What we learned this week #74

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In many ways, we’re living in the future we idealised as kids – it’s all 3D televisions and magic printers – and in others, we’re stuck hopelessly on the problems of the past – like how do we stop our kids from misbehaving?! – and we learned about both sides of that dichotomous (definitely a word, I looked it up) coin this very week! Handy that.

The internet of things, explained at last! IOT

There’s been a lot of ‘buzz’ on the ‘web’ as of ‘late’ (sorry, got a bit carried away with the scare quotes there) about the mysterious enigma that is the ‘internet of things’ (totally necessary there). Thankfully, resident IT expert Stuart Houghton was on hand to break it all down for us:

‘Imagine if everything you owned could talk to each other. What if your work bag reminded you to pack your umbrella because the TV told it that there was a chance of rain? What if you never ran out of eggs and milk again because your fridge could order top-up deliveries when you were running low?

‘These are all ideas that could become reality thanks to the Internet of Things. The IoT is an idea that describes a future where everyday objects are connected to one another via the internet or can somehow communicate data about their current state with other systems.’

Corporal punishment: big no no!

Following a new report on the lingering effects spanking, an anonymous user asked Quibsters if there was a place for corporal punishment these days. The answer was a resounding…nope. Matt Thrower went a little more in depth with personal experience:

‘I was subjected to occasional corporate punishment as a child. I’m not sure that one can really make an unbiased judgement as to whether something in one’s past has had a long term effect, but I suspect that it has not.

‘However, I would not use corporal punishment (as the term is widely understood) on my own two daughters. There are many reasons. One is that I’m not willing to take the risk. It seems that it might have long term negative effects, possibly dependent on the personality of the child. At best it leaves you in an awkwardly hypocritical position when you have to explain to a child why violence is wrong.

‘The other is that it seems cruel and unnecessary in almost all circumstances. I’m surprised you need to ask for alternatives – there are many, depending on the age of the child. Confiscation of toys, pocket money or privileges are the ones that work best for us. And longer terms positive re-enforcement (i.e. rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad) is a better, more effective option.’

 

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