Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Problem of Education

The most important thing to learn, is how to think for oneself, and find out for oneself -- which will never happen as long as the professional educators tell everybody what to think, instead of how to think for themselves -- which is the freedom to choose and exercise their intelligence, and not have all these decisions made for them by those who think they know better for everybody else.

That is the issue in all these discussions on "education," which is valuable in that it should make us more free, and not less free, so that we have no choice but to conform with the one political correctness a self-promoting group thinks is their exclusive turf -- which is the problem everywhere, but particularly so in Hawaii where every self-aggrandizing interest group wants to own a monopoly.

And so there is no choice -- and therefore no expression of freedom and intelligence, which is the whole purpose, and not just to provide permanent job security for a few people. If people can't teach well what their students want to know, they shouldn't be promoted to education administrators, but should have to find jobs they are more suited for (if any), leaving those positions available to those who do have something the students want to learn about -- which is always changing, and not merely the traditional curriculum of the medieval ages when everybody had to think alike.

So simply forcing the students to attend the schools they don't want to go to, with teachers who have nothing they want to learn from/about, is not going to make them more intelligent -- but simply result in a society that is less intelligent by forcing everybody to go along with a system that is a proven failure.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Got It Backwards

Hawaii's problem is not the lack of money (by the elderly), but the lack of productivity (by everyone) -- which is further exacerbated by the union (government) workers wanting evermore money for less work, or no (in the case of pensions) work at all. So there is plenty of money chasing few goods and services -- like the "Graying of Hawaii" articles pointing out that the cost of care facilities being so exorbitant so that few people can afford them.

Presumably, that's because the nurses are making $100,000 a year and demanding more, because the doctors are making $250,000, etc. -- but there is nothing to buy but imported Mercedes Benzes, rail systems, real estate, and vacations off island -- where they can get value and the money goes far.

Meanwhile, back in the islands, the unions, politicians and institutions demand ever more money for doing even less -- which creates the untenable situation/competition of who can do the least, or nothing, for the most money -- which is the well-recognized Island mentality, the ultimate representation being the words of its venerable representatives to congress, claiming they can get even more than their fair share, etc.

And so industry, agriculture, innovation and invention, have disappeared, and is not supported, but endless waste (and fraud) is.

Naturally, that impacts a whole healthy outlook on life -- which is actually the usefulness and productivity, and not simply the preoccupation with gaining more money and compensation for doing nothing (the sacred mantra of something for nothing). That is ultimately reflected in the individual lives of becoming more useless and dependent as a cultural ideal, rather than the more healthy one of creating value from almost nothing. They've got it backwards, "island style."


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"We've Always Done It Before"

Life is very hard, cruel and unjust in Hawaii -- because the people make it so, and their institutions rationalize and justify those injustices as how things ought to be.

The kids learn this early on in life when their teachers stand around and let a kid get beat up to "teach them a lesson" of how their future will be if they don't go along to get along.

Ultimately these people do get their own justice served back to them -- when they themselves become weak, vulnerable and isolated.

It's a cultural thing and not the way life has to be -- unless people allow it to be, which is the injustice, tyranny and violence anywhere, at any time.

Obviously in their responses, the union perpetrators (and supporters) know exactly what they're doing.

When Hawaii's institutions support and look away from these abuses and callousness, it is no wonder we so often read these stories from Hawaii, of people going after their "loved ones" with baseball bats, destroying everyone around them until finally put down themselves, and sadly remarking, "So typical, and so sad of life in Hawaii, and the misery and pain the people inflict on one another."

Because they've always done it that way before.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's Wrong with the Schools

It seems lately like there's a big propaganda campaign to convince us that "higher mathematics" or doing quadratic equations are necessary to achieve success in this society.

I lived in Seattle when the personal computer boom was getting underway, and what impressed me at the time, was how all those shops and guys who used to be auto repair places, were now computer repair places and experts -- because those were the guys who liked to do things with their hands rather than learning the theory of computer science and higher mathematics.

That's really been the new model of achieving success for the past 35 years -- instead of the old education model of simply accumulating more academic (theoretical) "knowledge" -- as typified by the computer industry/revolution being founded in the proverbial garages of people learning by trial and error -- which even people acquiring and "learning" new products and technologies have to do. It's a different kind of learning -- on demand, as needed -- rather than the legacy model of education of just piling up knowledge hoping one day they'll find a use for it -- or the kind of generalized learning that astute people have noted as useless academics waiting for an inappropriate moment to exhibit itself.

You just can't learn theoretically and academically -- but have to have an actual need and application to do so. So it seems like this is one of these propaganda campaigns by the "education industry" still trying to sell more of "their" kind of education which they claim to own the monopoly on, yet at the same time, claim that parents should be responsible for its appalling failures in today's world.

Obviously we need the new learning model rather than the preservation and perpetuation of the medieval scholastic tradition of learning infinitely more for learning's (the education industry's) sake.

Recently, another reader/commenter decried the need for people to still learn the multiplication tables -- instead of just learning to operate a computer/calculator to do that -- better and unfailingly.

Friday, November 05, 2010

All Is Not Lost

After another disastrous "election," the citizens of Hawaii will have another two years of complaining and realizing that nothing is being done (or done right), before repeating their history of voting for the same people again.

They seem to think that voting for the same people and policies, is all that is required to bring about change and improvement -- while everything seems to stay the same, or get worse.

When a population is young, they can get away with it for several years, until the tipping point is reached at which most of the population is old -- and not doing the jobs they are still getting paid for. Increasingly, more money just goes to pay those who are no longer working -- and so there is very little money left for those still doing the work, or for the unfortunate segment of the population, for which government aid programs were conceived and funded for -- when the government workers themselves, think that is the money intended for themselves -- which they are entitled to.

What is required at such inflection points, is for a healthy balance to be restored -- in some fashion, or all the money is being paid out, but nobody is producing any work, product or service -- and so the quality of life is limited to what one can actually do for oneself, because any exchange at that point, is to trade something for nothing in return.

While this is quite obvious and understandable on a personal level, this simple lesson seems to get lost when understanding society or the state as being the aggregate of all such individual transactions. Money has worth according to the greater good one can receive in exchange for it -- and if nobody is producing anything, but merely wishes to defraud or extort more from one another, it becomes a vicious cycle favoring the most ruthless and unconscionable. We then fully expect, that people we elect, have no intention of living up to their promises -- but their saying so, was all we wanted to hear, without further expectations, of any follow through or connection to future events and outcomes.

The early anthropologists of the last century would study and report on the difference in such societies -- of which the community good and reciprocity (mutually advantageous exchanges), was the golden rule, while in others, "getting over" on everybody else, was the more admired trait, which is the familiar getting something for nothing, or over -- until one, or a privileged few, have it all.

So these patterns are very familiar, if no longer discussed -- because elections alone, are enough to validate and justify the present order of injustices and imbalances of power. Might, or the majority, doesn't make everything right -- particularly if people just know how to win elections, or wars for that matter, as the only arbiter of right, and good, so that people can force that belief on a population, even if it is not true. This exercise of power is done everyday, in all one's transactions and exchanges with other people -- we individually and collectively know as our relationships and society.

That becomes our world view and outlook -- which is that things are getting better, or things are getting worse, and there's nothing we can do, because even and as often as we vote, the results are always the same.