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An oddity with a taste for deeper meaning ////
"Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment." Eckhart Tolle ////
ifeoluwa

The founders of these institutions, according to John Taylor Gatto, a distinguished public school teacher and researcher in educationxvi, are the military in Europe and the industrial capitalists in the U.S.

“The real makers of modern schooling were leaders of the new American industrial class, men like:
Andrew Carnegie, the steel baron…
John D. Rockefeller, the duke of oil…
Henry Ford, master of the assembly line which compounded steel and oil into a vehicular dynasty…
and J.P. Morgan, the king of capitalist finance…”xvii

In Dumbing Us Down, Gatto pinpoints the goal of schooling.

“Schools were designed by Horace Mann and by Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and by Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and by some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled…”

A more revealing detail of the nature of contemporary schooling is its historical importation from Europe.

“The structure of American schooling, 20th century style, began in 1806 when Napoleon’s amateur soldiers beat the professional soldiers of Prussia at the battle of Jena… Almost immediately afterwards a German philosopher named Fichte delivered his famous “Address to the German Nation” which became one of the most influential documents in modern history. In effect he told the Prussian people that the party was over, that the nation would have to shape up through a new Utopian institution of forced schooling in which everyone would learn to take orders.

So the world got compulsion schooling at the end of a state bayonet for the first time in human history; modern forced schooling started in Prussia in 1819 with a clear vision of what centralized schools could deliver:

  • Obedient soldiers to the army;

  • Obedient workers to the mines;

  • Well subordinated civil servants to government;

  • Well subordinated clerks to industry;

  • Citizens who thought alike about major issues.”xviii

Needless to say, the institution of army is the institution of death per se. More important, it is the institution of imposed death, of murder. The deadly nature of the structure itself of education is not surprising in light of the above analysis of the physiological nature of learning discussed by Nikitina and Arshavski. In fact, it is its logical link in history. The methods developed in this case respond to the need to eliminate not only the adversary outside, but also the one inside, i.e. intelligence and will, in order to create obedience, subordination, and what Gatto calls outright “dumbness”.

“Old-fashioned dumbness used to be simple ignorance; now it is transformed from ignorance into permanent mathematical categories of relative stupidity like “gifted and talented,” “mainstream,” “special ed.” Categories in which learning is rationed for the good of a system of order…

If you believe nothing can be done for the dumb except kindness, because it’s biology — the bell-curve model;

if you believe capitalist oppressors have ruined the dumb because they are bad people — the neo-Marxist model;

if you believe dumbness reflects depraved moral fiber — the Calvinist model;

or that it’s nature’s way of disqualifying boobies from the reproduction sweepstakes — the Darwinian model;

or nature’s way of providing someone to clean your toilet —- the pragmatic elitist model;

or that it’s evidence of bad karma  — the Buddhist model;

if you believe any of the various explanations given for the position of the dumb in the social order we have, then you will be forced to concur that a vast bureaucracy is indeed necessary to address the dumb.

Mass dumbness first had to be imagined; it isn’t real.

Once the dumb are wished into existence, they serve valuable functions: as a danger to themselves and others they have to be watched, classified, disciplined, trained, medicated, sterilized, ghettoized, cajoled, coerced, jailed. To idealists they represent a challenge, reprobates to be made socially useful… An ignorant horde to be schooled one way or another”xix

One of the principle practices in education is therefore the cultivation of dumbness as a norm, the paradox being that dumbness as a negative affliction to be cured and avoided in its semantic rendition in practice becomes obligatory and positive – an end to be desired and which is rewarded with diplomas, certificates, and prizes.

However, if dumbness is the norm in the masses, then intelligence fulfilled becomes a rare occurrence in the realm of genius. Needless to say, the “geniuses” usually arise in conditions that do not stifle the natural passion to learn and allow dominanta to complete its cycle. If we look at the biographies of those persons deemed “genius” in Occidental civilisation, many have been home-schooled. In the case of Blaise Pascal, we can even apply the new term “unschooled”.

More important though, “genius” implies someone at the “service” of the current ideological system. Those who pick out the genius are those for whom the genius is most useful. Such thinkers as Hakim Bey, Zerzan, or Derrik Jensen – no matter how genius – are not on Nobel Prize lists. Those promoting “democracy” are.

There is another category of those who have neither risen to the rare status of genius and for the obvious reasons rarely anyone does) nor have succumbed to the dumbing and killing methods of schooling. These are the schizophrenics, the manic depressors, and other such lot that “society” attempts to cure and recycle.

Layla Abdelrahim -

Modernism and Education: Revised Perspectives on Meaning, Value and Practice

itwonlast:

The Weird 1969 New Wave Sci-Fi Novel that Correctly Predicted the Current Day
By TED GIOIA
Stand on Zanzibar is that rarity among science fiction novels — it really made accurate predictions about the future. The book, published in 1969, is set in the year 2010, and this allows us to make a point-by-point comparison, and marvel at novelist John Brunner’s uncanny ability to anticipate the shape of the world to come.  Indeed, his vision of the year 2010 even includes a popular leader named President Obomi — face it, Nate Silver himself couldn’t have done that back in 1969!
Let me list some of the other correct predictions in Brunner’s book:
(1) Random acts of violence by crazy individuals, often taking place at schools, plague society in Stand on Zanzibar.
(2) The other major source of instability and violence comes from terrorists, who are now a major threat to U.S. interests, and even manage to attack buildings within the United States.
(3) Prices have increased sixfold between 1960 and 2010 because of inflation. (The actual increase in U.S. prices during that period was sevenfold, but Brunner was close.)
(4) The most powerful U.S. rival is no longer the Soviet Union, but China. However, much of the competition between the U.S. and Asia is played out in economics, trade, and technology instead of overt warfare.
(5) Europeans have formed a union of nations to improve their economic prospects and influence on world affairs. In international issues, Britain tends to side with the U.S., but other countries in Europe are often critical of U.S. initiatives.
(6) Africa still trails far behind the rest of the world in economic development, and Israel remains the epicenter of tensions in the Middle East.
(7) Although some people still get married, many in the younger generation now prefer short-term hookups without long-term commitment.
(8) Gay and bisexual lifestyles have gone mainstream, and pharmaceuticals to improve sexual performance are widely used (and even advertised in the media).
(9) Many decades of affirmative action have brought blacks into positions of power, but racial tensions still simmer throughout society.
(10) Motor vehicles increasingly run on electric fuel cells. Honda (primarily known as a motorcycle manufacturers when Brunner wrote his book) is a major supplier, along with General Motors.
(11) Yet Detroit has not prospered, and is almost a ghost town because of all the shuttered factories. However. a new kind of music — with an uncanny resemblance to the actual Detroit techno movement of the 1990s — has sprung up in the city.
(12) TV news channels have now gone global via satellite.
(13) TiVo-type systems allow people to view TV programs according to their own schedule.
(14) Inflight entertainment systems on planes now include video programs and news accessible on individual screens at each seat.
(15) People rely on avatars to represent themselves on video screens — Brunner calls these images, which either can look like you or take on another appearance you select — “Mr. and Mrs. Everywhere.”
(16) Computer documents are generated with laser printers.
(17) A social and political backlash has marginalized tobacco, but marijuana has been decriminalized.
Other science fiction books have occasionally made successful predictions, from Jules Verne’s Around the Moon (1865), which eerily anticipated many details of the Apollo program, to William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984) with its descriptions of cyberspace and hackers. But Brunner’s work stands out as the most uncanny anticipation of what would actually change — and what would stay the same — in the decades following its publication. Certainly, there are many details, large and small, that Brunner got wrong. But even when the particulars don’t ring true, the overarching theme of Stand on Zanzibar, which is the hidden cost of our obsession with human perfectibility, is just as relevant today as when Brunner wrote his novel.
Read on


Wow

itwonlast:

The Weird 1969 New Wave Sci-Fi Novel that Correctly Predicted the Current Day

By TED GIOIA

Stand on Zanzibar is that rarity among science fiction novels — it really made accurate predictions about the future. The book, published in 1969, is set in the year 2010, and this allows us to make a point-by-point comparison, and marvel at novelist John Brunner’s uncanny ability to anticipate the shape of the world to come.  Indeed, his vision of the year 2010 even includes a popular leader named President Obomi — face it, Nate Silver himself couldn’t have done that back in 1969!

Let me list some of the other correct predictions in Brunner’s book:

(1) Random acts of violence by crazy individuals, often taking place at schools, plague society in Stand on Zanzibar.

(2) The other major source of instability and violence comes from terrorists, who are now a major threat to U.S. interests, and even manage to attack buildings within the United States.

(3) Prices have increased sixfold between 1960 and 2010 because of inflation. (The actual increase in U.S. prices during that period was sevenfold, but Brunner was close.)

(4) The most powerful U.S. rival is no longer the Soviet Union, but China. However, much of the competition between the U.S. and Asia is played out in economics, trade, and technology instead of overt warfare.

(5) Europeans have formed a union of nations to improve their economic prospects and influence on world affairs. In international issues, Britain tends to side with the U.S., but other countries in Europe are often critical of U.S. initiatives.

(6) Africa still trails far behind the rest of the world in economic development, and Israel remains the epicenter of tensions in the Middle East.

(7) Although some people still get married, many in the younger generation now prefer short-term hookups without long-term commitment.

(8) Gay and bisexual lifestyles have gone mainstream, and pharmaceuticals to improve sexual performance are widely used (and even advertised in the media).

(9) Many decades of affirmative action have brought blacks into positions of power, but racial tensions still simmer throughout society.

(10) Motor vehicles increasingly run on electric fuel cells. Honda (primarily known as a motorcycle manufacturers when Brunner wrote his book) is a major supplier, along with General Motors.

(11) Yet Detroit has not prospered, and is almost a ghost town because of all the shuttered factories. However. a new kind of music — with an uncanny resemblance to the actual Detroit techno movement of the 1990s — has sprung up in the city.

(12) TV news channels have now gone global via satellite.

(13) TiVo-type systems allow people to view TV programs according to their own schedule.

(14) Inflight entertainment systems on planes now include video programs and news accessible on individual screens at each seat.

(15) People rely on avatars to represent themselves on video screens — Brunner calls these images, which either can look like you or take on another appearance you select — “Mr. and Mrs. Everywhere.”

(16) Computer documents are generated with laser printers.

(17) A social and political backlash has marginalized tobacco, but marijuana has been decriminalized.

Other science fiction books have occasionally made successful predictions, from Jules Verne’s Around the Moon (1865), which eerily anticipated many details of the Apollo program, to William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984) with its descriptions of cyberspace and hackers. But Brunner’s work stands out as the most uncanny anticipation of what would actually change — and what would stay the same — in the decades following its publication. Certainly, there are many details, large and small, that Brunner got wrong. But even when the particulars don’t ring true, the overarching theme of Stand on Zanzibar, which is the hidden cost of our obsession with human perfectibility, is just as relevant today as when Brunner wrote his novel.

Read on

Wow

(via hibiscustension)

hibiscustension:

thefemaletyrant:

It’s been more than ten years since Diébédo Francis Kéré built his first school in Burkina Faso. In 1998 the architect planned a climate friendly clay school building in his home village of Gando, 200 kilometres west of the capital of Ouagadougou. It was finally built in 2001 with the help of villagers and the foundation Schulbausteine für Gando (“School Building Blocks for Gando”), which he established specifically for this purpose.

Until then many had looked down on his work with condescension. But the clay building was still standing after the first rainy season and further buildings followed — a school extension, residential buildings for teachers and an infirmary, and soon the library and women’s centre will be completed too. The award-winning architect is currently constructing his largest clay building to date, in the form of a high school for more than 1,200 students, which will be made of wall panels prefabricated from clay and concrete. The village of Gando is his building site, and in his architecture, Kéré combines what he has seen in Europe with what he finds in Africa.

Kéré’s biography reads like something straight from the movies. As a boy, the now successful architect lived with a foster family in the provincial capital of Tenkodogo, where he went to school during the week. His weekends, meanwhile, were spent mending rain-damaged clay houses. “I obtained building materials for the houses of my foster family,” he remembers. “I got gravel, sand and clay in particular, because after every rainy season the buildings needed to be repaired. During this work, I decided I wanted to build better houses one day.”

This is what we need, innovations based on indigenous designs. Not wholesale foreign imports. I still believe that clay, or “mud” is much more suited for the West African environment, our ancestors knew what they were doing. Indigenous architecture(s) from Burkina Faso is already awesome and by improving the design and making it more sustainable, Kéré has basically “upgraded” them for this time and age.

I’d happily live in this “mud” house.

Was talking about this issue of clay houses with my dad just last week. Great to see it in practice on such a scale.

Westerners call them ‘cob houses’, which are very en vogue among greenies and obviouly do not carry the same stigma as their non-white/non-westerner/african-made equivalents, ‘mud houses’.

'Cob houses' can be hip and chic while 'mud houses' are always backward and dirty.

architags:

Jellyfish House. Wiel Arets Architects. Marbella.Spain. images (c) Wiel Arets Architects

Sorry but i dont understand what is going on here

(via misworld)

ghanailoveyou:

For most Ghanaians, there was never any boom
by Yepoka Yeebo

The dialysis unit of the Korle Bu Hospital in Accra ran out of water just as Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh’s elderly father was being hooked up to a machine. The nurses shrugged—there wasn’t much they could do. So Ohene Sarfoh had to hire a tanker truck to deliver water to hospital. This was earlier this year—boom time Ghana: steady economic growth, the façade of functioning institutions, the good-news story everyone wanted—but the biggest hospital in the country routinely ran out of water.

The boom is now officially over. Last week, Ghana announced plans to ask the International Monetary Fund for a bailout to prop up the country’s currency, which fell almost 40% against the dollar this year. News of the bailout was a surprise to most of the world: Ghana is Barack Obama’s “wonderful success story economically.” But the average Ghanaian could have told you something was wrong years ago.

People were worried in 2011: the Ghanaian economy grew by a record 15%, but few new jobs appeared. They were worried in 2012, when the blackout-prone Electricity Company of Ghana (also known as “Either Candle or Generator”) hiked rates by 70% as the government was forced to abandon pricey subsidies. Then in 2013, the government was paralyzed as the Supreme Court dealt with claims of election fraud—and earlier this year, middle-class Ghanaians started stuffing thousands of dollars under mattresses.

Read More
Yepoka Yeebo is a freelance foreign correspondent and photographer. She spent the last year in the largest slum in Ghana.

'Africa is rising' yeahh my left butt cheek!
As long as growth will not come from the bottom to the top, be felt firstly and mostly by those who need it it the most, this will always remain some superficial and fragile BS that only benefit international investors and the greedy and selfish homegrown elite.
This is the same story repeating itself all over Africa, even here in SA. That ‘trickle down’ BS has NEVER EVER worked anywhere in the world! EVER!
It is currently devastating Kenya and Tanzania. I will never understand how African governments are so weak as to give up on under the pressure of cutting down subsidies on capital sectors such as energy, they did the same in Cameroon. That shit is beyond me.

theenergyissue:

Gemasolar, the First 24-Hour Solar Plant

The Gemasolar Power Plant, officially launched in May 2011 near Seville, Spain by Torresol Energy, was the first concentrated solar power plant with a molten salt heat storage system. Unlike other solar power stations, heat stored in these tanks during the day can be released for up to 15 hours overnight, or during periods without sunlight, allowing it to operate essentially 24-hours. The plant guarantees electrical production for a minimum of 270 days per year, up to three times more than other renewable energies, and consists of 2,650 panels spread across 185 hectares of rural land. The mirrors - known as heliostats - focus 95% of the sun’s radiation onto a giant receiver at the center of the plant. See a video tour of the plant here.

(via landscape-a-design)

How do you really let go of emotions? By "really" I mean, in a practical way that works. Life is about letting go and I fear that things happen so fast that you have no time to process all that goes on, that sometimes you are left behind in the past while life keeps moving. I want to be free of that. I meditate and if you could give any type of meditation about this, or any advice, id be grateful. Namaste. (Actually I feel like I have lots of questions for you :O )

@breath-awareness

lazyyogi:

Letting go doesn’t mean evaporating the experience of your emotions. 

Emotions come and go regardless of our preferences about them. So then of what is it that we must let go? With what are we clinging, chaffing, struggling?

Our thoughts, tensions, judgments, identities, and desires. 

Generally you may feel as though you are a strong, loved/lovable, and fulfilled person. But then you experience an emotion such as fear, anxiety, or desire, and that experience shakes our notions of self and identity. 

Our typical reaction is to try and get rid of that emotion and/or fortify our sense of self to be more resistant to those changes. But neither of those approaches actually has anything to do with letting go. In fact, they are symptoms of clinging even harder. 

Therefore what can we make of “letting go” when inlaid with this understanding?

1. Don’t use the experience of an emotion to learn about who or how you are. An emotion is like a color in the rainbow. The colors are not divided as separate and pure but have gradations as they fade into one another. Similarly, emotions are non-distinct tonalities of mood. Just as a crystal prism splits pure colorless light into the rainbow, the pure mood of eternity is one of bliss but the prism of ignorance/confusion refracts that mood into the whole array we experience, which is actually a tiny sliver.

Letting go would mean ceasing to prefer one mood over another. That is what is meant when we are told to meet our emotions and experiences with acceptance. Instead of trying to change them, we recognize and notice them as they actually are. 

From there, we can discover the way that specific mood emotion can help us to relate to the totality of Mood beyond the dualistic fragmentation into diverse moods. 

2. To where is your emotion pointing you? All experiences both pleasant and unpleasant are actually pointing toward something within and beyond. But we get caught up in the emotion and forget the place to which it is pointing. When we feel an unpleasant emotion, we fixate on getting rid of it instead of learning from it. When we feel a pleasant emotion, we get caught up in prolonging it instead of discovering the place within from which it arises. 

3. Surrender your story. When we are angry, we manufacture and perpetuate a story of why we are angry and whose fault it is. That story lives in the mind and acts as a way for that anger to renew itself. The same can happen for anxiety, depression, and fear. Then you are caught in a cycle of suffering. Surrender the story you are telling yourself about why you feel a particular emotion and what that feeling means. Instead, take your attention deeply (meaning wordlessly) into that emotion and you will uncover the place to which it is pointing you. 

Without unconsciously allowing emotions to condition you, by shifting your attention to the place within to which emotions are pointing you, and through surrendering the stories you tell yourself about emotions, you will let go of your typical dualistic way of relating to emotion and with yourself. 

This is a practice that we must commit to every day and every moment. You need not be free of emotion, as the emotions themselves are not binding you. Rather, it is the way your experience of emotion confuses you that you then find yourself steeped in suffering. 

When emotion neither confuses nor pleases you, it can be said that you are free of them. There is still delight and fascination in the play of mood but with continued practice even they will begin to bleed together into that single taste of bliss. 

For more practical approaches to dealing with these things as they arise in the moment, I highly recommend the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It is filled with lots of wonderful advice and insight into the ego’s mechanisms and the ways in which we may free ourselves from them. 

Namaste my friend :) You are welcome to hit me up if you feel as though I can be of help regarding a question you may have. The best I can do, as always, is simply point in the direction I think is the most useful. 

thegreenisthecolour:

Palm Spring home  / Arch: Alfred Frey / Photo: François Halard 

In my village, Banka in Baham, we have big stones like this near the house.I just realise how cool it would have been to integrate them into the architectural plans instead of simply building against them.

thegreenisthecolour:

Palm Spring home  / Arch: Alfred Frey / Photo: François Halard 

In my village, Banka in Baham, we have big stones like this near the house.
I just realise how cool it would have been to integrate them into the architectural plans instead of simply building against them.

thegreenisthecolour:

Baitogogo" exposed in Palais de Tokyo, Paris - 2013 / Art: Henrique Oliveira / Photo: André Morin