Davos Newbies Home

A man, a plan… 

The Bush “plan” on climate change “lacks most of the basic elements of a strategic plan: a guiding vision, executable goals, clear timetables and criteria for measuring progress”. That’s according to the scientists assembled at Bush’s request by the National Academy of Sciences.

Getting it wrong 

Like many people in Britain, I rely on Radio 4’s Today Programme to give me a feisty injection of information and analysis to start the day. Steve Bowbrick rightly raps the programme for its unbelievably biased report on the proposal to extend European copyright protection for music recordings from 50 to 95 years.

No war map 

A very clever map. A comment on one weblog I read, however, points out that the result in Iraq itself (assuming you couuld do an honest opinion poll) might put it in the blue camp.

Literacy 

I hadn’t encountered the term technacy before. I generally deplore neologisms, and I can’t say this is one that I’ll warm to. But the concept of technical literacy replacing more traditional literacy is an interesting one. I’m unsure, however, how much it withstands careful scrutiny.

I remain a passionate believer in the values of a liberal arts education. To my mind, the essential purpose of that education is to enable us to know how to think, how to approach problems, how to comprehend new information. Technacy, such as the skill of getting the most out of a Google search, is an important tool for us today. Anyone who has been trained in thinking should be able to acquire that skill, just as many new skills arise with changing information and knowledge.

The definition of what it means to be literate has changed regularly over the centuries. I think the proud old word (the OED dates literate back to the fifteenth century) can continue to do yeoman service for some time to come.

It was easier 2,000 years ago  

Bloggus Caesari: “Connection problems have been plaguing me. Regular updates should resume by tomorrow.”

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