Sunday, December 8, 2013

Education

I've often wondered, if I have a child some day, how do I bring him/her up to speed with this crazy world?

"Math is supposed to be fun, it's supposed to be a tool to guide your imagination. Your teacher has most likely made it boring and removed its soul by sticking to a fixed syllabus."

"The popular image that Asians are smarter because Asians score higher in schools is misleading. A person who willingly constrains him/herself by something he/she doesn't control is really a fool - no matter what kind of degree he/she has."

"The real evil of politics happens when people make you hate someone - it doesn't matter which side the hate comes from - liberals, libertarians, capitalists, communists, greens, technocrats, conservatives, fascists, religious, etc. If you're hating someone, it means you don't want to listen to their side of the story - you're really just fucking lazy."

"Modern money are man-made numbers. There may be many laws regulating them, but they're really arbitrary quantities."

"A comfy and stable job... doesn't really exist any more."

"If everyone is trying to do the same thing.. it's most often the wrong thing to do."

Of course I wouldn't be telling the above things to a young person - but the problem here is... if you cared to think a little, all the things that a young person sees and hears as "correct" these days - from teachers, from mass media, from politicians, etc. are often very rotten. The concepts taught in math books are not wrong, but the way it's treated is really bad. I fear for the day when modern educators get their bloody hands on Computer Science and make it mandatory in junior schools.

It took me quite a long time to realize the popular concepts thrown around me are most often not quite wrong - but highly misleading. The reason for that to have happened to me though... was because my family was poor, my parents are not very smart, and I had to figure things out for myself since I was small. It was a survival instinct, or else I'd be stuck in absolute poverty. But if I have a child, he/she would most probably have parents with above average means and intelligence. He'd have what most psychologists regard as a healthy family, a healthy childhood, a healthy emotional development, and whatnot.

But you know what? That sounds like to me the perfect way... to make a mediocre person. Someone who thinks the concepts familiar to him are right, and proceeds to hate everything he's not familiar with. The kind of "healthy" person perfectly suited... to start World War III, all the while thinking he's right.

"Because a free market is the perfect way to run the economy!"
"Because democracy is the perfect way to run every government!"
"Because consumption that aren't familiar to me are overconsumption!"
"Because it looks like the animals are in pain!"
"Because those children are suffering!"
"Because anyone smart should always be doing a startup, all the time!"
etc. etc.

When would there be a day, when educators would tell the children, to believe in themselves, and be brave? And instead of always trying to look for an answer, a feeling of safety from some authority - accept "we don't really know" as an acceptable answer?

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