Published papers and a profile can be seen at these repositories:
Academia.edu - http://independent.academia.edu/ThorMay
Linkedin.com - http://au.linkedin.com/in/thormay
Mendeley.com - http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/thorold-may/
Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=CwWx1-kAAAAJ
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Passionate Skeptic stands for: I don't care what you believe in, so long
as you don't believe in it too strongly. A belief is a weapon in the armory
of your heart, and its razor edge will murder the innocent. The ice, the fire
of your passion will seduce mundane men and women. Your clarity will excite
respect. And the first demagogue who comes along with a key to your heart's
armory will wrest the weapon from your moral grasp. The first cause which
wears the colours of your belief will enlist you as a soldier in ravaging crusades.
Peace friend. Keep your passion to doubt with. Our civilization is a simple
matter of live and let live, of giving dreams a go, but stepping back with a
wry smile when we get it wrong. Let the fundamentalists perish in their own
pillars of fire. Spare a dollar for the living, and have a nice day, Doubt
well, do what you can, then let it be. Presidents, priests, wage slaves,
hustlers, men and women, kids, we all live by the grace of those we love to
despise... Leidenschaft ist, was
Work, as a life experience, has evolved greatly over historical time. For most ordinary people, their job is not something that they enjoy much. However, without formal work many lose focus, may become dependent on welfare, and certainly become socially stigmatized. It seems that increasing numbers of people will never be able to have secure employment. They have joined a new social class now called the precariat. What are the consequences of that? How have we reached this point? What is a practical, long term solution to “the problem of work” for ordinary people?
Fake it 'till you make it is a much advertised nostrum. Well, anyone who is not pathologically naive and who has encountered the corporate-speak of today's urban living knows that the fake-it meme is already in the DNA of most institutional critters, large and small. The only news is that this virus might also be deployed by bus drivers and check-out girls. With this in mind, the essay takes the fake-it topic beyond some simple self-trickery sold as positive thinking, and looks at various extended mutations inside and outside of the law.
1. Thor's BRIEF IDEAS (Wordpress blog) OR the full list of short cuts on this site, thormay.net ....
275. Live and Let Live
They may not be your kind of people. They may not even be my kind of people. Come to think of it, I'm probably not your kind of person. Whatever. They, you, me - we've all been here since the (human) world began, or at least yobos like us. No religion, ideology, culture, reign of terror, or advertising agency has ever been able to change the whole daggy mix. So what do you want to do about it? Stand on a street corner and preach to the converted? Retreat to your limousine and sort them into your superior type and the other trash? Be a predator to prey on the unwary and unwise? Screw anything that moves and get wasted while the party lasts? Hope for a safe life of suburban gossip, the small world of office hello-friendships and fear of the tabloid murder rate? Well, it's your call. Me? I'm glad that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. There would be no stories without them. I don't do bars, usually, but I understood my father who used to say before stumbling off to find a new dive, desperate to escape his desolate home life, "gotta go check out the local wildlife".
276. Democracy – Comment on a Proposal
The actual management of social, economic and political choices which are of citizen interest is at the heart of the governance problem, whether it is some kind of democratic governance or a more arbitrary alternative. Votes offer an option of yes or no. Life is harder than that. There is an inherent problem with binary choices in a complex society. Most important questions are nuanced. We could take almost any votable question and find within it a host of other questions. Most respondents will not have the imagination to see the impinging issues on the lead query. That is their responses will be shallow, and in any real political campaign easily swayed by partisan argument. ...
more short cuts (brief ideas)
What would be the
consequences, to follow a crazy thought experiment, if the
At the top of the assessment pyramid are multinational testing corporations, best known by the names of their standardized tests, such as IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL, BULATS, TKT, Cambridge ESOL main suite, or G-TELP (there are many other aspirants). In some ways these testing companies can be thought of as the Big Pharma corporations (i.e. drug companies) of the educational world. Like Big Pharma they are subject to constant challenges to their ethics and reliability from within and without, and like Big Pharma they are rather prone to corrupt the issues which they were designed to assist with. The possible corruption of language learning by the requirements of testing is known as wash-back. Wash-back is not always malignant. The analysis in this paper is a tentative attempt to manipulate the wash-back from an international test in a manner which actually assists genuine language acquisition.
Abstract: The argument I will develop in this essay is that the foreign students are a latent human resource who can assist with overcoming English monolingualism in the Australian population. Foreign students, properly rewarded, can be a major source of skills transfer. Every one of those students is a walking compendium of language and cultural skills that Australians need to know
(also on this site here)
4. Unwise Ideas (most content still remains here at http://thormay.net. All writings will take quite a while to transfer)
It is well understood by most governments today, whatever their nominal ideology, that encouraging the private ownership of residential property is one of the most effective ways of ensuring social stability. A simple Australian example would be that after World War II, very large numbers of footloose demobilized soldiers could have been a distinct threat to the established order. It made very good political sense to direct them as soon as possible into stable employment, and into household ownership. Amongst the first acts of states which give up the lunacy of total centrally planned economic control is to move rapidly to create a residential owning middle class. As Russia formally abandoned communism in the early 1990s it did just that, allowing citizens to purchase their accommodation at very low cost. After Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, China moved in exactly the same direction, even while maintaining a façade of communist ideology. The communist state of Vietnam has acted in exactly the same way. When you have a home and a mortgage, you are probably reluctant to start a revolution, and the political elites have a significant hold on your behaviour.
Abstract: (This e-book is roughly 20,000 words)
In spite of waddling locals with voices like swamp
frogs and the tattooed pub denizens,
This is a small collection of short biographical videos, a teaching demonstration, and some recitations of my own verse, together with several well-known verse ballads (for the benefit of learners of English). The blog duplicates material already on thormay.net at http://thormay.net/video/videondx.html
Language Tangle - Predicting and facilitating outcomes in language education [PhD dissertation]
Doctoral dissertation in
knowledge worker productivity (specifically, language teacher productivity),
This thesis argues that foreign and second language
teaching productivity can only reach its proper potential when it is accorded
priority, second only to language learner productivity, amongst the many
competing productivities which are always asserted by stakeholders in
Abstract: These are notes on English stress, rhythm and intonation. Part A is for students and Part B is for teachers. The treatment here is “technical”, as by a linguist, but in very plain language. Even with poor formal English, L2 speakers who “sound right” will gain social acceptance, and this in turn will greatly accelerate their learning. Firstly the concept of “the music of a language” is introduced. It is noted that languages are on a scale of “syllable timed” to “stress timed” (though this is not a simple matter). English is a stress-timed language. Both word stress and sentence stress are essential in English. However, proper word liaison and elision marks native speakers from non-native speakers. Some advice is given on how to practice privately and in a classroom. The importance of teacher talk as a model is noted.
Other articles on language teaching here
China Readings etc.
Archived news and articles
a) General Readings on China from 2007 to October 2011;
Thor's Big Links List
to ESL Resources & Jobs
Bus to Heaven (a story for learning English)
Every morning Helen put her left shoe on before her
right shoe. She combed her hair before she put on any mascara. And she made
her bed before she ironed her dress. There wasn't any special reason for
doing things in that order. It was just a habit, and she never thought about
Mr Dog Looks for Breakfast (a children's story for learning English)
Mr. Dog woke up one Spring morning and yawned. He stretched his legs and wrinkled his nose. Then he sniffed the breeze. There were many interesting smells in the air. He could smell the jaoze steaming in Mrs. Li's kitchen. That made his to tongue hang out, and he panted a little with pleasure. Presently he caught another scent. It was that damned Tabby cat. He frowned, and growled deep in his throat. The silly thing was watching him for sure, hiding behind a fence or something. He looked around suspiciously, but Tabby was not to be seen...
Long ago (1967) in a freshman
literature class, in response to one of my jabs the tutor asked sarcastically if I thought I was an educated person.
For her that meant quoting a canon of classic English literature. Even then I
thought that like the rest of us, she was an 'uneducated person'. I was damn
sure she wouldn't have a clue how to start her car with a wet distributor. I
remain irredeemably uneducated in vast areas of human interest ...
Stumpy and the Decision Tree [ a daggy epic of the unexpected growing day by day]
I've gotta' admit, the gunner blinked, it's neat -
That tear-down screen, the instant con of command ...
Meg grabbed his ear and he flinched.
You tinfoil hoon, she hissed, you wouldn't know
A sacred sign from the flash of an arcade strip.
Now hit back a signal wrapped in respect
Before we get zapped to a crisp...
Ambushed again, faked, photoshopped
False friend or true? We met once
Surfing past, a finger click away
Or so you say, and poised now
For assassination, a cold delete?
To be or not to be, the moving cursor asks;
Am I to let your promiscuous affection
Claim my avatar, encode a ghost
A faithless mist of electrons, my pixelated ID,
Dangle in the dragnet of your 541st delusion?
So, Master of the 541st, did you fear our journey
Across the misty mountains of old times?
How is the dust on your feet? Remember
The salty sweat in our eyes, and the song our lips
When the world was made of earth and sky?
three short, and very amateur videos were made in
see the video, "The Journey of a Passionate Skeptic " (4 minutes) here
see the video, "Born 1945 - Still Running Strong" (2.5 minutes) here
see the video, "Teaching English is Fun " (4.5 minutes) here
©Thor May 2013 All rights