(view spoiler)[Well, it is not as if there are minutely exact parallels, but rough parallels are all over the place. Martin takes events from across English history and sticks them together to serve his plot. A murder-by-pushing from Elizabeth’s time might be stringed together with an usurper’s story from early 12th Century, and so on. So it is not that you will completely ruin your viewing/reading pleasure (btw, since interesting things to read far outstrips good TV material, it might be a better strategy to just go with the series and avoid the books, esp since it is more or less certain that Martin is not going to be able to finish the series), it is just that the overall thrust of the series becomes much more predictable, and you start to get a sense of who has to die and when the next generation has to take over, etc.
It is subtle, but knowing too much history is injurious to GoT fandom. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The book is primarily directed at building a model for combating poverty by tackling them at the earliest level of per...more Building High-Achieving Schools
The book is primarily directed at building a model for combating poverty by tackling them at the earliest level of perpetuation - in schools.
Schools, Payne advocates, should be our first line of defense against encroaching poverty and also our most effective weapon to beat it back. Unlike most economic tools, schools can be fine-tuned and deployed according to strict frameworks.
The thrust is thus primarily on how to deal with poverty in schools and how to equip the students with tools and education to fight their way out of it.
For this teachers have to understand what poverty is and the disadvantages that characterize poverty — these are usually classed as inherent problems of the students, instead they have to be reframed as disadvantages that are the duty of the teachers to correct in any decent school environment.
The ‘Framework’ in the title is then a Framework for the Teachers.
A Framework For Teachers
Payne uses what he calls an ‘Additive Model’, implicit throughout this book, as a vital tool for better understanding and addressing poverty, as well as the underlying factors that perpetuate it.
Some of the most important aspect of the Model are:
1. Identifies the mindsets and patterns that individuals use to survive different economic environments-and provides a vocabulary to talk about it.
2. Identifies strengths and resources already found in the individual, family, school, and community-and adds new information and a new perspective for creating and growing resources.
3. Offers economic diversity as a prism through which individuals and schools can analyze and respond to their issues.
4. Identifies skills, theories of change, program designs, partnerships, and ways of building schools where students achieve.
5. Encourages the development of strategies to respond to all causes of poverty.
Poverty & Its Baggages
An individual brings with him/her the hidden rules of the class in which he/she was raised. Even though the income of the individual may rise significantly, many of the patterns of thought, social interaction, cognitive strategies, etc., remain with the individual.
Schools and businesses operate from middle-class norms and use the hidden rules of middle class. These norms and hidden rules are not directly taught in schools or in businesses.
For our students to be successful, we must understand their hidden rules and teach them the rules that will make them successful at school and at work. We can neither excuse students nor scold them for not knowing; as educators we must teach them and provide support, insistence, and expectations.
Out of Poverty: A Resource-Kit
To move from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealth, an individual must give up relationships for achievement (at least for some period of time). Two things that help one move out of poverty are:
a. Education and
Leaving poverty could indeed be a conscious exercise. Four reasons one chooses to leave poverty are:
1. It’s too painful to stay,
2. A vision or goal,
3. A key relationship, or
4. A special talent or skill.
Typically, poverty is thought of in terms of financial resources only. However, the reality is that financial resources, while extremely important, do not explain the differences in the success with which individuals leave poverty nor the reasons that many stay in poverty. The ability to leave poverty is more dependent upon other resources than it is upon financial resources. Each of these resources plays a vital role in the success of an individual:
1. FINANCIAL: Having the money to purchase goods and services.
2. EMOTIONAL: Being able to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, without engaging in self-destructive behavior. This is an internal resource and shows itself through stamina, perseverance, and choices.
3. MENTAL: Having the mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, computing) to deal with daily life.
4. SPIRITUAL: Believing in divine purpose and guidance.
5. PHYSICAL: Having physical health and mobility.
6. SUPPORT SYSTEMS: Having friends, family, and backup resources available to access in times of need. These are external resources.
7. RELATIONSHIPS/ROLE MODELS: Having frequent access to adult(s) who are appropriate, who are nurturing to the child, and who do not engage in self-destructive behavior.
8. KNOWLEDGE OF HIDDEN RULES: Knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group.
The education system should be able to equip the students with these vital resources.
Knowledge Of Hidden Rules
This aspect might sound a bit esoteric and bears illumination with a couple of examples:
1. The importance of Socially Accepted Language:
All the state testsSAT, ACT, etc. are require an understanding of formal language (called ‘the formal register’). It is further complicated by the fact that to get a well-paying job, it is expected that one will be able to use formal register. Ability to use formal register is a hidden rule of the middle class. The inability to use it will knock one out of an interview in two or three minutes. The use of formal register, on the other hand, allows one to score well on tests and do well in school and higher education.
This use of formal register is further complicated by the fact that these students do not have the vocabulary or the knowledge of sentence structure and syntax to use formal register. When student conversations in the casual register are observed, much of the meaning comes not from the word choices, but from the non-verbal assists. To be asked to communicate in writing without the non-verbal assists is an overwhelming and formidable task, which most of them try to avoid. It has very little meaning for them.
Another version of this is noticeable in educated people from the lower segments of society: They often they turn out too formal in their language. And thus cant function so well in intimate/casual social settings, which are also essential for career progression.
In a school setting this means that:
• Formal register needs to be directly taught.
• Casual register needs to be recognized as the primary discourse for many students.
• Students need to be told how much the formal register affects their ability to get a well-paying job.
• Students need to be told the importance of being adaptive in their registers.
2. The importance of learning to Manage Money:
One of the biggest difficulties in getting out of poverty is managing money and just the general information base around money. How can you manage something you've never had? Money is seen in poverty as an expression of personality and is used for entertainment and relationships. The notion of using money for security is truly grounded in the middle and wealthy classes.
The above are only a couple of simple examples, the reality is much more complex and requires much greater effort from the educational system.
Being in poverty is rarely about a lack of intelligence or ability. Many individuals stay in poverty because they don't know there is a choice-and if they do know that, have no one to teach them hidden rules or provide resources. Schools are virtually the only places where students can learn the choices and rules of the middle class.
Teachers must recognize a larger role: as Motivators + Educators + Enablers, so must the school system and the governments.
It is time we mobilized this important weapon in the fight against poverty.(less)
Philip Hans Franses takes the reader through the most elementary concepts of econometrics, or as much as is possible in such a s...more A Demonstrable Problem
Philip Hans Franses takes the reader through the most elementary concepts of econometrics, or as much as is possible in such a short book. This is well supplemented by a series of practical research questions in various economic disciplines, which are then ‘demonstrated’ for the reader by showing how they can be answered using econometric methods and models.
This makes the book a good introduction to the empirical practices of the ‘real’ econometric world, which, as the author takes pains to emphasize is slightly different from the typical text book assumed world where the data is reliable, the questions are already framed and the variables are not suspect, with only the modeling (even the models are often taken for granted in standard textbooks!) and the statistical tools occupying center stage.
This format of a typical econometrics textbook has its origin in a traditional view of econometrics, where the econometricians were supposed to match (mainly macro-) economic theories to data, often with an explicit goal to substantiate the theory. In the unlucky event that the econometric model failed to provide evidence in favor of the theory, it was usually perceived that perhaps the data were wrong or the estimation method was incorrect, implying that the econometrician could start all over again.
This view assumed that most aspects of a model, like the relevant variables, the way they are measured, the data themselves, and the functional form, are already available to the econometrician, and the only thing s/he needs to do is to fit the model to the data. The model components are usually assumed to originate from an (often macro-) economic theory, and there is great confidence in its validity.
A consequence of this confidence is that if the data cannot be summarized by this model, the econometric textbook first advises us to consider alternative estimation techniques. Finally, and conditional upon a successful result, the resultant empirical econometric model is used to confirm (and perhaps in some cases, to disconfirm) the thoughts summarized in the economic theory.
The author instead realizes that the most common refrain from newbie researches out in the field is “where do I start?” and takes his discussion forward from there. With this introduction that shows the process of econometric research in simplistic but essential detail, Franses makes sure that the student will be less clueless when confronting a possible opportunity to pose a useful question.
The most valuable chapter in the book (Chapter 4) addresses this problem even more directly and contains step-by-step discussion of sample research case studies. These are meant to indicate that the main ideas in the book shine through present-day applied econometrics. These illustrations suggest that there is a straight line from understanding how to handle the basic regression model to handling regime-switching models and a multinomial probit model, for example.
To conclude, I quote the concluding paragraph from the introduction, which I simply loved. It is a valuable economic exercise to indulge in, to strengthen the analytic muscles or even just to pass time!
Finally, as a way of examining whether a reader has appreciated the content of this book, one might think about the following exercise. Take a newspaper or a news magazine and look for articles on economic issues. In many articles are reports on decisions which have been made, forecasts that have been generated, and questions that have been answered. Take one of these articles, and then ask whether these decisions, forecasts, and answers could have been based on the outcomes of an econometric model. What kind of data could one have used? What could the model have looked like? Would one have great confidence in these outcomes, and how does this extend to the reported decisions, forecasts, and answers?
More a survey of sacred practices than an insightful deconstruction, Eliade’s work gets repetitive beyond a point as it keeps...more This Ontological Thirst
More a survey of sacred practices than an insightful deconstruction, Eliade’s work gets repetitive beyond a point as it keeps on multiplying examples, never coming to conclusions that go past a premise that is interesting but is also a truism, by construction.
Eliade’s primary objective is to define the fundamental opposition between sacred and profane. This is done by showcasing the very perception of human mind towards the sacred and by categorizing the human mind/society into the ‘Sacred Man / Archaic Man’ & the 'Profane Man / Modern Man’. The Sacred Man is defined as one who seeks, creates and needs the sacred space (and the meaning invested thus into his own life and surroundings) to exist, while the Profane Man does not. No real explanation is provided as to why the Modern or Profane man is able to transcend this thirst for the Sacred. That is to me the biggest oversight in the book.
Besides, the ontological thirst of the human mind is itself a profound mystery and any meaningful exploration should incorporate that into the question instead of conveniently placing that into the answer to a simpler question.
The other major problem with this approach of distinguishing the sacred and profane is that ‘sacred’ can now be only defined as the ‘opposite of profane’. And since the profane is defined as everyday experience, the sacred has to be defined as something that is invented, or ‘manifested’ by the human mind that seeks to create meaning out of the everyday existence.
This definition means that any ‘manifestation’ of meaning will be imbued with the sacred. And by designating the act of manifestation as the ‘hierophany’, tt is incapable of signifying anything more than its etymological content, i.e., that ‘something sacred shows itself to us.' This makes the whole argument of what is sacred too circular to be of much use in a deeper exploration of the significance of the religious quest into understanding human nature itself.
As Eliade is forced to admit in the end, this makes the book primarily a historical survey and the premises of the survey does not allow it to be anything more. For beyond it “begins the realm of problems proper to the philosopher, the psychologist, and even the theologian.”(less)