Our Education System Got An F

Education is believed to be the liberation of the mind, but is it anymore? Or was it ever? We are constantly fed with these age-old preconceived notions about education from society. And sometimes directly from the people who are meant to be educating us, almost creating a moral paradox! They tell us that school will enrich our creativity. They tell us how the intrinsic, natural creativity of the human mind is a speckles’ worth in contrast to the mind that has endured years of methodological indoctrination and testing. But are these notions valid? Or are we (they) confusing one thing for another? What are the drivers of education? How is it intertwined with the prevailing cultural and economical scene? These are some of the pressing questions that surfaces when one fundamentally re-examines the very concept of education that much of civilization has held on to dearly for decades, if not centuries. After years of school and college, it’s about time for us to step away from the tradition of receiving grades to being the ones to grade our education system.

Like every other endeavor of human civilization, education is one that has had its movements and reforms. From the early attempts at systematic indoctrination in religious and philosophical schools to the modern system consisting of graduated learning levels from elementary to graduate school, there are unmistakable commonalities to the keen eyes. From the times of the ancient Greek civilization, the Platonic academy and the two men, Socrates and Aristotle who surrounded his legacy to the Huehuetlatolli of the Aztecs to the madrasas of the Islamic world to the Vedic teachings of Indus Valley civilization – the earliest attempts of systematic indoctrination were based on the moral code essential to the functioning of early society. Their teachings were subjective to each civilization and time period, and very further subjective to the teacher or master leading the congregation. Education was simply restricted geographically and lost its relevance with the natural progression of civilization and the spread of ideas. Perhaps one of the most notable cultural exchange of the early days happened with the Silk Route, in a time when education was still in its infancy.

philosophy came to be the grand unifying force for many culturally-divested schools of education

Continue reading

Advertisements

Opinion: Why I Subscribe To The Dual Inheritance Theory

The dual inheritance theory, also known as the theory of coevolution states that individuals and groups evolve with their environment and their associated clan bound by their genetic predispositions. The clan may have its own language, culture and other societal characteristic that will influence the outcome of an individual in terms of his personality traits, thought patterns and instinctual habits, or implicit responses. The people, it can be inferred from this hypothesis, evolve as part and parcel of their societal constructs, such as culture, and its many underlying mechanisms of interactions and reciprocation with anthropological and biological constructs such as genetics. The underlying workings may be complex but the upper-level manifestations can be empirically observed and easily correlated with a certain clan. In such event a member be separated from his clan, he will naturally seek out to his ilk driven by his own reward system. Yes, you read that right, genetic factors differently predispose people to life experiences. Whether its abusing substance or love-making, your brain responds differently to the same neurotransmitters and chemicals in your bloodstream simply because genetics compels them to be utilized and reciprocated differently by the body.

the internal reward system supremely concedes any external factors

In this short opinion post, I will use anecdotes from my life to personally validate the coevolution theory. The internal, neurotransmitter-based reward system supremely concedes any external influences to behavior, and individuals predisposed with certain biological attributes from their clan will naturally, over the discourse of time, seek to his kind and companionship. While this is the vastly observed case, not all do this, like me for instance. This post is dedicated to understanding why some selective individuals may liberate completely from their roots leaving no fragment of their natural identity left with them. Continue reading

What I Like And Don’t Like About This Great Country Known As America

The United States coincidentally happens to be my dream place of citizenship. If this is bombshell news – you are alien to me! The road to naturalization is a rather long and obstacle-ridden one but with sheer determination and work, I don’t think anything can really be that far from being realized. In today’s installment, I want to briefly (maybe) state my reasons behind my favorism of this country in particular – and the cultural and social factors that shape my infatuation with this so-called land of the free and brave citizen.

a low-context culture coupled with youthful, individualistic attitudes readily appeals to the wanderer with no cultural deadweight

First and probably the single most important factor would be the prevalence of an overall low-context culture. The United States is a young country, culturally. Unlike its southern neighbor, Mexico or Europe – the US hadn’t matured into a unique cultural identity just yet and is still in the infancy of its development. Low-context cultures are distinctly observed in urban and ethnically diverse regions of the world – where the traditional ideological pragmatism of the everyday folk cannot be observed. So why do I favor a low-context culture? My reasons are two-fold. One, these cultures are often very explicit in stating and adhering to protocol. Per Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, America likes to avoid uncertainty through a strict adherence to protocol. Deadlines are rigid and there’s little effort reserved toward trying to accommodate people who may not be able to adhere as easily. This translates to an introvert’s paradise for asocial people like me tend to have a rather tough time participating in cultural pragmatism – and without pragmatism, nobody is inherently required to know or do anything to function in society, making this reason number two. Continue reading

Why I Chose To Be A Narcissist And You Should Too

There have been many bad connotations to narcissism and I wish to give new meaning to it – as a way of life, a way of functioning in society without legal consequences. I define narcissism as the trait that makes one care for oneself and put the priorities of theirs or whatever they chose to associate with first regardless of the moral dictates of society. It so much easier to function this way as I will explain later and with this you are insured against heartbreak, betrayal and other emotional trauma of such. Narcissism is a fundamental trait of LaVeyan Satanists – practitioners of Satanism as made popular by LaVey. This is a philosophy where you are asked to indulge in what you see required for your emotional and physical gratification with no regard for others or society inside the confines of law.

The whole premise for high-functioning narcissism is to fulfill your Freudian ego alternatively through a favorable build-up of your symbolic selves. While the average theist or social being earns ego from social acts of heroism through philanthropic attitudes and acts, the narcissist works independently with his enlightened selves to earn gratification. Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Denial of Death discusses the psychological mechanisms that lead to a fulfilled death. Despite sounding so controversial, it does make sense when approached with good old Freudian theory. In order to be able to fulfill our egos effectively, we must take back and reign control over our symbolic selves and not let God or society dictate our ultimate redemption. Therefore, a fundamental rework of the superego is required – and this is where one is required to adopt a new moral philosophy. High-functioning narcissism allows healthy functioning in a society that traditionally doesn’t cater to individuals with such superegos.

Don’t carry the load that will eventually destroy you!

Continue reading

The Bargain of Life

Folks, today I want to document (this is really for my own future reference, or for the future me who will have had time-traveled, whichever comes first) the bargains we make, very sub-consciously toward happiness. Before you judge this article for being one of those lame posts on how to think positive, no, that certainly is not what you’re going to be finding in here.

The bargains (of happiness) are those you perform with little thought. You often see people from war-torn countries with little to no sense of empathy. One might satisfying conclude this person to be a psychopath. But they’re really not, these people have grown a skin, a metaphorical emotional shell so thick all around that nothing, good or bad can permeate through. It’s like the Trump wall, but a bargain with your self over Mexico. This so-called shell as I’d like to call it renders them incapable of showing any sense of appreciation for good, and equally not able to take in good given to them.

the bargain of life aligns with my interpretation of the law of averages

Continue reading

I’m Only Human

Happy new year everybody! I hope you had a wonderful start into twenty seventeen 🙂 I personally had a blast – in Chicago! I was at this fairly new event in the city center called Chi-town Rising, hosted this year by Corona Extra. They basically have a huge steel star with lights mounted onto it to draw attention, guided on 2 I-beams running through the face of the Hyatt building by Wacker drive.

I’m back again with more posts to post but in the meantime, I thought I could write this short post just giving myself in to my human side. On my other posts, I use big words and phrases and try to be logically consistent and grammatically sound but today I’m just going to write about things on the very top of my head hoping this would help build better blogger-reader relationships and moreover, to help make blogging on Chronic Overthoughts therapeutic to me, you know the relaxation and all writing brings. I will also not be proof-reading this post or even try to optimize it – like I said earlier, this is purely what’s firing in my head instantaneously as I hit keys.

This New Year’s was a particularly good realization for me. I’ve realized that being me while doing things the way others do to impress humans at the fundamental level often pays off. This is best reflected in college applications – when I first applied to my dream schools, I made the mistake of completely being honest and ‘me’ but as it turns out, you have to play by the game a little bit where it’s required to make some of the trivial stuff up to mark and invest your mental resources into where ‘being yourself’ is appreciated. Lately, I’ve been making an action plan to see what needs to be done to get me a step closer to my goal which lead me to a couple things – playing by the game to a certain extent cut down on much of the stress and burden such activities bring with it. It also ultimately made me feel satisfied when I felt that I wasn’t standing too far out, making my every move predominantly noticeable while simultaneously making sure to not be too blended with everybody else so as to lose your unique identity.

Also, I’ve come to realize that sometimes there’s only a certain extent to which you can control or take authority over things – how, when and the way they take place. There are well-established constraints on everyone – nationality, blah blah blah which can only take you to a certain point beyond which you must just surrender and stop wasting your resources telling yourself that you’d come this far and there’s room to go further – especially if others had already done it.

My advice to my younger self would be to not look at your path to your goal as one that is linear – even if you think you are taking radical paths that have never before been traversed upon you are in-fact, naturally following a linear path. Your hard work or distinct behavior should not account for evidence to confirm your bias. They are merely obstacles placed on the vertical which you just have to navigate or work through no matter what. The obstacle which I’ve encountered is one placed along the horizontal. One might ask what difference does it make – the obstacles placed on the vertical will NOT forbid you from moving ahead towards the goal. These are merely there to slow you down. Maybe you got a low score on a standardized test and wanted to retake it – you’re just being slowed down while still staying on that straight path. Keep in mind that not all have the same obstacles – everyone has a different goal and hence, an action plan which they set for themselves or mutually agreed upon with a third-party. The horizontal obstacle is a roadblock to keep you from progressing further on that path to your goal. While a horizontal obstacle might seem like something that forbids you completely from reaching your goal, it really isn’t.

To deal with an horizontal obstacle, you have to realize that this obstacle was designed to be overcome in the long term. If I was telling myself this a couple months if not, days ago, I would have welcomed it with nothing but skepticism. This should seem like complete gibberish because we are told our short-term actions determine our results in the long-term. While this notion is agreeable in most cases, a horizontal obstacle requires you to think out-of-the-box! You not just explore radical options, but also develop REALISTIC action plans to make them reality, with much emphasis on the word realistic. Someone like me, who suffers from schizophrenia is lead to believe an idealistic and logical plan will certainly work. When it doesn’t – we rebel, loathe our existence and get more aggressive with our pursuits. But that does NOT help because your resources are now invested in something that isn’t helping navigate around this obstacle.

Don’t seek (never!) validation from anyone, even your parents, siblings and close friends. You are your best person to judge. Sometimes, I’ve found myself doing things merely to get validated by others. While this yields fantastic results in the short-term, it doesn’t help challenging obstacles as the one discussed above, obstacle which most people give up to. These obstacles make an average person feel like they’ve hit a dead end, only an intellectual who’s self-invested his/her resources will realize the bigger picture and work on a realistic solution that is statistically bound to work.