Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘misnomer

This tweet reminded me about how Facebook tries to redefine friends. You might end up with thousands of “friends”, most of whom you have not met in person or online. You might not even know these people and some might even be your enemies. These are not friends; they are barely acquaintances. 

Twitter is guilty of misnomers too. Take “likes” as an example. If you want to keep track of a tweet but not propagate it, you have to like it. You actually want to bookmark or archive it for later reference, but you have to send a wrong message to the tweeter and a wrong data point to Twitter.

These platforms are not reinventing the wheel. They are reshaping it so that it is twisted out of shape and feeds their data-hungry appetites.

Words matter. We need to say what we mean, and mean what we say.

I am not being pedantic about semantics. But I am particular about saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

If we do not have shared meanings, we do not have common reference points. Then when we try to solve problems, we might go off on different tangents and risk being irrelevant. 

This commentary used job disruptions brought on by COVID-19 to declare:

Such developments underscore the need for re-training and upskilling: By reminding us that we can thrive amid a generational maelstrom, and even in the same industry, if we embrace lifelong learning.

But I wonder if we, as a country, have actually embraced lifelong learning.

The author mentioned UNESCO Education Commission’s four pillars of education and highlighted one of them: Learning to know. The other three are learning to be, learning to do, and learning to live together.

If these are crucial elements in an updated concept of lifelong learning, I wonder if we have embraced all those pillars. Let’s just take the highlighted one of learning to know.

In the context of reskilling, knowing something new is not the same of doing something new. That said, I have no doubt that many have learnt “to do” to survive the pandemic. But is this lifelong learning? Might the disruption have forced emergency learning or a circumstance-based learning?

I also found the headline (“finally embracing lifelong learning”) to contrast with the content. For example:

… researchers at the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) have found a relatively sharp decline in engagement with technologies for learning among those between the ages of 40 and 70 years

If the low take-up of SkillsFuture courses is an indication of “lifelong learning”, then this is not good news. The author cited a guest speaker who indicated that:

…the lack of recognition for Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) by businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, would prevent working adults from taking up SkillsFuture courses.

Later in the commentary, the author described how someone who dealt more with “head” work would find “hand” work demeaning. This might also contribute to low SkillsFuture take-up.

Only the last several sentences in the article were congruous with the headline. They highlighted how people signed up for upskilling and employment programmes during the current pandemic. So I have ask: Have we really embraced lifelong learning when what we have is just a year-long snapshot?

I have always wondered why the references are to conversation bubbles, belief bubbles, online bubbles, etc.

Bubbles are easy to pop. Those conversations, beliefs, or groups are not. They are more like walled gardens or even fortified castles.

“Bubbles” is a misnomer and yet we perpetuate its use by not questioning it.

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