Friday, October 27, 2006

Start with the basics, dumbass

read books
Originally uploaded by f.trainer.
I am once again in London for my work. I still have to adjust my brain to the fact that this city is really really big. Was running embarrassingly late from every single meeting today. But at least day started with the Londoner acrobacy, i.e. handling the public transport ticket, cup of hot coffee, bag, jacket and a newspaper when running to the Underground.

The most shocking news of today came in a meeting with the BBC. I asked my contact person what other projects she is working on. She told me that there is a big literacy project that she is responsible for. "Oh, is that a big problem then", I innocently asked. "Well, i would say so. In the age group 25-55 we have 12 million people who are illiterate."

I still cannot understand that. In Finland we do not have top of the class universities but everyone can read. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world you have TWELVE MILLION people who cannot read properly. I find it shocking, just shocking. Have to digest this a bit. How on earth is that possible? What and when went so wrong? And what does it do to your democracy?


Anonymous said...

Shocking statistics, indeed. It is strange how on the other hand Britain has some of the best newspapers, richest literary cultures and world-class universities. It is still a class society, and it seems that while some parts of the education system flourish, many other parts are failing spectacularly.

There have been reports of schools turning to battle grounds, places where the teachers' time is spent on maintaining order rather than teaching; there is shortage of qualified teachers as the salaries are not only not competitive but with rising property prices just not enough to get by with; there's also a growing "ghetto culture", where not only immigrants but "local" people get sidetracked from education and working life very early, and seemingly very eagerly - social Darwinism is living on and more and more people are quickly deciding they don't have what it takes in the education system, so they turn to getting street cred instead.

If there ever was a strong case for the Nordic welfare state, this is it.

Tommi Laitio said...

Good points. Wanted to go and buy books today here in London but woke to the issue too late only to find out that bookstores close at six.

I remember the Finnish philosopher Pekka Himanen surprising at least me with his answer once during a lecture when he was asked what is the most important element of the Finnish information society model. Himanen said:"The most important thing is that in Finland every one can read and write." Now when I think of it I think he really hits the right note. Illiteracy makes you so dependent on the interpretations of others and cut you out of public life.

Jami said...

I find this much more chocking. The Finns needed not to tolerate it, but...Scandinavian intolerance is deep rooted in their culture:

Pohjoismaiden neuvoston kirjallisuuspalkinnon säännöt paljastavat hyvin mitenkä pohjoismaissa suhtaudutaan suomenkielisiin pohjoismaalaisiin:

& 5. Ehdolle asettaminen:

"Jos ehdolle asetettua teosta ei ole saatavilla ruotsiksi, norjaksi tai tanskaksi, teoksen ehdolle asettaneen Suomen, Islannin, Färsaarten, Grönlannin ja saamelaisen kielialueen kansallisen lautakunnan tai kirjailijajärjestön on välittömästi käännätettävä se jollekin mainitusta kolmesta kielestä keskusteltuaan asiasta ensin kansallisen sihteeristönsä kanssa."

Suomen kieli rinnastetaan siis fäärin kieleen, grönlannin kieleen, islannin kieleen sekä saamen kieliin! Fääriä puhuu Wikipedian mukaan "reilusti yli 70 000", grönlannin kieltä 54 000 , islantia 291 000 ihmistä ja saamen kieliä 30 000-40000 pohjoismaalaista. Suomea puhuu sentään 5,5 miljoonaa pohjoismaalaista varovastikin arvioiden.

Olisi kiva tietää onko nordisti-rasistien mielestä suomenkielisiä "liikaa" vai "liian vähän", ruotsin, norjan ja tanskan puhujiin verrattuna, reilumman kohtelun saamiseksi, jotta suomen kieli voitaisiin nostaa samaan asemaan niiden kanssa edes Pohjoismaiden kirjallisuuspalkintoa jaettaessa.

§ 3. Palkintolautakunta:
"Palkittavan teoksen valitsee palkintolautakunta, jossa on kymmenen varsinaista jäsentä, eli kaksi jäsentä Suomesta (yksi kummaltakin kielialueelta), Ruotsista, Norjasta, Tanskasta ja Islannista, sekä mahdollisia liitännäisjäseniä Färsaarilta, Grönlannista ja saamelaiselta kielialueelta."

Nordisti-rasistien pakkomatematiikassa 5,6 % = 50 %! Reilua vai mitä? Ja suomalaiset pelkäävät protestoida!

Suomen ehdokaskirjat:

Eva-Stina ByggmästarÄlvdrottningenRunokokoelma, Söderströms 2006

Markku PaasonenLauluja mereen uponneista kaupungeista (Sånger om sjunkna städer)Proosarunokokoelma, Teos 2005, Occident 2006(Ruotsintanut Henrika Ringbom)

Oikeampi suhdehan olisi 1/20 eli kerran 10:ssä vuodessa yksi ruotsinkielinen kirja ehdolla Suomesta, mutta pohjoismainen germaanimatematiikka onkin eri asia.