Out of the mouths of babes - and private school kids…
A teacher at an expensive primary school in the country asked her young charges what they would call a person who helped others. A boy shot his hand up eager to answer.
“A servant?” he said.
The ‘Me’ Generation – babyboomers’ uncaring keepers?
Uh-oh – these are the people who’ll be looking after Super and our health care (or not) when babyboomers are in the twilight of their years. London’s Daily Telegraph reported recently that today’s generation of students have lost almost 40 per cent of the ability to empathise with others since the 1980s. The study, presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, analysed a number of surveys involving almost 14,000 college students over the last 30 years.
"We found the biggest drop in empathy after the year 2000," said Sara Konrath, a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.
Ms Konrath analysed the findings of 72 different studies of American college students conducted between 1979 and 2009, with fellow graduate student Edward O'Brien and undergraduate student Courtney Hsing. Compared to college students of the late 1970s, the study found, college students today are less likely to agree with statements such as "I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective" and "I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me."
Ms Konrath said that many people refer to the effect as the "Generation Me" which is one of the most self-centered, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic in recent history.
"It's not surprising that this growing emphasis on the self is accompanied by a corresponding devaluation of others," Mr O'Brien said. The researchers felt that the change in society could be to do with violence in the media and modern technology such as the internet reducing face-to-face personal interaction. For the full story go to: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/7779290/Generation-me-students-have-less-empathy-than-20-years-ago.html
Broadband as a human right
London’s Independent newspaper reports that last October, Finland became the first country to enshrine broadband as a fundamental human right, when the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications promised that all its 5.5 million inhabitants would have access to a 100mbps connection by 2015. …In France and Greece, the right to internet access has now been written into law.
The government of Estonia declared it a human right as long ago as 2000. The number of internet users in a country correlates predictably with GDP per capita, hence Scandinavia is the world's most wired region, with North America and the rest of Western Europe not far behind.
The relationship between GDP per capita and internet access is a virtuous circle: broadband drives business, boosting an economy and increasing its capacity for better communications”. And then we land with a thump in the realities of home.