Institutions will come to exist for themselves

One of the things that have been at the forefront of my thinking lately is the tendency of an institution to exist for its own sake given time.

The next few months are really going to demonstrate my point. We are about to find out that the top levels of the FBI decided they knew what was best for the country and used their power to try and make things come out the way they wanted.

I am betting other agencies will begin to fall in the next few weeks as well. We all know the manager at work who has created his own little fiefdom. This is exactly what we are about to find out some leaders of our most trusted and powerful government agencies have done., They have decided our system can’t make it without their interference.

It’s frightening and it makes you see red, but it will be fun to watch. This is all going to come to light because we finally got someone from outside of Washington in the Whitehouse.

Extremism: the most destructive “ism”

Humanity seems to have lost the ability to compromise or even discuss. Extremism has taken over every conversation.

I think this is very apparent in the discussions surrounding recent school shootings. We aren’t talking about solutions to the problem. The solutions seem to have been determined for us. Students, as well-intentioned as they may be,   are not demonstrating for school safety, they are demonstrating for gun control. This approach does not allow for investigation and discussion.

I have recently seen this in some of my friends who are active in the animal rights arena. Again, I believe they are well-intentioned but misdirected.   Due to extreme solutions, my grandchildren will never see a circus. There really was no discussion around how we might preserve an art form and protect animals and ensure humane treatment. The only solution on the table was that the circus must end.

We are about to lose Sea World due to this same extremist, no compromise attitude. Oddly, when extremism succeeds in closing down this attraction, marine mammals will lose one of their greatest benefactors.

As a people, we must find ways to return to the table and discuss solutions to the problems facing our world. We must prevent extremism from controlling every dialog.

Why are conservatives of color devalued?

Racism, in all of its ugly shades, seems to be getting worse on a global scale. We have to face the fact that racism has been with us through all time and will never go away completely. It takes many forms.

The subject has really been on my mind lately because of some reactions I have seen from some folks of color to Dr. Ben Carson. Some are so extremely negative and senseless. I saw the same thing with Dr. Condaleeza Rice. You see it with Herman Cain and others.  what is up with that?

As soon as a person of color shows the least glimmer of conservatism, they become lower than the lowest in some eyes. I so admire Dr. Carson and it just hurts my heart to see some of the comments about him. This is a man who should be a role model for our children.

He started in the projects and made his way to the pinnacle of the medical profession and went on to be a legitimate candidate for president. He is a brilliant human being whether I agree with him on every point or not. I would love to have a beer with him.

We really need to de-emphasize “pop culture” in our society so that those who contribute in meaningful ways are recognized as “role models” rather than rappers, movie stars, and athletes.

We are finally ready to roll

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. There was, unfortunately, a security issue with the site. I finally got that resolved so we are good to go. It’s not like there haven’t been plenty of things to blog about.

I have so many posts backlogged in my mind. I promise to start getting some of them posted tomorrow. Thanks for hanging in there. Don’t forget, you can be a contributor too. Within the confines of the rules, express yourself.

Can Education Keep Up?

Einstein
Albert Einstein

I have been binge-watching the series “Genius” about Albert Einstein. We all know he was a genius, but I think the education system of his time failed to recognize his genius. The educational system of the time, as ours are now, were ivory towers that existed for the professors rather than the students.

Education systems don’t have room for true genius. True genius often conflicts with the norm and with accepted belief and accepted methodology. It often conflicts with what teachers and professors are teaching and what they have been taught to be true.

This has been true for so many of our deeper thinkers throughout history. When Pythagoras was among the first to postulate the world was round, he faced an array of opposition from the educators of his time. There are many, many examples.

We are at a point in time where man’s knowledge is believed to double every twelve years by some and every five years by others. In certain areas like technology, I think the shorter period may be correct.  I even read one article that stated knowledge doubles every twelve months. Regardless of which number you accept, it is still very fast when all of history is taken into account. This creates a problem for institutions like universities and schools. They simply can’t keep up.

We obviously can’t cram all of human knowledge into kids heads in twelve or sixteen years of school, nor should we try. However, due to this knowledge expansion, I do think it is necessary and it is way past time to re-evaluate how we educate and the material we choose.

We are at the point in technology where the individualized curriculum is very possible.  We no longer need to present the same things to everyone in a class.  That cookie cutter is obsolete.

We need to define basic skill sets that all students need to survive. Those would, of course, include reading and writing and the math needed for everyday life. I think technology has brought us beyond the need to give students a smattering of everything. We are all exposed to a wide variety of knowledge on a daily basis. I think our younger learners develop interests at a much younger age.

We need to allow our students to explore those interests a much younger age. We need to allow the students to drive their education more. That was not possible until recently and we need to truly take advantage of technology.

We simply need, at this time with the technology available us, to step back and do a complete rethink on how we educate and the methodologies of education. This rethink must include input from those outside the ivory towers. As a matter of fact, they should be allowed to drive.

Wow! I have a blog!

Never really thought I would have a blog. I mean bloggers share recipes and review entertainment and stuff. This blog has nothing to do with any of those things. This blog is a place for intelligent discussion.

I have witnessed the de-evolution of social media ( a rant for another day). I love social media because it allows me to keep in touch with folks I would not be able to keep in touch with otherwise because I simply would not have the time.  However, social media has become a cesspool of misinformation.  It is not a place for intelligent discussion. I hope to partially fill that gap.

Most who know me would likely expect I would present some type of political blog. While you are certainly free to share your thoughts on political issues or anything else you like, my main focus will be on philosophy. Intelligent discussion on any subject is acceptable and encouraged.  I will be creating categories so members can focus on topics that interest them.

For purposes of keeping the site focused on it’s intended goal and to keep out those who have ruined social media, you must register and, yes, there are rules if you want to stay registered.

Rules:

  1. Respect – You must respect your fellow contributors. No name calling. You may disagree with anyone at any time. However, you must do so in a respectful fashion. You must do so in a fashion that shows you at least considered the views of others before commenting.
  2. Validation –  You may certainly post links to articles and information. That activity is encouraged. However, unlike social media, you are required to accompany the link with your own thoughts. Certainly enough of your own thoughts to show you actually read what you are linking to. The information you are linking to may not be caustic. It must be something we can all discuss as the spirit moves us.
  3. My Blog My Rules – I sincerely hope that the two rules above are all that is ever necessary to fulfill the mission of this blog. However, it is mine, mine, mine and I can add or change the rules as I deem necessary.

I sincerely hope this blog becomes a place where all can feel comfortable sharing ideas and thoughts. Discussion is important.  Only through intelligent discussion and the sharing of ideas can we solve any of the challenges that face our fragile world.