Amongst the many complaints that Italians have education is often near the top of the list. One way to understand why the Italian higher education system seems to be getting worse every year might be to look at the university system in the United States and see what has taken place there in the past 30 years. Many Italians often point to the U.S. as a model to work towards for the future. After all, this is where you find CalTech, Stanford, Harvard, MIT and many other world class institutions. But the statistics show something quite different, even frightening. Understanding the trajectory that the U.S. higher education system has taken in the last 30 years and the lessons to be learnt can be used wisely to save Italians from making the same mistakes.
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The art of persuading people, according to this article, all boils down to confidence and conviction in what your saying...EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. The man above is one perfect example of this. Click the link below to read the full article:
Check out these 2 articles on business coaching from one of the world's preeminent business periodicals:
Most people I know would say that they're not influenced by advertising at all. That would be next to impossible for the average person who is bombarded by 2,000-3,000 advertisements PER DAY. What they are probably trying to say is that, "OK, yes, I watch, read, listen to them but I'm not that stupid...I make my decisions based on rational choices". Have a look at this documentary and tell me honestly how influenced you truly are. Its a presentation by an American author called Jean Kilbourne.
It would probably take around $30 billion to build the infrastructure needed to give all the people in the world access to clean drinking water. Sounds like a lot of money! Not really if you think about the fact that around $90 billion is spent every year on bottled water...I suspect a big percent of which is probably in Italy. Are you a bottled water drinker? Did you ever take a moment to think about why you would need to pay for something that is essential to life? Imagine paying for "clean air"? Does that sound ridiculous? To me it does. As does the fact that most supermarkets in Italy usually have a whole aisle selling only water. Imagine another aisle selling "clean air" at different prices, with different labels, different brand images, different tastes. This documentary talks about how corporate interests are slowly turning one of the world's most abundant natural resources, fundamental to life, into one giant money-making machine. I hope the film has as much of an impact on you as it did for me.
_It’s been awhile since I’ve wanted to return to New York having left in 1997. Now seems a great time. The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest makes me kind of proud to have spent 9 years in the Big Apple. The OWS movement isn’t the first of its kind and it is still relatively small. Inspired by the Spanish Indignados and the Arab Spring, itself ignited when a courageous Tunisian man set himself on fire in protest of a system that disenfranchises the poor, OWS has a powerful message that is resonating with the masses. It has emboldened people across the U.S. and around the world and is scaring the hell out of the rich and powerful. How much? Well, the 2nd richest man in the world, Warren Buffet has been begging U.S. politicians to tax him and other super-rich folks more. Months before the occupation of Liberty Plaza, he understood better than most of the super-rich that the anger of the ordinary people had reached a tipping point.
The people that are occupying Wall Street are from different walks of life, races, cultures, and even countries. Some have come from recent protests in Egypt and Spain to lend their support and advice. But the movement itself has a singular vision: to restore democracy. It’s hard to say where all this will end up. My hope is that people power will transform society through massive changes to the political, economic and social systems in those societies that have the greatest disparities between the haves and the have nots. I wholeheartedly support the OWS and the Indignados movements. Many are on the sidelines not yet sure what to make of it. Some just don't like what they're doing. Where do you stand?
How the Rich Subverted the Legal System, by Glenn Greenwald
The death that sparked a revolution
Around 20% of the American people believe that Barack Hussein Obama is not American. Regardless of your opinions about his politics, that's just plain stupid. Upon being given his birth certificate you'd think at a least a few of the doubters may start to accept the fact that he is not African but rather African American. You might be surprised to learn that the 20% held steady and actually became even move convinced that he was a naturalized citizen and subsequently not allowed to be president of the United States.
The Misconception: You are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is.
The Truth: You are as deluded as the rest of us, but that’s OK, it keeps you sane.
You Are Not So Smart is a blog devoted to self delusion and irrational thinking.
youarenotsosmart.com/about/, David McRaney
I found these 2 articles from the blog very interesting and learned a lot about myself and human nature in general. The first is called "The Backfire Effect" and answers the question of why people continue to believe in stupid things even when they are provided with conflicting evidence. Confuted beliefs are in fact often strengthened rather then replaced.
The second article is called "Procrastination" and it tries to set the record straight on why many of us put off difficult tasks, or those that require a little more mental strength, to the future. It contends that procrastination is "fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking." (youarenotsosmart.com/2010/10/27/procrastination/, David McRaney, Ocotber 27, 2010).
photo by carbonated on Flickr
Duke Ellington the famous Jazz Composer, Band Leader and Pianist was asked in an interview how he had managed to keep the same dedicated players of such a high standard and level of commitment in his band for so long. His reply after some time for thought was : “Well, I find paying them helps”.
I’ve been thinking over what has come into our “community” in the last few weeks, especially from you Walter - Thank you and it’s inspired the following thought :-
“What is it that enables you to get the best out of yourself? What is that enables you to get the best out of others?”
Duke Ellington, jokingly put it simply down to money. But how do you create motivation in yourself and others? Do you have any ideas?
If you need some help – have a look at this website www.TED.com and particularly the contribution of Dan Pink. It inspired me to reflect...
Enjoy your thoughts... and the Video... if you feel you need it. It’ll be interesting for us all to see your reactions.