Recently, our Prime Minister started referring to media such as the ABC as “elite media”.

Now, what does the word “elite” do?

First, let’s look at the definition.

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning of the adjective as:

“Of or belonging to an elite; exclusive”. And the noun – the elite – is: “The choice part , the best , (of society , a group of people , etc.); a select group or class”

Ideally, that would be considered a compliment; but all indications are that it was manifestly pernicious manipulation of language with the intent of causing disaffection with the ABC, Fairfax Media, and other media outlets that (more often than not) look to facts and seek to provide a genuine mix of perspectives.

How many of you are elite sportspeople? Few, as that term refers to those who are at the top of their sport. We like to watch, cheer for and be amazed by feats that can seem superhuman. The accomplishments of such people can inspire as well as provide a vicarious sharing in the thrill of winning. But for those of us not numbered amongst the elite sportspeople, we still remain separate from them.

Some will look at the social pages with envy as they see the rich and the powerful gathering at glittering events and partaking of expensive champagne, delicate canapés, and gourmet meals. As the glossy people bask in feigned admiration of each other, many might look on at these socially and financially elite and wish they were included. But they are not – that is the point. These elite will not include you unless you have the money, can gloss and glitter in expensive clothes and say the right things politically. You are separate from these elite.

So what happens when you suddenly find that “Our ABC” is part of “elite media”? Does the organisation still speak to and for you? If the mischievous use of “elite” is doing its work effectively in your unconscious, there is a high probability that the answer is “no” – unless, of course, you count yourself as a member of the fact-seeking and fact-honouring elite.

When so much political discourse now refers to “Australian families” (never, single people you might notice), “mum and dad investors” and “the average punter”, we see politically inspired and driven support for those media which speak for and to the crowd, and which are not for the elite.

What has “elite media” to do with you, the average person, the mum or dad investor, the Australian family? “Elite” is separate, not you.

So now where will you find fact-based reporting and news (if you actually care to look for it)? No doubt the suggestion is that whatever you hear from shock jocks or read in tabloids or see on Facebook is good enough for the crowd. Apparently none of these sources is “elite”.

But the next time you see a very wealthy Prime Minister dipping into the canapés of other very wealthy people – the socially and financially elite crowd – you might like to wonder why a genuine member of that elite group wants to separate you from fact-based reporting and writing that offers some intellectual quality.

Do we only use around 10% of our brain

This myth has been around for decades. While believing this might encourage people to strive to develop their potential – that’s a good thing, by the way – it does not make the statement true.

We use 100% of our brain. It’s just that we aren’t consciously aware of most of what it’s doing. For more, see the article in the Educationalist menu.

Two new pages added

Since beginning, we have added a page for the Educationalist. The intention is that articles, links and discussion on the page will relate to the facilitation of learning – the page for anyone in a role that aims to develop thinking, knowledge and wisdom.

The other new page relates to change work – facilitating change for individuals, teams and organisations.

Welcome! First Post!

Welcome to Apt Ventures’ Open Learning site.

The inspiration for this blog is to publish ideas that are helpful to presenters, trainers, facilitators, and coaches. Or, any of you who are interested in developing your peak performance by honing your cognitive skills, your emotional intelligence, and your whole body-mind well-being.

Hopefully, the first thing you’ll notice is that I’ve called it an Open Learning site. While it is technically a blog, the intention is to post articles that are generally rigorous in nature, that draw on quality research whenever possible. The aim is to present material that brings new research to a more accessible medium and discuss its implications and applications for those of us in the areas of training and coaching: that is, people who aim to help people learn, evolve and change in healthy ways.

Some posts will be intentionally iconoclastic in nature.  Some will be humorous (I hope). Occasionally, I will post, or link to, some seriously scholarly material. I’ll put it where you aren’t forced to read it;  but, the intention is to offer you the opportunity to benefit from it.

In inviting discussion, the hope is to provide a forum for like-minded people to use quality research to inform their professional practice and their personal evolution, to discuss the ideas, and to develop applications for yourself and your work.

Thank you for joining me,
Peter Thompson