Thursday, March 31, 2011

Memo to Big Oil

 
Memo to Big Oil

Diversify your perspective.

Here is the metaphor:

If people think that the Moon is made of green cheese, then Galileo didn’t explain things properly. The solution is not to explain things to the people. The solution is to explain things to Galileo.

For years, Urban Legend has been saying that the Big Oil is impeding the efforts to develop high mileage automobiles and alternative energy sources. This does not mean that Big Oil did these things. However, if this is the perception there will be a big pushback.

The solution is not to explain things to the people. The solution is to explain things to Big Oil.

To begin with, do not say, “Slim, telling us what we should have done is 20/20 hindsight.”

It is. Don’t waste time saying it. Not because you are enlightening anyone, but because you are deluding yourself.

Why is this?

Because I will say, “Now that you have 20/20 hindsight, your mistakes should be a guidepost not a hitching post.”

Your strategic planning failures of the past do not excuse your strategic planning failures for the future.

Here is a four-point plan to guide your strategic planning.

1. Invest your profits in high-mileage technology.

Why?

Because as it becomes increasingly more important, you will hold the patents. Intellectual property has value.

2. Invest in active solar power technology.

Why?

Because you will become the energy suppliers of the future.

3. Invest in electric filling station technology.

Why?

Because having gas stations all over the country, you can leverage your capital investment. This is called revenue enhancement.

4. Invest in the geothermal heating industry.

Why?

Because diversity in your portfolio and revenue enhancement are vital to continued growth.


Bon chance!

Sincerest regards,

Slim

If you find any of this information helpful, please feel free to send me on of those tricked out Apple laptops—and do please include a little WAM in the envelope along with the thank-you note.

I don’t want to be paid for what I do.
I don’t want to be paid for what I know.
I don’t want to be paid for what I think.
I want to be paid for the way I think.

Regards,

Slim
Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nuclear Power Has Lost Its Lustre, But Not Its Glow


Planning for Disaster

Dateline—1964

Class—Science

Teacher—Mrs. Holman

Project—The Photoelectric Cell

Atomic energy was just being talked about. After the detonation of the atomic bomb, the subject of nukes was a bit outré. 

It wasn’t long before a toy car came out with a photoelectric cell on top. Shine a flashlight on it and away we go.

However, it wasn’t long before the nuclear energy industry was all fired up and running like an old coal furnace—all the heat, none of the smoke.

Then the anti-nuke protesters came along.

We were told that nuclear waste is deadly. It can’t be shipped safely, it can’t be stored safely, and it stays deadly for the “half-life of an atom—186,000 years!”

After a big fuss and bother, the protesters went on to something else and nuclear energy went on to become the energy source of the future.

Easy to understand. Aside from the production of a solar power, the power source is free.

Nuclear power requires stuff. Nuclear power requires physical plant and planning. Nuclear power can be regulated. (Or not.) Nuclear power is the stuff of business. It is the stuff of manufacturing business. It involves production. Raw materials go in, there is production, and there is output.

Today, aside from a few solar panels on rooftops here and there, the solar panels of the future are still the energy source of the future. Until now.

As a result of Chernobyl, we learned nothing. As a result of Three Mile Island, we learned nothing. 

As a result of Fukushima we are learning nothing except damage control. Not damage control in the event of a disaster at a nuclear power plant; but damage control in the event of a disaster in the image of the nuclear power industry.

After almost half a century, we’ve had no problem concocting an industry out of pure science. However, we’ve concocted little in the ability to learn from our mistakes. We did not learn to come up with a plan B. We did not come up with an alternative product fabricated from pure science.

By now anyone with a lot of scientific knowledge and only a bit of common sense, would have created the industry of the future; the technology of the future; the science of the future.
By now, more than half the houses in America could have had solar panels on the roofs, geothermal heating systems installed, and a much more efficient use of materials and space in the construction.

Alas, no; and there is little evidence to suggest that anyone can see the future. Impossible, you say. Try standing on the railroad tracks and watch the train coming your way.

Oh, yeah!

We actually have the audacity to discuss preparations for any foreseeable disaster. Well, what about an unforeseeable disaster? Well, we can’t prepare for an unforeseeable disaster. Exactly.

Perhaps if we were to rid ourselves of this fixation and stop clutching retentively to our highly intelligent ignorance, we will finally stop planning to build nuclear power plants and start to develop our solar energy.

Planning to build nuclear power plants can be seen as planning for disaster. But we’re supposed to plan to prevent them, not cause them.

Regards,

Slim

PS. I am not Paul Harvey.  Still, I am open to becoming a paid blogger, columnist, or commentator.

In the meantime, if anyone finds the monographs on my blog to be especially helpful, please do not hesitate to send me on of those tricked out laptops and few dollars tucked into the envelope with the thank you note.


Sincerely  


Slim


Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview

The Cleavers’ Television Set is on the Way Out

The Cleavers’ Television Set is on the Way Out

One thing that has been overlooked. Social Media would not be possible without the Advertising Business.

Advertising is what really finances the operations of social media. Why then does the advertising industry act as if social media is the threat and not the partner?

I get the impression that Mad Men are doing studies to justify selling TV ads to clients because clients want TV ads because Corporate America (the clients) is infused with people who sit around discussing whether or not social media is costing American industry productivity time.

Meanwhile, the Media sees social media as a threat and not as a portal. (When I was a freelance website designer, I took out a full-page ad in a local paper listing all the people (businesses) in the local business community who had a web page on the portal website I set up. ("Fish where there are fish." -- Political adage.) )

Point being, The Media better wake up and smell the triple-shot cappuccino venti and start broadcasting via the internet. Television isn’t on the way out; the Cleavers' television set is on the way out.

Regards


Slim

Mail: slimfairview@yahoo.com

Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

President Obama's Homegrown Diplomatic Conundrum

President Obama is doing fine. As he pointed out:

1. No flag burnings or Anti US rhetoric in Egypt.

2. Bringing together a broad based coalition involving, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

3. Setting a precedent for future cooperation among disparate nations and cultures--perhaps for peaceful rather than military purposes.

4. Showing that Ivy league types can handle global diplomatic and military matters.

Now, the only problem is dealing with the surfeit of professional pundits who've raised the task of asking question to the level of high, intellectual discourse.

Since when did "I don't know...." and "I don't understand..." serve to repudiate another person's opinion?

How many times does one have to ask a question when the answer is intuitively obvious to the casual observer?

Regards,

Slim


Copyright (c) Slim Fairview

Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

Netopia, Blogging, and the Libyan Crisis

While reading the New York Times, Sunday, I came across the article about blogging. I read it twice. Why? Because I blog. What did I take away from the article? The comment by Ezra Klein. He pointed out how as more people read his work, he realised he should be more circumspect about how he expresses himself.

The example he gives is, "...Mr. Lieberman was “willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.” A comment about Senator Joe Lieberman and health care legislation. Mr. Klein regrets the phrasing.

Why bring this up? Because I want to post a comment about health care and about phrasing. Also, because I want my comment to include military intervention in Libya.

The problem with the health care legislation passed back in the mists of time is not about Liberals or Conservatives or about Democrats or Republicans. The problem arises from the sublimation of the legislative process. Now, If I'd said, "...the sublimation of the democratic process," I would have sunk to the level of ideological rhetoric.

The difference lies in the fact that while we may have opinions about democracy, the legislative process is a matter or rules and procedures. (Almost.)

This makes it important to both the bloggers and the readers that the opinions are expressed in a manner consistent with the vision of the blogger. Case in point: If Art Buchwald were alive and blogging (and I believe he would be), we would immediately recognise that what is posted is intended to be funny. (And, as humour almost always contains an element of truth, reflects a truth that is understood albeit not accepted by everyone.)

Some bloggers are understood to be incendiary. We know this. We accept this. We respect the right of the blogger to do this. However, ultimately, we do know this about the blogger.

Other bloggers present themselves as objective assessors of what is in the news. While they may express an opinion, they present themselves as conveyors of opinions that are rooted in sincere belief and in truth.

What happens in the news cannot always withstand the strictness that the empirical method of scientific analysis imposes on proving theories. With the empirical method, we test for one variable. The procedures of the experiment are adhered to. We must duplicate our results. Someone else, using the same procedure and using the same variable and constants (k) must produce the same results.

In politics, we formulate a theory then seek the facts that will substantiate our conclusions. We see this in the spirited debate about Libya, about the economy, about every issue.

For years people have criticised the UN Security Council because, as the old adage goes, "it takes ten people to say yes but only one person to say no."

We saw this with the resolution providing for the coalition formed to approve the Libyan operation. Generally what we saw was that this country doesn't like that, that country doesn't like this, and another country likes them both, but doesn't like something else.

Then, no sooner than the President finds consensus among the members of the Security Council than members of Congress, left and right, recapitulate the impediment. One Senator doesn't like this, one Senator doesn't like that, and a third Senator likes both but doesn't like something else.

Then, the process is further challenged by talk of impeachable offenses. This rhetoric only gives ammunition to those nations looking to stop any future military action that may be crucial to global peace and security. It will be too easy for one country to veto the call for a coalition action citing their not wanting to lead our President into committing an impeachable offense.

There is a reason our Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that declares the President to be the Commander-in-Chief and not the Chairman of the Committee.

Regards,

Slim

Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview

Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

First North American Serial Rights.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quill Pens and Powdered Wigs in Today's Classrooms

Students learn to read, write, add, subtract, multiply, and divide in grammar school.

Twitter's 140 characters are not the end. They are the means.

Thomas writes a draft of the Constitution, he uploads the doc. file to Slideshare: He clicks the T and it uploads to Twitter.

George sees the Tweet, clicks the link and the file appears. He wants to Share this with his Facebook friends around the colonies. He copy-pastes the twitter link to his Facebook page for his friends. His colonial rebellion group page on Facebook. A thumbnail comes up. This thumbnail is a miniature of the doc. file.

John sees this on the group page and clicks the thumbnail. He reads the draft. Under the comments page he adds his views on the matter.

Those who have a problem incorporating technology into the classroom should go back to quill pens, powdered wigs, and candle light. They have no business in the classroom.

Did I hear someone say Visit Williamsburg? I believe there is a website for that.

Regards,

Slim

P.S.

Again? Still! Sometimes when I eavesdrop on the conversations about social media and technology, I get the feeling that people are getting their information from my Grandfather. That would not be a problem if I were 8 yrs old, but I'm 58 years old.

A bit of History for the slow folks:

The world is flat. You'll fall off the edge.
It'll never get off the ground. If God wanted me to fly, he'd have given me wings.
"The motor car? Noisy, smelly, toy for the rich. It'll never replace the horse."
Talkin' Pitchers? People don't want all that chatter, they want to see real acting.

51% of Americans 12+ years old are on Facebook. Factor out the number 12-22 and find the number of adults. (Something for math class.)

Social Media is the Medium: Greater than the sum of its parts.
http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/social-media...

The Virtual Classroom: Class Reunion Highlights.
http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/thye-virtual...

And, of course, Edison invented the light bulb by candlelight.
http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/edison-inven...

And for those concerned with Social Studies and Global Politics, Current Events and Economics:
http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2011/01/egypt-and-ot...

Don't "Get Real". Get Virtual.

"At last: I have a Twitter account, a Facebook account, a Linkedin account, a SlideShare account and a Blog. Finally I feel like a virtual person. For a while, I didn't think I was going to make it." -- Slim Fairview

Regards,

Slim


(By the way, I've been on-line since the 20th century.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to clap some erasers.

Slim


Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview


mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Allergic to Peanuts or to Good Manners?

Allergic to peanuts or to good manners?

Hey Florida, et. al.

In my Beaver Cleaver childhood, we left our lunch outside in the cupboard. We washed our hands. These were neither politically correct nor politically incorrect. They were not compliance with the ADA. They were not political issues, social issues, legal issues, or hygiene issues: they were not issues at all. We simply left our lunches in the cupboard and washed our hands. How did normal behaviour become so controversial?

When new neighbors moved in, I asked the parents if their child had a peanut allergy. Why? Because after work, I would mix a martini, make half a peanut butter sandwich and go out into the back yard. If we met over the fence, I did not want my sandwich to be the cause of an allergic reaction.

Maybe we can resolve the dispute my falling back on that old canard: Good manners?

Regards,


Slim

mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview

Monday, March 21, 2011

Netopian Reality

"People who criticize social media, are using the past to understand the present. That will never help them to understand tomorrow." Slim Fairview

Social Media is the Medium: Greater than the sum of its parts.
http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/social-media-is-medium-greater-than-sum.html

Still explaining the importance of social media to the naysayers.
http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/still-explaining-importance-of-social.html

Regards,

Slim

Facebook
Twitter,
Blogspot
Linkedin
SlideShare

"I have a Twitter account, a Facebook account, a Linkedin account and a Blog. At last. Finally I feel like a virtual person. For a while, I didn't think I was going to make it." -- Slim Fairview


Copyright(c) 2011 Slim Fairview

email slimfairview@yahoo.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Social Media is the Medium: Greater than the sum of their parts.

Social Media is the Medium: Greater than the sum of its parts.

How do you do it? Never mind. The real question is, “How will you be doing it?”

Some slow thinkers say, “Soon, tomorrow will be here.” The quick folk say, “Soon, tomorrow will be gone.”

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Blogspot, and SlideShare.

What do they all have in common besides each other? They are greater than the sum of their parts.

Write something. Save the document. Post it on your blog, on Facebook, on Slideshare. Click the links to share what you’ve written. They go to your Twitter account with a link to click that will take readers to your monograph.

If you’ve posted a document on SlideShare, the link will not only appear on the wall of your Facebook page, but there will be an option for you to choose that will allow a “thumbnail” of the document to appear. If a visitor to your Facebook page clicks the graphic, up pops the document.

Links will automatically appear on the home page of Linkedin—but wait, there’s more:

That document has provisions for links. These links will send your reader to supporting documents—and that’s still not all.

The printed word is now a global event no longer limited to the familiar and ever popular website.

The printed word is now appearing on the internet.

Publications, which include but are not limited to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, and others, are now on the internet.

Many of the articles invite commentary. It is there, that your brief thoughts can invite readers to view a more comprehensive expression of your opinions. Now, this is fine; however, there are business applications as well.

Websites like Linkedin offer the opportunity to create a global network of business colleagues.

Moreover, we’ve barely scratched the surface. Yesterday, I posted PowerPoint presentations on SlideShare. Yesterday, I should have been posting videos on YouTube.

These tools are the virtual offices in use. They are in use globally.

Virtual offices, virtual teams, virtual project management, presentations, lectures, speeches, meetings, all on your computer screen.

If you have a Mac, they are available to you in transit. If using a Mac is not an option, they are available to you on your iPad or your iPhone.

Meetings will not so much be detested by the members of your staff who have work to do, but more efficiently handled by logging on to a virtual meeting.

Documents, photos, contacts, and other information will be shared within seconds. No one will find it necessary (and cumbersome) to lug stuff to the conference room.

Costs will be cut significantly by having information available through links rather than through copies being handed out.

The business research formerly the domain of the business research department, is now a Google away.

Information can be reviewed, commented on, verified, questioned and affirmed, repudiated, or assigned for further review in moments.

Prep work for the meeting will take place in moments.

The tools that are available are not limited to home and office. Nor to your company, industry, or locale.

These tools will enable you to do business globally. I posted two PowerPoint presentations:

Global Management: A shift in the paradigm of corporate America

&

The Future of the G – 20 in Good Times and Bad.
For additional information:

For more monographs on management and business administration, please visit my blog: http://slimviews.blogspot.com
 

PS.  I am not Paul Harvey.  However, I am open to becoming a paid commentator, columnist, or blogger.

If you’ve found anything I said to be helpful, please don’t hesitate to send me one of those tricked-out laptops and to tuck a few dollars into the envelope along with the thank you note.


Sincerest regards,

Slim



PPS. I forgot to mention the email option: slimfairview@yahoo.com
Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sarah Palin and Mad Men

Sarah Palin, draws a crowd, sells books, makes appearances, (Uh, attracts customers?) some people would say she does not have campaign advisers she has a well-oiled marketing team. Look past the politics, the platform, the ideology and study marketing technique. Without the snide remarks. As the old marketing adage advises: "Find a need and fill it."

If I were half as good, people would be booking me for advice, speeches, and book tours.

Still, I was not spellbound by Sarah Palin. I was more fascinated by the public response (pros and cons). Hillary Clinton was an easy out for those who did not want to embrace a female governor who hunts and fishes and does all the guy stuff and does it better than most guys. (Anyone hear the "oops!" when she became the running mate?) Trick question. I'm not talking about the male voters.

Hillary Clinton is tough and smart. I don't hear people raising the cliché comments about women being tough and smart. Another myth debunked? (!)

None-the-less, in a business site, on a business topic, Sarah Palin should be a marketing study. So, too, should Hillary Clinton. However, this is best left for the B-school kids and the MBA candidates. (Although I'd be surprised if Mad Men aren't already in the midst of the study. Albeit one with ponderous academic overtones to deflect the critics. Waffles go best with maple syrup.

Regards,

Slim

Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview

Does Facebook use reduce worker productivity?

Does Facebook use reduce worker productivity?

Does training reduce worker productivity. Wouldn't it be better if we put new employees straight to work?

Why bother learning how to drive a car. You should get back to work making buggy-whips.

The complainers about social media have their heads buried in a block of concrete. True, if your job is to mow the lawn and you are twittering away your time on your iphone, you will be less productive. (Now that I've tossed the dog a bone.)

Facebook, twitter, blogs, the internet, virtual classrooms, virtual offices, virtual management, cloud computing, this is not the future. In fact, this is no longer the present. Tomorrow is yesterday. Get moving.


Regards,

Slim


Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com


copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Latest Trend in Management

Hiring a Hiring Manager. Or not. The Latest Trend in Management

"If you have no skills as a hiring manager, the solution is simple. Hire the best people available whether you like it or not." Slim Fairview

The boss should not be the super-person. The boss should be the super-worker.

Not the ubermenschen but rather the “uber-arbeitskraft“

Back in the day when I was going to write the great American novel, I took a holiday job in the packing and shipping department of an upscale company.

First the department got back up and my supervisor’s boss came in to put things right. We were soon backed up again. This time the VP came in to find out, “What do we have to do to get things caught up?” My boss looked at me. The VP looked at me. The next day I had a packing and shipping operation up and running.

What made my operation run so efficiently? I took advantage of my position as a supervisor to move up and down the line to bring the different stages of the operation into sync with the process. I could prepare product for packaging, I could box the product, and I could set up boxes for packing, and so on. Wherever my team needed help keeping up, I joined that stage of the process.

This is missing from the many admonitions to managers, young and old.

A good analogy for management would be to compare the experience of a substitute teacher to that of trying to herd cats. The fallacy of wisdom is that if you show up with a bag full of tuna sandwiches, the cats will embrace a common goal: tuna for lunch. Then reality strikes. One cat goes off in search of a jar of gherkins, another for a bag of chips, and another for a napkin. A smart boss knows that tuna fish sandwiches are not going to solve all the problems; and neither will a common goal. We may all agree on the destination, but we won’t all agree on the best route to get there.

Here is the conundrum: There may not be one right way or one best way. However, we do have to travel together—or not. These are the challenges. Different managers may have different views. Different team members may have different views; and, in addition, just as there may be no one right or wrong way to get to our destination, so there may not be one right or wrong way to manage. We cannot always have consensus either.

The biggest problem is the one size fits all philosophy of management instruction. Another, is the fact that employees come to the table with the notion that one style of management may be better than or worse than another style. (After all, how many employees attended the all-day seminar? How many employees have the three-fold brochure? They cannot be tricked or bullied into accepting a style of management that is not suitable. Suitable to whom? That is another question.

Today, management is being bullied into accepting one form of management as being superiour to another. Employees, team members, are convinced that one method of management is superiour to another. Imagine everyone’s surprise when the tables are turned.

Management has become a victim to trends in management. The latest trend will work if everyone on the team believes that he or she is benefiting from the latest, the newest, and the best that the consulting industry has to offer.


Dr. Henry Kissinger once said of fame, “You still bore people, but they think it’s their fault.”


Let’s not fall prey to the latest trend in management style and technique.


“Style never goes out of fashion, but fashion always goes out of style.”

Regards,

Slim

For additional material, read Ceo the Executive, or The Executive’s New Clothes.

http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2010/08/ceo-executive-or-executives-new-clothes.html


Mail. slimfairview@yahoo.com


Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Edison Invented the Light Bulb by Candlelight

Edison didn't invent a better candle. Still, Edison invented the light bulb by candlelight. All the new technology lacks one thing. It cannot convey a message to those who cannot see the new technology.

Egypt, A new world order--a world without borders.

We are moving rapidly from the land of Laptopistan written about in a Times article to Netopia.

What happens when movies on demand becomes TV on demand? What happens when television goes beyond the laptop through Google TV to a direct subscription system.

Time Warner may want to go beyond the old movies of TCM and began broadcasting, what? Leave it to Beaver? The Early episodes of The Simpsons? Gunsmoke? Two and a half men?

The Wolves at Tottenham that I cannot watch on ESPN will be available over the internet. Remember a few scant years ago when the music industry was in an uproar about Napster? Remember that free phone service of ten years ago and VOIP? That debate became moot with Skype.

The best idea broadcast television has come up with to attract viewers is to start airing programmes targeted at people who don't watch television. Thus, driving away viewers who do watch television. Then there is the newer technology.

Sit down to dinner, push a button, and your dining room wall becomes a massive flat-screen television screen allowing you to have dinner with your sister and her family in Bismarck, North Dakota. (Home to the Raccoon National Cemetery.)

The social interaction will move people quickly into Netopia. Your son studying in Sweden, your daughter the doctor on a humanitarian aid mission to Japan for the recent floods, a BritCom years before it hits Channel 13. (American idiom for The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which used to be National Education Television before the marketing people realised that people don't watch television to get an education only to appear to have gotten an education. (There is a sentence in there somewhere: some assembly required.)

What a shame those in the broadcast industry can’t see what is going to happen. Then, too, they don’t seem to be able to see what is actually happening. If only we could figure out whether it’s because they’re watching too much television or not enough.


Regards,


Slim

Mail: Slimfairview@yahoo.com


http://www.linkedin.com/in/slimfairview
Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Education Problem? Solution!

Education. Problem? Solution!


“There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labour of thinking.” Sir Joshua Reynolds. One of Thomas Alva Edison’s favourite quotations.


This is played out in the Great American Schools Debate. (Great debate, not great schools.) What happened? Why? What can be done to fix it?

First, I have come across nothing that substantiates the claim that using phonics to teach reading caused the decline in the ability of American students to read.

[Hold this thought. The decline was in test scores. We will return to that topic.]

There are numerous reasons that can be cited; and probably were. Failure to identify students needing glasses. Failure to identify students with ADHD. Failure to identify students who came from troubled homes, and so on.

Still, reading ability declined and we embraced a panicked approach to solving the problem—or not.

What really happened is the opportunity to make a buck. Exploiting children. Shaking America down for loot.

Some nincomperson writes a book and becomes an expert by appearing on talk show television. Was he an expert? Did reading ability

A. Go up

B. Go down

C. Stay the Same

D. All of the above

E. None of the above.

Mostly, they went down. Still, studies can and will show that all of the above is most likely correct. It depends on who did the test, on how the test was conducted, on why the test was conducted. None-the-less, children are less able to read today. How do I know this? Because everyone is in a panic to solve the problem of youngsters not learning to read.

Not too long ago, the demand was for better-educated teachers; more experienced teachers; better-looking teachers, and so on.

In a marketing strategy, and to appease parents, school officials fabricated a higher standard. Teachers with Masters Degrees, teachers with PhD’s, and teachers with more experience. This created an artificial demand and pushed up the price of education. This did not work. How do I know this? There is a continued demand to improve education in America.

Now, we have a new mantra: get rid of collective bargaining, fire experienced teachers, lower the cost of education, and everything will be hunky-dory. Will this strategy work? Have the experts been right before? No. How do I know this? If they were, there wouldn’t be a need to do something about declining education.

Now, I admit that my approach to examining the problem involves a bit of trickery. I am using common knowledge and common sense. However, please overlook that for the moment. Then again, don’t.

If performance is lower today than it was yesterday, then it must have been higher yesterday. If performance yesterday was lower than it was the day before, performance must have been higher the day before. Now, anyone with more intelligence than a five-pound bag of store brand cheese puffs will ask, “How did we teach children to read when children learned to read?” Answer, in the public arena, “Things were different back then.” To which I respond, “You’re darn tootin’ they were. Children learned to read.”

Now we get to teacher testing. The new demand is to test teachers. What an incredibly not smart idea.

1. The people who want teachers tested are the same people who inveighed against testing students. (Teaching to the test.)

2. The people who want teachers tested are the same people who’ve said, “Testing promotes memorization and memorization stifles creativity.” (All our children would be kings and captains of industry except that they had to memorize the times tables and that stifled their creativity.)

3. The people who are most concerned about testing teachers are the same people who relied on testing to banish phonics from the classroom. Do you remember what I asked you to set aside for later? [Hint: The decline was in test scores. We will return to that topic.]

Then there is the demand for charter schools. The people who laud charter schools, and cite low costs and high performance as compurgation for their position, apparently don’t listen to what they themselves are saying. They choose to ignore the part about how charter schools are unfettered by the opinions of the experts who are fettering public school education. How do I know that to be true? They are citing the poor performance in public schools. How do they know that? They cite test scores. How do they feel about testing? They don’t want children tested because teachers will teach to the test; however, they want teachers tested to see if the teachers know the subject matter. (There is a sentence in there somewhere, some assembly required.)

I once opined, online, that Parochial schools are doing a fine job at educating children. What no one waited to hear was this: “Parochial schools teach the way public schools used to teach when children learned to read.” What does that mean? Parochial schools are not fettered by the constraints imposed on public schools by the experts in education hired to solve the problems caused by experts in education.

Here is a novel idea. Let the teachers teach.


Regards,

Slim

Mail: slimfairview@yahoo.com

Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview

Related topics.

Teachers aren’t allowed to teach anymore.

http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2010/06/teachers-arent-allowed-to-teach-anymore.html

How many parents want their children to get the appearance of an education?

http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-many-parents-want-their-children-to.html

No excuse to fail.

http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2010/06/no-excuse-to-fail.html

The virtual classroom class reunion highlights.

http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/thye-virtual-classroom-class-reunion.html

Now, what about experts?

http://slimviews.blogspot.com/2010/11/experts.html

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Agent

I am looking for an agent to represent my two non-fiction efforts:

The Quotations of Slim Fairview

and the book I am assembling on management.

Anyone with an interest, please contact me.

mail: slimfairview@yahoo.com

Regards,

Slim

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Virtual Classroom Class Reunion Highlights

The Virtual Classroom

E learning in the classroom has been around a while. They started a programme in Pennsylvania a few years ago. In Pennsylvania, it is called Cyber-school. Enrollment is up. Students have graduated, gone on to college, and have done well. This, of course, is anecdotal. For a deeper knowledge of the topic, you might want to do research [wait for it] on line.

There is a great need for social interaction; however, that need for the classroom experience may recede as more youngsters live in Netopia.

One of the vital areas that a virtual experience would be powerful is on a topic that would make it virtually impossible (no pun intended) for every classroom to have access to the expert on that topic.

Instead of youngsters passing notes to their friends in study hall, they can have a chat set up. This may sound satirical at best, however, it does enable students to work in group while in a virtual classroom with a virtual teacher helping the students with their group activities. The virtual connection also allows students to research as they progress through the lesson.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go clap erasers.

Sincerest regards,

Slim

Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

India 2.0 The Future is Today

That India is a technological leader, not marching but rather moving smoothly and swiftly into the future, is seldom a matter for dispute. In fact, it is not really discussed but simply assumed as the conversation progresses.

Still, as with any country or economy, there are adjustments to be made in the economics of a country's economy.

The issue of food is uppermost on the minds of the people of India. In a previous monograph, I referred to increased supply. A literal understanding would be counter productive. The issue is not resolved by saying, "Grow more food." However, if we were to discuss the issue from that statement, we would have to ask, "Do the same number of farmers increase their output, or do we need an increase in the number of farmers?" A subtext would involve farmers joining to take advantage of economies to scale, and form large farms. (Remember, the absence of primogeniture caused the collapse of pre Soviet Russia. The absence of private ownership led to the collapse of post-Czarist Russia. Conclusion: many small farms don't satisfy the need; collective farming won't solve the problem.

The first issue to address is that India has a culture of co-operation. This will serve India well as time marches on. However, on the question of supply, we are not simply suggesting more food for today; but a stable supply of food for a foreseeable future.

Two problems indicated in recent reports from the media are that

1. India cannot get food to the market. It rots before it can be sold or eaten; and 2. That the fluctuation in food prices in a largely agricultural nation has a greater impact in that nation than they would in a heavily industrialised nation.

Some options to consider.

If there is difficulty getting food to the market,

the food can be preserved at the source. Canned and frozen foods, processed at the source, can be stored as a hedge against future food supply failures. In addition, they can be sold on the national and international market. (The marketing of Indian cuisine can become a larger industry. I had curry for the first time when I was about 9 years old. Only recently have Indian food products made their appearance in supermarkets. That is a gap of almost half a century.)

The food supply prices can be leveled slightly through the investment in commodity options. This would allow investment consortia to

a. Have food available at a more affordable price if food prices rise considerably
b. Provide a return on the investment if national supplies are sufficient to meet demand
c. Provide the necessary supply of food to process for market and hedge against a future crop failure
d. Attract investors to partner with the agriculture, manufacturing, and finance industries to bring in money for capital investment.

The government can assume the responsibility of developing roads; negotiating trade deals (read: taxes, tariffs, concessions, etc.), and provide for a stable food supply and food pricing system to stabilise the government.

The economic growth, political stability, national unity, can be promoted.

Now, many people are skilled in the various areas mentioned above. The only thing necessary is what is too often referred to as a shared vision. This monograph is a demonstration of one of the few times that the term, shared vision, may perhaps have been used appropriately.

Sincerest regards,

Slim

Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com


Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview