cj#276> re: Generation X & Education


Richard Moore

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 01:13:23 -0700
Sender: "G.S. Aikens" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#273> re: Generation X & NWO

~--<snip of quoted material>--~
> So one aspect of reaching Generation X comes down simply to vocabulary and
> writing style.  I know that isn't what you were getting at, but it's part
> of that picture.

As a 29 year old studying political theory at the University of Cambridge
- UK - I find such generalizations mildly offensive and highly irritating.
Maybe you're talking about an effort to reach a certain socio-economic stratum
within a particular generation rather then an effort to reach an
entire generation?

Please, get a little more real about this generation X balderdash.

G Scott Aikens
Tel:    01223-571-170
WWW:    http://www.dar.cam.ac.uk/www/gsa1001.htm

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 00:00:20 -0700
Sender: •••@••.••• (John Lowry)
Subject: Re: cj#273> re: Generation X & NWO


        One of the questions that comes-up for me is why is it, when, for
hundreds of years, virtually everyone with any power in this world has been
educated in the classical tradition, do we stand on the brink of so many
kinds of catastrophe?

I conclude there is a serious and basic flaw in our concept of education.
This flaw goes beyond the silly notion that lecturing plays a usefull role
in learning.  Lecturing reflects the flaw of confusing abstract
representations of reality for reality itself.  This is the gap that
separates the generations now.  We spent a minimum of twenty years
primarilly engaged in the activity of reading and writing -- following
abstract characters in linear sequense -- as our "education," as our
preparation for being in this world and having power over it.  The trouble
is, this world is not black and white or linear, and our "preparation" was
not very usefull.  Generation X is somewhat luckier, in that their education
was done with more television and less reading and writing, and their minds
have not been forged into complete linearity.  On the other hand, they lack
authoritative references and are quite unlucky in that regard.

I certainly do not mean to say that reading and writing are not usefull.
That's what I do and I do not think I am not usefull.  I do mean to say that
facility with language is not a measure of intelligence, it is a measure of
dominance, and dominance is not necessarilly smart.


Indeed, a phrase like "Generation X" is a gross generalization.  My two
kids are a tech writer and lawyer, and they have plenty of "linear skills".
Maybe some of you folks in this age group can tell the rest of us
something about your _individual_ world view?

On the subject of education, and why it doesn't seem solve our problems:
        Bucky Fuller, in Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, talks about
some of the origins of this problem.  When technology began to emerge as a
force in its own right, _somewhere_ around the beginning of the 19th
century, those who had political power needed to find a way to contain
technology -- to ensure that they continued to hold the reigns of power,
and that power wouldn't pass to inventors and scientists.  According to
Bucky's account, they formed the Admiralty College and invented the modern
notion of academic specializaton -- a scientist is only considered to be an
expert in his own narrow field of study, outside that field his opinions
are to be discounted.

        My point is not that scientists should be given broader individual
credibility, but that the definition of truth was partitioned up into
specialized fields.  In this paradigm no one can know the whole truth --
scientist or otherwise -- instead we are forced to look to experts for
truth in each separate area.  No one can get a grasp on the overall issues
of the day, because they can't be at the same time an expert on economics,
technology, finance, politics, communication, current events, population
trends, etc. etc.  Thus the overall issues are left in confusion, and the
power-wielding establishment continues to run things according to their own
desires and goals.  There's no useful accumulation of human wisdom and
understanding, just a lot of specialized research that the establishment
applies to its own enrichment.

        The field of speaking-about-the-whole-picture is left to populist
demagogues like Newt Gingrich, so-called religious leaders, and their ilk.
More specifically, the establishment picks out generalists whose
philosophies serve establishment interests and gives them public soapbox
time.  When they no longer serve establishment interests they are
discredited and discarded, as with Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, or Jimmy



 Posted by      Richard K. Moore <•••@••.•••>
                Wexford, Ireland (USA citizen)
                Editor: The Cyberjournal (@CPSR.ORG)

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