RE: DSM: What if....? Side-Looking Airborne Radar

From: Malc Dow (
Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 17:44:54 EST

I hope this is not regarded as too off thread... but I think it is an
illustration of education philosophy, very much connected with Sudbury and
other forms of alternatives in education.
Lockheed, yes. Around 30 years ago, my father working as project manager for
a very well known global aid organisation, needed a West African country
mapped. In particular the forests. Two companies were invited to tender;
Lockheed and Motorola.
The Motorola representative arrived with some very interesting SLAR
(Side-Looking Airborne Radar)technology, perfect for 'seeing' through the
perpetual haze covering most of the forested area of the country and let the
product speak for itself while he got know the team who would be using it.
He was of course invited round for a family dinner, all visiting reps were,
and most of the time was spent talking about education. He was interested
that I was at Dartington Hall School, then one of the progressives in the
UK. He had been largely home educated, one reason being that he was an
American Indian, and had been getting a lot of flack for this at his school,
another being the need to lie and cheat at school, whereas at home the
attitude was honesty rules.
He went from home schooling to Motorola, where he held a respected and
highly paid position for many years.
We had, including my mother, having home schooled me for some time (I was
brought up in Turkey. 40 years ago there were not too many English speaking
schools in Turkey and my mum wanted me to follow more or less a UK
curriculum), a great conversation with him, and it was interesting so hear
someone with such a straight job (!) and such free outlook on education.
40 years ago home schooling was a regarded as more outlandish than today,
and when the Motorola guy should have been at school I think it was a very
duck and dodge.
The Lockheed rep. arrived with a very snappy wardrobe, but some rather
second rate technology that looked already out of date. I never learned
anything of his education, for at the dinner when not leaching my sister, he
never stopped trying flog his wares. He seemed to have no social skills
whatsoever. He had obviously forgotten how to play.
And then was caught out trying and bribe project officials with $10,000
envelopes to give the contract to his company.
No prizes for guessing who got the contract. Well ok, Motorola got the
contract. Not just because of the tech. but because the guy was really
genuine, and social, and friendly, and not trying to impress anyone, and
left everyone thinking nice thoughts about Motorola. Lockheed lost hands
down, on all counts.
Ever since when I see a contract has been given to Lockheed for anything, I
think.. "Oh yeah... how many envelopes"



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