Thursday, February 25, 2010

Changing "Education"

It's about time -- and hopefully, the colleges and universities won't be far behind.

What's important is the understanding (proficiency), and not merely looking busy and doing the most work -- because real understanding and insight into a process, should always reduce the amount of work and effort required.

But the old school was about effort, and struggle, and learning things one really wasn't interested or ready for, which is always non-productive and creates the (discipline) problems of the education system. A person has to be ready (prepared) to accept any learning -- and it is the learning itself that is critical, and not the teaching, and the job security and benefits of the teacher and instruction, which is only what the education discussions are about anymore.

The highest level of learning is when a person teaches themselves -- and we now have that capability to keep track of where the different students are -- rather than arbitrarily demanding that everybody must be in conformance with the program, on exactly the same page.

Fifty years ago, before computers were readily available, educators were already developing individualized instruction like this -- before the education professionals realized it threatened their own job security, and denied such a thing was possible or permissible. That was still the era of centralized data processing in which everyone had to await the availability of the lone IBM mainframe and data processing department to tell us the result of anything.

The field that should be most greatly impacted by the development of the information and communication technologies of the past 50 years, and especially the last ten, is education, learning, lifelong discovery -- yet that is traditionally the defenders of the existing status quo, of the institutions, schools, universities perpetuating themselves forever -- and so they've become the rearguard of culture and society rather than the avant-garde. We no longer process or transmit information and communications through them anymore.

Information is exploding all over, with nobody capable of tracking and controlling it all, and learning the obsolete, is not just as good as learning the state of the art, which is really is the only thing worth learning -- that implies everything else. But in the schools, they start chronologically so that they require people to learn the old before the new -- instead of just the new.

The old traditionalists will still insist that everyone must learn Latin in order to improve their understanding and use of English -- which old schoolers will nod their heads as though such a thing made sense, because there is so much to learn that one should learn what one wants to for a specific objective, and not just the walking encyclopedias of useless information -- who when you ask them a specific, targeted question, answers you with all they know -- which is not helpful, and wastes a lot of precious time, energy, and resources.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Can Hawaii Work?

It shouldn't be a secret that living in a tent in Hawaii is preferable to living in a crowded shelter -- usually with poor ventilation, etc. In fact, a tent may be the optimal structure for housing in Hawaii -- and not the many poorly designed structures people have been forced into.

"Homelessness" means having no home, and not that one prefers a tent to live in, or likes only having all that they can carry on them, or don't care that it gets stolen because they scavenge most of it in the first place.

There's always been a nomadic tradition among human populations, and in Hawaii, minimal requirements for housing because of its hospitable climate.

Even now, prefabricated housing, trailers, and a lot of cheap alternatives are banned so that union construction workers can maintain artificially high salaries and make the many housing alternatives unthinkable.

The housing problem in Hawaii is greatly due to the lack of true options -- forcing everybody into the limited choices.

Create separate areas for alternative housing (tents) -- and alternative communities where people solve their problems instead of denying they exist, so that they have a place to go to besides the parks and valuable resources. Obviously, ignoring the problem and hoping they'll just go away is not working.

There is no "positive" alternative -- but just the usual punishments if they don't get in line with the limited pre-existing choices, that are unattractive and they've probably tried them before.

But that doesn't mean people can't create working communities -- and communities that do work. Such places don't have to be desolate unstructured, lawless no-man's lands. They could be communal living arrangements -- like hostels, co-housing, extended family rather than nuclear family arrangements, etc.

They can make up rules for a society based on common agreement -- and not just be regarded as bands of outlaws whose lives have to be made more difficult until they conform properly.

The primary purpose and function of government is to produce a meaningful and positive culture and society -- and not as it has become in Hawaii, just a means to reward one's own ohana -- and too bad about everybody else. And that's why you have all these problems. That was the meaning of the persecution of the majority Shiites by the minority Sunnis in Iraq -- to which the legislature of Hawaii highly approved and admired, and sent their fondest Alohas to Saddam.

It's a matter of record. And so the fact that large segments of the population are treated badly and ignored while a favored few are rewarded lifetime tenures and sinecures have always resulted in this kind of misery for an increasingly many before the people finally revolt and start something different.

That's how even great civilizations rise and fall -- as a response to the challenge of their times. When they can no longer respond effectively to any challenges, then something new must replace it.

Otherwise you have another Haiti, Micronesia, Nauru, Taliban, Easter Island in the making -- rather than the Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealands. That's how the world works.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Award fot the Greatest Contribution to Life and Peace

The Internet is not inanimate -- but actually has a life of its own as the collective consciousness and intelligence that is more than the sum of its parts -- and keeps growing.

Any individual life is not meaningful except as part of some greater whole and context -- meaning and purpose. The mistake was thinking that these isolated individuals made society -- when in fact, the whole makes the individuals, and so the recognition and award of the right perspective and cause and effect, would signal the evolution of the Nobel prize itself to this greater consciousness and understanding.

Those judges may not be qualified to determine the greatest contributions to society, since they are usually products themselves of very narrow interest groups -- specialized into compartmentalized thinking of that age, deliberately isolated from every other -- and now we live in this age of interconnectedness in which it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell where one person's thought ends and another begins.

The old academic world was about competing against every other -- for primacy above every other -- and people like that cannot go very far anymore, as those who can easily and instantly access the total intelligence in the world -- regardless of those boundaries of mine, yours and nobody's, which obviously, is very provincial, and Nobel wanted to reward and honor those who stretched the frontiers of thought.

Probably the obvious representative to receive the reward on the behalf of the Internet would be John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco Systems, who uses the term, the Human Network, as the emerging global consciousness that has no borders, and is not just the manifestation of one ego and enterprise.

There used to be a time people thought that history was made by singularly great people -- rather than these individuals representing the summation and achievement of highest understanding of that culture and civilization. That highest understanding doesn't belong to one individual, but resides in the collective wisdom and cosmic consciousness -- to those who are merely open to it.

That is the greatest life of all. It redefines life on a higher level.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Meaning of "Education" in Hawaii

There are many more people who have quit the departments of education than remain in the teachers' unions -- because it is obvious to them that this whole money-sucking bureaucracy is about providing permanet job security and entitled status to the friends and relatives of the so-called leaders in government.

People don't need schools and universities to learn -- but a culture and society that doesn't get in their way and doesn't brainwash them into thinkiing that "liberal" authoritarianism is "democracy," and so they better learn to go along with the crowd or terrible fates will befall them -- including not being able to get a $100,000 job doing nothing, and then after 50 years, being able to "retire" and double-dip, or if one is really smart, triple-dip.

And so Hawaii is like the next Haiti -- living in fear of their voodoo masters telling them what to think and do -- as though they are really thinking for themselves ratherr than being manipulated to "do unto everbyod else because that is what everybody else is doing unto everybody else, and so one would be a fool, not to," and then continue that education as lifelong, dutiful union members.

Education's never been about money but just the desire to learn -- when people are not discouraged and deceived doing so. But that is ONLY what Hawaii education has become about -- the MONEY, and haow people getting $70,000 average salaries are claiming they are being asked to work for "free," and sacrificing their lives from the billions they would otherwise, command as comparable worth in the private sector.

You need to let those "teachers" go to actually create those billion dollar corporations that provide meaningful jobs for everybody else in society, rather than maintaining this entitled class, who think that eating everybody else's lunch, is what they're being paid to do.

There are already a lot of educated people to learn from -- and with, and even the best students, would make better teachers than "teachers," who think acting big and self-important, is a necessary role and function in any modern society anymore.

Hawaii has to move out of those tribal dark ages -- especially in thinking that an education is merely an indoctrination to the "politically correct" brainwashing.

People learn their whole lives now, from everything and everybody -- and not just because they pay a lot of money to the "certified" kahunas to do so.