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Student as Consumer: A Sign of a Global Pathology of Consuming the World

The process of transforming the world into products to be consumed is presenting itself as a global pathology. It is a kind of ‘locust economy’ initiated through unaccountable agents and algorithm driven stockmarkets which move through the world consuming everything for profit before moving on. We are evermore set up and posed as consumers as managerial echelons normalise the surreal imposition of new semiotics on our identities as human beings. Read more

Class, Opportunity and the Lesser Minds Problem; A Ragged University Response

What follows is an annotated and extended version of a paper which was accepted for publication in PRISM journal. PRISM is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal that fosters innovative approaches to progressing critical thinking in all areas of teaching and learning. You can find the edition in which this paper is published by following THIS LINK. Read more

Biases In Psychology Which Affect How People’s Intellectual Contribution Is Valued; Behavioural Reactions to Dissonance and Confirmation Bias

This is the final part of three essays examining how people can be dehumanised through everyday mechanisms of perception.  The first part examined Prejudicial and Biased Reasoning as Illogical and Irrational; and the second part explored Implicit and Explicit Bias. In the third part we will examine Behavioural Reactions to Dissonance and Confirmation Bias.

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Podcast and Annotated Transcript: I Daniel Blake – The Benefit Cuts Debate with Jeane Freeman MSP Social Security Minister, Paul Laverty Screenwriter, and others

“I am not a client, a customer nor a service user. I am not a shirker, a scrounger, a beggar nor a thief. I am not a national insurance number, or blip on a screen. I have paid my dues, never a penny short, and proud to do so. I don’t tug the forelock, but look my neighbour in the eye and help him if I can. I don’t accept or seek charity. My name is Daniel Blake, I am a man, not a dog. As such, I demand my rights. I demand you treat me with respect. I Daniel Blake am a citizen, nothing more and nothing less. Thank you” Read more

Podcast: Richard Murphy, Taxation, Secrecy Jurisdictions and the Joy of Tax by Alex Dunedin

This article is a response to the presentation given by Richard Murphy on his new book ‘The Joy of Tax’ which was launched at the 20th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair.  He spoke on a panel with Lesley Riddoch and Andy Wightman, and you can listen to the audio recording of the event in the podcast below. Read more

Corporate MOTing: Hints and Tips on Interpreting Business Reportage Part Three: SWOTS, PESTS, and CSR by Doreen Soutar

So welcome to part three. A quick recap on the first two parts: if you get a hold of the annual accounts of any given company, it can tell you a fair bit about what the company is like. We can make a stab at telling how the senior executive team wants the reader to view the company, and how the company makes their money. Read more

Corporate MOTing: Hints and Tips on Interpreting Business Reportage Part One: Annual Reports: What Are They Good For? by Doreen Soutar

Mindful consumption is a concept that is increasingly acceptable in the mainstream. We pretty much all have an idea of what a ‘green’ or ‘ethical’ product is like – sort of – and a lot of us would like to buy more of this kind of product, even if we don’t always manage to live up to the image of ourselves we give to market researchers about how green we are.

Now, I am not having a go at you – there are only a select few of us who have been spared the necessity of buying the cheap generic version of a product rather than the premium-priced fair-trade/local/organic/hemp-wrapped/made-on-the-premises-by-virgin-youths version. Sure we would all rather have the good stuff, but being hungry is not a reasonable option to being ethical. And your bum survives being attacked by cheap toilet roll now and again. So going cheap is neither sinful nor unusual. Read more

Critical Apprenticeships: The Wrights and the Wrongs of Passage

We live in a time when the meaning of language in policyland has become so eroded that a collective sense of confusion raises its head when words like ‘apprenticeship’ are thrown about. It seems that there is a common puzzlement now as to what it means in practice….

We have heard a great deal about apprenticeships over the last years, and indeed, as economic doctrine steadily rolls in like a harr from the sea, we discover apprenticeships being presented under a bold educational flag. In this article I am going to ask ‘Are the majority of us having cheap unskilled labour for big firms re-packaged and sold back to us as skill providing foundations and futures to careers ?’.  I shall be trying to tackle this by presenting an indepth analysis of government reports and other sources created on the subject over the last five years.

Where possible, the reports and papers have been embedded in the article or links provided to them so that the reader can evaluate the original texts for themselves.  Also, the discussion will explore some parts of the larger economic backdrop to provide a more meaningful context for us to place the exploration of apprenticeships in this time.

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