Jeremy Poff

Christchurch, New Zealand

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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
Is education a resource that can be squandered, not by the recipient, but by the providers?
You have many valid points. Certainly the "experts" have crept into almost every field. The current crop of managers are too afraid to make a decision and instead defer to the 'experts' (who have just finished University and have no experience). This allows them to just tick off boxes rather than actually manage the whole situation. If it goes wrong they can then claim that it was the fault of someone else as they were merely following a recommended system. Schools are perhaps becoming like the hospitals where once Doctors managed the hospital to a budget, now an extra layer of staff (managers) draw large salaries and decline spending on medical equipment in favour of management equipment. This experiment has not worked. Essentially it is the Education Ministry that has become the layer of management for schools. I suspect every stakeholder would discern the squandering to be in another stakeholders court. That's if we agree there is squandering! If the assumption was first made that the provision had to be twice as efficient, then perhaps some new thinking would arise. Rather than small twiddles, raising classroom numbers, changing allocations, denying certain resources, etc. Has anyone calculated if 'mainstreaming' has saved money overall or just shifted the expenditure to another budget and added stress and frustration. It must be all in the name of digitisation! Instead of a report that says your child is bright at maths, needs to work on writing skills, is socially normal and is an active and contributing member to the school and class, you now get a report that says 0010100100110011010100011. Just perfect for digitisation.
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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
Is education a resource that can be squandered, not by the recipient, but by the providers?
I agree, there was a lot in the bag. Essentially there are a lot of stake-holders, it's big business, and the student outcomes are really just a measure that democracies use to try and sway government policy. One style does not suit all students, (nor teachers), and it is diversity and free choice that will allow parents to match their child to a school. However too much free choice and the national outcome gets stratified. No doubt there are people who make a career of designing education systems, and good luck to them. There are good teachers and bad. The bad are squandering the opportunity of their students to learn. There are good principals and bad. The bad are squandering resources at their disposal on projects that suit their own needs rather than those of the students. There are good students and bad. The bad are squandering the opportunity to learn, however my question is not about the recipients, but the providers. I am curious that you say first that education is not a partnership and later that parents must become involved. Perhaps it is semantics, or perhaps you mean the parents should direct the schools rather than have active input into just their own child's education. However the unfortunate truth I have noticed is that some parents actually do not have any interest whatsoever in the education of their own child(ren). I wonder what/if those parents would teach/show the children if that parent had the role of educator? Education is more often than not crying foul, and claiming they have no money to do things. This can only be one of a few things, bad management, living beyond their means, exceptional costs in specific instances, greed, lack of extra funding from the parent community or if all schools cry foul, then an under-estimation by the government. The whole subject is complex, but my original question is; Is education a resource that can be squandered, not by the recipient, but by the providers? The rest is supplementary.
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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
Light instead of electricity?
The principle will allow for smaller circuits and new results, but it will still take electricity to create the light used as the input and to cool part of the process. What is saved in energy by nano-electronics may well be consumed by a resultant increase in the number of computers. Your car may already have more than one computer and your household possibly has several that you don't know about. Humans now tend to light things at night rather than use daylight like they once did, they use remote controls, cranes, transportation devices, mechanical aids for any number of tasks, rely upon electronic entertainment, prefer more stable temperatures than nature provides, seek comfort by enhancing their environment and generally consume far more energy than necessary. Earth is a closed system with light and heat energy arriving from the sun, if we do anything to compromise that source of energy or exceed our capacity to utilise it, we're out of here! Our survival depends on making greater use of all resources. The end game may be unimaginable at the moment, but could lead to agriculture or food production in space, as we don't have room for it here any more. Some may look forward to it, but personally I would prefer to die in a world that had some semblance to the one I was born in. These new developments are emulating nature in their design and this should be a good thing. However mistakes will be made. The population of the earth is also increasing exponentially, and if we don't utilise these new ideas we will run out of space, food, and other resources to the extent where we kill off our own population by overcrowding. A natural phenomenon in the animal and plant worlds. So essentially it is inevitable. The speed will allow us to solve new problems. New limits will be set. If Earth 2.0 is 600 light years away, then we have the life of our own sun less the 600 light years travel time, plus a bit for colonisation, to solve the problem of relocating to Earth 2.0.
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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
Will same sex marriage damage the family?
It may not damage the "family", but I believe it will damage the authenticity of "growing up" for a child. Your question does not suggest children, but their place in a gay marriage is becoming topical now. The existence of a gay "married" couple should not damage the family per se, but if this marriage includes children the debate is a new one all over again. Humans (and most else) has two genders. Each has different construction and processes towards achievement of goals. Unless the two same sex "parents" can display, teach and promote both genders in a more or less equal proportion to the children, then the children are going to be robbed of "growing up" with an equal chance. Fathers teach boys how to be men and how men should treat women. Mothers teach girls how to be ladies and how women should treat men. These are learned by example. They are behavioural lessons, not factual matrices. If both "parents" are the same sex, (no matter how effeminate or butch), I don't believe the children will learn these lessons. Many heterosexual couples fail at providing good examples here and it has led to an incredible breakdown in the family unit and the state of our society. The desirable trend would be to reverse this trend rather than to enhance it. 50% of marriages fail, and that is a societal issue, so society needs to find a solution. It may be as simple as making advertising illegal, who knows without trial and debate, but I think most would concur that having children in a same sex marriage is not going to enhance the family unit. This is not to say that the children could not be loved, well provided for, educated and given great opportunities. It is merely removing an important part of their upbringing that moulds them to be future parents and members of a dual gender race. The logical conclusion may help illustrate. If all marriages were same sex, procreation is lost and genetic diversity becomes reliant on choices made in the laboratory. This is not nature.
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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
Should Advertising Platforms be responsible for the Ads they serve?
Advertising and marketing are the equivalent of pollution. We are ruining our environment (and our physical and mental health) by chasing immediate gratification. Advertising is a parasite. The purveyors sell it as a necessary way to bring you cheaper goods, but how many people realise that more than half the cost of a pair of trainers has paid for advertising, competition prizes, and profits for yet more middle men. Actually nothing that will help with product improvements or the quality of life of those who work in the factories or indeed creating the product in a way that will detriment the earth to a smaller extent. Without advertising the price would be halved and your money would go towards better aims. In many cases it would revive local industry as it once again became economic to buy local. So while advertising is touted as creating industry, really it is destroying it in the true sense of the word. Goods travel further, using more fuel, are made under dubious working conditions by people on low wages, last the minimum permissible time to make a sale. The turnover in items promoted by the advertising industry serves to quickly fill our planet with discarded goods to put alongside the broken goods that prematurely failed. Advertising should be made accountable for end to end satisfaction for the workers, the public who have their visual landscape polluted, the viewers who have to spend an extra hour watching a movie on TV, the bandwidth consumed by irrelevant emails, the consumption of glossy paper in magazines, etc., etc.. It would seem that the half of the price of goods that has occurred due to advertising, ultimately becomes wasted resources, visual pollution, wasted time, cloying radio announcements and pollution from extra paper or throw away prizes. It started with the pens that were printed with the company name, to be stolen and remain "in-your-face" reminders of the company. Now the majority are taxed for the minority to be sponsored.
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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
What is happiness?
Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or contentment. It therefore is an elevated state of personal satisfaction. Whether it arrives from murdering someone or saving a life the resultant effect is the same, therefore it would have to be a variation in your own self programming that discerns what makes an individual happy. People undergo therapy to change how they program themselves and they may even undergo a paradigm change, so that the model they desire for happiness can match their existence. Physical exercise has been often quoted as a method to generate desirable feelings of self worth. The body is an intensely complicated construction and there are many drugs synthesised directly within the body that direct balance and aid living a healthy life. Exercise releases endorphins which are powerful, but safe drugs. No doubt happiness is a feeling that results from another such release of a chemical or electrical impulse. We have pleasure as a shortcut to immediate happiness, and our lifestyles more and more abuse this shortcut. We also have drugs that affect the state of mind and perhaps relieve anxiety etc. They may well work towards a goal, but they are no match for the fine balance that the body already incorporates. If natural selection was truly natural then some combinations of genes would be extinct by now, but medical science is challenged to try and solve problems for kudos, interest, money and the mere challenge. And here the debate becomes moral. Happiness therefore should remain a state that your external environment and the choices you make in life allow you to feel internally and perhaps express externally. It should not become something to manufacture and ingest like a protein shake. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own happiness and learn how to be self reliant to give themselves this critical feeling.
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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
Where does our identity as being "human" come from?
Being human, merely differentiates us from machines, animals, plants, aliens, or God for that matter. We are a race that belongs to the genus Homo. Although evolution is occurring all the time, we are less likely to be shocked by what we evolve into than by what we do to change our own lives. By nature humans are selfish, and at an even deeper level there is the selfish gene theory. We will always be striving to improve our lifestyles. Recently we have realised that our lifestyles may change drastically if we pollute the earth, our habitat, yet at the same time we buy cheaper goods that we dispose of in record time. The increasing landfill requirements must be mind boggling. Whether we destroy our planet or solve the problems of increasing population we will still be human. Some actions are considered sub-human and there are many misfits in the world, yet they are all termed human. Obviously a unit with 0% human content would not be human. I believe that a prosthetic body with a human brain would be human (albeit with incredible self-image issues to overcome), but a prosthetic brain in a human body would not be a human. Humans have the "capacity" for feelings. Not all of them display feelings, or display all feelings, but they have that capacity. It translates into emotions, rational and non-rational thoughts and actions and achievement against the odds. It also allows us to generate ideas from mere thought, to nurture them with observation, and possibly to disseminate them with actions or by communication. Solving medical issues does not make us less human. It is the moral issues that will determine where we go as a race. Questions like; Should children be allowed to be born to two dead parents, do we pull out all stops to save the life of a criminal, are animal parts permissible to save human lives, can we accept anything a human can conceive of as "human" and allowable, should we engineer the genes of new lives? These sorts of questions.
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Jeremy Poff
Posted over 3 years ago
What are your ideas for the future of media?
Media is the plural of medium. Although it describes more the vehicle for the content, (such as paper, film, tape, streaming video, etc.), the Fourth Estate have purloined the term to describe the purveyors of "news". The Fourth Estate terminology was apparently said in jest by Edmund Burke to compare the newspapers view of themselves to the existing three estates of the realm in Britain. These were defined as a class or order regarded as forming part of the body politic, one of the three groups constituting Parliament, now the Lords. The three estates are; Spiritual (the heads of the Church), the Lords Temporal (the peerage), and the Commons. Blogging, wikis, social networks, personal web pages — in short, the Internet, and more specifically the World Wide Web have added more power to the Commons and made the peerage more accountable. The church is only beginning on this journey. The unfortunate thing happening with mainstream media, particularly text, is that crowd mentality has reduced it to the lowest common denominator, in the same way that marketing has removed the consumer from discerning the best attributes of a product for themselves. Psychology and accounting tricks manipulate the consumer. I feel that at some point in the next 10-20 years the content will once again triumph over the delivery. TEDtalks already do, as they are of varying length, credibility, research and comprehension level, yet they all are ideas worth spreading, even if just to generate thought and debate. In the future quality, quantity, accessibility, price, delivery, ownership, authenticity, timeliness will all be juggled by media magnates as they seek not to inform, not to balance debate, not to publish well researched stories, not to provide well written articles, but to be first, to shock, to grab attention, to gain monopoly and to sell the most copies for the least input. Content will be immediate and lower itself to little more than gossip. Be discerning now!