death of the mind.

dan michaels feedbackdroids at
Sun Jul 11 00:25:14 EST 2004

"John Hasenkam" <johnh at faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f0105f at>...

> Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of indoctrination
> must be un-conscious. 

Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
> indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual and in
> various occupations it saves lives. 

Now, you're getting very wierd. The ends do justify the means - ??? Of
course, I "grew up" in the church with this tradition. Ever hear of
Augustine and the concept of "compell them to enter"?

Again, the real question is .... to what extent? Blanket
generalizations are rarely worth the paper much.

I suppose one way to approach this is to
> conceive of indoctrination as the beginning of education, hopefully
> thereafter the student can move on. Nor does the application of Skinner's
> ideas to humans constitute "unethical" behavior. He is simply asking us to
> be more conscious of how our behavior is shaped and how his ideas can allow
> us to better shape behavior without resort to practises that have been going
> on since day dot. 20 years ago I read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and thought
> it was fascist. I've grown up somewhat since then. Wherefore art thou
> freedom Johnno?

Well, it WAS facist 20 years ago. But now society has caught up with
it. Ever hear of the "The Fourth Turning"? In those 20 years you've
learned that there has been nothing for you to take credit nor
responsibility for. Life has played its hand. Maybe that's "true"
freedom. Remember what Socrates said just before drinking hemlock?

You might also want to take a look at Freedom Evolves by Dennett. It
is to 2004 what BFAD was to 1954. Don't miss the part about the
spectre of creeping exculpation. It's not my fault. My car broke down.
The bus was late. I didn't have taxi fare. My bicycle had a flat tire.
The plane couldn't leave the gate. The air controllers were on strike.
We circled for 6 hours over Chicago. My brain cells went on strike.
Amyloid is dogging my tracks. My sympathetic nervous system is out of
wack. And so it goes.

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