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Cars, Covid and School Shootings

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Written by   43
2 months ago

If this is the first time you read an article of mine, I have a surprise for you. Two surprises, in fact. Surprise Number One: I'm not American - I am a Hungarian, from Central Europe, who has never set foot in the United States of America, nor do I really intend to ever do that. But the second surprise might be, that I am notorious for giving my articles clickbaity titles that are only marginally related to the core topic I am about to explore.

This is far from the first time I talk about education. I already wrote at least two articles about education, and even if you read neither of them, most of what you're about to read is nothing new - at least, if you have explored this topic before.

The education system is fundamentally broken, school is just a prison for kids, et cetera et cetera. Yes, we've all heard it before, haven't we? But what does it have to do with cars, Covid-19 and school shootings?

Cars, Covid-19 and School Shootings

I'm not American... but thanks to the Internet, whether I want it or not, I constantly get exposed to what's happening in the US of A, and I have noticed a pattern: whenever there's a school shooting in America, the blame is always pointed at the guns, and liberals - who won't be satisfied until every single American who isn't military or police gets completely disarmed - instantly begin to use the latest school shooting as propaganda material for further gun control. The bodies are still warm, when the liberals begin chanting for further curtailment of responsible adults' liberties ostensibly in the name of "protecting the children". You'd be forgiven for thinking that maybe, just maybe, these shootings are intentionally orchestrated by them to push gun control on Americans, but that's a rabbit-hole I won't be getting into in this article.

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, so, whenever there's a school shooting, the proposed solution to school shootings is always gun control. Disarm all the law-abiding Americans! Make sure that only military and police (and criminals who don't obey the laws) get to have guns!

However, if you really want to put an end to all school shootings - nay, all violence in schools - there is one, slightly more radical (it would certainly upset Conservatives possibly even more than gun control), alternative solution that has been staring us in the face ever since the Covid-19-related lockdowns ended: homeschooling and/or online education. That's right, your eyes are not deceiving you. If you genuinely want to eliminate any possibility of physical violence - which includes school shootings - within schools, the only sure-fire way is to, simply put, abolish schools as locations children have to physically visit to get their education. Which means online lessons, like during the lockdown. Or homeschooling. Whichever you prefer.

It would kill so many birds with one stone. No more school shootings. No more bullying (at least of the physical nature). No more travel expenses for kids. No more need to maintain expensive classrooms, chalkboards, etc. No more cheating either, since digital technology has almost infinite possibilities to detect cheaters. No more ugly handwriting to deal with (my handwriting was the bane of teachers in both high school and elementary school - college professors somehow managed to understand it though).

Sure, it would also introduce some problems as well: among other things, physical education, or any kind of lessons that require physical interaction with things (like most of what you learn in trade school) would be completely impossible to do remotely and online, and if children crave the physical presence of their friends, that's also an issue. Teenage romance would be mostly dead, unless students meet up in their free time, which many won't. So obviously, I don't deny that my radical solution would have its own problems, and would be non-workable in some cases, but I'm sure there are some people smarter than me who know how to mitigate those issues.... right?

Then again, many of those issues - with trade-schools and subjects that truly require physical presence and interaction being notable exceptions - simply stem from our perception of what's normal, and wouldn't be really problems if we were less narrow-minded and accepted that culture is shifting and going more digital/virtual. But I digress.

What is "normal" anyway? Is it normal for children and their parents to be physically separated from each other during the lion's share of their waking hours (children go to school which gotta be 50 kilometres from home, their parents go to their wageslave jobs, and the office of course has to be 50 kilometres from home) during the children's most formative years? Is this really normal? Because it certainly ain't natural or healthy, if you ask me. For most of human history, children spent their most critical, formative years in close physical proximity of their parents, learning their parents' trade and receiving the bulk of their education from their parents.

Just think about it.

  • Parents leave their homes on a daily basis., exposing themselves to the risk of traffic accidents or falling victims to violent crime, to make someone else richer and take a pittiance home, a good deal of which will be stolen by the government (while the likes of Jeff Bezos pay precisely zero taxes). Is it worth it?

  • Children leave their homes on a daily basis, exposing themselves to the risk of traffic accidents, kidnapping, pedophile molestation or school shootings, all to cram in some government-mandated, mostly outdated lore (most of which they will forget immediately + they could learn more effectively by just looking it up on Wikipedia or something) and supposedly socialize (school made me hate humans, thanks). Is it worth it?

Is it truly worth it? Before I succumb to my temptation to go on a tangent about how the amount of travel we (are forced to) do on a daily basis is unnatural and how we should normalize being comfortable in your own home, I'll just say that I'm sure we could come up with something better. I mean, the canard that mos of what you learn in school is utterly useless isn't new, people have been saying this for ages. Or the old tale about school making us all dumber.

It seems that we are so addicted to our misguided notions of "normality", that we are willing to sacrifice literally anything for it: our free time, our health, our liberties, even our very lives.

If we just let go of our narrow-minded clinging to "normality" and explore the possibilities, I'm sure we'll find something superior to the current system. We definitely need to find an alternative, because the current system is...

The Prison School

To say that school is prison for children is no exaggeration. Just try to temporarily let go of what you've been raised to consider "normal", and try to look at human society from the lens of an alien zoologist examining humanity as an outside observer. What do you see? You see that the highly irrational humans take their offsprings, lock them up in a large building, where they are then divided into groups based on age rather than level of skill or interest, and then they are put through a highly regimented, overly bureaucratized process, where all the children learn their lessons at a schedule that was defined from top to bottom.

What do you call an institution, where you are locked into a building - against your will - with a bunch of people you don't know (at least not initially), don't like (I'm sure we all had schoolmates we hated in school, or even bullies), where you spend most of your time bored to tears, and any fun or enjoyment you get out of the whole ordeal is something they probably did not intend you to do? Prison.

You force kids to sit on their asses for 45 x <the number of lessons> minutes a day, punish them for making even one flinch of a movement, then complain that there's an obesity epidemic.

You force kids to keep their mouths shout for 45 x <the number of lessons> minutes a day, punish them for talking to their classmates, then complain that kids these days are just so antisocial and don't know how to deal with people.

Then, on top of all this, they are given "homework", which just reduces their already slim amount of free time, and often pushes their total amount of school-time beyond the 40-hour-per-week mark, which is the absolutely maximum that's considered safe for parents. Your read it right, workoholics - no one should work more than 40 hours per week.

And don't even get me started on bullying.

If schools teach anything, it's that authorities are not to be trusted and authority figures deserve absolutely no respect at all whatsoever. I'm sure that's not the lesson they intended to teach me, but that is what they ended up (unintentionally) teaching me anyway.

It is no exaggeration to say, that schools are prisons designed to break children, with the actual education and literacy being only secondary - or even tertiary - aspects of it. Be an obedient sheep who won't fight back or question anything, memorize the state-approved doctrines, get the diploma, get the resume, be a good little wageslave, then maybe retire have 5-10 years of freedom before the sweet release of death. Is this really living? Is this peak human freedom? I don't think so.

A Viable Alternative

Okay, let's ignore what I said earlier about homeschooling and online education. Homeschooling isn't really viable for parents that are working full-time (even if they work remotely like I do), and online education still assumes/implies children having 45 x 6 or 7 lessons a day and brainwashing state-approved studying material fed to children in a strictly time-regimented fashion, which doesn't solve many of the problems I just mentioned with education. Plus, staring at a computer screen for 5 hours a day straight, with only 10-minute breaks every hour or so, isn't exactly health (so I say, while working as a full-time software developer, staring at the computer screen 8+ hours a day).

Okay, so scratch all that I said about homeschooling and online education, we need a real cure for our (lack of) education, not symptomatic treatment. Unschooling. Unschooling is the answer.

First of all, let's start with some key points:

  • Education ought to take place during your entire lifetime, not just your childhood, teenage and young adulthood. We live in a constantly changing world.

  • Children are capable of learning on their own, as long as you succesfully ignite their desire to learn.

    • Mixing education and entertainment in a non-cringe way is the best way to make students learn. I'm not talking about silly educational games. I'm talking about serious video games with actual knowledge intervowen into them. I am going to say it right here: I learned more about history from video games, than during history lessons in school. In fact, if it wasn't for Wolfenstein 3D, Medal of Honor, Stronghold and all those history-related video games, I wouldn't have the amount of interest in history I currently have - instead of the fun I had with those games, I would be associating history with the pain of having to memorize all those year-marks of historical events.

    • If video games are not your thing, then just make them watch historically accurate movies or something. Obviously, the movie itself needs to be entertaining - the more entertaining it is, the more likely it will ignite a child's desire to learn about history.

  • We live in a changing world. What is practical knowledge today, may not be that tomorrow - so the focus should be on teaching children adaptability, teaching them how to learn, how to absorb new knowledge properly.

  • Focus on practical knowledge - kids will learn about the non-practical, trivial stuff if they are interested about it. If I wasn't forced to memorize poems and over-analyze them in high school, I would be probably far more enthusiastic about literature than I am now.

  • I can not over-emphasize the importance of this: number one priority ought to be to ignite the child's desire to learn on their own and be eager to absorb knowledge. As it stands, schools neuter that desire, rather than feed it. This is primarily what we're doing wrong.

  • Every child is an individual with their own interests. At the end of the day, you cannot turn a football player into a software engineer or vice versa, at least not without making the kid seriously resentful and depressed. While there are some basic literacy stuff that everybody must learn, it should be ultimately up to the child what they want to learn - just like in college.

    • I'm not going to keep it a secret: I'm a nerd and didn't like physical education, and still have no interest in sports at all whatsoever.

    • Then again, maybe I'm talking bullshit, and it's just the college nostalgia taking over me when I write these words.

Cars, Covid-19 and School Shootings?

A good deal of what I said can be applied to adults too, not just children. If your job only needs a computer and an internet connection, there is absolutely no reason for the office to even exist - if it was up to me, your employer would be forced by law to at least offer you the option of remote work, if not outright demolish all the offices to make room for new apartments and end the housing shortage.

As I said previously, I consider it highly unnatural for children and parents to be forcibly separated from each other for the lion's share of their waking hours, and it would be my number one priority to engineer society towards a more natural and traditional state, wherein parents and children spend more time together, wageslavery as we know it is curtailed, and schooling borrows as many elements of unschooling as possible.

I know this will upset those who are filled with wanderlust, but I believe in a future, where the coercive forces coercing you to leave your home and travel over 10+ kilometres a day belong to the museum. If you want to travel, fine, do it - but don't force it upon me, and anyone else who is attached to the comfort of their own home.

Too good to be true

Most of what I said will never come to fruition. Public education is a highly useful tool for the ones in power, and they will never give up on that kind of power. Just like how work itself is more like a social ritual at this point rather than being about actual productive labour, school is not really about education, but about indoctrination and conditioning - conditioning to servitude to the system.

Obviously, I will never be in charge of society or have dictatorial powers to shape society to my will - but if I did, there would be a lot of changes to how we operate as a society.

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Written by   43
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You took the words right out of my mouth! 👍

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