Soapbox Speakers

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 2nd December

In News for Speakers' Corner on December 3, 2018 at 1:14 pm

“. . . never did I learn things at school that I would consider truly important for being an adult: how to do a tax return, change a tyre, pay off a car, buy a house, nail a job interview, do CPR, start a self-managed super fund. . . . Education in Australia not only needs to be more practical, it needs to be more holistic. Valuing high marks and exam success over practical skills – and skills in entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation – is an antiquated model that turns out unenthusiastic, uncreative, outcome-focused students who lack the necessary qualities to be well-rounded members of the workforce, and of society.”
Student Alana Leadbeater, who earned a 99 ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank).
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/comment-i-got-a-99-atar-but-i-had-a-lousy-education/ar-BBQ4lOi?li=AAgfYrC&ocid=mailsignout

1. Another beautiful day, with the park’s enormous fig-trees providing shade to make the day perfect for Ray, Steve and Mr B. There were reasonable crowds because why wouldn’t you come to Speakers’ Corner on such a beautiful day?

Mind you, Mr B stretched our patience because he talked about the same subject for most of the day: the different theories for the origin of the universe.

A brief summary:

– He began by saying he would explore two puzzles:
(1) How did our universe come into being?
(2) Why does our universe allow intelligent life, given that fine-tuned laws of physics would be required?

–  He then did his best to describe what nothing is. Yep, honestly. He figured we should have a clear understanding of what preceded the universe before we tried to understand its origin.

– Theory One: God Made the Universe. Somehow he included an episode of Bewitched. We even had a witch in the audience to add to the verisimilitude.

– Theory Two: The Many Universe Theory.

– Theory Three: The Big Bang Theory.

– Theory Four: The Oscillating Model of the Universe.

– Theory Five: The Eternal Inflation Theory.

– Theory Six: The Universe Has Always Been Here Theory.

– Theory Seven: Quantum Mechanics Theory.

– Theory Eight: The Lava Lamp Theory (Mr B’s term) AKA, The fine-structure constant isn’t so constant after all.

– Theory Nine: Helmet’s theory. Unfortunately, Mr B felt the need to tear strips of Helmut’s theory and off Helmut himself. As you might expect, Helmut was “vocal” in his response. That was a torrid fifteen minutes!

– Theory Ten: A grasshopper provided The Matrix Theory (formally known as Gilbert Harman’s ‘Brain in a Vat’ thought experiment). Is our universe just a simulation created by an exceedingly advanced computer? Do the operators of that advanced computer live in a universe which is also just a simulation? It gets awkward, folks.


2. This week’s complaint about the justice system involved a twenty year-old Victorian man, Miraz Zuanovic. He was charged with contempt of court and sentenced to 30 days jail for blowing a bubble while chewing Hubba Bubba bubble gum in front of magistrate Rodney Crips. Miraz spent 12 hours in custody before a Supreme Coourt judge granted him bail following an appeal by his lawyers. His barrister pointed out that his client hadn’t even received a warning, and had been denied procedural fairness.

Mr B complained about the magistrate’s lack of wisdom, his sense of self-grandeur, and his gross misuse of power.

Mind you, Peter the Younger took the magistrate’s side and said he would have given the miscreant 60 days.


3. Other subjects discussed:
– the exemptions religious schools want to be able to impose on homosexual students and teachers.

– Mr B claimed that learning about history is no better than stamp collecting. In fact, it’s worse, because it distracts us from finding solutions to our current problems.
His grasshoppers insisted that we could learn from history, but although they tried, not one of them could provide a specific example. If you can think of a solid example, bring it to Speakers’ Corner with you one day.
(Examples such as a person’s personal medical history will not be accepted.)


4. Next week:
Steve, Ray and possibly Helmut will be doing their thing, and:
– Mark the Grinner will be speaking on two topics yet to be disclosed.

– Peter the Younger will be speaking on the ways feminists lie about sexual assaults and harrassment.

– Mr B will finally, hopefully, be explaining why Zen Buddhism is a sham, and the medical reasons it originated.


5. In this week’s Unusual Critter Series we have two Bush Dogs from Central and South America. They asked this scribe to place a photo of them on our Facebook Page.

Bush Dogs in Chester Zoo. Speothos venaticus.

 

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