Sri Lanka, proud Island nation with rich culture going back thousands of years, annual turnover less than one branch of Sports Direct. Sri Lanka is now a wholly owned subsidiary of China PLC.

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka cancels school exams over paper shortage

Official sources said the move could effectively hold up tests for about two-thirds of the country’s 4.5 million students.

Students wearing protective face masks practice keeping a one meter distance as they attend a maths lesson inside a class room on the first day at Vidyakara college, which re-opened after almost two months of lock-down amidst concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 6, 2020.
Education authorities said exams were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948 [File: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Published On 19 Mar 202219 Mar 2022

Sri Lanka has cancelled exams for millions of school students in the Western Province as the country ran out of printing paper with Colombo short on dollars to finance imports, according to officials.

Education authorities said the term tests, scheduled a week from Monday, were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948.

list 2 of 4

Sri Lankan protesters demand president quit over economic crisis

list 3 of 4

Sri Lanka reverses course, seeks financial support from IMF

list 4 of 4

Photos: Power cuts in Sri Lanka have hit all walks of life

end of list

“School principals cannot hold the tests as printers are unable to secure foreign exchange to import necessary paper and ink,” the Department of Education of the Western Province, home to nearly six million people, said.

Term tests for classes 9, 10 and 11 are part of a continuous assessment process to decide if students are promoted to the next grade at the end of the year.

A debilitating economic crisis brought on by a shortage of foreign exchange reserves to finance essential imports has seen the country run low on food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

IMF bailout

The cash-strapped South Asian nation of 22 million announced this week that it will seek an IMF bailout to resolve its worsening foreign debt crisis and shore up external reserves.

The International Monetary Fund on Friday confirmed it was considering President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s surprise Wednesday request to discuss a bailout.

The island nation secured a $1bn credit line from India to buy urgently needed food and medicine, officials said, after Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi.

About $6.9bn of Colombo’s debt needs to be serviced this year but its foreign currency reserves stood at about $2.3bn at the end of February.

Long queues have formed across the country for groceries and oil with the government instituting rolling electricity blackouts and rationing of milk powder, sugar, lentils and rice.Sign up for Al JazeeraWeekly Newsletter

The latest news from around the world.Timely. Accurate. Fair.Sign up

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Sri Lanka earlier this year asked China, one of its main creditors, to help put off debt payments but there has been no official response yet from Beijing.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

Fix the Konnections, don’t try to fix the Nodes!—an insight from NK network theory

for Ben Taylor and Rory Heap. Rory, it’s a completely inaccessible photo of an article about women in the workplace and confidence and be the best you you can never be you go girl etceteraah…

Let’s see if Bill Gateses’s MagicEye can read that ..

He’s losing control.

Mainly Hes, and increasing numbers of Shes.

Control.

The ancients believed that they had angered the gods when there was a natural disaster.

Managers believe that they have angered the shareholders when things outside of their control occur. They call them ‘failure’ and search for a chain of causation, a process that is essentially entrail reading.

Fantasies of control.

Consequences of fantasies.

How the states have become “Laboratories of Autocracy” — and why it’s worse than you think | Salon.com

Coming to the UK as soon as the Electoral Reform Act is passed next week while you’re all whining and laughing abot BYOB Spaffel…

Former Ohio Democratic Party head David Pepper has a dire warning: Rigged state legislatures are destroying America
— Read on www.salon.com/2022/01/15/how-the-states-have-become-laboratories-of-autocracy–and-why-its-worse-than-you-think/

We always knew Tory rewilding subsidies would destroy poor Welsh farmers, here’s how…

“As with the debate about rewilding, Glyn fears that carbon offsetting will accelerate a move away from food production and traditional livelihoods in Wales. He doesn’t want to sell carbon credits from planting trees or sequestered carbon in his soils if it replaces rearing sheep and cattle.”

““It would be interesting if the world did come to that, but whether it’s right is another thing. Agriculture is just the recycling of carbon, isn’t it? Whereas the companies that are buying carbon credits are just burning fossil fuels, aren’t they, which is just a one-way system.””

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/28/agriculture-recycling-carbon-farmers-reframe-rewilding-debate

TOXIC OPTICS: the management of appearance and the appearance of management

blying blliars blying

“But there is a kicker to the story, and in it we see how the cynicism of self-preservation prevailed at the expense of doing something long-term and substantive about race relations. Shortly before Macpherson published his report, Straw proposed a follow-up – an ambitious strategy that would prioritise race equality considerations in policymaking across government bodies. Yet taking on racial justice in such a direct manner was just too risky, too destabilising to the government. “A regulation nightmare,” said Blair. Angus Lapsley, an official in Blair’s private office, decided not to back a proposal that racist police officers should be dismissed (government was “cool” towards this suggestion, he said), not because the policy would be wrong, but because of how rightwing papers would react to it. Here is where the decibel level rises. “This could easily become a ‘Telegraph cause celebre’ if taken too far,” said Lapsley. Blair agreed, saying: “We do not want to go OTT on this.” The proposal was killed. There is a sort of sickening relief in seeing those sentiments – expressed behind closed doors – spelled out so matter of factly; in knowing for certain that concerns about racial injustice aren’t taken seriously not because they’re not believed but because they rock the boat. Indeed, the smothering of a broad, progressive race policy 20 years ago tells us much about where we are today, with a government proudly hostile to interrogating the true state of race relations”

Why Bosses Are Inflexible About Flexible Work Arrangements | WIRED

https://www.wired.co.uk/

Good article.

Especially relevant to Ben Taylor’s recent piece here…

https://chosen-path.org/2021/11/22/what-capability-do-public-services-most-need-in-2022-and-beyond/

A responsible Government would respond with a process for a new British Bill of Rights. A smart Opposition would demand one. Ha.

The UK may be the only democracy in the world without a written constitution – a ‘higher’ law or code to which all others must conform.

Until now, we haven’t seen the need for binding rules. We’ve relied on self-restraint. We’ve trusted politicians to behave themselves. We’ve assumed that only ‘good chaps’ – as Lord Hennessy memorably put it – will rise to high office. And those good chaps won’t need to be told how to behave. Being good chaps, they will know what the rules are and they will obey them.

But what happens if the people running the show aren’t good chaps?

What you get is what we have. Bullying of regulators. Stacking of boards. Challenges to the independence of the media. Criminalising civil protest. Restricting the right to vote. Attacking the independence of MPs. Challenging the judiciary, curtailing its powers and reversing its decisions. Abandoning the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. There are well-sourced rumours of political interference in operational policing decisions. And, let us not forget, we have a Prime Minister who unlawfully suspended Parliament.

All of this is before we start on the tidal wave of sleaze engulfing the Government: VIP lanes for the politically connected; vast payments to politically connected middle-men; procurement fraud going uninvestigated; failures to declare conflicts of interest by MPs; and the misleading of Parliament by the Prime Minister.

Sitting above all of this is a set of problems, arising not so much from how some politicians behave but from how the world now is. Our politics feels more divided. We seem to have less in common, and the idea we all want the same things for the country feels less secure.

The truth is, the world our rules were made for no longer exists.

What does this mean for the idea that Parliament is supreme – has absolute power? Is this conception of democracy consistent with a first-past-the-post system that can, and often does, give unconstrained power to a Government with a minority of the popular vote? And if MPs are coerced into voting with the Government, who gets to play the constitutional trump card of Parliamentary supremacy? MPs accountable to voters, or the Executive?

At the heart of all of this is a simple truth: you don’t need a constitution to protect you against good chaps because they’re good chaps, and a constitution that can’t protect you against bad chaps is no constitution at all.

Meanwhile, what remains withers and weakens. What is left is less and less able to command public confidence. Trust in politics – and ultimately in democracy – is the victim.

A responsible Government would respond with a process for a new British Bill of Rights. A smart Opposition would demand one.

Thank you,

Jo Maugham – Good Law Project

Matryoska CAS… systems within systems, plans within plans, complex adaptive systems within complex adaptive systems. Not bragging but I foresaw this in 1997.

www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/10/facebook-papers-outrage-machine/620556/

I’m too old and tired to write my explanation here, sorry. You could start by reading or rereading my book Navigating Complexity.

Here’s the gist: autopoietic systems feedback and amplify. As a system gets bigger it reaches a bifurcation point. Eventually like, say Microsoft v. Apple v Novell v Linux you get a shakeout… one biggy, one ten percenter and minnows. Read Brian Arthur. Read up on N-K networks. Yada yada. Now imagine that at every level. Stafford Beer on acid.

Facebook, the reviled financial corporate entity currently being set up as the proxy fallguy for January 6th (or do I mean 1/6, you know, like 9/11), contains at least 3 nested overlapping CAS. Facebook users are tiny agents in a seethe of nested venned CASes, like 514000 species of bacteria in a mouth ulcer exchanging DNA like pokemon cards in a schoolyard or bodily fluids in an orgy. Try blaming a single, singular lone gunman bacterium that started it all, for any value of ‘it’. Guffaws.

I’d love government to regulate social media. But first you people need to have some glimmer of understanding of what the fuck these ‘internet’ ‘social’, ‘media’ actually are. I can’t tell you, I don’t have answers but I do have way way better questions than you clowns. You need to navigate complexity.

Right now you are up shitcreek without a paddle. You can paddle with your hands, ugh, but you’ll get nowhere without a map and a compass. You need to understand complexity. You have by now understood that you can’t manage it, now you need to learn to navigate it. Damn shame my book is out of print.

How to blame other people for f**king up at work

ARE you always getting things wrong at work but don’t fancy being unemployed? Read our guide to shifting the blame.

Economist Brian Easton says trying to organise the electricity system around a competition model based on financial markets does not make sense | interest.co.nz

LOL.

Economist Brian Easton says trying to organise the electricity system around a competition model based on financial markets does not make sense
— Read on www.interest.co.nz/opinion/111881/economist-brian-easton-says-trying-organise-electricity-system-around-competition

Politics: the scum on the waters of change

https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/02/20/thoreau-social-change/

Thoreau on the Long Cycles of Social Change and the Importance of Not Mistaking Politics for Progress

“One of Thoreau’s most countercultural yet incisive points is that true social reform has little to do with politics, for genuine cultural change operates on cycles far longer and more invisible than the perpetual churning of immediacies with which the political state and the political conscience are occupied. Rather than dueling with petty surface facts, as politics is apt to, the true revolutionary and reformer dwells in humanity’s largest truths, aiming to transfigure the deepest strata of reality.”

Message found in a bottle of snake oil, in the Sargasso sea…

A friend of mine said, in a lovely,erudite presentation to some very smart folk:

“a weakness of my current thinking is a lack of explicitly encompassing the group, the social.”

Totally agree, we all lack this.

Re-examine page 49 of ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’, written by myself.

Then think about that botanical nostrum – Early Years textbooks teach that there are three kinds of play in young humans and many mammals: 

  • individual play
  • parallel play
  • social play

Know that this is botany – classifying plants by the shape of their leaves. We observe the spots of a leopard, but what is the mechanism that creates them?

What are the primitives, the atomic irreducible processes that underly the phenomena?

We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups. I  suspect they are incommensurable, like weather prediction after Lorenz.

We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups.

This has hamstrung playwork, education, professional football, orchestral performance, NASA budgetary oversight inquiries, Air Accident Investigation, Corporate Fraud Investigation, etcetera etcetera.

There are clues in the Miles Davis approach to group play.

There are clues in Taoism, and Zen.

But as Sapir, Whof and Wittgenstein, and probably Gibson (JJ not W) would tell you, language shapes thought and we do not have the language. 

Try explaining how to put oil into a car without using any car-related, or engine-related words. Go on, try it. Write it down, now go through it and strike out any car-related and engine-related words that crept in. We don’t have a big enough RAM, our short-term memory, to hold even one sentence of the resulting tedious arm-waving stuttering verbiage.

Why doesn’t the world move when I shake my head?

~~~~~~



M’learned friend also said:

“This has many implications, but that main one is that we should judge education by the value created for stakeholders (laudate Tom) – this is fittingly complex and circular. 

NO NO NO, NO!

Very pleased that you rate teecha Tom.

Not stakeholders, feck stakeholders. Leave that to the Tory Goovey Gradgrindians.

I  think you might mean participants? If so then I‘ll semi-agree.

How would you judge a Beth Chatto garden? Answer that and you’ll know how to judge education .

~~~

Read Seedstock by Frank Herbert… full text here… https://momentoftime.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/seed-stock-frank-herbert/

I  cannot link to that story without rereading it, and when I  reread it, I  cannot help but be moved to tears.

~~~

Koan for you: “how can we value things without judging them?” asked the abbot.

Answers on a postcard to my fastness by Ruabon mountain, please, or via ‘e-mail’.

~~~

“It was a failure to think critically…”

“Let us pray, now, for science,” intoned a New York Times columnist back at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. The title of his article laid down the foundational faith of Trump-era liberalism: “Coronavirus is What You Get When You Ignore Science.”

“Ten months later, at the end of a scary article about the history of “gain of function” research and its possible role in the still ongoing Covid pandemic, Nicholson Baker wrote as follows: “This may be the great scientific meta-experiment of the 21st century. Could a world full of scientists do all kinds of reckless recombinant things with viral diseases for many years and successfully avoid a serious outbreak? The hypothesis was that, yes, it was doable. The risk was worth taking. There would be no pandemic.”

“Except there was. If it does indeed turn out that the lab-leak hypothesis is the right explanation for how it began — that the common people of the world have been forced into a real-life lab experiment, at tremendous cost — there is a moral earthquake on the way.

“Because if the hypothesis is right, it will soon start to dawn on people that our mistake was not insufficient reverence for scientists, or inadequate respect for expertise, or not enough censorship on Facebook. It was a failure to think critically about all of the above, to understand that there is no such thing as absolute expertise. Think of all the disasters of recent years: economic neoliberalism, destructive trade policies, the Iraq War, the housing bubble, banks that are “too big to fail,” mortgage-backed securities, the Hillary Clinton campaign of 2016 — all of these disasters brought to you by the total, self-assured unanimity of the highly educated people who are supposed to know what they’re doing, plus the total complacency of the highly educated people who are supposed to be supervising them.”

Let’s make a distinction between:

1. ‘ignoring science’, which implies believing in something other than science, and,


2. ‘believing in science’, and

3. ‘not believing in things at all’.



By which I mean, not believing anything anyone says until you have thought about it. Which implies understanding how science works, which implies possessing the skill of ‘thinking critically’ about something.

Thinking.

People don’t like doing it.

It’s easier to believe, because then you don’t have to think.

Until something bad happens. Like Covid.

So if Covid escaped from a lab, who can we trust?

Answer, don’t trust anyone, gather information and think.

Thinking is underrated. ‘They’ don’t want you to do it, which is OK, but only if ‘they’ are doing the thinking for you.

Turns out they were lazy, and didn’t think.

And millions died.

Dr. Ian Malcolm :

“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.


Jurassic Park (1993) – Jeff Goldblum as Malcolm – IMDb