Tuesday 3 December 2013

Thoughts on OECD and PISA data

As the PISA and OECD tables talk reaches its expected frenzy, stand by for reductive lying crap about how our economic performance depends on where a country sits on the table. This is a neat way to sidestep questions of eg investment in manufacture, corrupt, crazy and incompetent banking, levels of immigration, price of and availability of raw materials, inequality - all of which have powerful bearings on economic performance.

Worse: the OECD data accept 'competition' (between countries in this instance) as the key determinant of success. If nothing else this shows us that this is indeed the dominant way in which our ruling class thinks. They are unable or unwilling to see the world through the prism of need and use. In a rational world, we'd be a) developing goods and services based solely on principles of need and use and b) we would be sharing our 'successes' in finding or inventing these with everyone else.

Instead, OECD tables are symptoms of a crazy world in which huge amounts of time, resources and wealth are wasted (see advertising, PR, duplicate production etc) in order to steal a march over the next company, the next country or the next continent.

With OECD data, children are being used as the cannon fodder in this competitive frenzy. The education system is used in the same way that generals complain about guns not working - without stopping for a moment and wondering why they are at war.