The Purpose of Education?

Interesting read on the purpose of education.

  1. Wisdom to understand the parts and know how they come together
  2. Wisdom to know when to pull out the cards and what response to use at what times
  3. Ability to get across your ideas

How are we doing as a society achieving these lofty goals? Should education be teaching practical skills like welding;

Recall Marco Rubio’s quip three years ago that “[w]e need more welders and less [he meant ‘fewer’] philosophers.” (He recanted earlier this year, realizing that, after all, both are important.)

or computer programming?  Is STEM the answer, how about if we add STEAM (the arts)?

Rethinking the Purpose of Education

… First, education aims at “wisdom.” What is wisdom? It is, in the opinion of the ancient philosophers Cicero and Seneca, “knowledge of things human and divine.” It is an ordered reflection on the nature of reality in the broad sense. It is reflection on how the parts comprise a whole, and it is knowledge of that whole. Wisdom knows the human arts and sciences, it has some sense of the way those are ordained and arranged by God, and it knows how to tell the difference between the two.

Second, education aims at “prudence.” What is prudence? It is improvisatory wisdom. It is the application of the contemplative knowledge of the whole to the practical considerations of everyday life. It asks, “What does wisdom require of me in this situation?” And it knows how to answer.

Third, education aims at “eloquence.” What is eloquence? It is not flowery speech. It is not purple prose. It is not verbal pyrotechnics. It is the cultivated ability to discuss a subject with intelligence from all angles and comprehensively. It is the transformation of wisdom’s knowledge into human speech. This third aim is not optional, but is demanded by our very nature. For man is a speaking animal, and if ratio, “reason,” compels us to seek the fellowship of other rational animals, no less does oratio, “speech,” compel us to find the company of other creatures as loquacious as we are. Eloquence, furthermore, makes what we have learned available to others and makes it known in a persuasive way.

There is little hope that such a view of education will make great waves with our current educational establishment. It is too impractical, offers few material or corporate rewards, and creates too much potential for thought and the unapproved opinions to which such thought will give birth. Still, perhaps it’s not too late to see that this view is more in keeping with the kind of beings we are — those whose heads are raised from the earth — and is therefore better attuned to our higher aspirations. We are men before we are employees. Perhaps it is time for our educationalists to acknowledge that fact.

E.J. Hutchinson is Associate Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.

Difference Between A Recession and Depression

The difference between a depression and a recession;

Depressions happen in real markets with honest currencies. Prices deflate relative to the currency which causes a downward spiral of unemployment and asset devaluation. The currency remains stable, so the depreciation of other assets is more obvious.

Recessions are depressions in floating fiat systems. The currency is immediately devalued so the depreciation of assets is muted, money is printed up and floods the economy, interest rates are suppressed and government spending increases, masking the drop in GDP.

What you get in the first case are hard booms and busts. When the busts are over the bad debt is cleared and the economy can grow. In the second case, you get a muted, soft landing, and plenty to dull the pain.

The price to pay is an ever-increasing national debt that eventually implodes the entire system and threatens civilization itself.

From a blog comment. Rings true.

Tough To Outrun The Math

The Federal deficit (what we put on the credit card) was $1.1 Trillion (HERE)

The INTEREST payment on the debt we already have ($21 trillion) was $316 billion.

We collected, in the form of taxes and fees, $3.7 trillion. So about 10% of what we collect goes to debt service.

Change and Fear

C.S Lewis Explains the Best Way to Handle Change

Veronica Baugh | October 1, 2018

It is this change that English author C.S. Lewis so beautifully explains in his short story, The Great Divorce.

In the story, the hero explores heaven, purgatory, and hell, and meets a few of their respective occupants. During these wanderings, the hero encounters a downright pitiable man who is plagued by a gross lizard that clings onto his shoulder and whispers in his ear. The afflicted man is tired, sad, and frustrated. The lizard is sucking all the life out of him, and he wants it off so badly he’d be willing to undergo nearly anything if only he could knock the thing about a hundred miles away. He must get it off — or die in the attempt.

As the afflicted man thus stands and thinks about his misfortune, a brilliant angel appears and offers to save him. The angel offers to kill that lizard, and thereby free the poor man from his long-endured misery. Of course, the lizard immediately starts feverishly whispering all kinds of fears and doubts into the afflicted man’s ear. Frightened, the man makes the angel promise that, should he take the lizard off, the procedure would not kill him. The angel promises, and so moves to pry off the lizard. The man immediately recoils in terrible pain, shouting that this was far more difficult than he had ever expected, and that perhaps it would be better to pry off the lizard another day. Eventually, the angel persuades him, and the lizard is yanked off the sobbing man with such terrible force that he almost dies. Almost – for he revives a few moments later as a larger, more complete, and much more excellent version of himself.

This, implies Lewis, is the inevitable process of overcoming your fear of change.

It is not the change itself that you fear – it is the transition from Point A to Point B. That transition often appears so fearsome and daunting that the shift (however small) begins to seem deeply humiliating, senselessly painful, and nearly impossible. You become discouraged and afraid. In the meantime, you allow yourself to be lulled into complacency by the gentle whisperings of your own self-doubt. These whisperings are the lizard on your shoulder and should be firmly ignored.

No matter how hard your change is, remember that the reality of your fear is not coming from the change itself, but from the transition and how you approach it.

Will you approach your transitions with patience and courage, or will you allow yourself to be bogged down into inaction by your insecurities and fears?

More on The Great Divorce – HERE