Peter Cresswell's blog

Dr Montessori's "old age"

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-25 23:50

A thread begun by Kelly Elmore with a picture of her baby, just off to Montessori school, was interrupted by a contributor with the breathless exhortation that "Maria Montessori was a genius, but unfortunately she became a Fascist in her old age, and some 'Montessori Schools' teach a Fascist version."

So often so short of perspective, once again this contributor put in his contribution and came out with a lemon. What drives people to cut down heroes and heroines with snide onliners I'll leave as an exercise for the reader. What drives a so-called Objectivist who should know better I'll leave as another exercise, one for which the Objectivist literature itself provides a useful clue.

So what’s the truth about Dr Montessori?

Recent Comments:
Welcome — by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-08-28 01:10
A disgrace — by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-08-28 01:04
Sharath — by AdamReed on Mon, 2006-08-28 00:37

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Learning from history

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-25 03:16

It's said that “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” It might also be said that those who are unable to learn from history -- or who don't even know their history -- cannot honestly expect to have their ill-formed and baseless opinions taken seriously. History has many lessons for those both alert enough to identify them and honest enough not to evade them:

Recent Comments:
Good points — by Jeff Perren on Sat, 2006-08-26 00:22
History — by James Heaps-Nelson on Fri, 2006-08-25 22:17
Partly True — by Jeff Perren on Fri, 2006-08-25 21:28

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Montessori, the rational alternative

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-25 03:12

(This article was originally written for the blog 'Not PC,' and was reprinted in 'Free Radical' #71.)

As an enthusiast for the Montessori method of education, I get a little annoyed when the Montessori philosophy of 'freedom within a prepared environment' is mis-characterised as un-schooling, as I've seen recently from someone who should know better.

It's about as far from the truth as it's possible to be. In fact, it's downright insulting.

Recent Comments:
Advice — by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-25 04:34
O'K — by eg on Fri, 2006-08-25 04:19
Not Passive — by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-25 04:08

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Dov Fisks Fisk

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-25 03:09

"Hizbollah are "increasingly heroes across the Muslim world," says Robert Fisk. "As usual," responds Dov Bing, professor of political science at Waikato University, "[Fisk] offers no references for this sweeping statement" -- so Prof. Bing scans the Sunni Arab press on our behalf.

Recent Comments:
I don't know if the Sunni Arab press — by Richard Wiig on Sun, 2006-08-27 10:01

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Americans more prone to supernatural nonsense

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-25 03:03

Americans are more likely to believe in supernatural bollocks than almost anyone else in any other Western country. That's the clear and unfortunate conclusion of research recently published in 'Science' magazine.

Surely proof if proof were needed that freedom is a greater indicator of prosperity than clear-headedness.

That's a graph on the right collating the results of surveying 32 European countries, the US and Japan which reveals "that only Turkey is less willing than the US to accept evolution as fact." You might view it as a 'sanity ranking.'

Recent Comments:
Ha! — by Olivia on Mon, 2006-08-28 00:15
Well said Claudia — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-08-28 00:10
Superstition and anxiety — by Olivia on Mon, 2006-08-28 00:06

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Ed Cline interview

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-08-23 21:19

Here's another GREAT interview for you from Prodos.Com!

Guest: Edward Cline, author of the acclaimed Sparrowhawk adventure novels.

Interviewed on the SOLID VOX (tm) Network by: EGOIST with Martin Lindeskog.

Recent Comments:
Yup, Ed had an interesting — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-08-25 06:55
Thank you! — by Melissa Lepley on Thu, 2006-08-24 17:38

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Inside the Googleplex

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-08-23 03:10

What goes on inside the Googleplex? The 'Googleplex' is the name for Google's headquarters, in which some pretty smart people produce some pretty sharp stuff -- and seem to have a great time doing it if this seven-minute video is any indication. (Looks like they're looking for staff.)

Recent Comments:
Wm, I'm not familar with — by PhilipC on Wed, 2007-05-30 03:27
A Phil Unbrella — by wngreen on Wed, 2007-05-30 02:18
Pissing on Three More Parades — by PhilipC on Mon, 2007-05-28 23:49

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The illiterate teaching illiteracy

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-08-23 03:01

BBC NEWS: Tests flummox trainee teachers
Many [British] trainee teachers are struggling to pass tests in numeracy, literacy and information technology, figures show.


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'Death of a Moa' - Trevor Lloyd

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-08-23 02:57

Now here's a local landscape painter with a unique sense of humour -- -- a late local landscape painter that is: Trevor Lloyd. I've become a fan since seeing this in a recent exhibition, for which this was used as the 'title piece':


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The 'Atlas' of Economics

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-08-22 03:05

Austrian economist Peter Boettke, here in New Zealand recently to deliver the 2006 Ronald Trotter Lecture, had the following to say recently about how effective Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged is in teaching economics (the article, 'Teaching Economics Through Ayn Rand: How the Economy is like a Novel and How the Novel Can Teach Us About Economics,' is unfortunately offline).


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Were Maori environmentalists?

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2006-08-20 04:24

A friend who wrote a thesis several years ago on common law solutions to environmentalism asked me this question a few weeks ago, and I've only recently got around to answering (I've paraphrased the question just a little):

Q: How did Maori activists [he asks] attain the apparent status they now possess in the environmental movement? In other words, why do NZ environmentalists bow to Maori prejudices? When I wrote my thesis this absurdity was not evident as it is now. Please can anybody shed some light on this?

So here's my rather belated answer.

Recent Comments:
Thanks. — by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-08-21 23:41
Excellent observations Peter! — by Robert on Mon, 2006-08-21 18:37

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Fomenting free market revolution from the unlikeliest base

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-11 23:42

Wall Street Journal has a piece on the Mises Institute and its quiet achievements, and what the hell it's doing in Alabama of all places. As the author himself says, "Growing up next door in Georgia, I never thought of Alabama as a beacon of intellect." Who would? However:

Recent Comments:
Agreed Peter — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-08-14 20:17

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A treasure trove of audio books!

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2006-08-11 23:41

Wow! I'm not a big listener myself of audio books, but I know many people who love them. If so then Learn Out Loud have a deal for you: a free download of Ayn Rand's early novella Anthem, their free audiobook for August.


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Popular Posts at Peter Cresswell's 'Not PC'

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-08-09 22:48

These are the top dozen most popular posts at the minute over at my main blog, 'Not PC':

Frank Lloyd Wright: Broadacre City
"Urban sprawl is one of the greatest enemies of good urban design," say some. I don't agree. Lack of choice created by a lack of freedom is the greatest enemy -- 'sprawl' gives people choices... Frank Lloyd Wright's 1932 concept of the 'Broadacre City' -- while somewhat nebulous, and by no means a libertarian vision -- demonstrates that sprawl is not the enemy.


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QUOTE: "The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable, but a good thing..."

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-25 22:27

I mentioned yesterday in the debate about Charlie Pedersen's speech some pretty horrifying quotes from some relatively mainstream environmentalists. Some of you told me you had a problem finding the post I mentioned, which was a comment attached to this post, so here's the 'money part,' answering a question from a chap called Den: a series of quotes from mainstream environmentalists that support Charlie Pedersen's position that there are environmentalists about who see themselves "at war with the human race."

Recent Comments:
They slur mankind — by F L Light on Wed, 2006-07-26 17:19
Recent Polls? — by Jeff Perren on Wed, 2006-07-26 14:37
A split — by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-07-26 02:25

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The Poor Immigrant's Statue of Bigotry

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-25 22:26

At the foot of the Statue of Liberty, a gift from nineteenth-century France to nineteenth-century America, Emma Lazarus's poem The New Colossus sums up what the statue symbolised for the immigrants who helped build America:


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Chinese rice 'tipping point' for GE

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-25 22:23

China is "on the verge of a decision that historians eventually may interpret as a tipping point in the global debate over genetically modified food," says Dean Kleckner of Truth about Trade and Technology. No doubt the decision will also nettle the type of environmentalist that Charlie Pedersen was criticising: the 'religious environmentalist.'


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Moral equivalence is an inducement to war

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-25 22:21

MORAL EQUIVALENCE: the position whereby those who initiate force and those who defend themselves against that initiation are considered morally equal.

A position equivalent to a parent who treats a bully the same as a child being bullied.

A position easily taken here in New Zealand at the distance of twelve-thousand benign strategic miles, with the luxury of not having Katyusha rockets raining down on us and enemies permanently at our gates who have expressed for fifty years their desire to drive us into the sea.

Recent Comments:
It's been refreshing to see — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-07-26 01:33

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Cue Card Libertarianism - Pro-Liberty, not Anti-State

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-25 22:17

Libertarians are not anti-state, they are primarily pro-liberty -- we define ourselves by what we are for, not what we are against. In the current state of the world, that difference makes all the difference in the world.

Recent Comments:
Blind? — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-07-27 09:56
And Peter? — by Kenny on Thu, 2006-07-27 09:01
Thanks — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-25 23:40

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Open-Mike Night for George & Tony Reveals ... Hard Sense and Straight Talking

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-18 04:17

If you haven't yet seen or head the video of Tony Blair and George W at the G8 summit discussing international events between themselves ... here's a transcript, courtesy of The Times. Videos are a little more difficult, but this site is loaded with them. What's more difficult to find is intelligent journalistic commentary on this.

For the site hosting the videos for example, the straight-talking seen here is a sign of the curtain getting lifted from the "moral majority" act. Glory be but someone should call what Hizbollah is doing is "shit" when shit is what Hizbollah is clearly doing, and clearly is.

Recent Comments:
Blackmail — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-07-22 22:42
Scott read my post — by Marcus on Wed, 2006-07-19 19:47
Thatcher — by Kenny on Wed, 2006-07-19 18:40

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Israel-Hezbollah: A War of Self-Defence

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-18 04:11

As Benjamin Netanyahu said this morning, if anywhere else had been attacked, if Chicago, Moscow, London, Paris or Berkelely, California had been attacked for example, then no-one would deny the right of the countries in which those cities reside to defend themselves. So why do citizens of those cities deny the right of Israel to defend its own citizens? Once again a Cox and Forkum cartoon (right) makes the point: the defence is being carried out against an undeclared proxy war controlled in Tehran and Damascus.

And once again, those defending themselves from violence are themselves criticised for doing what's necessary to end the ongoing violence of murder by mullah, and of war by proxy.

Recent Comments:
Over there — by eg on Fri, 2006-08-11 06:42
Fred — by LWHALL on Tue, 2006-07-25 13:40
That is Ok, in parts. This is far, far better. — by Richard Wiig on Tue, 2006-07-25 06:26

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Free Radical 71: The Stolen Election!

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-06-29 08:45

The re-launched, re-shaped best and BIGGEST Free Radical EVER is about to be unleashed.

72 pages (count them, 72 pages!) of pithy, gripping, infuriating, enlightening and downright SHARP reading. Edited by Guest Editor Peter Cresswell, "This is arguably the best and undoubtedly the biggest ever 'Free Radical,'" says Cresswell. "No question."

Recent Comments:
Not too late — by gregster on Mon, 2008-09-15 03:10
Am I too late? — by Barry Jeenmaz on Mon, 2008-09-15 02:25
71 — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-11 11:49

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Sedition Verdict Gives New Meaning to 'Helengrad'

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-06-08 11:57

Another nail in Liberty's great coffin: A man has been charged and convicted of, wait for it, sedition. TV3 report here.

Not in the nineteenth century, but today. Not in time of war or great conflict, but in the "benign strategic environment" that is the South Pacific. Not in a third-world banana republic -- not in a Kafka-esque, Eastern European Soviet hell-hole -- not even in Mugabe's Zimbabwe -- but here, today, in Auckland's District Court. Convicted of sedition for an act of vandalism in Sandringham Rd eighteen months ago that was accompanied by five -- count them, five -- five leaflets scattered down Ponsonby Rd early one morning that tried to explain the vandalism, and invited NZers to "commit their own acts of Civil Disobedience" in opposition to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Recent Comments:
Fantastic commentary, — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-06-09 00:13
He already copped to the — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-06-08 20:38
The Axe Man — by Rex Wilkinson on Thu, 2006-06-08 14:59

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'In the beginning was sound' -- Barenboim's Reith lectures. 'Brilliant!'

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 03:03

The internet is a wonderful thing. Not only does it throw up the absurd, the titillating and the combative, lurking within it also are real nuggets of pure genius. This year's BBC Reith Lectures by brilliant conductor Daniel Barenboim is such a nugget.

Recent Comments:
Craig — by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-16 23:21
From conductor to caterwauler — by Craig Ceely on Fri, 2006-06-16 23:15
Okay, Linz, we'll give you that one... — by Craig Ceely on Fri, 2006-06-16 23:08

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'Maori most affected by minimum wage' says academic

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 03:02

Here is some sense. From an academic. I know that's surprising.

Maori would be most adversely affected by a rise in the minimum wage, says an AUT senior economics lecturer.

See. Good sense. And of course she's right (and have you noticed that a lot of AUT lecturers are not the politically correct line-toers that many of their colleagues over the road are?), and she's backed it up with research:

"My study [says Gail Pacheco] found for Maori who find the minimum wage binding, a 10% rise in the real minimum wage would see a 15.8% point fall in employment propensity, a drop of 13.5 hours usually worked each week, a 5.7% point increase in unemployment propensity and a 10.9% point increase in inactivity, that is, not working or studying."

Recent Comments:
Every time I hear someone — by wngreen on Wed, 2006-05-31 20:40

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'Christus Hypercubus' - Salvador Dali

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 03:00


'Christus Hypercubus' - Salvador Dali. Reportedly Ayn Rand's favourite painting -- and also, coincidentally, one of mine.


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Recycling

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 02:59

PJ O'Rourke points out that when used items have real value -- Ferraris for example -- they don't need to be 'recycled,' they get sold. 'Recycled' is what happens to stuff with no value, or with so little value only a government regulation can make enough people care.

Why is 'recycling' so good? Jerry Taylor from the Cato Institute talks about recycling paper:

Recent Comments:
Super Fund — by Marnee on Tue, 2006-05-30 19:16
To NZ — by eg on Tue, 2006-05-30 14:46
Next time call them liars — by R.T.Brooke on Tue, 2006-05-30 09:28

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Future generations

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 02:58

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Un-sustainable management

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 02:54

'Future generations' are the reason all-too frequently given for conservation and preservation of resources. Indeed, the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment maintains that "conservation of resources for future generations" is explicitly required by the Resource Management Act's core principle of "sustainable management." It is mandatory. It is also stupid. I'll just say two things about both:


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How to help the poor

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 02:52

This is too good to waste. Adam Reed, in debating the Mother Teresa/Paris Hilton question had this to say on SOLO:

Fred - you write, "the point about Mother Teresa isn't that there is anything necessarily wrong with helping the poor. The point is that it is an extremely minor and trivial way to help them and elevating people such as her diminishes the much more profound impact of industrial development and the great men who make it possible."

Recent Comments:
I like the statement Ayn — by Victor Pross on Wed, 2006-06-07 05:57
altruism — by Chris Cathcart on Tue, 2006-05-30 05:47
Nice — by Craig Ceely on Tue, 2006-05-30 05:33

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