ponce on the heath wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
I should think there probably are less exalted ways in than astrophysics, though I don't know about them. At the risk of bringing everything back to Michael Gove, I think school would be a good place to start, but it's increasingly likely a kid will get pushed into history or geography and away from a technology-type subject.
Astrophysics is an extreme example admittedly, figured it would reflect the discrepancy between the finesse of today's leading fields with those of a few generations ago (if that makes sense)
I can say with certainty that I am one of those who always preferred history to a technical subject, and now regret ignoring the sciences to the extent I will read pretty much anything to do with nebulae, Tesla, stem cells and so on. However I think that Gove or no, an applied understanding of history and geography can work miracles in dispelling any amount of institutionalised bullshit a curriculum can inflict on a young mind. Malcolm may wish to add a thought to that though.
In terms of more practical sciences, i.e infrastructural development, I've never understood why there isn't more public demand for a nationalised labour force that deals specifically with these kinds of projects and trains people with the necessary skills. Even if all the revenue raised went back into wages, surely it would be in the public interest to do so, purely as a mechanism for solving unemployment? Surplus workers could after all, work abroad with few restrictions thanks to the EU (I think Cuba has a similar scheme regarding medical students).
Or am I on dangerously socialist ground here?
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Be wary of learning off me though- I put what I did here about sovereign wealth funds on another board, and got told I had no idea. If anyone knows why I'm wrong to say states set them up with revenues from oil (among other things) and invest them as they see fit, please let me know.
As a general rule I'd say only accept criticism if it comes with verifiable correction. And no, I haven't a clue
I'm like you, much preferred history to anything sciency- actually forced to do all 3 sciences for GCSE, and got a B in each, but didn't enjoy it or take it in properly. Like it now though. I was thinking of kids who'd love technology sitting bored in history classes, which I think will happen more because of ebacc. History itself is of course a fine subject in itself.
I think the private sector does the work on infrastructure because it's flexible and planning stuff so they always had work to do is beyond us. I read that Germany wins train orders not because it rigs the contract procedure but because its government plans stuff so that there's work there when their firms want it, so they too can be ready with competitive bids. We have loads of train companies who order carriages when it suits them. We then wonder why there's only one British-based firm in the running, which is actually Italian, and, some say, not that interested anyway at board level. I'm not sure working abroad a lot of the time would be that attractive to people in the structure you suggest.
The critic on the other board is incredibly clever but not around. I'm sure he's right, or I didn't explain it properly.