Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

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Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

Post by Khemehekis » 21 Jul 2019 04:55

In 1987, Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book titled July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century. The fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing was chosen to mark the date in the future in which Sir Arthur speculated about what life would be like, well, today.

This book devoted chapters to thirteen different aspects of human life: the hospital; robotics; school; transportation; space travel; cinema; sports; the home; the office; psychiatry; sex; death; and war.

Of special interest to me is this book's chapter School Days. In it, Sir Arthur writes about "lifeschools" -- attending classes to learn new things over the course of one's entire life.

It includes the school credit transcript of a 37-year-old Millennial lad named John S. Stanton. John started out getting credits at Leprechaun Day School from 3 to 5, attended kindergarten from 5 to 6, attended elementary school from 6 to 11, attended Balsam Middle School from 11 to 14, attended Balsam High School and took the science track from 14 to 17 (where he got credits in AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and Elementary Robotics), attended the University of Oregon from 17 to 21 (where he got a BA, mahoring in human expression and minoring in physics), attended General Dynamics Corp. Employee U. from 22 to 26 (where he got an MS in electrical engineering, specializing in low-gravity robotics), took a televideo course at the same school in lunar mining modules at 29, learned Elementary Chinese, Chinese Philosophy, and History of China at the McSchools program at 30, took a course on business with China at General Dynamics Corp. University of Lunapolis at 31, took a Principles of Submarine Robotics televideo course in General Dynamics Corp. Peking at 33, studied submersible engineering at MobilSchool from 35 to 36, and at 37 took at McSchool course called Underwater Fun with an Artificial Gill.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke writes that schools will exist by telepresence, instead of everyone being physically present in a classroom. Folks will be able to make themselves comfortable!

The author writes:
Traditional schools, kindergarten through high school, also will change because of new technologies. In fact, education's basis emphasis will shift. Our current educational system evolved to produce workers for the Industrial Revolution's factory-based economy, for work that requires patience, docility, and the ability to endure boredom. Students learned to sit in orderly rows, to absorb facts by rote, and to move as a group through the material regardless of individual differences in learning speed. But no factory jobs will be left in 2019. Except for a few technicians to watch over control panels, tomorrow's factories will be automatic, with computers directing robot workers.
Instead, the Prussian system is by and large dominant today. This has gotten worse as Millennials entered school. Millennial teens still grouse about the authoritarian nature of school (including restrictions on when and how many times they can use the restroom!) and the very un-teen-like early starting hours for school, while Boomer, Joneser and Gen-X adults still mouth insistences that school needs to prepare kids for the "real world", and post-HS Millennials are still in shell shock from their bad experiences in K-12 schools. (And no, Millennials didn't turn into the deferential social authoritarians who like and are well adapted to the K-12 school system as Howe & Strauss predicted, either.) While adult education is an option, people don't really do lifeschooling -- yet.

My high school did offer a few Internet-based classes, along with three other high schools in its district and a number of schools in the double digits nationwide, though. It began when my class, the first Millennials, were in high school. If only all classes could be like this!

Here is one "How did the predictions do?" essay, written for this day:

https://www.sffworld.com/2019/07/arthur ... 20th-2019/
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Re: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

Post by elemtilas » 22 Jul 2019 05:27

Khemehekis wrote:
21 Jul 2019 04:55
In 1987, Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book titled July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century. The fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing was chosen to mark the date in the future in which Sir Arthur speculated about what life would be like, well, today.
Good timing! And good to see you back, even if just for a moment!

It is indeed a mildly interesting book. Predictions vague enough to be interpreted any way the future reader might want. Entertainingly written for the contemporary audience while being quite humorous for the future audience who happens to pick the thing up in a rummage sale or used book shop 30 odd years after publication.

Sadly, like all futurist genre writing, it's hit or miss on just about everything. Clarke's "future" (our present) is still cast in the mold of 1960s futurism, marked by robotic humans and human AIs.

If only he could have predicted the moral decay (no, more than decay, but rather the irrational rejection of the good, the beautiful and the true in favour of the dark, the chaotic and the equivocal) and social dystopia in stead.

And, dammit! We still don't have the flying cars we were promised by the 1950s futurists! Why have you abandoned us, George Jetson!?
This book devoted chapters to thirteen different aspects of human life: the hospital; robotics; school; transportation; space travel; cinema; sports; the home; the office; psychiatry; sex; death; and war.
I took a few minutes to skim the hospital section (below)
Of special interest to me is this book's chapter School Days. In it, Sir Arthur writes about "lifeschools" -- attending classes to learn new things over the course of one's entire life.

It includes the school credit transcript of a 37-year-old Millennial lad named John S. Stanton. John started out getting credits at Leprechaun Day School from 3 to 5, attended kindergarten from 5 to 6, attended elementary school from 6 to 11, attended Balsam Middle School from 11 to 14, attended Balsam High School and took the science track from 14 to 17 (where he got credits in AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and Elementary Robotics), attended the University of Oregon from 17 to 21 (where he got a BA, mahoring in human expression and minoring in physics), attended General Dynamics Corp. Employee U. from 22 to 26 (where he got an MS in electrical engineering, specializing in low-gravity robotics), took a televideo course at the same school in lunar mining modules at 29, learned Elementary Chinese, Chinese Philosophy, and History of China at the McSchools program at 30, took a course on business with China at General Dynamics Corp. University of Lunapolis at 31, took a Principles of Submarine Robotics televideo course in General Dynamics Corp. Peking at 33, studied submersible engineering at MobilSchool from 35 to 36, and at 37 took at McSchool course called Underwater Fun with an Artificial Gill.
Pretty typical. Most people lose track of their life learning "transcript" after they leave formal education. Most professionals will either continue their education informally as a matter of vocational pride or as a matter of employment requirement and workplace opportunity. In order for a nurse or physician to maintain board &/o specialty certification, they need to attend continuing education. Very often these are modelled after distance learning: you either sit in front of a computer and do courses that way or read a tract and take a test. Very frequently, hands-on courses offered. You just can't learn to do venipuncture or a new surgical procedure by looking at a screen.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke writes that schools will exist by telepresence, instead of everyone being physically present in a classroom. Folks will be able to make themselves comfortable!
In this, he was right. Though only in part. E-learning courses are the natural evolution of the distance learning afforded by the correspondence school.

Maybe Clarke never knew about correspondence schools? Lifeschooling certainly dates back to the 19th century, and was well enough known in the early 20th to be lampooned by humourists, so I'm surprised. Apart from formal correspondence schools, people could attend chatauquas or public lectures; "self educators" were a popular genre of published matter since the early to mid 19th century.

Lifeschooling via the interwebs is just the late 20th / 21st centuries way of reinventing (and tricking out) the wheel.
The author writes:
Traditional schools, kindergarten through high school, also will change because of new technologies. In fact, education's basis emphasis will shift. Our current educational system evolved to produce workers for the Industrial Revolution's factory-based economy, for work that requires patience, docility, and the ability to endure boredom. Students learned to sit in orderly rows, to absorb facts by rote, and to move as a group through the material regardless of individual differences in learning speed. But no factory jobs will be left in 2019. Except for a few technicians to watch over control panels, tomorrow's factories will be automatic, with computers directing robot workers.
And then we see articles like this one. Factory jobs haven't actually gone away.

Of that model of schooling, I'd say Clarke is engaging in slightly deceptive focus. Learning to control your behaviour and to absorb facts by rote may incidentally be beneficial for Herr Preussenfabrikinhaber's working minions, but it also has its positive effects. Social skills, ability to focus on a variety of tasks. Learning by rote is not a bad thing, when applied rationally. I've been forever grateful that multiplication tables were taught by rote. I am not mathematically inclined in the least, but when it comes to basic numeracy, because I don't actually have to sit down with pen and paper or calculator app to figure out how to do 6x7. The answer is "just there".

The problem arises when education systems rely too heavily on rote memorisation and for too long. This I know is a problem in some Asian school systems. Any student that can regurgitate facts will do excellently on exams that require regurgitated answers. Application and analysis --- those become impossible tasks for him!

Am I saying that model of schooling is somehow better? No. It has its pros and cons. My hope is that the baby won't be thrown out with the bathwater!
Instead, the Prussian system is by and large dominant today. This has gotten worse as Millennials entered school. Millennial teens still grouse about the authoritarian nature of school (including restrictions on when and how many times they can use the restroom!) and the very un-teen-like early starting hours for school, while Boomer, Joneser and Gen-X adults still mouth insistences that school needs to prepare kids for the "real world", and post-HS Millennials are still in shell shock from their bad experiences in K-12 schools. (And no, Millennials didn't turn into the deferential social authoritarians who like and are well adapted to the K-12 school system as Howe & Strauss predicted, either.) While adult education is an option, people don't really do lifeschooling -- yet.
Every teen has groused about those factors since schooling became common. We certainly groused. Thankfully they didn't restrict bathroom use --- unless it's obvious to the teacher you're just a malingerer.

The problem with schools preparing kids for "the real world" is a basic misunderstanding of what school is for. School never prepared children for the real world, and they still don't. School is designed with three basic purposes in mind. First and foremost is the State coopts the parents' basic function of being parent. This is good, because parenting styles vary too wildly and many parents disagree with secular values or don't know how to teach them properly, so it's best if the State takes over this function and as early in life as possible. Second is the injection of fact. Not only "neutral" facts like 6x7 and the ABC, but culturally desirable facts (such as "Black History Month" or "family diversity studies"); facts that the State finds useful for programming its future voters. Third is the preparation of the child, not for the blue collar factory jobs of the 1950s, or even white collar jobs, but rather for the grey collar jobs of the service sector. We see this with the focus on and specialisation in math and science programmes, usually to the detriment of the already anemic arts and letters.

Rare anymore is the educational system that fosters individual creativity, learning and thought. Most children, even those who are in K or pre-K this year, will never advance far beyond the State model. They're just another brick in the wall. Those that do, will most likely be home schooled or have gone through the Catholic school system or some other private liberal arts grammar schooling. Those who were subjected to State schooling but find it disagreeable will have to continue their education on their own through "lifeschooling" --- they'll have to (find!) and attend an excellent school (e.g., Hillsdale College) where they can learn to shake off the dust of the system and exercise their own thought. Or they'll have to discover truth, beauty and good through reading the Great Books.
My high school did offer a few Internet-based classes, along with three other high schools in its district and a number of schools in the double digits nationwide, though. It began when my class, the first Millennials, were in high school. If only all classes could be like this!
Happily, for anyone out there now with school age children The System is shooting itself in the foot by offering entirely free and entirely online State schooling (via k12.com). Now, good parents can keep close track of what their children are actually being taught, can fill in gaps, can correct errors. If they choose!

I paid some attention to the "Day in the Hospital" section. As expected with any futurist genre piece, his predictions are very hit or miss. Many things that he touted as futuristic are really pretty old school. He got the corporate takeover of health care and the attention to the bottom line over attention to the human person spot on. A lot of the details seem to be pulled right out the whimsy of 1960s era SciFi. I mean, a candle lit dinner of shark and asparagus? Puhleeeeze!

He got the increased use of computers sort of right. I had a chuckle when I read about a stumped physician "typing in" a list of symptoms in order for "the computer" to spit out a diagnosis; and the "central image processing" computer. It's called "googling" and getting answers from "WebMD"! Clarke had no fricking idea the Internet was coming or what a profound effect it would have on literally everything in medicine. Even with computerisation, one thing he didn't foresee is the concommitant increase in the amount of paper used to support all those computers. I've never seen so much paper in all my life!

He got the glut of practitioners in 2019 wrong. We've had shortages of physicians and especially nurses probably since the 1990s.

Clarke has clearly got robots on the brain. Everything is robots with him! Robots that change bedpans. Robots that serve meals. Robots that assist surgery. Robots that will take over for a tired surgeon or replace staff. Robotics and AI just aren't there yet. Simple robots can transport stuff between here and there without too much difficulty, but they're pretty much unaware of their surroundings. There are robot-like surgical devices (like the Davinci) but if anything, these systems simply require more people to support and maintain, not less!

The rise of surgicentres and small stand-alone clinics of various kinds he got right. The medical technology explosion of the 1990s and 2000s has allowed for what were once relatively major procedures to be done far less invasively, quicker and with less risk. He mentioned insulin implants --- so many medications are now implantable, from pain meds to insulin; small "pacemaker" implants for a variety of of conditions like sleep apnea are available. Clarke mentioned the medical tricorder of Star Trek (again, 1960s era SciFi!) --- while we're still waiting for an actual tricorder, the explosion in non-invasive non-contact diagnostic equipment is completely beyond what he envisioned. Anyone with a smart watch or a cell phone can do some pretty basic cardiac diagnosis --- heart rate, rhythm, and more importantly, common dysrhythmias, even oxygen saturation. You can take your temperature with a cell phone. And you can by syncable devices from any drug store to do a variety of common diagnostic tests from glucose monitoring to drug tests to pregnancy tests to BP, pulseoximetry, A1C, etc., etc.

And the internet along with cell phones, cameras and high speed internet allow you to collect and send data, chat with a practitioner (MD / PA / NP) without ever leaving home. There's not a medical student, resident or attending physician under the age of about 50 that doesn't have a tech & app laden smart device in their pocket. (Along with about fifty pieces of paper!!)

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Re: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

Post by Khemehekis » 01 Aug 2019 06:39

elemtilas wrote:
22 Jul 2019 05:27
Khemehekis wrote:
21 Jul 2019 04:55
In 1987, Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book titled July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century. The fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing was chosen to mark the date in the future in which Sir Arthur speculated about what life would be like, well, today.
Good timing! And good to see you back, even if just for a moment!
Thanks! And when I posted to share this book, I saw a notification on my lifespeeding thread (a response from you, no less!), a thread I had totally forgotten about! So sorry! I've got to get back on that thread!
It is indeed a mildly interesting book. Predictions vague enough to be interpreted any way the future reader might want. Entertainingly written for the contemporary audience while being quite humorous for the future audience who happens to pick the thing up in a rummage sale or used book shop 30 odd years after publication.
I find it simply a fascinating book. I've gotten more than a few of the lexical items to be included in Kankonian from it. The predictions don't seem too Barnumish/horoscopic to me. Not even Howe & Strauss' writing about the Fourth Turning seems like a horoscope; as much as many fans say their predictions were "spot on", so many Howe & Strauss predictions look not only falsifiable, but now falsified, to me.
Sadly, like all futurist genre writing, it's hit or miss on just about everything. Clarke's "future" (our present) is still cast in the mold of 1960s futurism, marked by robotic humans and human AIs.
Yes, the AI's and everything-O-matic was a very Jetsonsesque touch. Clarke just stopped short of predicting the Singularity with all his AI-ery.
If only he could have predicted the moral decay (no, more than decay, but rather the irrational rejection of the good, the beautiful and the true in favour of the dark, the chaotic and the equivocal) and social dystopia in stead.
You mean like goth culture and gangsta rap? Or more like smear-campaign politics and the rise of Donald Trump? I sort of knew things would be headed in a terrible, Trumpian direction since many years ago. To quote the song "Walls Fall Down" from The Bittersweet Generation:

They tell me this world is improving, but I’m just not seeing it yet
We ain’t seen nothing yet
Are you ready, are you set?
We’re going to see how bad it’s going to get
And things will get worse
A phase they have to go through first
Before they can improve
Into something like you’ve
Never imagined, but that will be paradise
Very nice, a new roll of the dice, after blood and sacrifice and paying the price!
And, dammit! We still don't have the flying cars we were promised by the 1950s futurists! Why have you abandoned us, George Jetson!?
I actually read an Amazon review on The Fourth Turning with a recurring theme of how the author thought we'd all have flying cars by now, and exactly why said author was wrong.
Very frequently, hands-on courses offered. You just can't learn to do venipuncture or a new surgical procedure by looking at a screen.
Yes . . . in fields like medicine, this will always be important, even if it's just a paramedic doing CPR on a dummy or a dentist working with a typodont.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke writes that schools will exist by telepresence, instead of everyone being physically present in a classroom. Folks will be able to make themselves comfortable!
In this, he was right. Though only in part. E-learning courses are the natural evolution of the distance learning afforded by the correspondence school.

Maybe Clarke never knew about correspondence schools? Lifeschooling certainly dates back to the 19th century, and was well enough known in the early 20th to be lampooned by humourists, so I'm surprised. Apart from formal correspondence schools, people could attend chatauquas or public lectures; "self educators" were a popular genre of published matter since the early to mid 19th century.
Teach Yourself Avantimannish! I'd heard of Chautauqua, didn't know it involved teaching as well as entertainment.
And then we see articles like this one. Factory jobs haven't actually gone away.
Although you've got to notice the part of the article that says the percentage of the non-agricultural workforce in factory jobs has greatly decreased.
Of that model of schooling, I'd say Clarke is engaging in slightly deceptive focus. Learning to control your behaviour and to absorb facts by rote may incidentally be beneficial for Herr Preussenfabrikinhaber's working minions, but it also has its positive effects. Social skills, ability to focus on a variety of tasks. Learning by rote is not a bad thing, when applied rationally. I've been forever grateful that multiplication tables were taught by rote. I am not mathematically inclined in the least, but when it comes to basic numeracy, because I don't actually have to sit down with pen and paper or calculator app to figure out how to do 6x7. The answer is "just there".
Yes, it's nice to drum these in, but they can be taught better than it was in the day when Abraham Lincoln went to school. Schoolhouse Rock was invented when a mother said her son (or was it an aunt said her nephew?) could remember the words to all the songs on the radio, but couldn't remember his multiplication tables. And thus did Xers begin learning multiplication with "Four-legged Zoo" and "Little Twelvetoes".
The problem arises when education systems rely too heavily on rote memorisation and for too long. This I know is a problem in some Asian school systems. Any student that can regurgitate facts will do excellently on exams that require regurgitated answers. Application and analysis --- those become impossible tasks for him!
In my high school days, I had a number of preppy classmates in AP and Honors classes (a large proportion of them Asian-American, in fact -- Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese) who crammed in memorized facts like this. Quite a lot of them were unknowledgeable about common knowledge not covered in the California education curriculum (not knowing what the Andromeda Strain was, for instance). My classmate Mitch (Sicilian, by the way, not Asian) who said his "great idea" for learning the meanings of his vocabulary words for English class was to memorize a phrase to go along with the word, and asked me if it was a good method. I told him -- quite frankly -- that it was a terrible method: to learn a word, one has to really get the feeling for what it means. Best by being exposed to as many uses of the word in context as possible.
Instead, the Prussian system is by and large dominant today. This has gotten worse as Millennials entered school. Millennial teens still grouse about the authoritarian nature of school (including restrictions on when and how many times they can use the restroom!) and the very un-teen-like early starting hours for school, while Boomer, Joneser and Gen-X adults still mouth insistences that school needs to prepare kids for the "real world", and post-HS Millennials are still in shell shock from their bad experiences in K-12 schools. (And no, Millennials didn't turn into the deferential social authoritarians who like and are well adapted to the K-12 school system as Howe & Strauss predicted, either.) While adult education is an option, people don't really do lifeschooling -- yet.
Every teen has groused about those factors since schooling became common. We certainly groused. Thankfully they didn't restrict bathroom use --- unless it's obvious to the teacher you're just a malingerer.
Check out this article:

https://www.scarymommy.com/kids-bathroo ... IoHXF4qSYs
The problem with schools preparing kids for "the real world" is a basic misunderstanding of what school is for. School never prepared children for the real world, and they still don't. School is designed with three basic purposes in mind. First and foremost is the State coopts the parents' basic function of being parent. This is good, because parenting styles vary too wildly and many parents disagree with secular values or don't know how to teach them properly, so it's best if the State takes over this function and as early in life as possible. Second is the injection of fact. Not only "neutral" facts like 6x7 and the ABC, but culturally desirable facts (such as "Black History Month" or "family diversity studies"); facts that the State finds useful for programming its future voters. Third is the preparation of the child, not for the blue collar factory jobs of the 1950s, or even white collar jobs, but rather for the grey collar jobs of the service sector. We see this with the focus on and specialisation in math and science programmes, usually to the detriment of the already anemic arts and letters.
Well, there certainly are parents out there who aim to teach their kids that "Hitler was a good guy"! When you said "programming its future voters", are you saying this is a good aim or a bad aim?

My issue with the "Schools should prepare children for the real world" viewpoint is that it is often un-visionary and prone to the naturalistic fallacy. To demonstrate what I mean, consider an adult arguing in the school segregation debate in the 1950's or early 1960's: "When you're an adult, you can be arrested for drinking from the White fountain, so shouldn't schools be preparing their students for the real world?" This doesn't mean that segregation at schools is A Good Thing any more than it means that segregation in the adult world is A Good Thing. In this case, the takeaway was that the whole system in the United States needed to undergo a shift: getting rid of segregation across-the-board, not just in the sterilized environment of K-12 schools.
Rare anymore is the educational system that fosters individual creativity, learning and thought. Most children, even those who are in K or pre-K this year, will never advance far beyond the State model. They're just another brick in the wall. Those that do, will most likely be home schooled or have gone through the Catholic school system or some other private liberal arts grammar schooling. Those who were subjected to State schooling but find it disagreeable will have to continue their education on their own through "lifeschooling" --- they'll have to (find!) and attend an excellent school (e.g., Hillsdale College) where they can learn to shake off the dust of the system and exercise their own thought. Or they'll have to discover truth, beauty and good through reading the Great Books.
Kudos for quoting the Pink Floyd song! And as for the Great Books, I'm going to miss Mortimer Adler. In the copy of the Britannica I won after winning my county spelling bee in 1994, the foreword to each of the ten divisions of knowledge was penned by Adler. He could get wonkish at times, but he did introduce some thought-provoking stories like the tale of Harrison Bergeron through his program.
My high school did offer a few Internet-based classes, along with three other high schools in its district and a number of schools in the double digits nationwide, though. It began when my class, the first Millennials, were in high school. If only all classes could be like this!
Happily, for anyone out there now with school age children The System is shooting itself in the foot by offering entirely free and entirely online State schooling (via k12.com). Now, good parents can keep close track of what their children are actually being taught, can fill in gaps, can correct errors. If they choose!
I checked out the k12.com website. It proudly announces: "Over one million students have chosen K12-powered schools". Let's hope it outgrows traditional public schooling in the coming decades!
I paid some attention to the "Day in the Hospital" section. As expected with any futurist genre piece, his predictions are very hit or miss. Many things that he touted as futuristic are really pretty old school. He got the corporate takeover of health care and the attention to the bottom line over attention to the human person spot on. A lot of the details seem to be pulled right out the whimsy of 1960s era SciFi. I mean, a candle lit dinner of shark and asparagus? Puhleeeeze!
Actually, I liked the shark part. It reminded me of Kankonian clergy eating liturgical sharks.
He got the increased use of computers sort of right. I had a chuckle when I read about a stumped physician "typing in" a list of symptoms in order for "the computer" to spit out a diagnosis; and the "central image processing" computer. It's called "googling" and getting answers from "WebMD"! Clarke had no fricking idea the Internet was coming or what a profound effect it would have on literally everything in medicine. Even with computerisation, one thing he didn't foresee is the concommitant increase in the amount of paper used to support all those computers. I've never seen so much paper in all my life!
Surprising that the missed the whole paper issue. And there's an Internet meme that says:

Physician: Don't confuse your 1-hour web search with my 4 years of medical school.

Patient: Don't confuse the 1-hour lecture you received on my condition at medical school with my 20 years of living with it.




By the way, I am fewer than twenty words away from reaching my sixty thousandth Kankonian word. It is a milestone I am raptly anticipating . . .
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 60,137 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

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Re: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

Post by elemtilas » 01 Aug 2019 21:00

Khemehekis wrote:
01 Aug 2019 06:39
elemtilas wrote:
22 Jul 2019 05:27


If only he could have predicted the moral decay (no, more than decay, but rather the irrational rejection of the good, the beautiful and the true in favour of the dark, the chaotic and the equivocal) and social dystopia in stead.
You mean like goth culture and gangsta rap? Or more like smear-campaign politics and the rise of Donald Trump? I sort of knew things would be headed in a terrible, Trumpian direction since many years ago.
Nah. Mr. Trump is doing a fantastic job. As an anti-political, I have to say he's the right man for the job at the right time. He's got everyone running around like Chicken Littles with their heads cut off. No one in the political sphere, Left Right or Centre, know what to do with him, how to react to him, understand him or his supporters. (And I don't mean the fringe nutso supporters, I mean the good ordinary folks of the USA.) I mean, really: why waste money subscribing to a premium comedy channel when I can just flip on CNN and watch the histrionics 24/7? [}:D]

Goth culture? Been there done that. This was child's play.

Gangsta rap? Music comes from the heart and soul. This kind of music is a signification of deep problems within one or more segments of society. As such, it's no different than late 19th or early 20th century Irish music in this regard. Let him hear who has ears!

These musics are beautiful and sing truths about society that are worth hearkening to and addressing.

(Snowflakes: please skip the next bit. Probably too much for you to handle.)
Spoiler:
No, I more mean the increasing depersonisation of the human being that we see coming mostly from the radical and now mainstream Left. It used to be the other way around. Poor people used to be squashed under the oppression of wealthy industrialists (this got charged to the Republicans, but there's no end of rich industrialist Democrats, too). We got that sorted, thank goodness (child labour laws, Social Security, basic New Deal (though it's too bad the WPA withered: all the bridges and roads they built in the 1930s and early 1940s are falling to bits)). The history of the depersonisation of Negroes / Blacks / (actual) African Americans in the US is well known, and thankfully was sorted (abolition of slavery, overturning of Jim Crow laws, Civil Rights Act). The depersonisation of women was also sorted (suffrage, right to own property, inherit, control wealth, etc).

But now we find new kinds of depersonisation. A rapid increase of anti-religious sentiment. Persecution, even here in the US (and I've been victimised by that); absolute and strict intolerance of any opinion that diverges from the Leftist script (and boy did we see this in the last week or so!). Governments making decisions about whose life is worth living and who is expendable (we see this mostly in Europe (and Asia) but it's around the corner for us here if we lack vigilance); individuals making these same decisions about their own children. The "I" word.

This makes all the other social issues of the day (same sex "marriage", "living wage", "open borders", etc.) pale in comparison, as this is truly the last actual human rights issue we have left in the US (all the other issues are either civil rights or simple privileges). For the simple fact that the Left are literally charging forward with guns blazing to make this horrific ideal of theirs the One Great Issue of the century. All they're really doing is exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews: segregate a segment of the population, propagandise against them, cajole ordinary people into dehumanising them, and then exterminate them at will like animals. Only difference, of course, is the American Left, courtesy of PETA, have ensured that we at least treat our animals better than unpersoned humans.
To quote the song "Walls Fall Down" from The Bittersweet Generation:

They tell me this world is improving, but I’m just not seeing it yet
We ain’t seen nothing yet
Are you ready, are you set?
We’re going to see how bad it’s going to get
And things will get worse
A phase they have to go through first
Before they can improve
Into something like you’ve
Never imagined, but that will be paradise
Very nice, a new roll of the dice, after blood and sacrifice and paying the price!
Something like 60 million people have paid that price, in blood sacrifice.

Hitler? He got somewhere between 5 and 6 million.
Stalin? He got 10 to 12 million.
Armenian Genocide? Maybe 2 million.
Pol Pot? He got about 2 million.
Mao? He got 5 million (exclusive of the famine).
I'm running out of Lefties (and other assorted bad guys) here!

Leave it to the USA to out-murder Communist China, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and some assorted other looney toons, combined!
And, dammit! We still don't have the flying cars we were promised by the 1950s futurists! Why have you abandoned us, George Jetson!?
I actually read an Amazon review on The Fourth Turning with a recurring theme of how the author thought we'd all have flying cars by now, and exactly why said author was wrong.
It's just as well we don't have flying cars, really. We can barely manage with cars planted firmly on the macadam! Even with fairly strong laws banning cell phone use while driving, the practice is rampant. I can't think of a day in the last five years or so I haven't seen multiple instances of idiots talking on cell phones, looking down to adjust cell phones, pushing on cell phones they've got attached to their dash. :roll:

I can't imagine the carnage we'd have if all or even half those people were driving flying cars! At least George Jetson didn't have a cell phone to worry about!
Teach Yourself Avantimannish!
:mrgreen:
I'd heard of Chautauqua, didn't know it involved teaching as well as entertainment.
You'd probably find them very interesting! They're enacted by scholar-actors who, for the first part, perform in persona and afterwards answer questions from the audience, often in persona as well, though sometimes will break out of character to speak as a scholar. Here's some examples from a few years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjs3-juDK3w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIoBoHZPfEg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCH93yCsZq8
Yes, it's nice to drum these in, but they can be taught better than it was in the day when Abraham Lincoln went to school. Schoolhouse Rock was invented when a mother said her son (or was it an aunt said her nephew?) could remember the words to all the songs on the radio, but couldn't remember his multiplication tables. And thus did Xers begin learning multiplication with "Four-legged Zoo" and "Little Twelvetoes".
Myeh. We learned them by singing & chanting, without the benefit of Schoolhouse Rock (though we did watch that a little). It's been known for thousands of years that people remember things in song or chant much better than when it's just spoken.
In my high school days, I had a number of preppy classmates in AP and Honors classes (a large proportion of them Asian-American, in fact -- Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese) who crammed in memorized facts like this. Quite a lot of them were unknowledgeable about common knowledge not covered in the California education curriculum (not knowing what the Andromeda Strain was, for instance). My classmate Mitch (Sicilian, by the way, not Asian) who said his "great idea" for learning the meanings of his vocabulary words for English class was to memorize a phrase to go along with the word, and asked me if it was a good method. I told him -- quite frankly -- that it was a terrible method: to learn a word, one has to really get the feeling for what it means. Best by being exposed to as many uses of the word in context as possible.
Well, I didn't know what the Andromeda Strain was either, until I just looked it up. (Popular culture is far too broad for any one person to be intimately familiar with every aspect of it.) You gave good advice re getting the feeling for what words mean and how they're used.
Makes no sense. A good teacher can tell when a kid is malingering and ought to be allowed the professional judgement. But generally speaking, if a kid has to use the restroom, let the kid go! Especially when they're still little (first / second grade), they can still have accidents and that's terribly & needlessly embarrassing to put a child trough.
The problem with schools preparing kids for "the real world" is a basic misunderstanding of what school is for. School never prepared children for the real world, and they still don't. School is designed with three basic purposes in mind. First and foremost is the State coopts the parents' basic function of being parent. This is good, because parenting styles vary too wildly and many parents disagree with secular values or don't know how to teach them properly, so it's best if the State takes over this function and as early in life as possible. Second is the injection of fact. Not only "neutral" facts like 6x7 and the ABC, but culturally desirable facts (such as "Black History Month" or "family diversity studies"); facts that the State finds useful for programming its future voters. Third is the preparation of the child, not for the blue collar factory jobs of the 1950s, or even white collar jobs, but rather for the grey collar jobs of the service sector. We see this with the focus on and specialisation in math and science programmes, usually to the detriment of the already anemic arts and letters.
When you said "programming its future voters", are you saying this is a good aim or a bad aim?
Very much a Bad Thing.
My issue with the "Schools should prepare children for the real world" viewpoint is that it is often un-visionary and prone to the naturalistic fallacy. To demonstrate what I mean, consider an adult arguing in the school segregation debate in the 1950's or early 1960's: "When you're an adult, you can be arrested for drinking from the White fountain, so shouldn't schools be preparing their students for the real world?" This doesn't mean that segregation at schools is A Good Thing any more than it means that segregation in the adult world is A Good Thing. In this case, the takeaway was that the whole system in the United States needed to undergo a shift: getting rid of segregation across-the-board, not just in the sterilized environment of K-12 schools.
Concur.
Rare anymore is the educational system that fosters individual creativity, learning and thought. Most children, even those who are in K or pre-K this year, will never advance far beyond the State model. They're just another brick in the wall. Those that do, will most likely be home schooled or have gone through the Catholic school system or some other private liberal arts grammar schooling. Those who were subjected to State schooling but find it disagreeable will have to continue their education on their own through "lifeschooling" --- they'll have to (find!) and attend an excellent school (e.g., Hillsdale College) where they can learn to shake off the dust of the system and exercise their own thought. Or they'll have to discover truth, beauty and good through reading the Great Books.
Kudos for quoting the Pink Floyd song! And as for the Great Books, I'm going to miss Mortimer Adler. In the copy of the Britannica I won after winning my county spelling bee in 1994, the foreword to each of the ten divisions of knowledge was penned by Adler. He could get wonkish at times, but he did introduce some thought-provoking stories like the tale of Harrison Bergeron through his program.
It might be an interesting exercise to see how much, if any, overlap we'd have in the idea of the "Great Books" and how they compare with Adler and Hutchins's wonderful series...
I checked out the k12.com website. It proudly announces: "Over one million students have chosen K12-powered schools". Let's hope it outgrows traditional public schooling in the coming decades!
I have to say honestly: if I had a school aged child and could not afford a private school, I would leap at the chance to make use of K12. It's the best of both worlds, really. Kids get the standards based education that the modern Democrat party so desperately needs to foster in its future voters; a sensible and proactive parent can step in when the school steps out of line and they can supplement the K12 curriculum with, well, readings from good & challenging literature.
I paid some attention to the "Day in the Hospital" section. As expected with any futurist genre piece, his predictions are very hit or miss. Many things that he touted as futuristic are really pretty old school. He got the corporate takeover of health care and the attention to the bottom line over attention to the human person spot on. A lot of the details seem to be pulled right out the whimsy of 1960s era SciFi. I mean, a candle lit dinner of shark and asparagus? Puhleeeeze!
Actually, I liked the shark part. It reminded me of Kankonian clergy eating liturgical sharks.
I know, right!
Surprising that the missed the whole paper issue.
In all honesty, he missed a lot. Some things, of course, he missed the target entirely. I give credit that he at least hit somewhere on the target paper more often than not. He just rarely got the bullseye.
And there's an Internet meme that says:

Physician: Don't confuse your 1-hour web search with my 4 years of medical school.

Patient: Don't confuse the 1-hour lecture you received on my condition at medical school with my 20 years of living with it.
Too funny!

But that sad~funny kind of funny, how the memester misses the mark in both directions!

By the way, I am fewer than twenty words away from reaching my sixty thousandth Kankonian word. It is a milestone I am raptly anticipating . . .
Yay!

This is happy news indeed! Am always excited to hear when a fellow glossopoet reaches and exceeds a goal!

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Re: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

Post by Xonen » 02 Aug 2019 09:30

Yeah, no.

Reminder: practices such as name-calling, insults, and aggressively pushing religious or political views are still banned under board rules.

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Re: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

Post by sangi39 » 03 Aug 2019 12:02

Xonen wrote:
02 Aug 2019 09:30
Yeah, no.

Reminder: practices such as name-calling, insults, and aggressively pushing religious or political views are still banned under board rules.
Agreed. You can make a point, but it's preceded by "(Snowflakes: please skip the next bit. Probably too much for you to handle.)" and then hidden in spoilers, maybe just don't. You, Elemtilas, have been told about this time and time again, and quite frankly I'm getting sick of seeing it.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_ and America's schools

Post by Xonen » 03 Aug 2019 23:45

After discussing the issue among the administration, the decision has been made to give elemtilas an official warning. You've been given enough chances to tone down the rhetoric. One more unprovoked attack on other board members, "snowflakes", or whoever, or inflammatory post on a political, religious or otherwise sensitive subject, and you're out.

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