TaN: [Another last minute inclusion] All these talk and speculations regarding the missing Malaysian Airline MH370 plane among the general population is getting out of control. With the exception of those who are directly involved — like the search teams and their support groups, the media, the families and friends — the rest of the general population (especially the armchair and amateur tragedy analysts wannabes) should move on to other more relevant matters and issues.
It is not as if there is nothing else happening in the world around us, let us refrain from wasting our time speculating and second guessing to no avail. As for the media, even if it is your duty to report on events and developments that are happening, especially if they are of public interest or what people should know about, we still have to leave the guesswork and expert opinions to the experts and stop adding to the confusion. Most of all, let us not give false hopes to the relatives and loved ones of the ill-fated flight. Do not add to their misery.
TaN: This week being Final Examinations Week, it must be noted that high grades prove nothing except that a student is good at taking tests. Just like one of the arguments of those who are against the (current ongoing) push in the United States (of America) where standardized testing is being made public policy as a means to “establish stronger accountability measures in public education” (to quote from Wikipedia), good test scores only prove that a student is a good test taker — because, admit it or not, there are patterns in test questions and once a student “sees” the pattern, it is but a matter of following it and get high scores.
Morever, high test scores does not accurately nor correctly measure the degree of learning of a student because he could know all the answers to questions that were not asked in the test but none of those asked. Does it make the student any less knowledgeable than the one who aced the test? Even if the odds or laws of probability are against this happening, it nevertheless illustrates the argument. This is similar to the argument that if a student answers a question (verbatim) with what was read, it only proves that the student has done some reading — and, at most, knows what the right answer to the question is — it does not prove that there was any understanding. The answer must be phrased in a different manner to show comprehension.
Just as the Finland phenomenon has repeatedly revealed, tests and assignments are poor gauges of a student’s learning and comprehension. Conventional formal education — private or public — merely equips a person with the deemed necessary knowledge, experience, and skill for a future purpose, which is usually to be employed. If future employment is the objective of all the tests then students are not being educated but trained — for teaching imparts to the recipient what s/he needs while training imparts what will make the recipient useful.
Moreover, in this day and age of information the importance of formal education is becoming more and more irrelevant as information is very accessible from cyberspace — although it is still to be taken with a grain of salt whatever can be retrieved for we must learn to sift through the plethora of truths and the morass of falsehoods and half-truths cicrulating. With the Internet, formal education is becoming a thing of the past. Today, what is important is no longer what you know but whether you can do the job (right) or not.
Testing — specifically standardized testings — have become another means of generating huge profits with little or no effort (mainly by making it mandatory, like through government as public policy as mentioned earlier in this TaN or introduced into programs in private education where fees will collected from students) and ensuring monopoly with the use of copyrights. However, if you examine the purpose analytically and critically, they are usually have flimsy objectives that do not stand up to scrutiny and/or there are other much better and more effective and efficient ways to achieve the same goal.
One case is the testing to determine the proficiency of students in the English language for the purpose of making them “globally competitive” — as if the mere fluency of a language, and specifically has to be English, was any guarantee that a student automatically becomes “globally competitive”. But, if you consider that China, India, Malaysia, Japan, (S) Korea are all globally competitive and yet the average man-on-the-street barely knows how to speak and even just pronounce (proper) English — let alone be fluent. So, what are the tests really for — your guess is as good as mine but I am certain it is not to be “globally competitive” as they keep repeating like a mantra.
TaN: The first step in healing is to have or make the correct diagnosis — i.e., identifying the problem or the cause of the problem (and not the symptoms or manifestations). It is not infrequent that many misdiagnoses — good intentions or absence of malice notwithstanding — leads to many medical complications, some lethal. If the problem is or cannot be properly identified, it stands to reason that the solution will not be appropriate and therefore will not address the issue — although, on occasions, it could be coincidental that the “wrong or inappropriate” solution, somehow, solves the problem.
Moreover, after the problem has been correctly identified, the next (correct) step is to trace the problem to its root/s. This is because many often mistake symptoms or manifestations as the actual problems. Only by determining the root/s of the problem and not just focusing on the symptoms will the proper solution become evident. This is a common and usual mistake of conventional or mainstream (allopathic) medicine.
Many different problems share the same symptoms. By sorting through the morass of intermingling symptoms and zeroing on the true or root of the problem, the correct prescriptive remedy can be made. Improper or misdetermination of the root frequently worsen the situation. This is a major reason why a common consequence of modern chemical-based Big Pharma-directed medical treatment is the addition of medical conditions — which they then argue is only the natural progression (or retrogressin) of things.
Take the case of an overweight or obese person eventually developing diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, kidney and liver problems, heart or cardiovascular (CV) disease, and/or cancer. Instead of the decreasing or remedying the medical condition, a patient experiences increasing types of diseases even as the pharmaceuticals keep on piling up. Now, how can anyone consider this as progress or improvement — when the patient only gets worse the more treatments and therapies are applied.
The only evidence and proof that there is healing is that there will be no additional diseases or medical conditions or worsening of the current medical issue. Anytrhing else means the protocol is not working.
TaN: [Still another last minute inclusion] The article title “JBC accepting applications for SC justice” (The Philippine STAR, March 9, 2014, URL: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/03/09/1298788/jbc-accepting-applications-sc-justice) gives a very embarrassing impression that our justices of the SC are so wanting and hungry that they have lost or set aside their dignity and would apply for the position. Have we no shame or at least self-respect and wait for others nominate us? “Konting pakipot naman; huwag garapal.” If we are so hungry for the position, at least let us pretend we are not that interested and “act surprised and be modest” when others nominate us to be justice of the SC (even if you have to “pay” someone to nominate you) — or are we afraid no one will nominate us?
However, the positive side will be that we are on a (personal) crusade to clean up the ranks of the judiciary and cannot afford to wait for others to nominate us or that we feel that we cannot expect those who prefer the status quo to nominate someone who will “rock the boat” – therefore we have to apply for the position in order to get a foothold inside and introduce changes and reforms. Whichever, I still think it is distasteful to apply. If they do not want changes and reforms, I cannot impose myself on them — an interesting dilemma indeed.