Outside of pockets of extreme deprivation, children’s society is severely restricted by our practice of placing children under the equivalent of house arrest. In only three generations, children in the British Isles as well as the United States have lost their freedom to roam, their independently explorable territories shrinking from hundreds of acres to the dimensions of each child’s own back yard. This is not an accusation toward parents; their decisions reflect their judgments about their children’s safety in the world. Specifically, parents judge that there is no community beyond their doors that they can rely on to keep their children safe. Christopher Alexander’s Pattern 57: Children in the City (A Pattern Language) states that “If children are not able to explore the whole of the adult world around them, they cannot become adults. But modern cities are so dangerous that children cannot be allowed to explore them freely.” Unfortunately, this has become the case not just in large cities, but in small towns and even rural areas.The Last of the Monsters with Iron Teeth | Carcinisation
Very impressed with how awesome the Mozilla Science track is looking. I’m co-facilitating a session on ‘Learning Analytics in the age of Big Data’ on Saturday at MozFest. Kudos to the team for getting the track details up so early.
I played the UK National Lottery for 150 years and lost £22,618…
(UK National Lottery Simulatorvia @benosteen, )
The growth of technology in the workplace means many jobs that existed 30 years ago are no longer required. Across whole swaths of industry, workers on production lines have been gradually replaced by robots. Factories that once employed tens, or even hundreds, of people are now run by machines and a handful of maintenance workers.
Furthermore, competition from low-wage countries, such as China, means many manufacturing industries – and the jobs they supported – no longer exist or are much diminished. In the mid-1980s, one in every five people employed in the UK worked in manufacturing, many of them in mid-skilled jobs. By last year, that figure had fallen to one in 12.
Offices have changed as well. No longer are they populated by filing and accounts clerks and typing pools. Records are stored on computer databases and spreadsheets, and everyone does their own typing. High-skilled workers are in more demand because they are able to make maximum use of new technologies. The most rapid growth in employment in recent years has been among professionals and technicians who possess the digital skills to exploit technological change.
Meanwhile, there has also been strong growth in the number of low-skilled, low-paid workers – just look at all the coffee and sandwich shops that populate the typical high street compared with 10 years ago. The mystery is why rapid growth in demand for high-skilled workers has seen their real wages rise over the past 20 years, while similar rapid growth in demand for low-skilled workers has been associated with real wage stagnation. The answer is that there are more people chasing every low-skilled job than every high-skilled one.
Mid-skilled workers who lose their jobs initially try to find a comparable job that makes full use of their talents. Some succeed but, because of the shrinking number of mid-skilled jobs, many do not. They do not have the qualifications to move up the skills ladder, so eventually they are forced to move down it and compete for low-skilled jobs. Employers faced with many applicants for every low-skilled vacancy are therefore under no pressure to increase wages. At the same time, increasing numbers of people who cannot find the type of work they want are opting for self-employment, even though it means earning less than they formerly did.
This is an important read. The jobs market is, and always will be, an arms race. The thing is to have more (or more relevant) credentials than other people going for the same job. I firmly believe Open Badges could be a differentiator here.