Re: Education

David A Musick (
Thu, 8 Jan 1998 17:04:36 -0500

I wrote:

"Actually, we need an educational system that teaches, among the other
things he listed, that the self benefits greatly by helping other

Harvey Newstrom <> replied

"I respectfully disagree [snip]. No matter how much I may
agree with your views, they are political. You are trying to instill
religious (even if Extropian) *values*. Education should teach
knowledge and skills that can be used by the individual. Training an
individual how they should behave in society is not education. It is
programming and brainwashing."

Teaching children that cooperating with others can help all cooperating
parties is not brainwashing. It is practical education. Such examples
of this cooperation would include working in a business with other people
and dividing chores in one's residence. This view is not political, any
more than a scientific fact is political; it's just the way the world is.
You will almost certainly be more successful in achieving your own goals
if you cooperate with others than if you refuse to cooperate. Teaching
children that cooperation is usually beneficial is not teaching them how
to behave in society; it is simply presenting them with the options they
have and the likely consequences of choosing those options. This is
practical knowledge, which education should teach. Being able to
interact well with other humans requires many practical social skills,
which education should also teach; those without these skills are
severely handicapped, compared to those with good social skills. Social
skills are a crucial part of any good education. Teaching them is not
brainwashing; it is good, solid education in the world of action and
consequence. Society is a major part of the real world; children need to
be taught good skills for using this network of humans to accomplish
their own goals.

David Musick (

- Continual improvement is the highest good.