Monday, January 25, 2010

Clorox: Attorney to Oversee Social-Media Programs - Advertising Age - Digital

Clorox: Attorney to Oversee Social-Media Programs - Advertising Age - Digital
Marketer's Move Seen as Testament to Importance of Twitter and Facebook
by Jack Neff

Quo vadis South Asia ? Himal Southasian presents "Macaulay's Stepchildren" by Anjum Altaf : Indian & Pakistani Education and their Colonial Aspects

Quo vadis Southasia? Read:
Himal Southasian/Macaulay's stepchildren
by Anjum Altaf

We have excerpted a few paragraphs from this extremely interesting piece:
"The colonial decision to utilise English in higher education was not one man’s decision – and its legacy is far more complex than generally understood.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, commonly known as Lord Macaulay, is widely recognised yet inadequately understood in Southasia. While the legacy of his ‘decisions’ is correctly criticised, that criticism is often for the wrong reasons. Macaulay served on the Supreme Council of India from 1834 until 1838, during which time he sided with Governor-General William Bentinck in the adoption of English as the medium of instruction from the sixth standard onwards. Today, he is castigated for his infamous comment:

We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern – a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.

This single sentence bears the burden of all the subsequent problems with education in India....

Two other intellectual trends need to be mentioned because they undoubtedly had a bearing on colonial thinking. Macaulay (1800-59) followed the economist Adam Smith (1723-90), whose very influential text The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, and the philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), whose equally influential treatise on utilitarianism came out in 1781. Bentham’s influence can be seen directly in the recommendation of James Mill, an employee of the East India Company. In a dispatch on behalf of the directors in 1824, Mill criticised the GCPI policy of working through the classical Indian languages, arguing that the “great end should not have been to teach Hindoo learning or Mohamedan learning, but useful learning.” The purpose of education would certainly have been in Macaulay’s mind during his reflections on colonial policy....

Pakistan and India have diverged in significant ways since 1947. In Pakistan, the ideological imperatives of the two-nation theory (and the subsequent attempt to transplant its cultural roots to Arabia) succeeded in destroying even elite education, while also radicalising a significant proportion of the country’s population. India has suffered largely from the benign neglect of mass education. Thus, while Pakistan has spiralled into a ‘failing’ state with an empty mind and lethal limbs, India has been described as a ‘flailing’ state, in which its very capable head remains poorly connected with woefully weak arms and legs. In both countries, Macaulay’s children continue to deny the place of education as a basic human right, the primary purpose of which is to enable all citizens to think independently for themselves."
Read the full article here.

Money is not Speech : The Volokh Conspiracy Calls the Legal & Political Community to Order on US Supreme Court Corporate Free Speech Decision

(reposted due to an initial glitch at Blogger)

Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy writes:
"The problem with restrictions on independent spending on campaign speech — a problem recognized by Justices Brennan and Marshall and not just by today’s conservatives (though Brennan and Marshall would have allowed more such restrictions than today’s conservatives do) — isn’t that money is speech. It’s that restricting the use of money to speak, like restricting the use of air travel or computers to speak, interferes with people’s ability to speak. One can debate whether this interference is justified. But mocking the pro-constitutional-protection position as resting on the notion that “money is speech” strikes me as quite mistaken."
We agree.

The entire purpose of the restrictions on corporate political speech - which now have been rightly struck down - was in fact precisely and intentionally to restrict the exercise of free speech by certain groups of people, acting in association. That may be seen by many to be a laudable motive - but most certainly not one foreseen by the U.S. Constitution, nor is there - to our knowledge - any probative empirical evidence that restricting corporate free speech has helped the country in any quantifiably identifiable way, or - conversely - that permitting corporate free speech will harm the country in any quantifiably identifiable way, but that too, of course, is also not a Constitutional test.

As for those who fear a "corruption" of American democracy by corporate campaign spending, it must be noted that the corruption laws remain unchanged and that it is as illegal to buy a vote today as it was yesterday - and yet votes are bought every day - in one way or another, without ever a penny directly changing hands. Some candidates campaign under the slogan that taxes will be increased, while others campaign under the slogan that taxes will be decreased, and many voters take the lure on both sides of the political lake.

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