NEWS: Today Australia’s population reaches 25 million!
Thirty years ago the PM corrected me on this important matter of fact! Watch this short amusing clip …
PM Bob Hawke at SOT launch in Canberra, 1988, with SOT Principal Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson
On 30 May 1988 in Canberra the School of Thinking was officially launched in Australia by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson in the presence of the Prime Minister of Australia at the time and Rhodes scholar, The Honourable Robert J Hawke AC, GCL who commended Dr Hewitt-Gleeson for this initiative and agreeing,
No longer content to be just the lucky country, Australia must now become the clever country!
Prime Minister Hawke was then presented with a School of Thinking certificate by Dr Hewitt-Gleeson proclaiming him to be “Australia’s Number One Clever Brainuser” and to symbolise the vast potential of the power of Australia’s 16 million brains.
Most books and articles about cognitive bias contain a brief passage, typically toward the end, similar to this one in Thinking, Fast and Slow: “The question that is most often asked about cognitive illusions is whether they can be overcome. The message … is not encouraging.”Kahneman and others draw an analogy based on an understanding of the Müller-Lyer illusion, two parallel lines with arrows at each end. One line’s arrows point in; the other line’s arrows point out. Because of the direction of the arrows, the latter line appears shorter than the former, but in fact the two lines are the same length. Here’s the key: Even after we have measured the lines and found them to be equal, and have had the neurological basis of the illusion explained to us, we still perceive one line to be shorter than the other.
At least with the optical illusion, our slow-thinking, analytic mind—what Kahneman calls System 2—will recognize a Müller-Lyer situation and convince itself not to trust the fast-twitch System 1’s perception. But that’s not so easy in the real world, when we’re dealing with people and situations rather than lines.
“Unfortunately, this sensible procedure is least likely to be applied when it is needed most,” Kahneman writes. “We would all like to have a warning bell that rings loudly whenever we are about to make a serious error, but no such bell is available.”
Because the School of Thinking training strategy is strongly based on it, I’ve been asked to tell a little more about the Scheyville Experience.
The war movie that had the biggest impact on my life was a little known movie called National Service Officer, a military infomercial about a rigorous and elite finishing school for young army officers at an almost secret place called, Scheyville OTU (Officer Training Unit).
During the Viet Nam War, on being drafted for National Service, they showed it to us in boot camp and, as a result, we could volunteer to apply for leadership training at the Scheyville Battalion of Officer Cadets.
After a rigourous selection procedure a few of us were selected from each recruit training battalion around the country and I was one of the 23 selected from Puckapunyal in Victoria in July, 1967. I was a member of the class of 3/67 and 4/67. During less than a decade before it was closed down at the end of the Vietnam war, almost 1,800 men graduated from OTU Scheyville.
The Officer Training Unit (OTU) Scheyville (pronounced like ‘sky-ville’) was a place in Western Sydney of which most Australians have never heard. However the Scheyville Battalion’s leaders have gone on to be extraordinarily successful in their chosen fields; the famed DFAT class of ’69 pales in comparison. It has been argued that they are perhaps one of the most successful cohorts Australia has ever produced. In Australian military history this is now known as the Scheyville Experience.
Now you can watch that movie the Army made to recruit for the Scheyville Experience here …
Most schools couldn’t claim as many successful sons as Scheyville. To be sure, schools like Perth Modern can claim a Prime Minister, departmental secretaries, ministers and a Governor-General – but it did not produce them within the space of seven years.
Scheyville can claim a Deputy Prime Minister (Tim Fischer), a state Premier (Jeff Kennett), parliamentarians, the leader of the famous airline strike, a Vice-Chancellor, scientists, a coterie of Brigadiers, successful broadcasters, journalists and advertising men and a bevy of prominent businessmen like Marcus Blackmore – all from but seven short years.
Scheyville also produced some very gallant young men.
The founding Commandant and ‘Father of Scheyville’ was Brigadier Ian Geddes. His training motto which he commended to the Officer Cadets was … I Can and I Will!