Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Studies in stupidity
An awful lot of money is expended by governments and public bodies engaging so-called academics to carry out studies. Now that might sound like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. After all we need to know certain information in order to plan for many different private and public organisations and with studies that actually move forward our understanding I have no problem whatsoever.
However I am seeing an increasing number of really stupid studies that seem to be telling us things that nobody with an IQ in even double digits should need a study to find out. It is annoying enough to see public money wasted in such a reckless way, but even more frustrating that I can’t become recognised as an academic and manage to grab some of this bounty for myself.
The latest of these forays into the frivolous is the study carried out by Otago University that trumpeted its astonishing findings to the nation via the pages of the NZ Herald this week. 'Right to success' belief can cause students to struggle screamed the headline to a story that informed us how students who had an exaggerated belief they had a right to success are more likely to struggle come exam time.
But the stupidity doesn’t end there; it goes on to ‘reveal’ that these same students whose own opinion of themselves was much higher than their academic prowess, performed worse than their peers in the final exam – but only when they found the paper more difficult than expected.
Well I never. Fancy that. And it took a huge slab of money from vote education that instead of being been used to educate our students tells us that little twerps who have lost touch with reality vis-a-vis their own capabilities are more likely to fail. Duhh!
And this study was not only funded by Otago University, but also published in the International Journal of Higher Education. Higher than what, I wonder. Higher than kindy education? No wonder the world is going to hell in a handcart.
If journals bearing such a prestigious sounding names as that are according studies of the bleeding obvious such importance, I have to wonder if there just might be a chance for me to grab some of the coin that is being freely tossed about.
Why don’t we commission a study into why we spend so much money on studies into such ridiculous ideas as the one above? I’m sure the answer to that is just as obvious, but for anyone who doesn’t see it; the answer is that governments, councils and bodies administered by them love to spend money on everything but their core functions. They also like to appoint wankers to carry out these idiotic activities so they can turn out press releases to divert our attention from the real issues and enable our shamefully unimaginative newspapers to fill a few more column inches without having to leave their desks and write anything intelligent.
Rather than print slop like this the Herald should have been out there grilling this twat about how his study had improved the lot of students at Otago Uni or slam Heckyeah Parata up against the blackboard and get her to explain why there is insufficient money to fund our schools properly but always enough to fund stupid studies like this one.
I have a few ideas of my own for some ground breaking (or is that wind breaking) studies that should improve the world just as much as the example above.
How about a study into why when I fill my car with petrol I am about $120.00 poorer? Why should this be? I am wondering if it could somehow be related to the fact that I actually have to pay for the stuff. It’s just a theory, mind you, but I’m sure if someone was to chuck me a hundred thousand or so I could investigate that fully and come up with a conclusion that would benefit the whole of New Zealand.
Alternatively I could carry out a study into the meaning of life. This I suggest could be a life- long study and I could drip feed my startling revelations via a series of annual reports which I know would be eagerly anticipated by a grateful nation. I could probably knock out between 700 and 1000 words of absolute bollox, much as I do on a regular basis these days except that the taxpayer would be paying me a handsome retainer to do it.
Yes, I think I could get used to that. They can expect my submission very soon.