November 19, 2004
Rant of the Moment
"What is wrong with everyone nowadays?
Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far beyond their technical capabilities?
This is to do with the learning culture in schools as a consequence of a child-centred system which admits no failure.
People think they can all be pop stars, high court judges, brilliant TV personalities or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting in the necessary work or having natural ability.
This is the result of social utopianism which believes humanity can be genetically and socially engineered to contradict the lessons of history."
--Prince Charles. There's been a bit of a backlash for this anti-egalitarian screed, but I wonder if there's something to it. I mean, it's kind of ironic for a member of the royalty to kvetch about "putting in the necessary work" (though I assume he assumes "having natural ability") I think what does raise my hackles in this is the "contradict the lessons of history", which for me is usually a tipoff of some overly constrained thinking.
I've heard American kids rank low in actual math skills but high in math skills confidence, and that's the kind of thing that seems messed up. Kids...in fact, any healthy individual...needs some amount of self-confidence, but can it be taken too far?