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Quill

So, what are we going to do about it?...

22 posts in this topic

Hello,

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place, also, I'm sorry if this has been discussed before.

But...

Something I have noticed over the years is that many people think and/or feel that we as a species are "devolving" (not sure if that is the correct word) culturally, philosophically, even emotionally. People are often quick to point and blame the media, government(s), etc. (But who is fueling these organizations?)

My main question is:

What are we doing about it?

If the problem is that recognizable, why is nothing being done about it? Is it the "Well, since I'm not the only one who sees it, someone else is bound to take care of it" mentality?

Or is it complete apathy? "Oh, I see it, but I don't really care."

To turn these questions on myself, I realize that I'm not really doing anything. Why? To be honest, I would not know where or how to begin.

What do you think?

Thank you.

Quill

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I wouldn't know where or how to begin, myself. All I can do is make the change (even small) in the world around me..but, I can't change the world.

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Much of the problem today is a problem of attitude and unrelated to biology. People don't expect value or hold anyone responsible for failures.

There probably is some deevolution of the species as well. There is likely nothing that can be done about it but a great deal of evil might be perpetrated in the name of trying.

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I wouldn't have a clue where to start either. But to be honest, I haven't noticed this. I've noticed other things, but not this. Perhaps it's because I'm too young to be taking notice of things like this, or because teenage emotions seem to run wild where I go to school.

Although now you say it, culture and a fair bit of philosophy seems to be getting neglected. Although, I still think that emotion is still greatly present.

Just my opinion, I guess.

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I wouldn't know where or how to begin, myself. All I can do is make the change (even small) in the world around me..but, I can't change the world.

That's right. We can only take care of our little corner of the world. I am fond of telling my students this:

I am responsible to myself first, my family second, my community third, my country fourth, and then the world (though these days the world and my country are the same).

I think "human devolution" began when modern society started making man "soft." Read Marx and others for a take on how modern society "divorces" humans from our own productive capacity. Ages ago, there existed true craftspersons and true farming persons. Today, machines and technology break everything down so that people can't see the trees in the forest - we can only see the forest. And through this process, we become divorced from ourselves. Sit-coms do our thinking for us, and education is a mere shadow of what is used to be; by this I mean we no longer teach our children to think, but to react and use computers to solve problems. It's scary that we reasoned out the means to create the computer, but perhaps this type of reasoned logic is now becoming a thing that only the most "elite" of us will know in the future.

I was watching this broadcast: Beauty and the Geek a few weeks ago. The show made fun of the Beauties who could not hook up a computer, keyboard, monitor, and lan. It's not rocket science, and the plugs are even color coded. How unfortunate that this broadcast likely reflects the dumbing down of our children. That is, that our children no longer are taught to think and reason through a problem.

Human devolution. It is sad that it may be true!

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I was watching this broadcast: Beauty and the Geek a few weeks ago. The show made fun of the Beauties who could not hook up a computer, keyboard, monitor, and lan. It's not rocket science, and the plugs are even color coded. How unfortunate that this broadcast likely reflects the dumbing down of our children. That is, that our children no longer are taught to think and reason through a problem.

When you say that, in what aspect do you mean that we are no longer taught to think and reason through a problem? Is it because we are being taught to basically 'leave everything to the computer, for it shall do our thinking from now on.'

Actually, this might be true, and as someone still going through schooling now, I have noticed that we use calculators a lot in maths, a lot of work with computer programs that could easily be done by hand, heck, they even have the year 1s on the computer using a drawing program called Kid Pix instead of them doing it with a pencil. And then we still haven't covered Spell Check.

If this is what you mean by it, then I by all means agree with you.

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Gene Roddenberry and Al Gore have planted the seeds of our Worlds destruction. The Prime Directive states you do not give advanced technology to cultures that are not mature enough to use it wisely. The Internet , created as a source for sharing information, has become a tool of profiteers, malcontents and Government control of the masses. Give up your computers and cell phones. Your gaming machines and I-Pods. Return to the life and Morals of the 1950's!

There, I feel better now. ;) But learning a little about how things work from the ground up is some thing young people have lost. I started out as a farm kid , shoveling cow manure every day. Any job I had after that was a step up. Why have I fought to learn as much as I can. Because I know I can always go back to the shovel.

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Gene Roddenberry and Al Gore have planted the seeds of our Worlds destruction. The Prime Directive states you do not give advanced technology to cultures that are not mature enough to use it wisely. The Internet , created as a source for sharing information, has become a tool of profiteers, malcontents and Government control of the masses. Give up your computers and cell phones. Your gaming machines and I-Pods. Return to the life and Morals of the 1950's!

There, I feel better now. ;) But learning a little about how things work from the ground up is some thing young people have lost. I started out as a farm kid , shoveling cow manure every day. Any job I had after that was a step up. Why have I fought to learn as much as I can. Because I know I can always go back to the shovel.

I posted elsewhere that the "Founding Fathers" of America (well most of them) could read and understand Greek and Latin. In fact, this was a mark of the best Preparatory Academies in the United States until about the 1970's [that's why many of them had the word: Latin in their name, and why elitist parents sent their children to these schools]. Why read Greek and Latin you ask? Because the roots of Western civilization, philosophical thought, and natural sciences are (best) found in the Greek and Latin writers of 2,000 - 3,000 years ago.

Granted, there is more knowledge out in the world today. And granted that computer technology is a great tool to make our lives easier (and to make calculations faster). But, in our view (ROGER and me), this ease in computation and the hijacking of internet, etc. by corporations and governments, tends to reduce the ability of our species to think and reason.

To Moonlight: there is absolutely nothing wrong with using computers and calculators - provided that we teach our young people the theory and the logic behind solving math, geometry, and even grammar and spelling problems. The act of reasoning through problems is exercise for our minds.

In fact, one of the primary reasons I come to this board is so that I can think, write, and respond to the arguments of others - in effect, exercising my mind. This, in my view, is much better than watching sit-coms and/or wiling away the days listening to the pop music of the moment. [And I am not saying that listening to pop music is bad. It's only bad if that's the only exercise we give our brains.] Our minds need variety in exercise: writing, reading, logic, computation, art, and many, many more things...

Back to ROGER. Yeah, I agree with you again about being a farm kid. Farmers know a great deal about life. Working with the land is an education in itself. It teaches about Nature, mathematics (how much and where to plant for best and efficient yield), about chemistry, meteorology. What a fine education. I live in Mongolia and I envy the children growing up in the countryside. They are strong, rugged people whose subsistence is milk, meat, potatoes and whatever herbs and vegetables they can put together in a nomadic existence. And the meat is delicious. Having said that I envy them, I also aspire to teach them something about technology - to find a good balance. I gave my wife's cousins a computer with some English educational software. They thoroughly enjoy the vocals and word games as an educational tool. I also was able to procure simulation software for physics and chemistry. I see these things as a good balance - insofar as they do not have laboratories in which to actually run experiments. They may learn virtually, until the schools can upgrade to teach these things - and inspire a future generation of engineers who may manage to incorporate the "best of the new" with the "best of the old."

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My wife plays Solitaire only, My sons Games, And Son in law off shore gambling.

And they call ME Strange.

I am glade you got my point. Thank you.

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Posted (edited)

My wife plays Solitaire only, My sons Games, And Son in law off shore gambling.

And they call ME Strange.

I am glade you got my point. Thank you.

If your wife, son, and son-in-law are into these types of games, they - or in particular, your son, might enjoy this place: NetLogo at Northwestern University. I just discovered it yesterday, AND IT'S FREE!

Basically Northwestern University put this stuff online - simulation software for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Social Systems. Your son might even enjoy it because he could see the computer code and augment the software to produce his own simulations and/or games. It's not simulations on the level of Sim City (which, I argue is good for education), but the simulations provide insights into how societies and biological systems respond to stress and other things.

And to Moonlight: You might enjoy Wolfram Mathematica. It's pretty expensive, but you might find a (less expensive) way to get a working copy. If you go to public school, you might even find a way to get Wolfram to donate some software for your school.

Anyway, Mathematica is high-end mathematics - and it can do many, many types of things - including 3D graphics. And the beauty of it, you learn as you solve problems. You have to reason out the method to ask the right question, and then once you've mastered the question, you build to create ever more intricate and elegant things. Physicists, for example, use Mathematica to create 3D graphics of black holes. Chemists and Biologists use it for modeling reactions, and financial engineers use it to model complex financial systems (that's what I'm trying to teach myself).

Anyway - let's keep learning and exercising our minds!

Edited by lmbeharry

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Posted (edited)

How do you solve the problem?

Become the better suited mutation, by killing off the weak and letting the strong survive. Artificial selection.

And that's precisely why we will never solve the problem. That's never going to happen (And I'm not trying to say it should here).

And there are more practical ways, but none of them are actually very practical, nor would they be accepted by society. (Example: Requiring certain levels of intelligence or ability to be legally allowed to reproduce, etc.)

The problem arises from the fact that the talented and intelligent humans give society so many things, while the average and mediocre humans contribute comparatively little. In a life where we are given everything by the discoveries of other people, the average person adopts a lack of personal responsibility for the well being of his own life or of other peoples'. Hedonism will begin to dominate the cultural evolution of humanity, where as before.. we didn't have so much time for hedonism, and had to focus heavily upon survival. The most sexual and sexually attractive will reproduce more, the intelligent and talented will reproduce less... because their gifts to humanity are given to the weak as well.

It's interesting, there's a theory that eventually humanity will split into two species; one being a species of genetically altered humans, a technology that only the elite will have access to.. and the other being normal humans, regularly devolving as stated.

In short:

Intelligence used to help survival because there was so little technology, and every bit of discovery made great improvements to the ability to survive for a human. Intelligent people would survive much better than their fellow humans (Or maybe neanderthals, etc) in such times.

Fast forward to modern times, and the average person can not even know where to start when faced with the complexity of modern medicine, technology, etc. It is a field that only the intelligent can contribute to, but anyone can benefit from.. so intelligence becomes an unnecessary mutation for survival, and the collective intelligence of humanity can not rise any more through normal evolution. The only way to raise human intelligence further in a modern world is through artificial selection, which is a taboo to society. You can't stop de-evolution because you would become a criminal in the eyes of other people.

I was watching this broadcast: Beauty and the Geek a few weeks ago. The show made fun of the Beauties who could not hook up a computer, keyboard, monitor, and lan. It's not rocket science, and the plugs are even color coded. How unfortunate that this broadcast likely reflects the dumbing down of our children. That is, that our children no longer are taught to think and reason through a problem.

Beauty and the geek demonstrates this concept well. If it were say, 30,000 BC right now.. the geeks would completely outlive and outsurvive the beauties... using tools, finding superior shelter, maybe planting crops, etfc. "Geekiness" would be much more important to the survival and continuation of the species than would beauty.

However, today, it's all changed. The beauties and the geeks now have equal access to survival technologies. Therefore, the favorable mutation is beauty, and geekiness is not important anymore. It's true that a geek might earn more money, but even poor people today will live a comparatively long life, often well into their 50s, 60s, 70s, etc. The beauties will all be able to find mates and have children (Also placing emphasis on beauty and not geekiness in their mates), whereas the geeks will have a harder time, thus devolving the human species.

Edited by KBA

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You are correct in many ways and "amoral" (not a bad thing) -at least you stated what's on your mind.

Past civilizations: notably Sparta and Rome culled their progeny for weakness. (Weak offspring were left to the gods of nature, wild dogs in Sparta, and wild dogs and the garbage pile in Rome).

But there is an inherent problem in testing for intelligence. Not all "gifted" people pass the test. Einstein was himself "C" student...

Lastly, with regard to rich or "elite" people using genetic science to enhance their offspring, Star Trek TOS predicted this and it has already started. Hell, Hitler put it into practice 75 years ago, without the benefit of 21st century technology...

What a wondrous and scary time.. Just like all of human history...

How do you solve the problem?

Become the better suited mutation, by killing off the weak and letting the strong survive. Artificial selection.

And that's precisely why we will never solve the problem. That's never going to happen (And I'm not trying to say it should here).

And there are more practical ways, but none of them are actually very practical, nor would they be accepted by society. (Example: Requiring certain levels of intelligence or ability to be legally allowed to reproduce, etc.)

The problem arises from the fact that the talented and intelligent humans give society so many things, while the average and mediocre humans contribute comparatively little. In a life where we are given everything by the discoveries of other people, the average person adopts a lack of personal responsibility for the well being of his own life or of other peoples'. Hedonism will begin to dominate the cultural evolution of humanity, where as before.. we didn't have so much time for hedonism, and had to focus heavily upon survival. The most sexual and sexually attractive will reproduce more, the intelligent and talented will reproduce less... because their gifts to humanity are given to the weak as well.

It's interesting, there's a theory that eventually humanity will split into two species; one being a species of genetically altered humans, a technology that only the elite will have access to.. and the other being normal humans, regularly devolving as stated.

In short:

Intelligence used to help survival because there was so little technology, and every bit of discovery made great improvements to the ability to survive for a human. Intelligent people would survive much better than their fellow humans (Or maybe neanderthals, etc) in such times.

Fast forward to modern times, and the average person can not even know where to start when faced with the complexity of modern medicine, technology, etc. It is a field that only the intelligent can contribute to, but anyone can benefit from.. so intelligence becomes an unnecessary mutation for survival, and the collective intelligence of humanity can not rise any more through normal evolution. The only way to raise human intelligence further in a modern world is through artificial selection, which is a taboo to society. You can't stop de-evolution because you would become a criminal in the eyes of other people.

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Posted (edited)

but, I can't change the world.

Actually, by butterfly effect, we have all changed the world just by being conceived. It just might not be as obvious or immediate as other actions, but our presence in this world has an effect on a lot of scenarios.

Imagine you having not been born, how much different would your family's life have been? Your parents will interact with different people at different times in a different manner. This simple alternate reality will have a huge butterfly effect over time that could and probably would lead to a world so different than ours in the far future, it would be considered 'alien'.

Now imagine how much different the lives of everyone you've met would've been. Even someone you once spent only an hour of your life with will have done something different in that one hour if you hadn't been born.

*Runs off to watch Donnie Darko*

Edited by Roughneck

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Posted (edited)

You are correct in many ways and "amoral" (not a bad thing) -at least you stated what's on your mind.

Past civilizations: notably Sparta and Rome culled their progeny for weakness. (Weak offspring were left to the gods of nature, wild dogs in Sparta, and wild dogs and the garbage pile in Rome).

But there is an inherent problem in testing for intelligence. Not all "gifted" people pass the test. Einstein was himself "C" student...

Lastly, with regard to rich or "elite" people using genetic science to enhance their offspring, Star Trek TOS predicted this and it has already started. Hell, Hitler put it into practice 75 years ago, without the benefit of 21st century technology...

What a wondrous and scary time.. Just like all of human history...

I certainly won't tell you I'm not "amoral"..

It's difficult, when you're someone like me.. logical interpretation of events have almost completely overtaken emotional interpretation. You feel inhuman and yet everything and everyone says that you are supposed to be a human.

Regarding testing, that's very true. Like I was saying, it's hardly practical. A test score can change greatly depending on the mood or preparedness of the test taker. Now, there are potentially more objective ways of knowing.. that's debatable of course. And obviously intelligence is not the deciding factor in one's worth when creating and discovering.. if someone is intelligent and yet completely unmotivated, they are as useless as someone with only the most basic human intelligence. I myself received many an F for this very same reason when I was in school. Hardly because I couldn't get an A.. but because I felt no motivation.

Wondrous and scary indeed. What will be the limits of human progress? How will we surprise ourselves? Pandora's box is lying on a table in front of us, begging to be opened.. I wonder what we will do.

Some groups of farmers have been breeding their cows to build more muscle for a long time, and they end up with "super-cows".. there's absolutely nothing but societal recourse and ethical barriers preventing someone doing that to humans, but instead increasing the size of the brain in proportion to the size of the body. What would such a human be like? Probably nearly on the level of a God when compared with a normal human... hell, our natural geniuses are already revered as something of the sort.

Edited by KBA

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You are correct in many ways and "amoral" (not a bad thing) -at least you stated what's on your mind.

Past civilizations: notably Sparta and Rome culled their progeny for weakness. (Weak offspring were left to the gods of nature, wild dogs in Sparta, and wild dogs and the garbage pile in Rome).

But there is an inherent problem in testing for intelligence. Not all "gifted" people pass the test. Einstein was himself "C" student...

Lastly, with regard to rich or "elite" people using genetic science to enhance their offspring, Star Trek TOS predicted this and it has already started. Hell, Hitler put it into practice 75 years ago, without the benefit of 21st century technology...

What a wondrous and scary time.. Just like all of human history...

Interesting observation in reguard to testing for intelligence. I myself have the gift of dyslexia. I am the classic "C" student yet some testing will rate me with an unlimited potential for accomplishment. I understand that you work in the field of education. From what you have said I do think that you encourage thought and reflection from your students. Yet most of the material that is taught is about absolute truth and validation. History, math, and reading skills are directed at a student profile that has not changed in 60 years. I am 65.

How can I ask this question is a truly respectful manner? What has the educational system done to identify and cultivate the Einstein students in our culture? The many ADD and autistic children that are here with us at this time. They are seen as problems for the System and not as the gifts that they truly are.

I hope you can appreciate why I have asked this particular question.

John

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Reaching self obsessed people is usually only possible if you present to them a threat that exists to them.

Being self obsessed they will actually listen even if they do not entirely believe to information not already contained int heir tight little universe of one.

Once this is planted in their mind it can take root and grow from their own self worship nurturing it.

This can be done in any conversation. It has been the backbone of political operatives for centuries and it does work.

They will tune out anything that appears to be a lecture or any brief statement stated in an earnest manner.

What they will latch onto are brief statements said it a casual matter of fact manner as if it is old news that all the world already knows to be true. Their ego demands that even if they do not believe it that they should at least know about it since everyone else seems to. It grows from there.

This is what is called a grass roots movement and is the only real option of any oppressed or endangered people.

It is used to spread lies most often but it can also spread the truth.

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I would like to say that human behavior, especially that of large city states has lost all of its connections to nature.

We dont live alongside nature, we tolerate nature as we see fit and eventually burn it down, pave it, and build endlessly to satisfy our needs.

As far as psychological development goes, how is that the human race is technologically advanced, yet lacking spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally???

This seems to make no sense, until you realize that nature has been handed to us. We can make fire with the flick of a thumb, we have electicity and water at our fingertips also. In the end i can only assume man has lost common respect for all the things that came before him, because he does not understand the trials of his ancestors.

Now though, we are at a scary point, if the grid goes down indefinitly, what will people do to survive? They cannot go to the woods and be able to survive, Imagine being stuck in the woods with 25 other people and no-where to go, could those 25 people have the collective knowledge to be able to grow crops, hunt and keep the troupe fed. Make shelter and be able to give medical attention to those bitten or attacked by wild animals?

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Posted (edited)

The thing about humans is the ability to compensate for fields we have difficulty in. I myself have an I.E.P. for Arithmetic. How do I make up for it? I suppose having a College graduates reading level in the eighth grade is most definitely an advantage. :P

Humans are too influenced by events occurring around us, leaders that do not know what they are doing. "What you cannot enforce, do not command. - Sophocles" We honestly need to think for ourselves, we need to speak out for what we believe in.

Not only that , we do not seek knowledge. Teachers show us aspects of life through various subjects, yes - but only if we will to learn them. Americans settle for mediocrity, and choose not to excel forwards and set foundations for their families. "With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it." - Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

I would indeed love to post more, but it's late.

Edited by Drayno

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Self-assurance to any Single commitment taken

by you can change the world. But you should

be honest to that oath.

Each one if committed to any single oath.

Soon we can see the changes.

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Posted (edited)

But have humans ever really achieved the state of "living in harmony with nature?" Some would point to the Native tribes, but not all native cultures were successful, some have disappeared because it is believed they overtaxed their natural resources. (Parallels?)

It seems that several people have concurred that an inflated human ego is getting in the way of balance and that something major event would have to bring us to our knees to realize it. But what then? We always seem to get back up, back to the place we fell from. How many times do we have to fall to understand?

Edited by Quill

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How many times do we have to fall to understand?[/font]

When we realise it is natural to be as such.

The only reason why we're bound to the shackles of this world is because we have not yet found a way to break them. When we begin to colonise other planets, I think we'll finally accept that it is our nature to expand and consume and stop pretending we can live harmoniously with the environment when the environment always has and always will destroy stagnant species, either through forcing adaptation and evolution, or extinction. You either expand or you die out- and to expand, we must devour resources of every kind. It's no different in nature, where non-human species have been known to destroy natural habitats to feed their growing hunger of expansion, we just happen to do it on an industrial scale. Granted, if that consumption and expansion is not kept in a stable check, it can grow wildly out of control and result in backfire, where instead of surviving because of consumption and growth, you die.

Ultimately, if we had instead still functioned under primitive tribal culture, and remained stagnant to that way of life, we would just be guaranteeing our species' extinction. After all, we evolved into this state from less complex social structures.

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Interesting observation in reguard to testing for intelligence. I myself have the gift of dyslexia. I am the classic "C" student yet some testing will rate me with an unlimited potential for accomplishment. I understand that you work in the field of education. From what you have said I do think that you encourage thought and reflection from your students. Yet most of the material that is taught is about absolute truth and validation. History, math, and reading skills are directed at a student profile that has not changed in 60 years. I am 65.

How can I ask this question is a truly respectful manner? What has the educational system done to identify and cultivate the Einstein students in our culture? The many ADD and autistic children that are here with us at this time. They are seen as problems for the System and not as the gifts that they truly are.

I hope you can appreciate why I have asked this particular question.

John

Hi John, I've been away from this thread. With regard to your question: What has the educational system done to identify and cultivate the Einstein students in our culture?

My response (from my limited experience teaching in the U.S.) is this. The U.S. education system, as I think we all know, is doomed. Seemingly, powerful entities want to keep the majority of Americans as unthinking drones (ala the Matrix film where people who spend their lives plugged into the system - reacting to stimuli and producing energy to propagate the same system). And, you know what else, even the most elite of American academies had dumbed down. I wrote on another thread (or maybe above on this one) that the private academies are no longer teaching Greek and Latin as required subjects. This is a travesty to me. It is in these Greek and Latin classics from which spring the foundations of Western political thought and philosophy and Natural Sciences.

The most obscene element of American pedagogy? The system does not respect its teachers to reward them appropriately. Think about an alternative: a system which actually pays teachers enough (from the junior high level) to recruit Master's of Science and PhD's to teach and cultivate the next generation...

With regard to gifted students - all the more problem - lack of quality teachers! Even if I wanted to teach in America, why should I? My higher education cost over $250,000 US in today's money. I went corporate and on a $30,000 a year salary, I still could not pay my student loans. Had I been a teacher? My pay would have been $18,000 and I mightn't have been able to feed myself and a family either.

I left the U.S. I have been an expatriate for about four years now. My only regret? I owe $30,000 in student loans. That's my only regret in life! The way I figured it, the U.S. could cover the expense with my Social Security benefits from my retirement. I won't claim any benefit...

But therein lies the problem. I'm no socialist - far from it. But I do believe in saving for the future. The U.S. system must stop corporations from stealing the wealth of the country's producers for the benefit of a very few "management types" (in my view these are the true socialists - who enrich themselves at the expense of those that are actually producing the wealth), maybe Americans could afford to send their progeny on to higher education without hocking their lives away. And, maybe then, more Americans would have the economic freedom to teach the next generation. Think about America's current socio-economic system: 1) birth (an expensive proposition; uninsured parents have to borrow money to even bear a child); 2) public school (some are really great, some are p*** poor - and often it depends on your neighborhood - again, a measure of family wealth); 3) college or university (an expensive proposition for which the student and/or the parents need to borrow more money); 4) employment (the first ten to fifteen years of which go to pay off the aforementioned student loans); 5) buy a home (as a means to save for retirement or college for progeny); 6) retirement to a condo box somewhere. Is that a life? Where's the adventure? Where's the continuing education and self-fulfillment? The whole thing sucks - in my view...

Gifted students - we know that we must cater to them individually - and find challenging ways to stimulate learning. Computer software is great. As I mentioned above I am trying to sort myself out on Mathematica. It's half programming in C and half thinking in mathematics. But again, the U.S. system must evolve to accommodate these students - otherwise all is lost. And all is being lost right now.

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