Archive for October, 2012

What If: Higher Education

16 October 2012
what they don't teach in school

What they don’t teach you in school.

My “What If” articles are meant to deal with highly speculative concepts.

This particular article was inspired by a job listing for a teacher for “disadvantaged youth.”

I thought: If those in charge really wanted us to know what we needed to know to “get ahead,” what would they teach us?

And I came up with at least three subjects that are not taught at most schools, but that have helped various persons make a mark on the planet (of some sort or another). These are:

  1. Esoterica. Mystical or Occult teachings and practices.
  2. Military Arts. Usually only taught to soldiers.
  3. Street Smarts. Stuff you pick up when forced to “live tough.”

If you can acquire some mastery of two or more of these subjects (I don’t know that these are the only ones, just what I thought of) and make good connections to some folks involved with those subjects, your career possibilities could open up substantially.

The accompanying diagram gives my rough estimate of what sort of “professions” education in these subjects would prepare you for. Not that I necessarily recommend going in any of these directions. But the fact is, people who seem to be doing quite well seem to know about this stuff, and “normal” people don’t seem to.

In the interest of seeing if this theory has any sort of validity, I looked up some biographies of some famous individuals on Wikipedia and extracted a few salient facts. Formal higher education played a major role in only one of these persons’ lives, and he is by far the lesser of these four personalities.

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790)
Father: Maker of candles and soap.
Schooling: No higher education, learned via reading and apprenticeships.
Street smarts: Ran away from home to Philadelphia at age of 17.
Esoterica: Initiated into the Masonic Lodge in 1731.
Profession: Printer, polymath, statesman.
Criminal dealings: Had a son out of wedlock, and had to take his wife in common-law marriage, as she was previously married. But basically, he seemed to be an honest man.

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)
Father: Tobacco farmer and businessman. Slave holder.
Schooling: No university education. Got surveyor and military training.
Esoterica: Joined Freemasonry in 1753.
Profession: Surveyor and landowner, military officer, politician.
Criminal dealings: As a military officer, he killed native enemies of the British colonizers.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild (23 February 1744 – 19 September 1812)
Father: Personal supplier of coins to the Prince of Hesse.
Schooling: No formal education is noted. Learned banking by apprenticeship.
Esoterica: There is a persistent belief that Rothschild financed the work of Illuminatist Adam Weishaupt.
Profession: Banking for royalty.
Criminal dealings: Imported goods across Napoleon’s continental blockade.

Johann Adam Weishaupt (6 February 1748 – 18 November 1830)
Father: Professor of Law.
Schooling: Educated at a Jesuit school and at university.
Profession: Professor of Law.
Esoterica: Founded “Order of Perfectibilists” in 1776, became a Mason in 1777 and developed “Illuminism”.
Criminal dealings: Writings of 1784 considered seditious by Elector (Duke) of Bavaria.

This sampling is not sufficiently broad to prove anything. But I’m really just trying to make a point. The guys in charge of the “education” system: They’re not going to tell you what you really need to know!

Reminder

16 October 2012

…if anyone is really there.

I started a “Twitter campaign” a little while back which has been going absolutely nowhere.

Either telling the truth is the worst idea in the universe, or no one has really read what I have written.

Want to cheer me up a little?

Then

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!!!!!

Give us youth: Tell the truth! Campaign

News of the Future – Drone Car

13 October 2012

I have added a new page to my other blog called “News of the Future.”

I invite you to check out my first article here.

Review – Stories from the Golden Age – When Shadows Fall

13 October 2012

Galaxy Press – affiliated with Author Services, the literary agent for L. Ron Hubbard – some time back launched a series of paperbacks and audio books they call “Stories from the Golden Age.” This is intended to be a complete collection of all his pulp fiction writing.

It includes a number of stories in the following genres:
Air adventure – 16.
Far-flung adventure – 29.
Sea adventure – 11.
Tales from the Orient – 15.
Mystery – 16.
Fantasy – 9.
Science Fiction – 23.
Westerns – 34.

And you thought LRH was just a science fiction writer?

Nevertheless, science “fiction” remained one of his most potent tools for dealing with the larger issues of society and technology. And as such, these stories in particular are compelling for a reader such as myself.

On a recent extended weekend, I took the time to read the three stories in the issue of Stories from the Golden Age entitled “When Shadows Fall.”

A dying planet

The title story is very short, but extremely strong. It envisions a time when Earth is far past its peak as a local imperial power, and its former colonies have discontinued all their support to it. As a consequence, Earth is dying.

The few remaining rulers decide to make one last effort to re-connect Earth with its colonies.

One goes out to remind the far-flung worlds of Earth’s military might.
A second ventures out to offer financial deals, following another old tradition on Earth.
And a third – not trusted by the rest – goes out and does “nothing.” Actually, he meets old friends and wastes all his time reminiscing about the good old days.

Which Earth emissary do you think is effective in his mission?

Surprise “futuristic” technology mentioned: Terraforming.

This story makes a very effective point, particularly considering its brevity.

Robot stories

Stories of robots who look and act like people abound in science fiction. And two such stories are presented here. I think that even if you know they are robot stories when you read them, you will be hugely entertained – and perhaps even tricked – by their plot twists and denouements.

Tough Old Man – a newly-trained space “constable” goes out for his first apprenticeship.

Battling Bolto – a rural artisan gets wrapped up in a quick-buck scheme that nearly gets him killed.

The role of fiction in a fictional world

Story telling is one of the oldest social activities on earth. Where does its strength come from? Perhaps it reflects a truth which we tend to forget, because it is a truth that can be very difficult to realize.

And that truth is that imagination has always led the way in the progress of Mankind. There is no more powerful force in one’s personal life nor in our group existence than creative imagination. We shape our futures by first imagining them. And it will always be that way.

Beyond that, fiction gives us a way to “play around” with the problems we face in life in ways that sober analysis of “facts” seldom does. It helps us to realize that we share patterns and habits with all those of our kind, yet there always exists the possibility of rising above old patterns that no longer serve us to invent new ones that are more workable. Thus, fiction can be a tool to help us solve real-life problems.

I have also recently seen “fiction” used as a way to tell true stories that would be embarrassing, or perhaps unsafe, to tell as fact. This seems, somehow, devious. But in a world where deviousness has become the norm, it may at times be the only way left to get some truth out. While the label “fiction” protects the author from being accused of getting his “facts” wrong, it also – we may suppose – protects him or her from getting them right! This last use of fiction may in fact be much older than I imagine it to be. People have been killed for telling the truth for more centuries than I can count!

I Have Nothing to Report

6 October 2012

The weather here has been great for almost 2 months now.
There are no bombs dropping here, no missiles exploding and killing little children.
There is no crime wave at this time, no food riots.

I hear about all these things.

I hear about how inevitable it is that all this will come to my state, my city, my house any day now.

But so far, it has not.

You? Do any of you have anything to report?

I am told there has been a battle going on in deep space for some time now.
I am told that some interesting vehicles clashed in or over the Pacific, near San Francisco, not too long ago.
I am told that Asia is broiling with political intrigue.
I am told that Europe is falling apart financially and that the US will be next.
I am told that Agenda 21 is being implemented worldwide as we speak.
I am told people are dying terribly every day around the planet from war, domestic violence, bad weather, disease, animal attacks.

But here where I live, everything seems fine.

I won’t allow any comments on this article except for reports of actual news from where you live. Nothing seems to be happening here. But I can’t believe nothing is happening. Maybe good things are happening and that’s why I’m not getting any reports. Journalism likes to concentrate on bad things, so I’m told. Something of note must be happening somewhere! Let me know!