The Fetishization of Ignorance

What is the purpose of education? Why do we devote such significant portions of our lives to schooling?

Theoretically, the purpose of primary and secondary education is to prepare children with the basic skills necessary to function as adults in contemporary society (and hopefully not just to subsist but to succeed).

… Unless you’re a member of the Texas state GOP, in which case, the purpose of education seems to be to keep kids busy until they’re old enough to enter the workforce and to reinforce any preexisting beliefs they may have learned from their parents. Go get yourself some headache medicine, because you’re about to need it.

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

So this is a “serious” political party arguing that critical thinking skills are bad. It specifically says that students’ fixed beliefs should not be challenged. Maintaining parental authority is apparently more important for education than teaching kids how to think.

I’m sorry, but what?

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Certainty as a Comforting Delusion [And Why You Should Abandon It]

Do you exist?

“What? Of course I exist. What a stupid question.”

Okay, now that I’ve proven that I have psychic powers by predicting your answer ahead of time (You believe me, right?), take a step back from the question. How do you know that you really exist? It is, after all, possible that you are nothing but a Matrix-style AI simulation of consciousness being studied by a highly advanced future society. Can you prove that you’re not? It’s entirely conceivable that a society could develop the technology necessary to simulate reality—it’s not even that much of a stretch to suggest that we may be able to do this within our lifetimes (combine modern video games with Japan’s Earth Simulator, then extrapolate). Once you’ve accepted that, how can you know for sure that you’re not an AI operating within a highly advanced reality simulator? Granting that such a thing is theoretically possible, you really can’t. If you can’t entertain the mere possibility, however, I have bad news for you: you’re suffering from a chronic mental illness called certainty.

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