Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Lament For Education

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are two glaring examples of how to be successful without benefit of a university degree. Forbes magazine published a list of college-dropout billionaires on March 11, 2009 and noted that the average net worth of billionaires who dropped out of college, $9.4 billion, is approximately triple that of billionaires with Ph.D.s, $3.2 billion. Then again, what is the purpose of education?

John Goodlad ("In Praise of Education", Teachers College Press, 1997) wrote that educational stimuli stirs and prods the maturing individual to engage in a process or self-transcendence from narcissism to identify with and assume responsibility for humankind and for all species of flora and fauna on which humankind's own survival depends. Quite a mouthful to say that it's better to stop and smell the flower bouquet than swipe the free toothpicks from a restaurant table.

The journey of education, he said, is endangered by alternatives lushly advertised in travel folders that offer more and earlier self-gratification for less discipline and sacrifice. We see that in our variant of meritocracy, where an 18 year old has his path to obscene wealth chartered by the type of scholarship he is anointed with. Never mind if the skillset calls for obfuscation and dereliction of accountability, the legions of minions can always be counted upon to be exploited to the hilt.

The contention that education is a moral endeavor is a frightening prospect for these people. Goodlad cites the British philosopher John White, who believes there are moral positions that should be made available to everyone in a democratic society, such as fairness, caring, justice, equality and community. Tragedy is a leadership populated by amoral individuals.

It is obvious that education has been corrupted to lesser ends than guiding the delicate process of self transcendence. No wonder the discussion of education is tainted by discourses of starting pay and competitive salaries. Society has no room for ruminations about higher aspirations when the earthy needs of affordable housing, transportation and job security are not met.

10 comments:

  1. The sage has said, "If you can make money, why not"? And do not forget another boast of his - he never reads anything that has no practical value like novels or poetry.

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  2. It is stunning how this red dot has destroyed the meaning of education within one generation. Even in HK where half a century of political uncertainties forces people to be understandably short term in their outlook, materialism has not taken on the dimension it has in red dot. People are interested in civil rights, in things beyond making ends meet (for the poor) and buying that 7th maserati (people at the top). Here, even before most kids (assuming their parents are above the 50th percentile in income) reach the age of 5, they bear the burden of attending tuition, enrichment classes and what not, to help them score As and tick boxes on their CVs towards the final goal of getting the 'scholarship' that will pave the way to the pots of gold. Mind you, it wasn't always that way, 30 years ago, civic lessons weren't always about political brainwashing (it depended on your teacher of course, but at least there wasn't any 'syllabus'). If one has to put the finger on the trigger for the descent to materialism here, I would also agree that the 'scholarship at 18' scheme is the main cause. As one batch of hollow-insiders chooses the next batch, you end up with an SMRT chief (and his Mincom boss who also hails from the same notorious school) who finds nothing wrong chartering several trains to his old school mates for an outing while his trains keep beating breakdown statistics and the rest smell each others armpits when the trains are running. Or some md of sov 'wealth' fund who spends more energy in his personal pursuits than thinking about reversing the catastrophic downtrend in return from his millionaire investment oppicers. No accountability, no one faces any consequences anymore. Grab, free for all.

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    Replies
    1. Actually from the horses' mouths, many 'scholars' were shortlisted in JC1, so it is 17 years, not 18. It's deliberate, of course, as it adroitly sidesteps even their own criteria of using academic results from the A level exams to determine who gets anointed to a life of luxury and power in the years to come. Clearly someone up there finds it too "unpredictable" to depend on the opinion of some cambridge exam markers to do the 'scholar selection' for them. That may explain the non-random skew of scholars towards elitist background, rather than some mumbo jumbo explanation about the rich being able to afford private tutors or eugenics. In short, like everything here, from COE results to gerrymandering, it's rigged but justified with smart arguments.

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  3. Education does not equals enlightenment.

    There are lots of educated rascals and they are far more despicable and dangerous than simple folks.

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    Replies
    1. Yes Sir! That is a real gem of Wisdom ! Education alone does not equate Enlightenment . Usually, when one get an Education, the implication is that he or she received more than just pure Knowledge /Facts. Ethics , etiquette , Moral Instructions are usually part of the Education system . Or so we had hoped .
      I was lucky to have received a fairly rounded and wholesome CBS education .

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    2. Our education system stresses a lot on scholastic achievements, driven by over-emphasis on academic grades in employment opportunities. We have educated a bunch of calculative materialistic robotic bureaucrats and politicians, without heart or empathy, who make hard cold-blooded decisions with little attention to the social impact of their policies. This is elitist meritocracy, with a heavy dose of militarycracy. LKY calls his book the Hard Truths, but our blogger calls his site the Heart Truths. Can you see the difference? Leeders, where is your EQ, the heart?

      "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society" - Theodore Roosevelt

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    3. From the PAP's perpective, education in Singapore is deemed a resounding success. Because without a successful education system in place, it would not have been possible for the incumbents to receive an average of more than 60% votes from Singaporeans in the past 50 years. The unwavering loyalty of the judiciary, the unifying voice of 77 MPs and not least, reading-the -right stuff mainstream media is all a result of an effective education .....and without a doubt, one of LKY's enduring legacies.

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  4. "The unexamined life is not worth living."

    01 - Socrates on Self-Confidence
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S24FxdvfOko&feature=gv
    -
    philosopher.org/Socratic_Method.html
    http://www.philosopher.org/Socratic_Method.html
    -
    04 - Montaigne on Self-Esteem
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOjDttEtfGI&feature=gv
    -
    The Role of Philosophy in Politics
    http://thethirdestate.net/2009/11/the-role-of-philosophy-in-politics/
    -
    Epistemology.htm
    http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/epist.html
    -
    http://csmt.uchicago.edu/glossary2004/dialectic.htm
    dialectic.htm

    What Is Politics
    http://singaporedesk.blogspot.sg/2013/08/elephant-in-room.html
    (Singapore Notes Elephant In The Room (comment section))
    -
    What Is Politics _ Ordinary Times
    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2010/12/21/what-is-politics
    -
    Politics and Education Don't Mix - The Atlantic
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/04/politics-and-education-dont-mix/256303/
    -
    George Orwell The Prevention of Literature
    http://orwell.ru/library/essays/prevention/english/e_plit
    -
    George Orwell Politics and the English Language
    http://orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit
    -
    How_to_Think
    http://faculty.georgetown.edu/kingch/How_to_Think.htm
    -
    Attribution and Attraction in Psychology 101 at AllPsych Online
    Obedience and Power in Psychology 101 at AllPsych Online
    http://allpsych.com/psychology101/attribution_attraction.html


    Joshua Chiang

    ReplyDelete
  5. How_to_Write
    http://faculty.georgetown.edu/kingch/How_to_Write.htm
    -
    Article critique
    http://www.marietta.edu/~peeblesm/452%20Article%20critique.htm
    -
    Objections in Court - Use them to Win Your Court Case -with examples
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Objections-in-Court-Case-Win


    Rule of Law or Rule by Law _ Singapore Armchair Critic
    http://singaporearmchaircritic.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/rule-of-law-or-rule-by-law/
    -
    Of Opportunists and Sycophants in Academia _ Singapore Armchair Critic
    http://singaporearmchaircritic.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/of-opportunists-and-sycophants-in-academia/
    -
    Framing Issues Without Context- a common tactic used by PAP _ Jentrified Citizen
    http://jentrifiedcitizen.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/framing-issues-and-not-telling-the-whole-truth-a-popular-tactic-by
    -miw/
    -
    Whistleblowers risks and skills
    http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/07Rappert.html
    -
    How To Deceive, Lie And Spread Disinformation: A Guide To The Most Effective Disinformation Tactics
    http://www.masternewmedia.org/how-to-deceive-lie-and-spread-disinformation-a-guide/
    -
    Disinformation, Propaganda, Paid Trolls, and Control of Information
    http://thisbluemarble.com/showthread.php?t=29361
    -
    NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY by Gary Allen
    http://whale.to/b/allen_b1.html
    -
    Controlling The Minds Of The Masses How It Is Done And Why (With Videos) _ NWO Observer
    http://nwoobserver.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/controlling-the-minds-of-the-masses-how-it-is-done-and-why-with-
    videos/
    -
    Mass Mind Control Through Network Television
    http://rense.com/general69/mass.htm
    -
    Hegelian Dialectic – The No. 1 Tool of the Illuminati -with examples
    http://alittletruth.hubpages.com/hub/Hegelian-Dialectic-Illuminati-New-World-Order
    -
    The Hegelian Dialectic
    http://www.jeremiahproject.com/newworldorder/hegelian-dialectic.html
    -
    Electoral fraud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud

    Joshua Chiang

    ReplyDelete
  6. Veritas Singaporean facing extinction PAP's genocide explain
    http://veritas-lux.blogspot.sg/2011/07/singaporean-facing-extinction-paps.html
    -
    DevanNair
    http://www.yeocheowtong.com/DevanNair.html
    -
    Machiavelli’s Tiger: Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore’s authoritarian regime
    http://www.singapore-window.org/sw00/000614ug.htm
    Machiavelli's Tiger: Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore's ...
    -
    http://johnharding.com/2011/08/is-singapores-lee-kuan-yew-the-worlds-richest-man/
    -
    Singapore's People's Association — Central Intelligence Agency
    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol12no4/html/v12i4a05p_0001.htm
    -
    S'pore: Judge orders man to mental institution
    http://www.thinkcentre.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=2550
    -
    Town council summons elderly lady for owing 1 « Editorial « TR EMERITUS
    http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/08/27/town-council-summons-elderly-person-for-owing-411/
    -
    I came, I saw, I wrote it You can't eat Democracy
    http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.sg/search/label/You%20can%27t%20eat%20Democracy
    -
    PAP’s failed governance makes them a liability to us « Opinion « TR EMERITUS
    http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/08/28/paps-failed-governance-makes-them-a-liability-to-us/


    ps, to look at my oth postings,input(enter) Joshua Chiang into the "Search This Blog" search function at,

    http://singaporedesk.blogspot.sg/
    The other will be at Yahoo sg site using my moniker, by way of clicking on my moniker or @See Toh Hiap Seng's,
    you will be able to look at our postings,go to this link for a start,
    http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/two-rivals-two-gentlemen-one-community-162521382.html

    Joshua Chiang

    ReplyDelete