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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Something that I left on Sam Harris' wall...(Prominent Atheist.)

Well, I just wanted to add something to this, although it might mean that you'll have to do research into several different topics but there it is...

1. Educational attainment has very little to do with the development of intelligence. American schools (public schools anyway) were designed to develop people who could fit in comfortably at turn of the century (1900s) factories. In other words, public schools for the poor are there to give you minimal critical thinking skills, if any, and to turn out unthinking uncontemplative drones who can only follow memorized orders. I actually think this is the job they still do very well except for the unfortunate fact that this is 2010. This is also a theory of education that isn't taught very well, even amongst the very well educated for reasons I guess are very self serving. You might find these writers and thinkers very interesting if you wanted to research this further:

John Holt

Paulo Friere

Ivan Illich

AS kind of an aside, as to how you could equip the populace with the critical thinking skills to see through religious bullshit, you might want to talk to Nicholas Negroponte. The last time I saw him on the television he said something about not emulating the very regimented and in all probability creativity killing South Korean educational system. Frankly, he sounded a lot like those aforementioned writers. Give a curious kid a laptop and let him roll I suppose would be his theory on intelligence creation. He did give the example of the story about a kid who taught himself how to read and write using his laptop...Related: Very good Youtube video.

2. Right now we're kind of watching the dismantling of American public education by rapacious privatization czars. The truth of the matter is that American public education is woefully underfunded and the United States is alone, I believe, in the industrialized world of not funding their education at the national level, as opposed to a patchwork of county and state funding which produces wildly varying results between say Alabama and Washington State. So, if you doubled the education budget you might find yourself funding a lot of Catholic or religious schools or that new private for profit diploma school that Rupert Murdoch just bought.

3. And this is related to two and has to do with the politics of it all: Both parties are in the pockets of private interests that want to destroy or seriously maim public education. And its not because they want to help kids. They see education as a kind of profit center. Its also aimed at destroying the only unions left: teachers unions where its almost impossible to ship your job overseas. And no I don't know why Barack Obama and Arne Duncan are pursuing yet another way to kick the trad dem party base in the teeth. With the republicans that's always been the long term goal: third world wages for the majority of Americans.

The best resource on this is Not waiting for Superman:

4. I tell you I'm qualified to be the fifth or sixth Horseman, who happens to be African American. If only one of the Terrific Four would recognize my gifts...Could have a book out within six months with a 5000 dollar advance. Really I could...

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