Thursday, 21 December 2017

Hello this is... from Nationwide Market Research

and..."  I am sorry. She got no further. I do not answer "research" questions like that - especially at around 6pm. I just put the phone down.
I might not have thought any more of that call - it isn't the first I have received and it won't be the last - but there is a long letter in this morning's paper suggesting that the call was for the purpose of "push-polling" for an unnamed political party. I suspect the letter had a similar purpose - and even the decision to publish it might have had a similar purpose.  
Now I understand why people might want to do that but I find it abhorrent. It should be illegal. Trying to get people to change their minds without offering them any valid reasons is unconscionable.
It is another attempt to take away freedom of thought.
We are surrounded by such attempts. It is what advertising is all about - although the pseudo-reasons will be there. 
I was talking to someone earlier this week. She teaches "digital technology" in a secondary school. She is teaching students to "code".  I have no idea how to write the codes which instruct computers but I do know a great deal relies on the ability to do just that. I also know that there are two things you need in order to be good at coding. One is that you need to understand and apply the language or code.  The other is that you need to be creative. You need to be able to use your imagination. If one approach does not work then you need to try another approach.
The teacher's complaint to me was that her students were lacking in imagination. She said her students weren't reading. They were not playing imaginative games. They have spent so much time in front of a screen being entertained that they have not managed to learn to think for themselves. They expect the answers to come without them having to think for themselves.
I find that frightening. These are the very students who are going to need to take over the running of the world's vital communication systems. I already know many of them have difficulty physically manipulating a pen or pencil and that they have genuine difficulties putting their thoughts on paper. If they can't think creatively and question what they are being told then we have a much bigger problem.
They are going to answer calls from Nationwide Market Research and be influenced without ever thinking about the issues.  We need to change that and change it quickly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What dull lives they will have, and it is scary to think that they will have responsible jobs, but with no idea how that responsibility will affect other real people.