Let us begin our foray into this year’s education budget by considering blessings and curses. Given the times we are in, there’s an English "blessing" that is especially apt: "May you live in interesting times."

It is often claimed that this is, in fact, a traditional Chinese curse, which implies that life is better during "uninteresting times" of peace and prosperity than in "interesting" ones, which are usually times of trouble. Well, however you spin it, we are in very interesting times...

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