RE: virus: Public education vs. freedom

Richard Brodie (
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 21:18:14 -0700

On Sunday, October 12, 1997 5:06 PM, Nathaniel Hall
[] wrote:
> The point of the story is that public schools operate at the level of
> the least common denominator. If one is bright intelligent and promising
it usually ends up crushing one's
> sense of curiosity about the world because you are consistently held back
to the level of whoever the dumbest
> kid is.

You say that as if it were a fact. You and I both went to public school,
yet neither of us seems to have "crushed curiosity." Do you have any
objective scientific studies to support this assertion? If not, how can
making an unsupported statement like that fit in with your philosophy?

> I got used to doing hardly any work to get my grades, it was too easy and
too boring. I did manage to
> keep my sense of curiosity about the world but I believe it severely
crippled my drive.

Why do you believe that? Seriously, what are the roots of that belief?

> This list does a good
> good of keeping you on your toes and the challenges I've faced in life
are helping to repair that drive, but
> once your mind in set in it's ways it is a very difficult thing to undo.
Much easier to wire a house before the
> walls are put in than afterwards: The mind is no different, and I find
myself having to rip up and unlearn all
> the junk and bad habits that the public schools have poisoned me with.

Bah. Pop psychology. You have no idea. Everybody has to rip up and unlearn
all their junk. You are not special in that way.

> No so with the marketplace. The
> Internet is a prime example of the beauty of the market. No government
organization ever planned on it becoming
> what it has become.

You mean an insecure, overburdened, government-subsidized means for the
elite to waste time? Or a powerful new medium for the hypnosis and
enslavement of the masses?

> The possibilities for education are tremendous! Students don't even have
to be in the same
> country to be in the same "class" for training! If the market were
allowed to function at this point who knows
> how far education could go!

It's great! McDonalds, Coke, and Nike could compete for the meager dollars
of the poor to teach their kids exactly what would best serve those
companies. They could teach them that it's great to work for low wages, buy
the most popular brands -- the possibilities are endless! And just think
what the Televangelists could accomplish if their massive endowments
allowed them to take over the Internet free-market schools!

> Can you think of anything the government does and does well?

National defense. Interstate highways. Air traffic. Safety.

> You make my case for me. By sending your kids to a state school you will
get them indoctrinated with state
> values. Their YOUR kids and YOU should have the chance to teach them in
the way YOU think is right.

Yeah, but I don't want the unwashed masses teaching their kids THEIR
values! Once again, you are failing to realize that most people don't have
a powerful, consciously chosen Level-2 philosophy to teach their kids.

Richard Brodie
Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
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