Apparently a phenomena exists in Ireland called academic inflation, I say apparently because a man came onto my telly last evening and told me and the rest of the dumb(ing down) Irish RTE audience that it had now become apparent. Our results were up our intelligence just had to be down.
Contrast that attitude with the Korean executive interviewed in the recent BBC virtual revolution documentary who assured us the only assurance he could offer was that the next generation would be smarter than us. Now our telly fella wasn't just some dumb ole bloke stumbling onto telly by accident, he was a respectable Irish middle aged middle manager type interviewed by the main evening news, he worked for the internet search giant Google (his pontifications taken seriously enough as to illict a response/rebutel /clarification from the Minister for education) If I recollect correctly (highly unlikely) telly fella had a corporate sounding google title like ' vice president of complicated computer crptics that you technoplebs simply won't understand' or ' Strategic Optimization Director'' or somesuch twaddle-like label and he told all of us (off), in no uncertain, what only he thinks he calls 'hypothetical' problem solving, terms - how all that education we bothered with is apparently a complete waste, yup and entirely unrecycleabubble, there is by his undoubtedly authoritative account a palpable gap between what people say on their CVs and their actual intellectual capabilities. Yes, having worked in the technology, creative and entertainment industries for more than twenty years, I wasn't in anyway shocked either by that idea or his headless chicken licken tactics around it.
Educationally not only are the results we're getting, ones we shouldn't be getting but in terms of their future usefulness to Google - oh well lets not go there, without the aid of google maps that is. Which all just serves to frame and remind me that, like so many others, I not only use such various google services from time to time, I actually actively participate and interact (with)in them: gmail, google groups, labs, code, Wave, buzz, blogger etc and I am also mindful that annual paddy puddle promotions are already planned on many hangover horizons for some of our honorable public representatives who will no doubt try to remember the contents of the blackboard image below to assure our foreign Irish cousins that despite what Julian the stone thrower might say, we Irish have taken our literary and educational preeminence into 21st century with us. When I begin to imagine such conversations and hear such sentiment I can only agree with the thematic expressiveness of this site:
Goggle is at the center of a debate about access to, and control of, information and the quality of information, (not only in Ireland) and as we all once learned in school, (maybe Google thinks you get 11 out of 10 for thinking you might know this now) information is knowledge and knowledge is power, well it is if you decide to use it to be or become powerful - choice was once optional - now apparently because google has become a verb, even formalized knowledge usually restricted to the academy has taken on a very Henry Ford like value - you can have any knowledge you want, once its endorsed or supplied by Google. So here's to the google university of Ireland opening soon, or maybe like so many other FDI companies - closing up shop completely soon and (now that major grant aid has expired) moving to countries with cheaper cost bases under the auspicious of global restructuring or a talent deficit (in a highly educated economy with 400K unemployed - this I seriously doubt ) such moves are usually prefaced by: "Its not me, its you, you've changed, you claim to be something you're not, I'm moving on, in both our interests". Google have also already begun to moan about their 'the state of my art' premises. I wonder why so much money was used duirng the boom years for FDI purposes and so porportionally little was invested in indigeneous high risk start ups - I actually prefer not to think about it because when I do I become irritated.
Another issue which also slightly irritated me recently, was some stupid internet speculator trying to sell me back one of my (deliberately) lapsed domains - an old site / domain name of mine digitalmediamyopia.com will soon come up for sale and I could once again buy it (this time from him) at a highly inflated price no doubt, enthused the unimaginative time and effort waster, but very little surprises me in the clammer and grab for satisfaction, worth and currency. The proliferation of social media and web 2.0 experts in the last couple of years has at least been funny on several levels, the squatters and opportunists hold little potential of humor and are as popular as viagra spammers. I'd love to write a whole lot more on this subject but I have a PhD to attend to.