On a blog as tiny as this, two negative comments on one posting counts as a storm of protest. In addition, I've been getting it in the neck from him indoors for saying that Drama A-level isn't good preparation for English at Cambridge.
As a result, I've been forced to think some more about the issues raised in Boris Johnson's 'Physics not Media Studies' article, and realised that my writing and thinking were rather sloppy. (See below for links to the original posts)
There are three different issues involved in the 'crunchy A-level' debate (and none is actually the real issue.)
1) Are some subjects inherently harder?
2) Are some A-levels inherently harder (by virtue of amount of content covered, style of assessment etc.)?
3) Are some subjects better preparation for a degree at Cambridge University, or better discriminators of a particular aptitude?
My casual adoption of Boris Johnson's label 'crunchy' has not helped at all - I wanted it to mean 3) as distinct from 1), while skipping neatly over the issue of 2). However, I don't think I've even managed to be consistent on that.
As I muse further on these issues, it occurs to me I could do a poll among my huge readership. So...
Please rank these six 'subjects' in order of difficulty . Note, this refers to the subject itself, not the A-level, GCSE or similar. Go on, vote. You can dicker about the terms of the debate at the end if you want...
Which is most difficult?
1) Theoretical physics
5) Driving a car
6) Programming a computer
Crunchy posts so far:
The crunchy and the smooth
Crunchier and crunchier