Thursday, November 23, 2006

Fruit Soup

Great post at ShrinkWrapped entitled Risks, risk assessments and Cassandras. The shrink contrasts the immediate and present danger from the Islamists and a nuclear Iran with the much longer term and milder threat from possible climate change. The point he makes is that, in most people's eyes the urgency and risk levels are reversed.

My explanation for this is functional idiocy or, more politely, execrable levels of education.

Most political arguments or statements which are applauded in the UK seem to rely on two or three buzzwords (`progressive' and `modern' immediately spring to mind) which are entirely meaningless. Most of what passes for education is sloganeering.

To give one of my (least) favourite examples, my elder daughter was asked (in Food Technology) to create a fruit soup. Now, it so happens that there is a nation which specialises in fruit soup - it's Finland. Typing `fruit soup' into Google gets you a lot of recipes, too. But that's not what she was asked to do. Instead she had to survey her classmates to find out what they'd like in their fruit soup. She had to choose the most popular three ingredients and use them to make a soup (after plotting the statutory bar chart of the number of votes for each ingredient). She was not given, or asked to find, any recipes to adapt for her purpose. She was expected to produce this delicious creation from scratch.

Here we have the worst sort of “education”. Ignore the history, ignore the thousand years of culinary expertise which is available in pre-digested form [sorry for the inadvertent pun] in existing recipes. Teach the children that nothing matters except what is new, that past experience is no guide and that expertise is oppressive. Uneducated, inchoate desires and being progressive are all that matters and if it’s a disaster, well then, never mind, it was a noble experiment and we’ll ignore those outside puking behind the bike sheds as we return to the drawing board or food blender for another transgressive attempt.

2 comments:

Yorkshireminer said...

I couldn't agree with you more, what a load of crap, I just love the word food tecnology, in my day it was called cookery and it was meant to prove to us that that there were other things in this world apart from fish and chips and Guiness. By the way what are they going to call maths the tecnology of symbol manipulation. If the country doesn't stop this multilucultural bullshit your Grandchildren will be learning the Zulu system of counting which goes one two and alot. mind you it is nice to know that you have got a couple of daughters. they might drive you mad but they certainly bring out alot of love and affection in we mere males.

Canker said...

Yorkshireminer,
I agree strongly with what you've said.
Food technology sums up what's wrong with the subject. If I remember correctly, it moved from Cookery to Home Economics to Food Technology, with a consequent deterioration at each stage.
Daughters are, indeed, a wonderful gift. They're just getting old enough to patronise me but as you say, they bring out love and affection and generally force me to be less grumpy.