Uganda’s King of Radio… Unplugged, Uncensored & Unleashed

FBUP Episode 013: Weekly Rant 29/04/2012

beyonce most beautiful womanIn this week’s rant I talk about:

  • Rising youth unemployment in Uganda

  • Ebinyebwa

  • Where have the ‘real’ men gone?

  • Beyoncé

Download: Fatboy Unplugged – Episode 013 – Weekly Rant 29/04/12 (9.54MB)

[Episode Duration: 41:40]

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8 responses

  1. Harmony

    its not a rant really.

    April 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm

  2. Becca

    Wow, where to start?

    Examples of people who have succeeded even though they dropped out of school is anecdotal evidence, you’re decrying one logical fallacy then you go on to use another one quite prominently in your “argument.”

    You say, “These examples serve as evidence to me that… the current education system stifles creativity.” I say that is anecdotal and faulty logic.

    Engineers without formal education can be dangerous, there is a reason why we require people who build bridges and such to have a certain education; we need to be damn sure that they know their stuff and that those bridges are going to hold. Question for you = would you go under the knife of a self-taught surgeon?

    With all this, you really could be right about the state of education in the entire world (this is quite a broad statement) however, my biggest problem with your rant is that you give absolutely no meaningful suggestions for solutions to these perceived problems – just that things need to be changed.

    g-nut discussion – read “Guns Germs and Steel,” dude. (Jarred Diamond)

    Your argument on homosexuality actually implies that it was introduced by outsiders, when it wasn’t.

    You argue that feminism created a society where men are not responsible, do not provide, are not chivalrous, etc. You’re quite nostalgic about those good old days, how are you so sure that there have always been men who behaved like that? My favorite is how you claim that men sleeping around is a new phenomenon, that feminism brought that out in men.

    Where have the real men really gone? I would wager that the perceived lack of “real men” is more a lack of “marriageable men.” For many women, if you ask them what kind of man they would like to settle down with, they would like a partner with an equivalent or higher level of education to themselves, many prefer a man who has a higher-paying job than they have. With more and more women continuing into higher education and in relatively high-paying positions, the pool of men that they have to choose from if they keep those standards, becomes smaller. i.e. a woman who completes graduate school is unlikely to marry a subsistence farmer. In the US, when you add in the race factor and the fact that so many African-American men are incarcerated, a black woman in the US with a PhD and prefers to marry a black man has a very small dating pool.

    Grand bisou!

    May 2, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    • Thanks for your response Becca. I am glad you found the podcast interesting – interesting enough that you’d care enough to leave a comment!

      Wow, where to start?

      Good question. Personally, I wish you had started by listening to the podcast at least one more time before commenting. As I will show in comments to follow, a lot of your issues about what I said arise from misconceptions on your part about what I actually said.

      Examples of people who have succeeded even though they dropped out of school is anecdotal evidence, you’re decrying one logical fallacy then you go on to use another one quite prominently in your “argument.”

      Is it a fact that these people I mentioned accomplished those things without completing formal education? Indeed, yes. And if yes, then it is true that being subjected to a 14 year classroom education is not a necessary precondition for the attainment of those professional skills, or even of success. The examples I offered suffice as a proof of that point. No fallacy committed. You also declined to name the fallacy you think I am guilty of, so it is a mystery which fallacy you have in mind. In my opinion the examples I gave give us sufficient reason to reconsider the current approach to education, which I contend is deeply FLAWED.

      You say, “These examples serve as evidence to me that… the current education system stifles creativity.” I say that is anecdotal and faulty logic.

      Oh really? Well, Sir Ken Robinson – international advisor on education to government, non-profits, education, and arts bodies; former director of The Arts in Schools Project (1985–89), Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick (1989–2001), who was knighted in 2003 for services to education…. seems to disagree with you, and agrees with me:

      I’ll leave you to tussle out that issue with him. I think he explains it better than anyone else I know; his TED Talk presentation was truly inspiring.

      Engineers without formal education can be dangerous, there is a reason why we require people who build bridges and such to have a certain education; we need to be damn sure that they know their stuff and that those bridges are going to hold. Question for you = would you go under the knife of a self-taught surgeon?

      You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what my issues are. What I am against is a mandatory 14 year classroom education, as per the current paradigm, as a precondition for acquiring professional skills – and going further… to acquire professional accreditation. I did not say someone should not be educated at all. Education does not equal going to a classroom for 14 years (this is one misconception people would do well to drop). That is what I am challenging. Am I impressed that there are some individuals who achieved great competence and success without ever having gone to school? Indeed I am. But I gave those examples not as a reason for why people should ditch education – but as a reason to ditch the CURRENT education paradigm, and I believe I made that clear in my rant. Those examples serve as proof that such an education is not a necessary precondition for achieving professional success. Self-teaching is but one of many possible alternative approaches. Apprenticeship is another.

      About engineers and surgeons, etc…I am not opposed to accreditation by professional bodies. We have such things as Law Societies, Medical Associations, and other associations of professionals who can ascertain the competence of professionals, based on their track record and demonstrated competence. The question is whether or not one is required to have sat in a classroom for 14 years from 8am to 5pm, and have a university degree, to be eligible for such accreditation. I contend that one shouldn’t be required to have done so – and the examples I have presented suffice as proof that undergoing such a system of education is not a necessary precondition for nurturing such competence.

      With all this, you really could be right about the state of education in the entire world (this is quite a broad statement) however, my biggest problem with your rant is that you give absolutely no meaningful suggestions for solutions to these perceived problems – just that things need to be changed.

      Well, my dear, it was not my intention to offer solutions, nor did I feel obliged to, in this particular rant. In saying what you say, I am reminded of a theist who accuses me of failing to account for how the universe was created just because I’m trying to refute his arguments for God. If my aim is to refute arguments for God’s existence, I am not obliged to explain what brought the universe into being. I could very well have no answer to the question of how the universe came into being whatsoever, yet still be able to successfully demonstrate the inadequacy for arguments for God’s existence. I know you know this, as I’m sure you’ve debated Christians over this issue several times.

      I have offered a critique of the current education paradigm. Perhaps in a future rant I will offer my thoughts on how best to go forward – but that will be at my discretion. Neither you nor anyone else pays me to make these podcasts after all, so I don’t owe anyone anything, really. Maybe I will discuss it in future, and maybe I won’t – but that will be my business, and not yours. If you were asking for my opinion out of genuine curiosity, that would have been a different story – but then, it’s quite clear that you are simply using my not offering a solution in this rant as way to criticize my position. Again, I am not required to furnish better ideas in order to be eligible to criticize other people’s ideas, should I find flaws in them. I know you know this too – which is why your “biggest problem with my rant” isn’t really a problem at all. You’re essentially trying to hold me accountable for something I did not set out to do in the first place – and I don’t see how that’s supposed to be my problem.

      g-nut discussion – read “Guns Germs and Steel,” dude. (Jarred Diamond)

      What is it about, dude?

      Your argument on homosexuality actually implies that it was introduced by outsiders, when it wasn’t.

      Oh my gosh. I know that Becca, of course, I know that. During the rant, I was simply reminded that people in Uganda often denounce homosexuality on the grounds that they think it was brought in by foreigners. But EVEN ASSUMING that this is true (which I didn’t say it was, because it is not), by that same logic the Ugandan would have to ban g-nuts, and other things brought in by foreigners. I brought this up as a side note because I was amused by such an implication. You see, these rants are not phD dissertations, and occasionally I will stray from the topic, or humour myself with irrelevant side issues for my own amusement, so cut me some slack here. As for my views on homosexuality please listen to – FBUP: Episode 12 – Evaluating the Case Against Homosexuality in Uganda (at 32min 45secs) in which I clearly state that homosexuality has always been in Africa.

      I think in future you need to give people the benefit of doubt before jumping to conclusions about what you think they think, just so that you get a kick out of “proving them wrong”. Try being more charitable, in other words. This is partly why I have more or less given up on debating people on the internet. Too much headache, and too little gained.

      You argue that feminism created a society where men are not responsible, do not provide, are not chivalrous, etc.

      I argue that feminism undermined the social structures that used to apply pressure on men to conform to those roles – pressure by way of rewarding those who conformed, and penalizing those who refused to do so. As stated in the rant, women also had their own share of gender specific roles imposed on them by the same system – the system popularly known as the ‘patriarchy’. The virtues of chivalry, providing for and protecting women, etc, were a product of that patriarchy. This is important, because the women decrying the disappearance of these virtues in today’s men will often be the so-called ‘independent women’ that feminism claims it produced. The irony is quite obvious here because, remember, these same women fought (and are still fighting) to undermine this patriarchy, arguing that it is oppressive towards women. It is a case of these women having their cake and wanting to eat it.

      I am not personally invested in what the social order is – whether it is patriarchal, matriarchal, egalitarian, or whatever. I am a man living his own life, they way he’d like to, without trying to conform to anybody’s expectations.

      You’re quite nostalgic about those good old days, how are you so sure that there have always been men who behaved like that?

      Of course they didn’t always behave like that. But then there used to be social costs for refusing to conform. Those costs have lost their potency in recent times, because the social structures that would impose these costs and make them binding have largely crumbled. In just the same way, it would have been socially disastrous for an unwed girl to get pregnant back in the day. This doesn’t mean none got pregnant back then – of course some did. It just means there were heavy social costs that made the women of the day cautious about these matters. In today’s culture, the ‘taboo’ against single motherhood has dissipated. Attitudes towards single mothers have changed, which partly explains why we are seeing an explosion in incidences of unwed mothers.

      About nostalgia – please note that nowhere in my rant do I state a preference for the ways of the past – on the contrary, in the rant I quite emphatically state that men are happier today and are redefining their roles as they see fit. They are quite happy not to be the self-sacrificing work-horse, provider, and protector that society used to expect them to be. Many are opting not to marry, and if so are postponing it far into the future. As applied to my own life, it is quite likely that I am also moving in this direction. Thus far, I have not found the allure of “Marriage 2.0” to be strong enough to compel me to pursue it.

      But in the end, clearly the one’s being nostalgic here are the women who are calling for men to ‘man up’ i.e. be the responsible, self-sacrificing, chivalrous men that the ‘formerly’ patriarchal society produced.

      My favorite is how you claim that men sleeping around is a new phenomenon, that feminism brought that out in men.

      It’s my favourite too. You see, feminism, and all its calls for sexual liberation has promoted promiscuity by telling women that they must not conform to the patriarchal requirements of chastity and sexual modesty. There is therefore now an over abundance of young women willing to have sex with young men. The advent of the pill and other methods of contraception have minimized the risk of pregnancy, and has contributed to this abundance further. Men are simply enjoying the spoils of this particular aspect of the feminist revolution, and have become more promiscuous than ever too. Girls in the past would have been quite keen on having you marry her before you slept with her. I don’t think I need to tell you what the trend is now. Neither marriage nor the promise of it, is required to get a woman into your bed these days. As such, there is now more sex available than the average guy knows what to do with.

      Is this good or bad for society? I don’t know. I will let each person evaluate this according to their own standards. Personally I stopped caring a long time ago, and my position is that of indifference.

      Where have the real men really gone? I would wager that the perceived lack of “real men” is more a lack of “marriageable men.”

      I would concur with you here. The attributes I listed are consistent with what many women say they look for in their potential husbands.

      For many women, if you ask them what kind of man they would like to settle down with, they would like a partner with an equivalent or higher level of education to themselves, many prefer a man who has a higher-paying job than they have.

      Again, I concur. This is what they call hypergamy. Women tend to marry upwards i.e. are more attracted to men of higher social or economic status than them.

      With more and more women continuing into higher education and in relatively high-paying positions, the pool of men that they have to choose from if they keep those standards, becomes smaller. i.e. a woman who completes graduate school is unlikely to marry a subsistence farmer. In the US, when you add in the race factor and the fact that so many African-American men are incarcerated, a black woman in the US with a PhD and prefers to marry a black man has a very small dating pool.

      I absolutely agree. I say as much in a previous rant (at the 33min 01sec mark) where, among other things, I talk about the challenges of today’s corporate urban woman (some of whom are going to sperm banks to get inseminated – as per the story I was reviewing).

      Grand bisou!

      Merci Mademoiselle!

      May 4, 2012 at 6:12 am

  3. Psymon

    Fatboy, you’ve assumed that people are unemployed chiefly because they don’t have “useful” skills! This is monumentally wrong! You’ve forgotten that unemployment is a function of several factors, chief among which is the general health of the economy and the AVAILABLITY job opportunities; bear in mind that not everyone can be a job creator! Even if we devised a perfect education system that churned out well trained and skilled individuals, they STILL wouldn’t be fully employed if the economy they were living in was poor! Even if a country was brimming with viable original ideas that could, in turn, create more jobs, these ideas wouldn’t be implemented if the country was a bad destination for capital (poor infrastructure, shortage of energy, expensive credit, political unrest etc.). Further still, these ideas would die if the country didn’t have enough aggregate demand to support them.

    Whilst I agree with you that the current education system is broken, I’m afraid that your tenuous attempt to heap all the blame for unemployment on the education system has ultimately rendered your rant as being devoid of depth and insight.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

    • Psymon, thanks for your comments.

      Fatboy, you’ve assumed that people are unemployed chiefly because they don’t have “useful” skills! This is monumentally wrong!

      It’s one of the main reasons, and I would contend that it is currently the most egregious.

      You’ve forgotten that unemployment is a function of several factors, chief among which is the general health of the economy and the AVAILABLITY job opportunities; bear in mind that not everyone can be a job creator!

      That may be true, but then the current education paradigm doesn’t even equip people with basic skills! Any company, upon recruitment, will take new recruits through orientation exercises that amount to more or less teaching people from scratch. Not only are people not becoming entrepreneurs (which is not what I’m claiming education should achieve) but even for ordinary jobs, they are ill served by the current system that confers upon them very little by way of skills that they’re actually going to apply in whatever field they end up in. In almost all cases, they will learn on the job – and this applies to even technical jobs such as architecture, engineering and medicine. Of course, these technical courses will call this orientation internship, and have it as part of their curriculum. I am saying that far too much time is wasted getting to that point under the current education paradigm – not to mention the exorbitant sums of money that would have been spent by the individual to get that point. And indeed the sums are exorbitant. Do you know how much it costs to get a degree in medicine? In the UK alone, the cost of a university degree has more than tripled in 20 years and thousands of teenagers have been priced out of higher education. Too much money, for too little knowledge.

      Even if we devised a perfect education system that churned out well trained and skilled individuals, they STILL wouldn’t be fully employed if the economy they were living in was poor!

      But you’re now pulling the cart before the horse. And WHY is that economy poor?????? If people don’t have the skills with which to create wealth it will of course be poor. Your current education system exacerbates this situation, by worsening it, and prolonging the state of poverty… unnecessarily.

      Even if a country was brimming with viable original ideas that could, in turn, create more jobs, these ideas wouldn’t be implemented if the country was a bad destination for capital (poor infrastructure, shortage of energy, expensive credit, political unrest etc.). Further still, these ideas would die if the country didn’t have enough aggregate demand to support them.

      Funny then, how unemployment is rising in the countries that are good destinations for capital (have good infrastructure, no shortage of energy, cheap credit, political stability, etc.). These same countries, by the way, are suffering from the dire effects of the flawed education paradigm that renders people unemployable. Here’s an interesting story I came across in the Daily Mail:

      [Millions of school leavers and graduates with ‘fairly useless’ degrees are unemployable because they lack basic skills, a major business lobby group will warn today. The devastating report, from the British Chambers of Commerce, reveals small businesses are frustrated at the quality of applicants, who they say can barely concentrate or add up. Nearly half of the 2,000 firms surveyed said they would be ‘fairly or very nervous’ about hiring someone who has just finished their A-levels. The report warns: ‘Too many people [are] coming out with fairly useless degrees in non-serious subjects.’ Its findings raise serious questions about the type and standard of education and skills training in Britain. The group questioned the owners of ‘micro-businesses’, those with fewer than ten employees. Many have vacancies which they are desperate to fill but were scathing about the quality of candidates. Dr Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the fault lies with the education system, not with the young people themselves.]

      Whilst I agree with you that the current education system is broken, I’m afraid that your tenuous attempt to heap all the blame for unemployment on the education system has ultimately rendered your rant as being devoid of depth and insight.

      I’m confused. So you concede that this is a rant, but then I’m accused of lacking depth? Is a rant supposed to be a phD thesis? I think you and Becca need to swallow a chill pill and get over yourselves. “Tenuous effort”, LOL. It was a straight forward observation. I’ll leave it to economists and their fans to come up with convoluted arguments about abstract economic concepts and all kinds of salient variables, policies and all that mumbo jumbo. What economists call ‘depth’ is what I call BULLSHIT. As they say, sometimes common sense is not so common. The world economy is run by the alumni of the most prestigious institutions of the world, isn’t it? Well I’m glad their brilliant ideas are working. Just see how happy everyone is! Yippee! (yes, I am being sarcastic)

      I look forward to a time when more young people are willing to think outside the box. I hope my rants stimulate more minds!

      May 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

  4. amps

    Hi FatBoy, I am a fan of the podcast. That said, there are so many assumptions in those success stories that you list which can be misleading to the “untrained” eye… where trained is would mean a “data analyst”…. and this is where the value of education would come in, where people often mistake “correlation for causation”. the fact that some people succeed and they happen to lack a certain level of education… doesn’t mean the reason for the success is the lack of their education… Bill gates had been programming for over 10 years but the time he dropped out of uni… this idea is discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier…. check it out…. or “The Black Swan” – Naseem Taleeb…

    I agree with the call for a rethink of the relevance of the cram and replay education….. what would you suggest for the overhaul of the education system? would you do it yourself? or would consider enlisting a “PhD” in Education to help?

    May 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm

  5. amps

    On Men and Women, I am a Darwinian, I believe in evolution, where I feel that a firm skeptic like yourself FatBoy, evident in your arguments against or for religion, I’m not quite sure which side you are on… :-),. would agree that If the status quo suggests that men would like a place where they can exercise dominance then they should step up, if Man A feels that “independent” women are defined by the zeros on the pay check, then he should “Man” Up”… I believe if women are to be treated as equals then they should have no fear of role reversal, which I am sure they are capable of…. thus date a younger guy, accept fair punishment under the law for things such as defilement… one ball one boob…. my argument is that women can not plainly claim the economic equality without accepting the responsibility or even duty that arises from equality, so when a lady shakes a hand… “firm” grip… and where does this leave domestic violence victims…. so Lady I say… Tread Carefully. Equality is a tricky place…..

    May 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm

  6. Psymon

    First, let me clearly mark the co-ordinates of my position. The poverty of our education system isn’t the biggest contributor to the high unemployment we’re seeing in Europe, America and Africa. You purport that “It’s [the poor education system] one of the main reasons [many people aren’t employed], and I would contend that it is currently the most egregious.” and this is the specific claim that I’m refuting. Africa’s case is more straightforward – there just aren’t enough employers and there just isn’t enough affordable capital and infrastructure to turn our innate ideas into salubrious activities from which people can earn money. Europe’s case is more complex. The unemployment that arises from a mismatch of skills/education – the one you’re pointing fingers at – is called “structural unemployment” and is not really the main culprit as you allege. In fact, the biggest culprit in Europe and America is “cyclical” or “demand-deficient” unemployment (companies are just not taking on any new workers) and it’s caused by a recession which, as you’re aware, was not caused by a poor education system. Let me hazard some reasons for their rising unemployment:

    1. A lot of Europe’s high unemployment rates have been caused mainly by depressed aggregate demand (especially reduced capital investment) and this is rooted in its liberalized financial system and restrictive macroeconomic policies – the strangest of bedfellows. The Euro prevents individual countries from cutting interest rates and devaluing currency to improve competitiveness and even places limits on fiscal policy. This has reduced the competitiveness of fringe Euro members such as Greece and Spain and this explains a considerable amount of the unemployment they’re experiencing.

    2. Another major factor is the increasing openness of economies and the massive growth of globalisation which has meant that all European countries are trading more with each other, and with Asian and South American countries. This increased trade has had a significant impact on behaviour within these countries. The increased competition arising from trade is forcing firms to be more efficient and economies are altering the structure of their employed labour force so that the nation can have a competitive advantage. Ultimately, the result is an increased willingness for corporations to take jobs away from Europe and America and move their production to Asia and South America where labour is cheaper and less regulated.

    3. European economies often have generous protection for workers. e.g. it’s hard to hire and fire workers, the imposition of maximum working weeks, protection for trades unions etc. These labour market rigidities often give protection for ‘insiders’ but not “outsiders” and could also explain why European unemployment might continue for a longer duration. Furthermore, the rigid nature of the real wages in the European and American labour market means that “price movements” will not adjust to the excess supply in the labour market (the excess supply being the job seekers) and that the resulting unemployment will remain until the self-equilibrating process of the labour market is restored. The prime reason for rigid real wages in the labour market is that “insiders” (those already employed), represented by powerful and influential trade unions, bargain with the employers for higher wages.

    Lastly, you said that, “I’m confused. So you concede that this is a rant, but then I’m accused of lacking depth? Is a rant supposed to be a phD thesis? I think you and Becca need to swallow a chill pill and get over yourselves.’’ No, James, I haven’t conceded that this is a rant. I conceded that the education system was broken. It’s you – and only you – that injected that revisionist slant to my comment.

    Not too long ago, Jason Russell offered a simplistic analysis of the Kony war and even went ahead to post a video on youtube – do you see the parallels with your podcast??? Obviously, Jason Russell was stridently criticised – and rightly so. I even suspect that you were one of the people that heaped him with the ridicule that he deserved. Now, you’ve followed in his footsteps but you want to be spared of the criticism that arises from making a simplistic diagnosis of an equally huge problem! You sign off by saying that you’ll “… leave it to economists and their fans to come up with convoluted arguments about abstract economic concepts and all kinds of salient variables, policies and all that mambo jumbo.” Haha!!!! Now that sounds like the sort of rebuttal Jason Russell should’ve deployed! “LET ME JUST SAY SOME SENSATIONAL STUFF ABOUT KONY AND GET MOB HITS FOR MY VIDEO AND I’LL LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS AND THEIR FANS TO COME UP WITH CONVOLUTED ARGUMENTS ABOUT ABSTRACT INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS CONCEPTS AND ALL KINDS OF SALIENT VARIABLES, POLICIES AND ALL THAT MAMBO JUMBO.”

    I enjoyed the last part of the rant but you bit off more than you could chew with the first part – the part about unemployment being the most egregious contributor to the rising unemployment.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

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