The God of the Machine - Tranche 47

Posted by mshupe 5 months ago to Government
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Chapter XXI, Excerpt 2 of 2
Our Japanized Educational System

There can be no greater stretch of arbitrary power than to seize children from their parents, teach them whatever the authorities decree they shall be taught, and expropriate from parents the funds to pay for the procedure. The intrinsic nature of the power was so little realized that this was called “free education,” the most absolute contradiction of facts by which language is capable. A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.

The famous Scopes “monkey trial” in Tennessee was discussed with equal heat and ignorance on both sides. They were not concerned with freedom of thought, speech, or person . . . no conception of personal rights. In short, they did not question political control of education; they only wanted to use it for themselves. Education in civilization . . . is possible only to a frame of mind in which knowledge is pursued voluntarily. The useful knowledge the average person possesses is acquired out of school.

The desire to learn and to impart knowledge are so universal that they can be restrained only by legal penalties. The most vindictive resentment may be expected from the pedagogic profession . . . should they be dislodged from their dictatorial position. The Germans are notably literate, and their technology enabled them to build a war machine which must destroy them. A prominent geologist was struck by the fact that only Americans find oil. “Where oil really is, in the final analysis, is in our own heads.”


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  • Posted by term2 5 months ago
    "the useful knowledge the average person possesses is acquired out of school."

    Boy is that true. You learn what YOU want to learn and WHEN you are interested or feel a need for the information.

    There shouldnt call them "teachers", since very little is crammed down the throat of the students. All another person can do to help in the acquisition of knowledge is to find out what the student wants to learn right then, and show him or her how to acquire the knowledge.

    For example, when I need a quick general answer I used to go to Wikipedia, but NOW I go to chatGTP and get instant answers. They say that you don't have to know anything- just need to know where to find it *google and chatGTP"
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    • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
      Much of that is because public education has ceased teaching that which is useful and converted it into teaching ideology. The rest is simply because the teachers don't help the students first learn WHY any given topic is germane to their further existence in society.

      Read a book a couple of years ago which nailed it on the head. It was something about why public education is teaching English wrong but it applies to other topics as well. What the author pointed out was that unless on relates the material to the students through association, context, and application that they will be turned off by the material even before one begins. You don't find too many (outside aspiring thespians) who view Shakespeare with anything but dread and revulsion. I was certainly in that boat. But then I started getting courses on specific Shakespeare plays which spent the first lecture not on the play, but on the backstory: why the play was written, what was going on in society at the time the play was written, etc. Suddenly a bunch of the tumblers fell into place and the play became not just interesting, but the work of art it truly was.
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      • Posted by $ jdg 5 months ago
        Education, even when it was directed by parents, necessarily includes some ideology; but then, the postulates of math and science are ideology, too. They have been tested and make sense.

        I recommend this course, which delves into the distortions that the progressive movement has introduced into education in the US.
        https://online.hillsdale.edu/courses/...
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        • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
          Excellent course, I agree. Hillsdale puts out quality content and most is free to the public.

          Their K-12 curriculum is pretty awesome as well. They offer it for a reduced rate to home schoolers like me.
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        • Posted by 5 months ago
          Sure, and ideology is very good when the ideology is founded on reality and reason. In other words, the primacy of existence, the tools of logic, the ethics of individualism, and the socioeconomic structure of capitalism. Ideology is not good or bad, in fact it is essential, but must be in the context of human life on planet Earth.
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      • Posted by term2 5 months ago
        I agree about the schools not encouraging students to learn. They are too concerned with "teaching", meaning cramming what they want to teach down the throats of unwilling students. I would vote for ceasing all public education, returning all the property tax money to the parents, and letting THEM find a school that they think will help their children.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
          I'm not against public schools per se. I am against federal control of any kind over public schools. I am also in favor of requiring that School Board members actually have kids enrolled at the schools to put some skin in the game.
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          • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 months ago
            I don't think that State control over education is all right, as long as it's not Federal control. That kind of notion could have been used to justify plantation slavery. Also, someone's not having any children might be an interesting point to raise in a campaign in a school board election, but it would not be right to use the law to discriminate in that way against unmarried or childless people.
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            • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
              Please clarify. I'm not seeing how one gets from public education to plantation slavery. In US history it was quite the opposite: public education in the Northern States prior to the Civil War far outstripped education in the South even among free whites. And the economic prosperity of the North as a result far outstripped the South.

              "it would not be right to use the law to discriminate in that way against unmarried or childless people."

              Sorry, but the biggest busybodies and usurpers of parental rights are non-coincidentally those without children. (Look no further than the LGTBQ+ community.) When it comes to selecting school board members I think it is 100% appropriate to restrict eligibility to those who have children who will be affected by the policy actions taken.

              One of my close neighbors was a policy setter for our area and basically turned a blind eye to a policy he had set - until his oldest daughter got caught in the cross-hairs. Suddenly, he understood why the other parents had been soliciting him to change the policy - and change it he did promptly.
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              • Posted by 5 months ago
                If you're not able to make the connection between compulsory government education and slavery, then that merely proves the success of compulsory government education.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Put away your ridiculous notions of self-importance and engage in the conversation. Unless that's too difficult for someone so self-important as you...
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          • Posted by term2 5 months ago
            If taxes are required to fund the schools, government has total control over them in the end. Cant have public taxation and required attendance and have a good school system. Just not going to happen.
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            • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
              I would say that the topic merits a healthy debate on the matter. You have not only the funding and how that works, but the policies (like attendance, etc.) and the operations to deal with. And all of that is irrelevant compared to the biggest issue as identified by researchers: parental involvement. To me, that's the biggest thing that a successful system includes bar none.
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              • Posted by term2 5 months ago
                Ots complicated, but I think the free market has the best chance to make things work. That means no taxation supported mandatory education, totally privately owned schools, and the decisions as to which school a child goes to are made by the parents. I have no children so I don't have a dog in this hunt, but of course I pay taxes to support the current very broken system, which I don't like. Stop taxing me, and I wont really have any interest in this subject.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
                  Some claim - and there is significant support if one looks at pre-Civil War history on the matter - that everyone benefits by having a populace with a base knowledge level. Thus the justification for general taxation to support it. Education certainly is key to finding jobs to keep one from relying on a criminal nature to survive. That is not to say that I accept the current levels of taxation and the profligate waste inherent in the existing system. Only to say that a purely private system will certainly benefit the elites but it has great potential to create a classed system just as in the days of feudalism. I am not quite so fast to jump on the bandwagon of all-private schooling as if that solves all ills.
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                  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 months ago
                    I do not say that it would solve all ills in itself, but public education is a violation of the fundamental rights of man.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
                      Please explain further. I don't see it.
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                      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                        What you don't see are your own contradictions. "Some claim - and there is significant support if one looks at pre-Civil War history on the matter - that everyone benefits by having a populace with a base knowledge level..." Prior to the Civil War, education was non-government controlled, non-union controlled, and non-government funded and yet the populace was broadly educated. How could that have happened? Think!
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                        • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                          I would suggest that you check your premises. One should not mistake Federal government control for State government control. State control of education was in fact plentiful leading up to the Civil War. See the Oxford History of the United States, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. The author details out the education initiatives of the various States - especially Northern ones - to battle illiteracy among their populations and gives hundreds of citations. He goes on to detail literacy rates in the various States as a comparison between the abilities of the two sides to wage contracted war and as a commentary on social policy in the individual States and its direct affect on economy, population, migration and settlement, etc.

                          Actually, I recommend the entire Oxford History series, as it goes into significant detail on all facets of life in the United States in the periods covered. (As a side note, there are five years missing from the series. For some reason, those years cover the formation of the Federal Reserve...)
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                          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                            I will check out McPherson's book. However, I need for you to help me understand "One should not mistake Federal government control for State government control...". Governments are composed of individuals, elected or hired, to fulfill certain tasks or, enumerated powers. Where in the Constitution are the powers conferred to take control of children? what is the difference between Federal and State control?
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                            • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                              Check the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Remember, the US Constitution was meant to constrain the Federal Government and to reserve to that body enumerated powers while all others were retained by the individual State legislatures. Now that in no way means that I condone government indoctrination of children to a particular ideology. And I don't preclude private education opportunities (I myself home school five children). My opinion is that parents should have the right to place their children in any number of educational institutions both public and private. And the reason I home school is because the public system has gone off the rails just like most government has, becoming ideologically attached to ideas which violate not only the spirit of America but of individualism in toto.

                              My concern is that history has shown that if there are no public education options, you get a classed society consisting of the rich who can afford to school their children and the poor who stay poor precisely because they can not obtain the higher learning necessary. Having a publicly-funded option for basic education allows for opportunity where otherwise none would exist. Now that doesn't mean that because I support public education I support the way it is being carried out today. Far from it. My mother-in-law taught kindergarten (in public schools) for years and finally gave up.

                              For a public school to work, here are some necessary ingredients (IMHO):
                              1) Invested parents. Studies continue to show that this is the single biggest factor - by a long ways. How does one encourage parental involvement? I can think of several ways.
                              a) Eliminate mandatory enrollment. Stop trying to force parents to enroll their children or be sent to CPS.
                              b) Reinstitute behavior as a prerequisite to participation. Right now, one disruptive child spoils the learning environment for everyone. Allow schools to kick out children for disruptive behavior permanently. Many parents of disruptive children treat school like daycare, insisting that teachers babysit their children. Eliminate that and force the parents to own up to their own bad parenting.
                              c) Make school boards be run by parents of existing students. Skin in the game. Give them power to fire teachers and administrators (including librarians) who don't adhere to school policies.
                              2) Provide a State Board of Education with the power to advise on standards and materials, but without any coercive power whatsoever. This provides an opportunity to take advantage of standards but still allows individual schools to tinker.
                              3) Provide a State Credentialing Board (separate from the Board of Education) to administer optional certification examinations for aspiring teachers. This was actually the norm back in the 1800's and early 1900's and ensured that teachers knew the material they were expected to teach to students. (Read through one of those exams and see if you could pass them. I tried and even with an MBA I couldn't do it first try.)
                              4) Encourage the creation of trade schools - which the US currently lacks - to supplant (not supplement) higher education. It used to be that only a very limited set of professions came out of universities, namely lawyers, doctors, and accountants. Now a college BA is almost the basic entrance fee for a decent job and this has in turn enriched the universities and given them tremendous indoctrination power. We need to encourage trade schools to flourish to provide the skills many look down on but which are necessary and cater to the varying skills and aptitudes of the work force. I especially include computer-related jobs here (universities are commonly four+ years behind on their technology curriculum).

                              Now, all that being said, I'd appreciate you clarifying a comment made and echoed several times. Please explain "public education is a violation of the fundamental rights of man." I see education as a privilege (not a right) but fail to see how it violates one's rights.
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                  • Posted by term2 5 months ago
                    So partial statism is OK? I think statism is either 100% bad or 100% good. Stealing money from some to give to others is just NOT a good thing, IMHO. Once we start down that road, the current mess is what we get.

                    Maybe as a parent if you cant find ways to educate your children so they can take care of themselves, maybe you shouldn't have them in the first place. Education doesn't have to be in rocket science. Knowing how to trade services with other people is a skill that doesn't take a 4 year college degree. It takes street smarts mostly that can be demonstrated by how a parent acts.
                    I dint learn much at all in grade school really. I heated going to the schools as it seemed like a waste of time. I learned more being t home and watching what other people did in the neighborhood. In school I had to do useless homework and listen to boring "teachers" in order to progress through the grades and be done with having to go to school.
                    Now, we have the internet and youtube. I would be glued to it if I were a kid today and learning all sorts of things. I am substantially glued to it as an adult actually. Now we even have chatGTP for quick answers to all sorts of questions I might have.
                    Lids are intensely interested in learning what they want to know and when they want to know it. We have distributed learning available 24 hours a day for essentially nothing. No need for enforced schooling anmore.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
                      What is the State? It's a group of people and the overarching rules which govern them. I'm not quite so naive as to be an anarchist, believing that no government at all works. It doesn't. (And for a detailed rationale analysis of why, I'd invite you to read my book.) The problem is that government contains few inherent checks on the greedy/immoral.

                      "Maybe as a parent if you cant find ways to educate your children so they can take care of themselves, maybe you shouldn't have them in the first place."

                      When you have some children, you can talk to those of us who do. Your ignorance and accusation are unworthy anyone - let alone a member of the Gulch. I'm currently home-schooling five children and it's no picnic.

                      "Education doesn't have to be in rocket science."

                      Have you ever heard of the concept of specialization? I'd suggest you look into it...

                      "Now we even have chatGTP for quick answers to all sorts of questions I might have."

                      Yes, so we can grow the population of useful idiots. Wonderful. I can tell you all kinds of problems with ChatGPT and other AI - indoctrination being one of the most egregious.
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                      • Posted by 5 months ago
                        The state is collectivized force.
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                        • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
                          And your point is what? All civilizations create agreements between their members and enforce those agreements by "collective" force.
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                          • Posted by 4 months, 4 weeks ago
                            Seriously? My point is that government is force. Three words, subject and predicate, definitive statement of fact, a fundamental concept of all social systems. Do you know where you are? The premise of all legitimate courses titled Civics 101, a prerequisite for admission, is to know that the foundation of civilized societies is for citizens to delegate the use of retaliatory force to independent third parties, aka government. Furthermore, the initiation of force is banned in civilized cultures and retaliatory force is the monopoly of government. Your failure to embrace this fact explains a lot of your debilitating ideas.
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                            • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                              You made a statement and I asked what your point was. And your response is to claim that I'm somehow deficient in reason? You agreed with me yet somehow you look down on me? Get a grip.
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                              • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                                In other words, the principles of logic are to be replaced with your invalid propositions. Keep up the good work! For example, in reality, civilized people create voluntary agreements among themselves. They delegate the adjudication of those agreements to third party representatives known as government. This is what we call a Society of Contract. Clearly, you are ignoring this book and are unable to differentiate and integrate important concepts.
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                                • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                                  What "invalid propositions"? You make a lot of specious statements for which you give no backup other than to issue broad smears against someone who either disagrees with you or is trying to see how you are connecting the dots.

                                  One of the fundamental principles of Objectivism in general is to question the premises of any hypothesis. Which is precisely what I am doing. Any solid hypothesis should be able to withstand even rudimentary scrutiny, and your constant disparagement does nothing to justify your argument. In fact, it does exactly the opposite.

                                  If your ideas really are as "obvious" as you claim, then it shouldn't take you any time at all to re-state them - without the ad hominem. The problem with the "science" of the day is precisely that people resort to personal attacks instead of sticking with the actual hypothesis, observation, and conclusion. If you wish to walk off that cliff...
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                                  • mshupe replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago
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      • Posted by 5 months ago
        To me, the best and the leading authority on teaching literature to young students is Lisa Vandamme. Her academy also teaches math and science quite well, but the example you give makes a ton of sense. The students need to know why. https://centerforindividualism.org/ho...
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        • Posted by 5 months ago
          Yes, eliminate the department of education. Eliminate all federal jurisdiction over schools. Decentralized government is best for anything not having to do with rights. However, compulsory education at any level is government force, and then taxation of the general public for the benefit of the parents of children is a violation of property rights. However, that would be a much better problem to have.
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    • Posted by 5 months ago
      This is a great subtheme of this chapter, and one not expanded as much as it could be. Thanks to an unregulated internet - free and inexpensive online courses, eBooks, and Amazon, it is amazing how much someone can learn about things that matter - economics, history, philosophy, physics, etc.
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      • Posted by term2 5 months ago
        I have learned how to fix my microwave oven, my dishwasher, my car problems, checked to see potential medical issues for me and also my dog and cat- all in the middle of the night even on weekends sometimes. This is a great time to know nothing but learn where to find the info when its needed.
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        • Posted by 5 months ago
          That too, and I believe Wikipedia was founded by an Objectivist. More, better, cheaper - capitalism.
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          • Posted by $ jdg 5 months ago
            Wikipedia was founded by a group, and has been thoroughly taken over by the woke movement. Any topic on Wikipedia that touches on politics is now not only quite biased, but is watched and protected against corrective editing. Wikipedia cannot be recommended as a worthwhile source of information on any topic that wokies might want to distort.

            There have been several attempts to "fix" Wikipedia by forking the project since it is open-source, but the ones I've seen are not current. There's too much biased material there for the fixers to keep up with.
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          • Posted by $ Snezzy 5 months ago
            It was founded by a fellow who claims to be an Objectivist, but who, in my experience with him 20 or 25 years ago, tended to want to build his own philosophy and call it Objectivism. (This is all vaguely remembered.) As Leonard Peikoff famously said, "Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand." He suggests you call yours Gloopism.
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            • Posted by Lucky 5 months ago
              Around the time the original Objectivists left, close or pretend, there was a takeover (financial?) by a CIA controlled intermediary.
              Wikipedia then became what we now have, wide ranging, expert and reliable but on any topic wokists have opinions on- utterly biased.
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  • Posted by 5 months ago
    This sentence is loaded: "Education in civilization . . . is possible only to a frame of mind in which knowledge is pursued voluntarily." Civilization is defined by a Society of Contract - voluntary exchange, mutually beneficial, and education is no exception. The student has a role in this exchange. Outside of school, students benefit most in a world they know to be orderly and intelligible. Public education funding matters not. In school, teachers imparting the wisdom of great literature and math matter most.
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    • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 months ago
      “This sentence is loaded: "Education in civilization . . . is possible only to a frame of mind in which knowledge is pursued voluntarily."

      Yes, and just as a lion cub is eager, by Nature, to learn how to hunt because that is a lion’s way to survive, so to, a human child is eager to learn how to think because that is a human’s way to survive.

      To deliberately crush that child’s propensity to think for himself in his early formative years is unspeakably evil. It has been going on for a long time. This from Elihu Palmer in 1801 "…The strength of human understanding is incalculable, its keenness of discernment would ultimately penetrate into every part of nature, were it permitted to operate with uncontrouled and unqualified freedom. It is because this sublime principle of man has been the object of the most scurrilous, and the most detestable invective from superstition, that his moral existence has been buried in the gulph of ignorance, and his intellectual powers tarnished by the ferocious and impure hand of fanaticism. Although we are made capable of sublime reflections, it has hitherto been deemed a crime to think, and a still greater crime to speak our thoughts after they have been conceived…"

      We should prepare ourselves for a very long struggle.
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      • Posted by 5 months ago
        Excellent follow-up! And thanks for reminding us of Elihu Palmer. Expanding further with direct reference to compulsory progressive government education, have read Rand's essay The Comprachicos?
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        • Posted by VetteGuy 5 months ago
          I had never heard of "The Comprachicos" and had to go look it up. I did a quick read-through and had many of the same thoughts as reading TGOTM. The knowledge of the damage being done to young people has been known (at least to some) for many decades. The writings of AR (from 1970, in this case) and IP (from 1943) show that the things that are wrong with education have been wrong for a long time, and do not seem to be improving, but rather are self-perpetuating.
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          • Posted by 5 months ago
            Yes, this a powerful and damning essay in which almost anyone can find an experience of their own. I remember that when reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and six-year-old Scout related her experience with socialization methods in her new first grade class, this essay immediately came to mind. I'm confident that Harper Lee felt the same way about progressive education. To me, there is no doubt that we've become the only sentient species that clips the wings of its young before pushing them out of the nest. The saving grace is that human nature can and frequently does overcome that.
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 months ago
      However, even in a private educational system in a laissez-faire nation, the parents would sometimes decide that their children would have to go to school, and so this would not always be 100% voluntary on the children's part.
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      • Posted by 5 months ago
        I don't think it would never be 100% voluntary on the children's part, but a gradual release of independence based on their conceptual development and emotional maturity.
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  • Posted by fairbro 5 months ago
    The media and social media "news" is like rusted scrap metal in a junkyard, GG is gold.

    The problem with Galt's Gulch is that I don't have enough time to properly read it!
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    • Posted by term2 5 months ago
      I wish chatGTP was up to date, and not limited to before 11/2021. Not sure why they limited it so much
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      • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
        Had a long chat with my cousin about this. He's an nVidia engineer and according to him, the problem is that AI attempts to intuit things based on introducing minor variations to given patterns in an attempt to more accurately predict the future. The problem is that most of these randomized elements are just incorrect. The bigger problem is that when the initial datasets the AI is given to monitor are biased, these fluctuations and randomizations tend to skew off very quickly. (This was noticed when on AI engine had to be completely shut down because it threatened to kill one of its creators.)

        One of the things most have noticed about the AI's - especially ChatGPT - was that it was "trained" based on an initial dataset which skewed ideologically left. Thus if you ask it things with any kind of political undertone it will mimic much of the lamestream media and lean left. It is a grave error to think that AI's are even remotely objective. As my cousin stated: garbage in, garbage out.
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        • Posted by 5 months ago
          Yes, this has been a major problem with climate modeling and econometrics for many years. These systems are so complex that the input assumptions will always be deficient. Programmers know this and will inevitably compensate with inherently biased variables. This can only increase potential assumption errors.
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    • Posted by 5 months ago
      To me, this forum follows Pareto's Principle, aka the 80/20 rule. 80% of the commentary falls into the Libertarian political category, 20% might be more unique, and even less in line with the core tenets of the original Gulch. One tenet is that politics is downstream from ethics which is downstream from reason which is downstream from reality, yet almost all of the comments are politics oriented. In that context, this series of posts is radically different.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 5 months ago
        Politics is where principles and reality coincide. It is only an ivory tower mindset which believes that politics is downstream... etc. Politics is the attempt by the highly-fallible man to puzzle out what principles actually are a part of reality through trial and error.
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        • Posted by 5 months ago
          In other words, you don't know or understand the concepts of principles and reality. Without wasting effort on you, they do not coincide in politics. In fact, you are so utterly confused by higher level concepts that you must feel right at home with the dislocated mass described in this book.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
            Says the ivory tower elitist whose only recourse is to throw stones...
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            • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
              "Ivory tower elitist" is merely a smear tactic, and no different than calling someone extremist, polarizing, racist, divisive, etc. On top of that, only an elitist would elevate politics above ethics, and they do, all the time - your homies.
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              • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                _"Ivory tower elitist" is merely a smear tactic..."

                I didn't start it. Here are YOUR words:

                "In fact, you are so utterly confused by higher level concepts that..."
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  • Posted by VetteGuy 5 months ago
    "A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state."

    Hopefully, the voucher system being used in some states (and proposed in some others) can take a bite out of this.

    But once again, wisdom from (at least) 1943 seems ripped from today's headlines. And most people still haven't learned. Due largely to their "educations".
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    • Posted by 5 months ago
      It occurred to me that all great ideas have a timeless quality. The same is true of great art including music, literature, painting & sculpture, etc. So, why is it surprising that the God of the Machine and Atlas Shrugged seem to presage today's headlines? While all critics claim that neither of them is great, I think there is something more insidious here. Fundamental to progressivism is that human nature has changed since the industrial revolution. Their antipathy for the unbridled success of capitalism has forced them to come up with a metaphysical justification for their schemes. Because they are not producers, they need to rationalize their looting. That justification is determinism - everyone is programmed to react to circumstances based on nature and nurture, and never volition, aka free will, aka courage to think, aka independence. Human nature has not changed, and that includes the cowardice of the parasites.
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  • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    First, you disregard my assertions about the initiation of force, retaliatory force, and the government monopoly on retaliatory force in a civilized society. This suggests, quite strongly, that you have a closed mind, and is proven by your invalid proposition, "All civilizations create agreements between their members and enforce those agreements by "collective" force." First, only individuals create agreements, as I stated in my previous reply. Second, 'civilization' is a mental construct that doesn't enforce anything. Representatives (elected, appointed, or through force) adjudicate agreements with the sanction of force applied through objective law. The conceptual common denominator, meaning the idea that connects subject with predicate in a valid proposition, is missing from your statement. That being the concept of civilization (subject) and retaliatory force (predicate). This is an essential distinction, particularly in today's regulatory state, where government has unilaterally expanded its power to the initiation of of force.
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    • Posted by $ blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      I didn't disregard your assertion, I simply asked what your point was given that all societies are based on agreements and the public enforcement of those agreements. If I'm not mistaken, that echoed your own assertion. You then responded with vitriol claiming my incompetence despite the fact that you have no insights into my mind or its capabilities. You assumed all of that and continued to assert such even though you have neither justification nor authority for any such other than your own presumed self-importance.

      "your invalid proposition, "All civilizations create agreements between their members and enforce those agreements by "collective" force.""

      If you believe the statement to be invalid, you take upon yourself the burden of showing a counterargument to such effect. _Ad hominem
      doesn't count and neither does an appeal to your own supposed intelligence. Note that I specifically mention "between their members" to emphasize that a civilization is a collection of individuals. You have to be purposeful - or ignorant - to misconstrue this in any other way.

      "Second, 'civilization' is a mental construct that doesn't enforce anything."

      We use mental constructs all the time. They aid in explaining concepts, packaging them from sentences into words. They aid in comprehension if used appropriately. If one understands properly that civilization consists of individuals/members, then one extrapolates from that the appropriate meaning: that civilization - through its individual members - enforces its laws. Nothing different between what I said and what you except you seeking to have anything but your spin on things declared "invalid." What tyrannical rubbish.

      "Representatives (elected, appointed, or through force) adjudicate agreements with the sanction of force applied through objective law."

      Allow me to clarify: there are three separate and distinct functions of government: legislative, executive, and judicial (all mental constructs by the way). The Legislative branch is tasked with writing the laws, the Judicial is tasked with interpreting the laws, and the Executive is tasked with executing or carrying out law enforcement activities. In a Representative form of government (you can't have a Representative government by force), members are chosen from the body politic to serve in these respective capacities separately, meaning that the legislative, executive, and judicial components are carried out by different entities and a separation of powers and duties serve as checks on these respective bodies. Being a Representative government, the body politic invests some of their own powers into these functions to carry out the larger societal goals and purposes, including the sanction to enforce laws passed by a duly elected Legislature and interpreted by the Judiciary to be appropriate.

      "The conceptual common denominator, meaning the idea that connects subject with predicate in a valid proposition, is missing from your statement. That being the concept of civilization (subject) and retaliatory force (predicate)."

      It wasn't missing at all. You butted into a conversation I was having with someone else and attempted to impose your own terms and conditions for the conversation. You initiated force. I asked what you were bringing to the conversation (what your point was). You went off on a tangent of your own design and then accused me of being an idiot because I agreed with your basic premise though in my own words. Hmmm...

      No one who stays on this forum for long is an idiot. I've been here over ten years as a paying member and seen attempts by individual members to project themselves as ivory tower academics: people who try to string together big words and rely on ad hominem instead of the Socratic Method (asking questions). Those who rely on the former expose themselves as the petty tyrants they think they are, while those who rely on the latter engage in meaningful discussions. Your choice.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 months ago
    I have long been an advocate for the abolition of public (government-financed/government operated )
    education. The only exceptions being technical training in the military, and possibly police academies.
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    • Posted by 5 months ago
      Yes, for essential government services, education and training will hopefully be an effective combination of private contractors and internally managed departments.
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