School or Jail

This is how elementary schools in the state of New York are preparing to greet the return of the students:

I’d much rather the schools closed forever than have them open like this. What are the chances that the kids will be allowed to run together and play in groups at recess, if this is the attitude? I’m guessing, nil. And the only value of school is the recess and playing together.

You get more chances to socialize in the penitentiary than in this “school.” It’s obviously all about syphoning the public funds to some politician’s relative through the contract to manufacture these cages.

5 thoughts on “School or Jail

  1. Have you read C.S. Lewis ? I listened on YouTube to excerpts from “THE ABOLITION OF MAN or Reflections on education with special reference to the teaching of Enghsh in the upper forms of schools ” and some of them look uncannily prophetic and badly in need to be publicized & widely discussed right now . When I asked why should a few ruling human agents care about the rest of UBI receivers (and received the answer ‘nobody will starve since it’s cheap’), I was partly asking the same question Lewis has discussed in the quote below. See:


    This modifies the picture which is sometimes painted of a progressive emancipation
    from tradition and a progressive control of natural processes resulting in a continual increase of human
    power. In reality, of course, if any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education,
    the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after it are the
    patients of that power.

    The real picture is that of one dominant age — let us suppose the hundredth
    century A.D. — which resists all previous ages most successfully and dominates all
    subsequent ages most irresistibly, and thus is the real master of the human species.
    But then within this master generation (itself an infinitesimal minority of the
    species) the power will be exercised by a minority smaller still. Man’s conquest of
    Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a
    few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men. There neither is nor can
    be any simple increase of power on Man’s side. Each new power won by man is a
    power over man as well.

    For we are assuming the last stage of Man’s struggle with Nature. The final victory has been
    won. Human nature has been conquered — and, of course, has conquered, in
    whatever sense those words may now bear.

    The Conditioners, then, are to choose what kind of artificial Tao they will, for
    their own good reasons, produce in the Human race. They are the motivators, the
    creators of motives. But how are they going to be motivated themselves?

    For a time, perhaps, by survivals, within their own minds, of the old ‘natural’ Tao.
    Thus at first they may look upon themselves as servants and guardians of
    humanity and conceive that they have a duty’ to do it good’. But it is only by
    confusion that they can remain in this state. They recognize the concept of duty as
    the result of certain processes which they can now control. Their victory has
    consisted precisely in emerging from the state in which they were acted upon by
    those processes to the state in which they use them as tools. One of the things they
    now have to decide is whether they will, or will not, so condition the rest of us that
    we can go on having the old idea of duty and the old reactions to it. How can duty
    help them to decide that? Duty itself is up for trial: it cannot also be the judge.
    And good’ fares no better. They know quite well how to produce a dozen different
    conceptions of good in us. The question is which, if any, they should produce. No
    conception of good can help them to decide. It is absurd to fix on one of the things
    they are comparing and make it the standard of comparison.

    To some it will appear that I am inventing a factitious difficulty for my
    Conditioners. Other, more simple-minded, critics may ask. Why should you
    suppose they will be such bad men?’ But I am not supposing them to be bad men.
    They are, rather, not men (in the old sense) at all. They are, if you like, men who
    have sacrificed their own share in traditional humanity in order to devote
    themselves to the task of deciding what Humanity’ shall henceforth mean. ‘Good’
    and bad’, apphed to them, are words without content: for it is from them that the
    content of these words is henceforward to be derived. Nor is their difficulty
    factitious, “We might suppose that it was possible to say ‘After all, most of us want
    more or less the same things — food and drink and sexual intercourse, amusement,
    art, science, and the longest possible Ufe for individuals and for the species. Let
    them simply say. This is what we happen to like, and go on to condition men in
    the way most likely to produce it. Where’s the trouble?’ But this will not answer. In
    the first place, it is false that we all really like the same things. But even if we did,
    what motive is to impel the Conditioners to scorn delights and live laborious days
    in order that we, and posterity, may have what we like? Their duty? But that is
    only the Tao, which they may decide to impose on us, but which cannot be valid
    for them. If they accept it, then they are no longer the makers of conscience but
    still its subjects, and their final conquest over Nature has not really happened. The
    preservation of the species? But why should the species be preserved? One of the
    questions before them is whether this feeling for posterity (they know well how it is
    produced) shall be continued or not. However far they go back, or down, they can
    find no ground to stand on. Every motive they try to act on becomes at once
    petitio. It is not that they are bad men. They are not men at all. Stepping outside
    the Tao, they have stepped into the void. Nor are their subjects necessarily
    unhappy men. They are not men at all: they are artefacts. Man’s final conquest has
    proved to be the abolition of Man.

    Yet the Conditioners will act. When I said just now that all motives fail them, I
    should have said all motives except one. All motives that claim any vaUdity other
    than that of their felt emotional weight at a given moment have failed them.
    Everything except the sic volo, sic jubeo has been explained away. But what never
    claimed objectivity cannot be destroyed by subjectivism. The impulse to scratch
    when I itch or to pull to pieces when I am inquisitive is immune from the solvent
    which is fatal to my justice, or honour, or care for posterity. When all that says It is
    good’ has been debunked, what says 1 want’ remains. It cannot be exploded or
    seen through’ because it never had any pretentions. The Conditioners, therefore,
    must come to be motivated simply by their own pleasure. I am not here speaking
    of the corrupting influence of power nor expressing the fear that under it our
    Conditioners will degenerate. The very words corrupt and degenerate imply a
    doctrine of value and are therefore meaningless in this context. My point is that
    those who stand outside all judgements of value cannot have any ground for
    preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of
    that impulse.

    We may legitimately hope that among the impulses which arise in minds thus
    emptied of all rational’ or spiritual’ motives, some will be benevolent. I am very
    doubtful myself whether the benevolent impulses, stripped of that preference and
    encouragement which the Tao teaches us to give them and left to their merely
    natural strength and frequency as psychological events, will have much influence. I
    am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having
    stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power
    benevolently. I am inclined to think that the Conditioners will hate the
    conditioned. Though regarding as an illusion the artificial conscience which they
    produce in us their subjects, they will yet perceive that it creates in us an illusion of
    meaning for our lives which compares favourably with the futility of their own: and
    they will envy us as eunuchs envy men. But I do not insist on this, for it is a mere
    conjecture. What is not conjecture is that our hope even of a conditioned’
    happiness rests on what is ordinarily called chance’ — the chance that benevolent
    impulses may on the whole predominate in our Conditioners. For without the
    judgement ‘Benevolence is good’ — that is, without re-entering the Tao — they can
    have no ground for promoting or stabilizing these impulses rather than any others.
    By the logic of their position they must just take their impulses as they come, from
    chance. And Chance here means Nature. It is from heredity, digestion, the
    weather, and the association of ideas, that the motives of the Conditioners will
    spring. Their extreme rationalism, by seeing through’ all rational’ motives, leaves
    them creatures of wholly irrational behaviour. If you will not obey the Tao, or else
    commit suicide, obedience to impulse (and therefore, in the long run, to mere
    ‘nature’) is the only course left open.

    At the moment, then, of Man’s victory over Nature, we find the whole human race
    subjected to some individual men, and those individuals subjected to that in
    themselves which is purely natural’ — to their irrational impulses. Nature,
    untrammelled by values, rules the Conditioners and, through them, all humanity.
    Man’s conquest of Nature turns out, in the moment of its consummation, to be
    Nature’s conquest of Man. Every victory we seemed to win has led us, step by
    step, to this conclusion. All Nature’s apparent reverses have been but tactical
    withdrawals. We thought we were beating her back when she was luring us on.
    What looked to us like hands held up in surrender was really the opening of arms
    to enfold us for ever. If the fully planned and conditioned world (with its Tao a
    mere product of the planning) comes into existence. Nature will be troubled no
    more by the restive species that rose in revolt against her so many miUions of years
    ago, will be vexed no longer by its chatter of truth and mercy and beauty and
    happiness. Ferum victorem cepit: and if the eugenics are efficient enough there will
    be no second revolt, but all snug beneath the Conditioners, and the Conditioners
    beneath her, till the moon falls or the sun grows cold.

    From this point of view the conquest of Nature appears in a new light. We reduce
    things to mere Nature in order that we may ‘conquer’ them. We are always
    conquering Nature, because ‘Nature’ is the name for what we have, to some extent,
    conquered. The price of conquest is to treat a thing as mere Nature. Every
    conquest over Nature increases her domain. The stars do not become Nature till
    we can weigh and measure them: the soul does not become Nature till we can
    psychoanalyse her. The wresting of powers from Nature is also the surrendering of
    things to Nature. As long as this process stops short of the final stage we may well
    hold that the gain outweighs the loss. But as soon as we take the final step of
    reducing our own species to the level of mere Nature, the whole process is
    stultified, for this time the being who stood to gain and the being who has been
    sacrificed are one and the same. This is one of the many instances where to carry a
    principle to what seems its logical conclusion produces absurdity.


      1. Privacy is an illusion.

        I am getting strong mime cosplay panopticon vibes from that photo and the originating TikTok.

        The school district spent $5 million on this rather than more teachers for smaller class sizes.

        It is a testament to Clarissa’s extensive psychoanalysis she wasn’t triggered by this photo in particular.


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