This is an interesting development. The Don the Baptist is looking for
cover, since he can't actually admit that some of the stuff he says is
*completely ridiculous*, and now might understand that they are widely
perceived that way, even by people who don't give him a hard time about it.
He has taken their silence as approval, which, as I've said, is historically
Now he's not so sure of where he stands in the flock, so now he trivializes
calls to substantiate or retract *ridiculous* statements by transferring
them to statements that would never draw that kind of fire, like Worm's
open-ended question. He (clumsily) hopes to blur the obvious differences
between these types of utterances, so that he can go one saying the stupid
things he seems to need to say with impunity, since now every innocent
statement is subject to these 'unfair' calls for rationality.
For me it points to the importance for him of an *quiescent audience* for
such utterances, and his need for the sense of 'community' that the inferred
approval of such statements offers him. The Randian veneer from the golden
age of ideology seems to be coming slightly unglued. What does Howard Roark
care what other people think of his heroic utterances? He is a rugged,
towering individual. Does he in fact need the 'sheep' he curses to reflect
his monumentality back to up to him? It might be a tad lonely up there on
Olympus, but, groups are for sissies, and 'gurlz', right?
It's sooo Alpa Chimp.
He's supposed to be the Number One Poster in the entire group! From what I
see second-hand, Amy's got him logically pinned and she knows it, so she's
very patiently waiting for the count. Don's now happy guns are regulated so
that people like me can't get them. <Slapping the tarp with open hand,
"One!"> Don's now concerned that everyone else in the group will have to be
rational. <Slapping the tarp, "Two!"> Don insults her intelligence, calls
her narrow-minded... <Slapping the tarp, "Three!"> Ding, ding, ding!!
<Don: Insert ad hominem here.>
Worst, IMO, is the namke-calling. "YOu're so stupid!" "No, *you* are
stupid!" I've seen it degenerate to a kindergarten-level.
Weel, part-yes and part no. Kids are just that, kids, andnot miniature
adults, which nmeans that their brains have not yet finished developing,
which in turn means reduced impulse control. Part of child-rearing is
the process of teaching them impulse-control, in ways that are approriate
to their mental age (soem kids do mature a bit mroe quickly than average,
others a bit more slowly - even kids are individuals).
When a 3-yr-old becomes frustrated and hits someone else, it's not a
amtter of "evil", it's that impulse control is not inborn/instinctive,
meaning, it has to be taught.
Problems arise when the parents themselves are emotionally underdeveloped
and act upon mere impulse. One of the worst things for kids is to grwo
up in an atmosphere of incinsistency. One such inconsistency is, for
example, if a child is punished for hitting, when teh parents themselves
are physically abusive, using size, strangth, and/or aggressiveness as
methods of attempted control over others. Another major problem is that
nonsense of having something be a horrid sin one day, and jim-dandy the
IOW, agression (poor impulse control - which includes silly name-calling)
will manifest at some time or another in nearly all children; what makes
for a reasonable person, or a putz, is what adults, esp. parents, do, how
they react, when that manifestation occurs, AND how those actions realte
to their (the adults') own behaviors.
It is not "nature *versus* nature", it is "nature *plus* burture".
Well, I'd never argue against that fact, to be sure...
My biggest concern, actually, is the idea of safety training. I don't
know the actualy statistics, iof there are any, about how many people get
POed, and then go buy a gun with the intent of using it. But there are a
lot fo people who just don';t know anyhting about gun safety.
Now, I'm also speaking, don't forget, as someone who grew up in a house
that was well-armed. I might have mentioned that my father was a
competetive handgunner (had a shelf-full of trophies), and also a
collector. He also did some hunting. And a loaded gun was *always* kept
in the night-chest next to their bed. I never played with it - firstly,
I had principles of gun safety well-ingrained from a very early age, and
second, I literally would not put onme foot into my parents' bedroom
without their permission. Period. Not an exaggeration; it's how we were
But that's the point - it's how we were raised. Again, a lot fo people
don't seem to know the first thing about gun safety, and that is
hazardous for the poeple around them (I don't really care if someone
blows *their own* fool head off...) So, to me, the whole waiting period
thing is dicey, whereas I *do* think that a person should have to
demonstrate a knowledge of gun safety before being able to buy one.
Yeah, *that* is just stupid. As though someone with a closetfull of guns
is going to get POed, like, what?, on the way home from the A&P??, and
decide to pop into the gun shop to buy one to nail someone...? Esp. when
the person has a concealed gun permit and can carry one at will.
Oh, I know :p . That whole argument (that criminlas buy guns in gun
shops) is based on fear, not facts.
A lot of it is. I detest the "presumed guilty" mentality.
Yes, there are some dangerous poeple, but most of the gun "control"
proposals do that and nothign else - IOW, control guns, NOT dangerous
poeple. Dangerous people will do stuff like pour a bucketfull of battery
acid off of a rooftop, or figure out how to make explosives from, I
dunno, foot powder and a flea collar, or some other innocuous thing. We
already can't buy Sudafed any more without registering like criminals,
just because some a-holes want to cook it up in old toilet-bowls or
whatever so they can turn their brains into Swiss cheese by using
Crystal-Meth. Hell, I went to buy a can of metal spray paint at Lowe's
this past Saturday, and had to stand there waiting at the self-chek-out
until someone could come over and figure out that I'm probably over 21 -
why? becasue some kids have fingured out some way to "huff" (that's what
the clerk called it) the stuff in the spray paint.
People get so caught up in trying to control the distribuition of
*things*, even though *things* are not the fundamental problem. I'm
waiting for the day that one has to surrender one's birth certificate and
passport to buy a set of steak knives...
"To Serve Man"
Stop! Stop! DOn't get on that ship! "To Serve Man" - It's a cookbook!!!
Oh yeah, I always love the Piece Of Paper bit. As tho' a nut-case is
worried about that.
The sick thing is that, if you do protect yourself, you're likely to get
some speech abou thow you shouldn't have "stooped to their level". I
know how that one goes, boy oh boy =>:-p
Just look at the situation a few years ago in FOrt Lauderdale, I think it
was. The rape and battery rate was through the roof; then a lwa was
passed granting women a sort fo automatic Concealed Weapon license. Not
all women carried guns, but a lot started to - and the rate of
THere are a lot of guys (and even a few women, too) who think they have a
right to do whatever they want to someone whom they can physically
overpower. Not all humans posess Humanity...
More to the point, further back, there *was* public education - teh
proverbial Schoolhouse. Many people didn't get past early grades,
because they had to start working -0 that it true. But a fifth-grade
education form the old schoolhouse was better than the current bhigh-
THe difference was that education was more local, and I think that people
therefore were more invested in it.
Also, a huge problem is that the people born in the 60's and 70's
*generally* (not of course universal) knew less hardship than did us "old
geezers", and when they had kids, those kids (again, very general) knew
even less hardship. It's not uncommon for kids to have weekly allowances
exceeding $100-$300, even when the parents are working extra jobs to
provide that allowance, and many kids don't even have trhe responsibility
of taking out the garbage once a week, or mowing the law - they have no
real *role* in their households, other than to exist. And I think that's
a big problem. part of being a family is sharing not only fun, but also,
responsibilities, because the latter actually forge tighter bonds between
people - ther eis just something special about overcoming a problem
But when that doesn't exist, and people don't even sit down to dinner
together, what sort of bonds *can* exist? Many kids grow up being just
plain unconnected to much of anything, with the result that many don't
care about much of anything.
I don't knwo what role schools can play in all of this, but I do have the
idea that the increased bureaucratization of school systems jsut adds to
that detatchment, because the school, at least in more urban areas, is
not really rooted in any community - administrators come froma ll over,
and it's just this massive conglomeration that the kids move through.
In a way, it's soprt of like "globalization" - massive faceless
organizations in which the poeple who should be, and used to be, most
important (the "consumer", or, in the case of schools, the kids, and
specifically, their education) is now the least important.
As with a globalized corporation, the people making up the base of the
theoretical pyramid (as in, We The People), become powerless, lacking
control, emotionally detatched, becasue they are no longer dealing with
something that' spart of their community, but rather, some huge faceless
monster hat sits on them, is imposed by some distant force.
I think that is the underlying foundation-stone of a great many problems.
But the sulution is...?
(1) From what I've seen of the curricula.
(2) From people I've known throughout my life.
Lucky you. I went to what was basically "sweat hog high". Most of what
I've learned, I learned through reading.
I know poeple who had a lto of variety of courses, as did you. I've also
known people wose public "education" was pathetic.
SO what? THis isn't about whether you personally got to study philospohy
in high school, or whther my "English" classes in HS consisted of trying
to teach remedial reading to the kids who just kept getting passed along.
The fact aht you personally studied X or Y does not in any way mean that
all, many, or most children actually receive an education.
[ ... ]
That doesn't really follow - I said, basically, "X seems to have been the
case, and if it was, I think it had to do with Y", and it's not really
logical to reject Y because X might not have been accurate. IOW, Y was a
proposed contribution to X, but if X is not accurate, that in and of
itself in no way disproves Y.
I did not do so. It's got to do with learning to take responsibility for
oneself, which does have an impact upon how seriously one takes one's
So mere material acquisition, and being able to relinquish personal
responsibility, equates to "higher standard of living"...?
As I said, many kids have no real *role* in their households, other than
to exist - and I'll add, receive all sorts of comforts and funds
regardless of how they behave. And, sorry, but no, that is not
It should have been patently obvious that my point was not to try to
return to that. The point was about the localized nature of education in
the past, mroe integrated, so to speak, into the local community.
THe point is to look at what has worked in the past, consider *why* it
worked, and think of how to apply those principles to the future - the
point is *not* about some simplistic assunption of "returning to the
supposed good old days". Part of what has been recurring throughout this
thread is the fact that schools *are* often more like old turn-of-the
century factories than they are like, oh, say, Socrates' interactive
circle of students (i.e. hands-on so to speak), and wven worse, too many
schools *are* mroe like warehouses than even factories.
Nobody was suggesting a return to the late 1800's/early 1900's, so stop
trying to make it seem that such was the case. You claim tah tyou are
reading a history of education, so, what, are you going to skip the parts
that talk about that era? Or are you going to read about what worked,
and possible reasons for successes? Why do you speak as though the rest
of us are too intellectually deficient to do the same?
OK, so what is the curriculum of your idyllic one-room schoolhouse and what
is one from a modern school system? Let's put them side by side and
compare. But first we need to decide what the _basis_ of the comparison is.
For instance, are we going for shee volume of information taught? Are we
looking at fitness for the job? If so, how can we determine what job the
graduates of each would be going into? (I can't believe I am having to
define the expression "what basis", but there you have it.)
How many people do you know that were educated in the 1850's? Would you
consider them to be as much of a representative sample as the people you
know from current school districts?
So, _some_ school systems are bad, others are good. Do you _really_ think
that one room schoolhouses would have been uniformly good?
I am a product of the public school system (mostly in Mississippi, no less).
Clearly, a quality education CAN be had in the public schools. Your blanket
statement that one-room schoolhouses were somehow better than current public
schools just doesn't hold up.
Nor does it prove it. The biggest problem with your assertion is not
whether or not any presumed quality in way-back education might have been
caused by community involvement is true or not, but that even if it is true,
there's probably not much we can do to generate community involvement.
Being able to eat when you are hungry and live in climate-controlled comfort
And how is the educational system supposed to solve this?
I agree with that. However, if the things that made old time schools work
(to whatever extent they did) was community involvement, but community
involvement is not something that can be made to happen, it may not be
terribly useful to try to emphasize that aspect too much. Instead, we
should look at what we _can_ do.
The reason education worked in the past is simple...it was educating people
for what their roles were going to be in the future. The problem we have
now is two-fold:
1) Our education is already behind the curve in that we're educating people
in a way that worked for roles they would have filled 50 years ago.
2) Even if we were able to educate people for jobs that exist the moment
someone graduates, likely those jobs will not exist within 10 years. So we
need to educate people to be creative and adaptable. Today's schools do not
do that well, and today's teachers are probably the worst suited to be
capable of imparting those skills.
THAT WAS NOT THE DAMN POINT ALREADY. It was one frigging example, a
*postulate*, a *possible example*.
You continually denegrate other people's supposed "lack of comprehension",
yet overlook your own.
Again, you have gotten a pit-bull lock-hold on as *example* mentioned as a
possible illustration of an alternativge to massive (as in, New York City,
etc.) school bureaucracy. And *totally* missed the point.
THe point was in no way that they were some idyllic ideal to which weneed
to return - the point was about local/community-based education, community
involvement in education.
And you can stop yuelping about how you went to publice school - so did I,
it's not special.
Self-defeatism *certainly* won't agenerate community involvement - you've
thrown in th etowel before you've even entered the ring. Yeesh.
So the onlyu thing you can see is either material glut, or starvation? How
Again, I didn't say it was. It's one of the things that interferes with
[ ... ]
I hate defeatism. I really do. It's too damn easy to say "it can't be
done, so we won't try". Defeatism is one of the major factors behind most
problems - people don't even bothe rtrying to do anything, because it's
easier to just sit back and say it can't be done.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:22 AM
Subject: Re: The value of shopping local
Not really... I was replying to your post as I went along. You hadn't yet
made your point that you hadn't really thought out your one-room schoolhouse
That's not defeatism, it's accepting the things we cannot change and having
the wisdom to know the difference.
And you criticize my reading comprehension...
How bout: we're not likely to solve that one at first, so look at things we
CAN control and go after those first?
I noticed you deleted my points about the more likely causes of why the
school systems worked in the past and what we _actually_ need to do to solve
it. Sounds like you're not interested in any other perspectives than yours.
I suppose if you say "the reason schools were better then is X" and X is
something that's conspicuously difficult to recapture under today's
circumstances, then you don't need to feel so bad about not coming up with
any actual workable strategies for solving the problem.
It wasn't a matter of not thinking it out, it was a matter of suggesting
soemhting that other people might be interested in thinking about, esp.
given that the ORS was not the main point, despite your insistance upon
trying to make it so.
Sorry, but it's too easy to use aphorisms as "justifications" for not
trying to come up with solutions to problems - I've seen it doen far too
often. Granted, it takes a hell of a lot of energy to try to make
changes, but that doesn't mean that no changes can ever be made.
Suggesting that it's useless to even try is not wisdom, but defeatism.
No, i merely suggest that you be a bit slower when it comes to
criticizing others, and a bit more cognizant of the times you err.
THat's not what you said. And anyway, all I've bene doing all along is
suggesting the ssame thing that works in archetecture, and in a great
many other situations: look at history, see what worked and *why* it
worked, and then give careful thought as to whether some of the
historical solutions can be combined with modern methods so as to achieve
a better result. Or, to put in into the form of an old adage, "Don't
throw the baby out with the bath water". Part of all that is *obviously*
looking at a given situation and priortizing which things can, should,
and need to be addressed first. I've not said anything different from
No, it was late, I was tired, also aching (arthritis), plus I have to
budget my time, because I can't do things as quickly as I could when I
was 30, or even 20, years younger (including typing), and don't weigh
quite enough for a time-dilation effect to occur localy. It is also too
time-consuming to go back and search for refrences on each and every
tangential detail that poeple choose to focus upon, especially given that
I've a couple of decades worth of accumulated reading, higher education,
leisure learning, personal experinece,and personal observation to sift
through. So excuse me for not living up to a higher standard of
documentation than others - at least I try to be far more careful than
average to use qualifiers when I'm not certain whether I remember
something correctly ("IIRC") or when something is my opinion ("IMO") or
when something is a matter of personal expereince and/or observation.
What I'm not interested in is when points are missed, no matter how often
I attempt to clarify them, and I'm expected to defend statements that
were intended to be either analogies, or possible points of
Over and above that, however, it is exceedingly insulting for you to say
I've no interest in other perspectives - it simply proves that you do nto
know or comprehend even the tiniest thing about me or my life. One thing
is that I had to fight tooth and nail against people who insisted that i
was stupid, "merely a dumb Polack", and so on, including both most of my
public school teachers, and my so-called "family". Unwilling to consider
other perspectives? Considering that I grew up hearing that "Hitler had
the right idea", and other equally-abhorrent "values", I've gone to
immense lengths to consider other perspectives so as to improve myself
and try to become a better human being.
You don't feel like considering the example, wondering whether it did
work, and thinking about why, and whether aspects of it might be
applicable to current problems - you instead seem to expect me to lay out
each and every detail for you, while you insist that this and that
"can't" be changed; you also chose to be insulting when I do not lay it
all out in excrutiating detail, and clipped some of your post.
I have never claimed to be omniscient or perfect, but I have tried to
consider a large range of viewpoints, and I've also been able, at least
occasionally, to admit that I was wrong when someone can look at a point
I was trying to make, and clearly/rationally illustrate that what I'd
thought was factual, was not. Yes, I do have some opinions, as does
anyone, but I try very hard to avoid making personal attacks when I don't
agree with someone or when I can't see tha they're making a good point.
It's rather arrogant of you to claim otherwise, most especially when you
refuse to even consider the *possibility* that what you might be
I just get irritated when people bypass teh "500 lb gorilla" (the point)
and start picking apart the pebbles (details, typos, suggestions, and
other triviata). I've gotten that a lot over the years, and it *seems*
(but only guessing, because I really dunno why people do what they do)
to me to be an attempt at "argument by deflection" - IOW, when a
conclusion can't be attacked, people try to distract attention away from
it and focus upon a detail or bit of trivia. One sees that
in politics very often.
THey had public education is at least some communities - but it was
community/public, not state/public or federal/public. Even when states
had standards, schools were still part and parcel of, "owned", if you
will, by, the local community.
But it did exist.
It only worked at that time because the world was a very different place.
These days, there are very few jobs one can do if one is illiterate. If
kids are at least taught to read and do math, they have a higher chance
of finding work. ALso, unless you're goign to propose that illiterate
people not be allowed to vote because they can't read the ballots, and
presumably are not sufficiently educated to make good choices, it's a
fact that education makes people better citizens - democracy is generalyl
spearheaded by the educated, because they've learned enough to know that
freedom is a good thing.
But it shouldn't *have* to be, that's part of the point.
What confuses me is that you say you don't understand what I mean when I
say group/community, but right there, you use the plural: people.
I use the word "voting", so maybe it'd be more clear if I say "a bunch of
people decide that somehting is good for all of them, and decide to take a
certain action". You can have a group of clients - in a sense, that group
of poeple have formed a "community", albeit a temporary one, because they
have conme together out of a shared interest (they will benefit from the
building you design).
That's why I get confused by how strongly you reject words like
"community". It is possible for a group of individuals to live in
proximity to one another, live their lives independently, yet come together
when they share a common interest, when there is something that could
benefit them all. A community *can* be a stifling mob, but it doesn't
*have* to be.
I certainly don't disagree on that.
I don't want to bring specific people into it, because I'm not the type who
easily remembers much of the social stuff. ANd if someone has managed to
to do enough for me to actually remember that I find them annoying, I don't
want to bring them into it becuase I try to avoid being annoyed <G!>
As a general principle, though, one of the big problems with socialist
systems in general is that people start thinking of it as being "free",
and/or "paid for by the governemnt". People treat things and services and
goods much differntly when those thing s are free, or are perceived as
being free, than when the tings are paid for outright. THat's just human
psychology - something paid for with "hard-earned income" is valued mroe
highly than is something which is perceived as something that, so to speak,
"falls out of the sky".
You know that as a business person (as do all business people) - freebies
are quickly taken for granted.
THat falls under the above-mentioned "problems with socialized systems".
Same goes for the following:
"The Starns Factory" effect.
Realistically, yeah, semi-literate (or semi-illiterate) does seem to go a
lot further than it used to...
True, but if I didn't go off onto tangents, you wouldn't know it was me
=:-o OTOH, given the human penchant for living in groups, I don't know
that there is a better way to deal with things. Well, perhaps teh
"philosopher king" - was that Plato? - where the ruler is benevolent and
highly intelligent... I really do think that most people would be OK with
that sort of setup. Although that's a different issue...
I think that, by 10, most kids have a pretty good idea of what they want to
do. I also think that it's possible to see abilities by that age. THe
prlblem is that, too often, abilities are actually *discouraged* by both
families, and worse, schools, due to sociocultural nonsense (such as, gilrs
"can't" be engineers or boys "can't" be artists - views which still hold
sway among certain segments of society).
If a kid has a knack for fixing engines, hey, why not elt the kid go for
it. IMO, part of what's gotten things so FUBARed is the myth that people
are identical, or that they "should" be *made* identical. That is just
For that, and other reasons, I don't equate "school" with "educational
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