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Author Topic: Aristocracy is meritocracy.  (Read 7512 times)

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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Aristocracy is meritocracy.
« on: 08/05/2011 13:57:34 »
As many of you may know an aristocracy means the rule of the best, that is what the name means.

So I suggest here that the best are those with the most merit.

And therefore an aristocracy is a meritocracy.

Some will of course argue that that is not the case as Aristocrat inherit their position, so while the father might be worthy for their position the son is not.

What I would like to point out is that while that is true or has been, it does not have to be the case, commoners can be made knights and nobles, just as nobles and knights can be striped of their titles, it is ultimately the king or queen that gives these titles to people in the first place.

So in the interest of a better more meritocratic aristocracy I have a few suggestions,

One that the son of a lord does not instantly get the same title as their father but must earn it, and show themselves worthy for it.

That those in the aristocratic class be removed, if they are shown to be totally unworthy for any title.

That they also be allowed to admit mistakes without too harsh a punishment.

You could add ideas to this but a meritocracy calls for a rising and a falling, the possibility of being forced out and the entrance of those worthy to be there.

An aristoracy is a meritocracy, and those worthy should demonstration themselves to be so.



 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #1 on: 08/05/2011 14:48:42 »
You are living in a different world, Wiybit. Few people care very much about inherited titles anymore. The House of Lords Act of 1999 reduced the maximum number of hereditory Peers in the House of Lords to 92 and no hereditory peer can assume a position in the House of Commons without first renouncing his title. There are very few anyway. Life Peerages are awarded on a merit basis or, unfortunately, on a patronage basis. The title can not be passed on however. It is proposed to further reform the House of Lords in this Parliament.
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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Aristocracy is meritocracy.
« Reply #2 on: 08/05/2011 15:14:48 »
You are living in a different world, Wiybit. Few people care very much about inherited titles anymore. The House of Lords Act of 1999 reduced the maximum number of hereditory Peers in the House of Lords to 92 and no hereditory peer can assume a position in the House of Commons without first renouncing his title. There are very few anyway. Life Peerages are awarded on a merit basis or, unfortunately, on a patronage basis. The title can not be passed on however. It is proposed to further reform the House of Lords in this Parliament.

I wasn't really talking about the house of lords so much, but nobles themselves where ever they are with in the society.
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #3 on: 08/05/2011 17:00:12 »
But being a Noble (I assume you mean some inherited title) does not confer power and, for many, does not confer wealth either. Inheritence tax tends to curb this, though some escapes to offshore accounts I expect. This is why many of the large estates of the past are now open to the public as a business to pay for their upkeep.

We do have a meritocracy and successive governments have tried to make it moreso because the mobility between sectors in society is not considered high enough. If there are ways to improve this further then there are plenty of people who would be interested. I regret the introduction of tuition fees but it was going to be an inevitable consequence of opening higher education to all; someone has to pay for it.
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #4 on: 08/05/2011 21:11:15 »
But being a Noble (I assume you mean some inherited title) does not confer power and, for many, does not confer wealth either.

All titles come from the King or Queen and are not necessarily inherited, the Queen can make anyone a knight or Baron, Earl etc, that some have land and wealth is true but often that has also been given by the monarch to them at some past time, as originally all land was owned by the monarch- called feudalism. 


Inheritence tax tends to curb this, though some escapes to offshore accounts I expect. This is why many of the large estates of the past are now open to the public as a business to pay for their upkeep.

We do have a meritocracy and successive governments have tried to make it moreso because the mobility between sectors in society is not considered high enough.

Sorry it might be a stated claim, but if you look at the statistics social mobility has got worse, the gap between rich and poor worse, so the ideas you just stated are false, they might claim like Blair did that we live in a classless society, but it's bunkum, besides who wants live in a society with no class? :)
 


If there are ways to improve this further then there are plenty of people who would be interested. I regret the introduction of tuition fees but it was going to be an inevitable consequence of opening higher education to all; someone has to pay for it.

It should be open to all, but it is also true that not everyone is interested, some people might prefer to be plummers, or carpenters, or stone masons, or shop owners, also you should consider the reality as many a uni grad will tell you today as business dominate education "We learn more and more about less", besides the reality that just going to a uni does not guarantee anything- Richard Branson just has a a-level in Art. So do I :)

Or as Will Hunting might say "You just wasted 1000s of dollars on an education, you could get down the library for a few bucks"

It's the tragedy today it's not about education, but about getting a job, competition for paper, that's what they go for, not to learn and understand, but just to get ahead- the paper becomes more important that actually understanding the subject- rediculas.

My sociology teacher said "the best class I ever taught no one took the exam, as they all decided they were there to understand the subject, and enjoy learning" it is that reality that caused me also to not bother with the exam, I agreed with him.    
« Last Edit: 08/05/2011 21:16:26 by Wiybit »
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #5 on: 08/05/2011 22:39:03 »
Governments have genuinely tried to enhance social mobility but they have largely failed to do so. It is easy to criticise but harder to find a viable solution.

You are right that much education today is about chasing bits of paper and it is no surprise that the paper is worth less as a result. However, I do not agree that business dominates education. The spread of degrees in subjects which are certainly not targetted at businesses, but reward with a paper degree worth very little, has been huge, to the detriment of the ones that need a lot of hard work and a certain amount of intellect. Many people in business ask that education be more relevent but this has been largely ignored. Personally I don't think degree subjects should be tailored specifically to business but I think that it is also not practical to have people spending 3 years on courses paid solely by the taxpayer if there is no net reward. I would love this to be the case but the country has not got the resources to support this.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #6 on: 09/05/2011 07:20:25 »
"But being a Noble (I assume you mean some inherited title) does not confer power"
Oh yes it does,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #7 on: 09/05/2011 13:29:17 »
I was referring to inherited peerages; they do not entitle membership of the house of Lords except for a few (limited to 92). Other peerages are awarded by the Monarch but are selected based on recommendations from our elected government.

If the reforms planned for the second chamber go ahead, it will become an elected chamber. However this reform is now in doubt and, even if it goes ahead, maybe quite different from that suggested.

In any case the Lords have only the power to delay or modify bills and any change can ultimately be overturned in the commons. In my opinion the Lords have generally been a useful mechanism for applying common sense to ill thought out Bills.
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #8 on: 09/05/2011 18:46:33 »
Governments have genuinely tried to enhance social mobility but they have largely failed to do so. It is easy to criticise but harder to find a viable solution.

You are right that much education today is about chasing bits of paper and it is no surprise that the paper is worth less as a result. However, I do not agree that business dominates education.

Sorry to tell you this, but the corporations set the educational agenda today, the studients are there to get a job, the corporations give the jobs, so the best bit of paper is the bit of paper that the corporation wants. And universities educate as corporations want, that is the reality, the market rules.

 

 The spread of degrees in subjects which are certainly not targetted at businesses, but reward with a paper degree worth very little, has been huge, to the detriment of the ones that need a lot of hard work and a certain amount of intellect. Many people in business ask that education be more relevent but this has been largely ignored.

No it has not, and it appears you seek to make the situation worse. Like it could be.


Personally I don't think degree subjects should be tailored specifically to business but I think that it is also not practical to have people spending 3 years on courses paid solely by the taxpayer if there is no net reward. I would love this to be the case but the country has not got the resources to support this.

If they are going into business then it's in business' interest to fund that, those studients will end up working in business areas and be helping business, why should the people pay that? It's business getting a free ride, as they always seek to. As for real education that should be funded by the state, but not all people as I said want to go to uni anyway.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #9 on: 09/05/2011 19:06:57 »
Let's face it; we have a plutocracy anyway (whichever side of the pond  you are).
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #10 on: 10/05/2011 13:28:26 »
Wiybit, please read through what I say before extracting and commenting on sections. You comment that I "seek to make the situation worse" based on what I see the situation is, but ignore my comment "Personally I don't think degree subjects should be tailored specifically to business [...]". Please don't presume my views from how I read the status quo.

I can tell you, as someone who has been in the semiconductor business for many years, that most hi-tech businesses have not got the time or the personel to lobby universities or government bodies about how to change the education system. Most people in such companies, including me, have despaired over the inability of the UK Universities to maintain the reputation of a degree in science or engineering. Whilst 40 years ago, if someone had a BSc or a BA it was almost the case that an interview was not needed, now, unless it is awarded by a selected few Universities, it is not a very good indicator of ability - in fact A-level results are usually a better guide. This is not because the courses are poor but just that there is less selectivity in awarding the degree. Some Universities award an MSc for just attending for example. I could go into all the reasons for this and the reasons why fewer people are taking the tougher Science degrees but it should suffice to say this does not indicate that it is Corporations that are driving education. There is much talk that Corporations should drive education, and this has some political support, but apart from a few talking shops, little is actually being done. I will repeat - I don't think that corporations should drive education. I want to employ people who are clever and knowledgeable but I am not looking for people to be specifically trained. If people see successful companies and want to work in an area they should be able to choose a course that is appropriate and, at least to some extent, Universities should respond to what is needed. This is a long way from education being driven by corporations.

There are now some initiatives from Government and the Universities to try to get businesses involved (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and various Enterprise Initiatives for example). This is all driven by Government and the Universities, not the other way around.

Businesses are not getting any sort of free ride because they may need to employ people who have particular aptitudes and selective education. Believe it or not they get paid when they get a job. Education is free to a certain level and, personally, I would like to see this extended beyond A-levels, but I can also see that taxpayers should not have to fund this, particularly, as you say, not everyone wants to pursue higher education at a University. There are many aspects to this whole funding subject. Perhaps questions should also be asked about to what extent University research should be used to raise money for the University or should such research be free from patents and available to all?
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #11 on: 10/05/2011 13:50:52 »
BC, I really don't think there is a single word to describe the government of the UK. I actually can think of lots but they would be censored :-) Seriously, it is not wholly accurate to describe the UK system as a Plutocracy. Although it is, arguably, much more the case in the USA where there is much more serious patronage and lobbying by the rich and powerful. The UK certainly has many elements of a Plutocracy though and it could get worse: there are clearly quite a few people who would like this and effectively vote for it! Ultimately this is unstable unless there are ways to rotate the order so that the controlling cliques cannot self propagate. The education system is one such way though successive governments have largely failed in this regard.
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #12 on: 10/05/2011 21:12:38 »
Wiybit, please read through what I say before extracting and commenting on sections. You comment that I "seek to make the situation worse" based on what I see the situation is, but ignore my comment "Personally I don't think degree subjects should be tailored specifically to business [...]". Please don't presume my views from how I read the status quo.

Maybe you should follow your own advice, to suggest as you did that business is being ignored, is ultimately to not be aware of the current situation, and implies you think educators should not ignore business, my point is they are not ignoring them and therefore you are seeking a worse situation, maybe you should actually consider what I said and not ignore it, as just because you state that education shouldn't be tailored to business then say but business shouldn't be ignored, is in some sense contradictory and as you stated you think business shouldn't be ignored you clearly feel it is, when in reality it is not. Therefore you are seeking to make it worse, either as you are unaware of the true situation, or for another reason.
 


I can tell you, as someone who has been in the semiconductor business for many years, that most hi-tech businesses have not got the time or the personel to lobby universities or government bodies about how to change the education system.

I know the big fish do that.


Most people in such companies, including me, have despaired over the inability of the UK Universities to maintain the reputation of a degree in science or engineering.

This reality prevents smaller companies getting good staff, think about it.



 Whilst 40 years ago, if someone had a BSc or a BA it was almost the case that an interview was not needed, now, unless it is awarded by a selected few Universities, it is not a very good indicator of ability - in fact A-level results are usually a better guide. This is not because the courses are poor but just that there is less selectivity in awarding the degree. Some Universities award an MSc for just attending for example. I could go into all the reasons for this and the reasons why fewer people are taking the tougher Science degrees but it should suffice to say this does not indicate that it is Corporations that are driving education.

I ref my past comment, but there are other reasons also.


There is much talk that Corporations should drive education, and this has some political support, but apart from a few talking shops, little is actually being done. I will repeat - I don't think that corporations should drive education. I want to employ people who are clever and knowledgeable but I am not looking for people to be specifically trained.

Well business should train the people for the roles they seek them to fulfil. Uni should give an overall standard, the idea of students coming out of uni and knowing exactly how to do a certain job for a company- stinks of business seeking a free ride again and not have to pay to train staff. They cant even be bothered to invest in their workers.



If people see successful companies and want to work in an area they should be able to choose a course that is appropriate and, at least to some extent, Universities should respond to what is needed. This is a long way from education being driven by corporations.

There are now some initiatives from Government and the Universities to try to get businesses involved (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and various Enterprise Initiatives for example). This is all driven by Government and the Universities, not the other way around.

Businesses are not getting any sort of free ride because they may need to employ people who have particular aptitudes and selective education. Believe it or not they get paid when they get a job. Education is free to a certain level and, personally, I would like to see this extended beyond A-levels, but I can also see that taxpayers should not have to fund this, particularly, as you say, not everyone wants to pursue higher education at a University. There are many aspects to this whole funding subject. Perhaps questions should also be asked about to what extent University research should be used to raise money for the University

again if you look at the research most do it is all product driven, marketable things, most science students will say that, the ones I have spoken to do, it's all geared towards the market today.


or should such research be free from patents and available to all?

I don't believe in IP, IP reduces innovation, five people with the same pattern will do different things with it, if one person owns it, people can do nothing without their permission, and often corporate business buy up product patents simply to bury and hide them.

I have said before that any of the many ideas I have put out into this world, that the IP belongs to me. Actually I give these things to humanity, I'll have the IP to prevent a corporate thieft stealing it to make money. and corporations do by the way, if they see something worth a buck they'll try and steal it for themselves, how you think they are so rich, they steal ideas for things all the time.

Simple example I wrote an idea in a uni exam- few months later(about 8) the idea was on an advert. It made smile and then cry(not for the use of my idea, it was the hypocracy of it, the reason I gave that idea against the reality of those that used it), but the thieft with no consultation, apreciation, or thanks I found insulting! and it did leave me pondering what else they get up to.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2011 21:46:44 by Wiybit »
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #13 on: 11/05/2011 10:49:37 »
I have to disagree about the extent to which business drives education. There are some synergy effects and funding (at post graduate level), but most of the undergarduate course designs are from the Universities and it is they who frequently ask businesses for guidance, rarely the other way about. I have attended quite a few meetings between the semiconductor business community and various Universities and do have some knowledge about this. There have been people from the business community who have asked for more specific relevance but I, and others, have argued to just teach the basic science/engineering and maintain academic standards. Specific training is not carried out in most undergraduate courses as far as I can see, and nor should it be.

If you are speaking of post graduate research, this is a different matter. This does often rely on external funding and Universities are keen to seek out sorces of funding from industry. Believe me, it is the universities doing the wooing and the return on investment by companies is not great.

There are other reasons why standards have fallen. One is down to the importing of foreign students who have to pay for their MSc desgree and, not surprisingly, expect to get it whether they work or not. There are plenty of others reasons too.

I am inclined to agree about IP and I have had some rants about the patent system in other postings. It needs a serious overhaul.
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #14 on: 11/05/2011 22:11:01 »
I have to disagree about the extent to which business drives education. There are some synergy effects and funding (at post graduate level), but most of the undergarduate course designs are from the Universities and it is they who frequently ask businesses for guidance, rarely the other way about. I have attended quite a few meetings between the semiconductor business community and various Universities and do have some knowledge about this. There have been people from the business community who have asked for more specific relevance but I, and others, have argued to just teach the basic science/engineering and maintain academic standards. Specific training is not carried out in most undergraduate courses as far as I can see, and nor should it be.

If you are speaking of post graduate research, this is a different matter. This does often rely on external funding and Universities are keen to seek out sorces of funding from industry. Believe me, it is the universities doing the wooing and the return on investment by companies is not great.

There are other reasons why standards have fallen. One is down to the importing of foreign students who have to pay for their MSc desgree and, not surprisingly, expect to get it whether they work or not. There are plenty of others reasons too.

Indeed the young of today see education as a chor, everyone wants it quick and easy in todays world, reminds me of the guy that wanted to put a computer chip in his head so he could play the piano, it's a rediculas idea, you wanna learn to play an instrument then go learn, to just get some chip is silly- it's the chip playing it, and doing that really shows no respect to the other musicians that spend years learning, and gaining the skills they have. Sad no one values the struggle, the journey, all the things you learn on the way, that its-self give the music of a musician more character.


I am inclined to agree about IP and I have had some rants about the patent system in other postings. It needs a serious overhaul.

And then some, esp in today's world where corporate power is taking about owning the rights to things like "Happy birthday" the song, meaning they could sue you for singing it at a birthday party, just ridiculous how far they have gone to make a buck!
« Last Edit: 11/05/2011 22:16:15 by Wiybit »
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #15 on: 11/05/2011 22:25:41 »

:)
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #16 on: 11/05/2011 23:02:20 »

Indeed the young of today see education as a chor, everyone wants it quick and easy in todays world, reminds me of the guy that wanted to put a computer chip in his head so he could play the piano, it's a rediculas idea, you wanna learn


Quite so. And some of them don't even want to take time to learn how to spell, or punctuate, even when there is a handy-dandy spell checker available right under their nose ;D
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #17 on: 11/05/2011 23:21:14 »

Indeed the young of today see education as a chor, everyone wants it quick and easy in todays world, reminds me of the guy that wanted to put a computer chip in his head so he could play the piano, it's a rediculas idea, you wanna learn


Quite so. And some of them don't even want to take time to learn how to spell, or punctuate, even when there is a handy-dandy spell checker available right under their nose ;D

I'm dysexlic, I did use the spell checker, it must have ignored it. :) :) two happy faces for that joke
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #18 on: 11/05/2011 23:27:24 »
Not sure about dysexlic, I think it's about lots of cake :)

You take two cakes into the bedroom? Not Me.....(still thinking of a punch line) something to do with a fridge, maybe three of them, and a dyson - for cleaning clearly, what are you thinking?

Hotel check in's a nightmare. "Hey come on it's three fridges and a hoover, oh yeah and these bags"
« Last Edit: 11/05/2011 23:38:43 by Wiybit »
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #19 on: 12/05/2011 12:41:19 »
Ha ha. I had to re-read 3 times to notice you said dysexlic rather than dyslexic, so it took a while to understand :-) I must have "read-only" dyslexia.
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #20 on: 12/05/2011 12:52:04 »
I just watched the Lawson Rollins video. As someone who tries to play the guitar occasionally, I can honestly say that even if I practiced all the time I doubt I could get that good. At least not without the added chip in the head. Unfortunately, it isn't just practice that gets you there. You need ability too, as well as training at the right age. I played club cricket for 25 years and went to all the practices I could, but never got even close to playing at, say, a county seconds level. I still loved playing though.
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #21 on: 12/05/2011 14:27:04 »
I just watched the Lawson Rollins video. As someone who tries to play the guitar occasionally, I can honestly say that even if I practiced all the time I doubt I could get that good. At least not without the added chip in the head. Unfortunately, it isn't just practice that gets you there. You need ability too, as well as training at the right age. I played club cricket for 25 years and went to all the practices I could, but never got even close to playing at, say, a county seconds level. I still loved playing though.

While it is true that some people have natural ability, which can be improved upon, I dis-agree that only those with natural ability will be great at which everthing they are natually able at, it will take more effort, and good training and lots practice, the extra struggle is what can make a naturally un-skilled person even better than a natural one.

So I think you're selling yourself short, sure your not comparing yourself too much to others and not concentrating on playing?
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #22 on: 12/05/2011 17:42:07 »
Oh, I enjoy playing my guitar and I really used to enjoy playing cricket (too old now) and got great satisfaction on minor achievements but, to quote Clint Eastwood (as Dirty Harry, I think) "a man has to know his limitations". Just as you probably can't be a high jumper if you are 5' tall, one's brain is also governed by the genetic start in life it is given. Finding what you can do well is not always easy but generally everyone has some talents that can be nurtured. It doesn't mean you can't improve with practice either, but getting to be really good needs talent AND practice.
 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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« Reply #23 on: 12/05/2011 19:46:45 »
Oh, I enjoy playing my guitar and I really used to enjoy playing cricket (too old now) and got great satisfaction on minor achievements but, to quote Clint Eastwood (as Dirty Harry, I think) "a man has to know his limitations". Just as you probably can't be a high jumper if you are 5' tall, one's brain is also governed by the genetic start in life it is given. Finding what you can do well is not always easy but generally everyone has some talents that can be nurtured. It doesn't mean you can't improve with practice either, but getting to be really good needs talent AND practice.

No I disagree, the untalented can become so, miracles happen also.
 

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