Indigestion 10/17/2013

How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses

I fucking hated public school with a passion and when I first read A.S. Neill’s Summerhill in Jr. High, there was no longer any doubt in my mind that the school system was an absurdity. This was also the period in my life when I began to learn about anarchism, specifically because anarchists have been pointing out problems with what we know of as schooling for as long as they’ve been writing (and they weren’t the first, as this article demonstrates). I don’t think that the internet and other forms of digital technology make these methods of teaching any more possible than they were in 1911 when anarchists opened up the Modern School, as the article wants to suggest. However, I do think that these technologies create an easily observable example of the basic principals of what may be called anti-authoritarian education, which have been doubted so much in the historical debates surrounding schooling.

The article also points towards some of the reasons why schools take an authoritarian form, but I think there are more factors than the demands of industry and contemporary businesses. The history of compulsory education in the United States goes back to the 17th Century and the methods used, which weren’t terribly different from today, were brought over from England. The Nation State had a lot more to do with it than market interests. By the time industrial capitalism really began to take off in the US, progressives like John Dewey were already spouting theories similar to radicals about education, but were likewise mostly practised as alternative education. The demands of capitalism enter the picture much more-so in the 20th Century, but didn’t have much of an impact on this aspect of schooling.

If you want a really good summary of this history from an anarchist perspective, I highly suggest this:

Women who feel entitled more likely to endorse benevolent sexism, study finds

Big surprise, women in the US with a higher sense of entitlement contribute to sexism because they feel like they deserve to be treated like princesses.

Two Wal-Marts Are Taken Advantage of Because of a Food Stamp Glitch… People Freak the Fuck Out

With the apparent response to this event, you’d think that Arizona Democrats put a bunch of paper signs on their windows with masking tape …or something. What I find interesting about this as a talking point has more to do with the way in which food stamps wind up funding Wal-Mart and places like it. This is something that I’ve been bringing up for a while: corporations have plenty of self-interest in food stamp programs since so many people (and I don’t know the figures) spend them at those corporations. I think it’s interesting that this argument against food stamps is available for small government, anti-corporate right wing types and yet they want to stop thinking at their petty “poor people are lazy and don’t deserve my hard earned money”. Then again, I don’t think those types would be any happier if small local business and shit got a little fatter from food stamps. Anyway… fuck Wal-Mart, let’s eat.

99 Life Hacks That Could Make Your Life Easier

I really like little life hacks since I don’t usually go about small, everyday tasks in the most rational way… and that’s an understatement. There’s some ones in here that I think are neat. What more could I ask for from this kind of thing?

…..AAAAANNNNND if You Haven’t Heard, the Government Shut-Down is Over.

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