Category Archives: culture & value

Pressing Onward

Forgetting is no mere force of inertia as the superficial imagine; it is rather an active and in the strictest sense positive faculty of repression that is responsible for the fact that what we experience and absorb enters our consciousness little while we are digesting it (one might call the process “impsychation”) as does the thousandfold process involved in physical nourishment–so-called incorporation. To close the doors and windows of consciousness for a time; to remain undisturbed by the noise and struggle of our underworld…; a little quietness, a little tabula rasa of the consciousness to make room for new things… that is the purpose of active forgetfulness, which is like a doorkeeper, a preserver of psychic order, repose, and etiquette; so that it will be immediately obvious how there could be no happiness, nor cheerfulness, no hope, no pride, no present without forgetfulness

–Friedrich Nietzsche, 1887

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

–Apostle Paul, First Century

Or maybe the classification system is just more caste guesswork

Kids, who are gifted with one talent or the other, are just as likely to fail in life as succeed, revealed a new study.

As part of one of the most extensive studies carried out, research found that out of 210 gifted children, only 3% were found to fulfil their early promise.

Professor Joan Freeman, said that of 210 children in her study, “maybe only half a dozen might have been what we might consider conventionally successful.”

via Gifted kids as prone to failure as to success – Lifestyle – DNA.

The whole rest of the article is nothing but anecdotes and speculation. The firm data is that the classification given to a child in the education system is worthless for the purposes of knowing anything about your child’s future.

How many children are classified at the other end and fail throughout life because they are led to think that they will?

Again: take the red pill.

As the education bubble nears explosion: “We will keep our caste system airtight.”

Phillip L. Clay, M.I.T.’s chancellor, said in an interview that a college degree was probably not required for Ms. Jones’s entry-level job in the admissions office when she arrived in 1979. And by the time she was appointed admissions dean in 1997, Professor Clay said, she had already been in the admissions office for many years, and apparently little effort was made to check what she had earlier presented as her credentials.

“In the future,” he said, “we will take a big lesson from this experience.”

via Dean at M.I.T. Resigns, Ending a 28-Year Lie – New York Times.

According to Wikipedia:

Marilee Jones (born June 12, 1951) is a former dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the co-author of the popular guide to the college admission process Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2006).[1] The book received critical acclaim and Jones was featured on CBS, National Public Radio, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,[2] and The Boston Globe.[3] Jones resigned from her position in 2007 when it became known she had fabricated her academic degrees from Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on a job application in 1979 and she had added a fabricated degree to her resume from Albany Medical College sometime “after she was hired.”[4] The Times characterized Jones’s earlier prestige as “the guru of the movement to tame the college-admissions frenzy.”[5] The Boston Globe called her “the most celebrated and outspoken admissions dean in America.”[6]

In 2001, Jones received MIT’s Excellence Award for Leading Change, which recognized Jones’s leadership as dean of admissions. An excerpt from the presentation reads:

Because of Marilee’s leadership and passion, the message of: “science in the service of mankind,” now resonates among generations of students. She helps students understand that they have a responsibility as members of society, to utilize their skills and talents to make a difference in the world. Marilee has also been visionary in her approach towards admissions strategies and processes, incorporating faculty and alumni perspectives, and the concerns and interests of prospective students and their parents.[24]

Jones also received MIT’s Gordon Y. Billard Award “for special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute”[25] in 2006.

The NY Times piece also reports:

Rachel Ellman, who studies aerospace engineering, said, “I feel like she’s irreplaceable.”

Ms. Jones had received the institute’s highest honor for administrators, the M.I.T. Excellence Award for Leading Change, and many college admissions officers and high school college counselors said yesterday that whatever her personal shortcomings, her efforts deserved respect.

“She’s been working and presenting a lot of important ideas about our business,” said Rod Skinner, director of college counseling at Milton Academy, the Massachusetts prep school. “What I’m hoping is that the quality of the research and the book will hold up.”

Ms. Jones was hired by the admissions office in 1979 to recruit young women, who at the time made up only 17 percent of the institute’s undergraduates, compared with nearly half today.

Since she entered the field, admissions to M.I.T. and other elite institutions have become increasingly competitive, and she made her mark with her efforts to turn down the flame of competition.

But don’t worry the educational establishment is dealing carefully with the important lessons learned here:

Jones’ case demonstrates flaws in the hiring and promotion systems currently in place at MIT. It may be unreasonable to expect the Institute to thoroughly check the background of all new employees at all levels. But it is the Institute’s responsibility to find a practical solution so that this kind of situation does not arise again.

Right. We can’t let people know our academic requirements are nothing but union gates to artificially lift up our prestige and pay scales. We can’t let people know that our education system is just another caste prison that exists for the sake of those who are presently in power.

Take the red pill, people.

What kind of society will be able to help those in need?

I’m not capable of listing every quality of such a society. But I do know one prerequisite:

Each individual must, all things being equal, believe it is a duty, privilege, and/or virtue to produce more than he/she consumes.

Is there any chance at all that such a society can continue to exist under the rule of a welfare state?  When politicians forcefully take from some and give to others (in the hopes of their continued support in voting and propaganda) what kind of society is formed?

Not the kind that will actually support the needy.

An example of why Stephen King is brilliant

Their faces were different in all ways but similar in one: They looked oddly incomplete, like pictures with holes for eyes or a jigsaw puzzle with a minor piece missing. it was the lack of desperation, Richards thought. No wolves howled in these bellies. These minds were not filled with rotted, crazed dreams or mad hopes.

These people were on the right side of the road, the side that faced the combination marina and country club they were just passing.

On the other side, the left, were the poor people. Red noses with burst veins. Flattened, sagging breasts. Stringy hair. White socks. Cold sores. Pimples. The blank and hanging mouths of idiocy…

Here on the right, folks, we have the summer people, Richards thought. Fat and sloppy but heavy with armor [i.e. police protection]. On the left, weighing in at only a hundred and thirty–but a scrappy contender with a mean and rolling eyeball–we have the Hungry Honkies. Theirs are the politics of starvation; they’d roll Christ himself for a pound of salami. Polarization comes to West Sticksville. Watch out for these two contenders, though. They don’t stay in the ring; they have a tendency to fight in the ten-dollar seats. Can we find a goat to hang up for both of them?

Slowly, rolling at thirty, Ben Richards passed between them.

Stephen King, originally writing as Richard Bachman, The Running Man, pages 223 & 224 (bold added).

Rene Girard is all over that book.

For more see:

Mark Horne » Blog Archive » Run, Freeman, Run.

Why do people think we have juries anyway?

When we were all in the jury pool, we were shown a rah rah for juries video that highlighted the importance of juries in the history of our legal system. Hooray for juries, backbone of our freedoms, and so on. They pointed out how important juries were in the run up to the American War for Independence, which was quite true. But they didn’t say how or why juries were so important back then. Let me tell you that. That reason was because American juries refused to convict smugglers in the conviction that the laws against smuggling were unjust and stupid.

Then, after we potential jurors were given this inspirational snippet of non-information, we were all given a charge that we on the jury had to do absolutely everything the judge told us to do, no exceptions. We were not allowed to do what had been done back in the day when American juries were giving fits to the royal governors.

So our modern system said to us that we should be inspired by our forebears, but under no account were we to imitate them.

Read the rest: Miscreants, Scamps, Poltroons and Punks.

The education monopoly & the ruling class

Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters — speaking the “in” language — serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America’s ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.

via The American Spectator : America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution.