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What is a good solid education?

In your opinion, what constitutes a good solid education?


 


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Crayons
posted 7-Oct-2008 8:50pm  
Learning things that are actually useful, not like, the names of all the clouds, which probably isn't useful for even a weatherman. I know a cumulus is! It's the cottony fluffy ones. Very good!
Iseult Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
posted 7-Oct-2008 9:00pm  
Education that teaches you how to think and gives you the means that if you want to go off and learn more on your own, you'll be able to.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
posted 7-Oct-2008 9:43pm  
Learning things that prepare you to be a successful, productive person. Practical skills.
Galomorro
posted 7-Oct-2008 10:26pm  
I'm at this moment reading a library book called "Real Education-Four Simple truths for Bringing America's Schools back to Reality" by Charles Murray, 2008. In my opinion, kids should be taught the basics - basic simple arithmetic, including percentages; reading -- learning by the phonics method; spelling and good grammar so they can get a good job. They should be taken on lots of field trips to different places and emphasis should be made on what jobs people do in the adult world. They need some basic science and history. They should not be forced to play team sports if they don't want to. They should learn basic health stuff -- including how much money and effort it will take to raise a child to age 18 and the facts about birth control and baby care, as well as eating and drinking healthy, stressing no smoking and eating/drinking less junk food. They should be taught ecology and be exposed to different things of nature, including recycling and growing vegetables. They should be taught REAL LIFE, including having to do taxes, what is involved in buying a home, getting a job, investing, banking, the various bills and obligations that people have as adults, conserving energy, credit cards, debit cards. I'm probably leaving out some stuff here but basically just what people really need to get by successfully in the world today and to take proper care of themselves. Multicultural exposure is good too, because they need to know there are all kinds of different people in the world, including various religions.
LJD Survey Qualifier
posted 7-Oct-2008 10:46pm  
I believe in the basic education, of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Skills of every day life. How to cook, how to fix a car, how to sew, how to write a check, learn how to handle money. Learn of relationships, marriage, raising children. Good health issues, exercise. Of course, there are many job types for everyday living that are needed. Learning the function of government, our true Constitution. Keep an eye on government. Learn history. The list goes on.
bill Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
posted 8-Oct-2008 7:44am  
I don't know. I went to pubic school and it seemed fine. College too and that was good. I'm not sure what "solid" means in this context. I think education is partly a personal choice or something one has to tailor to their own personality and goals. Vocational schools seem like a good thing for some people. I did some co-op (working while in college at career-related jobs) and I thought that was a good thing too. I like the idea of practical education. Train people for the specific job they are going to do and let them try doing the job early on so they know it's what they want, etc. But, general education can be good as well.
Matty
posted 8-Oct-2008 7:48am  
The three Rs, science, and history...and taught by the traditional methods of drill and repitition. The nonsensical methodology at public schools forced me to spend a couple of hours nightly with my daughter to teach her properly. That is why I now send her to Parochial school. Naturally, the teachers still try and use that modern "wholisitc" learning approach, but at Parochial school parents are clients, not combatants, and many of the old methods have been reincorporated into the classroom. The end result is there's a lot less dope-smoking hippie bullcrap, and a lot more work.
Liss
posted 8-Oct-2008 8:14am  
Being taught stuff.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
posted 8-Oct-2008 8:57am  
One that teaches you how to think critically.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
posted 8-Oct-2008 10:11am  
All the basics. And an extensive course in 'how to get along'. Everyday things like finances, cooking and survival.
starrpickle
posted 8-Oct-2008 11:01am  
life
Jody
posted 8-Oct-2008 12:40pm  
I think, for some people, a good vocational high school will give them what they need to know to be successful.
cerealkiller Survey Qualifier
posted 8-Oct-2008 3:36pm  
No homework and a hot teacher.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber Survey Qualifier
posted 8-Oct-2008 3:53pm  
about 3-4ft thick!
Cain
posted 8-Oct-2008 5:26pm  
One in which the person is introduced to a variety of topics and given the choice and ability to pursue them further.
JessicaWoman99 Silver Star Survey Creator
posted 8-Oct-2008 5:50pm  
Let me see a good solid education read , write and learn
southernyankee
posted 8-Oct-2008 8:15pm  
Good critical thinking skills numero uno.

After that, science and math.

The other stuff, such as art, literature, language arts (beyond getting basic grammar down), sociology, philosophy (apart from moral reasoning/ethics), not so much.
southernyankee
(reply to LJD) posted 8-Oct-2008 8:20pm  
Knowing how to sew is fairly useless in today's world.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to southernyankee) posted 8-Oct-2008 10:55pm  
Not if you enjoy sewing, and making your own clothing. My mom used to sew my sister and my clothing when we were young. I saved myself a lot of money sewing a prom dress for my daughter, and a Victorian costume for my daughter. I've made shirts. Sewing, doing something for yourself, and family is not useless.
I say anything that can make you independant, is not useless. Today's world makes an individual more dependant.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to LJD) posted 8-Oct-2008 11:02pm  
Sewing isn't really a common marketable skill nowadays though. Most of the clothes are made in factories or overseas. It's a nice elective class and a nice hobby, but nothing about today's job markets would justify requiring sewing as a necessary 'core' class.
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
posted 9-Oct-2008 1:04am  
Street smarts
Kristal_Rose
posted 9-Oct-2008 2:53am  
Most importantly, teaching people to learn on their own.

Beyond that, exposure to concepts and types of thinking: ie artistic creativity, analysis, engineering process, technical follow-through, diagnoses, problem solving, prioritization, emotional evaluation, immersion in foreign paradigms (ie languages), abstract reasoning, metaphoric comparison, objectivity, self-awareness, social-conscience, - I could probably go on for quite some length.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Oct-2008 3:19am  
If someone has to build a greenhouse or write a specification request proposal for fertilizer monitoring software, nothing they learned by rote and repetition will be of any use. Methods of creativity and analysis learned in a wholistic approach could be of use though.

The system of rote and repetiton was trashed because it resulted in people who couldn't even figure out word problems, let alone apply things like mathematics to real world situations.

Any calculator can make up for one's first ten years of mathematics. What's really being taught of importance is how to solve math problems, working with symbolic abstractions like fraction bars. Working with the concept of division is more important than actual division, as the concept comes up in situations like distributing workloads, even when no actual math is applied.

Except for grammar skills, people don't use most of the facts they learn in school. That's not to say that any of their education was wasted. Hopefully they learned in history about things like graft, revolution, environmental tragedy, models of society, alternative cultures, and other concepts they can apply to analyzing new facts around them, and creating alternative solutions.

Society would collapse if people merely learned how to do existing things more efficiently. They wouldn't have much fun either. You strike me as a guy who doesn't have much fun.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 9-Oct-2008 3:28am  
As per my first post here, cooking and fixing cars are good ways of teaching the concepts of creativity, self-sustainabilty, diagnoses, and such. It could just as well be cabinet-making and computer repair though. All these skills are leisure activities and wastes of time if one has a profession and can afford specialists. Only half of people cook these days, and not cooking is probably saving them both time and money.

Sufficiency these days would be things like computer skills and business correspondence, but the details of all that would change by the time they graduated, so better to just teach concepts and processes. Traditional home-maker skills can still be a means of doing that though, even though they'll unlikely have any specific use upon graduation.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Cain) posted 9-Oct-2008 3:54am  
"One in which the person is introduced to a variety of topics and given the choice and ability to pursue them further."
Great idea, unfortunately teachers can really only afford the time to do that with one or two students. Luckily for me, I made myself one of those students.

I was failing at math in the fourth grade, struggling with fractions and division. In the fifth grade though I got a teacher who let me sketch 3D robots and calculate their volumes, and calculate things like gear ratios. I kept myself busy, and would inquire on things I didn't know, like the volume formula for a cone. He probably had to give me 1/3 of his total math time student attention to do this, as it involved specifically teaching me concepts of algebra.

I think in this age of automation, we should be able to afford class sizes of ten students. We don't have to have revolutionary new products coming out each year, nor people telemarketing them.
Matty
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 9-Oct-2008 7:51am  
That's nice in theory; too bad it falls appart when the rubber meets the road. How many 7-year-olds have you had to reteach because they didn't know what 3+4 is. When pressed on what the answer is, how many 7-year-olds have told you that they don't feel comfortable responding to that question, and it's their choice to concentrate on other things? I'd bet a disgusting amount of money this has never happened to you...so much for your theory.

Parents in public schools around the country are revolting against wholistic learning because their kids aren't learning crap.

Not used in real life...more foolish theory by intellectual elites who have no practical knowledge and would die outside their theoretical world. I use basic mathematic skills, and I read every day of my life.

I don't know how to have fun...how insipid. Where do you come up with nonsense like this? Knowing when to work and when to play is what enables adults to have fun.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to LindaH) posted 9-Oct-2008 8:47am  
I understand about the market place, but what if a person wanted to open their own alterations business? Being a seamstress isn't bad. Years ago, I knew someone that had a bridal store, made wedding dresses.

When I was in school, for girls, home economics was a REQUIREMENT, not elective. We had to take cooking, sewing. I know today is different, but it never is a bad idea to improve the skills of home, and possibly the market place.
A lot of skills are developed by short classes in school. A woman should know how to cook for her family. Perhaps she or a family member may want to open a restaurant. I've often told my son, he should have opened a restaurant, he is an excellent cook. He never took classes, but he evidently watched me in the kitchen, or had a natural knack. He taught his wife how to cook.

Of course, todays world is so much technology, which some I absolutely hate. The government and big business engineer what they want you to learn. I understand about majors. But, I think anything to do with the home, makes one more independent. I guess I think more in terms of small business, not big business conglomerates.

Cain
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 9-Oct-2008 8:48am  
In the UK, teaching is no longer a preferred profession - there are huge numbers of vacancies aailable and a huge push to fill them - the hesitancy seems to come from the fact that teachers are allowed very little control of their own classrooms (i.e - no suitable form of disciplining) and as a result, no one wants to work with kids who are essentially allowed to run riot.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 9-Oct-2008 11:23am  
I would probably be in a real pickle if I had to go in todays world and make a living. I'm from a different world, so to speak. I could probably do some secretarial work. I was never interested in having a career other than having a family. Of course, there is the catering business, or caring for children, having a child care center. Have a housecleaning business. I've taken classes on herbology, could finish, and get accredited to hang my own shingle so to speak. I finished half the course, but stopped to help raise two of my grandchildren.

I feel in all fields, there is a need. A car mechanic would be important to the CEO, a housekeeper would be important to his home...the list goes not. There is a need, but in today's world the dignity of "these down to earth" jobs is gone. Too bad, for they are the ones that really make the world go around. I've always said a job that is moral, and legal can be an asset.

But now, I'm into some serious politics...no money, but something I know needs to be addressed. It's like I stepped off one world, onto another.

gambler Bronze Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
posted 9-Oct-2008 6:20pm  
mmmm not sure? even where to begin
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Oct-2008 10:48pm  
No, that has'nt really happened to me. I watched both my kids and neighbor kids after school, and made it mostly an eduactional thing, adding math to their video game competitions and such, but no, they already had those math basics you speak of. In fact, at age 9 I was teaching my son a new form of calculus I had invented.

I have heard of similar problems with my 12 year old niece though who doesn't have division down yet. Concepts of division, yes, actual division, no.

I use my math except calculus quite a lot. I don't think most people do though. Most of them aren't engineers or artists of any sort either.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Cain) posted 9-Oct-2008 10:59pm  
We have exactly the same problem here, besides it being one of the lowest paid professions. Very little creative control is why I dismisssed becoming a teacher myself. I was willing to put up with the poverty part. The teachers who were my heroes wouldn't be possible today.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 10-Oct-2008 1:24am  
You could do all sorts of jobs. You'd probably be happiest as a receptionist for an acupuncturists/herbalist with the additional job of talking to suppliers, conventioneers, clients, insurers, and such on the phone. You'd have to learn some computer skills, but most of that is proprietary stuff they'd have to teach any new employee, and anyone out of high-school could handle. If you can handle SC and email, you'd probably be fine. You might have to identify things which need done like payroll and taxes, and send those tasks out to specialists, or get software along with someone to teach your business how to use it. You have people/political skills, and for most jobs these days that's all that's required unless you're an artist, engineer, doctor, or some other profession.

"But now, I'm into some serious politics...no money, but something I know needs to be addressed. It's like I stepped off one world, onto another."
Yeah well, that's good, but I feel it's my duty to help you understand what the problems actually are, and not go charging blindly after some EVIL ONES from the ninth dimension. When I first met you, you didn't know much about economics or global capitalism. Your concept of what the problems were was not only ignorant, but a fifty year old version of ignorant which had little to do with what is currently going on.

You've come a long way and mostly dropped concerns which no longer exist and weren't ever much threat in the first place, like pot smoking hippies or communist sympathisers, and moved on to identifying real problems like global banking, legislative corruption, media control, and such. You should be proud of yourself for pursuing the truth. It would have been easy to retire plagued by old irrelevant imaginations, and shutting off open-minded correspondence with others also seeking the roots of modern truth.

I wish you could understand how, whatever they are, that the immigrants are not an economic problem, at least not one that wouldn't be some other class of citizens if you were to get rid of them. I have little hopes of that though, because that is the common belief of your activist support group. To help you stay objective there though, may I suggest that whenever you hear the words 'immigrants' or 'illegals', ask yourself if couldn't just as easily imagine the words 'the poor' being substituted if there were no immigrants here. That will help you distinguish between actual immigrant problems and problems with our economic system in general. For instance, the schools have to contend with several languages being spoken. That's a true issue with immigration, where substituting 'the poor' would in fact change the situation. As far as things like gang violence goes, you could mostly substitute 'the poor' and it would still ring true.

Getting a job or business as an herbalist might give your life fresh 'good feeling' meaning.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 10-Oct-2008 3:04am  
Thank you Kristal Rose. I do enjoy people, believe it or not. I can strike up a conversation with most people. And, children like me too.... * smile *

I think you have a big heart Kristal Rose, and I think you're intelligent. But, Kristal Rose we MUST use common sense here, we CANNOT take in the world and take care of them....no matter how much we'd like to....I'd rather teach them to help themselves in their countries.

I'm not really a woman of the world, I'm definitely not as well informed as you on some issues. I'm learning daily, and will continue to learn.

I wish you the best!
Cain
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 10-Oct-2008 9:45am  
The teachers are getting well paid - I think they can expect to earn upto £30,000 ($60,000ish) a year, which given they get more holidays than average, isn't too bad.
It's just that no-one wants to set foot in the classroom.

I feel the same - I'm glad I went to school when I did. Punishments like the belt were long gone, but the teachers were still allowed to be super-scary if the need arose!
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 10-Oct-2008 10:11am  
"I'd rather teach them to help themselves in their countries." - I consider the possibiity, if my company ever takes off as I hope, of moving to some desperate country, not so much to cut costs, but to provide a better example plan for them. Plus, my chances of creating a socialist-collective corporation would be easier in countries with less regulation. - On the other hand I also consider it perhaps my duty to return generosity to my own nation by striving to create better example business models here instead.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Cain) posted 10-Oct-2008 10:31am  
I had a super-scary geometry teacher. People were afraid to say 'duck', or 'quack' in his class, and I made the mistake of atempting to prove their fears were rediculous by drawing Santa's sleigh pulled by a reinduck on the chalkboard while others were drawing holiday stuff at the end of session. Years later I heard they finally fired him when he came to school waving a gun in protest of the new Martin Luther King holiday.

I learned a vauable lesson, some people really are as frukked up as rumours indicate.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 10-Oct-2008 4:24pm  
I could be totally wrong about this, but isn't the reason Mexicans can't help themselves in their country mainly because of their government, and their country's economic structure? Shouldn't we be working with them from the top down?
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 10-Oct-2008 11:59pm  

Yes, we need good business models in this country. We need to set good examples for our future generations.

I think the idea of going into other countries, to teach them to help themselves, is a good idea.

I think being a model for the good, either in this country, or another is a noble thing to do.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LindaH) posted 11-Oct-2008 1:21am  
I don't really know. I just thought they didn't have any start-up capital to tool-up businesses in the first place.

Any nation's leaders are free to poke their heads around and observe what works elsewhere. If they don't, then they probably aren't interested.
..and yeah, actually I have had in the back of mind for some years sidling up with some leader of Cuba or something and proposing an entirely new socialist infrastructure sure to be the envy of the world.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 11-Oct-2008 1:47am  
It's a model for workers/consumers to become their own management. CEO types wouldn't want my plan to spread. It's about efficient collective self-sufficiency rather that spending a fortune for each individual to subscribe to transnational services. Basically, if someone employed in the company wants a bed built, someone else in the company can build it for them using company tools and it's all officially company property, so neither labor nor products get taxed. It's simply a high-tech corporate commune in which people list their abilities for trade on an intranet. Some people spend their hours supporting employees, others spend time creating/selling products to the outside world to pay for imported tools, materials, food, fuel, and whatever the commune can't make itself. It's a corporation which acts like a self-contained communist nation. People trade their hours at an equal value and share resource like theaters, restaurant cafeterias, sewing rooms, welding workshops, music studios/stages and such. Some of the company profits would be set aside on an equal/time basis for people to have a severance pay if they quit or are fired.

The company would be mostly democratic. If there was enough interest, employees could spin-off their own site co-ops and elect their own local leaders. No one would be allowed to earn more than others, so it wouldn't become corupt.

Part of how it stays in line though would be because I'd be a secret dictator. I'd own 51% of the whole corporation, and step in with by-laws if things were falling apart in spite of the popula democratic admin.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 11-Oct-2008 3:01am  
This is part of the page of one of our Minute Men running for city council....he has written some fantastic work...


Wage or Slave Labor

During "the War Between the States" the world witnessed some of the greatest fighting of the 19th Century. Sixty-five million men died on the battlefields of the American Civil War. A social historian might ask, "For what Ideal did so many die?"

Both sides were justified by what they believed were noble causes. Southern men thought they were defending their families and property against a radical, Abolitionist New England. Meanwhile, the North was fighting what Freesoilers called "King Cotton" or the great "Slave Power".


In the North there was much polemical writing against the Southern Slave Power. The North portrayed itself as a defender of free labor, puritan work ethic, the industriousness and common dignity of the working man. It honored work, thrift, and family. In contrast, slavery undermined these same moral virtues, not only separating black families in the South but undermining the valorization of field and manual work. As a consequence the South resembled too much that of feudal Europe, the disdain for daily farm work offending Northern sentiments of Jacksonian equality.


Not only this, but after the opening of the Mississippi Valley and establishment of the Mason-Dixie line, the Southern Slave Power appeared politically ascendant. Slavery was not only overrepresented in Congress due to the 3/5th clause, but it was winning federal judicial rulings. "Freesoil" therefore had a number of grievances, but most of all it resented the westward migration of plantations which undermined both the republican principal of suffrage, i.e., "one man-one vote", and financially wrecked the small planter. The hatred of Slave Power finally culminated in its military defeat, the Emancipation Proclamation, and later the 13th-15th amendments of our Constitution .

Yet when the Civil War concluded, free labor found its struggle had just begun. The Civil War greatly expanded the powers of the Federal Government, allowing unprecident industrial growth and new concentrations of wealth where Northern financiers funded massive capital projects through public taxes such as the continental railroads. In the face of larger markets which the Railroads opened up Western farmers were unable pay transport fees or loans for seed/supplies, and were both competitively forced out of business by cartels and monopolies. Men thus sought seasonal work and incomes, and by the 1870's an urban proletariat emerged.


The generation which fought the Slave Power now wondered if a wage work was a new form of bondage. Whereas most plantation owners were compelled to provide religious instruction and necessities of life unto the slave, wage work left the employee without such guarantees. Beyond the contract of a wage, the owner had no further obligations. If workers demanded more, the owner could simply fire and rehire new laborers or lock the entrance--cutting the prole off from both bread and roof.


Excerpts from William Grayson in his poem, "The Hireling and the Slave", and George Fitzhugh, "Cannibals All!" are below contrasting the immiseration of 'free labor' with 'slave'.


Exceptfrom William Grayson, "The Hireling and the Slave"
"The Hireling"
Free but in name-- the slaves of endless toil...In squalid hut--a kennel for the poor, Or noisome cellar, stretched upon the floor, His clothing rags, of filthy straw his bed, With offal from the gutter daily fed...These are the miseries, such the wants, the cares, The bliss that freedom for the serf prepares...

"The Slave"
Taught by the master's efforts, by his care...Fed, clothed, protected a patient year, From trivial numbers now to millions grown, With all the white man's useful arts their own, Industrious, docile, skilled in wood and field, To guide the plow, the sturdy axe to wield...Guarded from want, from beggary secure, He never feels what hireling crowds endure, Nor knows, like them, in hopeless want to crave, For wife and child the comforts of the slave, Or the sad thought that, when about to die, He leaves them to the cold world's charity...
Excerpt from George Fitzhugh, "Cannibals All!"
We do not know whether free laborers ever sleep. They are fools to do so; for, whilst they sleep, the wily and watchful capitalist is devising means to ensnare and exploite them. The free laborer must work or starve. He is more of a slave than the negro, because he works longer and harder for less allowance than the slave, and has no holiday, because the cares of life with him begin when its labors end. He has no liberty, adn not a simple right. We know, 'tis often said, air and water are common property, which all have equal right to participate and enjoy; but this is utterly false. The appropriation of the lands carries with it the appropriation of all on or above the lands, usque ad coelum, aut ad inferos. A man cannot breathe the air without a place to breathe it from, and all places are appropriated. All water is private property, "to the middle of the stream," except the ocean, and that is not fit to drink.
Between wage and slavedom, free soil presupposed small ownership of land and the absence of monopoly. In the factory system, without personal ownership of capital, or at least a surplus income to later afford tools or land, men had little control over their destiny. As labor shifted from agrarianism to urbanism dependency on employers was believed to corrupt and weaken the body politic. The further squallar of the worker's material condition also eroded Repbulican moral life.


While much has changed in the century since the classic Robber Baron era, one might wonder if a new era of servility is upon us? Wagedom works well when a man is paid more than the cost to reproduce his biological existance. But global restructuring of the economy is changing generational patterns of ownership. Productive work-- either trade or manufacturing-- is in the process of being declassed, and we are shifting toward a managerial economy where spin, image, and wit counts more than manual prowess, honesty, and craftskill. A cultural shift ensues that places appearance over substance, pomp over sacrifice. Americans today freely admit they need massive immigration because no one will else wants to do the nasty work.


While some seek escape from moral work those who've fallen between the cracks want scream for a bureaucracy with confiscatory powers to save them. Welfare and income redistribution grant enormous powers to the state. Taxed monies are ultimately used by big business to reduce risk in mergers and private investment as well as shifting costs of business upon taxpayers for such things as healthcare and pollution. Surely a possible future is a degraded wage class that is indeed given complete security in such commodities as housing and healthcare, yet itself has no freedom or power of ownership over capital. If such a two-tiered future comes about it will be indebted to well-meaning but confused progressive who pine for European socialism... or worst.


This dialectic is too close to the Southern plantation system to remain comfortable. We need a restorative movement that revives the dignity of productive labor through greater and dispersed ownership of tools and land. How to get there? If the history of slave and free labor has any bearing, it would eliminate the confiscatory/redistributive powers of the state which in turn provided the protections/subsidies that undermined Free Soil and agrarianism within 10 years after the Civil War. Although we are constantly reminded of the evil of slavery, can we remember enough to make a comparison to today. Neither wagedom, state collectivism, or big capital can stop this ascendant, global "slave power" since each constitute servility itself.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 11-Oct-2008 3:01am  
This is part of the page of one of our Minute Men running for city council....he has written some fantastic work...


Wage or Slave Labor

During "the War Between the States" the world witnessed some of the greatest fighting of the 19th Century. Sixty-five million men died on the battlefields of the American Civil War. A social historian might ask, "For what Ideal did so many die?"

Both sides were justified by what they believed were noble causes. Southern men thought they were defending their families and property against a radical, Abolitionist New England. Meanwhile, the North was fighting what Freesoilers called "King Cotton" or the great "Slave Power".


In the North there was much polemical writing against the Southern Slave Power. The North portrayed itself as a defender of free labor, puritan work ethic, the industriousness and common dignity of the working man. It honored work, thrift, and family. In contrast, slavery undermined these same moral virtues, not only separating black families in the South but undermining the valorization of field and manual work. As a consequence the South resembled too much that of feudal Europe, the disdain for daily farm work offending Northern sentiments of Jacksonian equality.


Not only this, but after the opening of the Mississippi Valley and establishment of the Mason-Dixie line, the Southern Slave Power appeared politically ascendant. Slavery was not only overrepresented in Congress due to the 3/5th clause, but it was winning federal judicial rulings. "Freesoil" therefore had a number of grievances, but most of all it resented the westward migration of plantations which undermined both the republican principal of suffrage, i.e., "one man-one vote", and financially wrecked the small planter. The hatred of Slave Power finally culminated in its military defeat, the Emancipation Proclamation, and later the 13th-15th amendments of our Constitution .

Yet when the Civil War concluded, free labor found its struggle had just begun. The Civil War greatly expanded the powers of the Federal Government, allowing unprecident industrial growth and new concentrations of wealth where Northern financiers funded massive capital projects through public taxes such as the continental railroads. In the face of larger markets which the Railroads opened up Western farmers were unable pay transport fees or loans for seed/supplies, and were both competitively forced out of business by cartels and monopolies. Men thus sought seasonal work and incomes, and by the 1870's an urban proletariat emerged.


The generation which fought the Slave Power now wondered if a wage work was a new form of bondage. Whereas most plantation owners were compelled to provide religious instruction and necessities of life unto the slave, wage work left the employee without such guarantees. Beyond the contract of a wage, the owner had no further obligations. If workers demanded more, the owner could simply fire and rehire new laborers or lock the entrance--cutting the prole off from both bread and roof.


Excerpts from William Grayson in his poem, "The Hireling and the Slave", and George Fitzhugh, "Cannibals All!" are below contrasting the immiseration of 'free labor' with 'slave'.


Exceptfrom William Grayson, "The Hireling and the Slave"
"The Hireling"
Free but in name-- the slaves of endless toil...In squalid hut--a kennel for the poor, Or noisome cellar, stretched upon the floor, His clothing rags, of filthy straw his bed, With offal from the gutter daily fed...These are the miseries, such the wants, the cares, The bliss that freedom for the serf prepares...

"The Slave"
Taught by the master's efforts, by his care...Fed, clothed, protected a patient year, From trivial numbers now to millions grown, With all the white man's useful arts their own, Industrious, docile, skilled in wood and field, To guide the plow, the sturdy axe to wield...Guarded from want, from beggary secure, He never feels what hireling crowds endure, Nor knows, like them, in hopeless want to crave, For wife and child the comforts of the slave, Or the sad thought that, when about to die, He leaves them to the cold world's charity...
Excerpt from George Fitzhugh, "Cannibals All!"
We do not know whether free laborers ever sleep. They are fools to do so; for, whilst they sleep, the wily and watchful capitalist is devising means to ensnare and exploite them. The free laborer must work or starve. He is more of a slave than the negro, because he works longer and harder for less allowance than the slave, and has no holiday, because the cares of life with him begin when its labors end. He has no liberty, adn not a simple right. We know, 'tis often said, air and water are common property, which all have equal right to participate and enjoy; but this is utterly false. The appropriation of the lands carries with it the appropriation of all on or above the lands, usque ad coelum, aut ad inferos. A man cannot breathe the air without a place to breathe it from, and all places are appropriated. All water is private property, "to the middle of the stream," except the ocean, and that is not fit to drink.
Between wage and slavedom, free soil presupposed small ownership of land and the absence of monopoly. In the factory system, without personal ownership of capital, or at least a surplus income to later afford tools or land, men had little control over their destiny. As labor shifted from agrarianism to urbanism dependency on employers was believed to corrupt and weaken the body politic. The further squallar of the worker's material condition also eroded Repbulican moral life.


While much has changed in the century since the classic Robber Baron era, one might wonder if a new era of servility is upon us? Wagedom works well when a man is paid more than the cost to reproduce his biological existance. But global restructuring of the economy is changing generational patterns of ownership. Productive work-- either trade or manufacturing-- is in the process of being declassed, and we are shifting toward a managerial economy where spin, image, and wit counts more than manual prowess, honesty, and craftskill. A cultural shift ensues that places appearance over substance, pomp over sacrifice. Americans today freely admit they need massive immigration because no one will else wants to do the nasty work.


While some seek escape from moral work those who've fallen between the cracks want scream for a bureaucracy with confiscatory powers to save them. Welfare and income redistribution grant enormous powers to the state. Taxed monies are ultimately used by big business to reduce risk in mergers and private investment as well as shifting costs of business upon taxpayers for such things as healthcare and pollution. Surely a possible future is a degraded wage class that is indeed given complete security in such commodities as housing and healthcare, yet itself has no freedom or power of ownership over capital. If such a two-tiered future comes about it will be indebted to well-meaning but confused progressive who pine for European socialism... or worst.


This dialectic is too close to the Southern plantation system to remain comfortable. We need a restorative movement that revives the dignity of productive labor through greater and dispersed ownership of tools and land. How to get there? If the history of slave and free labor has any bearing, it would eliminate the confiscatory/redistributive powers of the state which in turn provided the protections/subsidies that undermined Free Soil and agrarianism within 10 years after the Civil War. Although we are constantly reminded of the evil of slavery, can we remember enough to make a comparison to today. Neither wagedom, state collectivism, or big capital can stop this ascendant, global "slave power" since each constitute servility itself.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 11-Oct-2008 7:01pm  
I disagree with his conclusion, but otherwise it's superb writing.

With or without the government, it was becoming slaves vs. machines or economic slaves.
Today, with our population, nature alone dictates the necessity of efficient mass production. It does not however dictate capitalism and economic slave classes.

In my proposal, society still votes for the creation of industries like movie making or clothing factories. The people are all free independent contractors though, free to do any work of value to others, either interpersonally, like a guitar lesson, or working for any of the public industries. People who prefer routine and lack creativity and skill can do the required production jobs, but are not penalized economically for volunteering for these tasks. The businesses people vote on are run democratically depending on their size and budget.

Free soil fell to capitalism. Short of a native american commune or communist-socialism, it's never coming back, except for wierd situations like my corporation which would be corporation on the outside, communism for the employees. You and your peers are entering into new gray area. True, capitalism can give people autonomy and communism take it away, particularly on the open frontier, but today also capitalism can destroy autonomy for most, and a form of communism can restore it.

"We need a restorative movement that revives the dignity of productive labor through greater and dispersed ownership of tools and land. How to get there?" - I really can't imagine getting there by dismantling a common overarching government which can enforce distribution and stand against the barons.

I dare say, if this fellows writings are what strikes a resonant chord with you, you have finally come to understand what communism is about, and have switched sides. The thing to do from here though is to see what is coming down the pipes if there is to be a revolulution, and head it off with some preparation with something more sensible. If we are to do communism again, it needs to be democratic, bottom-up, and at it's core be about preserving the autonomy of individuals. That autonomy can't overstep anyone elses boundaries though, as is the custom in capitalism, or we'll just have what we have now again.

There are non-communist revolutionaries in recent decades who favor land redistribution. I don't think that's remotely practical or fair from where we stand now either though. At best, I can recommend the path of rcent eco groups who pool resources to buy old-growth redwood forests from developers who were planning to harvest them. We had that fail here in LA though. The public and foundations tried to purchase a beautiful community farm that the owner wished to develop into warehouses. Even when the millions he asked for was actually raised, he bulldozed the place anyhow, so strong was his hatred for community solidarity against capitalism.
southernyankee
(reply to LJD) posted 14-Oct-2008 2:52pm  
> Not if you enjoy sewing, and making your own clothing.

Thats not the issue. Yes, you're right, it may be enjoyable. But enjoyable doesn't equate practicle. No matter how fun, how useful is it?

By your logic, some people find reading the works of Shaskpere pretty enjoyable. However (like it or not), not very useful in the real world. You said it yourself, school should only teach the basics, things that are useful. Knowing how to sew isn't.


> My mom used
> to sew my sister and my clothing when we were young. I saved myself
> a lot of money sewing a prom dress for my daughter,

You saved money, yes. But it also cost you time, something that not everybody has. What about people who value their time more than money, it would be more worth it to just buy it.



>Sewing, doing something
> for yourself, and family is not useless.

I don't get your agrument. If the average person makes $37,500 a year, that translates to roughly $505 a week (after taxes). If it takes you say, a whole week eight hours a day to make your dress, it would cost you $505 in lost wages because you could be working instead of sewing your prom dress. So long as the dress costs you less than $505, you're better off just working and buying it from someone else.



> I say anything that can make you independant, is not useless.

Independant from whom?

So, when you need to use the bathroom, do you have indoor plumbing or do you have an outhouse in your backyard? Where do you get your electricity from? The power company, or did you sew your own solar panels and put them on top of your roof.

LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to southernyankee) posted 14-Oct-2008 10:19pm  
The prom dress cost me less than $40.00. Of course, this was a little over 25 years ago. Today, depending on the material, I know I could make a dress for way less than it would be to buy one.

southernyankee
(reply to LJD) posted 14-Oct-2008 10:56pm  
But how much time did it cost you?
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to southernyankee) posted 15-Oct-2008 1:17am  
I can't remember how much time it took to sew it.

I understand what you are saying "time is money".
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 15-Oct-2008 1:28am  
You can buy a decent dress today for $30-200. Decent fabrics and buttons might cost you just as much. The average complex garment today is sewn in less than six minutes total by people making $4/day, 40¢ for what would take you 20 hours. T-shirts take about 20 seconds. When you buy a garment you are paying for raw materials, shipping, advertising, and executive salaries, not construction.

These days designers, factories, advertisers, shippers, and outlets are so connected by internet that a fashion product can literally go from concept to overseas production to mass merchandising availability in local department stores in less than a week.

I sew, but I make art-gallery sort of designs, not things you could find in stores, and it's about artistic satisfaction, not saving money. I make all sorts of things my self, but nothing comes to mind that is actually cheaper to make than buy.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 15-Oct-2008 2:29pm  
I understand what you're saying. I couldn't afford a prom dress at that time, plus I enjoyed sewing.

I couldn't afford to buy the Victorian dress I made for my daughter's drama presentation. It had the high collar, Victorian ruffled sleeves, loads of material for the bottom skirt. I made these items to save myself money, and the satisfaction of turning out a beautiful garment.

I made quilts for each of my granddaughters...I had a lot of satisfaction in sewing these items. They were personal.

Of course, I couldn't make a living at sewing today, but at one time, more women did sew, saved money.

Now, there are those people in the world that would like personalized items, and wouldn't mind paying for them.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 15-Oct-2008 7:13pm  
If there's a dress to save money on, that's the sort. I consideed quilting but I don't have room now for all the used clothes scraps I saved. I did same paintings with miniature quilting though on sweatshirts. I painted the stitches on with fabric paint.

Even customized embroidery is easier with computer graphic programmed sewing machines (expensive). I've been wanting one of those to cover some white jeans in butterflies and to put logos on hamonica covers.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 16-Oct-2008 1:38am  
You sound very creative Kristal Rose...I like that! I like your ideas.

Making the personalized quilts for my granddaughters was fun, pinks, and lavendar primarily...can be tedious. I love embroidering too, crochet, needlework, relaxing to me.

I know a woman that does professional sewing. She has a very, very, expensive, heavy duty machine, does everything.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 16-Oct-2008 8:50am  
Nice embroidery machines, the sort where different stitch types can be assigned to different regions of the graphics run around $3500. It's the sort of thing I'd have to 'out-source', either that or time-share at a sewing center.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 16-Oct-2008 3:11pm  
My friend told me her machine cost $7,000. I almost fainted! This was a couple years ago. I can't remember the name of the machine, but it was one I never heard of.

I appreciate creativity, good craftsmanship. My parents were both creative, exact. Whatever they did, was done well.

I made each of my children a crocheted Sampler, of their names, in ecru. Put in frame over blue/black velveteen.

I never learned how to knit well. I can make long scarves... * smile *

Keep being creative Kristal Rose, it's relaxing.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 16-Oct-2008 5:52pm  
I haven't tried knitting yet (or crochet or macramé). I'm tempted, but know it takes a lot of time which I could b spending on long-standing back-burner projects. I'm restless or depressed when my mind isn't actively engaged in creation or solving. Just having my hands tied up with something can feel like Im trapped. I like doing dishes though. It's like the shower, a place where new ideas or fresh contemplations come to me.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 16-Oct-2008 7:34pm  
When I used to do the needlework, I was younger, did them to relax. I don't know if I could do it today. I feel overwhelmed, I have too many irons in the fire. I'm organizing four events for family and politics, belong to three groups. I had to have a B12 shot the other day, the doctor said may give me some energy.

Perhaps knitting just isn't your interest, your interests are in a different field, is why you feel trapped. I don't know about you, but when I have too much on my mind, I can't focus on one thing, I can't relax.

I'm working on recovering my granddaughter's "sofa like" toy chest. When I did it for her, I did it fast, now I'm lagging. I'm recovering for her daughter, my great granddaughter. She said there was no hurry....THANK GOODNESS. I have the bottom done, and lid, but the back and arms, I'm lagging. I can't quite remember how I did it the first time... * smile * It's shaping up, but just haven't the spark, the energy as I used to. I'm making little pillows for the back of it.

I know you're creative....keep up the good work.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 17-Oct-2008 8:13am  
I like figuring out what can be done and how to do it. Once it's figured out, actually doing it is nothing new for me, I've already been there in my head. I'm a person who listens to lots of music througout the week, and yet tries to never hear the same song twice twice. It's constant learn, research, contemplate, design, and create here - always thinking. I had some insights into the life of Paul (the biblical writer) today after putting some facts from his biography together. My deductions put some of his original inspiration and motive into question, though I have no doubts about the devotion and good nature of his work after his conversion.

I read an article once on making stuffed bed headboards, kind of a cross between pillows and quilting over a piece of scroll-sawed plywood to look like waves and sun or something geometrically cartoony. That might be within your reach if you have time.

LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 17-Oct-2008 10:54am  
I like to "discover". I analyse, want to know the whys, and what fors. You sound much the same.

During the processes you mention, are you relaxed? You have a creative mind. What kind of music do you listen?

I like music. I have a few CD's, various types of music. I like the Big Band Era, Classical, "The Flying Dutchman" Andre Rieu, Spiritual Blue Grass, the Blues, some older Country. I like music that is good for the body, relaxing to the nerves.

Funny you mention bed headboards. I designed some headboards, my Dad made them for me, for my daughters. They were old fashioned, with a middle high arc, then two lower arc s on either side. I'm not good describing the headboard, but they turned out nice. They were like flower petals. The headboards were stuffed, covered with fabric.
southernyankee
(reply to LJD) posted 17-Oct-2008 8:58pm  
> I can't remember how much time it took to sew it.
>
> I understand what you are saying "time is money".

Yes, that exactly is my point. Sewing isn't a practicle in today's world, so I don't get the rationale for teaching it in schools. If people wish to learn how to sew, then thats great, but they should do that on their own time afterschool, or at most have it taught as an elective for a month at most. You should call a spade a spade, and call sewing out for what it really is--- a fun hobby for some (not that there is anything wrong with that), rather than passing it off as a practicle skill.

Same thing with caligraphy / penmanship. Its pretty useless, since most of civilization uses computers for everything where you can just type. Sure, its a nicetiy, something a lot of people might consider fun, but in no way should people pretend it is what its not--- something useful.


Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 17-Oct-2008 9:58pm  
I rarely experience relaxation. I see relaxation as involving being at rest, full of energy, and in touch with your body and senses. I'm mostly just living in my head, in a state of indifferent on-going calm, or a touch of inspired adrenalin excitement if the ideas are creative enough.

Serenity was something I never experienced until hanging out at the river skipping stones when up in AK for my sons funeral. Even in meditation I'm busy doing things on the ethereal plane.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to southernyankee) posted 17-Oct-2008 10:36pm  
I direct you to my post to Matty in which I assert that school, especially that before high school, is not so much about specific facts or algorithms as it is about learning general priciples of structure and process.

I heard a lecturer that I agree with recently suggesting that we should go back to the ancient days of teaching geomery and math as off-shoots of nature. We should teach plant cell structure, the physics of sailing and knots, prnciples of plumbing and elctricity and sound, before we launch fully into models of numeric analysis for such things like trigonometry. We wouldn't have so many kids then getting As on tests then quickly forgetting it all.

Sewing a gament is an immense execise in 3D surface modelling (although one could just teach 3D animation perhaps). Photography or guitar would be useful studies too, as long as one had a teacher explaining the physics of all of it. People might have a better understanding of their world if they had learned sin waves via synthesizers and taught relationships to earthquakes and such.

They say kids can't think in the abstract until they reach age 12. I think that's hogwash and the problem is that educators atempt teaching abstract modelling systems before even teaching about natural physical systems. Physical experience with teeter-totters, bike cranks, and trebuchets should be taught long before long division, fractions, geometry, and trig, or at least simultaneously, then these concepts of things like ratios and torque wouldn't be so abstract in the first place.

If were to redesign K-14 curricula, I'd hardly keep 20% of how it's done now, and churn out students who understand new things they observe, and could readily create new systems (in any domain: music, politics, architecture). These capacities are sorely lacking in today's graduates.

I hear there's finally a resurgence in scientists studying nature to develop new products like glues, sonar, self-cleaning house paints, and such. The approach should begin in kindergarten.

As far as caligraphy goes, some form of design should be taught. In the 1500's there wasn't a task, building a fence, knitting a sweater, digging furroughs, spinning a pot, which didn't involve design. It's not like a need for deisgn ever went away. It's still involved in code and GUI design, product layout, really most every occupation from factory floors to organization of communication structures, even if it's become abstract and physically intangible, geometry and flow still underly processes, and people should be familiar with creating and improving upon such designs.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to southernyankee) posted 18-Oct-2008 9:36am  
So what do you have today? Machines doing what people can do. I think machines have taken from people, a real pride in work. I appreciate handiwork, craftsmanship done by PEOPLE. I guess everyone thinks differently about things. I think some of the skills of old, are the more creative. I'm not too happy with all the technology.

You're right in todays work, people have no penmanship, it's chicken scratch, instead of beautiful handwriting. My daughter knew caligraphy, did beautiful work. The industrialization, the technology has made us as robots, instead of skillful people.

WE ARE as ROBOTS.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 18-Oct-2008 9:51am  
Kristal Rose, again I offer my condolences on the passing of your son, my heart goes out to you.

I think we need relaxation, if we don't our body will wear down, weaken. I found during the study of the Chinese Five Element Theory, and through my own health, if we wear our body down through constant stress, anger, we can wear down our endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid) , then our digestive system. Without a good digestive system we have poor health. Some things also are hereditary, such as low thyroid. An overstressful life will truly undermine a persons health.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to LJD) posted 18-Oct-2008 1:12pm  
It's hard for people to take pride in a craft when a machine could do the same thing. There are some details that would be impractical to make machines do. (Customizations) For that, I am grateful.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to LindaH) posted 18-Oct-2008 2:34pm  
But you see, too much machine, there are less people working. At the end of the line, someone is making a BIG profit at the cost of the people.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to LJD) posted 18-Oct-2008 2:58pm  
Yep. That's why its a good idea for craftspeople to specialize in customizations. They and their customers don't need no steenking machine.  * wink *
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 18-Oct-2008 8:29pm  
There's no anger here, but I may border on stress. It puts me in a sort of limbo. My doctors never did figure out was wrong with my neck. The symptoms have evolved into what I think may be passing a salivary gland stone. I don't know if that's an original problem or tail-end maintenance of the prior problem, it which the docs noticed calcium deposits as indications of prior swelling. It could be glandular, sjogrens syndrome, a root canal infection, allergy, or tobacco irritation, or cacer or a virus. Whatever it is/was, it moved from the neck to under the tongue. That's comforting actually.

and then last night I had itching rash travelling all over my body. That must be an allergy, but I wasn't really using any new sort of ingredients. It might even be the copper from my frying pan.
southernyankee
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 18-Oct-2008 10:34pm  
Fairly good post. Allow me to make a few quick points (read: nitpick your post to death like I always do  * wink * ) in regard:



> I direct you to my post to Matty in which I assert that school, especially
> that before high school, is not so much about specific facts or algorithms
> as it is about learning general priciples of structure and process.
>

Thats generally what we do on the college level (especially grad). On high school level, not so much.


> I heard a lecturer that I agree with recently suggesting that we should
> go back to the ancient days of teaching geomery and math as off-shoots
> of nature.

Generally speaking, these days it isn't all that difficult finding at least one intelligent lecturer to agree with your viewpoint, no matter what that viewpoint may be. Pointing out all the people who agree with you is what everybody does on both sides as a means to bolster their case (Not that I am accusing you of anything.  * wink * ). The tactic won't work with me as I've sure caugth myself using it. You can't bullcrap a bullcraper is what Penn Jillette (sp?) always used to say.


> We should teach plant cell structure, the physics of sailing
> and knots, prnciples of plumbing and elctricity and sound, before
> we launch fully into models of numeric analysis for such things like
> trigonometry. We wouldn't have so many kids then getting As on tests
> then quickly forgetting it all.
>

This may or may not work, depending just exactly how you implement your teaching technique. Minute nunences can be the difference between the kids being brilliant little thinkers verses just plain dumbasses who don't know anything. Perhaps thats the reason why educators are reluctant pushing for any creative redesigning from scratch their lesson plans. If it works out, the pay off will be great, but if it fails; the results will be tragic. No rational school district or parent would wish their kids to be the guniue pigs (save for ghetho trash who aspire their offspring to be drug dealers like them roll) for your radical redesings. You may be on the right track, however having brilliant ideas and actually implementing them via experimenation are two different things.

Would you volenteer for instance, to test a new untested wholistic medical technique for your alienments or would you go with something that has been verifed over decades that has been proven to empirically work? (wait, don't answer that--- I forgot that you're really big into Eastern / untested New Age medicine).



> Sewing a gament is an immense execise in 3D surface modelling (although
> one could just teach 3D animation perhaps).

I am thinking the latter.


> Photography or guitar
> would be useful studies too, as long as one had a teacher explaining
> the physics of all of it.

That may or may not work, but you would first need students who are interested in BOTH physics AND guitar. Students who genuninly care about physics are rather rare (I kinda qualify). I don't mean just wanting to learn it as a means to getting a high paying job, I mean just because it interests them. Students who geinuinly care about learning to play the guitar (and by that I don't mean just wanting to learn how to impress girls (or boys) to get laid) are also rare. Your target audience would be the union of the two small groups. You see where this is going....



> People might have a better understanding
> of their world if they had learned sin waves via synthesizers and
> taught relationships to earthquakes and such.
>

Yes. They might. I think I know what you're getting at--- using real world examples to make something more interesting. That might work under certain instances, but you first need to do some marketing figuring out what pragmaticlly works and what doesn't.



> They say kids can't think in the abstract until they reach age 12.
> I think that's hogwash and the problem is that educators atempt teaching
> abstract modelling systems before even teaching about natural physical
> systems.

The problem is this: A significant minority of kids really can't think in the abstract until 12. So schools have to slow down everybody as a result. Unless you plan on opening up your own exclusive private school which weeds out students who can't, or puts them in remedial classes (to the chargin of offended parents), it will never happen; and if you do, considering we live in a highly litigious society you see where this is going......


> Physical experience with teeter-totters, bike cranks, and
> trebuchets should be taught long before long division, fractions,
> geometry, and trig, or at least simultaneously, then these concepts
> of things like ratios and torque wouldn't be so abstract in the first
> place.
>

I don't know. I used to make pretty damn good paper airplanes and spitballs (sometimes to the chargin of my teachers), I used to make my own key chains out of little plastic strings (being one of the few guys who did it for fun), triangle paper footballs was always fun, and even had one unsuccessful run at making a cardboard shelf to hold up my jambolaya. None of which amounted to crap when doing an actual physics problem in class. If anything, what I've learned in class helped me build stuff, not the other way around.



> If were to redesign K-14 curricula, I'd hardly keep 20% of how it's
> done now
,

Thats what they all (including me) say. Yes, we all have super duper brilliant ideas of redesigned how society should run from scratch, we're all above average, we can all reinvent the wheel because of how screwed up society (supposedly) is. We all have radical crackpot ideas of fixing the way things are from scratch (though unfortunatly we all can't be right). In short, we're all wannabe reformers. Late 1800's, early 1900's was paved with them.



> and churn out students who understand new things they observe,
> and could readily create new systems (in any domain: music, politics,
> architecture). These capacities are sorely lacking in today's graduates.
>

Look, I feel you. Our education system does suck, and I have my own ideas on how to transform everything too. If I had the resources (time and money), the first thing I'd do is open up my own private parochial school. If you don't like how our school system works, and you think you can do better, by all means, open up your own private school. Maybe you can even get the government to subsidize it (hey, I've been saying it from day one why I support school vouchers).


> As far as caligraphy goes, some form of design should be taught. In
> the 1500's there wasn't a task, building a fence, knitting a sweater,
> digging furroughs, spinning a pot, which didn't involve design.

Yes, schools should teach kids some forms of engineering as soon as possible. Learning how to test their results empierically, learning from failures, seeing what works and what doesn't, is the way to go. Although I don't see where caligraphy comes into play, as there's no objective way to test if you failed or not.


> It's
> not like a need for deisgn ever went away. It's still involved in
> code and GUI design, product layout,

Especially with Java. I've seem some horrible (in terms of legibility and maintainiblity) java code out there while trying borrow (read: steal) other's sample code while doing some project. I've learned, for example, what NOT to do from them.
southernyankee
(reply to LJD) posted 18-Oct-2008 10:50pm  
> So what do you have today? Machines doing what people can do.

Yes, but someone has to design the machines, maintain the machines, improve the machines, etc. Who will write the computer programs to run robitcs? There's plenty of creative stuff left to do, one just has to know about it. You have no idea the thousands of jobs that are created each year by said machines.


> I think machines have taken from people, a real pride in work. I appreciate
> handiwork, craftsmanship done by PEOPLE. I guess everyone thinks
> differently about things.

You're only saying this because you don't know how to write computer programs or engineer any appapratuses. Things that you consider creative can be done by someone else automatically, so of course to you, people are being replaced by machines. Thats a fairly narrow view point. Just because you lack the ability to do certain job, which makes what you did obsolete, is no reason to people are less creative since you're only looking how it affects you.



>I think some of the skills of old, are
> the more creative. I'm not too happy with all the technology.
>

 * rolls eyes * . Thats what they all say. People always complain about technology replacing them. Everyone thinks that their job is the most important / most creative, and the second technology replaces them they complain the world is getting less creative, only because they can't do what the new guy is saying. Sigh. Its an endless cycle.



> You're right in todays work, people have no penmanship, it's chicken
> scratch, instead of beautiful handwriting.

Mine is chicken cratch and all my teachers used to nag me about it. But now that I use the computer for all my writting, I see it as pretty pointless. In the end, I won, because I didn't waste my time learning something I would never need. Don't get me wrong, I am sure caligraphy is fun (for people who are interested in it), but defining creativity soley by the ability to do your skill set is very narrow, and calling everone else who can't do what you can a robot comes of annoying at best and conocending at worst.

LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 18-Oct-2008 11:02pm  
Have you ever gone to an acupuncturist? Please keep on top of this, I hope you have good doctors. Perhaps a body cleansing is in order? At least try drinking cranberry juice with flax seed...is helpful in helping cleanse lymph system. I buy the flax seed meal, and cranberry juice at Trader Joes.

I looked in one of my books under rashes, itching skin, this is what it says...

Skin itch and rash symptoms can come from a wide variety of causes, ranging from systemic to emotional stress, from food allergies to topical infective reactions to cosmetics. See Liver Malfunction, insect bites, and eczema pages in the book for more information.

COMMON CAUSES: Liver malfunction or exhaustion; allergic reaction; stress and anxiety; detergents; over- acid system; drug- after and side- effects; poor diet with too many refined and chemical foods.

I wish you well..
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to southernyankee) posted 18-Oct-2008 11:05pm  
>
> |>I think some of the skills of old, are
> |> the more creative. I'm not too happy with
> all the technology.
> |>
>
>  * rolls eyes * . Thats what they all say. People always
> complain about technology replacing them. Everyone
> thinks that their job is the most important /
> most creative, and the second technology replaces
> them they complain the world is getting less creative,
> only because they can't do what the new guy is
> saying. Sigh. Its an endless cycle.
>

The irony is that people have to get even more creative, to take their skill to a level that a machine can't compete with. Machines have their limitations. Some things need the eyes and hands of a human.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to southernyankee) posted 18-Oct-2008 11:13pm  
What I want is PEOPLE contact. An example....when I call a business, I receive a DAMN voice box. I WANT A HUMAN VOICE. Of course in some instances, I suppose there is a need for some machinery for projects that are dangerous perhaps.

Of course, you that have never really learned to write beautiful penmanship, will never know the value of good handwriting, because you'll always be DEPENDENT on a computer.

I guess I believe more in small, and independence.

What it all boils down to is GREED and making people DEPENDENT.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to southernyankee) posted 19-Oct-2008 2:43am  
"Generally speaking, these days it isn't all that difficult finding at least one intelligent lecturer to agree with your viewpoint" - I was just pre-qualifying my context as I often do. I could just as well have said "..as I was telling my friend the other night".

"Thats generally what we do on the college level (especially grad). On high school level, not so much. " - Yeah, but that's backwards, filling kids with facts and waiting to teach them to observe and think on their own after most of them leave school.

"Would you volenteer for instance, to test a new untested wholistic medical technique for your alienments or would you go with something that has been verifed over decades that has been proven to empirically work? (wait, don't answer that--- I forgot that you're really big into Eastern / untested New Age medicine). " - Well, I'm annoyed by all my doctors who fail to see any big picture or examine/diagnose my health in any wholistic fashion. I have to brainstorm on my own then probe deeply into internet medical sites to match symptoms and reverse-engineer biological systems. Besides the isolated specialty issue, I get the feeling doctors don't even think in terms of system engineering these days. That too could have been partially remedied by teaching kids to be system engineers in grade school. I've taken at least some college physiology, and even there it's way more part identification than any system flow awarenes.

"you would first need students who are interested in BOTH physics AND guitar." - Everything physical though is physics. I bet the average uneducated farmer of the 1700's would have a better chance at repairing a bicycle than the average graduate today. Color mixing, leverage rations in sewing stiches, sound frequency absorbtion, inertia of doors, kinetic drag of objects, it's all physics all around us, and there's no excuse for adults to not see how it works and how to better manipulate it through knowledge of physics.

Maybe they don't care for guitar strings, but there's no more obvious way to teach acoustic theory and lead up to sine waves. Trig is rather pointless without applications. Thankfully my trig teacher did things like rent surveying transits so we could calculate the height of an antenna on a roof. I still recall most of my trig formulae 30 years later.

"open up your own private school" - I've considered it, or at least some commune of independent contractors version.

One reason I prefer to design my own languages is for the sake of elegant simple consistency, as found in LISP for instance. An application may lend itself to a certain structure like lists, tables, fractals, recursion, objects, rules, or pipes, but once that fundamental paradigm has been selected, it's usually possible to consistently lean on that structure as the applications basic mechanism, thereby reducing complexity and overhead. When other structural forms ar required, they should either stand out as meta-control structures, or live as the detailed tendrils of specialised functions. If, for instance, one is writing an expert system, there's no reason the interactive GUI components/states can't be delivered by the same rule-base mechanism.

There is of course library overhead/reuse to contend with. Once someone has invested in writing a comprehensive through-and-through expert system, chances are their next app will be written as an expert system too, whethar ideal for the application or not. For each cart there exists an ideal wheel, but one can get by without reinventng the wheel each time if they already have a good variety of wheels on the shelf.

This is getting me in the mood to do some programming again.

Yeah, 'how to structure a program' was something most programming students lacked, possibly because it simply wasn't taught in language classes, and students really had no experience writing actual full applications. ..or it could be that kids can't think in the abstract until they reach the age of 30.

I have a feeling I can think in the abstract better than most people. I'd have little problem basing solid sensible application structure on octopi, sine-waves, phonograph-records, stained-glass windows, or ant colonies, if I felt like it. - Hmm, an exercise like that in a theoretical class, passing such options out of a hat, and comparing team results, might actually be a useful exercise for advancing the field.

So, I take it you've run into objects wired as spaghetti code, multiple mixed level tiers, and subclassing occurring anywhere on the spot, and no clear demarcation of which modules serve as application control structures.

As I'm sure I've said before (that prequalification again), I hate Java. It's for people who like memorising libraries rather than building from scratch. I found myself having to dig right down to the primitives, and subclassisg all the way up the chain from there. Huge nuissance. I wasn't fond of listeners and the event model either, though the concept is good. I'd rather have the whole app, stock and custom, run through a single event monitor with rule-based contextual event handlers. Object encapsulation is a nightmare when the scope of affect isn't really object encapsulation. It's better for isolating integrated systems than isolating integrated components. and then Java invites incomprehensible code with options like RPC calls and multi-threading, if not handled in some clear meta-structure fashion.

To put it another way, a problem with Java structure is that top-down layout and bottom-up operability are competing with each other for dominance. I love xml because I can use it to mimic objects or process streams, and still maintain top-down structure. I suppose it could become a mess if instead of reporting to the central contral top, I connected branches ladder style using a third bridge branch. I'd have to invent my own xml system for that though, one built of virtual pointers allowing nodes to inhabit multiple branches. That exists somewhat already if one queries nodes for code reuse.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to southernyankee) posted 19-Oct-2008 2:57am  
"Yes, but someone has to design the machines, maintain the machines, improve the machines, etc. Who will write the computer programs to run robitcs? There's plenty of creative stuff left to do, one just has to know about it. You have no idea the thousands of jobs that are created each year by said machines."

Are you suggesting that machines were a futile endeavour and ran short of their goal of replacing man-hours, and instead brought about a need for higher educated masses? Come on. No one would use them if that were true. For better or worse, they do succed in automating people out of work. The only recourse for labor is to increase commodity consumption and/or invent new products/services to consume. That plan doesn't work too well during recessions though, where people will do without the latest remote-control cat-bowl inspector, and just worry about buying a machine produced blanket.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LJD) posted 19-Oct-2008 3:01am  
I drink plenty of cranberry &/or pomegranate and eat flax cereal. I'm pretty sure it was copper toxicity. I could test it out by frying some lemons for lunch tomorrow and see if it happens again.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 19-Oct-2008 11:45am  
Not all machines are designed to replace man hours. In some cases, machines are making things happen that we didn't have before. Take the net and web pages for example. A web page serves many more customers/clients than phones and desk people at an office. Let's say the office has about 6 people in it, working the phones and the front counter. Along comes the web and with it, a nifty web page. Now you have 1 person working the phone, one at the counter, 2 working the computers... Same number of employees, serving a larger number of people. No jobs lost, but the machine serves it's purpose.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LindaH) posted 19-Oct-2008 5:51pm  
I did mention increasing commodity consumption. That includes consumption of competitive new services like interactive information delivery. It could also be packaging or advertising. Products have to compete to maintain their position, and roughly what they have to compete with is automated services run by the people who would otherwise be unemployed by the original autamation.

"Same number of employees, serving a larger number of people. No jobs lost," - Well maybe not at your business, but if you're serving more people, they're probably consuming less elsewhere.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 19-Oct-2008 9:29pm  
> I did mention increasing commodity consumption.
> That includes consumption of competitive new services
> like interactive information delivery. It could
> also be packaging or advertising. Products have
> to compete to maintain their position, and roughly
> what they have to compete with is automated services
> run by the people who would otherwise be unemployed
> by the original autamation.
>
> "Same number of employees, serving a larger number
> of people. No jobs lost," - Well maybe not at
> your business, but if you're serving more people,
> they're probably consuming less elsewhere.

That's true, but the office I was imagining was a public agency. Job center, tax office, or something like that.

LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 20-Oct-2008 12:45am  
I've heard of copper toxicity. If that's the case, I'll assume you'll stop cooking with copper. I wish you well.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LindaH) posted 20-Oct-2008 1:56am  
Ah, well imaginary offices aren't causing too many problems in society.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 20-Oct-2008 2:17am  
The imaginary ones are the ones solving all the problems!
Kristal_Rose
(reply to LindaH) posted 20-Oct-2008 2:23am  
Unfortunately that's pretty accurate. I work at one of those imaginary offices.
docgbrown
posted 30-Nov-2008 2:57am  
K-12 remembered
joyce
posted 3-Jan-2009 4:39pm  
good solid education is having good solid Teachers.
FauxLo Survey Central Gold Subscriber
posted 7-Jan-2009 3:11pm  
A good solid education is a wealth of information that prepares a person to succeed at life.
Zang
posted 9-Apr-2014 10:35am  
I'm not sure that I'm even qualified to properly describe it. I think Biggles has one. I wonder what her response was.
Lysannus Survey Qualifier
posted 10-Apr-2014 5:14am  
Life experience is the best educator. You could be the brightest in school and not have a clue about the real world.
FordGuy Survey Central Subscriber Survey Qualifier
posted 10-Apr-2014 7:29am  
Life experience.
FordGuy Survey Central Subscriber Survey Qualifier
(reply to Lysannus) posted 10-Apr-2014 7:29am  
Ha! Great minds think alike!
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
(reply to Lysannus, FordGuy) posted 10-Apr-2014 9:22am  
That's the second time I've seen you 2 do that in a week. I'm thinking you are long lost siblings.  * laughing out loud *
Lysannus Survey Qualifier
(reply to FordGuy, LindaH) posted 11-Apr-2014 5:04am  
What FG said  * smile *
FordGuy Survey Central Subscriber Survey Qualifier
(reply to LindaH) posted 11-Apr-2014 7:31am  
Or our souls knew each other in a past life...
FordGuy Survey Central Subscriber Survey Qualifier
(reply to Lysannus) posted 11-Apr-2014 7:32am  
That's how I'll answer surveys from now on, WLS.
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