Experiments and Predictions

In the development of knowledge experiments and predictions process of discovering and testing predictions is critical. A corroborated hypothesis is one that has passed its tests (i.e. one whose predictions have been verified). Consequently different scientists test the hypothesis. If further corroborated by subsequent tests, it becomes highly corroborated and is considered to become reliable knowledge. The technical name for this part of the scientific method is the “hypothetico-deductive method”. Read more…

Educational History: Gramsci and Independent Working Class Education by Colin Waugh

The 1909 ‘strike’ (actually a boycott of specific lectures) by trade union-sponsored students at Ruskin College, in Oxford but not part of the university, is, to my knowledge, unique. As I tried to show in my 2009 pamphlet ‘Plebs’: The Lost Legacy of Independent Working-Class Education, these students, mainly mineworkers and railway-workers – in short, core members of the working class – took on the ruling class, in the shape of an alliance between the Oxford University Extension Delegacy and the Workers’ Educational Association, over the nature of adult education.
Was it to be, as these organisations hoped, a means for producing a compliant layer amongst working-class activists, and thereby for blunting the edge of class struggle? Or was it to be a means by which workers could pursue that struggle more effectively? In the lead-up to the ‘strike’, the students, with former students, organised the League of the ‘Plebs’, and began to put in place a national structure of ‘labour colleges’ (ie part time classes in working-class heartlands), while after it they set up the Central Labour College (in effect an institution for training tutors for those classes) and a publications structure. Read more…

Memory of a Poacher: Royal Archers on the Meadows by Bob Redwater

A familiar sight for Edinburgh folk heading home from work across the Meadows on a late summer’s afternoon. I have always admired those splendid chaps in their green uniforms and eagle feathers in their bonnets. The Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland, practising the noble art of archery in an effort to keep her majesty safe when she does her annual flying visit to distant Caledonia, God bless her.

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