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RE: a little more education  John Wunderlich
 Aug 18, 2001 17:34 PDT 
Teachers, artists, & entrepreneurs/leaders

All of us, if we are lucky, will have run into a teacher that inspired
us, an artist/writer that has moved us, or a person that inspired us to
move beyond ourselves. These are people that deserve to be held in the
highest esteem.

Most countries' military schools and most business schools will impart
leadership skills. You can obtain a degree in Fine Arts. Doctorates are
granted in Education. Thus do we fool ourselves into thinking that these
gifts are academic pursuits. There is no doubt in my mind that whatever
aptitudes I have in any of these areas will be sharpened by learning
techniques and skills. Like markets, these are conversations. They are
deeply human interactions that enrich me and the person with whom I

I have been in academia. I have pursued knowledge for its own sake, and
found it to be a deeply rewarding experience. I needed to be educated to
get to the point where I could have a discourse with an expert in the
terms and usages common in his/her field. I owe an enormous debt to the
people who helped me get to that point, both teachers and fellow

But unless and until we learn that education itself is not an academic
pursuit, we will continue to dig little conformist brain boxes for
ourselves and our children. An awareness of the non-academic nature of
the learning process is, I believe, what lies at the heart of what you
perceive to be 'anti-intellectual diatribes against education'.

You are mistaken on two counts. Anti-intellectual is not the same as
railing against academia. Academia is the society of people who work in
the "Academy", broadly understood to be the pursuit of knowledge in the
furtherance of knowledge. The best definition of intellectual that I've
ever heard came from, I think, Ogden Nash who said, "The fundamental
requirement for one to be an intellectual is to be in the presence of
non-intellectuals." On that basis, I proudly claim to be an

Your second mistake is to confuse education, the process of
knowledge/skills transfer, with Faculties of Education and the
pedagogical crap they put out. I would venture to say that if you took a
survey on any campus, polling graduate students and professors, you may
well find that the only people who think that education is a valid
academic pursuit are the people in that faculty.

Cognition and childhood development are the province of the medical
profession and professional psychologists. The thought of some
complacent, probably middle class, education drone with three credits in
psychology passing life altering judgments on the psychological health
of the 8 year olds in their care sends chills up and down my spine. I
reiterate my utmost respect for the real and dedicated teachers that
make it through the ideological mill to get their teaching credentials.
This diatribe is not for you. But you know who I'm speaking about don't

T V wrote:
 Sirs and Madams:

I have enjoyed the anti-intellectual diatribes against education
very much! I was saying to my friend Salvatore the other day that
there just aren't enough diatribes against academia anymore. I told
him it was almost as upsetting as the complete lack of pundit-centered
celebrations of the free market. Also I told Salvatore my theory
of how we should completely eliminate public education and surf the
Web for porn instead. But he just threw his spoon down and said I
was a "complete waste of the space where a fucking asshole should
be," whatever that means. He gets so dramatic whenever he gets all
political. I mean, you should have seen him when I told him my theory
about how the Internet will completely end political corruption,
because eventually everybody will have a web page, and everybody
will be putting up criticisms of the government on their web pages,
so the government will be so concerned about the criticisms that
they'll stop being corrupt. That makes sense, right? But on this
one Salvatore actually threw his banana milkshake right at my head,
really HARD, too, and I mean this was at POINT BLANK RANGE! And
when I ducked it hit this woman at the table behind me. So then she
makes this big scene, which I don't blame her for, because who wants
to be hit in the head by a milkshake when you're just minding your
own business, and then the waiter comes over and tells me and Salvatore
that we have to leave.

And I didn't even do anything except explain my theory of the Internet.

Anyway, keep up the good work!! I am forwarding Salvatore all of
your posts just to piss him off.

Sincerely yours!

T. Velvet


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