Thoughts on the damaging effects of education, with remarks about describing the education process, undoing the damage, “personhood”, and over-education

It seems that I have spoken of some of these themes before (more than likely I have).  At any rate, some of these thoughts are new, or stated in a different way, and I think that they are worth noting down:

Many years ago I dropped out of the University.  Frankly, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I could never quite figure out why at the time.  I recall that a feeling started to came over me of “I got to get out of here” and “I don’t want to be here”.  The College/University environment, frankly, nauseated and disgusted me.  It still does today.

Since that time I was always mystified why I was bothered and what prompted me to leave.  Then, over 25 years later, I began to have new insights about it and slowly began to understand it.  If I were to describe it in its simplest way I’d say:  It took so long because I had to undo the damage of a lifelong of public schooling, 13 years, and 6-7 sevens of College/University (if I recall right), which equals almost 20 years of schooling!  In other words, I had to undo the damage that education did to me over a long period of time.  As a result of this, I began to see another side to education.

The question of what constitutes “education” is one that could be debated.  Frankly, I’m not sure what it is.  In many ways, it doesn’t matter.  The important thing is how I experienced it and observed it . . .  


The Overall Process

When I finally quit education I recall saying that it basically amounted to a process that followed this pattern:

  1. Reading, hearing, or doing something
  2. Practicing it in some way, such as study or doing problems, so I could do it properly
  3. Repeating it properly on a test of some form, which could be with questions to something like writing an essay

I often jokingly say it this way:  “read, hear, do, repeat, and test . . . read, hear, do, repeat, and test . . . read, hear, do, repeat, and test . . . ad infinitum”.  I basically spent almost 20 years doing that this process over and over again and again.  By the time I got out of College/University this had become a horrible monotony of endless sameness.  It was the same process over and over and over again.  The only thing different was the material.  Perhaps in one class it was biology material, another math material, and so on.  Regardless, the process was the same.

Becoming “Mind Stuffers”

The purpose of this process is to turn people into what I jokingly call “mind stuffers”.  I started to use this term when I was at the University because all we did up there is stuff our minds with all sorts of fact, figures, and whatnot, not unlike a Thanksgiving turkey.  This is why I occasionally referred to students as “Thanksgiving turkeys”.  To me, that seems a very accurate description of education as a whole:  education is really nothing but stuffing your mind.  You just fill your head with this, that, or the other thing.  That’s called “learning”.

Imitation, the Means of Learning

I often say that “learning” primarily consists of doing what I call, “imitating things in ones mind”.  This, to me, is the motive of education as I experienced and observed it.  This means that “learning” is really a form of imitation.

Basically, “learning”, or imitation, involves this process:

  1. A “something”, which you are supposed to learn, is shown to you in some way by the education system, such as by reading it, hearing it, or doing it
  2. One then imitates, fabricates, or recreates it in ones mind (that is, a person must create a “mental image” in their mind of what they are learning)
  3. One then remembers it so that one can repeat it
  4. One is then considered as “learned” it

This “something”, that one is trying to learn, tends to have these qualities:

  • It is something that is already pre-established, pre-fabricated, and pre-determined
  • It is something someone else has already created

There are several forms of imitation:

  1. Static imitation – An imitation of something concrete such as information
  2. Dynamic imitation – An imitation of procedure, style, or patterns of thought 

The extent and manner of these depends on the subject. In many cases, the amount of information and patterns of thought, that one must imitate, is minimal (such as learning how to change a tire). In some cases, though, what needs to be imitated is so massive that it can take years to learn the information and patterns of thought that is required (such as a Medical Doctor).  In addition, in some subjects practically everything is remembering information (static imitation).  In other subjects, a large part of it is replicating patterns of thinking (dynamic imitation).  In many cases, its a mixture.

Generally, dynamic imitation is more “tricky” and requires more creativity and, therefore, requires more from the person.  Because of this, dynamic imitation generally requires innate skill, ability, and qualities from a person.  In other words, it often requires qualities that you don’t get from the education system.  

Specific Knowledge and the “Knowledge-Model”

The overall imagery of all that one has imitated in ones mind (that is, learned) create what can be called the “knowledge-model”.  Its something like a putting together of all the specific information that one has learned over time and creates something like a model or “map” in ones mind.  In other words, the “knowledge-model” is taking all the bits and pieces of information one has learned and putting them together into one coherent mass.  In this way, we see a distinction:

  • Specific knowledge – individual facts and  information about specific things that are usually remembered in a disconnected and unassociated way with other facts and information
  • Knowledge-model – a unified fabrication of all that one has learned where individual facts and information are woven together to create an overall “map” of things

Many people, I’ve found, can learn specific knowledge, remember them, and repeat them on a test.  But I’ve found that not everyone can create a model of all the information one has learned in ones mind.  And its even less people who can use that model productively.  These later qualities, according to my observation, are not as common as it seems.

I should also point out that this “knowledge-model” is not something one is taught (that is, its not a pre-manufactured image).  The “knowledge-model” is an image that someone creates on their own initiative, with their own effort, and is something some people just do in the course of their daily life.  Each information, knowledge, experience, insight, etc. adds to the model sort of like building with Lego’s and adding piece by piece.  This means that some people have a character trait that makes them automatically create a model in their mind . . . they don’t learn it in school.   Perhaps we could speak of this as the “model character”?

In addition, the “knowledge-model” cannot really be measured, which is very significant, as the education system needs to measure things to make itself relevant (that is, it needs to grade people and put them on a scale).  The reason why it can’t be measured that well is because it is something innate, that a person creates on their own.  As a result, it is very “personalized”, and suits the person, not a system.  The education system, really, has little say in its creation or development.  About the closest way it can be measured are in tests where you have to take knowledge from different places (such as different classes or fields) and put them together.  This, from my observation, is not that effective.

All this shows that innate skill plays a large part in all this . . .

The Question of Skill

I’ve found that people can have different skills in relation to specific knowledge and the “knowledge-model”:

  • There is a skill in specific knowledge
  • There is a skill in creating the “knowledge-model”
  • There is a skill in combining the two and being able to use it

It seems that people tend to have a skill in one or the other.  In this way, some people can learn specific knowledge easily but can’t really create an “knowledge-model” or some people can be good at creating an “knowledge-model” but aren’t really good at learning specific knowledge, for example.

The different skills create different qualities of people, such as:

  • People that are good at specific knowledge tend to be “informative” or like encyclopedias
  • People that are good at creating “knowledge-models” tend to be “knowledgeable” and “theoretical”
  • People that are good at combining the two tend to be “intelligent” or “cunning” and are often creative and innovative

My observation is that these skills are innate, a part of a persons character.  In other words, a person doesn’t really learn them.  This means that going to school does not create a skill necessarily.  Schooling can bring out a skill, though, assuming its already there.  But if the skill isn’t there then it doesn’t appear no matter how much schooling you haveIt shows that, for many people, the education system is not to develop a skill but, rather, to imitate and repeat what one imitates. This means that the main thing the education system produces can be described as “imitators”.  They go there to imitate something already existing and duplicate it.

Application – Mechanical Mentality and Creativity

Its one thing to be able to remember specific knowledge and create a “knowledge-model” but its another to be able to apply them to a situation, what I call “application”.  My observation is that, unless the application is based in a mechanical mentality, there generally needs to be a skill and ability in applying knowledge. 

Some of the qualities that create mechanical mentality include:

  • Already established viewpoints
  • Already established facts and information
  • Already established procedure
  • Already established ways of looking at things

These give knowledge an almost “formula” quality:  if this equals that then that equals this.  It is a process that has already been established, approved, and proven . . . a person just needs to learn it.  My observation is that learning this mechanical process is basically what the education system is about.  This is one reason why I often compare education to programming a robot (see the “Programming and the Robot” section below).

This mechanical mentality causes a number of things:

  • It creates the same style of thinking
  • It creates similar conclusions and solutions
  • It creates a condition of repeatability
  • It creates thinking and solutions that are approved and accepted
  • It makes it so that anyone can do it easily (this often depends on how much work a person is willing to do)

Because everything is “already established” one is not creating anything which gives it a mechanical quality.  In a roundabout way, the mechanical mentality tends to be a substitute for creativity and tends to replace it.  One of the effects of this is that mechanical mentality often causes what can be described as an “illusion of intelligence”.  It makes people seem intelligent when they are not . . . they’re just following the “formula” of the mechanical mentality that they learned in the education system.

All this shows an important point: genuine application is really a product of creativity.  That is to say, application is rooted in creativityWhen the mechanical mentality takes over it tends to undermine and destroy creativity and, in so doing, it ends up destroying application by making it too “rigid”.  Everything becomes the “same”, so to speak, a continual reiteration of the same thing.  This is good in thing in something like a trade, or a profession, where there is a need for a continual and accepted reiteration of the same thing.  But, in regard to knowledge as a whole, its not good, at least in my opinion.  As it appears to me, the education system is, ironically enough, undermining and destroying knowledge because of its reliance on mechanical mentality.

My observation is also that the creativity that is required in application cannot be learned in school.  As described above, school can bring this creativity out . . . if a person already has it . . . but it can’t really teach a person who doesn’t have it.  It seems, to me, that one of the reasons why the education system tends to favor the mechanical mentality is because the education system cannot teach creativity.  It makes it so that everyone can do things to some extent, or appear to.

The great bulk of schooling, nowadays, has this mechanical quality.  It is all based on an already established and pre-determined way of doing things which is the foundation of this mechanical thinking.  This has becomes so extensive and developed, it seems to me, that schooling is actually easier than it was many decades ago.  In a way, less energy is required and it takes less from a person.  Students, now, just learn this pre-established mechanical thinking to do things.  As long as they do it in an acceptable way they are considered “intelligent”.  But, we must remember, they are not really doing anything . . . they’re just following along with the pre-determined thinking that’s already been established.  In this way, the prevalence of mechanical thinking, that we’re seeing so much nowadays, is actually making people “dumber”, so to speak.  Not only that, it makes it so that people who are favored by the education system, and are more likely to succeed as a result, are people who have a “knack” at this mechanical mentality.  Because the education system does this it tends to exclude people who have natural creativity of application.  I’ve observed this dilemma the whole time I was at College/University.  I’ve always felt that this favoring of people with mechanical mentality is going to backfire in the future.

Illusions of Imitation

Because “knowledge” is based in pre-made, pre-determined, and pre-fabricated things all one is doing is imitating or recreating it in ones mind which means that “knowledge” is not created by the person nor is it based on experience.  But imitation gives some unique illusions to “knowledge” and gives it an appearance it doesn’t have.  Examples are:

  • Imitation gives the illusion that the “knowledge” has originated from within oneself, that one has created it on ones own, and that it is innate.  This is one reason why people who “learn” something often act as if they are the ones who came up with it.  This can get to the point that people will take the credit for it, for something they didn’t come up with.
  • Because “knowledge” is based in a pre-existing model, or image, it can be a “framework” for creativity and experience.  In that way, it can be something like a guide.  Oftentimes, though, the imitating ends up controlling creativity and experience.  Because of this, imitation tends to create an illusion of creativity and experience because it is confused and mistaken with them.  I’d compare it to a computer game where you are “experiencing” what seems like driving a race car, for example, but you’re not actually “doing” it . . . you only think you are.  In this way imitation tends to degrade creativity and experience or so it seems to me.
  • When imitation involves exotic and fancy subjects with a lot of prestige, like quantum physics or rocket science, then it gives the person the illusion of being “intelligent”.  This isn’t because they are intelligent but because they are imitating a prestigious subject.  To put it another way, by imitating the prestigious you look prestigious.  This can give the “educated” an actor quality, as if they are performing in a play.  Personally, I think that a lot of what it means to be “educated” is a form of acting.

These become particularly strong when one believes what one is imitating or learned.  It makes it all the more serious and the illusion more seem more profound and true.

The Illusion of Memory – The “Hear and Repeat Scholar”

Since the education system is based in imitating, and repeating it on a test, people with a good memory tend to “apparently” do good.  In other words, a good memory often appears as an “intelligence” (see my article Thoughts on the ‘memory-based character’, the ‘memory-based education’, modern education, and other things associated with them).  I know many people who pass themselves off as “intelligent” when all they’re doing is repeating stuff they’ve heard.  To me, this is very common.  When you talk to many College/University students that’s practically what you’re hearing.  This has become so prevalent that I jokingly call them the “hear and repeat scholar”.  Basically, they hear it and repeat it.  A lot of them will start to repeat knowledge as if they are wearing it like decoration . . .

“Wearing Knowledge”

A big thing to do is to parade around with what you stuffed in your head. You wear information, facts, and knowledge like a decoration and displayed it to people whenever you can. I often speak of this as “wearing knowledge” as I used to compare knowledge to wearing fancy clothes. You state this or that, express this or that pattern of thought, and it impresses the crap out of everyone. You want to especially impress the professors and, later, your employers. If you do it well enough then people start to think you’re some sort of a genius. Because of this, the “wearing knowledge” becomes almost like a game, a performance. Personally, I think a lot of what it means to be “educated” is nothing but a performance, an act. The better you are at the performance the more “educated” you are considered to be. In some respects, the University/College environment is like a circus where all the students are show ponies and trick performing animals. Looking back on it now, that seems sort of accurate.

But we must remember that the bulk of what is being done is repeating things that they have stuffed in their head or they are applying patterns of thought. In both cases, its usually stuff someone else came up with. This, in a way, is why education looks so pathetic . . . its standing on the shoulders of other people and taking the credit for it! When I was in school I found this appalling.

Programming and the Robot

The replication of information primarily gives imitation (that is, learning) its value and worth.  Once this is achieved in a subject then a person can do that subject in a proper way.  This gives learning value in specific subjects, such as professions, trades, and other aspects of society.  But, it is subject-specific.  It ends up creating something like a robot, a person that is “programmed” tor something specific, hence my saying:

“Education is programming”

Basically, education tends to create someone with a “robot” type of mentality, programmed to think a certain way and do specific things.  This made me come up with terms like “University robot” or “programmed intellectual”.

The primary thing that education does is to make people who can do specific things, like a robot, primarily through imitation and “programming”.  This only seems to help a person do things such as:

  • To know the ways of various systems that societies uses
  • To perform some trade, job, or occupation
  • To do some activity

In short, education becomes “one-sided” and “narrow”, only entailing a small part of life, generally something specific.  This fact stunned me when I found out about it.  I always thought that there was more to education than that.

Testing – Measuring Imitation

If a system is involved, such as the University, then there is usually an attempt at trying to measure “learning” by various forms of tests.  In this way, they then “scale” people, usually from excellent to bad.  This is usually done to give what can be described as a form of “entitlement” to those who perform better.  This “entitlement” is usually justified on the principle that people who perform better are “entitled” because they are better or more qualified.  In other words, tests tend to cause lead to “entitlement” and favoritism because of things such as these:

  • They are viewed so highly that they are the means to “entitlement”
  • They are viewed as being so accurate that they justify “entitlement”

The problem is that no one has really proven that the tests they use in the education system are accurate or, at least, I am not convinced.  This means that I have doubt about the whole “entitlement” that is used in education.  Personally, I don’t believe it and think its unfair, wrong, and misleading.

It seems, to me, that because “learning” is based in imitation it shows that what the tests are actually measuring is how well one can repeat what one is trying to imitate.  That’s not a measure of intelligence or “smarts”.

Because tests measure imitation it isn’t any surprise that most tests require one to replicate, repeat, or duplicate, what one is trying to imitate in some way or another.  There are many techniques and forms of doing this, depending on the point of view and beliefs.

Overall, I found it insulted to be “measured” and think it degrading.  To my, its like saying, “you’re a cog in a machine”.  In addition, its also like saying, “a letter or number has more value than you”.  Why do I think that?  Because that is what people did . . . it was the letter or number that counted!  Since my College/University days I do a number of things as a result:

  • I refuse to allow myself to be downgraded to a letter or a number
  • I refuse to allow a letter or number to affect my life
  • I refuse to take a test that will be taken too seriously (in fact, I refuse to take a test unless its absolutely necessary!)

The “Learning Threat”

Another aspect of the education system is what I often called the “learning threat” (see my article Thoughts on the ‘learning threats’ – a hidden tension in learning and education).  This basically means that you are threatened with failure if you don’t do these things:

  • Learn the right things in the correct way
  • Learn it before a specific time . . . I joking call this “learning to a time schedule”
  • Repeat it properly on a test

The “learning threat” is a result, really, of the display of power in some form or another.  Oftentimes, its a display of power by the system over the students.  I often felt as if  someone was standing over me with a stick saying “you better learn this the right way or else!”  To me, this created an almost unbearable learning environment.  To get away from that type of environment was a great relief.  Thank god!

I never quite knew what happened if a person “failed” but I was under the impression that everything in life would be difficult, and that life would be miserable.  In other words, failure at school meant a failure at life, or that was what was my impression was.  This only created more of a pressure on this.  Later in life I can see that this quality of “learning under a threat of failure” is not the same as “learning as a normal course of life”.  They are totally different things.  It was only after I quit education that I began to be aware of the later form.  In other words, I’ve spent 20 years in education, with the threat of failure hanging over my head, as a motive and purpose of learning.  I wasn’t learning because I wanted to or needed to but because I forced to . . . and I couldn’t fail.


The Influence of Power

It became clear, to me, that education wasn’t about knowledge, truth, and all that . . . its about gaining some form of power.  Generally, this is some form of social or economic power, influence, or gain.  In actuality, knowledge, truth, and all that are the after effects of the quest for some form of power.  This means that they take a “back burner” quality, a secondary role.  I speak of this as the “education power game” because, behind it, is a bid for some form of power.  To me, that changes the whole face of education and knowledge.  Because of this I tend to make a distinction between two forms of knowledge:

  1. Power-based knowledge – this is knowledge created to gain from or serve some form of power system, such as the economic machine or social institution
  2. Human-need knowledge – this is knowledge created to satisfy a human need, such as creating an image of how the world works, seeking deeper meaning in things, etc.

The education system is primarily based in power-based knowledge.  This is because the education system is based in an organized system that serves the social and economic system.  In short, the education system, and all it produces, is a minion to the social and economic system and, accordingly, relies on the power they offer.  As a result, people use the education system to cater to and gain from that power.

My observation is that power-based knowledge tends to be biased toward the power it is catering to and favors the means to gain and utilize that power.  This means that its not really the “ultimate knowledge” that it sometimes professes (such as how science professes it answers the questions of the world).  In actuality, its more like a “trade knowledge”, of knowing how a specific system of knowledge works so you can use it.  This is why I often called the University the “trade school a la grande” . . . its really nothing but a fancy trade school.  This means that many of these great and grand fields, which seem so exotic, like paleontology, microbiology, neurology, and other fields, are really just a form of a trade catering to the motives and purpose of that trade.  What, really, is the difference between a welder and a microbiologist?  They have to learn the specific knowledge of those trades and the knowledge of those trades are only relevant in those trades.  When you step out of those trades then its knowledge becomes insignificant, irrelevant, and useless.  This means that all the knowledge that is being created isn’t really creating an “overall knowledge of how the world works” (which is what “ultimate knowledge” professes).  Its just the knowledge that specific trades use.

There are a number of ways one gains from the power that power-based knowledge creates:

  • By utilizing the knowledge for some use, such as the trade knowledge of surgery allows a doctor to perform surgery
  • By gaining security by participating in an established social and economic system, which causes a person to follow its ways
  • By gaining economically from it, such as making more money
  • By gaining increased influence from it, such as controlling a company
  • By some form of social prestige or status

These become the motives behind power-based knowledge.  In actuality, its not the knowledge that matters but using the power to achieve some end.  It can range from respectable and useful (such as utilizing it for some practical use) to unrespectable and useless (such as for seeking social prestige and status).

This catering for that power is also one reason why no one questions it and blindly follows along with everything the education system says.  People are seeking what the power offers and that’s their focus.  In my life, I’ve seen very few people criticize, or critically look at, the education system itself, of what it professes, what it teaches, and how it measures people.  That always struck me as odd, considering the power and influence it has, but its a testament to the control that power has over people.

The human-need knowledge, on the other hand, is not a minion to a social or economic system. As a result, the quest for power tends to not play a part in this form. Instead, the human-need knowledge is rooted more in necessity and need.  Examples would be religions, mythology, cultural beliefs, traditions, customs, etc. Necessity and need make this form of knowledge relevant and give it its value and worth.  Because its not associated with a social or economic system, and its power, it tends to not have an education system to promote it.  Instead, the conditions are what promote this type of knowledge.  As a result, this form of knowledge tends to be fragile as it changes when conditions change.

The Myth of Ultimate Knowledge

The education system tends to promote the idea of what I always call ultimate knowledge.  That is to say, that it is promoting that knowledge that will answer “all”.  This, of course, is not the case.  This myth originates from a number of sources:

  • The fact that the Universities were reviving the old Greek and Roman philosophies which were so highly prized
  • The fact that the University was associated with Christianity which professed itself the “true belief”
  • The fact that the University is associated with science which professes to answer the questions of the world
  • The fact that the University is associate with the new economic system
  • The fact that the University is associated with the creation and development of machines, gadgets, and other things which have become the foundation of the modern world

These all give what the College/University produces this quality of an “ultimate” and “answer-all” quality.  But, as I said above, its all just “trade knowledge” that caters to its specific point of view and reality.

The College/University, and what it produces, has had great impact in Western society.  I don’t think there has ever been a society that has allowed an education system to have so much control and impact than Western society.  The various forms of “trade knowledge” that the College/University has created has basically created a whole world of its own.  But it still tends to profess that all its “trade knowledge” is the “ultimate truth” and the “answer-all” which is misleading.  It gives the impression that what it creates is great, grand, and almost superhuman.  But, really, its just the product of “trade knowledge”.

Some time ago I was walking through a library of a University.  I looked at all the books and wondered that if there was some way to collect all the information in the books, and add it up, would it lead to one “explanation” of how the world works, an “ultimate knowledge”.  Of course, it wouldn’t.  If you tried to add them all up I think you’d find all sorts of problems, such as:

  • Contradictions
  • A clash in points of views, theories, etc.
  • Much information is irrelevant and has no value
  • It would reveal the extent of what is speculation which is a lot more than is supposed
  • A realization that there is a lot of variation in interpreting facts based on culture, personality, etc.

Personally, I think that if you tried to add up all the information the idea of knowledge as this great and grand thing would be greatly undermined.  One thing that would be very apparent is that knowledge is very “provincial”.  That is to say, knowledge is only relevant to specific cultures, people, and uses, and is not relevant on an overall scale.  Since we are all living “provincially” we don’t notice this fact.

Establishing a Pattern of Thought

Any field or subject, such as biology, psychology, etc. is really nothing but an already established and defined pattern of thought.  When one studies it one is really learning that pattern of thought.  Success in that field, of course, depends on how well you can maintain that pattern of thought.  If the subject has some form of power, such as economic viability, then a person can gain from that power by learning and maintaining that pattern of thought.  This is often the motive for learning it.

The pattern of thought, of a field or subject, can be compared to a culture in itself.  Like any culture they have qualities such as:

  • Their own way of looking at things . . . the pattern of thinking
  • Their own justification
  • They have their own logic of how things fit together and what they consider to be true

In these ways, many of the fields and subjects at College/University are like separate individual cultures.  Like any culture, though, they are really only “true” if you believe it.  In this way, many fields require belief to be of any value.

The “Assembly Line Scholar”

There is something which I call the “assembly line scholar”. This is basically a product of the education system where it is basically producing “scholars” much like an assembly line. I always like to tell the story where we were once waiting for someone at a High School and I started to see the kids walk out. I made a statement something to the effect, “they are walking out??? . . . shouldn’t they be on a conveyor belt”. What I was referring to was that the purpose of the education system is to produce scholars much like an assembly line and, accordingly, they should be coming out on a conveyor belt.

As it appears to me, the education system has become an assembly line . . . the education system has taken on qualities of an assembly line. Not only that, the students are treated not unlike a consumer product. One distinguishing trait is that their “sameness”: they are exposed to the same material, the hear the same things, they do the same problems, they solve things using the same logic, they have to solve the same problems, and so on. Everything is the same. When you talk to them its the same point of view, the same justifications, and the same logic.

There’s even a quality control! If the students don’t pass the strict and demanding qualifications (that is, score high enough on the tests) then there is usually an attempt to “get them back in line”, often by some special program or classes.  If that doesn’t work then they are “rejected” and basically left to fend for themselves in life.  The education system has basically created a world where people have to be a “certain way” to function not only in school but in life. If they cannot be that “certain way” then they are “tossed to the side”, more or less.  There is really no place for them in the society. Thousands of people have been “tossed to the side” as I, myself, have seen. I find it appalling how this society only favors people who can do good in school.

New Discoveries???

My observation is that the discoveries, research, etc. at the College/University isn’t quite what it seems.  In other words, all the research, and that, which is happening at the College/University isn’t quite create discoveries in the way it may seem.  I was always under the impression that the College/Universities are always discovering new things by the scholarly and scientific processes it uses.  That’s not quite what I saw when I was there and have observed since.

I have said many times before that many fields and subjects at College/University have become like “beating a dead horse” (see my article Thoughts on the “beating a dead horse era” and “sawdust knowledge” – some of the effects of exploiting things to death).  That is to say, they have thousands upon thousands of people looking at the same material from the same point of view and have looked at everything from every conceivable angle.  Some of these fields can’t produce any new material anymore.  In fact, I tend to believe that many fields are somewhat exhausted.  But, yet, many fields are pressured to come up with discoveries and new stuff.

Some of the ways new discoveries are created include:

  • “Next step logic”.  This refers to taking the next logical step using an accepted logic and upon already existing facts.  This is common, particularly in science fields, like chemistry.
  • The coming of new information, which can appear from time to time for a variety of different reasons, such as new ways of measurement.
  • Taking alternate directions or points of view which cast a different shadow on things.  These can be like a slight “tweeking” of common points of view and creation a different way of looking at things.  This seems common.
  • Focusing on details.  The focusing on details can come up with “new material”, or it seems that way.
  • Exaggeration of things making something seem more than it is.
  • A deliberate fabrication.  Even when I was at the University I was told to “make something up” for a research project.
  • A change in social mood and times which will give different explanations.
  • An event or happening that causes a change in point of view.
  • Taking points of view from somewhere else such as another culture.
  • A “rambling on”.  This refers to just sitting and talking and talking about something that really gets nowhere but seems to.  A lot of books, nowadays, display this quality, I’ve noticed.

One thing that is apparent is that a lot of new discoveries are not as scientific as it professes nor are they as new as it seems.  To me, a lot of what I’m hearing from the College/University are really opinions.  They are opinions that people justify with the power and authority of the College/University.  Because of this, it is assumed to be true.

Original Thinking???

Overall, it seems to me that new and original ideas have become scarce in the education system and College/University.  There seems to be a number of reasons for this, such as:

  • The fields are basically wore out with nothing much to offer
  • There is the absence of anything new to work on
  • Most of the mentality at the College/University is based in imitation which is not conducive to creating new and original thinking
  • The power of College/University which only sanctions and supports certain points of view

The era where the College/University created new things seems largely over, except in some areas.  A lot of things now is building or elaborating on things already existing.  The great wave of new discovery, in the past, seems a result of when science and scientific thinking first appeared, which contrasted with the mentality before and offered up all these new ways of looking at things.  But that scientific thinking seems somewhat wore out now and exhausted.  Now, it seems that people are now accepting, as fact, what are really opinions that have been sanctioned by a number of things such as:

  • The College/University
  • Research facility or business
  • Some professional people
  • Some magazines or journals

In other words, fact is no longer based in “scientific method”, as much as it may seem, but by whoever or whatever sanctions it.  But, in reality, they are just opinions.

A good example are Doctorate dissertations.  Most are nothing but opinions sanctioned by the University because they went through a “formal” process to come up with it.  When I was at the University they had a section that had the doctoral dissertations that the University have given out.  I looked at quite a few.  I couldn’t believe what I saw.  I recall many were utterly ridiculous and laughable.   Some were like minor research projects over trivial things.  I don’t recall that I ranked any as revealing some great discovery or even a great research.  I can’t believe they were taken seriously for something that is supposed to be so “prestigious”.  Ever since then I chuckle when I hear of a Doctorate degree or PhD.  They are taken like they are some great revelation, and achievement, but they are nothing but opinions.

Qualities the Education System Favors

The education system, by its process and ways, tends to favor people with specific qualities:

  • An imitative character
  • A robotic character
  • A “suck-up” character (that is, a person who sucks up to the system and does whatever it wants)
  • A person with a good memory

What all this means is that the education system tends to cater to a small part of the population and, as a result, neglects many other people, their skills, and abilities.  It has created, in many ways, a new form of favoritism.

The Education Systems Failure of Everyday People

Because education tends to focus on specific things, and program people to do it properly, it does not do things like:

  • It does not make better people
  • It does not make more moral people
  • It does not make deep minded people
  • It does not make people who are more “in tune” with life and reality
  • It does not make people know more about life
  • It does not make people creative
  • It does not make people live better

What I found is that education does far less than I thought it did and has far less effect.  As I’ve watched things in life I have seen very little effect and value of education, beyond learning the basics in life.  Anything more than that is frivolous and generally useless for everyday people.  So what if you know what a diplodocus dinosaur is, so what if you know trigonometry, so what if you know what the Treaty of Versailles is.  In short, the education has failed everyday people, at least in my opinion.  Very seldom do I see a need for all this information and knowledge and seldom do I see it used.

I tend to feel that education system fails everyday people on several levels:

  • People are taught stuff they don’t need to know
  • It doesn’t teach what they people really need to know

What the education system seems to be trying to do is to turn everyone into University scholars.  This, I think is one of the great mistakes of the education system.  Its used the University as the basis for its whole perspective.  I’ve always said that to try to turn everyone into University scholars is like trying to turn everyone into Olympic athletes.  Why does everyone need to be an Olympic athlete?  Why does everyone have to be a University scholar?  They are basically taught stuff that is only relevant, and useful, at the University.  But the University isn’t everyday life.

I truly believe that the vast bulk of what people are being taught is actually worthless.  I wouldn’t be surprised if its as high as 98 percent!  They are taught all this stuff only to forgot it.  Most of it has no value in life, anyways, and will never be used.  This means, more or less, that the bulk of education is a complete waste of time for most people.  I tend to see school as a waste of time and effort.  Peoples time and effort could be put to better use.

Some Casualties of the Education System

To me, the education system seems to undermine things like:

  • Creativity
  • Experience
  • Genuineness and originality
  • Individuality

In other words, all the “programming” of education tends to hinder the development and manifestation of other things and qualities in people, many of which are naturally appearing.  I can often sense this in people who are “educated” . . . they seem as if impaired or constrained or inhibited in some way.  It seems that it tends to hinder personal qualities, in general.

What the Education System Has Difficulty Teaching or Cannot Teach

Since the education system is primarily rooted in imitation, in some way or another, there are many things it has difficulty teach or cannot teach.  These include things like:

  • Creativity
  • Insight
  • Some skills and abilities
  • A useful model of the world
  • Knowledge originating from real world reality
  • Innate and natural problem solving abilities

Many qualities, such as these, are brought in by the person and are not a product of the education system.  I tend to feel that the education system gets too much credit for things it really has nothing to do with.  I’ve often stated, “they act like people are a bunch of idiots and couldn’t do anything without them”.  But when I look at everyday people I see many abilities and skills that appear naturally.  I’m often amazed at what everyday people can do.  These tend to be disregarded or trivialized, though.  But the natural abilities and skills you see at the College/University seem to be minimal in comparison.  Remember, most people are imitating there!  That’s not a good scenario for bringing out natural abilities and skills and, apparently, they don’t appear all that frequently.

It often appears that some of the qualities described above are created by the education system because of things like:

  • Because education is imitative they are actually imitating something someone else has already done or created
  • The education system often helps brings these qualities out in people
  • It creates an environment for these qualities to come out that normal life does not offer

From my observation, the education system is more likely to undermine natural abilities and skills than not.  This is particularly true while they are going to school where the need to imitate, and pass the tests, is so great that it does not allow natural abilities and skills to even make an appearance.  To go even further, it seems to me that people often spend so much time in school that their natural abilities and skills are undermined to a large extent.  Many people seem to never recover many of their abilities and skills.  For some people, they become productive when they are no longer in the education system, and are in industry, the working world, and research.  Basically, the education system suppresses these abilities and the absence of it allows these qualities to reappear.  This seems to happen in a small minority of the people.

The Overall Effect of the Education System

The overall effect of the education system is described in what I always say, “millions and millions of people are going to school hearing the same things, doing the same things, thinking the same way, and coming to the same conclusions”.  In some respects, the education system is really creating a bunch of ants in an ant hill.  This has caused a number of effects:

  • The education system is responsible for the creation of an ultra-organized system that society is becoming.
  • Its a society that is turning people into ants. In this way, we could say that the education system is a big contributor in the dehumanization we are seeing today.

In this way, the education system tends to favor the society at the expense of the person.

To be frank, because of my experience in education I tend to look down on people who go to College/University.  There are a number of reasons why:

  • They are standing on the work of others
  • They are robot-like in mentality and are “programmed”
  • Their motive, behind it all, is often money or status
  • They are often arrogant
  • The education system has impaired natural abilities
  • They tend to lack originality and genuineness

To me, for a person to say that they have gone to College/University, or have a degree, is really a warning sign to me.  Generally, I don’t like to talk to people who have been to College/University.  First of all, they know everything already, particularly if they have a degree or got good grades.  More importantly, I found that almost all, that I’ve seen, can’t really think on their own but rely exclusively on what they were “programmed” to think.  As a result, they tend to be the least insightful people I know.  Its shows, at least to me, that education isn’t all it seems to be.

The Tendency of Rebellion

Because of all the effects of the education system there tends to be a tendency to rebellion against it.  In fact, my dropping out of the University, and criticizing of the education system, is a form of that rebellion.  As I looked at it closer I began to see that this rebellion against the education system actually originates from the beginnings of the education system in the Medieval ages and has continued on down to today.

As it appears to me, and as I have experienced it, the rebellion is largely against the “programming” effect of education. It includes things like:

  • The systemization and over-organization of knowledge
  • Being told pre-manufactured information
  • Being told how to think
  • Being told we must conform
  • The undermining of personal experience, creativity, etc.

In short, the rebellion against the education system is really the rebellion against being forced into a mold.

Some of the forms this rebellion has taken, throughout the years, include:

  • A form of “outlet”.  A good example would be like partying, getting drunk, etc. that is prevalent with University students.  Typically, these are “temporary fixes” and don’t last long.
  • Abandonment. This would be like no longer having anything to do with it, such as dropping out of school.
  • Emphasizing contrary ideas and ways.This would be like emphasizing points of view, and belief systems, that often have an opposite orientation to what the education system says.  I often feel this was one of the appeals of Buddhism which opposed the intellectualism of the education system.  I also think it was instrumental in the prevalence of Humanism as well.
  • Seeking things that are undermined. This often creates qualities like an increased tendency to seek creativity and experience.  In my opinion, the rebellion against the “programming” of the education system actually promoted a great creativity in Western society.  It actually inspired people to create, be innovative, and discover things.
  • Going against the system. This would be like attacking the education system and what it professes.  It seems that this often turns into an attack on society as a whole.
  • Some form of emphasis on being a person and “personhood” (see remarks on this below).  I tend to believe that the rebellion against the “programming” of the education system promoted a great emphasis on the individual and person in Western society.

All these are seen in the education system since its origins in the Medieval ages and are closely associated with it.  It begins with the University system in about 1100, its proliferation and growth, continues on into the creations of all the lesser Colleges, and into public schooling.

An interesting phenomena that rebellion has caused is a person that goes through the education system, feels the effects of the “programming”, and then rebels against it which prompts a creativeness that goes in new directions.  This can cause the creation of whole new things, points of views, and ways which has a basis in what they learned in the education system but directed in other directions as a result of the rebellion.  This phenomena, it seems to me, has created some of the greatest creativity in Western society, or so it seems to me.

The Progression of “Education” through the years

One of the illusions of education, at least as I was told, is that its supposed to somehow encompass a big part of life, primarily a “deeper” and more “mystical” aspect of life.  There was this idea, or so my impression was, that there was some value in this stuffing of ones mind.  I’m not sure what this value is but it was referred to all the time.  The general attitude was that, by stuffing ones mind, it would improve a person, make a person better, and positively affect their whole life.  Looking at it now that almost seems asinine and ridiculous.  I’ve never really seen anyone who was improved by stuffing their mind with stuff.  So what if a person knows this or that . . . whooopidado!  Looking back on it now I can see that this point of view is the residue of a former era that no longer exists.

As it appears to me, at this time, I see a number of phases in the development of the idea of “education”:

  1. The Christian conversion – The beginnings of Christianity to medieval times.  This created the ideal of education, based in being converted or, rather, educated, to Christian belief and that, by doing this, a person will be saved.  That same attitude is the basis of education today.
  2. Christian Belief/Morality – Medieval times to the 1900’s.
  3. Science – About the 1700’s to today.
  4. Industry/Business – About the 1800’s to today.

The point of view I was taking was a combination of Christian Belief/Morality and Science phases which tended to emphasize the “mystical”, and “deeper” meaning, of knowledge.  These qualities actually originate in Christianity.  This point of view is a blending of Christianity and science giving the new field of science a “mystical” and “deeper” quality.  This was prevalent from about the mid-1800’s to the later 1900’s.  After that the Industry/Business phase took over almost completely.  As a result, after the later 1900’s education is almost all about Industry/Business.  This destroyed the “mystical” and “deeper” qualities of knowledge and replaced it with things like:

  • Opportunism
  • Greed
  • Status-oriented
  • A cold practicality
  • Materialism
  • Utilitarianism

This made the Industry/Business phase shallow, superficial, and meaningless in comparison to the former era’s.  I would describe it as mechanical and dead.  To me, it destroyed knowledge and education.

All this as if pulled me apart.  One part of me was thinking in the “mystical” and “deeper” way but the newer Industry/Business way was pulling me in another direction.  I was like a rope in a tug-of-war.  This created great conflict in me.  This conflict caused a nausea and disgust which was caused by a number of things:

  • The absence of what I’d call a “humanity” in knowledge
  • How everything now is just “dead information to gain profit”
  • How it created a “human robot” who was a machine to the economic machine

I found that it all this created effects that I experienced and observed . . .


For me, I’d say that education had the overall effect of what I’d call an alienation with life, myself, and the world.  It did this a number of ways:

  • I was told what to think
  • I was told how to think
  • I was told that I had to know things before a certain time (that is, before the test or assignment was due)
  • What I had to learn was stuff other people came up with
  • I was not allowed to be discover or find things out on my own
  • Most of my energy was spent in conforming and “doing what was required”
  • I was perpetually threatened with failure if I didn’t do it right
  • It neglected other more important and relevant things in life
  • It no longer catered to the “mystical” and “deep” aspects of knowledge (as was seen in the earlier phases described above)
  • A lot of it was stuff that seemed to have no relevance 

The result of all this is that education didn’t allow me to be a person.  It was almost like I was prevented from becoming one.  I was a minion to the education system.  I had to do what it said and in the way it said.  In many ways, education controlled and dictated me.  Education became a tyrant, an usurper of my life.  It controlled what I did, how I thought, what I knew, how I envisioned the world, and so on.  I felt like I was being forced into a mold by it all.  In so doing, my sense of a person was crushed.  I seemed to become small, a nobody, a cog in a machine, insignificant (see my article Thoughts on the ‘squashed mind’ – the impairing effects of formal education).

I became good at spilling out information, facts, and such, and I could do some things and procedures.  But, really, that seemed minimal considering all the time that was spent learning it all.  I knew how to do this, that, and the other thing which really had no value except in specific fields or subjects.  It seems that that’s all I could do.  I couldn’t do much else and actually felt inadequate in life (and still do).  I’ve often complained that education deprived me of knowing how to live and of living.  Instead, I spent my time learning about E. coli, the Section Modulus, Behaviorism, and such.  All this seemed to impress the crap out of people but it had no real value or worth, I’ve found.

By the time I quit education I found that I really didn’t not have an adequate image of life and the world.  I knew bits of information of this and that but life and the world, as a reality, seemed distant to me, a mystery.  Its as if, in a way, I became dumber coming out of education than when I went in.  I felt that I understood life and the world better as a child for, at that time, I lived it as a reality and as a human being.  After education my mind had been filled with facts, figures, details, theories, and so on.  When I look back on it now I think its clear that all education did, in reality, is confuse me.

Overall, as I have said many times, “education was destroying me”.  I blindly followed it all those years, as I was told to do . . . and I was threatened with failure if I didn’t do it.  But, by the time I had gone through many years at the College/University, I reached the point of “I can’t take it”.  Its like a part of me had just had enough.  I dropped out about a week or two after a new quarter began, I think, as if I just knew I couldn’t handle another quarter of classes and mind stuffing.  I wondered what the exact motive was for doing this for decades.

During the time of this wondering I was actually trying to undo the damage of what education did to me.  I tend to believe that it was only after I had undone a large part of the damage that the cause was slowly revealed to me, almost like a slow uncovering of a great hidden truth.  This took over a quarter of a century to do!  I always said it is sad that it took me longer to undo the damage of education (over 25 years) than it took to be educated (20 years).


Looking back on it now I can see a number of ways I undid the damage:

  • By abandoning it and not wanting to be a part of “education”
  • Developing a rebellious attitude toward it all which allowed me to criticize it
  • A defining of what I’d call the “system” which dictates “education” and what it is
  • Condemning and criticizing the “system”
  • Abandoning many things I was told
  • Not caring what society, the system, people, and “education” says
  • Emphasized the “human” in life
  • Seeking to be “human” in life
  • Emphasizing natural inclinations and natural things
  • Doing things on my own and in my own way
  • An inner inquiry of myself, what I thought, how I felt about things, etc.
  • Developing a “personal belief system” that suits me
  • Developing my own image of the world, and how it works, based on “how things appear to me”
  • Being “dumb” in life

It seems that all these reflect several qualities:

  1. An abandoning of the system and its “education”
  2. An emphasis on my self

These end up leading to what I call “personhood” . . .


In a way, I “turned away from the system and turned toward my self” as a means to undo the damage of education and become a person again.  In other words, I had to abandon the system, and its education, in order to seek “personhood” (which is what I call being a person).  To me, this is revealing as it shows that education is opposed to being a person and tends to undermine the person.  To put it another way, the more educated a person is the less a person one is.  This is what my observation has shown.

A person that is “educated” tends to have an absence of “personhood”.  In fact, its not uncommon that someone that is “educated” to have what can be described as a “pseudo-personhood” which replaces their absence of “personhood”.  These “pseudo-personhoods” are often based in a social-based image (which often tends to be prestigious-like and usually gives them social significance).  This tends to give them a “phony”, shallow, or want-to-be quality.  It also tends to give them a false image of self and what a person is.  For example, they often see themselves as bigger than they are.  As a result, one of the important things I had to do, in order to undo the damage, is to discover who I really am.  In some ways, that became the greatest education of my life.

Education deprived my of my self.  It did this primarily by offering up abstract images of life and the world in place of my self . . . knowledge, facts, information, etc.  My self got lost in it all.  Instead of being me I became knowledge and information.  This was further reinforced by a number of things:

  • It reflected a social ideal
  • It impressed people
  • It was supposed to give me some power in society
  • I was supposed to gain by it somehow

These only justified this new false self even further, giving it relevance in society and the world.  My “personhood” vanished over time.

After I quit education I found that I seemed to move in a specific direction.  Later, I’d find that I was moving toward “personhood”.  Looking at it now it seems that what I was seeking was qualities such as:

  • To actively participate in the world and in life
  • To be aware of my strengths and weaknesses
  • To fabricate an image of the world, and my self, based on experience 
  • To be genuine and with a unique personality and way
  • To do things

One thing that is apparent is the absence of abstract things like ideas, theories, information, etc.  The emphasis is on experience and in participation in the world and the fact that I was in it . . . that’s all that mattered.

I should point out that if someone tries to develop the qualities of “personhood”, without having them, then that is imitation.  This only creates a person who seems to be a “person”.  I say this because I found that I did this after I quit education.  I tried to become a person by imitation of other people but it was shallow and superficial.  Basically, I was repeating the process I learned in education and, since that is based in imitation, I tried to imitate the qualities of a person.  I recall an interesting experience that reflects this.  Someone told me that “when you shake a persons hand you should squeeze it firmly . . . a weak handshake gives a bad impression”.  I recall thinking, “but if I do that then it means that I am doing what you told me (that is, imitating it) which means its not genuine and not reflective of my character.  This makes it something like a lie and illusion”.  In many ways, this is reflecting the same lie and illusion that imitation, and education, creates.  What all this shows is that “personhood” must appear naturally . . . it can’t be learned or imitated.  In some ways, this is the “great education”.


The problem I’m describing above is part of what I call over-education (see my article Some thoughts on the problem of over-education).  This refers to the problems a person has after being in school too long.  This more or less is saying that education often has a damaging effect, particularly if it has lasted a long time.

To me, over-education is a serious problem nowadays, one that, as far as I know, is  unrecognized.  A lot of the effects of over-education are hidden by various feelings and attitudes because of things like these:

  • The fact that education is associated with success, status, and money
  • The fact that its effects are usually not that dramatic
  • The fact that its effects appear like other problems
  • The fact that education is glorified and so no one looks to it as a source of problems

This makes the effects of over-education hard to see in many people.  In fact, I tend to believe that many problems people have, today, are caused by over-education.  In fact, my personal feelings is that reaching the point of High School causes over-education problems in many people and is a source of many problems.


Over-education seems to have several main effects:

  1. Being overly controlled, especially by ideas, information, and facts as well as the system
  2. A conformism, often to the point of slavishness
  3. A loss of self, which has many manifestations

These cause a multitude of effects such as:

  • An Asperger’s Syndrome quality in people, a “pseudo-Asperger’s Syndrome” (see my article Thoughts on how schooling, nowadays, is forcing kids to develop traits of Asperger’s Syndrome).  In this case, people often become overly preoccupied with ideas and obsessed with them.  
  • Another problem it creates is “imitation sickness” (see my article More thoughts on the problems of imitation: the ‘imitation suffocation’, ‘out-imitation’, and being genuine).  Since education is rooted in imitation over-education tends to cause various illnesses that are caused by too much imitation.  In some respects, over-education is based in over-imitation.  
  • It creates a slavish and robotic like mentality.
  • Various effects caused by a loss of a sense of self.
  • It creates various forms of concentration problems.
  • Problems or inability to associate with people.
  • Various neurotic tendencies.
  • Nervousness and uptightness.
  • A tendency to blindly obey and believe everything.
  • A tendency to live in an alternate or false world, usually based in abstract things.

The “Education Mind”

In many ways, over-education has qualities similar to the mass mentality but in a milder way.  More specifically, I speak of the “mass mind” in mass mentality and mass hysteria.  The three qualities I described above (being controlled, conformism, and loss of self) are qualities seen in the “mass mind”.  It is a state of mind where a person replaces their mind, or self, with the mass of people or mob, almost like an exchange.  In this way, they “lose their mind” and let the mob become their mind and rule them.  This, in many ways, is what happens in over-education.  Perhaps we could call this version of the “mass mind” as the “education mind“?  Basically, in over-education a person “loses their mind” and replaces it with the “education mind”, a mind created by the education system.

This mind has several origins:

  • Information, facts, etc.
  • Patterns of thoughts
  • The process of education – taking classes, reading, tests, etc.
  • The social status, prestige, etc. that is associated with education

Just as in mass mentality they let something else dominate their thoughts, ideas, emotions, etc. and they lose control.  As a result, they become minions to it.

This is further compounded by the fact that education is now so extensive that it is hitting to the core of a persons sense of self, reality, and the world.  Its preaching a world view as great as a religion.  It has this effect because of a number of things such as:

  • Education lasts for a long period of a persons lifetime
  • It entails so many subjects and themes
  • It deals with themes that are closely associated with life, such as the origin of life
  • There is not a lot to dispute it

Because of all this, in education there is a tendency to “give yourself up” to the “education mind” without question.  I’ve seen very few people question it.  As far as I know I’m the only who person questioned education process, and what it produces, at all!

I tend to believe that a lot of the “truth” that is found in studies and researches at the Universities and Colleges are not really what it seems.  In reality, it originates from a bunch of people agreeing with the same thing because they have the same “education mind” . . . they just all “follow along” and agree.   They do this for a number of reasons:

  • They’ve all spent hours and hours and hours studying the same subjects
  • They are all seeking prestige and status and the success of education
  • They are all living under the “learning threat” . . . they must conform or fail

The result . . . they have the same mind.  Naturally, they all agree with the same things and come to the same conclusion.  Just as in mass mentality everyone agrees . . . if the “mass mind” says its true then so does everyone else.  In this way, mass mentality plays a far greater role at the Universities and Colleges, and in “truth”, than what it may seem.  My feelings is that this phenomena is far more extensive than you’d think and that a lot of what the University and Colleges produce may reflect this.  In this way, one could say that “truth”, particularly as preached by the education system and College/University, is based in things like:

  • It is a result of a system everyone follows
  • The system has created the same “mind”, or mentality, in a group of people
  • It is where everyone accepts the same points of views, fact, etc.
  • It is where everyone agree’s with the authority the system has created

In other words, its not based in “scientific method”, scholarly research,or impartiality.  As I said above, the education system is not unlike a culture.

I’ve often suspected how much effect this phenomena has had on me.  I know that it has.  How do you think I noticed it?  I saw how I blindly agreed with things.  I saw how I got wrapped up with the “accepted explanations”.  I saw how I came to the same conclusions.  I saw how I agreed.  Later, after I left, I saw how disconnected it was to the real world.  It was like the education environment is creating its own alternate reality.  Lets call it the “education reality”.  Its a world, and reality, unto itself.

I’ve seen this alternate reality in law, which has created its own reality based on abstract principles that are detached from the real world.  I call this the “legal world” (see my article Thoughts on the competency, legitimacy, and mentality of American law, and other legal things).  This alternate reality has become, in a way, a world unto itself, detached and removed from the real world.  It is a creation of the legal version of the “education mind” which blindly follows it.

What all this shows is that over-education tends to create people who live in an alternate reality, the “education reality” that was created by the education system.


It seems, to me, that education has become ridiculous. Why do kids need to know all this stuff? What benefit is it to them?

I’ve always said:  “How is it that people in primitive tribes, who live in the middle of nature with almost nothing, have little education.  But, yet, the people in this great advanced technological civilization, have to go through years and years of education, and for hours and hours a day.  They’re whole youth is wasted in it.  Why is that?”

In many ways, it shows that an advanced technological civilization actually requires more out of a person than nature.  To put it another way, human society is more demanding than nature!  We’ve created a world that, in a way, has entrapped and enslaved us all.  We’ve entrapped and enslaved ourselves for a number of reasons:

  • People have to know all this stuff just to survive.  We need to know too many details, technical information, and such, nowadays.
  • Personally, I think most knowledge is useless for everyday living and meaningless to know.  A person could live with little knowledge (and, I believe, many do).  Much of this knowledge is taught because society thinks its great.  In other words, most of education is to impress the society.  In some respects, the younger generation is forced to do all this education to impress the older generation.


It seems that a number of things can happen after one leaves the education system:

  • One forgets most of what one has learned and continues on in other ways unrelated with the education system (I think this is common)
  • One forgets most of what one has learned and utilizes only a small part of it from time to time (I think this is common)
  • One applies specific knowledge to specific functions, such as a trade or profession, and largely forgets the rest (this is common)
  • One maintains the “programmed” mentality as a basis of what one does (this seems common, particularly if one has been to the University)
  • One takes some of what one has learned and develops and expands on it (I think this is rare)

What it looks like to me is that these state a number of things:

  • Most of what the education system teaches is forgotten and only a small part is remembered
  • There’s usually a reason why knowledge is remembered . . . it needs some practical and useful value
  • Despite what the education system says, people tend to do things the way they want or are inclined to do, right or wrong
  • Many people get trapped in the “programmed” mentality of the education system and have a hard time weaning themselves off of it
  • Very few people develop and expand on what they’ve learned

That’s what it seems like to me anyways.  The basic message of it all is that most of education is a waste of time and effort, for most people, and has no real value.  I believe this to be true.


In my opinion, any involved education should only be for some people.  After my experience in the education system, and observing its effects on people, I’ve become a big proponent of restricting how much schooling kids should go through . . . and only a small number should go to College/University.  I even wonder if we need High School for most people.  Personally, I don’t think we need it.

I tend to think that there should really be two forms of education:

  1. The education of “basics” – stuff needed to live and survive
  2. Involved education – stuff that deals with things not involved with living or surviving

Most people should only do the education of “basics”.  One of the problems with this is that this society doesn’t have a whole lot of places or directions for people like that.  It doesn’t give much place or value to the “uneducated”.  To not have a High School Diploma can hamper a person!  But, yet, in my observation, the “uneducated” everyday person is the most productive type of people in the society.  They are the ones who do everything and keep this place running, in actuality!  Its not the educated that are doing this . . . its the everyday person.

Involved education is for a minority of people and should be done for reasons,such as:

  • They are inclined to
  • They are going into some field that requires it

These make this form of education very specific and “beyond normal living”.


The education system is primarily abstract.  By this I mean intellectual or involving mental fabrications in ones mind.  The result of this is that the education system has created generations of people who are abstract in orientation, who live in the world of mental fabrication, and know no other way to live.  This, no doubt, creates a specific type of person and character.  I often wonder what people would be like who are experiential in orientation.  That is to say, what change would there be if there are no abstract orientation, intellectualism, or mental fabrications, where experience in living is how life is lived?  You can’t tell me that they are “dumb”, as most people actually live that way, in varying degree’s, all over the world and most people have lived that way since the beginning of time.  For me, that’s hard to envision as I live in a world where people have at least 13 years of the education system (Kindergarten to 12th grade) and have mental fabrications coming out of their ears!  What are people like who aren’t like that?  It makes me wonder . . .

Over the years I’ve written a number of articles on themes seen in this article.  Some examples include:

Some thoughts I had while walking through a University campus: the revulsion in becoming a “systemite” and the “war for humanness”

Thoughts on the ‘era of imitation’ – the ‘learning deception’ and the ‘imitative culture’

Thoughts on how modern schooling undermines kids – the ‘education sickness’

Some thoughts on my experience at the University

Thoughts on the ‘experience gap’ – the importance of experience in “personhood”

Thoughts on some of the effects of Christianity on the glorification of understanding, reading, learning, and intellectualism

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Dehumanization and alienation, Education, learning, and over education, Historical stuff, Imitation and the problems it creates, Mass hysteria, mass society, and the mob, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Stuff involving me, The "drones" and stuff associated with them, The 'system', 'systemism', and the power structure and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s