Sunday, January 23, 2022

politics column provokes an angry Doctor Who lesson on taking victims' sude

From a Guardian politics column by Andrew Rawnsley on the Boris Johnson partygate crisis: " I hear some Conservative MPs arguing that he should be given a period of "probation" to see whether he can put together a more professional team at No 10 and run a better government. That's like having Dracula before you and a stake to hand, but offering him 3 months to prove he can be a vegetarian. "

It's exactly what it angers me to see the Doctor disgustingly do for the Master, who is already a mass murderer meriting vengefulness, in Doctor Who episode "World Enough and Time". DW writers seem to rate as a moral virtue and good audience selling point, this rubbishy strand in the Doctor's character, to have a persistent mercy relationship with a persistent megavillain who is still taunting him as he does it! instead of prior moral anger for his victims including those close to the Doctor's past friends. A choice that in that episode costs the innocent life of Bill Potts.

Which makes that episode and that strand in DW a strong moral lesson against the unjust, hence nasty, and stupid idea of keeping giving one-sided redemption mercy to cruel wrongers instead of vengeance, an idea some folks see as Christian. Too right written on a Sunday !

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Everybody's Talking About no dress rules ?

The scene of popular demand overturning the teacher's rules, in Everybody"s Talking About Jamie, when Jamie's classmates force his admission to their school prom in a dress, achieves a direct brilliant case example of both dress rules and authoritarian teacher culture being wrong. Whether or not it was made so intentionally, that is what it shows. It needs saying so and using so, against those systems. Its TV elite makers Film4 won't do that, we should.

The film has just premiered, the theatre musical was around for several years. Films with school settings are usually unwatchable: there has long been a US-led film norm where it is as predictable as clockwork to show traumatic bullying scenes, usually with no just resolution and just with the character implausibly rising above them. They spin a bigotry against kids by presenting such scenes as part of childhood, instead of as the preventable product of an ill-designed barbaric institution herding captive inmates around in large groups like cattle with no care for peer compatibility, which has the same results among adults when done to them.

So this film has to be complimented as more bearable than most school films, because it avoids showing any long scenes of bullies winning, and you always know its whole message is that Jamie will win. While the story includes an inevitable presence of toxically masculine boys' prejudice, and in its early scenes that prejudice's dominant place, it always avoids showing such scenes through to a nasty denouement. It makes use of being a musical for this: as soon as it has to show an emotional confrontation moment with the toxic boy arise, it goes straight into a positive song, so that it can keep up its gender liberty message.

It's really interesting, how its tie to show positivity and winning for a cause that has become popular forces its hand not to follow school films' usual destructive trope of having nasty peer grittiness immovably win. In the process, it shows how that trope's gloomy cowing effect on society is part of school's effect so.

A concern is that the film Jamie's character comes across so perfectly stereotypically gay that the toxic-masculines could extract a reinforcement of prejudice that only that character wants to do what he did. A straight drag queen story remains needed. Of course the story's whole value is that it is based on a true story of a valuable victory, Jamie is gay, and overall, toxic masculinity is fought well by telling the story. But to counter that drawback it needed a writing in of cross-dressing's influence on a straight boy too. That is a lack.

It rubbed in a life-defining gender related hurt for me, with my autistic spectrum physical sensitivity to textures, called a "sensory issue", giving a comfort need for shorts. Its school uniformed scenes of course have every boy encased in trousers, while in the same temperature, many girls with substantial uncoverings of legs. Every sight of that is emotional agonies to every sensory issues male who suffered, by both gender and age, both logically ridiculous, both uniform and school peer cultures against shorts. Indicted by its imaginable contrast with the Australian lesbian school film Ellie and Abbie ! on at Grassmarket last week.

Sensory issues are biological grounds against all dress rules, known for 20 years now, but still clearly unknown to the Jamie story's writers. Sensory issue identities still have none of the same popular following as gender identities, though they merit it equally logically. As a result, subject to trans support's seriousness against bullying which must be scrutinised sceptically, the solution now offered to straight sensory issues boys is to temporarily feign as transgender for school's duration. Though gender politics has brought praise to the boy skirt protests that now happen every summer, still no prominent voices speak out against how in 1986 Blackadder barbarically openly incited bullying of shorts and laughed at victim trauma. Blackadder's cast need forcing to meet all those boys, televised.

Maurice Frank
21 Sep 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Science teaching issues acknowledged by Astronomer Royal

The new Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Catherine Heymans, is a publicly proactive one for science promotion, and flagged so in her introductory talk to the local society. Jun 22 I have got a good acknowledgement from her to issues in the unjust mishandling of science teaching, raised including from the autism angle. The issue and this result hold for students of any age, schoolkids of course, and adults looking at their options including after suffering as school students.

Should be of interest to all education concerned autism pros. That the publicly proactive Astronomer Royal wants listening to lots of different voices and folks of different skillsets and abilities, as necessary towards solving this issue, and thete is a concern to solve.

This was my raising of it:
Hi I'm an ASE member who saw your talk, as well as chair of local autistic group ELAS.

On the public mission of your new office. I flag up the need to encourage scrutiny of why science teaching fails and what its students present and past found hard or unworkable in it, with a view to changing it. This instead of the endless ritual of urging kids towards science careers, that folks are used to hearing, but that sets kids up for knocks and alienation by its wrong message that any interested and duly working kid can at will get through the education process into science.

This is more than an idea, it's a concern from experience. I was a kid encouraged into a science career ambition by recklessly optimistic adults but had its school teaching utterly botched, by short tempered teaching, a devastating pressure trap from when authority assumes ability, and too many puzzle type questions that we had not been taught all the facts needed to answer.

The trend to find science subjects easy to fail, hence less popular than standard voices wish for, evidences real long-entrenched failings in the courses' approach to teaching it. So, to always see it as the student's failing will not shift that problem. School reformer John Holt wrote of the trick that schools take the credit for successes but pin onto the kids the blame for failures.

It is a discriminatory block to success and destroys chances for folks who may be perfectly able to absorb a subject factually, that there is a sweeping assumption in teaching that a puzzle solving approach is healthy. Questions not quite telling you all you need to answer them, trying to force you to find or guess hidden steps of reasoning, find something you have not been told or taught, before you can answer. Not everyone's mind has that faculty strongly, and there is no popular awareness that you should need that faculty in order to study physical sciences. There needs to be it, to save kids from getting set up to fail.

The public inspired by astronomy assume that sciences can simply be studied factually. That seems common sense to them. But Edinburgh uni's listings for its physics degrees illustrate otherwise: they say a physics degree's value include as evidence of problem solving skill. Idealistic adults encouraging kids into science are unaware that it requires a strength in puzzle solving. They were completely naive about that with me, and it is a faculty I have not got, while teachers naively assumed that a too hastily given gifted label guaranteed I would have it. Modern autism awareness has shown how you can have tantalising islands of ability to absorb facts but not have the puzzle solving faculty.

Setting a work question should carry the responsibility to show that its answer was clearly findable for any student from what they had already been taught, without having to find/deduce an unannounced new leap of insight. Instead of being quick to judge a student unsuitable and dump them, which possibility is always an emotional pressure, suppose they asked frustrated students how findable they had needed the solution to be, to a question they could not solve, or to an integral? They at least might find out how to set the questions sensibly.

Logically it is the same as audience questions after a public lecture, for students to get to question after the reasonable answerability of the work questions set to them.

So astronomy promotion needs 2 changes from how it conventionally has been: * to promote to educators that they need to reassess that approach and investigate how much avoidable failure at sciences it has caused. * to make the public realise that career-serious science study in its present form requires this strength at puzzle solving, so should never be promoted to kids without cautioning of that.

Thank you for wanting views!
Maurice Frank

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

critical project on school for spectrumites, across all experiences

At last to see and pass on such a project as

A report project on reform of school for autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Tourette's. Collecting experiential responses from folks with them, of all ages.

So is participative, and open to contributing libertarian views. Contribute. Carpe diem.
#school #libertarianschool #autisticspectrum #adhd #dyslexia #dyscalculia #Tourettes #dyspraxia

Sunday, April 18, 2021

span of undisputed championship?

Business from today's Elas videomeet.
Julian Barton is presently
* undisputed over-50s Jenga champion of Scotland,
* King of Scotland,
until someone disputes either item. In the absence of such dispute as of today, the span of his reigns includes today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Autism Network Scotland's national forum

2 ELAS folks attended the first meeting of ANS's revived forum - Iast week. From ANS -

ANS was delighted to facilitate a new meeting of its formerly long-running Asperger’s Forum on Mar 16, last week. Members held the autistic-led forum online via Skype.

If you identify as autistic, we would like you to join our next discussion (diagnosis not required). You can listen, text or speak – choose what’s comfortable for you.
Join us to share experiences.
Join us to be heard.
Join us to influence change.
Name the group! Please bring your ideas for the group name to the next meeting - date and time to be announced here soon.

The forum is open to any autistic people (diagnosed or self-identifying) who live in Scotland. If you would be interested in hearing more, or joining the forum, you can email

Saturday, March 6, 2021

guilt by quack theory

SOMEONE POSTING ON THE STURGEON/SALMOND SCANDAL HEARINGS - I have a background in understanding and teaching non-verbal communication having studied it at length, and delivered workshops and training to a multitude of groups including trainee psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, police officers and social workers.

ME - As a civil liberty concern towards this idea of "teaching non-verbal communication" from involuntary mannerisms not intended to be communication at all. - Post-traumatic stress and autism are both things that can make innocent folks show the same nerves or blanked emotion, as hasty or high-handed police/psychiatrists/teachers like to interpret as showing guilt.
Does what you are teaching incorporate that fact and avoidance of that danger? It can only be moral if it does.