Petra Isabel
To me government is basically parents for adults.
Jerry Seinfeld, Ep. 68 - The Sniffing Accountant (via giventotherising)

Savagery is uniformity. The principal distinctions are sex, age, size, and strength. Savages … think alike or not at all, and converse therefore in monosyllables. There is scarcely any variety, only a horde of men, women, and children. The next higher stage, which is called barbarism, is marked by increased variety of functions. There is some division of labor, some interchange of thought, better leadership, more intellectual and aesthetic cultivation. The highest stage, which is called civilization, shows the greatest degree of specialization. Distinct functions become more numerous. Mechanical, — commercial, educational, scientific, political, and artistic occupations multiply. The rudimentary societies are characterized by the likeness of equality; the developed societies are marked by the unlikeness of inequality or variety. As we go down, monotony; as we go up, variety. As we go down, persons are more alike; as we go up, persons are more unlike, it certainly seems … as though [the] approach to equality is decline towards the conditions of savagery, and as though variety is an advance towards higher civilization…. Certainly, then, if progress is to be made by added satisfactions, there must be even more variety of functions, new and finer differentiations of training and pursuits. Every step of progress means the addition of a human factor that is in some way unlike all existing factors. The progress of civilization, then … must be an increasing diversification of the individuals that compose society….There must be articulation of each new invention and art, of fresh knowledge, and of broader application of moral principles. George Harris

I have two adult children. I never hit them but I was sometimes careless and neglecting to my first child out of ignorance. Fortunately not so much as my parents had been to me. It is very painful to realize that but this realization can also be liberating from a self-deception. I think that the love for the own children can bear the truth and can even thrive on it while lies and denial seed cruelty for the next generation. Alice Miller Interview given to Ms Noreen Taylor, The Times, London 1999

Something remarkable is happening in the world today. We are on the precipice of a very intense philosophical struggle between the majority who believe that we the people must abdicate responsibility of our lives to central planners who will somehow save our economy and provide us with the security we desire, and the minority who believe that we are responsible for securing our own lives, our own liberties, and providing for our own education. This latter group is inserting the issues of monetary and fiscal policy into the public debate. While students in brick and mortar schools are generally oblivious to the world around them, homeschool children are taking note of what is happening. They are far more likely to know the difference between Keynesian economics and Austrian economics. Many of them have already gone down the path of learning about economics, without a teacher or a syllabus.

"The level of cooperation parents get from their children is usually equal to the level of connection children feel with their parents." - Pam Leo

We are in denial about: How much (all) schools (really) cost. How poorly schools prepare our children for the productive world. How guild-like the academic culture is, especially at the PhD level. How much schools collectively act like expansionistic monopolies, actively growing while restricting our choices. How much the role of “day care” has become the killer app of schools. How hard it is to get rid of bad teachers. How badly the process of deciding what content gets taught is curated. How influential a few textbook companies and a few standardized test makers really are. How psychologically damaging the school environment is for about half of the school children. How ill-equipped schools are to evolve around the rise of the Internet. How unjustified and harmful the requirement of college admissions is in the school process, and a college degree is in the hiring process. The degree to which the people who are paid to run schools are set up to be bureaucrats, not leaders, and the problems that causes. How we promote the students that best “game” the system, rather than the smartest or most capable. What motivates most teachers, and how manipulative teachers have to be. How inappropriate any school’s promise of taking over a parent’s responsibility for childhood education actually is. Then, we are in denial about how to fix schools. Our creativity deficit in this area is staggering. We can’t tweak our schools to produce world-class education. It will take more leadership than we think.

And once we get past denial, the next step is anger.

Clark Aldrich, Unschooling Rules

To begin with, nature operates on a seasonal basis. If the time is incorrect for any natural function, it simply won’t occur. Premature growth, development, or untimeliness of any kind in nature could lead to the distortion of its flow. This, in turn, risks damage to the entire system. According to Professor C., stress is a great inhibitor of flow, yet children are forced to read and write everywhere before readiness is indicated, often under conditions of extreme stress. In contrast, self-directed environments negate out-of-season development. They provide time for skill acquisition on an individual basis.

If we ignore the principle of seasonal development, children sublimate internal needs in order to satisfy adults. It is at this point that the source of flow begins to dry up. If children should demonstrate avoidance of a subject for reasons unexplained, we must respect their choice unequivocal. Inclinations such as these stem from the instinct to maintain wholeness, which is absolutely critical for children operating in a perpetual state of flow.

A second principal to consider when comparing the laws of nature and flow, is that organisms develop adaptations which benefit survival. In nature, unnecessary characteristics aren’t retained, and waste is a non-existent entity. In imitation of this, children retain knowledge that is useful only in context of the groups they inhabit – knowledge which fosters their personal survival in those groups. If information in an environment is irrelevant and not related to the immediate world, it is promptly forgotten. Many of us recall being forced to memorize foreign material, only to banish it completely after the test. Unschooling works and preserves its sense of flow because the family group is a paramount essential based in a motivational location. Irrelevant skill instruction in passive leisure settings cannot result in permanent retention, but retention can and will occur when self-regulation exists at home.

If we want to encourage flow, we should not presume to determine what is relevant for anyone else.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Our whole system of raising and educating children provides the power-hungry with a ready-made railway network they can use to reach the destination of their choice. They need only push the buttons that parents and educators have already installed. By the time we learn to think conceptually, a functioning emotional mechanism is already in place. The nature of that emotional mechanism will determine in many respects precisely how we think, when we finally do. more

Someone who can understand rage as an inextricable piece of his/her self, never becomes violent.
Alice Miller, my new favorite psychologist (via halfstack)



Everyone knows that Adolph Hitler existed. No one disputes that. The terror and destruction that this madman inflicted upon the world are universally recognized. Hitler came from a poor family which had absolutely no social position. He…