Thursday, May 27, 2010

How Would One Really Improve the Education System

What you need to do to have a culture of excellence, is to identify and have the child prodigies of every subject, teach their fellow students their insights into their area of genius --

rather than the mediocre adults who can only get "education" degrees, and think just by looking busy and learning jargon, they understand what they are talking about.

But in the schools, when the bright kids do that, they are told they are "cheating," and not to ever help their fellow citizen again.

And so Hawaii has become this quagmire in which everybody contends with everybody else for "more than their fair share," which is the essential difficulty of life in Hawaii.

It is not that education has failed, as it is that they have been successful at teaching everybody the wrong things -- that one should use other people, and particularly the vulnerable like the children (keiki) and elderly (kupuna), for their own ends -- which is the foundation for a society of endless exploitation from the cradle to the grave.

This has been fairly well-documented in the early studies of the anthropologists of primitive, brutal societies (that invariably become extinct), as well as the observations of psychologists who have explored the other end of those possibilities in highly self-actualizing societies and individuals, which must always begin with the individuals, and not the system, or the mass culture the individual is required to conform to.

Once you have such a hopelessly troubled system, the only solution is to rethink society and the educational (including the mass media) system that supports it -- as the fundamental flaw that no amount of subsequent effort and expenditure can overcome. We have to go back to the very premises of that society -- which in this case, is the instructional imperative that the student cannot and should not learn from everything -- but only from the duly certified and authorized authorities. Such an "education," puts one in the lifelong disadvantage of not being able to learn instantaneously, on-demand, as the situation requires it -- but only allowed to respond in the pre-approved manner taught to them -- that maintains the status quo of the authority other than oneself.

In a fast-changing world, with abundant information flooding into one's consciousness because the technologies make that not only possible but easy, most of what one learns, will have to be done in this manner -- and not that everything one learns of any value, they learned in kindergarten -- and never learned anything more after that. That world has disappeared, although a few of its staunchest defenders will undoubtedly lament the passing of that "golden age" for them; that used to be the world that brought them on high, and now it has collapsed, and nobody recognizes them anymore, when they grab every person demanding, "Do you know who I am!"

And now the people around him will observe unjudgmentally and whisper to one another, "That guy doesn't know who he is.," with no condemnatory significance.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There's a Reason (Why) Things Happen

We may not know what they are, but there is a reason (why) things happen. Learning what those reasons are, is the meaning and purpose of life -- and not that we are born into the world, ready for those with all the answers already, are ready and eager to pour that knowledge and wisdom into us, as the function of society, and particularly, government and education.

That is the gross misunderstanding of what "education" is -- as though some people had a monopoly on knowing these things, and then there are others with an exclusive monopoly on health information, and then, as in the "old" days, some claimed they knew everything worth knowing -- and could tell us about it, if we subscribed to their exclusive (proprietary) services.

But what anybody knows, is not the whole content of information and reality, but just that small bit of it, some people have decided for everybody else, is what everybody should know -- usually for their exclusive benefit, or at least to keep them esteemed highly in society.

Although many, if not all, claim to want an equal playing surface, what they really want, is to maintain the status quo, that allows them to obtain or maintain an unfair advantage -- even to the extent, that they control all the sources of information that would reveal that unfairnesss, because they know the proper people who are unscrupulous and ruthless enough to lie with impunity and no conscience.

Of course they don't call it this, but claim that they have superior marketing prowess, or know how the game is played -- and in fact, they make the rules, all the rules are always changing, depending on what gives them an unfair advantage.

Thus they come to believe, that the only way they can win, is to lie, cheat and steal, even if that would not be necessary. But they have lost all ability to make those distinctions anymore, and have to lie, cheat and steal, because that is all they know how to do anymore.

And that is the reason (why) things are so messed up -- and not in spite of their good intentions.

Monday, May 03, 2010

"The King is Dead, Long Live the King" (What Else is News)

Change -- even progress, is disruptive, but it is nevertheless necessary and inevitable.

Nobody owns the monopoly on news, information, and communications -- which many news organizations thought they did -- just like nobody owns the monopoly on learning (education), health and well-being, problem-solving/resolution, etc.

That evolution is called "disintermediation" -- that while it is claimed we are losing one editorial voice, we have actually gained the many others, that used to be edited, censored, and suppressed to express essentially one "politically correct" (Associated Press) view -- which will result in more (freedom of) information and not less -- because even though there is just one newspaper now, there are many other outlets and sources, including radio, television, and now the Internet in all its many guises. Nobody owns the monopoly on information (news)...

Of course there are a lot of people who would like to, and have that be a permanent position of authority, influence, and security. That's never been the way of the world, though many would like that permanence to last throughout the history of civilization -- or at least their own lifetimes.

But change, challenge and a new adaptation, is the history of civilization (mankind), and there is no creating a safe backwater apart from that river of life, as hard and as much as one tries. So the wise society prepares itself to deal with the many challenges and not just the one outcome they hope that fate brings -- and if it doesn't, they simply go into a cultural denial -- of everything, which is a death and extinction of societies.

The value of culture and history, is to prepare one for these changes, and not merely to enshrine and perpetuate the old, as the good times that should have always remained so.