Friday, November 9, 2012

Education and skepticism

Did you ever stop and think about how you are taught? When you were doing research in school, did you ever find information that was relevant to your course work, but also relevant to another area of study that would require enrollment in a whole new degree program, like communication, business, and psychology? The separation of these three and other areas of study is sometimes called "stove-piping," not unlike the stove-piping of intelligence information between the F.B.I., C.I.A., and D.O.D. that if shared between the aforementioned agencies, could have prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

The term "stove-piping" was used frequently in the media after that, and again used in reference to the invasion of Iraq regarding the claim that Saddam Hussein acquired Yellow Cake Uranium and was constructing weapons of mass destruction.

As a communication student, I lifted the technique of stove-piping and held it up against other aspects of our culture. Outside my normally required line of study for my coursework I found myself in the gray area between communication, psychology, and business; finding the conspiracies of social engineering, eugenics, and oligarchy.

Certain educational materials appear to be intentionally kept separate and appear to be inaccessible behind financial obstacles, such as the high cost of tuition or the high cost of subscriptions. The information is alleged to be available at public libraries, but how would you know exactly what to look for that would maximize your benefit?

You are conditioned to value certain things, and based on your conditioning, you search for information to improve what you believe is progress, along a specific path. This is called "Social Engineering." Through social engineering, generation after generation of people become pregnant as teenagers, drop out of school and become accustomed to following their parents and grandparents as prisoners, government social program participants, government social program employees, police officers, fire fighters, factory workers, miners, health care professionals and many other types of employees.

Meanwhile, a small number of people in different social circles became the "captains of industry." Many are the children of industrialists who long ago hired professionals to manage their estates. They have unlimited time and access to the most privileged scientific findings that give them an advantage in society. These people are sometimes referred to as "nobility," having the free time from the usual labor of survival to create and discover new things, and to become famous in our history books.

It's true that history is for the winners and the masters, and not for the laborers who followed them. How did your own behavior toward other people change after you first learned about slavery or the Holocaust? Was it more dangerous to ask why certain people treated others horribly, or is it more dangerous to ask why certain people were treated horribly? Did you find yourself aligning with an extinct ideal in history that is now considered inhumane and pathological? Maybe we should question the motives of teaching history that continuously recounts the denigration of certain people.

It's always healthy to question even the most seemingly mundane piece of information placed before you. Prepare yourself with questions beyond the information in the materials, especially about the way a class or culture is portrayed a certain way, and how it makes you feel about those people today.
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