The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling

conformity2
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 6, 2017

There are individuals out there that whittle facing the storm, and there are those who challenge the storm.  John Taylor Gatto is one of the latter.

John Taylor Gatto is the former NY City and NY State Teacher of the year [1991], where he inspired his students to achieve some amazing results through his nontraditional methods of instruction.

Not only has Gatto been relentless in detailing many of the inherent issues within the public school system for quite some time now, but he’s had the courage to take it a step further and detail that all of the issues within public schooling are not mistakes, it is done by design.

To illustrate this, an excerpt of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons Of Mass Instruction will follow below.

Within Weapons Of Mass Instruction, John Taylor Gatto breaks down Alexander Inglis’s book Principles of Secondary Education, which “..makes it perfectly clear that compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table.  Divide children by subject, by age-grading, by constant rankings on tests, and by many other more subtle means, and it was unlikely that the ignorant mass of mankind, separated in childhood, would ever re-integrated into a dangerous whole.”[xviii][Bold Emphasis Added]

Furthermore, as author notes that Inglis, who has an honor lecture in education named for him in Harvard, breaks down the natural purpose of schooling into 6 basic functions,” which are as follows:

1.  The adjective or adaptive function.  Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority…It is also pretty much destroys the idea that useful or interesting material should be taught, because you can’t test for reflexive obedience until you know whether you can make kids learn, and do, foolish and boring things.

2.  The integrating function.  This might well be called “the conformity function,” because its intention is to make children as alike as possiblePeople who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a larger labor force.

3.  The diagnostic and directive function.  School is meant to determine each student’s proper role in society.

4.  The differentiating function.  Once the social role has been “diagnosed,” children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits – and not one step further.  So much for making kids their personal best.

5.  The selective function.  This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin’s theory of natural selection as applied to what he called “the favored races…Schools are meant to tag the unfit – with poor grades, remedial placement, and other punishments – clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior and effectively bar them from the reproductive sweepstakes.  That’s what all those little humiliations from first grade onward were intended to do: wash the dirt down the drain.

6.  The propaedeutic function.  The societal system implied by these rules will require an elite group of caretakers.  To that end, a small fraction of the kids will be quietly taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and corporations might never want for obedient labor.” [xviii-xix][Bold Emphasis Added]

And just in case some wonder that Inglis was alone in these thoughts, he was not.  Horace Mann, James Bryant Conant, George Peabody, and many others shared the same sentiments.

Expressed above and incisive, and yet disturbing words is nothing more than Social Engineering from the bottom up, at a national scale, beginning with the most malleable minds in the land – those of children.  It doesn’t get any more cut and dry.

John Taylor Gatto is one of the few individuals out there whose wisdom seeps into all societal strata.  His words should be heeded, because the issue is only exacerbating [link] year after year.

In life, an individual can choose to write their own script, or be part of someone else’s.

And as we can see, if those in control of the system carry out their plans of mass conformity and control, children, an all future generations, will never write their own authentic scripts unless they breakaway from those proverbial shackles.

Education, true classical education, and not the facsimile society is being sold, is the only way out.  Everything else is merely a parody, and by public schooling’s repeated failures this is shown to be true.

_____________________________________________________________
Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons Of Mass Instruction, pp. xviii
[2] Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.

Book Review: Three Moves Ahead by Bob Rice

3movesahead
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 6, 2017

Three Moves Ahead by Bob Rice is a solid synthesis regarding the seemingly disparate aspects of business and chess.

Rice reveals many core aspects of Chess theory and gameplay that can and do apply to business in everyday life.

Weaving the reader into myriad historical business ventures – both successes and failures – the author illustrates what made these particular businesses succeed or fail, and goes to underscore the essential Chess tactics that were involved in those scenarios.  Furthermore, Rice journeys beyond that to show the reader how even more can be gained from further introspection if one carries out that additional mental weightlifting.

The analogies Rice employed in the book to compare the subjects are rather adequate.  Admittedly, some are much stronger than others.  Still, Rice gives the reader ample information to chew on regarding the similarities between chess and business.

A noteworthy point is that, even if the reader isn’t an avid player at all or knows nothing of the game of chess, the author explains himself rather well and is easy to follow as he seamlessly flows from topic to topic within the book.

Three Moves Ahead is definitely something to ponder for business-oriented individuals who are seeking ways to grow.  But even beyond that, the principles of the book can be applied to other aspects of life depending on how creative the individual uses what Rice delineates in the book.

If you’re looking for an additional book along the same lines, but with more Chess flavor to it, go on to read Garry Kasparov’s How Life Imitates Chess: Making The Right Movies, From the Board To The Boardroom.  It’s kind of similar to this book, but from the opposite side of the spectrum.  For me it was more enjoyable than this one, although because am coming at it from a chess perspective than a business point of view.  Still, both complement each other rather well if you’re looking to see ‘two sides of the same coin’.

13 Great Reasons To Study Logic

logic3
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 1, 2017

In age where the public dumbing down is reaching new lows [Read Here For More], a much more proactive approach to an individuals education is vitally needed.  This will certainly aid them in gravitating away from the crumbling education paradigm that keeps failing us, because, as John Taylor Gatto stated in A Different Kind Of Teacher [Review Here]:

Schools were designed by Horace Mann, E.L. Thorndike, and others to be instruments of scientific management of a mass populationSchools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlledTo a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

In other words, school system is about social engineering the masses, and not producing educated individuals.

Furthermore, as Professor Patrick Deneen shared in his landmark piece, How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture:

“Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings”[2][Emphasis Added]

It isn’t by accident that the school system has reached the state of decline it has.

Knowing that, what’s an individual to do?  Go back to the roots.

For this, there is no better place to go but to the realm of logic.

Why is Logic so vital?

To answer this poignant question, let’s take a look at the work of Philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D has to to say.  Kreeft, in his phenemonal book called Socratic Logic [Review Here] outlines the many reasons why logic is important to an individuals growth.

Kreeft minces no words in stating that in the past, most students were privy to was called “the old logic”.  Due to this, those individuals were much better prepared to “think, read, write, organize, and argue much better than they can today”.[3]

Getting back to classical education, which employed The Trivium – composed of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric – is what will ultimately help individuals break away from the downward avalanche public schooling is manifesting.  And Logic undoubtedly is an integral component of The Trivium.

Please ruminate at length regarding what follows.  It shows how and why logic seeps into all areas of life.

Below follow salient reasons why to study Logic:

13 Good Reason Why You Should Study Logic

1. Logic brings order.

Logic builds the mental habit of thinking in an orderly way.

No course is more practical than logic, for no matter what you are thinking about, you are thinking, and logic orders and clarifies your thinking.  No matter what your thought’s content, it will be clearer when it has a more logical form.  The principles of thinking logically can be applied to all thinking and to every field.

2.  Logic brings power.  Logic brings the power of proof and persuasion.

The power of logic comes from the fact that it is the science and art of argument.  Any power can be either rightly used or abused.  This power of logic is rightly used to win the truth and defeat error; it is wrongly used to win the argument and defeat your opponent.

3.  Logic helps reading. Logic will help you in education and learning, for “logic will help you to read any book more clearly and effectively.  And you are always going to be reading books; books are the single most effective technological invention in the history of education.

On the basis of over 40 years of full time college teaching of almost 20,000 students at 20 different schools, I am convinced that one of the reasons for the steep decline in students’ reading ability is the decline in the teaching of traditional logic.

4.  Logic helps writing.  Logic will also help you to write more clearly and effectively, for clear writing and clear thinking are a “package deal”: the presence or absence of either one brings the presence or absence of the other.  Muddled writing fosters muddled thinking, and muddled thinking fosters muddled writing.  Clear writing fosters clear thinking, and clear thinking fosters clear writing.  Common sense expects this, and scientific studies confirm it.  Writing skills have declined dramatically in the 40 years or so since symbolic logic has replaced Aristotelian logic, and I am convinced this is no coincidence.

It is simply impossible to communicate clearly and effectively without thinking clearly and effectively.  And that means logic.”

5.  Logic brings happiness.  In a small but significant way, logic can even help you attain happiness.  We all seek happiness all the time because no matter what else we seek, we seek it because we think it will be a means to happiness, or a part of happiness, either for ourselves or for those we love.  And no one seeks happiness for any other end; no one says he wants to be happy in order to be rich, or wise, or healthy.  But we seek riches, or wisdom, or health, in order to be happier.

How can logic help us attain happiness?  Here is a very logical answer to that question:

(1)  When we attain what we desire, we are happy
(2)  And whatever we desire, whether Heaven or a hamburger, it is more likely that we will attain if it we think more clearly.
(3)  And logic helps us to think more clearly.
(4)  Therefore logic helps us to be happy.

Even fantasy is not illogical.  In fact, according to the greatest master of this art, J.R.R. Tolkien, “Fantasy is a rational, not an irrational, activity…creative fantasy is founded upon a hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun; on a recognition of fact, but not a slavery to it.  So upon logic was founded the nonsense that displays itself in the tales and rhymes of Lewis Carroll.  If men really could not distinguish between frogs and men, fairy stories about frog-kings would not have arisen.”

6.  Logic helps with religious faith.  Even religion, though it goes beyond logic, cannot go against it; if it did, it would literally be unbelievable.  Some wit defined “faith” as “believing what you know isn’t true.”  But we simply cannot believe an idea to be true that we know that has been proven to be false by a valid logical proof.

It is true that faith goes beyond what can be proved by logical reasoning alone.  That is why believing in any religion is a free personal choice, and some make that choice while others do not, while logical reasoning is equally compelling for all.  However, logic can add faith in at least three ways.

First, logic can often clarify what is believed, and define it.

Second, logic can deduce the necessary consequences of the belief and apply it to difficult situations.

Third, even if logical arguments cannot prove all that faith believes, they can give firmer reasons for faith than feeling, desire, mood, fashion, family or social pressure, conformity, or inertia.

7.  Logic helps attain wisdom.  “Philosophy” means “the love of wisdom.”  Although logic alone cannot make you wise, it can help.  For logic is one of philosophy’s main instruments.  Logic is to philosophy what telescopes are to astronomy or microscopes to biology or math to physics.

8.  Democracy.  There are even crucial social and political reasons for studying logic.  As a best-selling modern logic text says, “the success of democracy depends, in the end, on the reliability of the judgments we citizens make, and hence upon our capacity and determination to weigh arguments and evidence rationally.”  As Thomas Jefferson said, “In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be lead by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reason becomes of the first importance.”[Copi & Cohen, Logic, 10th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1998.).

9.  Defining logic’s limits.  Does logic have limits?  Yes, but we need logic to recognize and definite logic’s limits.  Logic has severe limits.  We need much more than logic even in our thinking.  For instance, we need intuition, too.  But logic helps us recognize this distinction.

10.  Logic helps in testing authority.  We need authorities because no individual can discover everything autonomously  We do in fact rely on the human community, and therefore on the authority of others – parents, teachers, textbooks, “experts,” friends, history, and tradition – for a surprising large portion of what we know – perhaps up to 99%, if it can be quantified.  And that is another reason we need logic: we need to have good reasons for believing our authorities, for in the end it is you the individual who must decide which authorities to trust.

11.  Logic helps recognizing contradictions.  Logic teaches us which ideas contradict each other.  If we are confused about that, we will either be too exclusive (that is, we will think beliefs logically exclude each other when they do not) or too inclusive (that is, we will believe two things that cannot both be true).

12.  Logic brings certainty.  Logic has “outer limits”; there are many things it can’t give you.  But logic has no “inner limits”: like math, it never breaks down.  Just as 2 plus 2 are unfailingly 4, so if A is B and B is C, then A is unfailingly C, Logic is timeless and unchangeable.  It is certain.

And logic never becomes obsolete. The principles of logic are timelessly true.

13.  Logic helps one attain truth.  Logic helps us to find truth, and truth is its own end: it is worth knowing for its own sake.

Logic helps us to find truth, though it is not sufficient of itself to find truth.  It helps us especially (1) by demanding that we define our terms so that we understand what we mean, and (2) by demanding that we give good reasons, arguments, proofs.[4]

In the age of information, ignorance is no excuse.

And Logic, more than anything else, helps eviscerate that ignorance in a way that nothing else can.

That’s exactly why its been removed from the public school system, and exactly why all individuals need to employ it into their repertoire.

——————————————————-
Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 16.
[2] Professor Patrick Deneen, How A Generation Lost Its Culture
[3] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Socratic Logic, p. 1.
[4] Ibid., pp. 1-7.

Book Review: How Life Imitates Chess by Gary Kasparov

lifechess
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 1, 2017

How Life Imitates Chess by former World Chess Champion and grandmaster Garry Kasparov does an incisive job of showing how life is a mirror for chess.  Or is it the opposite?

Filled with much erudition regarding the intricacies of life, How Life Imitates Chess sifts through the data points, or perhaps ‘life-lessons’ is a better term, which helped him grow as a chess player that became a grandmaster, but more importantly, as an individual.  Each of these life-lessons helped him grow in countless ways, regardless whether it was facing dismal defeats, or manifesting intensely resounding victories.

To that effect, Kasparov makes it a point to go into why constant self-analysis is essential not only to survive in the world, but in fact to thrive.  Self-awareness and peak performance go hand in hand, as some of you may know.  Because of this Kasparov urges everyone to become conscious of their individual inherent decision making process and strive to polish it to become wiser.

Some of the varying components featured in the book are the myriad fascinating stories of individuals, chess matches, companies et al., which are used to drive home lessons to be gleaned from the events that took place within those instances.

Another notable point mentioned in the book is the importance of not becoming your own enemy.  In one instance, the author noted how it’s important to find the nascent stage of a crisis before it becomes a full-fledged crisis.  This might seem obvious at first blush, but we’ve all seen our mental state – or that of someone else – be overridden by emotions, which therein overrides our logic.  And not being able to use logic is downright disastrous since your mental precision is only a shade of its true power.

Furthermore, when an individual get emotional, not only does the amygdala go into overdrive, but “…the logic center processors [neocortex] get almost turned off and blocked.  Adrenaline, hormone levels, and blood pressure rise, and our memories become less efficient.  We begin to lose our ability to communicate effectively, and we turn to a form of autopilot to make decisions.”[Emphasis Added][1]

Hands down, my favorite part of the book, although admittedly there were many intriguing points, was how Kasparov relentless speaks about having to question everything.  As he warns:

“Question the status quo at all times, especially when things are going well.  When something goes wrong, you naturally want to do better the next time, but you must train yourself to want to do it better even when things go right.”[135][Bold Emphasis Added][2]

This reminds me of poker, as well as many other things in life, where a person might make the most ridiculous and stupid choice, and still get rewarded.  If an individual chooses not to question their actions, they will simply not grow. Someone may make a very poor choice, and still end up winning untold sums of money.  When such is the case, individuals rarely if ever opt for introspection to verify that they were correct.  The assumption is that if the money is won…then the choice ‘had to’ be a good one.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Moreover:

“Questioning yourself must become a habit, one strong enough to surmount the obstacles of overconfidence and dejection.  It is a muscle that can be developed only with constant practice.”[3]

Another additional point brought up by Kasparov  was about the vital significance not only to move out of our comfort zones, but also to challenge ourselves in creative ways to push us into new boundaries.

Regarding this, Kasparov minces no words:

“When we regularly challenge ourselves with something new – even something not obviously related to our immediate goals – we build cognitive and emotional “muscles” that make us more effective in every way.  If we can overcome our fear of speaking in public, or of submitting a poem to a magazine, or learning a new language confidence will flow into every area of our lives  Don’t get so caught up in “what I do” that you stop being a curious human being.  Your greatest strength is the ability to absorb and synthesize patterns, methods, and information.  Intentionally inhibiting the ability to focus too narrowly is not only a crime, but one with few rewards.”[4]

This book almost has shades of being a self-help book, almost.  The book isn’t that, but it’s so versatile, and the book harpoons so many little nuggets of knowledge that it can certainly be used as such a tool.

In plainspeak, if you’re looking for a book that delves into Chess, Life, Business, while also searching for gems of wisdom that may help you become a sharper, stronger, and more intuitive individual, but also dives into the importance of quality actions via precise decision making, then ruminate upon this book.

_____________________________________________________________
Sources & References

[1] Christopher Hadnagy, Unmasking The Social Engineer, pg. 166.
[2] Gary Kasparov, How Life Imitates Chess, pg. 135.
[3] Ibid., pp. 34-35.
[4] Ibid. pg. 170.

Common Core Crisis #2

commomcore
TheBreakway
Zy Marquiez
January 29, 2017

The topic of common core gets a lot of bad publicity, and for good reason.

With dwindling prodigiously precipitous decline of grades – and classical education content, for that matter – in many areas of public schooling, it begs the question, what really is being accomplished with public schofooling that’s causing the catastrophic decline of education [Click Here For More].

Let’s take a gander at two particular reasons as to why math scores, among others, are declining.

In the trenchant book, Drilling To The Core, Sandra Stotsky & Contributors elucidate:

“The math standard focuses on investigative math, which has been shown to be a disaster…With the new math standard in the Common Core, there are no longer absolute truths. So 3 times 4 can equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.”  [P1]

If that doesn’t leave one’s mind spinning, nothing will.

Furthermore:

The Common Core emphasizes teaching students to think of what they learn as “evidence” that can be put to use in making “arguments” as opposed to “facts” that help the student discern how things are.  For the most part, the Common Core steers away from giving students a concrete picture of the world.” [2]

Those are not abstract words.  What the authors are stating are as incisive as a laser that slices through steel.

If individuals and communities do not heed the warnings being put forth by these authors, and many more in society, the future will be bleaker than we could ever imagine.

Seek to educate yourself, and yours.  Become an autodidact.

Strive to achieve true education and not the facsimile that we are being sold.

For if you do not educate yourself, others will.  And we already know where that tide is heading.

We cannot as a society, and as individuals, continue to do the same thing and expect different results.  That’s the textbook definition of insanity.

As Einstein once intimated:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

——————————-

[1] Sandra Stotsky, Drilling Through The Core, pg. 48
[2] Ibid., pg. 35

Book Review: Healing Chi Meditation by Sifu William Lee

chimeditation
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
January 29, 2017

Healing Chi Meditation by Sifu William Lee is a rather straight forward, and yet methodical book that covers the subject of meditation from a no-nonsense point of view.

Lee does a compelling job in laying out an easy-to-follow guide covering the main components of meditation.

This book covers just enough information to help people get an essential crash course into meditation, but it doesn’t become overly complex like some other books.  It’s strength definitely lies in its simplicity in learning and application.

Covered within the book are the foundational stages of meditation, the how’s and why’s of why to do meditation and how to prepare to net the greatest benefits.  And yet, the strongest part comes at the latter stages of the book.

Lee covers what is known as Dan Tian Centering as well as the 8 Moons.  And he anchors all of this with a template for the Little Universe Micro Cycle.

This is my first book from Lee, and have two others, one of which am currently reading and am definitely glad to have gotten these.  The other book is just as pragmatic as this one, and am enjoying it just as much and even netting benefits from it.

Simply put, if you’re interested in meditation and don’t know where to begin, get this book.