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  #41  
Old 05.09.2012, 15:46
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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I think Odile's point makes sense.

She's basically saying that the UK system provides less of a barrier. For example in Germany or Switzerland you might find yourself unable to to university because you were bad at maths at school, even if what you really wanted to study was languages (or vice versa), so the continental system is good at breeding good generalists whereas the UK system is better at breeding high-flyers in particular areas. That may lead to there being more innovations and inventions, but it may also mean that those inventors or innovators may lack the all-round skills to actually make money out of their invention in the real world.
Thanks. But I disagree. Do generalists do better in their business lives? And does studying maths for longer give one more business acumen?
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  #42  
Old 05.09.2012, 15:47
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Re: What are we English bad at?

According to some sources

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...ond-place.html

British men are the worlds second worst lovers.

"too lazy"

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  #43  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:01
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Thanks. But I disagree. Do generalists do better in their business lives? And does studying maths for longer give one more business acumen?
Well, the comments were aimed specifically at innovators and inventors and why they often fail as businessmen, not at business skills in general.

It takes one set of skills to make a ground-breaking disruptive innovation. It takes another set of skills to make a business model, succesfully negotiate capital and transform it into sales and profits. So I do think there is a good explanation there why generalists invent less, but are better at making business with what they do invent.
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  #44  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:07
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Well, the comments were aimed specifically at innovators and inventors and why they often fail as businessmen, not at business skills in general.

It takes one set of skills to make a ground-breaking disruptive innovation. It takes another set of skills to make a business model, succesfully negotiate capital and transform it into sales and profits. So I do think there is a good explanation there why generalists invent less, but are better at making business with what they do invent.
Yes, I realise that, and my comment about business skills was obviously alluding to their skills as businessmen.

I agree with your second points but, at the same time, the two skill sets are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
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  #45  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:19
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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According to some sources

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...ond-place.html

British men are the worlds second worst lovers.

"too lazy"

And British women are world's worst lovers
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  #46  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:20
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Re: What are we English bad at?

You throw u's in where they just don't belong. Colour, etc. And you can't pronounce "Tomato" or "Potato" right!
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  #47  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:21
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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And British women are world's worst lovers
Hey! That's my mimi's mum you're criticising there!
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  #48  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:26
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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You throw u's in where they just don't belong. Colour, etc. And you can't pronounce "Tomato" or "Potato" right!
But we CAN pronounce aluminium (that would be alooominum to you... )
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  #49  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:30
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Thanks. But I disagree. Do generalists do better in their business lives? And does studying maths for longer give one more business acumen?
I dont think its about the "early specialism", but rather a freedom to think and an emphasis on theory rather than rote learning. Substance over form, learning to think for oneself.

I spent a few years french school (many moons ago for me), and the rigidity of thinking was stifling (eg art class was copy as precisely as possible the teachers example). I have little direct exposure to the Swiss system but it seems similar.
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Old 05.09.2012, 21:32
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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You throw u's in where they just don't belong. Colour, etc. And you can't pronounce "Tomato" or "Potato" right!
Everyone pronounces "potato" the same way (we won't count adagio's cockney "pota'uh"). Even Americans get that one right.
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  #51  
Old 05.09.2012, 21:58
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Yes, I realise that, and my comment about business skills was obviously alluding to their skills as businessmen.

I agree with your second points but, at the same time, the two skill sets are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
I agree - my point was that the English system does not stifle creativity and inventiveness with academia - and that it is a real positive in many ways. But that, on the other hand, the curriculum becomes VERY narrow and often very one-sided, and that it has its disadvantages too. For instance I have concerns with scientists who do not have a good understanding of history. For some students, it also means that in order to have any chance to succeed, they have to drop all other subjects. For instance many of my best linguists (who often excelled at music, art and drama) had to drop all other subjects bar physics, chemistry, biology and or maths. Far too narrow - but it does favour specialism, and truly does allow the arts/design to bloom.

One of my Swiss friends has a daughter who is a brilliant classical singer and violinist. She failed the bac by .5 point in maths- re-took the year (yes, the who thing, not just the subject as per UK) and failed by .5 of a point in German = no entry to music Degree. Tragic. Both systems have their weak and strong points, and are vastly different. I would have personally blossomed better in the English system. Having studied comparative education for a life-time, I 'd say the Scottish system is a great compromise.
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