Sunday, August 20, 2006

Trust me... this stinks

Courtesy of the wonders of digital TV (and a subscription fee, I might add), I caught up with a TV prog yesterday which was originally broadcast on Friday night, 7pm, BBC2. "Trust me... I'm an economist" purports to demonstrate how the science (?) of economics can show us how to live more successful lives. It's presented by I-can't-even-be-bothered-to-look-it-up in a manner both smug and incompetent - always a winning combination. And what do you know, programme one was on "love", and did indeed try to use the language of economics to tackle such problems as how to meet the right partner/how to be sure marriage is the right step/how to decide whether or not to have a child.

The audacity of this programme was breathtaking. And disturbing. Quite the worst thing is, it struck me as a programme almost entirely devoid of any sense of morality. I shudder at the memory.

Naturally the programme maker had occasional equations flitting across the screen, cos hey! this is a science, right? Which makes me wonder what any of my pupils would make of this stuff. I think I trust them to call it for what it is.


liturgybuff said...

My favourite quote about economists (courtesy of the 'The West Wing') was the economists were put on this earth to give astrologers a good name.

Covenanter said...

Re Sixth Year: in my day, Sixth Year was for those of us who didn't do well enough in Fifth Year to catch up in or, if we were too young to move up to university after Fifth Year, to prepare further with Sixth Year Studies. I was a half-way case: I did well in my top subject (English) but not well enough overall, so I did SYS English and repeated most of the others, dropping Latin (I should have taken Music instead - even if I'd failed, I'd've been able to put what I gleaned from it to good use) and actually passed Maths with a C.

I loved Calculus, despaired of Trigonometry and have found what I learned to be of absolutely no practical use in the nigh-on thirty years since. O-Grade Arithmetic has proved to be quite sufficient.

At least I can count in my head - how many of your calculator-weilding kids can say that?