JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2006/11/indoctrination.html (13 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1164007258-541938  Mastiff at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 07:20:58 +0000

To move from the realm of theory into practice, this is why we should all push for more charter schools. It avoids the hype that's been built up over the voucher controversy, yet brings freedom from the educational/industrial complex.

Granted, there is nothing to guarantee that students will be inculcated with the proper values in a charter school, but it can't get much worse, can it?

jsid-1164040968-541957  geekWithA.45 at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 16:42:48 +0000

I too am uncomfortable with the notion of indoctrinating anyone to anything.

Indoctrination and propaganda, it seemed to me, is the tool of the enemy.

However, we see now the result of failing to indoctrinate: we yield the field to those who WILL indoctrinate, to our disadvantage.

The best we can do, I think, is not to indoctrinate, but to INNOCULATE. We must innoculate against certain dead end ideas, and we must innoculate our young against the manipulations of social engineering, so that they can sweep aside the clutter and know their OWN mind.

I'm going to repost something I said elsewhere here, since it seems at least tangentially related:

There are two premises for the vitality of the Republic that are sorely lacking of late.

The first is an educated electorate with access to high quality information that they can effectively process.

The other is this whole notion that is littered all over the Federalist papers that somehow, magically, the process would attract and select the best and brightest minds, while rejecting the dross.

The drunken rantings from the Senate floor of the bloated whale known as the Hero of Chappaquidic casts that whole premise into deep doubt.

jsid-1164045226-541962  Anon at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 17:53:46 +0000

You call schools 'warehouses', but I ran across another essay that likens them more to 'prisons'. The essay is "Why Nerds are Unpopular" by Paul Graham. You can find it with a quick web-search and it is worth a read. He has another essay titled "What You Can't Say" that holds lessons for people (gun guys) with positions that are very probably correct, but none-the-less unpopular. It is also worth a read.

jsid-1164051899-541970  Cindi at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 19:44:59 +0000

Geek - I think the second premise was based on the first. And the first and second were based on the premise of a majority of 'virtuous people' being necessary for the success of the whole experiment.

I believe we do need to indoctrinate the young with, at least, the Golden Rule and with a habit of good manners and civilized behavior.

That we are not insisting, demanding, that the young be taught the proper English, reading, math, history, civics, and ethics (yeah, social studies, my ass) is a screaming outrage.

Root of propaganda is propagate, i.e.
to cause to extend to a broader area or larger number; spread: to make widely known; publicize.

Nothing bad about that in of itself; it's the subject matter that becomes the problem.

jsid-1164057352-541978  Cindi at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 21:15:52 +0000

Anon, thanks for the Paul Graham tip. The Nerds essay hit the nail, well a few nails.

I posted on another site, to the usual diatribe about wanting to re-institute child labor, the idea that we are boring our children and teenagers to death and encouraging rebellion by locking them up with each other, expecting them to 'socialize' each other, and giving them no meaningful work. Better were the days, in terms of acquiring meaningful knowledge, when apprenticeship was common at a young age. Aaaand they learned civility by example from civilized adults.

jsid-1164061995-541984  Sarah at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 22:33:15 +0000


What is it you're proposing, to raise children in a moral vacuum until they are able to arrive at a code of behavior by reason?

You can't not indoctrinate. Until children have gone through the grammar (fact-absorbing) and logic stages of their education, they are not capable of reasoning out why it is that they should do this and not do that. Even then, reason doesn't always dictate the correct course of action. So what do you do with kids in the meantime? And, like you said, if you don't indoctrinate your kids, someone else will.

jsid-1164065801-541987  DJ at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 23:36:41 +0000

Sarah, one could follow the "bung hole method" of raising children. When the child reaches puberty, just put him in a barrel and then feed him through the bung hole. When he reaches age 18, look through the hole. If you don't like what you see, just drive in the bung and try again.

See why I don't have any children?

jsid-1164066963-541988  Phelps at Mon, 20 Nov 2006 23:56:03 +0000

The first is an educated electorate with access to high quality information that they can effectively process.

The other is this whole notion that is littered all over the Federalist papers that somehow, magically, the process would attract and select the best and brightest minds, while rejecting the dross.

The two are related, and both have been destroyed by universal sufferage. The founders rejected democracy in favor of a republic for a reason, and you are looking at it. There is a balance to be struck -- and a certain level of participation required for sufferage to be a boon rather than a hinderance.

If you want an educated electorate, you must require the electorate to demonstrate education. Breathing for 18 years is not a high enough requirement.

jsid-1164069660-541991  Purple Avenger at Tue, 21 Nov 2006 00:41:00 +0000

If I had any kids, they'd not be in public school. They'd be getting home schooled.

jsid-1164129851-542020  Sarah at Tue, 21 Nov 2006 17:24:11 +0000

Yes, DJ, I see why you don't have any kids. :) Not that I'm an expert, myself -- no kids (yet).

jsid-1164138375-542032  ParatrooperJJ at Tue, 21 Nov 2006 19:46:15 +0000

Anyone know what school he works in? He doesn't deserve to hold onto his teaching license.

jsid-1164289450-542164  Engineer-Poet at Thu, 23 Nov 2006 13:44:10 +0000

If I had kids, they'd get facts and logic drilled into them from as soon as they could memorize things.  (And if their memories turned out to be as good as mine, that would be pretty early.)  And I'd try to teach them the real history, starting with ancient Greece, that was never in any of the classes I had.

I wouldn't be too hard on Mark Bradley.  If you read through the satire, he's lamenting some of the same things that the folks here do - like the corporate control of media which enforces a PC, hoplophobic line across the board and tries to shove itself into schools (remember Channel 1?).  I think we've got more in common with him than we think.  And it's hard to think of the Constitution as healthy when we've got an office of faith-based initiatives and have to change control of Congress just to disabuse someone of the idea that he's "the decider".

jsid-1164301049-542175  Kevin Baker at Thu, 23 Nov 2006 16:57:29 +0000

One quibble, E-P.

The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief. When it comes to the military, after the Congress says "go" - which they did - he is "the decider."

That's what the Constitution says.

We the People don't get to joggle his elbow on that topic until the next Presidential election.

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