So, I know I cussed down Freakonomics fairly the other day, but I found something really interesting on their site last night. One sentence in this report (found here)really stuck in my mind and sparked off a whole chain of thought about Scientific endeavour being so much more positive and powerful than the flouncier humanities side of the university.
Anyway, I now can’t find that line and think that my argument was nonsense.
But it’s great when thoughts get sparked off, and the report by Seth Roberts, despite having a conclusion that is known by virtually every school kid around the world (and most people who’ve been troubled by their education systems), is very very sparky. I know that a lot of my (cleverer than me) friends cuss down evolutionary psychology really hard, and so the middle chunk of the paper may seem less significant, but there’s something really positive about the whole piece. It really seems to be looking for a way to make things better (unlike certain other subjects, which simply seem to lament how bad things have got).
It’s definitely good brain food.
It actually coincides with a discussion I had with my house mate the other day. She was talking about the idea that in a more socialistic/communistic world, it would be possible for people to ‘cycle’ through jobs. If this was done right then it would share the more unpleasant jobs around (damaging class hierarchy) and allow people to do more things that they might want to. It would be pretty cool, if everybody had a few responsibilities. Everyone would have to do a shitty, yet essential job. Then people could spend time doing more vocational things. The range of different things that people want to do would mean that many things would get done..and get done better, because they were being done by people who wanted to do them.
I’m being incredibly idealist and impractical here…but it would still be nice.
Anyway, the school and exam system is pretty screwed up…and it would be great if people were encouraged to learn more. When I had my interview for my job at the lie berry I was asked how equal opportunities was important to a library. I actually became almost militantly enthusiastic about the importance of learning. I do think that the key to making a better world is for everyone to really lust after learning. If you can encourage the spark in people to learn properly, to learn about different things and really look at the world around them, then people will (possibly) start to care more. Learning is everything, and should be for everybody, for all their lives. Inflexible national curricula and stupid exams cause kids to lose interest in learning, and this is one of our biggest problems in our society, but it’s one that many people will forget about, either because they are simply too removed from educational establishments (looking back on ‘the best days of their lives’ and so on) or because they just think all kids are evil.
Okay, so I’m wandering around without a point here.
But yeah…learn to love what you do…if you don’t…you’re doing it wrong..or you’re doing the wrong thing.
Learn something new today.