TaN: Wouldn’t it be a great idea to have a foundation or nongovernmental organization (NGO) sponsor and/or produce a television program where only students who are eager to get an education become contestants and the prizes are scholarships — that are non-negotiable or non-transferrable? This will encourage more indigenous and out-of-school or school dropouts (due to financial reasons) to return to school.
The contestants would have to prove their “eagerness” and determination by passing an initial audition phase before appearing in the television program. During the television program, they will compete for scholarships — of course, only to selected but good schools, mainly due to financial considerations of the foundation/NGO.
Moreover, the contract (terms and conditions) or agreement with the contestant will include the condition that s/he will not exceed more than a year longer than the supposed duration of his/her education until graduating and ready to find a job.
The selected or accredited schools will likewise have to agree to exclude these scholars from any and all fees and charges outside of the tuition — after all, these scholars will make up only a teeny tiny percentage of the overall student population and they would hardly make a dent in the school’s revenue. Of course, this goes without saying should the selected/accredited school be a state or government school the aforementioned condition is a given.
Other interested parties who would like a piece of the action can serve as sponsors and additional financiers.
In addition, this can likewise serve as some kind of a monitoring process for those currently enjoying scholarships whereby they show-off what they have learned and for the respective schools where the scholars are enrolled to display the quality of their curriculum and educational system. The public can see how effective their (i.e., the schools) “brand” of education is and how they compare against the rest of the industry players.
Furthermore, in this manner, there will be transparency in the awarding of scholarships as well as everything will go on public record.
It’s just a thought.
TaN: With the advent and growth of the new science of materials design and fabrication, an ethical issue arises. This new science develops new materials and have been perfecting the technique of pre-determining how long (or the productive lifespan) a specific material will endure or last before it breaks down or apart and goes to the trash heap.
By this alone, there is no ethical issue. The (ethical) issue arises when manufacturers make use of this information to design and develop products with a pre-determined operational lifespan with the objective or purpose of ensuring increased repeated business due to the shortened productive period. This enables the manufacturers to control and manipulate market consumption and pre-program the expiry date. The ethical issue here is: Is it ethical to manufacture products with a pre-determined useful lifespan without disclosure to the consumer — i.e., to ensure a captive market for a product that has been designed to breakdown within a short period of productive lifespan thereby guaranteeing continued inflow of profit and not with consumers’ interest or welfare in mind.
Moreover, aside from being unethical, intentionally designing or “pre-programming” a product for something as shallow as (pure) profit is as low as it comes. In a video I watched years ago (and I cannot seem to locate it again) — produced by German television In Focus when their printer developed problems and they tried to find a repair shop that led to an in-depth probe — it was revealed that technology manufacturers use materials with known (and tested) productive lifespans for the sole purpose of ensuring repeat business at the soonest possible time without discouraging consumers because they develop problems too frequently and too soon.
The upside in this issue is that knowledge of exactly when a particular material will lose integrity or productivity is good when it is used in the scheduling of regular maintenance and repair and anticipate breakdowns or in order that new and better materials that will have been developed later can replace the previous material and not have to wait for the latter to breakdown. But this is seldom the case, especially with the over-emphasis on profit and materialistic wealth accumulation. As they say, When money gets into the discussion, it is always about the money.
TaN: Plagiarism has not been applicable ever since the maturity of the World Wide Web. And this is not yet including or considering the explosion of media (both commercial and social) and the rise of mobile and portable telecommunications.
Nowadays, it is next to impossible not to read or hear about something. Given this, who can truly say that s/he has not read or heard something before. It is extremely difficult to have an original thought, unless you happen to be cut off from the inter-connected world for a long time — like living in a cave or in the remote rainforest for 5 to 10 years.
This makes it extremely difficult to claim originality or plagiarism. And what is to important about being original? We are forgetting that what is important is that the truth comes out, that what we do or say benefits the common good, and that lay claim over the source or origin of something is does not even come close to being as important as whether it contributes to the furtherance of development, (true and sustainable and responsible) universal progress, and serves as a stepping stone to the next good thing.
It is just like the simpler issue in copyright and intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry — specifically in the sub-industry of music — where there are a mere eight fundamental notes or tones to build and combine and recombine to produce all the wonderful music and melodies we are currently enjoying…and which the music industry puts so much effort into curtailing our pleasure as if they have not already profited immensely and obscenely from it already.
Think about it, just eight simple notes and so much music has been produced. Now imagine now many the letters of the alphabet are in comparison and the much greater number of possible combinations and permutations that can be made.
So we must get over our selfish desire — not a need — to feed our own ego, our pride, our desire to be recognized and idolized and glorified. True progress and development can only come from altruistic sharing and cooperation and collaboration and giving selflessly to all for everyone’s benefit.
With so much greed going around, I would not be surprised to see patents and copyright infringement fights, challenges, and counter charges emerge from people claiming to have “monopoly rights and royalty” over specific segments of a tune just because they happen to be the exact same sequence in another earlier one that they have crafted.
When or where will it stop? Can I have patent or copyright over just one musical note so that all tunes that begin with that note should pay royalty to me? How much similarity should there be before it can be called or ruled as plagiarism, patent violation, copyright infringement, or whatever the other legalese there is. How greedy can we be? How narcissistic can we be? How pitifully deprived of recognition and adulation are we? How sad.