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Old 09-24-2010, 06:29 PM   #46
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What I forgot to add, with increased affluence in Europa the numbers of "non-un-privileged" people has increased a great deal as well. How do they take that into account?
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non i think i got you there, with an example of tricky Viking humor, maybe.

Affluence in Europe has a large proportion of non priviliged, At the start of their new life at least, in their new country. They are not the youngster of middle and upper class that i intended to address.

Let me just add a little consideration. My direct experience is that the vast majority of foreigners or of new citizen where I live (one of the most productive regions of Europe) strive to do well. They work hard. They might surprise with their different personal styles, a bit different from what we were accustomed to, but I never noticed any involvement in those episodes of unexpected violence as reported in the media.

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Old 09-24-2010, 06:36 PM   #47
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That is very nice of you to say
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:55 AM   #48
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Yes, there is more violence among "non-un-privileged" youth today than earlier. It has been noted, signaled and discussed. Again reference to Galimberti and his friends in Europe.
You used it earlier so I thought you'd already noticed my use of it. I was quite serious though. I meant it to signify the affluent middle class, which you also refer to ("privileged" to me mean rich/upper-class, hence the awkward construction)

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non i think i got you there, with an example of tricky Viking humor, maybe.

Affluence in Europe has a large proportion of non priviliged, At the start of their new life at least, in their new country. They are not the youngster of middle and upper class that i intended to address.
Yes. We are talking about the same group - though I perhaps was thinking specifically of the middle class as they are by far the larger group. As far as I can see, that group is significantly larger today than, say, 50 years ago. I wondered if Sig. Galimberti & Friends took that into account or how he explains it.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:15 AM   #49
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Today I learned two —count ’em 2— new words from the last chapters of Little Women. The words are “hobbledehoy” and quadroon. The former is by chance dictionary.com's word of the day.
The latter has happily disappeared from most peoples vocabulary.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:11 AM   #50
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You used it earlier so I thought you'd already noticed my use of it. I was quite serious though. I meant it to signify the affluent middle class, which you also refer to ("privileged" to me mean rich/upper-class, hence the awkward construction)


Yes. We are talking about the same group - though I perhaps was thinking specifically of the middle class as they are by far the larger group. As far as I can see, that group is significantly larger today than, say, 50 years ago. I wondered if Sig. Galimberti & Friends took that into account or how he explains it.
I will have to look into it more in details. I have a recent book of him that bears on this. It deals with the effects (mostly subtly pernicious) of what he calls "nihilism" on youth. it is in Italian and the title is "l' ospite inquietante, il nichilismo e i giovani". (2007). if I find a translation in one of your languages I will ... do something about it.

If I do not find anything useful there, i would have to follow the names of his European friends.

My impression is that this kind of differential sociological analysis is well beyond the scopes of this people, admirable as they are.
We might apply for a grant from some of the Agencies and go on a trip to the Hawaii to gather evidence on the field. Do you know some influential Viking?

I am sure that our record of MR posting will do a good showing in the curricula for the grant application.

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Old 09-25-2010, 06:51 AM   #51
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That is always the problem when discussing a book that only one of the participants in the discussion have read
It's weekend though - don't make too hard efforts on my account to look it up

But that field study does look like a good idea. As long as it's somewhere it can be conducted in the shade
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:19 AM   #52
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That is always the problem when discussing a book that only one of the participants in the discussion have read
It's weekend though - don't make too hard efforts on my account to look it up

But that field study does look like a good idea. As long as it's somewhere it can be conducted in the shade
I know a couple of nice places for a field study of that kind. But wait if I mention it in public it will not be so good any more ...

would a bar/restaurant on a beach from sunset on be a suitable place for head quarters? with facilities for dancing? I mean just in case one needs to unwind from the tensions of intensive interviewing of the locals, data editing and pre-processing.

How much clerical help do you think you need?

We might need an hydroplane to move around. Or something like this, slower but with room to work while traveling.
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:01 PM   #53
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Scandinavia was and still is the shining example referred to by everyone in the rest of Europe when the need of reforming the educational system is being discussed (again).
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You wouldn't think so if you heard how it's discussed here...
I've found the best way to get a Scandinavian to admit they have a good education system is to start talking about ours

(Note: I'm not saying the UK system is bad (*), although there are clearly areas for improvement. But as a recent example I managed to shock a Swedish colleague by saying I went to an all-girls school!)

(* And I'm not just saying that to pacify any UK educators here, or any of my colleagues who may be here )
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:38 PM   #54
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Am, i think this method could fail if they were presented the german system they d'be far too busy surpressing laugh burstouts to admit anything
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:53 AM   #55
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Well, I find that in the US the educational system is very laughable. Promoting kids to the next grade level, even if they cannot read. Or the local school board promoting a religious belief as if it were science.

In the past 5 years I have seen the amount of misspelled words increase. Some of it from Officers in the U.S. military. Grammar errors that make what ever someone was trying to tell me, unreadable. Some of it from supervisors and managers.

( Of course, any time someone complains about such things, they have to proof read their own material. I have corrected 7 misspellled words before clicking on submit.) 8 words.

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Old 09-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #56
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Well, I find that in the US the educational system is very laughable. Promoting kids to the next grade level, even if they cannot read. Or the local school board promoting a religious belief as if it were science.
Education in the US suffers from a double hobble.

The first is "social promotion", grounded in the concept that flunking a failing student and forcing them to repeat the courses causes psychological damage, and it's better to promote them with their age mates regardless. The end result is a generation of semi-literates who can just about read and write. Couple that with an ideal that every kid should go to college, and you get college graduates with less knowledge and skills than high school students of a previous generation, and degrees that are meaningless in the workplace, because employers rapidly learn which schools maintain any sort of meaningful standards and likely just ignore employment applications from folks claiming degrees from schools that don't.

The second is that local communities have a fair bit of influence and control over what gets taught, so the curriculum winds up being what is politically acceptable in any particular area. If the area has a heavy Fundamentalist population, "evolution" becomes a dirty word. (I gained grudging respect for a Fundamentalist commentator locally some years back because he was against efforts to do things like ban the writings of Charles Darwin. He felt (correctly) that you couldn't meaningfully argue against someone if you didn't know what he actually said, and advised other Fundamentalists to read Darwin, and refute what Darwin said, not what someone else claimed Darwin said.)

And thinking about it, there's a third hobble: US society recognizes and glorifies some differences between students - talented athletes and performers get lauded. We shy away from the idea that some students are simply brighter and learn faster than others, and tend towards a curriculum aimed at the lowest common denominator, so the bright kids are often denied the ability to realize their potential.
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:42 PM   #57
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(Note: I'm not saying the UK system is bad (*), although there are clearly areas for improvement. But as a recent example I managed to shock a Swedish colleague by saying I went to an all-girls school!)
This has been a subject of debate for many years in the US. When I was growing up, elementary and junior high school classes were co-ed, but I went to an all boys high school (which had a corresponding all girls high school.

I've seen some movements lately suggesting all girls schools as an aid to their education, by removing competition with boys as a factor in their learning. (A fair number of girls at the age of starting to think seriously about future husbands and children will be reluctant to excel against the local male talent pool, even if they are better than the guys at various things. And especially if they are better... )
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:20 PM   #58
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Perhaps I'm interpreting the question "what did I learn from fiction that I hadn't expected" more broadly than most, but I think I learn something new from every book I read - even if it's just a few facts about geography in a certain place or a situation in human relations.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:27 PM   #59
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I've seen some movements lately suggesting all girls schools as an aid to their education, by removing competition with boys as a factor in their learning. (A fair number of girls at the age of starting to think seriously about future husbands and children will be reluctant to excel against the local male talent pool, even if they are better than the guys at various things. And especially if they are better... )
I've never seen this specific reasoning for all-girls' schools before. I do wonder at what age girls start to think about future husbands - and wonder about the society that encourage such thinking at such a supposedly early age...

A reason for gender segregation is schools that I have seen before is that boys and girls don't develop intellectually at the same rate and that current school curriculums - especially in mathematics - favour boys (in the early years boys apparently have a slightly slower learning rate.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:31 PM   #60
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I know a couple of nice places for a field study of that kind. But wait if I mention it in public it will not be so good any more ...

would a bar/restaurant on a beach from sunset on be a suitable place for head quarters? with facilities for dancing? I mean just in case one needs to unwind from the tensions of intensive interviewing of the locals, data editing and pre-processing.

How much clerical help do you think you need?

We might need an hydroplane to move around. Or something like this, slower but with room to work while traveling.
beppe, I think that is very sound suggestions for providing the ideal environment for the serious social researcher. Especially the facilities for daily exercise, as well as relaxation, to help curb the fatigue one must necessarily suffer to aid the advance of science.
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