Tuesday, 29 September 2015


There is play:
Jay Doubleyou: play and learning

There is negotiation, persuasion and ... control:
Jay Doubleyou: positive power and influence

There is fish, followed by cheese:
Jay Doubleyou: fish philosophy and the motivational mafia

And then there is just emptying your brain:
Jay Doubleyou: mindfulness: "too many people are avoiding using their brains"

The granddaddy of them all is thinking positively:
Jay Doubleyou: smile or die: the power of positive thinking

Finally, there is the carrot or the stick - or just lots of cash:
Jay Doubleyou: what motivates us

Monday, 28 September 2015

the fall and rise of social democracy?

Veteran travel writer Paul Theroux has been travelling in his own back yard:

Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux, book review
Theroux undergoes a journey of self-discovery in the American Deep South
After a lifetime spent travelling as “an alienated spectator on a train” or suffering the indignity and boredom of the airport security check, Theroux loves to wake up in New England and just get in his car to achieve “the bliss of a sudden exit”. As he explains, “even in the poorest places in America, where there are shacks and rotting house-trailers, the roads are wonderful”. Those shacks – and the poverty of their inhabitants – are as much of a contrast with his home as anything he has seen in sub-Saharan Africa, where, paradoxically, the American government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid while ignoring the plight of its own citizens a few hours down the highway.The small town of Glendora, for instance, with its “hideous street of shacks and hovels… where men in rags, with glazed dog-like eyes, [sip] from bottles and cans”, is profoundly depressing. This is where, in 1955, the 14-year old African American youth Emmett Till, visiting from the North, was murdered for having whistled at a white woman in the post office in the nearby hamlet of Money. An all-white jury acquitted his openly gloating killers, an event that riveted Theroux as a teenager. Fifty years on, African Americans he meets tell Theroux that “nothing’s changed”.

Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux, book review | Reviews | Culture | The Independent

Michael Moore has a new documentary out looking at social democracy:

Michael Moore: Where To Invade Next | official teaser trailer (2015) TIFF - YouTube
Where to Invade Next (2015) Trailer - Trailer Addict
Where to Invade Next - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Where to Invade Next
Michael Moore has had enough of the US losing wars and spending so much money on the military for no benefit to the American people.
In the latest movie from the populist, left-wing documentary-maker, Moore is called to the Pentagon and asked for his opinion on how the US could better invade other countries. So Moore boards the USS Reagan and heads to Europe.
This is the start of a tremendously funny voyage where he visits a series of countries and shows Americans what benefits they are missing out on by not having slightly higher taxes and expanding social welfare.
We have seen Moore do this type of grandstanding before. In Sicko, his 2007 look at the state of the American health system, he visited a brand new NHS hospital and focused on all the positives as he painted Britain as a health utopia. (Getty)
His first stop is Italy, where everyone looks like they have just had sex. Why are they so happy? A working-class couple show him photos of all the holidays they’ve been able to take as they have several weeks of paid leave every year in contrast to the lack of workers’ rights in the US. The look of shock on the faces of European citizens is the recurring comic leitmotif of the documentarian’s voyage.
In France, he visits a school to show the gourmet meals the children are being served. They have positive sex education, as well. Then it’s on to Finland, where the government turned around their failing school system by ripping up the rulebook on standardised testing and homework.
Next come Slovenia, Germany, Portugal, Norway – and even a trip to Tunisia, where he praises the policies on gender equality.
We have seen Moore do this type of grandstanding before. InSicko, his 2007 look at the state of the American health system, he visited a brand new NHS hospital and focused on all the positives as he painted Britain as a health utopia. That sequence resulted in accusations a desire to only tell the side of the story that supports his argument.
Such accusations will be levied here; indeed, at the Toronto Film Festival, he addressed the fact, by saying: “I want to pick flowers and not the weeds.”
This is the happiest Moore film in tone, and his funniest film by far. But while it’s too wide in scope to have the same political impact as Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine, or Fahrenheit 911, it’s a film that follows the same template – because if there is one thing that doesn’t need fixing in America, it’s Mr Moore.

Where to Invade Next, Venice Film Festival 2015 review: Michael Moore's global tour is his happiest and funniest film by far | Reviews | Culture | The Independent

What is the 'goodest country'?
Jay Doubleyou: what's the best country?

What are the different aspects around 'equality'?
Jay Doubleyou: in/equality - the pay gap
Jay Doubleyou: in/equality - the pay gap - part 3

What is 'the politics of envy'?

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Labour's last refuge: The politics of envy
It's always a sign of desperation when Labour politicians fall back on their age-old refuge of appealing to the politics of envy, spite and class war.
So it was this weekend, when Ed Balls vowed to increase the top rate of tax to 50 per cent, higher even than in the People’s Republic of China.
Of course, the shadow chancellor is well aware that his plan is economically illiterate – as many in the shadow Cabinet, not to mention the entire business community, have been quick to point out.
He knows that punitive taxes for the rich do nothing but damage, by encouraging entrepreneurs to take business and jobs elsewhere.

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Labour's last refuge: The politics of envy | Daily Mail Online

Labour's tax war on the middle class: Return to politics of envy 
as Jeremy Corbyn and his Marxist shadow chancellor call for 'new economics' to redistribute wealth to those on benefits
PUBLISHED:28 September 2015 
Those of us who regard socioeconomic inequality as a serious problem are often accused of “envy,” as though such concerns were simply a matter of begrudging someone else’s having more cookies than we do.
The psychological origin of inequality, as Rousseau brilliantly sketched it in the Second Discourse, comes when “solitary” man begins to assemble and finds that the strongest, the handsomest, the best dancer and the best singer get an undue share of the goods. Envy begins to show its face. In order to be like the handsomest or the most artful, the others begin to dissemble, cosmetics are used to mask the rough and the ugly, appearances begin to count for more than reality. If consumption represents the psychological competition for status, then one can say that bourgeois society is the institutionalization of envy.
The Big Lie: The Truth about Advertising
Bell, Daniel, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, Basic Books, 1976The Cultural Contradictions Of Capitalism: Amazon.co.uk: Daniel Bell: 9780465014996: Books

What is Corbynism? Is it 'social democracy'?
Futures Forum: "Right-wing governments have a better record of implementing green policies over the last half century than their left-wing counterparts."
The disturbing roots of Corbynism exposed - Telegraph
Public Policy and the Past: The wrongness of Corbynism
Would Corbyn's 'QE for people' float or sink Britain? - BBC News

Can it be compared to 'Thatcherism'?
An unelectable extremist who hijacked their party has already served as prime minister – her name was Margaret Thatcher | Comment | Voices | The Independent

What did the Thatcher Revolution of the thirty years ago represent?

We are the product not just of Thatcherism but the ideas of those who opposed it. ‘It’s all gone wrong,’ Margaret Thatcher said in 1981. But then came the Falklands and everything changed 
Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82 by Andy Beckett review – how today’s Britain was born in the early 80s | Books | The Guardian

Beckett’s discredits many glib assumptions in his section on social housing and Thatcher’s right-to-buy policy. Labour governments of the 1970s built progressively fewer council homes, not only because money was short, but because key figures doubted that renting from councils, often for life, was satisfying for tenants and that building programmes were economically sustainable. A Labour government report of 1977 accepted that “owning one’s own house is a basic and natural desire” for most people. Contrary to myth, social housing was not a dystopia of brutalist concrete towers, but predominantly semi-detached houses, with gardens, on the edge of towns, isolated and lacking services. Average English council house rent in 1981 was less than 7% of average income. Repairs and maintenance by council workers were often lamentable; the paradox is that strong trade unionism among public sector workers damaged the council housing stock.
It is Ken Livingstone rather than Margaret Thatcher who emerges as the most exciting harbinger of change. When this fearless and politically adept innovator became Labour leader of the GLC in 1981, it was the first time that anyone of the post-1945 generation had attained political power. Mocked by Max Hastings for being a man who did his own ironing, he was vilified for speaking the truth that Northern Irish violence would continue until there was a political settlement, which required negotiation with the IRA. His cut-price bus and underground fares scheme of 1981 brought an additional half-a-million people to public transport and was the first blow against the destructive primacy given to private motoring. Beckett provides a wonderful chapter on the GLC women’s committee promoting equal opportunities and opposing discrimination on grounds of gender. Nothing else in politics excited such rank-and-file participation, recognized potential in unsuspected people and places, and inaugurated identity politics. There is an unreasoning anti-London temper in leftwing politics today, so it is salutary to remember how much that is fundamental to our notions of good behaviour, respect, neighbourliness and civilised values come from the political leadership of the capital in the early 1980s.
Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82 review – how Britain came back to life | Books | The Guardian

Beckett, whose last book, When The Lights Went Out , magnificently revised the conventional wisdom that the 1970s were nothing but brown flares and misery, believes that the first three years of the 1980s brought about a permanent shift in how British people see themselves. Whether you were on the left or the right of the political spectrum, he argues, it became acceptable to put yourself first. In Promised You a Miracle he successfully makes a case for the idea that Britain changed at its core as a result of these tumultuous few years, becoming “outward-looking” and “colourful” once more, but also “lonely and cruel” for those disbarred from the benefits.
Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82’, by Andy Beckett - FT.com

Sale of the century: the privatisation scam
Privatisation promised to turn the UK into an island of small shareholders. It failed: the faceless state bureaucrats have been replaced by faceless (better-paid) private bureaucrats – and big foreign corporations. How did we get to this point?

Abellio; Govia; Keolis. What these bland corporate signifiers mask is state-owned but commercialised European rail firms. Collectively, European state railways now own more than a quarter of Britain's passenger train system… I imagine they will do a decent job. And that's the trouble. If competition shows that the best companies to run Britain's privatised railways are state-owned railways from other countries, what does that say about the justification of privatisation?
I began to notice something odd about the British and American business people and financial advisers I met in Ukraine and Russia in the 1990s. It was no surprise, I suppose, that they cared more about businesses being overtaxed than undertaxed, more about protection of private property than about protection of pensioners; that they didn't care how weak and bullied the local trades unions were. Besides, their Russian interlocutors kept being assassinated. What was revealing was how many of these emissaries of the capitalist way seemed to believe the myth that all that was good in the British and American economies had been constructed by the free market. They seemed to believe, or talked, made speeches, wrote papers as if they believed, that the entire structure of their own wealthy modern societies – the roads, the electricity grids, the railways, the water and sewage systems, the universal postal services, the telecoms networks, housing, education and health care – had been brought into being by individual entrepreneurs driven by desire for gain, with the occasional lump of charity thrown in, and that a bloated, parasitical state had come shambling onto the scene, seizing assets and demanding free stuff for its shirker buddies. I don't want to absolve the Russians or Ukrainians of responsibility for their handling of the aftermath of communism, but the template they were handed by the fraternity of the Washington Consensus was based on fake history. If this is what the triumphalists of Wall Street and the City of London told the Russians about the way of the capitalist world, I thought when I moved back to Britain in 1999, what have they been telling us? And what came of it?
Privatisation failed to turn Britain into a nation of small shareholders. Before Thatcher came to power, almost 40% of the shares in British companies were held by individuals. By 1981, it was less than 30%. By the time she died in 2013, it had slumped to under 12%. What is significant about this is not only that Thatcher and her chancellor Nigel Lawson's vision of a shareholding democracy failed to come to pass through privatisation, but that it undermines the justification for the way the companies were taken out of public ownership.
Privatisation, she claimed, was "the greatest shift of ownership and power away from the state to individuals and their families in any country outside the former communist bloc". The reality is that the faceless state bureaucrats of the old electricity boards have been replaced by the faceless (and better paid) private bureaucrats of the electricity companies. 
Not only are the privatised utilities big, remote corporations; most of them are no longer British, and no longer owned by small shareholders. Indeed electricity and water privatisation could not have failed more absolutely to foster the emergence of world-beating, innovative British companies. Most of the electricity made and sold in England is now owned by dynamic, tech-savvy companies from western Europe, a region doomed, Thatcher thought, by creeping socialism. As a direct result of the way electricity was privatised, much of it has now been renationalised – but by France, not Britain. Of the nine big English water and sewerage firms, six have achieved the seemingly impossible feat of being privatised a second time, delisted from the stock market by east Asian conglomerates or by private equity consortia.
The Conservatives cut public spending and cut taxes, they kept their promises to working people, and Labour went along with it. But that is not all that happened. At the same time as they cut income tax and public spending, the first Thatcher administration hiked the sales tax, VAT – a flat-rate tax far more remorselessly regressive than the poll tax. When they came to power, the main VAT rate was 8%. It is now 20%. And the poorer you are, the harder VAT hits you. A study by the Office of National Statistics in 2010 showed that, for the richest fifth of the population, VAT added an extra 4 per cent to their tax bill. But the poorest fifth, often thought by the better off to pay no tax at all, actually pay 8.7 per cent of their income to the Treasury in VAT.
Where privatisation comes into this is that VAT isn't the only flat-rate tax on the poor. There are others, and they are onerous; they just aren't called taxes, though they should be – private taxes. One of the other ways the Thatcherites tried to balance the books in their first budgets was by hiking the price of gas, electricity and council rents, then all still under state control. After privatisation, above-inflation price rises have continued, in the private sector. A tax is generally thought of as something that only a government can levy, but this is a semantic distortion that favours the free market belief system. If a payment to an authority, public or private, is compulsory, it's a tax... The meta-privatisation is the privatisation of the tax system itself; even, it could be said, the privatisation of us, the former citizens of Britain. By packaging British citizens up and selling them, sector by sector, to investors, the government makes it possible to keep traditional taxes low or even cut them. By moving from a system where public services are supported by progressive general taxation to a system where they are supported exclusively by the flat fees people pay to use them, they move from a system where the rich are obliged to help the poor to a system where the less well-off enable services that the rich get for what is, to them, a trifling sum. The commodity that makes water and power cables and airports valuable to an investor, foreign or otherwise, is the people who have no choice but to use them. We have no choice but to pay the price the toll-keepers charge. We are a human revenue stream; we are being made tenants in our own land, defined by the string of private fees we pay to exist here.
It is not racism that makes the foreign identity of some of the owners of our privatised infrastructure objectionable. It's the selling of taxation powers to foreign governments over whom we have even less democratic control than our own. It is the hypocrisy, in particular, of a party that claims to loathe nothing more than communism and totalitarianism obliging Londoners to pay a tithe to the Chinese government just for turning on the tap.
Sale of the century: the privatisation scam | Politics | The Guardian

Outliers: The Story of Success is the thirdnon-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwelland published by Little, Brown and Companyon November 18, 2008. In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines the causes of why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, howMicrosoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history, how Joseph Flom built Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the most successful law firms in the world, how cultural differences play a large part in perceivedintelligence and rational decision making, and how two people with exceptional intelligence,Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes.
While writing the book, Gladwell noted that "the biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work."[3] In Outliers, he hopes to show that there are a lot more variables involved in an individual's success than society cares to admit,[3] and he wants people to "move away from the notion that everything that happens to a person is up to that person".[1]

Outliers (book) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Through case studies ranging from Canadian junior hockey champions to the robber barons of the Gilded Age, from Asian math whizzes to software entrepreneurs to the rise of his own family in Jamaica, Gladwell tears down the myth of individual merit to explore how culture, circumstance, timing, birth and luck account for success—and how historical legacies can hold others back despite ample individual gifts. Even as we know how many of these stories end, Gladwell restores the suspense and serendipity to these narratives that make them fresh and surprising.
Outliers: The Story of Success 1, Malcolm Gladwell - Amazon.com

Malcolm Gladwell Outliers - YouTube

The self-made man, history of a myth: From Ben Franklin, to Andrew Carnegie, to Sophia Amoruso.
Why do we cling to the myth of the "self-made man?"
The myths of the self-made man and meritocracy perpetuate income inequality

Why do we cling to the myth of the "self-made man?" | Psychology Today
A "self-made man" or "self-made woman" is a person who was born poor or otherwisedisadvantaged, but who achieved great economic or other success thanks to their own hard work and ingenuity rather than because of any inherited fortune, family connections, or other privilege.
In the cultural history of the United States, the idea of the self-made man, an "essential American figure," looms large. It has been described as an archetype, a cultural ideal, amyth, or a cult.[1][2]

Self-made man - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Do you view yourself as a self-made man or woman? If you do, you may want to take another look in the mirror. What’s wrong with the “self-made” theory? Everything. If your pride, ego, arrogance, insecurity, or ignorance keeps you from recognizing the contributions of others, then it’s time for a wake-up call. If your hubris is overwhelming your humility then the text that follows is written just for you.

musicless musicvideos

We can learn a lot about music:
Jay Doubleyou: what music, how music, why music

Jay Doubleyou: learning english through musicals
Jay Doubleyou: music lessons from the british council
Jay Doubleyou: free english lessons with esolcourses.com
Jay Doubleyou: more music and song websites for learning english
Jay Doubleyou: musical english lessons - learn english through songs

With a few 'issues':
Jay Doubleyou: songs about issues in the classroom
Jay Doubleyou: racial issues

Trying to be less 'highbrow':
highbrow Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

We can also have a lot of fun with music:

Musicless Musicvideo / BRITNEY SPEARS - Oops!...I Did It Again - YouTube

With lots more of these:
Musicless Musicvideo / DAVID BOWIE & MICK JAGGER - Dancing In The Street - YouTube
musicless video The Beach Boys I Get Around - YouTube

There's lots on the BBC:
Jay Doubleyou: bbc radio 6 to help you with your english...

what music, how music, why music

A lot can be told about your personality from the type of music you listen to:
Music and Personality
Jay Doubleyou: what does your taste in music say about you?

But hat's the point of music?
What the Music You Love Says About You and How It Can Improve Your Life | TIME

A fascinating series of programmes on BBC Radio 3 over the weekend looked at this:

BBC - Why Music?

A lot of the weekend looked at how our brains respond to music:
Latest: Music and the brain | News | Features | Sinfini Music - Cutting Through Classical

Another element which was explored was how we evolved to be musical animals:
BBC Radio 3 - The Singing Ape

Listen for about 5 minutes from 50 minutes into that programme where Ellen Dissanyake
Ellen Dissanayake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
... looks at the obstetric dilemma
Obstetrical dilemma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

She's very interested in the link between art and evolution:
Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes from and Why: Amazon.co.uk: Ellen Dissanayake: 9780295974798: Books

During the weekend, a record was set for the longest piece of music ever played live:
Radio 3 sets record for sleep broadcast - BBC News
BBC Radio 3 - Sleep

Or perhaps you'd prefer this:
How Music Saved Venezuela's Children - YouTube
Jay Doubleyou: what does your taste in music say about you?

Jay Doubleyou: opening up the world of classical music to children

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

the medium is the message - the manifesto is in the medium

Marshall McLuhan was interested in the media:
Jay Doubleyou: bbc radio 4's history of ideas - animations
Jay Doubleyou: how has technology changed us?

Did he say the 'medium is in the massage' or 'the medium is the message'?
The medium is the message - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Medium Is the Massage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is another play on the idea of 'medium':
Ai Weiwei review – the manifesto is in the medium | Art and design | The Guardian

This is the artist Ai Wei Wei:
Jay Doubleyou: art
Jay Doubleyou: what is art?

A couple of years ago he had an exhibition in the turbine hall at the Tate Modern:
Ai Weiwei: Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern, London - YouTube

This year he had an installation in the streets of the Swedish city of Orebro:
OpenART 2015: Ai Weiwei

And this year he comes to the RA in London:
Ai Weiwei | Exhibition | Royal Academy of Arts


Ai Weiwei London Exhibition 2015 RA - YouTube

There is the politics of art:
BBC - BBC Arts - Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy: A refugee artist with worldwide status

If even Ai Weiwei can’t trust the UK's visa system, who can? | Mary Dejevsky | Comment is free | The Guardian
Ai Weiwei – from criminal to art-world superstar | Art and design | The Guardian
Ai Weiwei and Julian Assange post selfie on Instagram | Art and design | The Guardian
Ai Weiwei on Beijing: 'It's a prison for freedom of speech' - video | Cities | The Guardian

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

go on-line: reaching the parts others cannot teach

What's this article about?

Here is the original article:

Reaching the parts others cannot teach

  • 29 July 2015
  • From the sectionBusiness
Cheril DemasuhidImage copyrightOther
Image captionCheril Demasuhid, working in Hong Kong to support her family, studies in her spare time
It's easy to take online learning for granted, whether it's finding how to do something on YouTube or following a free online course from a university.
But Cheril Demasuhid doesn't take it for granted. It's immensely important to her.
She is working as a maid in Hong Kong so that she can send back money to her family in the Philippines. In her spare hours, she goes on to the internet to study subjects such as IT and business.
Sometimes she studies alone, sometimes together in informal classes with other migrant workers.
When educationalists write about Moocs - massive open online courses - it is often about the technical achievement of being able to deliver chunks of higher education courses to millions of online learners.
Or else it's about the economics of universities taking their wares to a wider audience or delivering extra content for their existing students.


But Moocs - a few years after the initial hype about these digital courses - are now teaching people who would otherwise be unable to access lessons.
"I can make use of my spare time. I don't want to be a maid forever; I have a dream of building my own business online," says Ms Demasuhid.
Online learningImage copyrightThinkstock
Image captionOnline courses can reach students without access to conventional classes
Her employers are an Indian family and she is able to use their internet, or else she goes to the public library where she follows courses from the Alison online course provider, which has signed up more than five million students worldwide.
It's a model of global education. A Filipino in Hong Kong, working for Indians, studying courses provided by an education company in the west of Ireland.
She says she studies for "self improvement or for upcoming opportunity" and it is made possible because it is free and online.
"I am here to earn a living and to be able to help my parents and siblings in my country. I am here because I have a goal in life to alleviate my family from poverty," she says.

Prison education

The question of whether online courses are really reaching under-served groups has been examined by Duke University in North Carolina in the United States.
Oklahoma prisonImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionPrison in Oklahoma: An online course will teach prisoners about getting back into work
Researchers at Duke say that too much of the interest in Moocs has focused on courses taken by "highly-educated, white for the most part, upper-middle-class folks".
But an analysis of its own online courses showed they were also being used by marginalised groups of learners.
As well as teaching migrant workers, Alison this month launched an online course for skills to get back into work, aimed at a huge group who are unable to step into a conventional classroom.
These are the more than 2.5 million people in prison in the US and many millions more who are former prisoners.

More stories from the BBC's Knowledge economy series looking at education from a global perspective and how to get in touch

"There is a huge opportunity to address recidivism through free online education, so much so that we foresee a day when the obligation to complete free courses could represent an alternative to traditional sentencing," said Alison's chief executive Mike Feerick.
"Doing 200 hours community service may never change someone's mind or outlook on life, but completing a course of study does have that potential," says Steve Steurer, director of the US Correctional Education Association, which is a partner in the project.

Refugee camp

Refugees are another group often missing out on education.
A course from the Commonwealth Education Trust, on the Coursera online learning platform, is being used in the Dadaab refugee camp, near the border of Kenya and Somalia. It is aimed at providing teacher training lessons for students without any formal teacher education.
Somalia refugee campImage copyrightReuters
Image captionDadaab refugee camp: Online courses are helping to educate displaced families
The course is being delivered through a mini "learning hub" set up at the refugee camp. And in terms of the scale of the need, this "camp" has a population of 350,000 people.
The Duke University researchers identified retired people as a particular niche group of online course users, who might want to keep their minds active, but who also had limits on mobility and money.
Stewart West, an 81-year-old former soldier and policeman living in Malaysia, has been using the Futurelearn online learning network to follow courses about ageing.
"Instead of being housebound I now feel completely engaged with the outside world and can fill in gaps in my knowledge or enter new areas of study as and when I wish," he said.
Stewart WestImage copyrightOther
Image captionStewart West says studying is keeping him engaged with the outside world
But the idea of online courses providing a way out isn't only about geography or poverty. It's also about people wanting a second chance.
Franciso Goitia from Buenos Aires in Argentina says he took online courses from the edX online network as part of a decision to change his life and to escape a job he hated.
"I quit my job and told myself I was going to devote a year to do as many Moocs as I could and learn as much as possible."
He says that he has found a job much more to his liking now.
And Cheril Demasuhid, studying in her spare time as a maid in Hong Kong says: "Knowledge - no one can take it away from me."

Reaching the parts others cannot teach - BBC News

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

the mean world syndrome

Is TV good for your English?
Jay Doubleyou: how to learn english from watching tv
Jay Doubleyou: my favourite tv

Is TV good for you?
Jay Doubleyou: turn off your tv

Any idea what this is?

The Mean World Syndrome -- Clip - YouTube
The Mean World Syndrome Preview - YouTube
Mean world syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It comes from this:
Cultivation theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With this as an example - very much a British or American thing:
Missing white woman syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
People Wonder: 'If They Gunned Me Down,' What Photo Would Media Use? : The Two-Way : NPR

There's another way of seeing it:
N.R.A. Proposes Sweeping Ban on Movies - The New Yorker


The Financial Times ran a piece recently - together with a video - on migrants from Latvia and Poland working on farms in Eastern England:
UK migration: Toil, trouble and tension - FT.com

What are the issues?

Are people from Eastern Europe want to come to the UK to 'take British jobs'?
Ukip leader Nigel Farage visits Bulgaria - YouTube
Jay Doubleyou: immigration

Why are migrants getting the jobs?
The Day the Immigrants Left, Part-5/6 - YouTube
Jay Doubleyou: immigration part 2

Is it a problem of education and training?
Jay Doubleyou: neets

Is it a problem of perception of how many 'migrants/immigrants' there are?
Jay Doubleyou: neets - again

Do immigrants commit more crime?
Jay Doubleyou: crime and punishment

Shouldn't foreigners be learning the local language?
Jay Doubleyou: “you felt uncomfortable about people speaking foreign languages..."
Jay Doubleyou: bilingualism and school
Jay Doubleyou: "we need to insist on english as our language in this country."

And what are the problems in your country?
Japan's 'no immigration principle' looking as solid as ever | The Japan Times
15 arrested in Spain for smuggling migrants on jet skis from Morocco - The Local
Sweden's Tolerance Tested By Migrant Surge

the perfect holiday

Where would you most like to spend a holiday?
Breaking News English: Google Search

And what would you do on your perfect holiday?
ESL Conversation Questions - Holidays (I-TESL-J)

What about some 'hidden pleasures'?

A vineyard in Montmartre: just one of the hidden pleasures of Paris | World news | The Guardian

Paris's secret vineyard | Travel | The Guardian

The vineyards of Belleville Park in Paris


My Secret Paris View (vineyard included) | Messy Nessy Chic

Or what about some hitchhiking?

The Adventure Travel Film Festival: Hitching is as much an adventure as a cheap form of travel - Features - Films - The Independent
The Adventure Travel Film Festival - UK and Australia

Would you like some 'adventure'?
Jay Doubleyou: amazing jouneys

You can practice your English outside the UK, the US or Australia of course:
Jay Doubleyou: the english-speaking world: west africa

In fact, you can practice your English anywhere:
Jay Doubleyou: english as a tourist language
Jay Doubleyou: city guides in english