Adam Bessie writes, "...Our imploded economy ... has led to a sudden, well-publicized "crisis in education," one which – of course! – has nothing to do with the imploded economy, and everything to do with poor performing teachers, and inefficient, poorly run schools, a refrain popularized by the documentary Waiting for Superman, promoted by billionaires Bill Gates and Oprah, and one that has made a star of former Washington D.C. superintendent Michelle Rhee. Fixing the “educational crisis” is also the policy that underlies Obama’s Race to the Top, a policy that places faith in the free-market – yes, the same free-market that imploded the economy – to fix education, and to make sure that we beat those dastardly commies in the classroom, and thus, the global economy. That, and of course, we can regain our honor by besting those bothersome, socialist Finns, who outperformed us, and don’t even believe in competition in education!
An important cause of our "educational crisis," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan points out in a speech before American Enterprise Institute, a powerful neo-conservative think-tank, is inefficiency. In “"Bang for the Buck in Schooling," Duncan pushed superintendents to look to their inner CEOs for ways to cut all that fiscal waste, and to "make tough decisions that will pay off long term, including rethinking teacher compensation and class size and integrating technology into school systems."
Here is a modest proposal for America, one that will help our educational system become far more efficient, one that will help us get considerably more "bang for our buck" out of public education by integrating technology and thus dramatically reducing wasteful overhead: holograms.
Yes, to win the Race to the Top, we should fire human teachers, and hire holograms.
Think this is mere science fiction? In Japan today (who also beat us on the PISA), Hatsune Miku is the first holographic star, playing to sold-out audiences...Read it all
Note: Technocrats, like Dr. Frankenstein of old, consider their every technological toy "progress," regardless of the consequences for real human beings, real jobs, the impact on real, normal socialization, psychology, spirituality and the environment. The greed of the few is all that matters. But Dr. Frankenstein's "achievement" in the end turned on the "scientist" himself and on the whole village. There is a life-saving lesson there if we have ears to hear. Wisdom asks not can it be done, but should it be done. We will all answer to God and to history for how we answer that.
A Still, Small Voice
Joseph Pearce, The Distributist Review
A third of a century ago, E. F. Schumacher rang out a timely warning to the modern world in his book, Small Is Beautiful. Since then, millions of copies have been sold in many different languages. Few books before or since have had such a profound influence on the way the world perceives itself. Schumacher, a highly respected economist and adviser to third world governments, broke ranks with the accepted wisdom of his peers to warn of impending calamity if rampant consumerism and economic expansionism were not checked by human and environmental considerations. Like a latter-day prophet, he asserted that humanity was lurching blindly in the wrong direction, that the pursuit of wealth could not ultimately lead to happiness or fulfillment, that the pillaging of finite resources and the pollution of the planet were threatening global ecological collapse, and that a renewal of moral and spiritual perception was essential if disaster was to be avoided.
Schumacher’s greatest achievement was the fusion of ancient wisdom and modern economics in a language that encapsulated contemporary doubts and fears about the industrialized world. His words resonated with echoes of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount or the teachings of Buddha but always in terms that emphasized their enduring relevance...Read it all
--->The End of His Story? Francis Fukuyama Reflects on Plutocracy. "Democrats drank the Kool-Aid of market fundamentalism during the 1990s and in so doing reflected larger intellectual trends...here is the evidence for an American plutocracy of a narrow and discrete but hardly harmless sort....Reagan...Clinton... The benefits of the Bush-era cuts flowed overwhelmingly to the wealthy, and yet were promoted on the grounds that lower rates would redound to everyone’s benefit. This is still a gospel that many people continue to believe, including, oddly enough, all too many of those left behind...More
The financial crisis of 2008–09 has only deepened the mystery.
--->The Disposable Academic. Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time. "In some countries, such as Britain and America, poor pay and job prospects are reflected in the number of foreign-born PhD students. Dr Freeman estimates that in 1966 only 23% of science and engineering PhDs in America were awarded to students born outside the country. By 2006 that proportion had increased to 48%. Foreign students tend to tolerate poorer working conditions, and the supply of cheap, brilliant, foreign labour also keeps wages down...Read on
Note: For many it will be wiser to learn craftsmanship of all kinds, anything that is good and can be sold. A doctorate is nice, but add 100k or more in debt to that diploma, before you even find your first low-paying job, and disaster loometh...
--->Proposed Superbowl Ad Targets Eucharist... Campaign requesting its withdrawal here...
--->Paul Craig Roberts: The America of JFK Has Gone Away...
--->China preparing for armed conflict 'in every direction' (click)... "We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away," Mr Liang added. Note: Let's pray world war happens never again and that it is especially never used as that old goat Malthus suggested, to cull the "overpopulated" masses for the thieves. In any case,
--->Like St. Francis, Fight War and Conscription...
--->Putin's Payback Condemned by the West. Khodorkovsky's lawyer appeals his new sentence...
Directives from the Top in education, being mostly mad, can be ignored. Think local, Act local is age-old wisdom. Centralized technology will not save us but it may enslave us more and more, especially since its first principles and premises are mostly wrong and often looney...The uppermost of the toppermost once had brains but now are toast.