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aries1988 : system   11

Evolution of the English Alphabet (Matt Baker @usefulcharts)
RT : Ok, for those who would prefer the title to read "Latin Alphabet", here you go...
alphabet  history  infographics  comparison  west  writing  system 
april 2018 by aries1988
One kind of education does not fit all
Such techniques may not seem controversial elsewhere, but in France they challenge central educational tenets. For many years, education has been subject to what might be called “the tyranny of normal”. Ever since Jules Ferry introduced compulsory, free, secular primary education in the 1880s, uniform schooling countrywide has been part of the French way of doing things. The 19th-century instituteur, or schoolteacher, was a missionary figure, a guarantor of republican equality and norms. Teachers were trained in écoles normales. To this day, the mighty education ministry sets standardised curriculums and timetables. All 11-year-olds spend exactly four-and-a-half hours on maths a week. Experimentation is frequently regarded as suspect. “Classes are not laboratories,” noted a report by the conservative education inspectorate a few years ago, “and pupils are not guinea pigs.”

French education has long been run along almost military lines. An army of 880,000 teachers is deployed to schools across the country. Head teachers have no say in staffing. In the course of their careers, teachers acquire points that enable them to request reassignment. Newly qualified ones without such points are sent to the toughest schools, and turnover in such places is depressingly high.

Each year 50,000-60,000 people apply and just 900 are admitted. Léonard Aymard, originally from Annecy, was a tour guide when he applied. Loic Shety, from Dijon, won a place even though he lacked the school-leaving baccalauréat certificate. “It’s not for everyone,” says Mathilde Allard from Montpellier, “but we work together so we don’t get lost.”

When a university cannot take any more, those at schools nearby are supposed to be given priority, but such is the demand that places are increasingly being allocated through random selection by computer, known as tirage au sort, which this year affected 169 degree subjects across France. Ability is immaterial.

The lessons of his school, as well as of Descartes and Oran-Constantine, point a way for France to overcome the tyranny of normal in order to make more of what it does well and minimise what it does not.
français  school  explained  reportage  debate  future  learn  university  system 
october 2017 by aries1988
Eton and the making of a modern elite | 1843

Eton is, as the headmaster puts it, unashamed in its pursuit of excellence. The school aims to educate the elite, as it always has, but it has reshaped itself in order to accommodate a new elite defined by money, brains and ambition, not pedigree, titles and acres.

The percentage of pupils at the school with an OE father went down from 60% in 1960 to 33% in 1994 to 20% now. Eton has gone from being an heirloom handed down through the generations to a revolving door.

The contest isn’t simply between candidates. It’s a battle of wits between a school whose proclaimed intention is to identify deserving talent and ambition, and parents who will do everything to stack things in their child’s favour. Well-off, well-organised parents prepare their sons ruthlessly, hiring tutors, making the boys do ceaseless verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests and sending them to interview classes to learn how to be sparky and empathetic. The school is wise to these constantly evolving efforts to game the system, however, and a lot of boys who have done brilliantly in the computerised test are turned down because they aren’t interesting at inter­view. If a boy makes me laugh, says one of the school’s interviewers, he stands a good chance of getting in.

The story of Eton’s reconquest of the commanding heights of Britain is one of gradual rehabilitation. With the weakening of the hard left, the prospect of private schools being abolished receded, while Eton’s efforts to present itself less as a throwback to an earlier age than a guarantor of achievement in the current one began to pay dividends.

If Eton hasn’t quite become the liberal, socially transformative institution the reformists seek, it is undeniably more discerning in allocating one of the best starts in life that money (or brains, or ambition) can get you.
uk  education  school  boy  elite  reform  system 
december 2016 by aries1988
Big Blue smoke | The Economist
IBM is helping to predict pollution

Under the accord, IBM’s researchers will harness the firm’s expertise in supercomputing, big-data analytics and weather forecasting to predict the levels of PM2.5 three days in advance. This will better enable the government to shut factories, restrict vehicles and alert citizens.
There are a hundred or so reliable monitoring stations today in Beijing but more are needed.

IBM plans to top up official data with more from weather satellites and sensors around the city. It is also open to crowdsourcing pollution readings. The firm’s China research team leads its global effort on social-media analytics. The question is how much openness Chinese officials will allow.
china  pollution  bigdata  supercomputer  prediction  system  research 
november 2016 by aries1988
抢票插件设计者倪超:与金山无利益关系_科技_腾讯网
但说到底,还是12306网站的不给力才给了互联网企业表现的机会,以1月15日为例,当天12306网站有1700万人登录,共售出火车票265.2万张,最高售票速度为每秒255张,而天猫和淘宝在去年11月11日大促销当天,独立访问用户超过2亿,全天订单量超过1亿笔,支付宝最高峰时每秒接近1500单交易,各项数据都远远高出12306,如果只是因为抢票软件持续刷新页面就导致服务器不堪重负,那只能说明12306网站的技术后台还有大幅提升的空间。文/本报记者 车利侠
system  business  informatic 
january 2013 by aries1988
中国首个地震预警系统通过科技成果鉴定
按照传播方式的不同,地震波分为三种类型,即纵波、横波和面波。其中纵波在地壳中传播速度为5.5-7千米/秒,它最先从震中向外扩散,使地面上下震动,破坏性较弱;横波在地壳中的传播速度为3.2-4千米/秒,第二个向外扩散,使地面发生前后、左右抖动,破坏性较强。
由此,地震发生的一瞬间,预警系统可以在接收到纵波信号以后及时发出警告,由于电讯号的传播速度接近光速(30万千米/秒),因此利用电讯号在地震中心向外传递信息,就要比地震的纵波和横波都要快得多,这样地震中心周边的一些区域就能够赢得宝贵的避灾时间。
googlereader  disaster  earthquake  system  china 
september 2012 by aries1988
成圣又如何
然而,作为一个政治家,个体“成圣”与否真的有那么重要吗?我们真的需要圣人们治理国家吗?还是,我们只需要一群正常人和一个好的制度而已? “成圣”是儒家这个盒子里的最高境界,但终究只是一个盒子里的最高境界。西人说:Think outside the box. http://www.instapaper.com/read/215577984
china  paragon  system  thinking  zeitgeist  comparison 
august 2012 by aries1988
【纽约时报】健康——中国的下一轮革命
如今,我们的国家日益富强,但国民的健康状况却令人堪忧。政府已加大投入,通过改善基础设施,强化体育教育,改善草根阶层的健康状况。始终要国民体格强健,我们才能走上一条真正的强国之路。
health  people  china  system  sports  life 
october 2011 by aries1988
南方周末:【高铁之乱】“不可能”的事故
“铁道系统内部核心人士介绍,“7·23”动车追尾事故原因初步查明,只待有关方面权威发布。”

“信号系统地面设备本身的设计问题使雷击造成的故障升级,红码发成绿码,错误发出绿灯信号,引导D301前行追尾。”

“从23日20:25开始,一系列似乎合理的复杂调度实际上把两辆动车放到了危险的悬崖边,而信号设备的故障最终把两车推下了悬崖。”
china  train  accident  report  system  risk 
july 2011 by aries1988

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