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FRIENDSOFWISDOM  May 2006

FRIENDSOFWISDOM May 2006

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Subject:

Re: NEWS ITEM

From:

ian glendinning <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Group concerned that academia should seek and promote wisdom <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 12 May 2006 14:47:57 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (1 lines)

A brilliantly witty piece.

Notwithstanding the fact that skilled but uninhibited naivite might
actually be an asset in a competitive sports context, (where the
downside of being wrong is more important than life or death, only
metaphorically), the parallel with the youthful beauty contest for the
qualities valued by the media, is precisely part of the meme that
undervalues the true qualities of wisdom far beyond the walls of
academe.

Beauty is part of it, but we've stripped it down the the simplistic
surface appearances, rather than the truly simple complexities of
elegance.

Would that Thierry Henry were an Englishman.

Ian Glendinning



On 5/12/06, Cherryl Martin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> Dear All,
>
>
>
> Could this be one of the first signs that the debate has been sparked?
>
>
>
> Cherryl
>
>
>
> The Kids Are Alright
>
> By Hugh Wilson, MSN News
>
> The selection of 17-year-old Theo Walcott for the England squad has shocked
> many who feel his inexperience may count against him. But, as our columnist
> Hugh Wilson points out, it's not just international footballers who are
> getting younger.
>
>
>
> After Theo Walcott heard the news that he'd been picked for the England
> World Cup squad, he went home and played Monopoly with his dad and his best
> mate. "My dad won," said England's latest great hope, "which I wasn't very
> happy about."
>
> That's exactly what you might expect a 17-year-old to say. Or at least the
> sort of 17-year-old who doesn't celebrate unexpected good news by drinking
> half his body weight in alcopops and nicking a car. Walcott went home and
> played a board game, and left the rest of the nation to get hysterical on
> his behalf.
>
> His inclusion certainly came as something of a shock. It stunned the sports
> press, who'd spent the previous week downplaying England's chances in the
> wake of Wayne Rooney's broken metatarsal. It shocked the fans, who had
> forgotten Walcott existed. And it shocked a couple of players who might
> reasonably have expected to have been picked for the squad instead.
>
> Darren Bent was said to be "very upset". You can understand why. The
> Charlton Athletic striker has made 36 Premiership appearances this season,
> scoring 18 goals. He didn't make the cut.
>
> Nor did Jermain Defoe, who's had a difficult season at Spurs but has years
> of proven goal scoring behind him. He at least has the consolation of a
> place on the standby list.
>
> Walcott, meanwhile, hasn't scored any Premiership goals this season. That's
> because he hasn't played any Premiership games. He hasn't even made his
> first-team debut for Arsenal.
>
>
>
> And according to some reports, he may have been picked for the biggest
> tournament in football on the strength of three training sessions and a club
> video. You can't imagine Ronaldinho quaking in his boots when he hears that.
>
> Even Sven has admitted the decision to include the untried reserve team
> player in a World Cup squad (as opposed to a squad, say, for a meaningless
> friendly against Uzbekistan) is "a gamble".
>
> But it's a gamble that seems to have gone down pretty well. Punters and
> pundits alike are accentuating the positives, and what's more positive than
> having something less depressing than Rooney's broken foot to talk about for
> a while?
>
> Walcott also has "electrifying pace", the argument goes. He's an "unknown
> quantity" (which is a good thing, apparently). And most of all, he's got
> "youth on his side".
>
> Youth is, indeed, a priceless commodity, though a flawless complexion and a
> familiarity with the latest grime beats aren't usually considered
> prerequisites for taking on the best defenders in the world.
>
> But let's not be cynical. Football is one area of endeavour in which youth
> can be a positive advantage, though mixing it with quite such an absence of
> experience - on football's biggest stage - could be Sven's riskiest project
> since Faria Alam.
>
> In less physical fields where supple muscles and reckless abandon are not
> such valuable commodities, we rightly value age, experience, and the wisdom
> they bring far more highly than the simple exuberance of youth.
>
> Er, don't we?
>
>
>
> Actually, the answer would appear to be 'no'. By which we mean, "no way
> granddad, give us the young fella every time!" Walcott's selection over more
> experienced players is just the latest example of a modern belief in the
> supremacy of youth.
>
> Let's face it, he's not the first young man in recent months to be promoted
> to a lofty position at the expense of older, more seasoned campaigners.
>
> David Cameron is 39. That makes him practically prehistoric to Theo Walcott
> but positively youthful for a party leader. And it's certainly true that he
> looks thrusting and dynamic on a dog-sled in some frozen Norwegian outpost
> in a way that Gordon Brown never could.
>
> It's worth noting at this point that George Osborne, the Conservative Shadow
> Chancellor, looks like a sixth-form prefect.
>
> If Conservative party policy seems to consist of little else but shouting,
> "look at our leader, isn't he virile," it nevertheless seems to be working.
> The Tories are ahead in the polls. They battered New Labour in last week's
> local elections. Cameron's relative youth means it's hard to tar him with
> the failures of past Conservative governments.
>
> By contrast, every Labour cock-up - from unaccounted prisoners to exposed
> extra-marital affairs – seems to etch another wrinkle into the Prime
> Minister's forehead.
>
> And if Cameron looks youthful besides Blair, he looks like a toddler
> compared to Menzies Campbell. The Liberal Democrats took the opposite route
> when choosing a new party leader, opting for maturity and worldliness over a
> full head of hair. Which was brave…and maybe a bit stupid.
>
> Campbell has nearly 20 years experience as an MP, compared to Cameron's
> five. That's got to be an advantage. Right? Wrong. Age and experience don't
> amount to much in politics anymore, and as the Tories swim with the tide of
> public opinion, the Liberals tread water.
>
>
>
> The balance is tipping towards youth in other areas of national life too.
> The most famous British businesswoman of recent times is Martha Lane Fox,
> who founded Lastminute.com at the age of 24 and stepped down in 2003 with
> millions in the bank. It helps that she's photogenic, of course, but then
> whipper snappers often are.
>
> The two finalists in this series of The Apprentice were 26 and 27
> respectively, and won through against colleagues who were a lot more
> experienced - if only a little less objectionable.
>
> At the same time, art, books, movies and newspapers are dominated by young
> people in a way that would have been unthinkable thirty years ago.
>
> So why do we value youth so highly and experience so little? It's partly
> down to the media, who love a pretty face to put on the front page or the
> Ten O' Clock news. It's also due in part to the rise of the internet and
> other new technologies that young people understand, and old people break.
>
> Finally, according to experts, its because we don't have enough to worry
> about anymore. When the sabre tooth tiger was prowling outside the cave, we
> picked the wise old man to lead the tribe. When Hitler was knocking on the
> door, we asked Winston Churchill to slam it in his face.
>
> When all we have to worry about is whether the souffl� will rise or not, we
> can afford to take calculated risks on youth. Which is obviously what Sven
> is thinking. After all, if Theo doesn't come good, he can always fall back
> on Peter Crouch.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.392 / Virus Database: 268.5.6/336 - Release Date: 10/05/2006
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.392 / Virus Database: 268.5.6/336 - Release Date: 10/05/2006
>

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