Friday, May 05, 2006

The "Problem" of Education

The most damaging lesson of the present education methodology is to make learning as difficult, complicated, onerous and traumatic as possible -- rather than to make it easy, effortless and the natural function of living. Instead, people are taught to compete unrelentingly against one another -- to despise another’s success and to feel deeply ashamed of one’s own failings, and all that other baggage that should have no place in the joy of learning and discovery. Educated in that manner -- of torments, humiliations, embarrassments, constant harassments and judgments, it is no wonder why there is aversion to learning, rather than the joy of it every day.

To further complicate matters, there are applications, enrollments, fees, tuitions and credits before one is allowed to learn the most treasured gems of knowledge, diligently maintained by a priesthood of lifetime job security for the intellectual virgins who never challenge the cherished order and traditions of the few thinking for the many -- as God intended. Of course, that was how it was in the medieval universities whose traditions must be passed down to every succeeding generation -- unmodified, unquestioned, lest the gods be angered.

True knowledge and wisdom means banishment from the heavenly gardens forever -- from a vengeful, petty, unforgiving God. And thus He ordered that life must be a veil of tears -- and those who seek the easy way, tempt eternal hellfire and damnation. Thus the road to Heaven, must be paved with many thorns, trials, tribulations and deceptions, or mankind will not know it as the true and noble path, and will slide down the easy path of perdition and ignorance.

So there is this “intellectual” tradition of making that which is simple and easy, hard and complicated. And that was the path of civilization and society until a few heretics wondered, “What if we made everything easy instead of hard?” Civilization and society has not been the same since. Now, one doesn’t need a Ph.D. to operate a computer. One can prepare gourmet meals with a touch of a button. And exercise, rather than being hard, is knowing how to make every effort easy.

Do we see a pattern emerging? Increasing benefits-to-cost is good; increasing costs-to-benefits is bad. Not being aware that there’s a difference between those equations, is the confusion and dysfunction of one’s life. That is the simple mathematics one must master early on, and then when there is an urgent need to learn anything else, it can be learned just as easily and quickly -- not requiring a BS or MS first as proof that one is deserving, and has duly “paid their dues.”

It is a whole new world entirely -- co-existent with the old. The new is a world of “can-do,” while the old resides in the world prohibiting and prohibitive to most things -- and "can-do," is the licensed exception rather than the norm of life for most who merely realize they have that option. At the present time, there are those torn between that old world and the new -- mainly by their own thoughts, education, indoctrinations, conditioning, that that is the only way things can be -- and they can learn no other.

7 Comments:

At May 05, 2006 2:52 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

While evermore money is going into the education of the young, although it is a stagnant population, not much attention is being directed to the need for the re-education and re-conditioning of an explosively growing older population -- aging pretty much in the traditional patterns of the past, instead of redefining life in that new age of possibilities. In fact, it could be that if managed right, the senior centers and population could just be the de facto schools of the future -- employing both the young and the old productively and complementarily, instead of the old segregations of the past.

Education as a function apart from daily living is a necessity that no longer makes sense, and is mostly a carryover of the past tradition of education, and its institutions, that now become a problem when maintained as only one solution unrelated to all the others. Obviously, the schools could double as overnight shelters for another population group. Resources could have multiple uses rather than each exclusively its own -- in competition and at the expense of all the others. Funds being siphoned off disproportionately to one area, choke off resources to all the others. And so there is not enough to go around.

It’s a cultural thing -- and not an inherent physical lack. It’s like the sidewalks -- the pedestrian, bicyclist, or wheelchair desiring it 100% dedicated to themselves, and so all the others have to lobby the legislature for theirs. The cost becomes prohibitive and what there is, is a shrine to waste and inefficiencies. A lot of that loss is the efficiency and effectiveness of societies working cooperatively -- rather than just nullifying each other to see who is the boss and dominates all the others. That is the tribal notion of society and relationship -- reinforcing the rigid pecking order, and rightly, those societies are not long for this earth, but pass away like so many ventures in history.

 
At May 07, 2006 9:53 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Of course medical professionals don’t like it when you treat/cure yourself -- demanding that exclusive right of control over everybody else. In this, they are not unlike every other self-interested (professional trade association), whose highest cause is their own profitability and self-advancement. With insurance in the picture, the real cost is taken out of the picture.

But one of the things about information and its deliberate specialization, compartmentalization, and fragmentation, is that it is open to those who can make those connections. The critical piece that leads to a logical conclusion is missing, withheld, not forthcoming. Instead, the “professional” inserts themselves in where there would be a logical next step -- which the consumer is forbidden from entertaining. It’s a business strategy built upon co-dependency -- so that the more one avails themselves of that “help,” the weaker one becomes -- like an addiction to anything else. It’s obvious with the drugs but less obvious in the dependence on “experts,” and ultimately, on bureaucrats. Those are people who serve no actual function but one has to obtain their stamp of approval to do anything -- or at least they want you to think so. Such people might demand to see one’s certificate in creating writing as a proof of competency in creative writing.

That sounds absurdly preposterous, but a lot of people don’t think they are “well” unless they’re diagnosed as such, or “unwell,” for that matter. If somebody says there’s nothing wrong, then there is nothing wrong -- despite the fact that one may be in constant pain, torment and discomfort. It is what the expert says it is. Such people are also susceptible to manipulation -- from con-artists obviously but not so obviously, by all those who enjoy the control and manipulation of others.

In that way, there are a lot of people doing everything the fitness experts tell them they should be -- committing as much time and energy to such matters as they’ve been instructed to, yet they are not in the shape/condition they want to be in -- and instead, think the only way to achieve that condition/shape, is by surgical intervention. It’s because their exercise/conditioning practices, are totally ineffective -- despite putting in long hours and large sums of money at it, as prescribed by their “professional, certified” advisors.

It doesn’t seem to occur to such people that there can be anything else -- because a great part of that advice is that there is no other. Those are the people who can be persuaded that that which is not true is true and that which is true is too good to be true, and should not be believed. That is the culture of conventional wisdom -- in which things are true because the authoritarian personalities says it is so. Some cultures have more of these authoritarian tendencies than others. Those are the prescientific societies that depend on hierarchies of authority -- rather than verifiable, self-evident truth. In fact, the great commandment of such dogmas, is that one should never attempt to do one’s own thinking for themselves -- but must rely submissively on the “proper” authorities.

The most obvious and visible of such demagogues are of course the newspaper editors and columnists -- who would have us believe, are the smartest, most honest people in the world. No wonder the future always looks so bleak -- and there is absolutely no hope for humanity -- but only doom and gloom as far as they can see.

 
At May 07, 2006 12:35 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

What the newspapers, schools, universities, unions, etc, never adapted to, was the realization that there could be other options (choices) but themselves -- and so they had to be the best of their form, rather than just suppress the others -- which is not a sustainable, successful long term strategy.

However, that is a commonplace short term strategy that detracts from developing a viable long-term strategy -- that proves out in time. While the short term strategy may work, it may kill off the next generation -- and in that way, extinguish itself.

One of the wisest things ever said is the down home homily that, “There’s a reason things happen.” It is the humility of recognizing that one might not know why something happened -- and what all its implications might be. A lot of the “politically correct” types running around in society proclaiming their omniscience, are notably lacking in that humility. Apparently, bright lights and microphones have that effect on some people. For such people, God created bright lights so they alone could bask in the limelight proclaiming their wisdom above all the others not so ambitious. I think we all are also familiar with what happens to many others with access to a microphone in a darkened room with alcohol present.

So these proclamations and public service announcements of their singular brilliance and deserts, are the reason for the decline of mainstream (mass) media as we used to know it -- in place of ??? Predictably, the perils of the Internet as the new crime wave and civic disintegration are well-written about, while the other end, of its vast superiority of information for a new age, is overlooked.

The “news” has become substandard information, and opinions parading as facts. That is the greatest danger of all.

 
At May 07, 2006 12:35 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

What the newspapers, schools, universities, unions, etc, never adapted to, was the realization that there could be other options (choices) but themselves -- and so they had to be the best of their form, rather than just suppress the others -- which is not a sustainable, successful long term strategy.

However, that is a commonplace short term strategy that detracts from developing a viable long-term strategy -- that proves out in time. While the short term strategy may work, it may kill off the next generation -- and in that way, extinguish itself.

One of the wisest things ever said is the down home homily that, “There’s a reason things happen.” It is the humility of recognizing that one might not know why something happened -- and what all its implications might be. A lot of the “politically correct” types running around in society proclaiming their omniscience, are notably lacking in that humility. Apparently, bright lights and microphones have that effect on some people. For such people, God created bright lights so they alone could bask in the limelight proclaiming their wisdom above all the others not so ambitious. I think we all are also familiar with what happens to many others with access to a microphone in a darkened room with alcohol present.

So these proclamations and public service announcements of their singular brilliance and deserts, are the reason for the decline of mainstream (mass) media as we used to know it -- in place of ??? Predictably, the perils of the Internet as the new crime wave and civic disintegration are well-written about, while the other end, of its vast superiority of information for a new age, is overlooked.

The “news” has become substandard information, and opinions parading as facts. That is the greatest danger of all.

 
At May 07, 2006 3:46 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Many people have never experienced (witnessed) communications other than in the mass media style, in which the objective is to coerce the other into believing everything the advertiser (editor) wants him to believe. For that reason, the mass media dependent on advertising, is the most corruptible form of information, rather than the most reliable. It will not report on matters that offend their advertisers or see anything wrong with mass manipulation as long as it is fully paid for -- contrary to their claims they’re not susceptible to such pressures and biases.

It is so deeply ingrained that one has to poke out both eyes not to see it. But once there is this huge cultural blindness accepted, there is much debate allowed over matters that don’t make a difference and really matter. That is the usual strategy of communications to deceive, manipulate, confuse and control. So abusing the other is the objective and measure of that type of writing and speaking -- and they are allowed to see nothing else, and especially information that is a sharing of perspectives, which is what healthy relating is about.

And so those “communicating” in that style, which is a perpetual argument, have notoriously poor relationships that they remark on as the essential human condition and conditioning -- which healthy, happy people, connected people don’t do. They are not likely to be frequent editorial writers or approved letter writers to the editors, who maintain that contentiousness and human conflict is what life is all about. It is certainly what their lives are all about. These are toxic people which one should wean an exposure off of. It is the artifice of being alive -- and not the authentic joy of living, being and doing. The only purpose of such communications is to dominate, to domineer, to abuse.

One sees it a lot in the sit-coms of television and also the talk shows. Content is not the objective. The insult and abuse is the only thing that makes these people perk up; that is the only thing they recognize as human relating and relationship -- the abuse. Positive emotions don’t register. Unfortunately, that has become the exclusive realm of mass media -- about control, manipulation, deception, argument, domination. The underlying belief is that in order for one to win, somebody else must lose -- because there is never enough to go around!

If a bicyclist and pedestrian meet, laws must be passed to vanquish the other -- because there is not time and space for both to share the resource. Every point and matter of contention must be a winner5 take all and the loser is utterly humiliated and abused -- as these people were in their childhoods, and so the rest of the world must also know that experience. Those are the seeds of the demagoguery one sees expressed in the mass media communications -- and why people have created other ways, quite deliberately and thoughtfully.

People with these inordinate drives to be “somebody,” demanding respect from everybody else, are telling us what they deeply feel about themselves. That is what is troubling them and projecting (displacing) to everyone else. It's not rocket science.

 
At May 07, 2006 3:48 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Such people make a big show of public virtue, and then kick the dog and children -- and deny their vicious, abused dogs ever bite.

 
At May 08, 2006 6:13 PM, Anonymous The Great White Shank said...

Hi Mike -
Enjoy your blog - keep up the fine work. Your sentiments are right on target.

 

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