Special Section : What DO universities do?

In this section several of the contributions are anonymous. faxfn can contact them if necessary.

21sep99: Webmaster: Introduction

This new section has been prompted by the new-look headline page which has added quotes collected from faxfn. As a place marker we start with a quiz. There will be a prize, awarded at the end of October, for explaining the most relevant piece on faxfn for each question. Answers to faxfn.

Q1. University research shows a university degree gets you a better job with more pay. Is this because :

  1. your education has taught you useful skills
  2. your degree has shown you will be good at your job
  3. your degree has made employers believe you will be good at your job
  4. employers believe they must be seen to take on graduates
Q2. University research has not shown that employers find difficulties with graduates of electronics and computes science. Is this because:

  1. no research has been done
  2. it showed no problems
  3. the line of enquiry was found to be uninteresting
  4. after asking busy people many time consuming questions
    this particular university turkey decided not to vote for Christmas
Q3. The cost of a degree is approximately:

  1. 5,000
  2. 20,000
  3. 50,000
Q4. Universities help
  1. the underprivileged
  2. the privileged
  3. all social classes
Q5. How many lecturers think modern undergraduates have "no imagination, no creativity, and no enthusiasm"
  1. less than 20%
  2. 20% to 40%
  3. 40% to 60%
  4. 60% to 80%
  5. more than 80%
Q6. Which of the two following affect exam performance the most
  1. memory
  2. writing speed
  3. writing style
  4. creativity
  5. IQ
Q7. Which of the following are predicted by class of degree
  1. academic ability
  2. problem solving
  3. job related competancies
  4. salary
Q8. Universities don't teach over the internet because
  1. it's too difficult
  2. it's too expensive
  3. it's too cheap
  4. turkeys don't vote for christmas
Q9. If you did not answer any of the above, was it because
  1. no research done
  2. there were no significant results
  3. you have not researched the literature
  4. turkeys don't vote for christmas

24jan02a: Jack and Danny: Philosphers - the essence


You say something.
I say something.
You guess what I mean.
I guess what you mean.
Remarks: This was well worth saying. But apart from this no-one can guess what he meant. We think that's what he meant to do. Too clever by half.


Everyone should have the same.
No extra points for being beautiful, skilled or clever, but extra points are allowed for good deeds.


What's mine is mine.

Taxation is slavery. But paying someone 1 cent an hour to swim in shit isn't.


No-one is in a position to tell you what to do.

So here's what do.


Don't look now. It isn't there.

Logical Positivists

Statement a:
The only statements that have meaning are those that can be tested.

Statement b:
Statement (a) has no meaning.


Statement a:
The only statements that are scientific are those that can be falsified.

Statement b:
Statement (a) is not scientific.

Note: Commonly thought of a philosopher, Popper was really a second rate barrister. Falsification theory was simplistic and did not work and Arthur Koestler thought of it first anyway. But he did give Lackatosh a job once.

Roger Scruton

Goverment Health Warning.
Moral philosophers can damage your health.


Wow man. This particle that's a wave and this time that slows down are so MIND BLOWING that no-one before can even begin to understand where we're coming from. The old ideas are so dated they DO NOT COMPUTE.

PHLOGISTON man, what the fuck's that!


Phlogiston equals negative Oxygen.


Philosophy is Crap.


Philosophy is Great. Philosophers are Crap.

08may03a: Danny: On Philosphy

Philosphy only contains three things worth knowing:

  1. There can be no Free Will when everything is inevitable (or random).
    Therefore there is no Free Will.
  1. There can be no morality when everything is subjective (or inevitable).
    Therefore there is no morality.
  1. There can be no knowledge when everything is uncertain (or subjective).
    Therefore there is no knowledge.

So I guess philosphy doesn't contain three things worth knowing after all.

That said, it does point out that there is absolutely no reason to believe that God exists, and therefore it is irrational to believe that God exists, even if you can't be certain He doesn't. In other words, it takes faith. But when you think about it, it's the only area in our lives where we allow such irrationality to guide our beliefs and actions.

Except for induction of course, so actually it's just a drop in the ocean.