Post Dec 8-14 2013

TaN: Academics today is regressing from an art into a science.  Academics is supposed to be an instrument of education by which knowledge and truth is imparted and shared for the improvement and flourishing of man.  Instead, it is being hijacked and stripped of this essential purpose and replaced with the cold so-called “evidence-based” methodology for the purpose of perpetuating and preserving the privileged and the elite in their wealth and stature.

“Education” today is more of a training than teaching.  People are being “educated” so they can get a job, a career – so that they can go to work for the uber rich elite for the latter to continue in their luxurious and affluent life…precisely according to the plan of John D Rockefeller (and Carnegie) when he “established” formal education, which is to provide a continuous source of manpower (later changed to personnel and now into human RESOURCE) for industry.

The true mission of education is to search for and discover knowledge and truth and impart and share whatever has been found and discovered into the public domain – for all and anyone who wants it.

Educational institutions have no business getting – and should never get – involved with business and for-profit ventures.  Going into for-profit activities not only divert emphasis from a school’s mission but compromises the quality of education that is delivered.  Instead of focusing on providing quality education, it becomes embroiled in ensuring the financial books are kept on the black (putting the bottom line ahead of its mission) instead of making sure students get (true) education and often using the worn-out alibi of looking after the bottom line because it would not be (financially) sustainable.

The emphasis today is no longer on the development of man to his full potential but how useful his talents can be to the materialistic industrial world.  The content of most courses today concerns employment – knowledge and skills that make a person useful in terms of generating economic wealth – which would explain a lot for the polarization of the extremes of transparency and whistleblowing versus secrecy (like massive and indiscriminate data gathering and mining by both government and for-profit corporations, trade agreements and international trade organizations, and suppression and assault on press and academic freedoms) and invasions of privacy.

There is a gradual but escalating (global) de-emphasis on the spiritual and ethical concerns – thus giving rise to business activities that show not the slightest qualm on the impact on society and the environment (like indiscriminate and irresponsible dumping of waste on the environment, manipulating study and trial data and results to ensure obscene profits at the expense of the consumer, rampant and wanton deforestation and mining and belligerent harvesting of aquatic and marine resources and fish, and insatiable burning of fossil fuel for energy-hungry industries and human activities) which culminates in destructive climate change in the likes of freakish weather extremes and escalating quakes.

People are no longer being properly educated.  The predominant concern is training people for the end of material wealth for a tiny cabal of global elite – a prime example would be so-called economic hit men (read: Confessions of an economic hit man, by John Perkins) – and not the benefit or the greater majority (of 99%) whose numbers increase at an accelerated pace daily, driving them ever deeper into poverty and misery.

The rise of B corporations and alternatives (as in clean energy and eco-friendly products) are of little value in the longer term because these are palliative measures which only delay the inevitable.

We must drastically and immediately change our educational thrust to produce principled people who put society and environment ahead but without sacrificing prosperity.  Contrary to the popular notion being spread and maintained by most economists, there can be still be prosperity (in terms of Buddhist Economics) without growth – please refer to: Prosperity without Growth by Prof Tim Jackson, professor of ecological economics and sustainable development of the University of Surrey, England.

TaN: Thank God for Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)!  Just yesterday (Dec 4), I was speaking with a colleague regarding the situation in the Visayas and the historic typhoon, I came to realize that – and at the risk of being ostracized and ex-communicated – it is a blessing in disguise.  I am not saying that I am glad with all the destruction, death and misery.  That is the past now, there is not much we can do about it.  But for the survivors, we have to move on and this tragedy can also be taken as an opportunity to rebuild (from the ground up) a new and better future for Visayans.

Opportunities like this cost dearly.  So when it happens, it must not be permitted to slip by.  If we plan everything carefully, the Visayas can rise out of the debris of destruction and death like a Phoenix and be reborn into a much better region – to be the envy of all, even of other countries.

It has been said that: The glory of man is not in never falling but in rising every time he falls.  To let this opportunity pass with nary any change for the better will be to have the deaths be for naught.  Let them not die for nothing.  Let their deaths be the catalyst for a new and brighter future of their ones they left behind.  BANGON!

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