Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Canopus

  1. A question I ask proponents of electric stunning of animals prior to slaughter is whether they have received an electric shock powerful enough to stun (but obviously not kill) them or cause significant involuntary muscle contraction. As an electronic engineer by trade I have experienced several high voltage electric shocks, and believe me, they hurt. Therefore, I question whether the proponents of electric stunning really know what they are talking about or whether the argument boils down to ‘British’ vs foreign culture more than animal welfare. Electric stunning was implemented during the early 20th century as a means to reduce costs and increase efficiency in slaughterhouses rather than as a method that was more humane. Most people didn't care about animal welfare back then. They just wanted cheap cuts of meat on their plates. The most extreme contrast between halal slaughtering and electric stunning is chickens slaughtered using an automated process where the chickens are hung upside down on an overhead conveyor, stunned by immersing their heads in a tank of electrified water, then the heads are cut off with a circular saw. This automated method of slaughter was designed to de-skill and reduce costs more than anything else because all it requires is ONE unskilled labourer to load the chickens onto the conveyor whereas slaughtering the same number of chickens an hour with a knife requires several skilled slaughtermen. Therefore electric stunning is a win-win situation for the management and the consumer.
  2. 1. JW is a very small religion in terms of numbers. There are also no countries where JW comprise at least 5% of the population. 2. JW is a very tightly controlled religion with a strong hierarchy that demands a lot of time and effort from its members in participating in very specific activities - like knocking on doors. 3. JW discourages free thinking and intuition. Members are expected to accept the material put forward by the Watchtower movement without question and distrust anything that doesn't originate from the Watchtower movement. 4. JW discourage further and higher education meaning that it's difficult for their members to access certain careers like medicine, law, engineering, or scientific research. These four factors inpact on their member's behaviour in ways that larger religions rarely do and I'm wondering how they affect people with AS born into JW families or parents of a child with AS who are JW.
  3. Is it likely that Harry Potter will be popular in 50 years time or will it have faded into obscurity? Do you think there will be another J K Rowling in the future or was she a one off person?
  4. The question is did J K Rowling just happen to hit all the right buttons and produce something that mass society was waiting for for a long time, or did she produce something that would otherwise have been reasonably popular amongst mass society but it hit all the right buttons of the media apparatchiks who then promoted it like there was no tomorrow?
  5. Not at all. That is why I asked the question.
  6. It is 11 years of a person's life and these years effectively set the framework for the rest of their life. The question looms as to whether it is 11 years well spent or could some of the 11 years be used in a better and more productive way for the future. Some 16 year olds feel happy and confident to face the future whilst others feel that much of their childhood has been a waste of time (and they are not the ones who have wasted time) and lack the confidence to face the future. That is very debatable. The internet has been a game changer and it has been argued that the principles of learning which schools (around the world) are built on is for the pre-internet era.
  7. Why exactly was it so heavily promoted? The obscure and forgotten works of fiction are not always new. Some are from the 19th and early 20th century. One of the people at the meeting mentioned that fantasy was very popular amongst kids at the time Harry Potter was released whilst anything to do with space was unpopular. Space themed stories achieved their greatest popularity during the 1960s through to the mid 1980s but seemed to die when the Cold War ended. Could that have been selling point over a pure fantasy work of fiction? I was expecting different adults to have different tastes in children's fiction. There has been quite a bit of criticism of Harry Potter from Muslim parents when it is being used in lessons or as take-home reading books.
  8. This might sound like a daft question. Why exactly is Harry Potter so popular? I was discussing children's fiction at an AS meeting last year and a point was raised as to why some titles or authors are very popular whilst at the same time thousands of obscure and forgotten works of fiction also exist which. Are they unloved and unwanted by society or are other factors at play which makes the popular fiction popular and condemn everything else to obscurity?
  9. The purpose of the question is to encourage people to think from first principles. Some parents have a lot of faith in the NC and believe it teaches important stuff. Some parents are highly critical of the NC in many very different ways. Some parents don't really seem to know or care what school does and doesn't teach as long as their kids just goes with the flow without any problems. Some parents consider schools primarily exist for childcare or think that the social aspects are more important than the academic aspects so don't really care about academic performance as long as there are no social problems. Some parents believe that exam grades are everything so as long as their kid gets A* grades anything else doesn't matter.
  10. This is a bit of an open ended question but do parents of kids with AS really know what they want from a school? One way to look at this question is to imagine there is no NC, but instead, parents are required to provide a detailed list at the beginning of each year of what they would like to school to teach; what services the school should provide; and what they expect to see as the outcome at the end of the year. Whether the school is able to teach or provide the services that the parent has requested or achieve what the parent wants to see as the final outcome is a different matter.
  11. I would prefer it to be an independent production shown on an internet TV channel rather than the BBC. In my experience, the BBC has a tight criteria for production and a bias of its own. It will not be an authentic or faithful production if it has to pass through the BBC censors.
  12. This is an interesting development although I would prefer that the NAS wasn't involved. What exactly does this social skills training programme consist of?
  13. Has any serious research been carried out concerning kids with AS and GCSEs to identify how and why they succeed or fail and where problematic issues are? Are GCSEs or IGCSEs better suited to kids with AS? Also, have a look at my previous discussion about IGCSEs. http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/24169-igcses-or-gcses/
  14. My experience is that almost every family has some relative or in-law who insists that Christmas is done in a traditional way when it comes to food, celebrations, or the Father Christmas nonsense. If they don't have their way then they are devastated as it is no longer a proper Christmas.
  15. Canopus

    Middle schools

    A few years ago I was in contact with a parent of a kid with AS from Northumberland who elaborated about the unusual system of first and middle schools in this obscure corner of England that is close to being the 5th nation of the UK. She stated that she preferred the system to the conventional primary / secondary system because it eliminated the big Y6 to Y7 jump. First schools have almost all of the KS2 resources that primary schools have, and KS2 kids in middle schools have access to KS3 resources - including science labs with bunsen burners and music rooms - which can be beneficial if they are high ability. The parent also believed that middle schools are less stressful for kids with AS around the ages of 11 and 12, which is generally believed to be the most difficult and challenging time for them, than secondary schools are. They are bottom of the pile in secondary schools but closer to the top in middle schools. A higher level of social maturity is required to survive secondary school life but middle school teachers are more adept at dealing with kids with a lower level of social maturity than their peers of the same age.
  16. Last year I mentioned how Michael Gove's curriculum reforms to the PE lessons increases the amount of competitive team sports. http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/30114-michael-goves-reforms-to-the-pe-curriculum/ I have encountered several parents who question the utility of competitive team sports in NC PE lessons for life in the real world. They think that team sports are best reserved for school sports clubs with the NC PE lessons concentrating more on teaching kids useful life skills like how to swim, ride a bike, and physical fitness.
  17. They are teachers, not policemen. I have never heard of any instances of teachers stopping bullying in a posh fee paying school. Therefore if teachers in mainstream schools stop bullying then they are going out of their way. Remember that posh fee paying schools were the prototype on which mainstream schools are based.
  18. What gets on my nerves are people who go round saying that the BBC is part of Britain's heritage when in fact the BBC has destroyed it's own heritage. The number of classic BBC programmes from the 1950s 60s and 70s that have been destroyed or recorded over is unbelievable, including entire series. It's disgusting that the BBC didn't even have an official policy of archiving programmes until 1978 and was still wiping programmes as recently as 1993. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiping I'm strongly in favour of the copyright law being changed so that if a broadcaster destroys a programme then the copyright is destroyed along with it. If a copy of the programme happens to turn up in an attic many years later then it will be out of copyright so can freely be disseminated.
  19. Something that also needs to be scrutinised is exactly what material is deemed appropriate for a public broadcaster and what is not. Is it really sensible for a public broadcaster to output popular entertainment like Eastenders and Radio 1 that could quite easily survive under a commercial broadcaster then expect the public to pay for it through their TV licence? Given the current state of technology, I do not consider the something for everybody argument to hold any credibility.
  20. Canopus

    Middle schools

    Yes, they still exist in a small handful of local authorities, but has any research been carried out concerning kids with AS who attend middle schools? If so, then are they better than the conventional primary secondary configuration? Middle schools have officially been 'dead' since the mid 1980s when middle school specific educational resources and teacher training ceased and the NC was formulated for a primary secondary school configuration. Many of the surviving middle schools only exist because of local complications with buildings. http://www.middle-schools.co.uk/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_middle_schools_in_England
  21. I think you have slightly misinterpreted my statement. I am not referring to adults with AS who are naturally emotionally immature - and many are - but adults with AS who were 'programed' with teenage social and school survival skills in an attempt to make them socially relate to other teenagers and fit in at school. This 'programming' usually takes place around the age of 11 to 12 in secondary schools as it is usually the most problematic age for kids with AS and the age where the gap is the widest between them and their peer group. This 'programming' is not unique to Britain and often isn't AS specific.
  22. I have never bought a television licence in my life but is it morally wrong to be a TV licence evader if all you watch is satellite channels and do not watch BBC channels? Officially it is illegal but technically is it a victimless crime? BTW. Detector vans no longer have working detection equipment following the analogue switch off and enquiries officers must PROVE that a TV licence evader is watching a live broadcast before invoking a prosecution. This can be difficult in the case of unfamiliar satellite channels.
  23. As I have previously stated in #20, it's a highly polarised either or argument with the terms academic achievement and social skills lacking precise definitions. 1. The majority of the social skills that NT kids pick up at school as they go along are school survival skills rather than social skills for use outside of school or for life as an adult. 2. Conversely, the majority of social skills that kids with AS lack are school survival skills rather than social skills for use outside of school or for life as an adult. 3. A common misconception that parents of kids with AS make is that if they can get the social skills right for life at school then the social skills will then develop naturally into those required for life as an adult. The reality is that this strategy rarely works and often leaves young adults with AS very confused or behaving in an immature way. An extreme example of this are the 20 somethings who struggled to socially relate with teenagers when they were teenagers who now relate easily with teenagers but have difficulty relating with adults at work so cannot hold down a job. When NT kids leave school and transition into adulthood they automatically unlearn certain social skills that are actually school survival skills. This doesn't always happen with kids with AS and they tend to resent to having to unlearn something which took much effort to learn in the first place. 4. The only way that kids can learn the social skills for use outside of school for life as an adult is by associating with adults outside of school. They cannot learn them in school. 5. Academic achievements are not synonymous with the NC and getting a string of GCSEs. They extend beyond school subjects. 6. It is often better to focus on an individual's strengths rather than try to make them go along with the flow of the NC. Too many parents worry about their kid's weak subjects or what they are bad at rather than capitalise on their strong subjects or what they are good at. 7. Academic achievements are capable of improving an individual's confidence and self esteem but this is often overlooked by parents. 8. Gold stars, merit marks, and similar token rewards don't mean anything to most kids past the age of 7.
  24. You stated your support for liberalism over in another topic but liberalism - in all their different forms - are children of the Protestant culture and their impact on society is greatest in historically Protestant nations. The American definition of liberal is completely different from the British definitions of liberal, and the modern British liberalism is different from the 19th century classic liberalism. A similar situation is true for the British and American definitions of conservative although the similarities are greater than for liberals. The traditional British political yardstick is a continuous left to right spectrum but the Americans use two separate independent camps of liberal and conservative with no middle ground or third alternative. To complicate things even further, the American definition of liberal does not correspond to the British 'left' and the American definition of conservative does not correspond to the British 'right'. Sometimes Americans use liberal as a synonym for the Democrat party and conservative as a synonym for the Republican party.
  25. I'm unsure if you are confused or not. Are you using white to mean the aforementioned Protestant culture, or are you using white as a catch all term for a variety of diverse European cultures that have existed over the centuries? Also take into account that the Protestant culture has spread beyond Europe / North America and European people. I'm interested in how it connects with Hinduism or influences culture in India.
  • Create New...