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It’s another “World of…Something” day today, and today’s celebration is for the skill of  listening.  Hardly a day goes by these days without it turning into a day to celebrate some human micro-activity or another.  Many of these activities are focused around very small neuro-muscular complexes and are intended to produce specific movements by those complexes, presumably for the benefit of the individual concerned and the human race as a whole.  Today’s celebration is the combination of little bones, muscles and nerves which permit the act of listening.

In education recently, we’ve seen this tendency to glorify minor muscular movements in lots of different manifestations: we promote the acts of writing, singing and reading for example in stealth-like attempts to exercise and strengthen the neuro-muscular arrangements that constitute the fingers, the vocal cords and the ocular muscle systems.

This increasing focus on micro-regions of the human body has naturally generated educational initiatives and consequently businesses which promote those differentiated, atomised and fractured human activities. We already have many organisations which focus on the actions of writing, of reading and of talking: and today no doubt there are businesses committed to building the neuromuscular assemblages which will improve our ability to listen.

Whether we are able to express ourselves any better, comprehend what previous generations are telling us, or hear what someone is trying to tell us is a moot point: but this fracturing of the human body into profit centres can only be good for the economy as a whole.   Whilst some faint hearts might be questioning whether or not fracking our planet might be good news for the environment as a whole, the good news is that the fracturing of the human body into profit centres can only be good for the economy – and with the minimum of disruption to the Blackpool pleasure beaches to boot.