Liberty, Fraternity, Pre-School?

povkids Big business marketing makes education its natural twin topic. That’s partly because BBM receives twice the budget of all U.S. schools combined, and also because, as the #1 devourer of the mental energies of the citizenry, it is also the #1 enemy of teachers.

Nonetheless, education is itself a major false answer to the massively harmful core purpose and product of corporate capitalism: the radical maldistribution of wealth and power.

Consider the latest findings about how that maldistribution affects human lives. According to today’s New York Times:

Nearly two decades ago, a landmark study found that by age 3, the children of wealthier professionals have heard words millions more times than those of less educated parents, giving them a distinct advantage in school and suggesting the need for increased investment in prekindergarten programs. Now a follow-up study has found a language gap as early as 18 months, heightening the policy debate.

Of course, the obvious answer to this structural unfairness is the radical redistribution of economic power.

Ah, but efficient and obvious solutions are forbidden in this market totalitarian society, aren’t they?

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Michael DawsonMarla SingerHigh ArkaMartinMarla Singer Recent comment authors

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Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Michael, this speaks directly to a recent fit of rage of mine, which concluded with me losing two friends – an above average learned and earning liberal suburban couple. I was baffled and enraged (did I say enraged? rage) by their smug insistence that “education is the answer” (to the problems of the poor in particular and society in general). Of course, if education was actually doing its job, one would think that the smugly educated would not fail to understand that this idle argument serves no purpose other than to justify their own comfortable position. You see, if only… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

You have to read this:

https://medium.com/weird-future/d19c8db85c2

It is a grotesque illustration of the cluelesness and the failure of pinning the problems of the poor on the lack of education, rather than on systemic factors.

Basically this startup guy got some publicity with his project to teach the homeless how to code (so then they too, can have good jobs). The project quickly comes to an abrupt end, when his protege is arrested for loitering and his laptop is confiscated. Hilarity ensues. The best/worst part? The white savior whines: “I just don’t understand.”.

Martin
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Martin

Excellent reprotage, as usual, from Marla on the front lines. If education is any kind of “answer,” why has the nubmer of degree and money expended risen high exponentially (10 to the third) since 1980 while every social problem has also risen in lockstep?
Martin Luther King may have been a “socialist” in word, but, remember, so was David Horowitz in 1969, so was every other college professor, so were the rockstars and the drug addicts – King was killed before he could turn into the dulled apostate that he would have become, assuredly, as an anti-rock religious pontificator.

Martin
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Martin

Nobody sold out in 1965 – but then where are they now? Steinem in the sack with Kissinger, John Kerry now the voice of the imperial military, Chavez’s legacy in tatters, the New Left now the new Right, hipster ad fascists the successor of the Yippies – and King’s name on every urban war zone battlefield in the US where the movement goes up in neo-neo-slavery flames. The SCLC is now the voice of anti-gay Southern religiosity – how would King have not become the male C. Deloros Tucker?

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

It often gets even worse than just tacitly endorsing the inequalities – i’ve seen several recent studies – approvingly quoted both in the media and in social situations showing that the poor have much worse decision making and cognitive abilities, their mental ‘bandwidth’ being taxed/crowded by poverty-induced stress. Fair enough. I wonder though – who and why would want to do such studies? Isn’t the fact that it is more difficult to think straight something that my grandma could tell me? Oh, the poor poor – they’re so poor, they can’t even think straight. Let me do the deciding for… Read more »

High Arka
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As to King, I trust the security state’s analysis of the situation: by having him murdered along with peerage-refusing Lennon and silver-certificate-granting Kennedy, they indicated that they felt King was a real threat.

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

*”more difficult to think straight when you are stressed”, that is
don’t know why i’m skipping so much words lately

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Michael, I would agree that in general it is valuable, but there can be huge difference in its impacts depending on how it is framed. Consider the last Charles Murray book (“Coming apart…”) which dealt with class allright, except it provides nothing more than the centuries old rationalization of how the poor are poor because of their own characterological and cultural deficiencies. Other than that, it is practically scandalous that just talking about class is almost risque and cutting edge. I don’t remember who was the sociologist who quipped that “oh well, it turns out there is only one independent… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Yeezus, file under “This is an actual title” (empty commentary on the previous story I posted).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-blake/can-moocs-cure-homelessne_b_4117990.html

“Can MOOCs cure homelessness?”

(how come nobody is asking if they can cure cluelessness?)