Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Order / DeGate / DeSchooling / School’s Purpose /
2001 12 16 (Atrociously written. I’ll fix it ASAP. But the ideas can’t wait.)
Modern schools monopolize the population’s time and attention from early enough for children to be utterly impressionable to the very borderline of adulthood: where habits of thought have already been formed. If the schools were conversant with good habits of thought and tried to pass them along, that might be a good thing, but developing healthy minds is the opposite of the schools’ true purpose: homogenization. The most successfully homogenized, honor students, are sent onto universities which continue the processing.
My Hierarchy vs. Conviviality Stories (/ Academic Bestiary), offering examples of school atrocities, narrates the case of my fourth grade teacher pointedly avoiding thanking me for the cookies I’d baked for the class. She attributed the gift to my mother whom she thanked warmly in absentia. She called me a liar when I reasserted the cookies’ provenance to myself. I was convicted without a formal accusation or a trial before my peers. (That would have to have been twelve fourth grade boys who baked cookies: and were then called liars by the teacher).
Might that have a little something to do with my never having been an honor student? not in high school, not before, not since, not at Columbia, not in graduate school?
The same zoo reports the school’s response to my challenge to the high school geometry teacher’s axioms as being neither Euclidean nor improved: zero: note she just repeated the axioms. My challenge wasn’t passed on to her supervisors, to the school board. No board of mathematicians met to review her text’s axioms or my charges against them. How can such a charade pass for “education”?
It’s simple. The answer is the same as the answer for so many questions: kleptocracy. Education means whatever the kleptocracy wants it to mean. Geometry mean whatever the kleptocracy wants it to mean. Law, order, democracy .. they all mean whatever the kleptocracy wants them to mean. And the school is the pacifier kept stuck in your mouth till you’ve missed all chances to grow into a man. (note) The honor students, the most homogenized, most pliable, among the mass of castrati, are rewarded to rehearse the lies at Time-Life, at NBC … Some of them actually keep a corner of themselves intelligent: Bob Costas, Pat Buchanan … But most are Kennedies and Nixons and have no unpolluted intelligence anywhere: cleverness merely: together with a plentiful lack of principle.
Man: Knatz.com has already repeated Paul Quinnet’s title point of his Pavlov’s Trout, but it bears repeating here. We all know how Pavlov rang a bell while dogs were being fed. He then rang the bell and noted that he’d “conditioned” the dogs to salivate at the bell, even when no food was being served: response by association. Fine. How many of us know that the dogs were put on a table and put into a harness? How many of us know that one dog simply wouldn’t cooperate? Pavlov could kill it, but he couldn’t get it to wear the harness or to “behave” on the table. Paul Quinnett tells this story to “explain” to us why we love to catch fish: “because” the fish is like Pavlov’s undomesticated, untamed dog; while we are like the rest of Pavlov’s dogs. We are like the cow stupidly walking up the ramp where some guy will smash it in the face with a sledge hammer. Cows are so well “schooled” they need no school.
Think of Jesus. We imagine him standing still, cooperating while the soldiers nailed him to the cross. I wish he’d torn himself to pieces, trying to escape.
2009 03 23 I insert a reminder to develop a comparison to “why” we love crime fiction: we know we’re tame; we love to imagine heroes who aren’t: Ned Kelly, Billy the Kid, Robin Hood …
PS: I received a bee sting a couple of hours ago, my first in decades. I’ve suffered very few bee stings in my life. I used to offer to capture the bees in my bare hands so I could release them unharmed out the school window rather than allow the teacher’s order that some “boy” kill the bee: eek! The bee never stung me. I was lucky, the bee had fewer than half its wits, it didn’t like my smell … or it sensed (correctly) no harm from me. Indeed, I saved it. Someone sees a bee, not just women, they become agitated, they wave their arms … What I did, I felt something crawling around in my leg hairs, near my knee: inside thigh. Without thinking or looking, I pawed at it. It was a yellow jacket. It stung me: but good.
I didn’t blame the bee. I didn’t judge the bee. I just killed it. Hell, it was going to die anyway, it’s stinger ripped by my flesh from its bowels. If I’d let the bee crawl around amid my thigh hairs to its heart content, it never would have stung me. As the Nazi colonel says at the end of Rossellini’s Generale della Rovere, “It’s my fault.”
(Hasn’t anyone else seen that great movie? I’ve never heard it mentioned since I saw it back in the 50s.)
I don’t blame the teachers either. They’re just conditioned domesticated animals: cattle so stupid they cooperate in their own slaughter: protecting the kidnappers who feed them. I don’t blame even the fourth grade teacher who called me a liar. She was just protecting her prejudices from the truth: something any domesticated dog might do.
What I wish is that I had just killed her. No judgment: just escape. Tear yourself apart rather than accept the hook and line.
Does the fish think, “Wait a minute: why fight? maybe whatever has hooked me has only good intentions for me. maybe I’ll be put in clear water, surrounded by healthy females, no other predators: my own private paradise … No. The fish is a predator. In a world of predators. Real predators know better than to trust anybody. It’s bad enough to trust your mate, or your litter. Sometimes that too backfires.
Why trust God? Who knows what kind of a predator he is?
Spiders like the black widow are one predator who’ve safely solved any social needs: they simply kill any bug they can reach: they have to be hypnotized to mate. …
Oh well: it would be very interesting to see what constitutes the biosphere one hundred, one thousand, five thousand years … from now. How much of it will be domesticated? Will any part of it be human?
Zero: I unintentionally for the moment penned a pun above, a profound pun. Gregory Bateson identifies a series of levels of meta-learning as Learning0, Learning1, Learning2 … A creature operating entirely on what used to be called “instinct” exhibits Learning0 in a pure form. My favorite illustration is one from a science doc, possibly by Sir David Attenborough. The female wasp goes through her routine of preparing her next for egg laying. She clears a path, then the inside of the nest, then goes back up the path to reach the next stage. If a mean scientist puts any kind of debris on the path while she’s clearing the nest, she’ll go back and clean the next again: endlessly, forever: if you keep putting new debris in the path. Instead of going 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 … (What was that, Paul? Of yes, these texts are written by idiots. But that’s the school system for you.) 6, 7, 8 … The interrupted insect went 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3 ….