Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A Silver Lining?

Yes, we are battling with The Cuts. Yes the higher education sector is battling with the quite pointless, quite destructive and very expensive (to the taxpayer as well as the students and their families) fees hike.

Yet - there has been a gleam of joy in all this darkness. In today's Telegraph is an article headlined (in the Kindle edition) "Reflexology and aromatherapy degrees axed as numbers fall". Within the article are the cheery words, "From this year, it will no longer be possible to study homeopathy to degree level in a British university." Apparently - and somewhat depressingly - this is not principally because the institutions offering these degrees in pseudoscience are developing a conscience, but rather because of a significant fall-off in demand. Rather makes one wonder if the previous popularity of these courses was due to the vast numbers of school-leavers without hoped-for A-level grades, yet still harbouring some desire to Be a Scientist with the added bonus of Healing the Sick (try conventional medicine?), turned to these nonsense degrees. After all, the prospects of employment seemed good...

I think we all now approach consumption with a different, more skeptical eye. I have noticed myself that when I am toying with the notion of buying some non-essential item, I have developed the habit of imagining how I am going to view the purchase and the item itself some hours or days ahead. Almost always this leads me to the shop exit. People now seem to have a greater tendency to be Sensible; to consider the actual value of any prospective purchase.

Hence the probable demise of both Hawkins Bazaar and of pseudoscience degrees. Frankly, I would be rather sorry to see Hawkins Bazaar go out of business...

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