Locke, Column Right, Purpose and Aplysia Purpose and Aplysia Purpose and Aplysia

[From Rick Marken (970728.0900 PCT)]

Tom Bourbon (by way of Dag Forssell) (270797.13:19) --

Conflicts with PCT? Oh, Rick, I think you missed the point!
Professor Doctor Locke satirized the oh-so-political movement
in American education that teaches very young children to
"defy any authority figures" who are on the hit list of the
politically incorrect.

I did understand Locke's point about education. I guess I just
don't find education satire very funny when it's delivered
by someone who seems so poorly educated himself;-).

(A truly funny satirist and competent academic , Tom Leherer,
recently said that it is probably no longer possible to produce
funny satire. He thinks the ability to do satire ended in about
1972, when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize;-))

He was writing about educational programs that use blind,
uninformed (uneducated, fear-driven, ignorant, purely emotional)
defiance of (selected, approved for defiance) authority figures
as a device for reconstructing the society. It's a big political
game, Rick

I presume (since Locke's satire appeared in a Column Right) that
the political game Locke satirizes has been aimed at reconstructing
society along liberal lines. If so, this political game has been a
rather overwhelming failure. The result is a US society that is so
far to the right that President Clinton, who is politically slightly to
the right of Ike Eisenhower, is considered by a large segment of
the population to be a dangerous, far-out liberal.

I think that the reactionary right has been so successful at
shaping the US agenda that "liberals" like me don't have any
causes left. All my favorite liberal causes (strongly progressive
taxation, government work programs, national health care, strict
gun control, drug legalization) are not even a remote possibility
any longer. The only causes that we liberals are left with are
the ones I don't want -- affirmative action, ACLU "rights" crap,
and brain dead cultural relativism. Maybe the teachers who are
teaching the stuff that Locke rightly abhors are just liberals
with nothing to do because the Right broke all their toys;-)

Rick, do you think that children "educated" in schools like
those will mount the reasoned assault on modern behavioral
science that you and I yearn for?

Who knows? But I do know that we're not getting any help from
the children (now ostensibly adults) who were educated in the
schools of the "good old days". Maybe we will get more help from
the children educated by deconstructionists (or whatever they are

Nasty old teachers! Can you believe they want students to learn
that, in the number system under study, 2+2 = 4, and 3 * 5 = 15!

I didn't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with teachers
having these references. My point (as you know) was that Locke
showed no evidence of understanding that kids can only learn to
control their own perceptions relative to their own references
for those perceptions. This kind of understanding doesn't mean
that teachers should teach that kids that they can have whatever
references they like if they want to solve math problems; it
suggests a different approach to teaching kids how to control for
solving math problems.

I do not believe such an approach to education [the kind Locke
doesn't like] will produce the generation of skeptics that you
and I desire, Rick. I do believe it will produce the political
ends that its originators desire.

What are the political ends that its originators desire? If they
are "liberal" political ends then Locke can relax; this approach
to education hasn't come close to producing these ends.




Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net