Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘character

Twitter is just now experimenting with 280-character tweets instead of 140-character ones. Stephen Colbert saw the humour in doing this and tweeted:

The Twitterati will have more room to express itself. But this also gives hate groups and hateful individuals room to do disproportionately more damage.

The increase is also not sustainable. When 280 characters is not enough, is Twitter going to increase the quota again? It might cite its research on the numbers game and say no. But does it have research on the hate and vitriol that some individuals or groups receive regularly?

When these individuals or groups report these incidents, they are largely ignored or swept under the carpet. What data does it have on how often this happens?


Video source

When Twitter defended Trump’s veiled tweeted threat to destroy North Korea, what data did it use to call the tweet newsworthy? It probably played the numbers game (views, favourites, retweets) instead of considering what was ethical.

It is easier to increase the tweet character limit and to cite tweet counts. These implementations are lines of code and a superficial analysis away. It is more difficult to do what is right.

Doing what is right means drawing a line on the ground and not crossing it. What is right or wrong may change with time and context, but the need to keep drawing those lines does not. People need to know where you stand.

This tweet was a timeless reminder that schooling is not the same as education. You can be educated without school; you can get schooled without being educated.

The embedded article focused on how the teaching of virtues and cultivating character distinguished education from schooling. It put forward its case more articulately than my bumbling attempt that schooling was about enculturation while education was about self-actualisation.

But I combined both now with this: I was schooled. I became educated.

I was schooled. I became educated.

The Minister’s intention might have been a call to replace negative and old mindsets with positive and more current ones.

But as mrbrown tweeted, the “positive” parent was not that much more progressive either. After all, who are we to judge the worth of a person or their work?

Studying is important, but academic ability is not the only thing that will “make a better world”. There is no curriculum, GCE exam, or PISA test for passion, empathy, drive, charisma, etc. So how do we know if we have enough of these qualities?

I suggest some missing signs that hint at changes in our collective mindset:

  • When papers do not laud exam results and make year-on-year rankings
  • When the same papers do not focus on our PISA or university rankings
  • When enrichment and formulaic tuition centres close down
  • When parents stop asking inane questions about what counts for grades
  • When kiasuparentsDOTcom is accessible only on way back machine

In other words, it will be a long time yet since generations have not been weaned of Singapore schooling and being kiasu is still as staple as rice.


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