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Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good - The New York Times
All of this has led to a curious new reality: Human contact is becoming a luxury good.

As more screens appear in the lives of the poor, screens are disappearing from the lives of the rich. The richer you are, the more you spend to be offscreen.

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The wealthy can afford to opt out of having their data and their attention sold as a product. The poor and middle class don’t have the same kind of resources to make that happen.
care  automation  technology  inequality  wealth  luxury  class  education  schools  children  teaching  community  isolation  SiliconValley 
march 2019 by petej
Can Labour forge a new, 21st-century socialism? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem is that these ideas have yet to be turned into the kind of stories and messages that might decisively push Labour somewhere new. The party has been transformed, but it has a split personality – to quote the academic Jeremy Gilbert, Labour continues to be divided between a “decentralised political movement that would like to build a more democratic and cooperative economy” and “a top-down project focused entirely on maintaining Corbyn’s leadership, which is largely proposing a return to the statist social democracy of the postwar era”. The former demands deep thought, and the willingness to surrender old orthodoxies; the latter is a comfort blanket to which much of the party still instinctively clings.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  Fordism  postFordism  post-industrialism  neoliberalism  democratisation  participation  socialMovements  conservatism  nationalisation  decentralisation  welfare  housing  education  schools  Amazon  exploitation  automation  employment  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
september 2018 by petej
Karma Nabulsi · Don’t Go to the Doctor: Snitching on Students · LRB 18 May 2017
A Freedom of Information request to the police revealed that more than 80 per cent of the reports on individuals suspected of extremism were dismissed as unfounded. This ‘over-reporting’ by an army of officially empowered civilian informants, leading to the investigation of blameless British people by the police, has been defended as showing that Prevent is ‘working effectively’. What it really shows is how Prevent actually works: by encouraging, endorsing and institutionalising a set of conventions and values premised on fear, ignorance and suspicion of non-whites – immigrants, foreigners, racialised Muslims. Prevent has turned ordinary citizens and public sector workers into an auxiliary surveillance militia. Talking or texting in Arabic on a plane, speaking a foreign language in a doctor’s waiting room, wearing a hijab while walking down the street near your house, wearing a free Palestine badge at school – people doing all these things have been reported to police under the Prevent programme.

The legislation, clumsy and laughable on so many levels, is extraordinarily efficient on others. It divides Muslims (practising or not) from the rest of society; black or brown or immigrant or refugee from the white majority. Once you start seeing everyday behaviour as having the potential to draw people into terrorism, you’re inside the problem. A sizeable percentage of Britain’s population now live without freedoms enjoyed by the majority. But the majority don’t see this. They only see an individual black, brown or Muslim Brit – alone, bearded, on the Tube, taking his seat on a plane, waiting for the bus with bulky shopping between his feet. If he argues that there is a direct connection between Britain’s illegal war of aggression against Iraq and the increase in terrorism since 2003, or expresses views critical of British military conduct in Arab and Muslim countries, or criticises Israel for illegal and increasingly brutal practices that appear tied to its increasing impunity, he is suspect. These issues can no longer be discussed by him, because they are indicators of extremism.
UK  policing  surveillance  education  universities  students  colleges  schools  warOnTerror  extremism  radicalisation  Prevent  Islamophobia  racism  alienation  Muslims  stereotyping  colonialism 
may 2017 by petej
Why are my wife and I quitting teaching? Brutal cuts, bad policies and stressed kids | Peter Foggo | Opinion | The Guardian
For us the final straw was the proposed creation of a new generation of grammar schools, and with them the reintroduction of selection in education. We could not accept being a part of a system that condemns as failures the majority of children at the age of 11. A system where children are encouraged to label themselves as failures is a broken system.

In the end there are two visions of the future, and of the future of education, currently vying for control. One is of a constant struggle, where competition is seen as the main driving force. The other is of a world based on cooperation, nurture and encouragement, where collaboration is considered the key to success. I know which I prefer.

The hope of becoming a small part of a system that developed self-confident, questioning and caring individuals was what motivated me to enter and to stay in teaching for the last 26 years. The vision of a world that sees every man for himself, fighting in the gutter over the last crust of bread, is what has driven me out.
teaching  teachers  UK  cuts  competition  stress  grammarSchools  schools  education  policy 
may 2017 by petej
Treated like dirt, these teaching assistants have become the lions of Durham | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
Sold out by a Labour council, the TAs have also been badly let down by their union. The officials of Unison have been painfully slow to organise serious action. In all the months since the pay cut was announced last winter, they have failed so far even to ballot for any kind of industrial action. They now promise to hold one this month – which might yield a strike in October, just two months before the members are all laid off.

Aghast at such spinelessness, some councillors have shown the TAs correspondence from paid union representatives. One email suggests a one-off compensation payment that, it promises, would “gain overwhelming support” from the membership. That pledge was made without either the knowledge or the agreement of the TAs I’ve spoken to.

At the very point when Unison bureaucrats should have been digging in for the fight of their lives, they have instead spent months drawing up the terms of defeat.
Durham  education  schools  teachers  teachingAssistants  tradeUnions  Unison  cuts  localGovernment  UK  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
february 2017 by petej
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