This Week #5
A decision about where the kid goes to school is thankfully a ways off yet, but we’ve started vaguely surveying the landscape in Melbourne to get a feel for things. What strikes me (as a relatively recent Melbourne import) is that the culture of schooling in Victoria is totally focused around private schools. My contemporaries here are mostly private school educated, and many plan to send their kids to private schools — for high school at least.
This is completely foreign to me. I attended a couple of private/international schools while living overseas, but the vast majority of my schooling career was in the public school system. And while Canberra’s public schools are very good — my high-school outperformed every other school, public or private, in the territory the year I graduated — I find it hard to believe that Melbourne’s are so bad that it’s worth the cost of forgoing the public system entirely.
To send one kid to Scotch College it costs nearly $30,000 a year (!!!), but even the less prestigious private schools are in the order of $20K. Would it be better to instead save/invest that money and give your children $180,000 when they graduate? Or to not have to work to find that money, and be able to actually spend time with your kids? Or to take them on an outrageous holiday to an amazing part of the world every single year for their entire school life?
Speaking of cost/benefits calculations, we’re currently getting moderately screwed by our car insurance company, and it has had me considering the value we get from covering our car and whether it’s worth the expense. A not-insignificant factor in that calculation is the possibility of an accident with someone else’s ludicrously expensive car. I’ve long thought this represents an absurdly imbalance of liability. If you’re driving a luxury car on public roads, then the risk of it being damaged should be a cost you’re responsible for.
Possible solutions: make damages a first-party-only responsibility; or have some reasonable upper-limit on what is claimable so that you’re not out $200,000 when that Ferrari in front of you brakes too hard.
‘I have no choice but to keep looking for her. I feel closest to her in the ocean.’
From this devastating NY Times piece about Yasuo Takamatsu’s search for his wife Yuko, who was killed five years ago when a tsunami swept through Sendai following the Tōhoku earthquake. If you’re not crying after reading that then you should probably watch Last Minutes With Oden just to make sure.
There are still terrible people in the world: Bill Leak is racist; Clint Eastwood thinks we’re all pussies; and Malcolm Roberts, soon-to-be One Nation Senator and Sovereign Citizen, plans to “cancel all of this climate nonsense”.
The IOC announced the five new sports that’ll be included in the 2020 Tokyo Games and they’re predictably boring. Baseball/softball? Skateboarding? Yawn-city. The Olympics should be the pinnacle of any sport, and for lots of sports like golf, tennis, football and rugby it’s clearly not. I, of course, wish that my sport of choice, Ultimate Frisbee, had been included — it become eligible for inclusion last year. Maybe we’ll get there in 2024.
There’s nothing quite like having your biases confirmed: ‘Enjoyment of trash films linked to high intelligence, study finds’