For every post I make, there’s probably 5 in the hopper that, for one reason or another, I never post. Here’s an excerpted year in review of posts I didn’t finish (reverse chronological order). Two/day for the next week.
5. 97% of compulsory education is a complete waste of time
As someone who thinks counting is an abstraction that normalizes kids to the objectification of the world, school teacher is an odd career choice. What are you gonna do though? The bills demand payment. Before class the other day, a student was anxiously trying to memorize the periodic table, “God, what a waste of time,” I told her. I’m a foreigner at my school so no one important listens to me, and, if they do, they chalk up any minor philosophical disagreements as western eccentricity (the job’s not without its perks). I told her that I had, on at least three separate occasions, had to memorize some portion of the periodic table. The only time it proved almost useful was during trivia night at a local pub. None of us could remember the symbol for Tungsten though. Maybe if I had taken German, I would’ve remembered Wolfram.
6. On the suburban death of Detroit (zerohedge)
On a recent flight out of Chicago, I had the misfortune of a window seat on a clear day. The 250 mile stretch from Chicago to Cincinnati is devastating. It’s a barren grid of plotted acres as far as the eye can see. Where dense old-growth forests stood less than a hundred and fifty years ago, only single-rows of trees punctuate the barren landscape, utilitarian windbreaks for single homes. It’s a horror, and one we need to begin thinking about how to undo. I don’t want to be callous. Many families have been devastated and lost much, if not all, of what they spent their lives acquiring. But the development of Detroit (like most of the US) with its surrounding suburbs, was madness. Endless streets of shoddy ranch houses spread out for miles in all directions. It’s collapse, though unfortunate for many, is not without potential and hope. It’s perfect for testing how landscapes might be returned to forests. Can we step back, and just get out of the way? There’s a feeling I can’t shake, within the torrent of my own feelings of guilt and inadequacy, that that might be all that is required of us.