It only occurred to me this week, some few days after I opened the Stories shelf with The Bestiary and The Legend of Gnat Bunker what those two pieces have in common. They are not merely "creative" but meta-creative. They're about how we create what we do, and in a deeper sense, why.
magine the laboratories of Jurassic Park and State of Fear, the dangers of The Lost World and Eaters of the Dead, all of the intrigues and firepower of the Jason Bourne trilogy, rolled into one. And now add a cameo appearance by the Mother of God, come to say that the fate of all mankind is at stake.
Shields concludes that teachers need to retard the smart kids in order to save them from the all but inevitable sickness, death, or at least invalidism, that will inevitably result from letting them study what they want.
I think the hazard with letting them study what, when, and as they wish is not that they’ll succumb to invalidism, but that they’ll succumb to individualism, and especially its most hazardous symptom: autonomous critical thinking.
If Joe Moore is right in his assessments of the Prussian Model schools– and I suspect he’s not far off– as foundationally designed to train docile academic serfs for the industrial/enlightenment age, then their greatest threat is independent rational thought on the part of the laity not inducted into their priesthood. But the book-Brahmins are not wholly idiots: finding it impossible to run a Harrison Bergeron on every overachiever, they’ve taken since the ’80s or so to flattering the smart kids on their intellect, teaching them “critical thinking” that’s critical of all but the Brahmins themselves, and encouraging “Freethinking” that’s primarily free of the influence of whomever’s been elected Emmanuel Goldstein this year.
Thomas Shields (1862-1921), a priest and doctor of psychology at Catholic University of America, wrote his Making and Unmaking of a Dullard in 1909. Although written in the form of a dialogue taking place at weekly dinner parties over the course of months, it is universally considered his autobiography. As a dialogue, it is a resounding failure: no one besides the author comes off any deeper than a cardboard cutout, nor contributes much of anything except leading questions that simply interrupt the flow of Shields’s story.
This book reinforces an impression long held: the central figures in American education history are, almost without exception, unimaginative mediocrities. Horace Mann or William Torey Harris would, I imagine, bore one to tears ov er a beer, if they every did something so common; Shields comes off as precisely the sort of academic Silence Dogood or Mark Twain would have a…
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Who was it that said that those who burn books rarely stop with books?
Dusklight is a great follow-up to Chalk, LaPoint's schoolgirl-vs-abominations intro to the world and disruptive life of Raven Mistcreek, the fastest tomboy to draw a sidearm on the wall.
A case against the State monopoly on education: article by Kerry McDonald, reposted from FEE.org; Whether it’s yesterday’s battles over prayer in school or today’s conflicts over critical race theory, public schooling causes people to fight. It’s a struggle between values and viewpoints that ends with one group imposing its will upon others. The curriculum… Continue reading Get the Government out of Schools
When I reviewed Chalk on Amazon, I was short and to the point, without any spoilers. Or details, for that matter: This book will not cure insomnia. It will in no way help you sleep. If you are in need of full, restful nights' sleep, do not pick the book up after supper. If you… Continue reading Review Overdue: Chalk, by N. R. LaPoint
"A man with a mission is hard to control, hard to cancel, and dangerous to a society that wants no competition from the righteous." ~ Bnonn Tennant
I confess these fell by the wayside recently, after having attempted to do them more regularly than my previous intermittence. I blame the end-of-term projects for Spring Semester, as I have been studying architecture with an eye to a day-job in the field. But without further ado, quotes collected via The Masculinist, According To Hoyt,… Continue reading Quotes Past Midnight, Vol. III
Nate Lapoint reviews Pyre & Ice: I didn't provide anything here but the book.
Who we are and who we will become depends on who we think we were. ~ Rod Dreher
Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all His laws. ~ John Adams Some of these quotes will be from major celebrities. Some were from noteworthy essays and works of literature. Some of them… Continue reading Quotes After Midnight, Vol. 1
Where do you belong?God, Man, and the Hierarchy
A "Guest Post," or rather a reposting with permission, of Tom Simon's essay that started it all. The original essay is here, but the link may not cooperate with some browsers' notions of "Secure Sites". Stuff and Nonsense, say I!