Sunday, 14 January 2018
'Why Would Norwegians Go to #Shithole US?!':
My answer: Only those Norwegians who want to be a part of the Silly Con Valley would migrate to the shithole that is the U.S.
BTW. My Iraqi friend welcomed Trump's election as U.S. president, not that he thinks that Trump is great but because he believes that he would do a great job of screwing up the U.S. during his term or two terms of office.
Keep up the good work, Herr Drumph! And, for the record, Hillary Clinton wouldn't have been any better, if not worse.
We first met at a symposium on computers in education on 28 January 1997 - almost 20 years ago - and we found that we were very much on the same page with regards the scheiss peddled by IT promoters and we still are on the same page today. He has a masters degree in Computers in Education, a post-graduate diploma in Pedagogy and a bachelors degree in Educational Psychology, so he obviously knows what he is talking about.
One of the symposium speakers, a Malaysian or former Malaysian academic from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand described a scenario of "Learner 2000" as a child in Alor Star, Malaysia who would mount a bicycle-like contraption mounted to the floor, then don a pair of virtual reality goggles, turn on the learning computer and fly down upon the Amazon jungle and be able to move back and forth in time, virtually observing the changes due to de-forestation.
I told her that even in 1997, the prices of a PC was beyond the reach of most Malaysian families and they were unlikely to fall fast enough to be affordable in most Malaysian homes by the year 2000.
Besides that, there were no broadband Internet connections required to support such a scenario in Malaysia at the time. Back in 1997, those of us lucky enough to have Internet access did so via 56Kbps dial up modems and TM Net only launched its Streamyx ADSL broadband Internet service in April 2001, with speeds of up to 384Kbps and there were a tiny 0.02 fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in Malaysia that year, peaking at 10.14 fixed broadband subscriptions (including fibre) per 100 inhabitants in 2014 and then dropping to 8.74 fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2016.
According to Malaysia's communications and content regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's, first quarter 2017 Communications and Multimedia Facts and Figures report, Malaysia' s broadband penetration per 100 households stood at an impressive 81.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and of these, 2.5 million were fixed broadband subscriptions and 30.6 million were mobile broadband subscriptions.
So obviously, most of the 33 million Malaysians access the Internet via smartphones and tablets, most of whom go around with their faces buried in social media or some dumb video on their devices' screens but I wonder how many are learning anything actually worthwhile on their devices and as for those 2.5 million homes with fixed broadband Internet, I wonder how many of them are using them for virtual learning.
Heck! I know a household where every inhabitant knows how to use WhatsApp on their devices but none know how to write a letter using a word processing application on their PC or even on a typewriter.
So is Malaysia on its way towards becoming a knowledge-based, high income, information and services society by the Year 2020 or are we headed towards becoming a dumbed down society with faces buried in our smartphones and tablets, engaged in frivolous, unproductive activity, whilst imagining that we are super tech-savvy?
Well, it's 2018 now, almost 18 years later and how many students are there in Alor Star or even in the Klang Valley who are learning at home using virtual reality on the contraption she described and I don't expect many students in New Zealand are riding such virtual reality learning contraptions at home either.
When they couldn't make a success of virtual learning via 1BestariNet by October 2015, what more the "gee whiz" scenario that academic painted.
However, that academic from the University of Canterbury revealed that those in her virtual learning group were shunned by their other colleagues at her university. Perhaps they could distinguish IT reality from IT scheiss.
These IT conferences and seminars held in luxurious conference halls (ivory towers) in five or six star hotels, or convention centres, far removed from the realities on the ground, are usually one big load of IT scheiss anyway.
After all, scheiss sells.
After President Donald Trump said instead of taking in people from “shithole” countries, the U.S. "should have more people from Norway" social media users mocked his comment pointing out that for people living in the happiest country in the world the United States is the shithole.
Trump's controversial remarks calling countries in Africa and others like Haiti and El Salvador "shitholes", which were widely condemned at home and abroad for being racist, were followed by: "We should have more people from Norway." Some took to social media to highlight Norway's whiteness but others mockingly informed the president that Norwegians have no reason to go to the U.S.
Norwegians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world, and live in a country with a consistently high human development index thanks to a cradle-to-grave welfare state that would be unimaginable in Trump's U.S.. A professor of journalism in Stockholm, who moved them from the states posted sarcastically:
Another twitter user listed Norway's accomplishments, among them free public universities, and guessed Norwegians reading U.S. news would ask themselves: "Why in the world would we want to go to that #shithole country?"
A British man also pointed his country's National Health Service, public education and labor rights as reasons he "would never move to the U.S."
To many, Trumps comments revealed not only racism against Black and brown countries but also a profound ignorance of highly developed countries like Norway.