School sucks. And if you think this article is full of conspiracy theories, bullshit or my personal favorite, #tldr, you can blame your sucky government school for upgrading your brain’s natural tendency towards cognitive dissonance (preference for familiar ideas over conflicting ideas) to an easily manipulated, military-grade, self-propagating, wilful ignorance.
That’s the goal of propaganda, and schools are propaganda farms, not a collection of the curious. The voluntary pursuit of an efficient, engaging, effective education ends when you arrive at school. Why would you ever volunteer to get up at bullshit o’clock and commute to some bullshit building, listen to someone spew monotonous bullshit, eat some bullshit food, listen to some more bullshit and then commute back home to fill out a pile of bullshit paperwork, and pass out for a few hours so you can get up and do the same bullshit all over again, for 12, 16, even 20 years?
“It’s good preparation for the competitive job market,” comes your conditioned bullshit response and while you’re right: school does prepare you for the job market, it’s as a tax-funded human labor product for sale to corporations who impose the same bullshit routine in a different building, to repay the money stolen from other people to put you through the same bullshit they went through. That’s an insult to actual bullshit, which is a good source of nitrogen, potassium and bacteria essential for plant growth.
I learned that living on a farm, not in a classroom, btw.
Most of the learning in my life happened outside of a government building: with countless hours of contemplation — aka distraction, daydreaming, laziness, & lack of focus; with novels, poetry, history books; with the trees they used to be; with other animals not unlike me; with music, film, fine art; with the glory of the internet’s inexhaustible supply of answers to my equally inexhaustible supply of but why; or by listening to other people talk about their feelings, describing their unique subjective experience of the same world I inhabit but experience very differently—not because I was forced to listen or punished for not recalling their words on command at a later date, or because I wanted a better job or social status.
I seek knowledge everywhere because everyone knows something I don’t. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear, and to me, everyone and everything is a guru. I see knowledge as an infinite, renewable resource, not a commodity to be regulated and rationed. It can be mined literally anywhere with the universally available tools of questioning, observation and experimentation. The value of the ore depends on the refinement and end use. It is purposeless in itself, developed by a human to suit any purpose, and revised over time. The value of knowledge is fluid, subjective.
As an involuntary participant in the educational system, a child does not become educated in a subject; a child is subjected to an education. An education is not to be confused with learning or knowledge or even thinking. It is the broad imposition of a narrow set of oppressive, limited, opinions on what’s good for everyone, a popular ideological franchise with branches in North Korea, China, Vietnam and Nazi Germany, and plans to (re)open facilities in Hillary’s Fun House of America.
Federal Fun Camps, YAY! From the same people who brought you Riker’s Island Resort & Spa and Walla Walla Fun Café.
You see, educational executions and school shootings are nothing new. Children in the United States have endured a 251-year tradition of violence in schools. The recent assault of a black student by a white police officer at Spring Valley High School is repugnant stew of racial, gender, and ageist violence, a strikingly familiar—and stale—stench in American classrooms.
Edward Foster, a 17-year-old student at Inman High School, was shot and fatally wounded by his teacher Reuben Pitts after jerking a rod from Pitts’ hands to avoid punishment. According to the teacher, Foster struck the pistol Pitts had drawn, and caused it to fire. Pitts was acquitted of murder on grounds of self-defense.
There were no cellphones to record video in the classroom at the time, but the New York Times printed this perspective on February 28th, 1903:
[…] It is said several of the students attacked Prof. Pitts while he was whipping Foster, and that in the scuffle that followed Foster was shot by Pitts.
So, what did you learn in school today?
In South Carolina, students have learned the lesson of Edward Foster: do not interfere with an institutional agent, even to prevent violence. Do not assist your fellow slaves-in-training. Pledge allegiance to the flag, but not a friend. Honor the title and position of authority, independent of virtue. The State is sovereign whereas the individual is not. The law is the way and the truth; your emotions and thoughts are subversive and backwards.
THE STATE IS THE NEW GOD. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.
The Educational System is an arm of the State, the ultimate deity, the king of kings, the god of gods. The iconography of the shepherd’s crook (meaning you, the people, are sheep) and the flail (stray from the flock and get a beat down) is still in use today, in different media, predicated upon the notion that a human being not only requires but actually desires an external force to dictate thought and action, except of course for the rulers, who are excluded because they are gods, not human.
The American Pharaohs of D.C. hand down ~750 tablets yearly, some the length of an entire bible (the #1 best selling book of all time, yet rarely read cover to cover) or all four Twilight books, and no less bloated or vague. Roughly 40,000 (a nice biblical number) laws went into effect in 2014 in America. The Pharaohs (n. Archaic Egyptian: politician) claimed to be descended from gods, a story they fabricated about natural phenomenon they didn’t even come close to understanding. Then they hijacked the brand equity of the most aspirational characters; exaggerated archetypal characters in popular stories turned to their own individual benefit at the cost of the land and its people.
FREEDOM IS AN ILLUSION.
If you think that American children are forcibly confined in small rooms to expand their minds, to become literate, to excel in STEM fields, check your work against recent international rankings. The data also indicate that these ratings worsen the longer they stay in school. If a washing machine made your laundry dirtier the longer you washed it, wouldn’t you fix it?
Over the last century, public educators have become increasingly authoritarian disseminators of state-enforced, censored, obsolete, and at times demonstrably false curricula, using broadly socialist methodologies optimized for institutional profit at the expense of individual success. These rigidly regulated operations reflect principles developed during the industrial revolution to churn out mass quantities of some homogeneous minimum viable product with an acceptable defect and scrap rate, scaled to minimize cost.
Why does it take four years to manufacture a narrowly predetermined utilitarian widget with a planned obsolescence upon commencement? When the shiny new cap-and-gown graduates roll off the assembly line with a Certificate of Inspection, they either slide directly into the low-income end of the labor pool as cannon fodder for commercial warfare, or into a risky and high cost credential overhaul which they are increasingly unlikely to complete due to inadequate preparation/funding, so they slide right back into the grunt heap, now even farther behind than before.
In addition to being economically unsound and socially irresponsible, the current system of public education neglects subjective experience. Difficult as it may be to put into a spreadsheet, standard human features like unique hopes, dreams, perspective, intellectual capital, and the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are necessary considerations for any educational system whose measure of success is producing autonomous members of society.
In a nutshell, education through monolithic factories doesn’t make sense in a global marketplace which favors breakthrough, nimble, noniterative, entrepreneurial ideas. Schools add value to society at large so they are more accurately viewed as a utility, where the end product is not a commodity or property but a service to a person. Functioning as a quality service provider, schools would create an inspiring and supportive space to foster intersectional innovation in the largest demographic of untapped creative potential. I propose public schools transition admirably into the 21st century as well-funded, user-centered, open source mobile educational service providers, with multiple parallel development channels to serve a diverse consumer base, continuous feedback loops with frequent service updates, and the overarching goal of customer satisfaction. The empowering effect of choice in the educational market alone will create unprecedented user engagement within a professionally facilitated, self-organizing, peer-to-peer marketplace, where negotiation, research, competition and collaboration combine to form a productive whole far greater than the sum of its parts, and where failure is not a disaster or liability, but an expected byproduct of healthy growth and innovation — in other words, an education — with a universally applicable value of its own: experience.
Actually, everyone works for the State.
Let’s talk about how the State defends Corporations against those hordes of student zombies hungry for brains and lacking in bank. Let’s contrast those exhausted, overworked, passionate students who create the value in any given scientific publication, with the recipients of this value:
- INSTITUTIONAL: Student paper production increases the institution’s brand equity, political power, funding and tuition.
T =[ rental fees for strictly regulated use of equipment + facilities ]
- CORPORATE: Those predators in blue suits who stand in the rushing river of unpaid/underpaid labor where the student salmon ends its dramatic struggle to spawn a career in the mouth of the bear market.
- STATE: Taxes, that organized theft of capital ostensibly for the privilege of being the target of worldwide scorn/solicitation/idolatry.
- UNIVERSAL: Science is literally to the benefit of all life on Earth.
Is there a credible guidebook for the real world, considering it changes by the moment? The body you’re walking around with is completely replaced, cell by cell, over the course of 7 years, like someone rebuilding your home brick by brick without you noticing the difference. This is because of the center-weighted scale of significance relative to the present, with notable outliers like traumatic memories and thrilling fantasies.
We’re notoriously terrible at predicting which of these fever visions will come true. Humanity’s Greatest Guesses Collection would feature: My Cubs will Win the World Series, We’ll Be Together Forever, These Leftovers Are Probably Still Good, and so many more) So the notion that preparing students for the harsh realities of the real world by inflicting harsh realities upon them is tautological af. Must we make it worse? Must we?
But really, it begins with parenting, because that is the first zero point which defines the beginning of the waveform interacting with other waveforms in a sense of spiritual fluid dynamics, analogous to the binary format which creates increasingly high resolution digital waveforms from
The last lesson they learn is actually the first lesson:
Violence begets violence.
The findings of this study are essential education for all, but are specifically useful for debunking the following fallacies:
Those who think domestic violence is only an ignorant adult male beating an innocent adult female for some insignificant act of disobedience, but who paradoxically defend the “right” of an adult of even greater relative size to strike or intimidate an utterly defenseless and dependent child for similar “reasons” in a situation where the victim cannot leave the abuser(s) and find the loving relationship they don’t know — and might never discover — is not only possible but necessary for their survival.
For all those who think that occasional violence is okay if you also pay or care for your victim sometimes.
For those who believe they can rebrand violence as something more palatable or cute or virtuous such as spanking, whooping, discipline, and my personal favorite, the love tap: if it looks like violence, it sounds like violence, and it feels like violence… meine Damen und Herren, es muß sein.
For those who think violence against children is acceptable if the parent “had it worse,” in fact they have adapted to their torment and came to accept and promote violence. This is not an American Problem, a Western Problem, a Poor Problem, a Black Problem, or a Woman Problem, it’s Global: Violence is the native language spoken in ~80% of homes worldwide.
For those who think violence is a tool to teach children right from wrong, remember the classic adage, two wrongs don’t make a right, which is certified doublethink, because the Police State kidnaps, beats, robs, rapes and murders and call it justice because they’re wearing a special costume and a weapon that would have made King Arthur or Genghis Khan weep.
For those who think “violent video games” and “angry music” create violent teenagers, instead of providing a means to process emotions around the theme of violence in their lives without creating more victims, attention must be redirected from the prurient pixels to the quotidian apocalypse experienced by actual humans, the tragic deaths of whom are the inspiration for such games. Call of Duty was real for some people, 6th graders were forced to kill and be killed by the end of WWII… children have been fighting in grown-up wars since wars. For my grandfathers, one on the ground in Korea, the other at sea in support of the Allies, both hollowed out like rotten avocados from a patriot’s duty to honorably serve a just cause, a police action, a noble sacrifice and a truly glorious end of the greatest generation. Kiss my hairy motherfucking asshole at noon in Macy’s window.
For those who think a child can be an evil villain, a super-predator or a dangerous psychopath in need of medication, incarceration, or exorcism. The beauty of DNA is that it has so many options for the expression of just the right combination of genes to suit the immediate environment it encounters, at first the biochemical landscape of the mother. This is a fragile ecosystem, and small changes at this stage can have significant and long lasting effects as the foundation is built upon and the environment changes.
Through improving the foundation of childcare, we reduce the downstream proliferation of violence, eventually emptying the battlefields, prisons, and corporate hamster wheels, perhaps in the span of a few generations. Listen to this chapter of The Origins of War in Child Abuse for some solutions. Listen to all of it and let cognitive dissonance lead to growth. Or as some people like to call it, education. For even more science, reason and evidence, about what’s really going on, see The Bomb In The Brain series.
Parents, please watch these, and remember: it’s never too late to learn.