Listened The competition delusion; and a call to nationalise big data from ABC Radio National

Competition is often seen almost as a universal good. But economist Nicholas Gruen says a slavish adherence to making everything a competition is damaging our trust in public institutions. Also, the Belgian community trialling an ancient form of democracy. And if big data is made collectively, would nationalising it help to ensure the benefits are widely distributed?

Bookmarked Disengaged boys: just make it a competition, right? by Adam Boxer (A Chemical Orthodoxy)

When students are involved in a competition, the thing they are focused on is the competition. Their mental energies are dedicated to finding the quickest, easiest and most effortless way of winning the competition. Thinking hard or learning plays second fiddle. The mind has a remarkable capacity to shirk the hard labour of learning, don’t give it another opportunity to do so.

Adam Boxer questions the benefits of competition and urgency on learning. This reminds me of a post from Natasha Singer on Kahoot!:

Kahoot seems like a bit of a throwback to a more old-fashioned pedagogical approach: behaviorism. This is the idea of educators shaping student behavior by handing out gold stars, stickers, points and the like.

To me it comes back to fun or hard fun. The most useful activity I did with quizzes in class was to get my students to create their own and upload them for their peers.

Liked On creativity-rich endeavours (

I want my children to realise that life is only about competing and winning when you want it to be. Most of the time, it’s about self-expression, teamwork, and trying your best. My favourite pursuits are those where I don’t have to conform to someone else’s idea of success, but instead get to choose my own goalposts, so to speak.