Question leads to better question
Thinking about modern universally wrong experts. Was it always that way? I've made a habit
of asserting that experts were better before the Cultural Revolution in 1968. It's not
a good generalization.
In economics and climatology and physics, 1956 experts were right and 2016 experts are lethally wrong. In many areas of biology and medicine, 1956 experts were wrong and 2016 experts are right.
It's a mixed bag. Overall 1956 experts were less harmful when wrong, because they were more humble, less dictatorial, less firmly connected to government.
Comparing what the experts know
against what schools teach
led to a BIG point, which isn't about experts at all.
The FACTS we learned in the '50s and '60s were mostly wrong. Grammar was totally wrong, history was jumbled and superficial, math (SMSG set theory) was murderously wrong. Some of the experts, the academic grammarians and historians, were a lot better than what we learned in those subjects. Academic mathematicians are all wrong all the time.
BUT: the SKILLS we learned in school were perfectly right. Whenever we interacted with physical reality we learned proper skills and proper facts connected to the skills.
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How did the school curriculum committees miss a chance to screw up half of education? They did a majestic job of fucking up facts, but they let skills slide.
Big Answer: NATURE WON'T LET YOU FUCK UP SKILLS.
= = = = =
When you dissect a frog you can't learn that the heart is a cubical piece of aluminum. Even if the book tries to tell you that, you CAN'T BE FOOLED. You're looking at the actual heart, and you can see it's not an aluminum cube.
When you're learning touch typing, the book may tell you that the top row is MVTNHA&3PZ but you can't be fooled. You can look at the keyboard and see QWERTYUIOP.
In gym class the book may try to tell you that your earlobe is stronger than your arms, but reality won't
let you believe it. You can lift a weight with your arms, and you can't lift a weight with your earlobe. (Well, maybe this wasn't an ideal example.
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This is why we need to preserve PHYSICAL REALITY in schools. Schools are rapidly replacing all physical activities with VR activities. This is DANGEROUS because the experts and curriculum committees are FREE TO FUCK AROUND with software frogs. They can't rebuild actual dead frogs to suit Official Doctrine.
Students who get a large dose of physical reality are harder to fool.
Students who get nothing but book learning are ideal tools for tyrants.
You can use software for initial experimentation, especially in areas where mistakes could hurt actual people. But at some point you need to get physical and stay physical.
It's like the gold standard. Checks and Paypal are convenient, but unless you pin them down to PHYSICAL REALITY, the experts are perfectly free to cheat you and enrich the Chosen.
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Sidenote for clarity: There's always an argument about using computers for note-taking and research in the classroom. Seems to be settling
toward a negative answer. The negative answer makes sense: Paper and pencil are better for memorization than typing on a laptop. But that's not the point I'm making.
Reiterating: Any indirect representation by authors or publishers or teachers or boards of education, whether it's a book or a blackboard or software, is worse than getting your hands on THE REAL THING. Reality cannot misrepresent reality.
Carver as usual. Look about you. Take hold of the things that are here. Let them talk to you. Talk to them.
The things that are here,
not the things that some author wrote.
Labels: Carver, Danbo, Experiential education, skill-estate