Notable Quote by Allan Snyder

‘I will be most distressed if my son comes back with a string of As. Going by my research, it would mean that he is probably not going to do anything exceptional.’ Allan Snyder, Director, Centre for the Mind, University of Sydney. Would words like these give comfort to our mothers and fathers of children without straight As and with some struggling at the bottom of the heap? I am no expert in education or predicting the future of children or assessing their potential. According to Snyder, his research shows that the champions and successful people have nothing to do with their academic achievements. Many have been very successful, even in technical and professional fields, without having straight As. Quite a number were drop outs from schools. The Americans have many luminaries in this category and so do we. Some billionaires in our midst would have been in the Normal Stream of our education system. The mystical thing is that their talents are not in the books. They are gifted or blessed to shine in different fields. How then can we persuade our parents to view things from a different perspective and not just straight As? Are there ways to change the mindset, change the branding and labelling, to accord recognition and acceptance of talents that are not academic geniuses but geniuses in their own rights in other fields? Where shall we start? We have been bungling with this notion of academic brilliance equals success and a good life, which is generally true but not the absolute truth. We need to take a different path, jump into the river or swim the ocean, to find ourself and our own meaning in life. Straight As will in all probability end up being a good civil servant, a good employee, and nothing spectacular. Many of the great inventions today came from non straight As students.


Anonymous said...

'Tian sheng wo cai pi yu yong' (Hanyu Pinyin-Chinese) simply translates to 'Nature makes everything for a purpose'

And everyone, from serf to son of heaven serve their purposes for a few decades or less in any society.

Just one controversial view for readers to ponder; even a patient lying on the bed serves the purpose of providing jobs for the doctors, nurses and ancillary staff plus business for the hospital.


Be a pauper or a king, both are equal in worthiness of life and death.


Anonymous said...

'Are there ways to change the mindset?'

There are, but it means changing human nature, which unfortunately is near impossible. Straight As means good careers, easier life and good pay, the ideal ambitions of all parents to nurture their children to achieve. And, if I may put it bluntly, all boils down to greed.

Since not a few have professed that greed is good, nothing more can be said.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I was just talking about this very thing to a client this afternoon.

Syllabuses in the public/ national education system are decided by bureaucrats working for stolen money. In other words, state controlled/ regulated education is a racket . Big red flag here, to those with independent mind and free spirits.

The legal thieves (aka civil servants) who are employed govt don't produce anything of worth -- they are there to construct absolute edicts based on their one whimsical minds -- what the fuck would these folks know about educating kids -- nevermind their own kinds, but millions of children (whom they don't even know personally) of an entire country?...and people, including most parents, believe this shit? Amazing.

At least Synder is not one of them.

Education is vital to not only life but prevailing? at life -- you want a life, not just an existence . A life is full of meaning and experience, and purpose and achievement... and one needs on-going education to have that rich experience.

However, who ever said that the "sole authority" for the supply of education to children should be the state?

And who said that the "objective" barometer for educational achievement is the EXAM?

What horseshit. Unadulterated, unscrutinized, unchallenged and universally accepted on faith and public opinion alone steaming pile of smelly fake and fraudulent government shit!

Exams are one of the biggest con jobs ever invented by our species:

Your job as a student is to "con" the examiner into believing that you, the student, understands and has a required level of expertise in a certain subject...even though your ability in said area only meet the requirements as stated in "the syllabus".

Talk about a mass denial of reality.

But wait, there's more... the education racket, like all govt rackets has grown to bubble proportions -- it seems that everything you plan on doing now requires "paper qualification" -- that "student bluff examiner" govt-controlled and sanctioned CONFIDENCE TRICKERY.

If you or your kid gets straight A's -- good. What's next? What is your next party trick that you're going to pull out of your "educated" arse?

Proving to a govt system that you can pass their exams is no predictor of one's success in life.

In fact, as far as human beings are concerned it is virtually impossible to predict anything in the future, except that one day, EVERYONE DIES.

Including civil servants. Thank god.

Matilah_Singapura said...


Interesting observations (Google for more info):

Snyder's work with TMS (trans- cranial magnetic stimulation) is interesting. He uses TMS to stimulate the LEFT temporal lobe, to turn on the "genius" or savant-like skills.

Mike Persinger, OTOH uses TMS on the RIGHT temporal lobe to induce "religious" experience or the subject experiencing a "presence" of "something" which is not actually there. I've actually seen video of Persinger's experiments.

Centre For the Mind's founding fellow is Oliver Sacks. Anyone who is interested in the brain, neuroscience or parapsychology would be well advised to check out Dr Sacks amazing body of work... if you've seen the movie "Awakenings" (based on the book written by Sacks) you'd have an idea of Sacks' amazing work.

Anonymous said...

Nature does not need science just like mankind does not need religions. Nature has allowed life forms and inanimates to exist and extinct as time progresses. Educated humans do not necessarily live longer, more intelligent and or more successful in attainments.

What university did the earliest philosophers got educated? They were just born to be who they were. Ancient men were able to discover, identify and name heavenly bodies; stars, planets and their movements etc without any instruments.

The people of yore were able to build superstructures; Greatwalls of China, huge temples atop many mountains in China, Pyramids in Egypt and others such as Stonehenge, Manchu Pichu and much other wonders which modern man with advanced equipments are challenged.

Other non-human species have existed and are existing and flourishing, Mosquitoes, flies, rats, germs and viruses, do they need to be educated?

One thing is obvious to me; giant species, those huge in sizes, powerful in strengths and long in life span die faster and went extinct earlier such as the dinosaurs and mammoths.

Educated or not, strong or not, long life span or not do not determine the success of survivals.
Humankind is about the only species that want to gauge the success of fellow beings by using personal yardsticks. They have this yardstick because humans have egoes.


Wally Buffet said...

One word says it all.

All those book smart so called scholars are in actuality dumbf@#ks.

They can only run a stratified organization as in the civil service or the uniformed agencies. Put them into the world of private enterprise and they will be left floundering like dying carps grasping for air.

Some of these bookworms are the progenies of taxi drivers, fishmongers, hawkers etc.

The adage that graduates beget smart, as in book learning kids, just flew out of the window and the proof is their walking self!


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

We should agree with Chok Tong. Every citizen, regardless of their station in life, rich or poor, just be happy, be comfortable. No need to fight like the Joneses. Trying to better one's station can be very taxing and lead to more misery.