Friday, January 23, 2009

Laws of Physics, Sleight of Hand

My tour of the public education system was more like a wrongfully imposed sentence of torture. Exploration and advancement based upon an individual's capabilities denied, I felt stifled, discouraged, marginalized. Complicating precocity was paralyzing shyness and easy provocation to tears, and I was the favored target of bullies and bullied alike - including teachers. The bottom of the food chain. I retreated ever further, escaping into the labyrinthine world of knowledge. Books offered solace from that failure to gain acceptance and incorporate myself into a society of my peers. More importantly, though, they provided me with a map of sorts on a path toward inner redemption.

I became first a knowledge addict, later an outspoken (and often obnoxious) nonconformist. I evolved into a strong-willed individual with a solid sense of right and wrong, deeply held beliefs, and an insatiable desire to continue to learn. I learned to accept myself for who I was and not what other people wanted me to be. I became comfortable with that person, and that has been the key to accepting others for who they are (that is, unless they are only reflecting images of those around them with the power to shine).

Anyone with proper motivation can plunder the depths of knowledge. Few are capable of applying meaningfully that which they have learned. Fewer yet have the ability to transcend accepted boundaries and limitations, reaching higher planes of consciousness, and attaining Wisdom and Enlightenment.

This unfortunate fact is the bane of our existence.

* * * * *

A while back, I was watching a debate in an online forum on one of the topics serving as a wedge dividing our society: Creationism in public schools. I left at the degeneration of a semi-rational discussion into a second-grade name-calling contest, but not before attempting to inject some of my own brand of home-grown wisdom into the conversation, leading to a verbal assault followed by erasure of my existence from the forum. Censure and censor, The New American Way. I still feel my position is relevant, possibly even more so now, based upon the underlying processes that brought me there.

It boils down to scientific method. Seeking the "answer," one first formulates a hypothesis then tests that hypothesis against data and observations. If supported, it becomes a theory; if not, it is discarded. However, theories are not absolute - they can be proven false as well. Evolution is a theory. Creationism is also a theory - and it will remain so as long as there is no evidence (not a hypothesis, and not another theory, but FACT) to disprove it. Deliberate exclusion of a theory because some find it "unpalatable" will have a cascading effect leading to failure; not to mention, another person's freedom to choose has been infringed upon.
To those who argue that God does not exist and your "proof" is the hatred and evil that exist in the world or the miseries we suffer, this is not the absence of God or even the indication of a vindictive God; it is the manifestation of the free will He has bestowed upon us. If we choose to annihilate ourselves and He were to intervene every step of the way, that would not really be free will, now, would it?

To those who argue that you have a right to dictate what your child learns and does not learn - specifically, those things in which you do not believe - technically, you are correct. On the other hand, your methods are allowing you to also dictate what MY child learns and does not learn - regardless of my own beliefs and in violation of my rights - and denying all children their own right to choose (and that sounds a lot like indoctrination).
With each subsequent "wave" of children entering, negotiating, and finally exiting our public school system, we are further subjected to a systematic "dumbing down" of America: Curricula focused with an almost pathological tunnel vision on standardized testing, the unequivocal stripping of "unnecessary" educational pursuits (i.e., art, home economics, etc.), and creation of an environment of de-socialization leaving these children - the next generation, the FUTURE OF AMERICA - ill equipped to deal with some of the most magnificent concepts formulated in the mind of man: Morality. Integrity. Virtuousness. Courtesy. Respect. Empathy. How many can even SPELL these words, let alone define them, relate to them, practice them, or contemplate their relevance in a deeper - metaphysical - context?

In competition, we fail miserably. Having seen with my own eyes the "quality" of our education system, I stand firmly in the belief that we cannot continue down the path of State-sanctioned and enforced ignorance. If we are to excel in the global environment, let alone run neck-and-neck with our contemporaries, we must move on to the next level, not backwards.

This dumbing down is facilitated by a form of social indoctrination that can only be realized with creation of an environment openly and increasingly hostile toward the most central value and ideal of the past: The Family. Once that element is essentially removed from the picture (Daddy was never around to begin with, Mom and Dad both work, or the State has usurped parental rights), the molding of young minds takes place within the sanctuary of the state: Public schools. Of course, willfulness or spiritedness, creativity in thought and expression, ambition - even precocity and shyness - are undesirable and children exhibiting these traits are branded. Then they are medicated.

Compliance, conformity, and complicity. The necrosis spreads quickly.

* * * * *

Shifting of societal values happens first through acceptance, then encouragement, and finally propagation of behaviors once taboo. For example: Single-motherhood is no longer just acceptable, it is preferable; encouraged by removal of shame and stigma; propagated by a "rewards" system erasing any personal accountability or responsibility. Abuse of that system has spawned generations of welfare families (and contrary to what some may think, this is not a "race" issue, and not all welfare recipients are black or Hispanic; in fact, the numbers probably would show more whites on welfare rolls than any other race, but I'd have to check that out to be sure). This is only one example; too many are incapable of seeing "the structure as a whole," looking only at the steel skeleton underneath.

Tolerance is not a one-way street, and acceptance cannot be forced. Courteous and rational discussion carries more power than hateful words. Allowing free flow to all venues - without suppressing those to which you do not subscribe - is the only road to securing personal freedom and enduring liberties.

When combined with behavioral shifts, the dismantling of core Constitutional principles, and the convergence of national interests into a global economy, we have created a deadly vehicle capable of effecting "change." The question is, are you fully prepared to accept the consequences of that change, and are you willing to take responsibility for the actions of the man behind the wheel?

* * * * *

The most important laws of physics are those coined "Newton's Three Laws":
  1. Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.
  2. The acceleration produced by a particular force acting on a body is directly proportional to the magnitude of the force and inversely proportional to the mass of the body.
  3. To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.
These "fundamentals" are at the core of the science. Further study would have been impossible without these properties having been defined. We've probably all heard the third at some point, boiled down to: Equal and opposite reaction. The others are less familiar but equally relevant, forming the basis of function for the third. Simply put, the first states that an object does not move or, if already moving, continues in a straight line until something causes it to change direction; the second, the greater the force exerted on an object, the greater it speeds up.

Thinking "outside the box" and applying laws of physical matter to human behavior is not that big a jump. For example, slavery would have continued in this country had it not been for outside forces stopping it. I will discuss further at another time market influence - the first law - and market correction - the third law. These are applications with an historical context, allowing us to make predictions about future behaviors. In some way, every action we take, individually and as a whole, is rooted within these laws.

Right here and now, I will not get into this much more than this, because too many people seem not to care, living in the moment and not wanting to see how our history has shaped us or how the future is formed by the decisions of yesterday and today, telling me I stand in the way of "change" and "progress." Those who do care and do understand need no lessons from me.

What we need to worry about is a third type of person: The prestidigitator. The one who understands these principles and the limitations imposed by the laws of physics - but not liking them. The one who makes a career of "bending" these laws to the delight of a captivated audience... preying upon (and praying for) the inability of onlookers to see that what is happening is merely the ILLUSION of bending: Sleight of hand.

Now you see it... Now you don't.

In the most fantastic confidence game of all time, the politicians of this nation have bent and twisted and pulled and pushed, the masses screaming hysterically for more - and more daring - tricks by which to be entertained and amused. While we look on, the tricksters have help behind the scenes, pulling ropes, opening trapdoors, poofing smoke to hide the real action and give the audience the most bang for their buck.

Look over here, and see the mortgage crisis.... while we are distracted, over there, the magician and his friends loot the banking industry.

Look over there, and see the stock market tumble.... while we are distracted, over here, the magician and his friends raid the treasury and plunder the loot of generations to come.

Look, look, look all around, and see the needless war in Iraq.... while we are distracted, boldly all around us and within our sight, the magician and his friends install a wooden puppet in the White House.

~~~~~Only I think those are called dummies with someone's hand shoved up their backside.

(For clarity's sake, BOTH major parties play this shell game with the American public, every 4 years - and this isn't a direct criticism at any one candidate and not even specifically the events mentioned above, which just happen to be the most current distractions, merely used as examples.)


LewWaters said...

Very indepth, Allee, something we all should be thinking about.

The sleight of hand has been going on for a long time, it seems. Each move takes a little more away from us and we become a little more dependent upon the ruling government class, which enjoys much more than we do, at our expense.

In the meantime, that one "distraction" grows more threatening all the time while the "magician" minimizes the threat we all face.

"Public education" has become more of a "public indoctrination" of desired societal mores that do more to harm society than benefit it.

And those that try to expose the sleight of hand going on are too often referred to as crackpots.

When it becomes too late, then the masses turn to those crackpots to do something about it.

Very nice first post, made me think a bit too :-)

Angie Lee said...

Why thanks, Lew!

Ms Calabaza said...

you have put my feelings into words. This is an excellent essay.

Angie Lee said...

Thanks so much, Ms. C!