Issue #400
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Hello!

Wow, 400 issues?! This week: attitudes are skills, removing exam stress, why life can't be simpler, and more!

On my personal blog this week I published:
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At times, our strengths propel us so far forward we can no longer endure our weaknesses and perish from them

Psychedelic image representing billionaires steamrollering the earth
🤑 We can’t have billionaires and stop climate change

📹 How to make video calls almost as good as face-to-face

⏱️ How to encourage your team to launch an MVP first

☑️ Now you can enforce your privacy rights with a single browser tick

🤔 Why Life Can’t Be Simpler

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Quotation-as-title from Nietzsche. Image from top-linked post.

Reducing exam stress by removing pointless exams

In the UK, it used to be the case that children could leave school at 16. This was the reason for 'O' levels (which my parents took), and GCSEs, which I sat at that age.

However, these days, young people must remain in education or training until they are 18 years old. What, then, is the point of taking exams aged 16 and 18?

A group of Tory MPs has written a report, with one of the authors, Flick Drummond, making some good points:
The paper argues that preparation for GCSE exams means that pupils miss a large chunk of valuable learning because of the time taken up with mock exams and revision, followed by the exams themselves. “That’s almost six months out of a whole year spent preparing for exams,” said Drummond.
She said she was particularly concerned by the impact of exams on mental health, citing a report backed by the Children’s Society in August that ranked England 36th out of 45 countries in Europe and North America for wellbeing.
Instead, the new report says, the exams should be replaced by a baccalaureate, which would cover several years’ study and would allow children more time from the age of 15 to settle on the subjects they wanted to study in the sixth form for A-levels or vocational qualifications such as T-levels and apprenticeships, and to explore potential careers in a structured way.
Richard Adams, Tory MPs back ditching GCSE exams in English school system overhaul (The Guardian)

As a parent of children who could be affected by this, I actually think this should be trialled first in the private sector and then rolled out in the state sector. Too often, the private sector benefits from treating state school pupils as guinea pigs, and then cherry-picking what works.

The clever man often worries; the loyal person is often overworked

Man in field sitting at desk and computer
👏 Blue sky thinking: is it time to stop work taking over our lives?

👍 Attitudes are skills

🤦‍♂️ How Not To Kill People With Spreadsheets

🕸️ Viral Effects Are Not Network Effects

🤯 Inventing Virtual Meetings of Tomorrow with NVIDIA AI Research

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Quotation-as-title from a Chinese proverb. Image from top-linked post.

Until next week!

Doug
Dr. Doug Belshaw is an Open Thinkerer, currently working with We Are Open Co-op to help make the world more open and awesome. You can hire him to help improve your organisation!

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Some say he's moving on. Others think he's grooving on. No-one thinks he's bourguignon.
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