virus: The tyranny of the mundane

Nathaniel Hall (
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 23:15:54 -0600


Brett Lane Robertson 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..  (Nate)


Academics is structured like a hierarchy.  First you learn 1,2,3's then
A,B,C's...first grade, second grade, college.  I'm disagreeing with the
observation that public schools work on the principle of
least-common-denominator.  I agree that EVERY institution (from family, to
community, to, work, school, etc.) has a tendency to
average itself so that the mean level of performance becomes the norm...that
all who deviate from the mean are encouraged not to...and I wouldn't have
mentioned my objection except that this distinction has figured in
prominently in my own metaphysical system*; still, compared to "work" for
example which is definitely geared toward a group mentality and which is
*strongly* biased toward being average school (and public schools, too) are
more that I mean they favor independent thinking and
individual advancement--the knowledge is ordered for advancement and is
provided to everyone for individual mastery.

O.K. I'll meet you halfway.Your right:  Schools do cater to the average.  The average is still a drag for the above average and school was certainly a drag on me. The rest of my argument still follows. (I know because it happened to ME)

I also think that a bright person can hardly  exist in a social system
without feeling  the pressures to become average--and this is socialization.
Further, I think that all people are born with the ability to excell to the
top of the chart...and the only impediment is the degree to which they buy
into socialization.  Which is almost biblical in that while the individual
"Moses" type might climb the mountain, the people who buy into sex and money
and power and the other social rewards for not excelling stay down at the
bottom of the mountain fighting over the golden calf and waiting for someone
else to tell them what to do.   Alas, I fear that no one can excell for long
without being brought down to the central position by the
masses...cruicified if you will to the central or average position right at
point 0,0 on an X,Y, grid.

I shall continue to fight for that man who wants to climb that mountain. He may be climbing  only for himself but he ends up taking me with him!

But, I don't think that it is the public school's fault if a "nasty" student
tends to fall into the mean (intentional pun).  Oops, I've been enjoying
Nate's sense of humor again...I am worried if I will hurt his feelings with
this post.

The evil , bad , nasty , stay on your side of the room , freaking , way out there , Prince of Darkness , Nateman finds it hard to believe that your post could hurt his feelings! But it's still nice to know that you care.  ;)
I really, really, really, think that he is a better person than
he gives himself credit for!  Still, Nate, my advice is not to play the part
of a martyr or the group might choose to make you into a scapegoat.


I can do no less. It is in my nature.The Nateman.