The Dumbest of 2013

bostonglobe-01names5-4290Virtuoso’s Rare Flutes Destroyed by US Customs
They thought they are agriculture items! DUH
‘Before you whine about an airline temporarily losing your luggage, think of poor Boujemaa Razgui. The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York’s JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments — 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. “They said this is an agriculture item,” said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. “I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life.” When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. “They told me they were destroyed,” he says…’

Is the academic promotion system inherently flawed?
Is Academia Getting In the Way of Today’s Geniuses?
Should citations alone be used to judge scholarly performance? Or should merit include a qualitative review of a scholar’s work by their peers?

‘…two of this year’s laureates have stepped forward, alleging that the academic publishing and promotion system is inherently flawed. Whatever your career, everyone wants to advance further and see financial rewards for their hard work. But according to Peter Higgs and Randy Shekman, the academic game isn’t as much about merit as it is about quotas. If their argument is valid, it implies career-changing consequences for the scholars of today.

‘Peter Higgs was already famous before winning his Nobel, as one of the researchers who discovered the origin of mass. In an interview with “The Guardian,” Higgs says he wouldn’t even be employable at a university today because he’s not considered productive enough for the system…’

Why Do Child Prodigies Fizzle Out?
Instead of giving direct answers, David Shenk implied his answers and I’m not satisfied with them anyway. My answer: they fizzle mostly because of the way their parents or custodians handle them. Give them just one big puzzling life problem then watch them fizzle out. Cumulative small problems will surely do that too

‘…The reason that’s really important to point out is that they’re great at a technical skill – and I’m not trying to take away from what they do because obviously it is amazing to watch – but it’s important to realize that for example when you look at Mozart, yes, he was performing for kings and queens when he was 5, 6 years-old, but his performances could not be compared to a great violinist of 25 or 30 years-old.

‘It couldn’t be then and it certainly couldn’t be now.  Another point to make is that with the Suzuki method and other methods now there are many, many, many performers now who are performing at that age, 5 and 6 years-old, 7 years-old as good or better than what Mozart did when he was a kid…’

Flight, Fight, or Freeze
The Perils of Normalcy Bias
When could acting “normal” be a problem? In emergency management parlance, up to 70 percent of people involved in a trauma default to something called the normalcy bias. Find out what it is and why some people avoid it.


About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
This entry was posted in education, Society and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

What do you think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s