It was with great shock and sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of Mannkal Scholar Niamh Loader following a medical procedure. After performing well in our program over the year, Niamh was due to commence her internship at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) in January.
Niamh was a gifted writer who had several pieces published this year in The Spectator Australia and on our own Mannkal blog. Below you will find the relevant links to her work. Niamh had a gift for a pithy phrase that summed up her opinions – opinions she was always keen to share. She was determined to get to the truth of a situation and then to write about it in a way that not only pointed that truth out but helped the rest of us to understand what was frequently the absurdity of it.
In her own words:
Let our fairy tales be the foundation of our society rather than our legislation. Let magic guide teaching, as much as method. Unless of course we’d prefer a society of Eeyores, over Tiggers. Personally, I’d prefer bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, and pouncy. But then, I never grew out of Harry Potter.
Below is a late Saturday night exchange between Niamh and our Mannkal Chairman Ron Manners, which clearly demonstrates her intellectual curiosity and engagement with our program. Ron’s comment on the interaction: “Impressed that she remembered me quoting Dostoevsky who said, some years ago, ‘The soul is healed by being with young people.’ This exchange has inspired my current festive poem ‘Conversation – the Greatest Gift.‘”
Forgive me but I couldn’t resist writing to you after hours spent watching old interviews between Hayek and Buchanan and Friedman. What fascinating men! I’ve decided I definitely need to read The Road to Serfdom. Furthermore I loved the implications of some of what was discussed for our current educational crisis. Hayek made a great point about education being too tied to formalism these days, and that the disciplines had forgotten their philosophical roots. I wonder whether we’d have more motivated students if they could see why they’re learning things and the history of subjects?
Anyway, I hope I haven’t rambled too much. I just think I appreciate Mannkal’s educational goals even more after my YouTube education binge! Did you ever meet Buchanan, Hayek or Friedman?
I hope you’re having a wonderful long weekend!
So glad that you are enjoying these exploratory adventures.
Your comments fit well with our current New Education Project, so I will take the liberty of sharing with Rocco & Matthew & Peter K, as it will confirm that we are “on track”.
Yes, I knew all three gents you mentioned. Each quite a different style but all inspirational to me (and all very patient at answering my questions).
See you soon.
Thanks for your email! You were definitely lucky to pick their brains in person. I’m assuming that was through the Atlas network? If I were to have a dinner party and could invite deceased people they’d be on the list (maybe with Freud thrown in for a bit of drama since apparently Hayek didn’t think much of some of his work!).
I saw myself going into teaching as well for a long time, but the irritation of having to teach to a curriculum would frustrate me too much I think.
This year’s gone so quickly, I can’t believe we’ve come round to the final student seminar.
See you then.
Just another after-thought to our email exchange.
Let me suggest a book by Richard P. Feynman as a great book to start with (it is one of my favourites) – see attached.
I’ve managed to digest almost all his books (print and audible) plus his many YouTubes.
Much to learn from this figure from the last century.
Each time I analyse one of my many failures*, I think of Feynman solving the problem of the exploding Challenger Space Shuttle (by asking questions in unusual places)*. I have had so many dramatic failures that I wrote a book detailing some of them – Heroic Misadventures (free eBook – https://www.mannwest.com/books/heroic-misadventures/ .)
It surprised me how I managed to write a book about failures and sold the book at a profit!
Thanks so much for the Feynman recommendation. It seems to get rarer and rarer these days that you come across individuals who see failure as motivation. More people seem to just take it as an excuse to give up. Feynman is so enthusiastic, his lectures are something to watch! Also I’ve got a 16 year old brother obsessed with astrophysics so knowing a little bit makes me seem cool (I’m especially hoping to inspire him because the year 11 education system has him really unmotivated currently).
Your own stories from Kalgoorlie are really something. Ten years old was a real turning point for me too – it was when we moved to Australia! I often wonder what might be different if we hadn’t.
Thanks for letting me ramble. My grandparents all live overseas so I like to take any chance to soak up the wisdom of people whose “souls need healing” (as Dostoevsky would say!)
Celebrity, controversy and quail
Carbon emissions are driving children online
Good on ya Greta!
Climate change police: the new CCP
The f-word we need more of
When appearing virtuous kills virtue
The fight for sovereignty
A pledge to stop using ‘Woke’
Tribute by Rowan Dean
Editor of The Spectator Australia
Scroll down to:
Tribute by Mark Burgess
Leave Your Own Tribute
Mannkal Scholars Sam Cruickshank and Jake McCoull have set up a tribute board where you can leave your own thoughts as a permanent record in memory of Niamh.
“Help Bring Niamh Home”
Extended family and friends of Niamh’s are fundraising to help support her family with the costs of repatriation from Bali to Australia. The proceeds of this fundraising will go to the family to help cover the costs of the post-mortem and repatriating Niamh back to Australia. Any support you can give, big or small, will be truly appreciated.