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Mark Atwood
From a USENET argument thread I kicked off, about why I hate pub ed.

Some people in the thread are claiming that the boredom, that the mind crippling, that the soul crushing, that goes on in public education, it is a feature, not a bug. One said:

I'm pointing out that we live in a world where most people can't earn a living by doing fun things because the nature of our economy is biased towards a lot of rather dull stuff that needs people to do it. That's a fact of life, we can't get around that until the economic paradigm shifts.

My response, lightly edited:

What do you think causes shifts in that "economic paradigm"?!

It's caused by changes in the attitudes, motivations, skills, and powers in the hands of the actors in that economic system.

What I want is a system that results in more people with attitudes of self-direction, self-motivation, with the attitude that learning is fun and never stops, and that fun and joy are attainable.

And you think that this will cause a collapse of society and the economic system...

And you guys are the ones who accuse libertarians of "hating peope" and having the "I've got mine" attitude.

You sound just like one of the old die-hard pre-enlightment types, arguing against the abolition of slavery, allowing the masses to vote and get above their station, and taking political power from the aristo class, because it would threaten "economic system"...

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5 comments or Leave a comment
jordan179 From: jordan179 Date: June 22nd, 2007 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, that poster seems to be ignoring just how much better, in practically every sense of the word (effective pay, time off, workplace safety, and -- yes, even interestingness) most modern jobs are compared to jobs 100, 250, or 500 years ago. Of course, you can't earn a living doing "fun stuff" (if it's really that much fun, you usually have to pay someone else to LET you do it), but you can now earn a living doing far less agonizing, boring, and physically self-destructive stuff than could your great-great-grandparents.

And there is no reason to expect this trend to reverse itself. Ever.
From: nancylebov Date: June 22nd, 2007 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds interesting. Which group/thread?
captain_button From: captain_button Date: June 22nd, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
It looks like:

The specific post is:
Message-ID: <m2645hnlyr.fsf@amsu.fallenpegasus.com>

Thread subject is:
When even a Republican can see it....

I've found if you have quotes of any length from a USENET post you can find it with the Google Groups advanced search. Although I just discovered you can't have more than ten words in the "exact phrase" box. Or maybe 31.


(Sorry I'm too lazy to remember or look up how to make that a proper link.)
From: gillgunson Date: June 22nd, 2007 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I think part of what has people arguing for public education is the fact that that's what they had, and saying it's bad and wrong means that a dozen or so years of their youth were wasted; also that they perhaps aren't as "educated" as those who had an alternate schooling.

I think it's good for some people, and some public schools are quite good; but it's a crap shoot. I suffered a bit in elementary school in that I was bored a lot of the time for the lack of challenges, despite skipping a grade. But I was lucky to go to an exceptional high school (as my parents moved to the area so I could go to it). I was lucky.
hipgnosis6 From: hipgnosis6 Date: June 22nd, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I came away from public school with a fairly rosy view of it - but this is a place where I know I was at an advantage. See, I was in the "gifted" program. The education I got in elementary school was excellent. What makes me angry these days is my firm belief that this education would be beneficial for ALL students, not just the bright ones. And it's not like it would be an unattainable shift. We had grade-integrated classrooms and quite a bit of creative freedom - and we were taught how to teach ourselves and each other and we were taught how to learn.

Public schooling isn't inherently evil, but it does need reform. Kids aren't robots, but our schools are factories; this might have been more in order during the manufacturing age, but in today's world we need creative skills more than we need rote learning. It would be nice to be able to offer this in public classrooms, but until those reforms happen, I will continue to espouse homeschooling and private institutions.
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