(In a previous post, I gave my unfavorable opinion of government-run education in particular, along with statism in general. In this post, I intend to substantiate at least an aspect of the former of these two opinions.)
Let’s begin by considering the problems with the educational system as it exists today. For a concise illustration, imagine a common scenario: A group of 20-30 students are sitting at desks in a classroom, listening to a single teacher lecture for an hour. They may be taking notes, making sure to pay special attention to the information that might be on the test. They might be participating in conversations with the teacher or the other students. Or perhaps they’re reading their phone, thinking about their plans for later in the day, or even just staring at the wall. A few weeks later, the test is looming near. Some of the students increase their studying. Many others are still procrastinating. Some will even wait until the last possible window of time, spending the night before the test memorizing vocabulary, information, dates, formulas, etc. Still others will simply not bother.
Throughout this blog, one of my main positions will be that using present-day natural languages for thinking and communication is an extremely limiting and dangerous affair. Not only are current natural languages slow, cumbersome tools for recording thoughts for oneself or transferring thoughts to other people, but their shortcomings also lead to systematic errors in reasoning and constant misunderstandings.
Imagine asking the average person, “Why do you think we have compulsory, state-run education in every country in the first world?” They would probably answer something like, “Because if you don’t make children go to school, they won’t learn what they need to learn to do well in life.” They hear a question asking “why” a particular institution exists in society, and they ask themselves something to the effect of, “What motive would explain the existence of this institution? What problem existed in society, and what solution did the people invent to fix it?” They ping their brain, and their brain responds, “Well, the problem is, if you don’t make kids go to school, they might not go. And that would be a bad thing, so people came up with a solution: compulsory education.”