Category Archives: Education

School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem

Education, Kids, Logic, Pop-Psychology, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry

The NEW COLUMN IS “School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem.” It’s now on WND.com. An excerpt:

The tele-experts assert that to do what he did—kill 10 and maim 13, at Santa Fe High School, in Texas—Dimitrios Pagourtzis had to be insane.

Likewise, Nikolas Cruz—killer of 17 in Parkland, Florida—and many shooters before him: All were victims of mental disorder. Or, so say the experts.

Come to think of it, the structure of argument coming from conservative and progressive corners is the same:

Conservatives blame mental health.

Progressives blame the National Rifle Association.

Both factions see the locus of responsibility for these murder sprees as beyond the reach and bailiwick of the individual and of what were once formative and corrective institutions: the church, for example.

As the language deployed in the culture might suggest, crimes aren’t committed, but are caused. Perpetrators don’t do the crime, but are driven to do their deeds by a confluence of uncontrollable factors.

The paradox at the heart of the disease theory of delinquency is that causal theoretical explanations are invoked only after bad deeds have been committed. Good deeds, however extravagant, are in no need of extenuation.

The evidence our tele-therapists advance for a killer’s “madness” is … the murder or murders he has committed.

Whatever the logical fallacy the psychiatrists commit—circular reasoning or backward reasoning—thinking people can agree: This is bad logic.

Fact: When they suggest a shooter is sick, they do so based on the fact that he committed murder.

Let’s run with this “logic”: The reductio ad absurdum of what the mental-health mavens are saying is that to kill, an individual must be deranged.

Does that not imply that the default condition of humanity is goodness?

Indeed, evil has been cast as a symptom of illness. It’s certainly so if to judge by the language used by the experts. …

… READ THE REST. “School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem” is on WND.com. And on The Unz Review, Constitution.com., etc.

It’s Hard To Believe It, But The French STILL Educate Their School Kids

Education, Europe, Intelligence, Kids, Political Philosophy

Still on the topic of education (previous post is “St. John’s: The Most Rigorous College In America & What Every Young Mind Needs”):

What’s of interest in the Economist article, “The End of the French Intellectual: From Zola to Houllebecq,” are these tidbits:

Attendance rose this year at the annual Paris book fair. Regional literary festivals are thriving. Philosophy is still a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
And last year the French elected a president who has a degree in philosophy and can cite Molière by heart. France may have lost its great intellectuals, but it has certainly not lost its intellectualism.

So French kids must still study philosophy. I wonder if it’s a rigorous course? And President Macaroni knows some good stuff, aside globalism and multilateralism. Molière is brilliant. So funny.

While there is pressure to dumb down, the French have not yet replaced history with social studies agitprop.

I’ll leave you with this hint at how good French schooling may be: “France is one of the countries where a pupil’s social background is one of the strongest predictors of his or her subsequent achievement.”

The French have not yet done the educational leveling we in America do to ensure that 43% of marks handed out in university are As.

Other than the educational information, the writer of “The End of the French Intellectual: From Zola to Houllebecq” disdains France’s few “reactionary essayists” and thinkers (namely right-leaning thinkers).

So much so that, having mentioned his disappointment at the rise the likes of “Éric Zemmour, a reactionary essayist, and Alain Finkielkraut, a formerly left-wing philosopher turned critic of multiculturalism”—the writer concludes that “France may have lost its great intellectuals.”

Better good schools for the kids, than the likes of that lefty degenerate, Mr. Sartre.

St. John’s: The Most Rigorous College In America & What Every Young Mind Needs

Education, Human Accomplishment, Intellectualism, Intelligence, Literature, Logic

According to data reported by Tucker, only 31 percent of Americans who graduate from college can read a complex text/book.

By the same data’s telling, American kids are the dumbest in the developed world (facts I was reporting 14 years ago, already. In addition to the two hyperlinks provided, click “Education” to go back in time).

While our kids know less and less, their grades are only getting higher. The vaunted GPA is meaningless, except to give an idea of a student’s grades in relation to the inflated marks of his peers.

The most common grade given (the statistical mode?) in American college courses is an … “A.” “Forty-three percent of all letter grades are As.”

An exception to the rule is St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico (there is a Campus in Annapolis, MD, too), whose core curriculum is centered around what we call The Western Canon:

The great books (and works of art and music) upon which nobody contemporary has improved. (Everybody needs to be humbled by these works. I recently read some Plato abbreviated, after which I felt very small indeed. It’s all been said and thought-out before by the Greats. For example, an insight articulated and carefully thought-out in Into The Cannibal’s Pot; it was there. Plato said it already. Of course I was chuffed; it felt good. But how sad that this heritage—and with it the humility that comes with a recognition of true genius—is not being handed down.)

The video begins 4:22 minutes into the Tucker segment. (Tucker is a gem. The only gem on Fox News.)

St. John’s College admits only 800 and is producing the renaissance men and women of America.

ALL “freshmen must learn ancient Greek. ALL seniors struggle with quantum physics, along the way, as do they have to grapple with calculus, learn how to do differential equations, study Hegel and Kierkegaard, Karl Marx and Adam Smith.”

“St. John’s is sailing against every trend in American higher education.”

Their “students read 200 serious books over the course of their education.”

Only 800 students qualify in admission and all must undergo this rigor.

This is the traditional liberal arts education that our greatest minds (thinkers, scientists, Founding Fathers) would have undergone 100 plus years ago. (Was not Thomas Jefferson a scientist and a philosopher and an all-round genius? Indeed he was.)

It’s an all-required curriculum. Everyone is required to take courses of equal rigor. There are no majors, no minors. No hiding. No skewing the grades Bell Curve.

Minds thus enriched can go on to become whatever they want, having been given the intellectual wherewithal to think, and the tools to both appreciate intellectual history, draw on it and from it.

American education is an exercise in egalitarian idiocy. In my option, educational egalitarianism and idiocy does the greatest harm to the gifted child.

And isn’t that the aim? To give all children the feeling they are equally gifted?

Ultimately, wonderful young minds should not be abandoned to the evaluation standards of what are mostly sub-intelligent, near-illiterate educrats, who’ve been disseminating dumbed-down subject matter, in institutions of “learning” in which everyone is a winner.

 

UPDATE II (5/8/018): ‘Howdy’: Back From Speaking To The Texas A&M Free Speech Forum About South Africa

America, Conservatism, Education, Etiquette, Free Speech, History, Ilana Mercer, Law, South-Africa

Has absence made the heart grow fonder? I hope so.

I’m back from speaking about South Africa at the Free Speech Forum of  the Texas A&M University, on the College Station campus.

A remarkable young man, the president of the Texas A&M Free Speech Forum, invited me to speak for reasons that astounded and gave hope.

The Forum, I was told, doesn’t seek out the conservative/libertarian speakers, who’re usually invited on campus by “the established, libertarian/conservative/republican groups.”

You know. That boilerplate content.

“It is not our place to host them,” I was emphatically informed by one so young.

“Rather, we provide a platform for those who would not be invited otherwise by these established libertarian/conservative/republican group.”

Check.

I was further told that the Texas A&M Free Speech Forum criteria are “whether one is an expert in his or her field.”

Oh! So what the hosts had in mind was not a power-point, low-information presentation, with lots of gory images and a few recycled facts, harvested from one or two online posts!

OMG!

Your history in the country as well as your seminal work, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America from Post-Apartheid South Africa,” make you, in particular, stand out as the most qualified figure to present on the topic [of South Africa], in addition to specific requests to host you personally.

Imagine! A forum seeking thinkers who’re not part of the popular speakers’ circuit!

Here were young men who understood that those voices making the most noise about conservative freedom of speech denied were not necessarily the ones truly marginalized.

Having been given this opportunity, I aimed to provide a backdrop—the analytical foundation, if you will—for what’s unfolding in my birthplace of South Africa.

From land confiscation to the ethnic cleansing of the waning minority—I tried to explain why what’s happening in South Africa was baked into the political cake; was predictable, and was, to a large degree, the doing of the West.

The concept of white privilege was woven in as well.

To travel all the way to College Station, Texas, and not experience more of the “Lone Star State” was not an option. After driving from Austin eastward to College Station, we headed south-west to San Antonio, where we stayed for two days. Then it was a long drive back to Austin.

Other than the weather (brutal), Texas is a civilization apart. I live in a state in which the Yankee, busybody mentality dominates, as friend Professor Clyde Wilson would say. People are unfriendly, opprobrious, stuck-up, and, frankly, boring.

They tell you how to live. If they get wind of your beliefs—why, even if your use of the English language makes them uneasy—they will take it upon themselves to fix your flaws; to read you the riot act. Make you more “manageable.” More like them.

While civility and congeniality are generally not part of the Yankee repertoire; ordinary Texans, on the other hand—and from my brief experience—tend to be sunny, kind and warmhearted. I did not encounter rude.

As for telling you how to live; how do you like this sign? It’s from the ladies’ bathroom in  a Caldwell diner.

With two impeccably mannered, young gentlemen, who organized EVERYTHING:

Before.

The San Antonio River Walk is teaming with adorable, brazen birds. It sports zero barriers to protect the brats (people mind their kids):

The Alamo garden:

More later.

UPDATED (5/7/018):
Everybody was down with the birds scavenging leftovers. A restaurant put up a memorial to its resident duck, whose neck had been wrung by, as they put it, scumbag, human trash, homeless riffraff. In Washington State we have only honorifics for such scumbags .

Chapel at Mission Concepción, San Antonio:

This specter formed part of my address/lecture:

‘Indigenisation’ of the law:

UPDATE II (5/8): Jack Kerwick has as hopeful an encounter as I had. We discuss.