We have an interesting item by Alan Caruba on USA education. But
it's short so let's introduce the subject with some of my own experience.
That should be fun. A few of you may be curious or find it interesting,
or may even be encouraged. Don't worry, it will not drag on.
People reading this probably realise that the famous, the rich,
or 'the authorities' do not tell them the truth. Do such people
know anything about the truth? How many ever honestly look for it?
As someone once said, 'The question is not so much whether there
is life after death as if there is life before death?' A valid question!
Do we go through life mindlessly seeking to satisfy our animal instincts
or do we search for the human reality and try to advance our human
Like most Australians of my age I was born into a 'poor' family
('financially challenged' they may call it today). I have never
been elected to parliament or become infamous for any criminal activity.
Never been an officer in an army (served three years)/ never managed
a large company/ never been a professor of anything/ never been
the life of the party, or a popular entertainer/ or a great athlete
- I played tennis as a boy, a bit of fun. Never been married/ never
been wealthy/ never been educated - at least not in the tradition
of our culture.
Yes, I am your traditional nobody but, being born to a poor farming
family well away from city contaminants may have been my big break.
Could it be that being a nobody and know something is better than
being a somebody and know nothing.
Some may be surprised to hear that I have hardly known the meaning
of unhappy - or lonely. Actually I have found life a consuming challenge.
I have been so poor as to not know where my next meal was coming
from/ taken part in motor sport (in the days when you did not have
to be rich and cars were cars not high-tech monsters). I liked that;
I liked the driving and the challenge of preparing my car to be
I have been opal mining at a place called Lightning Ridge and
recall crawling through old mined areas where the crumbling roof
barely cleared my head -- where small pillars left by the miners
to hold the roof from falling had crumbled and the roof had still
not fallen. I wondered how large a flat area of soft rock will support
itself. Scary that, certainly no one would ever have found me had
it fallen while I was exploring.
I have been a carpenter; wandered alone through the Australian
bush; photographed scenery along the eastern coast; run a small
business. But that was before I knew I had a responsibility to warn
others of the human situation and devoted my life to it. No doubt
others are doing similar work. I do what I can. What exactly is
to be achieved I cannot know. However I am confident that mankind
has to be repeatedly warned if only so that, at the end, people
will not be able to say, "But no one ever told us."
I would like to tell you something from my experience of education
that may be of interest and encourage comment. From almost as long
as I can remember I have been observing the behaviour of children
and parents as well as of life and nature. Perhaps this was helped
by my being a late child raised in the country with limited contacts
It may also be of interest that I was given none of the stimulating
experiences considered so important by caring parents today. Is
early stimulation and teaching so important as it seems? From an
intellectual reasoning point of view perhaps it is and yet, when
I look at my own experience, I think that there must be more to
it. Is it likely I am so uncommon?
My early years were spent, almost all of almost every day alone
and following my fancies; playing my own games; presenting to myself
problems and trying to work out answers. This gave me an insight
into life and living. I recall watching rain and thinking of two
drops on the same path - one, deflected by movement of a leaf or
blade of grass might end up in the desert, the other, a thousand
miles away in the great ocean. An important observation of consequences
that may result from a small influence. Another thought (see *"The
An insight and interest thus created may have been stillborn had
I parents that indulged me with stimulation, taught me to read before
I had time to SEE the challenge of my world, and pushed me to become
'educated' to convention. Incidentally, at my time and place, formal
education started between ages of 6 & 7 years -- kindergartens unheard
of. My formal education started with a year or so of correspondence
Though usually alone I was not lonely or bored. Today, children
smothered in artificial stimulation and 'entertainment' are so dependent
on others that, when left to their own devices, they are bored and
unable to cope.
Early knowledge of our world (and of ourselves) is essential to
social advance -- we must learn from history. We cannot each begin
at the beginning, eternally learning the benefits and dangers of
fire; we would never get out of our caves. On the other hand we
must also look beyond present knowledge for new understanding. How
did the Egyptians build those great pyramids - no one has come up
with a plausible answer - there was a science then that is unknown
today. What is possible outside of our present dogma is unimaginable.
As a famous inventor is reported to have said of some problem: 'We
will have to leave that to some dedicated amateur to solve.' and
thereby revealed an insight into the restrictions placed by mass
How can we know ourselves? Can we advance to greater understanding
if we are drowned by education in dependence on the learned dogmas
and attitudes of the contemporary world? Children today are so pressured
to remember and believe conventional dogma that they do not see
even the obvious contradiction between what they are told and the
findings revealed in their textbooks. A criminal level of pressure!
Have we still to learn the importance of intellectual self-sacrifice?
Surely we must leave time for contemplation and room for developing
new insights, if not, there will always be a danger of someone,
or some force, taking control of our lives for inhuman ideals or
purposes. In fact, as we should now see, indoctrination to dogma
may inevitably lead to stagnation, corruption and social disintegration.
Were I in control of a clone of myself I would attempt to duplicate
as best I could my own childhood situation because that is what
seems to have been near perfect in the stimulation and development
of my own specific instincts and aptitudes. However if raising a
child of unknown abilities and potentials I expect I would seek
a balance: try to provide the important 'alone time'. Time for 'self-indulgent
contemplation of life and the world -- for personal creativity -
for learning to find and develop self-reliance and one's own nature,
interests, and understandings'. Early opportunity may be critical.
An incident: at around the age of nine or ten years a young cousin
came to stay for a few weeks and go to school with me. One evening
when doing our homework my youngest sister (seven years my senior)
was hearing my cousins homework of lines recalled correctly. Looking
on I thought, "remembers the lines but does not understand the message:
what good is that". A few years later, reading something difficult,
I recall reminding myself: "You have to understand the principle;
no use to remember if you do not understand it."
It would be foolish to throw a total blanket over education today.
I am sure that in many subjects and many classrooms, effort is made
to help students understand the principles behind ideas presented.
However, I am also just as sure that in many cases the student
is only required to recall the lines or beliefs taught. Many doctors,
lawyers, and Indian chiefs pass their exams but are hardly competent
as professionals because they have little understanding of what
they are about. This, particularly so, in the 'humanities' where
'educated stupidity' serves establishment needs.
New or old education.
It seems to me that a good understanding of education and child
raising is not commonly available. The old tradition of "spare the
rod and spoil the child", "speak only when you are spoken to", "listen
and learn" etc., is still better than a humanist education which
is a great example of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
An undisciplined child is without human nurture and becomes a barbarian.
To the degree it is denied understanding of its humanity it becomes
a slave to its animal instincts. A baby is born with a hungry mind,
it is hungry for knowledge of where it is, why it is, how to proceed.
Sadly, parents, in humanist misunderstanding of what love means,
seem intent to destroy or deform this hunger as quickly as possible.
When parents talk 'baby talk' for years, and the child is entertained,
pampered and allowed to behave as it likes, it must be utterly frustrating
for it's natural instincts. When it gets to know that it's parents
do not intend to provide the guidance needed then it must instinctively
feel that it's parents have no care for it. From there it is, as
is so often demonstrated, only a short step to contempt and rebellion.
A human baby is not the same as a pet kitten! We are not just animals
despite what they want us to believe!
The first step is rebellion against parents, a later step may well
be rebellion against society. Leading even to a self-destructive,
uncomprehending despair. But, of course, child rebellion was what
new-world ideology set out to achieve. To create a break between
the existing culture and that to be imposed was essential to 'conciliatory
So we do not, in public, have much in the way of scientific or
proven principles of child raising. What we have is huge research
in 'public relations' which means public manipulation or social
engineering: an understanding of how to get people to buy things,
including manipulative ideas and lies. Good parents are not wanted.
The better the parents the harder for the manipulators. For parents
the best advice we have (much better than the planned inhumanity
of humanism) is to be honest, firm and fair; certainly that is what
my lifetime of observations suggest.
The problem is that every child is different, some are bright,
some dull (myself, about average). Some extravert, some introvert,
some placid, some aggressive. Some children (abused) adopt the 'slavery
syndrome' response. Some need very firm but fair discipline but
if unjust or overdone, may develop a stubborn intransigence. Others
respond to gentle reasoning and may rebel at unneeded physical discipline.
Detail advice on child raising is needed! This, particularly where
a generation of parents and grandparents has been misled by humanist
Upbringing and education is so important to the future of human
culture! Personal experiences and thoughtful comment need outlet
and encouragement. Please feel free.
* The problem of the indivisible space. From the days of my child-time
wanderings and musings this item remains in mind. Watching my father
and uncle building an addition to our house I saw a piece of timber
lying across another. The thought came to me that the distance between
would be halved if I moved halfway toward the point they crossed.
The procedure repeated would halve the space again. The puzzle that
occurred to me: "at what distance would half the space become no
space at all" because it seemed obvious that at the crossing point
Seventy something years later a tentative conclusion. It may eventually
(if not already) be confirmed by science. It is this: There is,
in the nature of things, a space that cannot be halved: an "InDivisible
Space": an IDS. There is no continuous line; no continuous movement.
All movement consists of tiny 'space/time jumps'.
This means that every thing existing; every atom, via its parts,
must jump that tiny space/time barrier to move. No movement would
be possible if this tiny gap did not exist or could not be jumped.
Without this space no creation would be possible; all energy would
meld to "one" - a 'one' that could not be divided.
This solution suggests the necessity for a particle of energy (all
matter is made up of particles of energy) to exist, momentarily,
in two places at the same time. Because it cannot exist within the
IDS it must, for an instant, exist on both sides. This may be explained
(or at least shown) by quantum physics but my life does not leave
me time to investigate there.