Public Arrogance

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / Social Order / DeGate / DeSchooling / School’s Purpose /

Nearly everyone having a diploma convinces the diploma’d society that it is educated.

I have a degree. Therefore I must be literate.

(The fact that I don’t read signifies merely my personal preference.)

Seeing the judge buried under a pile of forms proves that he is skilled, that he has mastered the content.
(See my piece on Map versus Territory: confusing the menu with the meal.)
Thus: the kleptocracy is not only destructive to the biosphere but arrogant in its confidence that it has the right to make large scale decisions.
This is analogous to earlier times believing that being baptized certified soldiers to invade Muslim countries. “People” lack the right to invade other countries, but “Christians” must. Waging war on poor people around the world, over decade after decade, is OK because an “educated” public ratified the rulers’ decisions.
It’s as though the magician told the audience that they were “no fools” after he’s lured some “skeptics” (on his payroll) to testify that his stacked deck isn’t stacked.

no fools
thanx workerscenter

My intention in initiating this file was so simple. But then, not for the first time, I found myself ranting. It was fun, however inefficient. I keep the rant below.

The Pattern of Society

The pattern of society is to organize
so that cheap solutions that anyone can do
are replaced by expensive solutions
that only specialists can do.

That way, friends and supporters of the war lord get rich, very rich, while the public gets ever poorer. Cars take over for legs: till the gas is gone and our legs no longer are strong. Doctors take over for midwives: after midwives have taken over from friends and family. It used to be that a kid could be illiterate at home, taught, for free, by his parents. With school systems costing in the hundreds of billions, the kid is still illiterate, but boy, are a lot of nitwit teacher college graduates employed! (The teachers don’t get rich themselves, but they do have a pretty cushy sinecure. The close friends of the war lord are never teachers: they’re more likely to publish the text books, or to deforest the land to make the paper.)
The school does not accomplish general literacy. Not that general literacy would be difficult: if people in general saw any benefit in literacy. People read: if they want to. It’s not that hard. It just takes a little practice. (Please do not, by the way, mistake me. I am not saying that I favor literacy, that I find it good for the individual or the species. I am saying that anyone who wants to read can if they’ll do a little of the work themselves. If they won’t do their part then no number of teachers, no budget for administration — even 100%, can help.)
What the school does accomplish, is to convince the mass of the public, graduates all, however poor their school performance, that they are “educated”: and that therefore, as educated people, they are competent to ratify decisions that affect the viability of the biosphere. The degree convinces the dolt that though he doesn’t in fact read anything but the TV Guide (even there looking mostly at the pictures) that he could read if he wanted to. He doesn’t know anyone who does read (including the judge, the lawyer, the teacher): but they’re all educated.
I believe that people are naturally arrogant. Any bunch of cannibals can decide that the missionary does not serve their cannibal gods. Any bunch of peasants can have a party while their church pulls out the entrails of some poor heretic, scientist, savior … But if every illiterate has a diploma, why then their church with its army, and navy, and marines, and CIA … must really be infallible.
I think I’ll write to David Copperfield suggesting that, if he’s willing to split some of his increased take with me, I’ll suggest that he certify his audiences with gold star certificates as No Fools before each illusion. The uncertified audience thinks the lady has been sawn in half; the certified audience, would really think the lady has been sawn in half.

2013 04 11 Why should we presume that general literacy would be a good thing even were the schools capable of achieving it? Buncha Harvards reading Thomas Wolf’s interminable prose, or Faulkner’s, maybe can be afforded by the society, but do you want the wetback fruit pickers reading Wolf? or Faulkner? or Chavez?

School’s Purpose

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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