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Preaching to the Converted

vector: prester_scott
link: Our American Nonage

snippet:
I see government “schools” as a prime way in which the State works to keep people as dull and stupid as possible. What the State insists on calling “kindergarten” is just the first step in that long daily indoctrination process – a process which will teach reading in such a way that few will ever actually read anything on their own, for their own reasons; a process that will teach history in such a way that few will ever see any value in it for today and tomorrow or look into it and interpret it on their own without expert guidance and interpretation; a process that will teach writing in such a way that almost none of them will ever sit down to focus their thinking onto a page and thus actually find out what they believe and why.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
ricecricket
Sep. 4th, 2003 12:15 pm (UTC)
But why does the newspaper project the idea that we need to have such obvious and common-sense suggestions validated by experts?

Or that an internet columnist project the idea that I need the suggestion to dare to know validated by Kant?
ricecricket
Sep. 4th, 2003 12:45 pm (UTC)
on a side note,
if this is a topic that holds resonance with you,
check out some of the books by
jonathan kozol.

not that the column was without something to say, just that
in my mind, if someone's going to start taking ideological
potshots at national institutions, they are necessarily going to come up severely short in an opinion piece that took three minutes to read, and whose rhetorical momentum stemmed from a front page article that probably took ten minutes to write.
kmo
Sep. 5th, 2003 06:14 am (UTC)
sigh
I typed and then lost a longish reply to your comment. Rather than try to reconstruct it, I'll just say, "Thanks for the Jonathan Kozol link."
ricecricket
Sep. 5th, 2003 08:37 am (UTC)
Re: sigh
i hate when that happens. i compulsively copy my entries every few lines now, having learned that lesson one too many times.
uminthecoil
Sep. 4th, 2003 06:52 pm (UTC)
"...tenure in the local Government Indoctrination Center"...

yeah, I've been reading through the archives for a couple of days...hell, read'n them outloud to whoever enters my room...:)
kmo
Sep. 5th, 2003 06:16 am (UTC)
Be careful with that stuff...
If you read it often enough that it starts coming out of your mouth in your own words, you might get pegged as an anarcho capitalist, or worse, a loony Libertarian.
sutut
Sep. 5th, 2003 12:01 am (UTC)
Probably the first political theory of mine-
-Was that the schools forced great literature down the throat of kids so they would deliberately regurgitate it, along with the reason it was so valued. Therefore, many people would not 'discover' the classics and be actually influenced by them. Let them not realize 1984 is more than 'what if the commies take over' and G-- forbid they TRULY read something like Plato's dialogues, "Walden" or even "Repent Harlequin! Said the TickTock man"

I'd still assume it is true, except that it places too much intelligence behind a mindless beauracracy.

Re-Read "War of the Worlds" recently, perhaps in celebration of Mars's proximity to earth.. No, actually I want to use my 3D software to animate a Tripod on my new computer BUT I had to send it back for a replacement.

I marvelled at a novel I skimmed over so quickly when I first read it. I noted some things most people likely miss;

1. The genocide of the Tasmanians. Few people EVER hear this in any history class and I doubt any kid being forced to read it for a one-page book report bothers to look it up. A shame, because it was a major point of the novel along with bully colonialism.

2. The Tripods using sirens to communicate. Might get a chuckle from someone "Pre-Radio sci-fi! Hah!" Still, I don't think Wells had any idea how correct he potentially was. Mars has no Ionosphere, so Radio is "Line-of-Sight" only. Radio waves are, after all a form of light that simply reflects back from earth's ionosphere. The martians were certainly intelligent enough to build radio equipment, and indeed their eyes might well see into that spectrum, but on their own world they would likely use sound as opposed to setting up the network required to bounce radio signals around. For an invasion, a tried and true technology (sound) that would work even better in a thicker atmosphere would be used as opposed to a 'new' technology that the natives (for all they new) might understand better.

3. The novel was basicly the first to touch on "Transhumanism", just as the "Island of Dr. Moreau" touches on genetic engineering and chimera creation. In describing how the martians worked, with the tripods basicly being their bodies, Wells did not just make up a scary alien, he speculated on Man's possible future for both the strangeness of the development and the fear of becoming so cold and cruel.
kmo
Sep. 5th, 2003 05:24 am (UTC)
H.G. Wells -- Transhumanist Visionary
Cool. I'll have to pick that up some time. At present, I'm reading Tom Robbins' latest, "Villa Incognito."
kmo
Sep. 5th, 2003 06:11 am (UTC)
genocide
1. The genocide of the Tasmanians. Few people EVER hear this in any history class and I doubt any kid being forced to read it for a one-page book report bothers to look it up. A shame, because it was a major point of the novel along with bully colonialism.

Astralian TV shows a shocking amount (for an American) amount of Australian history programming. While there, I saw a show about an Australian historian who is making the argument that the Europeans did not eradicate the indigenous Tasmanians. He favored the interpretation that the Tasmanians did not want to live with the whites so they left and voluntarily stopped reproducing. So even though the native population was gone two generations after the whites showed up, the whites did not eradicate the blacks.

Interestingly, Tasmania now provides the bulk of the world's legal opium (the primary ingredient in morphine). Also, according to the author of Dopeland, Taking the High Road Through Australia's Marijuana Culture, Australia's kindest bud comes from Tasmania.
sutut
Sep. 5th, 2003 09:23 am (UTC)
Revisionist history, anyone?
That's a thing I noticed, last time I did a Google search about it. The first 20 or so entries were all from, about, or referring to sites that claimed the genocide a pure fabrication. It's hard to find even an old historical account without it being encapsulated in an open denial. Though the way the island seems to be being treated today, one wonders why the expertimnation of previous inhabitants is even questioned.

I remember seeing paintings of them hunted like animals, bones (and allegedly stuffed Tasmanians) kept on display, stuff like that. A pretty terrible story on the 80's "Ripley's Believe it or Not" comes to mind. Does Australia, not to mention the new Tasmanians, simply not want to face such an ugly historical fact in this modern world?

As an American, I can't be too harsh, given our own treatment of indigenous people, not that my ancestors shot any of them. Still, at least we admit what was done in the past.

Imagine someone taking that line about the Nazi Holocaust? If they did, they'd lose all professional and political credibility. Of course, the surviving Jews are pretty influential as America's behavior in the middle-east shows. Maybe the "Native Tasmanian" lobby should get active, except they are ALL dead.

I tried to check out your link, but the thing was for private viewing or something?
kmo
Sep. 5th, 2003 11:22 am (UTC)
Re: Revisionist history, anyone?
I tried to check out your link, but the thing was for private viewing or something?

Ah. Try it now.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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