, eventually it must find its outlet. And here the tragedy continues, for at this moment they may well find no-one to turn to in their broken family landscape. And those potential surrogates in the media and sporting sphere that are often held up as templates, actually epitomise, and even proselytise, the very values that have led our boys to this killing field.

Making males more like females, and females more like males, will result in the ideal sterile and disposable worker drone that will serve its master’s corporation, or just disappear as required by their shekel-sticky overlords. In this context, the current push for transgenderism may not be a coincidence.

What does it mean to be a Western boy in 2021? The world ahead does not look favourably on you. And no safe spaces, not even your own country. And certainly not your classroom!

What think ye?

PS. Ladies, don’t get your thongs in a twist, I know that little girls are just as good. And, sadly, their prognosis is just as troublesome.

*  I am not commenting here on the aetiology of the trans phenomenon, but just referring to it as a little boy might understand it.

Monday, February 8, 2021

MORE BAD NEWS ON THE WAY

 

Children and lockdown-obliged extra exposure to TV news.

Following on from our last post on the dangers to our schoolchildren of their current  incarceration, I am adding extra exposure to media and especially TV news. I am, of course, using the word 'news' sarcastically, ironically and contemptuously. As adults we can choose to expose ourselves to this canned misinformation and misdirection, and then adjust our reception accordingly. The child cannot do this and only reacts emotionally to the stress of it all.

   Pre internet days generally saw children outdoors and not exposed to media news. If a child had a particular interest and the necessary intellect, they could peruse a newspaper. Most children, of course, would never do this. The TV and the internet is the game changer, here children cannot avoid the news, even as babes. And are thusly exposed to the misinformation, fear and paranoia visited on our homes daily. As we note:

We are not neurologically equipped to manage media news information, presented as it is, relentlessly and continuously, without our personal understanding of context and hierarchy, and thus a proper order in which to process or ignore it. Our minds are battered by the apparent urgency of it and especially its visuality.

 

Although the issues presented are usually remote from our lives, and perhaps culturally alien, nevertheless, the familiar language and style of delivery, tends to result in the primitive parts of our mind processing the dangers and confusions as if proximal. Almost everything is understood emotionally. These archive over the years as a continuous never-ending anxiety attack. How much more so this effect on children?

 Fear stockpiles in our psyche, the endless media reference to inchoate hostility, and the general confusion attendant on topics being introduced before one is ready for them, cannot be without negative consequence. This is then, diabolically, reinforced in school, but as a good thing! Referred to as ‘keeping our children informed’ and thus more able to contribute to debates on global and societal issue; AS IF! Our children’s view of the world is forever changed by this relentless news exposure, making them easier to manipulate and activate as required, and not least ruining their peace of mind. Perhaps this forever, should they become, as many adults are, addicted to media news.

Have you had your daily media dose of Soma today?

Today’s chosen narrative; an examination of brave African transgender children breaking weightlifting, and prejudice, barriers in the sport they love.

And BBC Newsround, ...don't get me started. (see 'BBC Newsround How do I Hate Thee' entry from August 2020) I don't even watch it and its driving me crazy.I urge parents to treat the presence of TV news in their child's life as they would a porno or violent movie. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

RE-INVENTING PLAYTIME

 

A School Lock-out Opportunity

When considering the consequences of the apparent viral  attack on our society, parents naturally think of its impact on their child’s education. The school lockout, of course, exacerbates this. By way of reassurance, it is my belief that any long-term effect on a child’s education and prospects will be relatively trivial to zero– even for those children on remedial programmes.

However, I have been wondering whether the more serious impact is not on their learning, which can be caught up on, but on their play which is lost forever to their childhood. Although this observation is directed to all outdoor play activities - which have hardly existed in the last year! - my specific focus (this being a primary school blog) is playtime.

That happy time and most pupils’ favourite subject.

This downtime, switch-off and run about, is necessary for recovery and, somewhat counter-intuitively, for consolidation of learning. But such is the nature of modern childhood that playtime is also for many children, alas, their only exercise outdoors in their entire day. Even when the weather is nice!  And so, the viral lockdown in winter really is a lockdown, taking on the features of the gulag workcamp lifestyle that beckons from the permanent viral-bedevilled future we have been promised by vaccine manufacturers, WHO sock-puppets and billionaire philanthropist-destroyers.

While arguably the school lockout is good for enhancing children’s computer gaming, internet shopping, poptrash and porn searching skills, it is a catastrophe for their physical and mental health – and for all the subtle ways that this connects to learning, socialisation and spiritual well-being. Some of these effects may already be apparent to parents, with this worry spooling out into the future.

You see, you cannot just remove the spontaneity, socialisation and lung-bursting madness of playtime and replace it with NOTHING and expect no consequences for children. They need to chase each other, fall out and make up, and completely forget about lessons and adults for while in their own space under the sky; not just in order to learn better, but to be children in 4D. The lockdown takes this and gives them more future booth training for telesales and screen icon shifting.

But the seed that is planted will sprout to help normalise the 2D life indoors and its various avatars that define this real world replacement.3 Such thoughts that in time, rooting deep and spreading upwards, will grow to fill the little replacement target with guilt and woe and, eventually, metabolic disease- but don’t worry, they’re working on a jag for it.

Some parents will welcome this digital remodelling of our children, believing that it helps avoid the dangers of tripping while running or getting cold; and may imagine that the extra screen time gained helps make their children’ fit for the future’. They may see nothing concerning about Globalcorp’s full activation of pupil school i  accounts, and the brain rewiring that normalises this process of IT dependence, being added to the default convenience of later converting it to an adult account complete with the personality and marketing profiles built up (naturally, for their safety!) since childhood. It should be sad that your child is better able to answer who they have seen most on screen this week, than who they’ve been playing with at playtime.

Remote others will welcome this for other reasons - and not just because they’ve arranged it! Can you see them yet? You already know what they want- they tell you.

This digital solution also brings the advantage of freeing up the playground (now wasted space) for economic opportunities such as car parking, mobile phone masts, flat construction or a fracking pump.It’s hard not to see, then, this removal of playtime and its consequences as yet another portal we and our children march through unwittingly. It’s easy to exaggerate the effect of course, but just as easy to play it down or even ignore it. This is not the end of the world, and there is time to fix this problem. But it’s always later than you think.

Make sure your kid has their playtime outdoors, even if you have to be so uncool as to play with them yourself.

What think ye?


1. I accept that there is one. But perhaps not so much by an actual  virus. Lest any parents and older pupils are insufficiently worried about the virus’s impact, a recent newspaper headline put them right - DEATH IS ALL AROUND US - no doubt to allay their fears.

 2. Referencing P6 and P7; girls and boys respectively.

3. This being a part of the modern child’s lifestyle package containing; an i phone, high sugar drinks, carbohydrate as principle source of calories, computer games, digital socialisation and 20 hours plus TV per week synergistically combined with minus 20 hours outdoor exercise. Add drugs as required.

Friday, January 1, 2021

SAFE EUROPEAN HOME

 

for Auld Lang Syne

Reflecting on this year from the officially enforced, and perhaps too socially-distanced comfort, of your designated lockdown zone, you may find your mind’s eye seeking out the company of crowds and naturally consider the only gatherings of this year – the various, apparently spontaneous, international commiserations over the death of a saintly, pistol-whipping1 porn star unfortunately over-fond of strange powders. And the inevitable and justified attacks on the symbols of white racism (statues, public building, liquor stores, shoe shops, McDonald’s, street names, white faces) that caused his demise. Should, however, this reflection be too political for your maudlin mood, and you just prefer something mair auld lang syne, I attach the following little compilation of 1950s Scandinavian street scenes from what appears to be home movies. And you may imagine yourself there instead, enjoying your unjust privilege. Although there is no sound (other than a retrospectively added and poorly chosen soundtrack), it speaks for itself. It features Scandies of course (and thankfully a few fjallravens to maintain the special interest of wildlife connoisseurs) but we Scotch, as fellow North Euros, are in no wise excluded from recognising a common cultural past, and thusly seeing ourselves in the images. That is our former selves.

https://youtu.be/t0oxUeKIgIc        and here's a live link. (I'm not sure if I've done this correctly, tell me if so)



Perhaps I am projecting, but I feel a terrific sense of order and security radiating from the images, in that these places are safe in a way that does not exist anymore. Good manners too, somehow suggests itself. These are nice thoughts to enter the new year with, don’t you think.The city centre scenes are striking for how well-dressed people appear to be; dapper, polished and elegant are proposed as the correct adjectives. And slim. And White. Slim and White; Aye, there’s the rub.

Although easily within the span of many readers, the world depicted is as gone as Caesar’s Rome.2 For some oldsters this may evoke nostalgia, for the young however (and here I am thinking of White school children) raised in a world of images where their visual replacement is almost complete, I feel that these images will come as a surprise. And for ethnic others; they’ll be wondering where they are. I am especially curious about how older children, gas-lighted and bullied into beliefs about prejudice and patriarchy as their recent history, react to seeing just pale faces like their own in what are undeniably liveable countries, despite the absence of the cultural enrichments we now enjoy. For young males especially, seeing innocent images of ordinary White males who are not the buffoons, psychos and incompetents they know from TV, perhaps this would have a subtle power. Could these images evoke some atavistic impulse that could threaten the project to deprive European peoples of their heritage? I am sure that I am not the only one to think this.

I’ve politicised my viewing of these images, although we know watching them that such a perspective was not even conceivable to the original filmers – although arguably to the recent compiler. It is this very innocence of political agenda that gives them their subversive power and this is why they will be memory holed.  Our past, according to this corrected view, was narrow and dull, intolerant and corrupt, racist and anti-Semitic. No other memory will be allowed.

It is the perquisite of power to invent the past. And we are not to find a welcome there. In this future world auld acquaintance should be forgot and never brocht tae mind. Let us resist this for, evoking Rabbie, auld lang syne.

Hat tip to The Clash, from whom I stole the title.

What think ye?

 

1. Lest this causes a misunderstanding, we are not referencing a porno-style pistol whipping in the saint’s case, but actual pistol whipping (with a gun) of a pregnant woman he was robbing. I think ‘pistol-whuppin’ is the correct term.

2. And ha ha, for exactly the same reasons. Emperor Claudius shakes his head: Ego dixi vobis.