Wednesday, January 22, 2003 :::
SELECTIVE SCHOOLS are the best schools, says this report from Britain. To which I respond: like, duh. Apparently, however, for many it remains a piece of astonishing information. And it is a lesson America's failing high school culture refuses to take to heart. Characteristically, Labour MPs only seem to take this evidence of the obvious as further encouragement to abolish selective schools (yes, such horrible people still exist, read the BBC report). I wish I made it up. It's another reminder that attempts to make the world safe for socialist mediocrity never cease. I suppose we cannot deny that Labour's representatives of the (envious) people make use of some logic, perverse as it is: selective schools are the best schools; 'best' implies hierarchy; 'hierarchy' implies inequality; 'inequality' pains the crude egalitarian. Somehow the obvious fact that letting people be good at what they do is actually beneficial to the whole of society has never been able to penetrate whatever goes on in socialist minds. Once again, they'd rather have each and all of us equally miserable than many of us happily flourishing.
"XENOPHON, suppose I think you have a spear. You deny it. You had a spear at one time, you say, but you got rid of it. Yet I believe you retain it. Could you convince me you do not?/Of course I could, wise Socrates. I would swear an oath that I had no such weapon".....a Socratic dialogue on weapons 'inspections.'
WHY WE LIKE TOM PALMER. "A New York Times article (registration required) describes the military seizure of coca-cola plants by Fidel Castro-wannabe Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and reports the kind of philosophical attitude one would expect of a collectivist-totalitarian theorist, such as G. A. Cohen of Oxford University." More on the Palmer-Cohen debat here. While you're over at Tom's site, don't miss all of his witty posts of late.
Sunday, January 19, 2003 :::
QUITE FRANKLY, I think it's refreshing that someone with a BA in French from Oxford would rather be a (well-paid) plumber than yet another dreary office worker. But it would be much better if more of those who are by nature more qualified to do so pursue this route through vocational training. Too many people would rather go to mediocre 'universities' and 'colleges' where they pursue meaningless degrees in Communication Studies, Leisure Studies, or Sport Studies, instead of doing honest work. Our society is extremely uncomfortable with the natural facts of distinction and difference. Nonetheless, such is the stuff of human nature. Some people are not equipped to do practical works with their hands. Others are not equipped to do advanced critical thinking. We need both kinds of people -- and both are very valuable. That means for some that education stops at an early age, for others that it will never do so. But today, there are certainly too many people in higher education. With average intelligence by definition constant, this has lead to a dumbing down of universities, and a lack of well-trained plumbers taking pride in their work.