[OT] Mediocre Britain

Richmond Mathewson richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 15:31:11 EDT 2011


 >There are some fundamental philosophical contradictions between 
"meritocracy"
 >and "fairness." Society -- in the US, UK and elsewhere -- is not 
prepared to deal with
 >these difficult issues and generally chooses to ignore the problem. 
Have a nice day,
 >Tim Miller

Indeed there are some fundamental philosophical contradictions: a 
meritocracy
should be based on merit; and that, as we are all well aware, can come 
as merit
in the form of intelligence and/or whether Mummy and Daddy can pay.

I certainly do not want my second son (who is intelligent) sitting next 
to young people
who are going to have a bad influence on his motivation (just had 2 
years of that, so off he goes to the most elitist school in Europe; for 
very little money indeed because his educational merit has been 
recognised). My first son, despite his intelligence, has
suffered to an extent by mixing with disinterested kids for homes where 
education comes a poor second after drooling over moronic tv programmes 
and computer games; he, as a result of that, has to spend a year 
somewhere where he doesn't
want to playing catch-up with those who went to elitist schools: I 
regret that my wife and I were goofy enough, in the interests of him 
mixing socially with all strata of society, to leave him there and not 
pull him out when the warning signs first showed.

Frankly I don't really care about fairness that much; has life been 
"fair" to you, has it been "fair" to me? A silly question which has no 
real answer (probably because the word, 'fair', at its centre is almost 
semantically empty). I am a human being, who, as a human being, cares 
more about his kids than somebody else's. I am not going to pretend (as 
we, in Scotland, know full well how they pretend 'doun sooth') that I
am a wishy-washy liberal who, by stretching his resources to be 'fair' 
helps no one at all.




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