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17.5.13

Real Hope, Real Change

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Or so said the ads that used to run on American TeeVee back in the 70s.  The ads were so effective that the entire world has since embarked on a multi-decade effort to completely eliminate education from schools and replace it with indoctrination.

Indonesia is not immune.  In the past several months, there has been an effort to 'reform' the elementary curriculum to achieve the goal of eliminating the sciences in favor of more religion.
"Specifically, the reform efforts that were suggested indicated that science and social science classes were to be merged, and that more time would be spent on religious education and on classes that instill a greater sense of nationalist fervor. The linkage between removing and or minimizing science and improving student character remains unclear."
As usual, government-sponsored 'education' involves little more than reinforcing those things which reinforce the state power.

It should be noted that the 'religion' content mentioned is strictly Islam, and does not include the other three religions officially recognized in the nation's constitution.  One must assume that morality is the sole province of only one belief system.

It should further be noted that "nationalist fervor" has historically not come to any good.  In fact, it usually ends in violent upheavals as the fervent individuals seek to eradicate those they deem less or differently fervent, not unlike religious cataclysms.

I am not singling out Indonesia.  It is a global phenomenon and one that has afflicted Mankind since dense population centers have existed.  In fact, the only thing more manipulated than the female form throughout history is the mind of a child.

As an example, children are not taught why humans consider certain people and things beautiful.  They are not educated on concepts like balance, rhythm, harmony, context, and other aesthetics.  They are not given explanation about phi (the Golden Ratio) or how lighting and perspective can change beautiful things and reveal more detail.

If they were, they would have the power to observe the Universe and determine for themselves what is beautiful, and to be able to explain why and possibly convince others of their point of view.  They would learn to appreciate the world as they find it, rather than work tirelessly to conform nature to some artificial, politicized ideal.

Instead, they are taught what to consider beautiful.  They are shown models and photos and representations of what they are supposed to find attractive.  Then they are expected to conform the world around them to these implanted and commercialized ideals.  Thus, young women starve themselves.  Young men inject steroids.  Mountains are carved with political images.  Cities become concrete and glass abysses.

By the same token, children are taught political slogans and agendas carefully formulated to keep them controllable and incapable of free thought.  They are implanted with 2-dimensional choices of left and right, completely ignoring the infinitely more creative 3-dimensional approach to problem-solving.

Education is about reading and discussing multiple disciplines and applying a large body of historic, scientific and artistic information to novel solutions.  In the absence of such ability, civilization has advanced very little in the past century.  We've been recycling the same old ideas, adding little more than ring tones to things already conceived and designed in the late 1880s.  The lack of innovation mirrors the stultifying atmosphere of the modern classroom.

We treat our children like cattle and expect innovative thinking from this environment.  They are herded from room to room, seated in rank and file, and spend priceless hours cramming 'correct' answers in their heads so that they have a fighting chance of selecting those answers while regurgitating on standardized national exams.  They don't need to express well-formulated arguments in whole language, just get lucky enough to guess the 'correct' fact from a list of four - 25% random chance per question.

These products of bovine inculcation then go on to be teachers, though they have no clue what to teach.  They have degrees in 'education' - the ultimate triumph of style over substance.  They have no expertise or authority in any subject, only the skills to slide whatever message they are told into the unsuspecting mind of the child.  In other words, teachers are but empty vessels to be fill and disgorged as the political class sees fit.

Being incapable of expounding on any real topic, the teachers have little choice than to demonstrate proper condom use and repeat commercial and political rhetoric.  They know nothing other than a few selected techniques for softening young minds, and so are incapable of teaching anything.

Education, as it is practiced today, is nothing more than a control mechanism for those who believe they are in control.  It serves their immediate goal of remaining employed to produce nothing while being paid money stolen from those who do produce.  As such, 'education' is a social poison pill.  At some point, it will destroy all of human civilization.

As the political class die off, they are replaced with the unthinking, uncritical bovine class.  The bovines eventually invade every level of society so that there are no longer any people capable of creative thought.  Thus, at some point there is no longer a group capable of formulating the slogans and paradigms of indoctrination.  Finally, the whole system collapses as no one is capable of innovation and even the knowledge to maintain the system is lost.

We continue this practice at the peril of our species.  By tolerating the current system, we tacitly approve of a parasite class indulging their lust for power and greed for possessions, while sacrificing the long-term survival of humanity.  We allow the lowest of our kind to dictate culture to satisfy their immediate desires by encouraging (forcing) our children to conform to their wishes and ideals.

Religion and nationalism are not solutions to educational problems.  They require only rote memorization and actuate regurgitation, which are both antithetical to real education.  All they produce are compliant and unquestioning masses, which serves the purposes of the ruling and merchant classes, but does little to advance our species or even guarantee our long-term survival.

The only real solution is broad exposure to a wide range of ideas and disciplines, with exercises in applying them to creative thinking and novel ideas.  Obviously, this kind of mind-set is not conducive to submission  and obedience, and thus is not likely to be used by the leaching classes.  However, it is conducive to innovation, creation and advancement - all of which promote growth and survival.

But first, we must overcome our own indoctrination.  We must not be susceptible to peer pressure and group think.  Just because we were herded room to room and bored stiff with empty lectures on non-topics does not mean we must settle for the same treatment of our children.  Change can begin with little more than lively discussions around the dinner table and reading classic books aloud at bedtime.

Most importantly, fostering a desire for life-long education both in one's self and in one's children can change the world.  Too often, people forget that education does not occur in classrooms.

Real education comes from travel (not tourism).  Real education comes from reading great books - made even easier with the advent of tablets and e-books.  Real education is gained by experiencing the world.  Real education is patiently listening to well-constructed arguments, even when the point is diametrically opposed to one's own.

In other words, even the classroom itself stifles education.

We need to rethink the whole process and quickly.  After nearly a century of the Prussian/Merchant style of education, we are fast approaching the point of no return, at which time there will be no one left capable of real teaching.  Those afraid of this change will complain loudly and fight wildly, but only because they benefit from ignorance.  They should be ignored.

At the core of all the world's current crises is nothing more - and nothing less - than education.  It starts by changing ourselves.  Reading, engaging in debate, learning new skills, and traveling widely are habits that encourage our own growth, and will be picked up by our children, as well.  Leaving the political/commercial schools and pursuing more fruitful systems of learning is key to breaking the chain of stupidity.

Finally, trusting our own ability to reason and formulate conclusions is very important.  As long as we rely on 'authorities' to confirm or deny what we believe, we will be slaves to oppression and destruction.  We must be confident in our ability to think and reason, and that confidence comes from open discussions and intelligent criticism.

Most people are aware there are profound problems with our society, but few are looking in the right place for answers because we take education so much for granted.  Many people have home offices (commercial activity), but few have home education centers, even though our technology can deliver all of human civilization to our doorstep.

To paraphrase a somewhat trite proverb, it is time we learned how to fish, so we can quit begging for our next meal from those who attach far too many strings to their largess.