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Get them before they can understand what’s being done to them
2004 04 17
If you want play like Richter, you’d better start young: train your fingers, know the keyboard. If you want to compose like Bach or Mozart … good luck. But even to try, you’ll have to start thinking about chord inversions, about how a scale goes up compared to how it goes down, how it divides, what the right ratios are … while still young. You want the dog to bond to you? get it before it’s three weeks old. When Jacques Perrin wanted to make a movie about birds migrating, he bonded his crew to his geese while the birds were still in the egg: then film crew and geese were one flock. They flew together.

Winged Migration
Winged Migration
thanx pjmedia

I am sure that had Philip not trained Prince Alexander how to treat servants, how to talk to the troops, starting in infancy, Alexander would not have been well on his way to becoming the Great by age eighteen.
Is that why schools want us ever younger, ever longer?
Well, I don’t doubt that it’s the best reason. But it sure isn’t the only reason. There’s another, more insidious, reason to train early:

Get them before they can understand what’s being done to them.

If you train before reason can be established, then absurdities get swallowed whole: and once swallowed, stay swallowed.
I began my first novel with a woman dreaming of her difficulties as a girl in school. The teacher said that Europe and Asia were two continents: looking at the globe she saw one land mass. The teacher said that there were seven seas. Looking at the globe she saw the Pacific and the Atlantic feeding each other around the tips of continents. Everyone said that the sun rose; she understood the earth to turn. The teacher thinks she is dull. She agrees: and thinks that the teacher, all adults, must be very smart to see things that just don’t seem to be so.
Jews are told from infancy that they’re the Chosen, that Canaan, then Jerusalem, are rightfully theirs. Then, older, reading how the Jews took Canaan from the Canaanites, it seems simply right: God’s will.
Christians do the same. So do Americans: only the details differing. So does any culture, any polity.
And school is how the Germans learned to do it with industrial, state-fiated efficiency: then the Americans, now the rest of the kleptocratic world.
The reason that the white men got all the marbles is that white men are fortune’s darlings. We’re smarter. We’re better. We’re white!!!
Even when we’re not.

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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