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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Public Arch servers

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Public Arch servers
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 13:46:50 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) XEmacs/21.4 (Portable Code, linux)

Don't forget to remove James Blackwell.

>>>>> "Miles" == Miles Bader <address@hidden> writes:

    Miles> I now live in Japan, and because the culture is more
    Miles> unfamiliar (and insular), it's harder for me to make
    Miles> judgements; however I'd say this attitude [== poorly
    Miles> educated and proud of it] is less evident here -- there's
    Miles> some sense that most people do in fact respect education

No, they respect certificates (and working hard---working smart earns
no points, it's the hours, not the results, that matter).  It doesn't
matter what kind of fool bears them.  It's very much the way most
Americans admire wealth, even if it was inherited or won in a lottery.
True, it's more meritocratic than inherited wealth, but unfortunately
higher education corresponds even less to socially useful skills here
than it does in most places.

"Education is the curse of the thinking classes."

    Miles> -- but from what I see of pop culture trends, the future is
    Miles> perhaps less cheery.

As everywhere, pop culture is pop culture.  Hardly the kids' fault,
either.  If you think the RIAA is bad, you should look at JASRAC (the
Japanese version of ASCAP).  There's a reason why Komuro Tetsuya pays
his taxes to the US, not to Japan (and I'm not referring to the fact
that marginal tax rates are smaller, the gap is small, although for
Komuro it amounts to a couple hundred thousand USD per year).

It's the poverty of nerd culture (aka o-taku) that worries me, but
from here in the trenches I'm optimistic.  The students I'm seeing
today are less "well-educated" than in the past but the percentage of
those who can think, as well as the percentage of those who actually
do think, is rising.  (Whether Heinlein's "miniscule percentage who
can think and do so regularly" is rising is something I can't get a
sufficiently large sample to judge, but Tanaka Koichi's Nobel Prize
gives cause for hope.)

    Miles> and personally I'm _really_ tired of snide digs against the
    Miles> U.S.,

What snide dig?  All he implied was that he comes from a social class
where people accumulate credentials, and are proud of them.  It's a
harmless hobby ;-), but as he also implied, that hobby is without
question less prevalent in the U.S. than some other countries.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN

            It's Monday.  Who needs any more excuse than that?

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