Beyond Good and Evil

Dr. Ronnie J. Hastings

Archive for the month “January, 2017”

Hope and Faith

I remember singing in Sunday School, “Have faith, hope, and charity, That’s the way to live successfully, How do I know? The Bible tells me so!”   I assume the song’s words are taken directly from Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 13:13, KJV).  The three words faith, hope, and charity are called the “three theological virtues” or just the “three virtues.”  Having sorted out what Perception Theory tells us about “belief” (I Believe! [Oct., 2016]), two of the three, faith and hope, or, in the order I consider them here, hope and faith, will be considered.  Both are related to belief and though both are “separate virtues,” the pair, I intend to show, are very similar in Perception Theory, yet are very distinguishable from one another.  (Perception is Everything, [Jan., 2016]; Perception Theory (Perception is Everything) — Three Applications, [Feb., 2016]; Perception Theory: Adventures in Ontology — Rock, Dog, Freedom, & God, [March, 2016])  Indeed, they are paired conceptually in Hebrews 11:1:  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV)

Despite my skepticism Paul should even be call an apostle, much less an accurate describer of Jesus (Sorting Out the Apostle Paul, [April, 2012]) and despite the consensus Paul did not write Hebrews (Priscilla, Barnabas, Luke, Clement of Rome, and Apollos of Alexandria have been proposed as more likely authors of Hebrews than Paul.), the presence of the same two words (hope and faith) together in both KJV verses provides a convenient “cutting board” upon which to dissect the two with Perception Theory.  In I Believe! [Oct., 2016] belief is far from having anything to do with evidence, yet the Hebrews verse links “substance” and “evidence” with faith.

Hence, if this linkage is accurate, faith has more to do with evidence than belief.  In fact, starting from absence of evidence, starting from belief, and heading in the direction of evidence, I see hope first, followed by faith, with evidence (“I know” statements –I Believe! [Oct., 2016]) coming only after faith.  “I believe” statements and “I know” statements, with hope and faith “sandwiched” in between, are all four non-veridical activities of the brain, with “I believe” statements devoid of resonance with the “outside,” real, veridical world beyond the volume of our brains and “I know” statements as resonant with the real, veridical world as they possibly can be (as possibly allowed by the “subjective trap”).  This would suggest that both hope and faith exist as resonating non-veridically based concepts, “in between” the looped non-veridically based existence of “I believe” statements and the strongly veridically-based existence of “I know” statements.  In other words, belief is looped non-veridically based, like God, and hope and faith are possibly resonating non-veridically based, like freedom (Perception Theory: Adventures in Ontology — Rock, Dog, Freedom, & God, [March, 2016]); both hope and faith at first appear to “reach out” to the veridical world in a way belief does not bother to do.

To Perception Theory, however, hope is like a “wish statement” that may or may not resonate veridically.  To hope God hears our prayer is looped non-veridically based, but to hope your sick loved one gets well is resonating non-veridically based.  Hope statements can be in either non-veridically based camp — looped or resonating.  To Perception Theory faith leans strongly toward the resonating non-veridical, like having faith that your sick loved one will actually get well, which means the loved one’s health will be described with “I know” statements of wellness in the future.  If the sick one does not get well, the hope still seems justified, but the faith seems ill-placed; hope cannot ever count on “I know” statements to come, but faith risks counting upon “I know” statements coming.  One’s hope can never be squelched by the real veridical world (it is so looped); one’s faith can (it is so resonate).  Faith, then, is like a “prediction statement,” a declaration that something will in future be supported by evidence, and by, therefore, “I know” statements.  With hope I wish, and with faith I predict or bet.  Moreover, faith is embedded with a confidence in a “real world” outcome, whether justified in hindsight or not.  This confidence reinforces the resonance of faith with the veridical.

Hebrews 11:1, therefore, is way off-base.  Faith cannot be substance or evidence of anything.  I can believe or hope in just anything (wishing); conversely I cannot bet on just anything (predicting) and be considered sane, no matter how confident my faith.  Based upon what we know about the universe that seems to be outside our heads, hoping that unicorns exist can be seen as “cute and charming,” while confidently predicting that unicorns exist will probably been seen as silly.  Stating I have faith that unicorns exist is not evidence that unicorns exist, but stating I hope unicorns exist “gets a pass” from those who demand evidence.  One is simply not taken seriously when hoping, like he/she is when bestowing faith.  Hope is more like belief than faith; faith is more like predicting freedom in a veridical society than hope, but with a confidence often falsely interpreted by others as connected with evidence.

An analogy might be in order:  I am about to witness the results of a wager I’ve made at a casino in Las Vegas, say.  It’s the results of a pull of the handle of a slot machine, the final resting place of the ball in a roulette wheel, a roll of the dice at the craps table, the revealing of the cards at the end of a round of poker, or the public posting of the results of a sporting event I have bet on.  Normally, I hope I win (which is not the same as saying I predict I will win), but if I don’t (if I fail to win), the worst that can happen is the loss of my wager.  However, if I win, any conclusion other than to realize how lucky I am would not be warranted; I happened to beat the odds, the probability of which I knew was very low when I made the bet.  But if I have bestowed faith in winning the wager, as we have seen above, it is almost redundant to say I am betting, that is, predicting that I will win.  (Recall I can place a bet with hope, which is not a prediction.) If I have faith that I will win, predicting that I will win, then the amount of the wager, the bet, relative to my gambling budget, is a measure of the strength of my faith.  If I fail to win, my faith will be seen as ill-placed and in hindsight unnecessary; confidence in my winning (in my faith) in hindsight might seem cruelly laughable.  However, if I win, my faith, along with the confidence attending it, seems (irrationally) justified.  In minds wherein suspension of rationality seems commonplace, the human mind tends to think that the win might not have happened without the faith and its attendant confidence.  But the win would not have happened without the bet, and the confident faith before the results had nothing to do with the win, but too often the faith and its confidence are seen as the “cause” of the win!  Such an irrational conclusion is nothing short of believing in magic; it is a view of the win that is all in the head of the winner, and has nothing to do with the evidence from the real world that actually determined the mechanics of the results.  Perception theory would say that veridically the results, win or lose, were the outcome of random probability; any hope or faith put in the results are non-veridical processes inside the brain (Perception is Everything, [Jan., 2016]).

Now, let’s get to the “elephant in the room,” the “gorilla sitting in the corner.”  Believing that God exists is just like hoping God exists — neither tells one anything about God’s existence, except that God is a concept in the head of the one making the belief statement or the hope statement (Perception Theory: Adventures in Ontology — Rock, Dog, Freedom, & God, [March, 2016]).  Having faith that God exists in the real veridical world bets that, or predicts that, God exists like freedom, a dog, or a rock.  Bets and predictions can fail (as in gambling), as have all bets and predictions concerning both unicorns and God, so far.  Faith in God outside our heads, as faith in unicorns outside our heads, is ill-placed — in terms found in Perception Theory: Adventures in Ontology — Rock, Dog, Freedom, & God, it is absurd.  Unlike freedom, God and unicorns do not resonate with the veridical.  I can think of at least one statement about God in which we can all make an “I know” statement — God is a concept in our heads.  It is curiously difficult not to say we can all have faith that God is a concept in our heads.  Also, curiously, I am betting, have faith, that the concept of God, under “high resolution,” is different for each and every head.  Perhaps this “God difference in every head” will one day be shown to be only a hope (an inescapable belief) or. even perhaps be another “I know” statement.


We All Can Have PTSD

PTSD (acronym for post-traumatic stress disorder) has started expanding its applicability way beyond its military context, it seems to me.  Historically, the concept of PTSD developed from the stress of combat and other horrors of war causing either damage to brain physiology or to the individual psychology of the mind, or both.  Its symptoms, regardless of particular causes in particular cases, are a myriad of brain disorders that cause mild to chronic disruptions of normal brain function.  In World War I, it was called “shell shock,” and in World War II on in to Vietnam, it was called “combat fatigue.”  I want to make the case that all of us can have shell shock and combat fatigue without experiencing a second of combat, without a speck of horror or brain damage.

My most vivid experience of PTSD in a Vietnam vet was when I was working with faculty members from Waxahachie High School years ago in preparation for a faculty party to be held at the Waxahachie National Guard Armory several years ago.  Helping us build stage sets for party performances was David Simmons, building trades instructor at the high school and a Vietnam vet.  The Waxahachie Guard was moving the last cargo truck out of the building when David, upon hearing the truck’s engine, immediately had a flashback to Vietnam.  He dropped his hammer and had to be helped to sit down on the edge of the stage we were building.  For a few moments, he could not stop the imagery in his head; only when the truck had exited the building did he return to “normal.”  Clearly this was purely mental PTSD, as I am not aware of his suffering a head injury during the war.

Equally clear are PTSD-like cases of closed head injuries, such as result from motorcycle accidents.  I remember my friend Rick Qualls and I visiting a motorcycle accident victim who was seeing blood on the fossils he was collecting; we were “experts” invited by his mother to examine the fossils and help him be a little more critical in his hopefully therapeutic hobby.  We to no avail could convince him his iron-compound stains were not blood or that blood does not normally leave trace fossils.  At least he was not a “vegetable,” but that was little consolation to a mother whose son’s close head injury had interjected tragedy so cruelly into the family.  The son was experiencing something personally real in his head, just as David was in his head inside the armory, but the something was permanent, not temporary, as in David’s case.

I have come to think similarly about my older son Dan, who experienced a closed head injury in 1986 as a freshman in high school with a collision on bicycle with a van.  He is Sylvia’s and my “miracle child,” as he clearly recovered completely from all his physical injuries and almost recovered completely from his brain injuries.  Years after his accident, only the stress of traumatic events like divorce revealed his inability to deal with higher cognitive functions, as now in the past few years he is incapable of finding and holding a job.  Only recently have I recognized his cognitive trauma as PTSD-like, showing symptoms like paranoia, depression, mistrust, and hallucinatory reports.  But his brain recovery was so complete he now has a healthy case of denial, stubbornly refusing to recognize he is behaving abnormally.  But, when seen in comparison to the motorcycle accident victim, our son could have suffered mentally much worse.

Also helping me to recognize my son’s form of PTSD (in my opinion), was my recent development of Perception Theory (Perception is Everything, [Jan., 2016]) and its wide spectrum of applications in our universal experiences (Perception Theory (Perception is Everything) — Three Applications, [Feb., 2016], Perception Theory: Adventures in Ontology — Rock, Dog, Freedom, & God, [March, 2016], and I Believe!, [October, 2016]).  Perception Theory was suggested to me during explaining the role hallucinations played in the origin and development of Christianity (At Last, a Probable Jesus, [August, 2015]), in which I shared my own flashback-like hallucinations.  Emerging from both projects conjured the realization my own non-combat hallucinations (only requiring some kind of trauma of the mind — not necessarily bad or harmful trauma) might mean I too have a form of PTSD, and, by extrapolation, all of us have the capability to empathize with PTSD victims, for we have experienced it ourselves, but have not recognized it as such.


I know I can empathize with David, with the motorcycle accident victim, and with my son Dan, for I have had several PTSD flashbacks over the years.  Rather than repeating those in At Last, a Probable Jesus, [August, 2015], I thought I would share with you three others:

1)  I grew up, as I’ve said in my memoirs and in my book SXYTMCHSC1964M4M (ISBN 978-0-692-21783-2, College Street Press, Waxahachie, TX, 2014) {See Fun Read, [August, 2014] to read how to attain a copy}, I grew up simultaneously at three homes, one with my parents in town in Cisco, Texas, and in the two rural homes of both sets of my grandparents outside Cisco.  The “home” of my maternal grandparents, the McKinneys, was completely destroyed by a tornado in May, 2015, a site that belongs to my wife and me nowadays.  For sentimental reasons I had the bulldozer and track hoe “cleaning up” the site leave a surviving iron yard gate still swinging on its hinges, so that any time I want, I can go out there, open the gate, and slam it shut.  That sound it makes when closing conjures images of the house and yard and of me going in and out the gate as a young boy.  I cannot help but see the house and yard, even though they are not there today.  The images are triggered by the slamming of the gate; it’s like being one of Pavlov’s dogs.  There is some possible bad trauma in this example, because of memory of the tornado, but the images are pleasant and very sentimental.  This feels to me as a PTSD-like experience of bittersweet memories and pleasant imagery, triggered by an iron-on-iron collision.  The imagery doesn’t last but a few moments, but can be re-conjured by slamming the gate again.  (This gate triggering also seems to work, at least mildly, on first cousins of mine who spent a lot of time at the site also as young children.)

2)  In the summer of 2007 I arranged a very personal and emotional moment upon myself when I confided in my good friend Bill Adling (See SXYTMCHSC1964M4M.) that I was about to write my life’s novel at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  He was the first in whom I confided such information, and I had insisted I tell him in private away from our wives.  The site chosen to reveal my secret to Adling was a neon display advertising the Beatles-based performances of “Love” by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage.  The display had places at which we could sit.  It is hard to overstate how important the Beatles are and were to Adling’s and my friendship — for example, the two of us, along with our fellow fast friend/high school prankster Bob Berry, claim to be the very first Beatles fans in Cisco as 1963 changed to 1964.  How appropriate a setting for me to share my secret with Adling!  Fast forward to the summer of 2016, when just my wife and I were “taking in” Las Vegas and I was wandering around the casino floor of the Mirage while my wife Sylvia was still playing video poker.  I wandered to the spot where the neon display was 9 years earlier (It was now gone, despite the fact “Love” was still playing — we saw the show again, incidentally.), but I recognized the spot by its surroundings.  And suddenly, here came into my head bright neon lights, Adling’s face, and exchanged words I seemed to remember from almost a decade ago!  It was very fleeting but no less vivid.  The “trauma” must have been the “stress” of keeping the secret from everyone except Adling at the time, but the feeling was exhilarating, making me momentarily almost giddy!  I now look upon this moment as a PTSD-like experience.

3)  The third of this trio is the most PTSD-like to me and, coincidentally, the most gross.  Near the McKinney house of 1) above, my Granddad McKinney, among other animals, raised and kept for selling and butchering (Yes, the tornado left the rock and concrete foundation of the old slaughter house.) hogs, lots of hogs.  Playing in and around the lots, sheds, and barns there as a boy, I was in a constant menagerie of not only hogs, but cattle, chickens, turkeys, and peafowl.  Fast forward to just a few years ago, I had stopped at Brendan Odom’s house (Brendan today leases much of the land my wife and I own, including the McKinney place.), which coincidentally is on the road between where my Granddad McKinney lived and my Granddad Hastings lived, to ask him something.  Away from his house but sort of in the extended front yard was a covered cattle trailer, one of my dad’s old ones, in which Brendan kept wild hogs he had trapped for sale to buyers with customers craving “wild pork.” (Today, because of the collapse of the small-scale hog market, no one today raises hogs such as my grandfather did.)  As I walked by the trailer, I noted there were no hogs in it, but that there recently been some “residents,” as my nose was bombarded by the unmistakable odor of hog shit!  And the imagery flowed in my head of hogs wallowing, hogs sleeping, hogs feeding, and hogs squealing.  I could not stop seeing them!  As David’s trigger was auditory, mine in this moment was olfactory.  I had to walk away almost to the house to get the imagery to stop.  The trauma, as well as the trigger, was the incredibly bad odor, so the images were not particularly pleasant.


Perception Theory (Perception is Everything, [Jan., 2016], (Perception Theory (Perception is Everything) — Three Applications, [Feb., 2016], Perception Theory: Adventures in Ontology — Rock, Dog, Freedom, & God, [March, 2016], and I Believe!, [October, 2016]) suggests what is going on in our heads during PTSD experiences.  Some non-veridical trauma in our mind triggers uncontrollable perceptions upon our inner world view, momentarily or permanently blocking or suspending the non-veridical brain mechanisms by which we normally determine that what we are perceiving at the moment “must have been a dream.”  The uncontrollable perceptions seem as real and the controlled perceptions we receive from the “outside world” outside our brains.  They are suspensions of rationality, much like what we do when we fall in love.  Often they make us doubt our sanity, and often we are reluctant to share them with others for fear they will doubt our sanity.  Yet, history has shown they can cover the spectrum of individual perception from the destruction of life, through little or no effect, to the basis of starting a religion or a political movement.

PTSD-like experiences are profound epiphenomenal capabilities of our brain, part of the evolutionary “baggage” that was part of our “big brain” development.  I would guess it was a trait neutral to our survival (or, “tagging along” with our vital survival trait of the ability to irrationally fall in love), and, therefore, could be a vestigial trait passed into our future by the same genes that produce our vital non-veridical existence within our brains (in our minds).  Whatever future research into them brings, I will always be fascinated by their possible triggers within an individual, whether it be combat, closed-head injuries, a sound from the past, the Fab Four, or hog shit.


2016 College Football — A Forgettable Season?

When Alabama went up 14-0 on Clemson during the championship game, I thought “Here we go again, another ho-hum year with the Tide taking it all…..” But, here came the Tigers to make it a classic comeback victory and not make it so ho-hum after all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not being complacent with the 4-team playoff (Its still not enough teams to make the championship NOT a bullshit championship.), but I came away at the end of the 2016 collegiate season feeling better than I thought I’d be at first.

It’s tempting to call the Aggies’ season a ho-hum one, given the pattern of starting like a house on fire and ending like a deflated balloon (8-5).  But look at the season’s opener.  A&M came out of a disastrous QB soap opera in 2015 with a big question mark at QB — Trevor Knight.  Trevor turned out to be a God-send, so much so that many Aggie fans thought he was going to lead us to the Promised Land.  But two incredible home overtime squeakers over UCLA and Tennessee should have portended that we were skating on thin ice, not thick.  One self-inflicted wound by Trevor as he dove for a touchdown at Mississippi State, and the deflation began.  They were so much damn fun to watch, however, I can’t wait to re-up for next year’s season tickets.  Sylvia and I want to thank friend and former student David Wesson for the use of his house on the Bryan-College Station city limit line, making four football weekends so much easier on us than usual.  Thanks again, David!

I’ve finally settled on which SEC teams to follow in addition to A&M:  the two Mississippi schools (Ole Miss and Mississippi State), Tennessee, and Auburn as an upper tier and Vanderbilt, Georgia, and Missouri as a lower.  (Sorry, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, and LSU — may be adding you some day).  Looking forward to making some away games at famous SEC tailgates with my son Chad in future — we’ve done LSU twice, and now have Ole Miss, Georgia, and Tennessee on our list.  My beloved Texas A&M, College Station is not only the largest campus in the State of Texas, it is the largest in the SEC, making it very easy to wander in the conference with no animosity.  The size of the A&M athletic program, its many SEC championships so far, Johnny Manziel, and the fact we entered the conference as nobody’s “doormat” all combine to make getting along with everyone so easy within the toughest football conference.  I’m not looking for rivals, because, in my opinion, who needs them?  We’re doing just fine, thank you!

In case you might not know what doing “just fine” in the SEC entails, we Aggies can easily tell you — more money, more coverage of all sports, and broader recruiting ranges.  In such a situation, W’s and L’s have a way of taking care of themselves.  The reason I can be so “mellow” about W’s and L’s and rivalries, even though I rejoice with Aggie W’s and am disappointed with Aggie L’s, is that I don’t care about bragging rights, I don’t talk smack either before or after games, I don’t bet on football, and I don’t play any kind of fantasy football.  The historical reason for what might seem an odd philosophy of football fandom, if the reader is interested, can be found in the post Confessions of a Cisco High School Lobo Football Trainer/Manager 1960-1963, [March, 2014] on this site

With that awful Baylor football scandal last season, my list of Big XII teams to follow has been altered.  I’m now following Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas State, and my all-time favorite underdog, Iowa State.  And I would be less than honest were I not to say I like watching West Virginia football also. (Sorry, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Baylor)  Big XII’s soap opera is really interesting — expand, play a championship game, or both, or neither?  Only the movers and shakers in Austin know for sure, I’d say.  I might add to the Big XII teams whose colors are not burnt orange and white:  when you get big enough, take a tip from the Aggies, grow a pair, and man up!

2016 brought a season when the Pac 12 did not do so well outside the Huskies, the Big 10 did better than expected, but not so well in the bowls, and the ACC showed why it should one of the “Big 5″ conferences in football.  But, still, still I had to “protest watch” a real playoff in Division I at the end of the season, protesting the fact my favorite collegiate sport still has no true playoff, and, therefore, still has no true champion like James Madison when it won the Div. I championship game in Frisco, Texas, over Youngstown State.  Only four teams make it that much more frustrating — don’t you think teams like Oklahoma, Michigan, USC, LSU, and Wisconsin deserved a shot at a true championship as much as Alabama, Washington, Clemson, and Ohio State?  I sure do!  (As you can tell, just because I don’t talk smack doesn’t mean I don’t rant repeatedly and relentlessly.)  Let’s don’t do just 8, even, let’s do 16 (Div. I does more than 16!)!  One more time, let me say:  seed them like a tennis tournament based upon their ranking at the end of the conference championship games; to hell with expensive committees!  And every match-up (1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, 3 vs 14, etc.) will be one the traditional bowl games, rotating the two surviving teams’ championship game among the already designated “top” bowls.  Do the math, and there are 8 games on one extended weekend (Fri, Sat, Mon), 4 games the next, 2 games the next, and finally the championship game for a total of 15 mega-money making bowls.  There are around 30 or so bowls at the end of each season, so to keep the other 15 bowls going, set up one-time match-ups between teams ranked 17 through 50 or so (allowing for teams who might decline a bowl invitation) as a “reward” for a successful season, according to the age-old bowl tradition.


Can’t say a lot of progress was made toward dealing with the problem of football concussions, but signs of teaching future tacklers from the beginning not to lead with their helmets and not to target other helmets seem promising.  Also, I have to have faith helmet technology will improve to increase head safety, although how you prevent the brain from jostling upon impact is yet to be tackled (pun or no pun intended, depending on your mood right now).  I foresee the time that football players of all ages will have to have the sign a waiver (or their parents sign a waiver in proxy) stating that they are aware they are voluntarily putting themselves into possible life-damaging harm, sorta like signing a waiver before going sky diving.  Sobering, but, unfortunately, necessary.

I have to admit that my love of the game overrides the sobriety just mentioned.  Have to also admit that 2016, once I think about it, was not a forgettable season after all.  Looking forward to next season.  Until then, may the little rubber beads that fly up when you drag your toe just in-bounds for a spectacular reception stay out of your sweaty eyes, and may linebackers everywhere find in their DNA traces of Neanderthal-ism, so that they no longer have to rationalize to the press and to fans their uniformed violence.



40 for 40

Upon retiring from public and private school classrooms after 40 years as a physicist who was “called” to teach physics and higher math to college-bound high school juniors (11th grade) and seniors (12th grade), I had accumulated over time certain sayings, thoughts, mores, musings, beliefs, philosophies, etc.  I decided to pen 40 of them, one for each year of my teaching career.  I do not pretend all of them are originally mine, as I’m sure many are paraphrases and/or plagiarisms of sentences that have personal meaning.  Many are school-related in particular, education-related in general, or related to both inside and outside the classroom — to life itself.  There is no order, as I left them in the sequence of my writing them down; therefore, they are not numbered, not only to remind the reader of their random sequencing, but also to remind they have to me no hierarchy — placing them in some order of importance is a prerogative of the reader, not a preference of mine.  Perhaps they will in part or whole have meaning or usefulness to the reader.  My highest hope is that they will in part or whole be thought-provoking.

(In-depth commentary upon many of these can be found throughout the posts under the title Beyond Good and Evil, on this site .)

=> Unquestioning faith is not a virtue; it is a disability.



=> Knowledge is power for self-control and self-determinaton; knowledge is freedom of thought; knowledge carries with it the responsibility to pass it on to others.



=> Respect must be earned, not freely given nor expected.



=> There is no science of education.



=> Believe what people do, not what people say.

=> Einstein was right about what he said about the universe not because he was Einstein, but because the universe behaves as he said.

=> Schools are for the students, of the students, and (for upper grades) by the students.

=> The language of the universe is mathematics.

=> To be a great teacher, one only needs to be 1) competent and 2) caring.

=> Everything can and should be questioned, even this sentence.

=> Everything can be made fun of, but only if you include yourself and everything you hold sacred.

=> Don’t try to foist your values off on others, especially when they are not solicited.

=> We all are children of the stars; we are starstuff.

=> Human existence is starstuff in self-contemplation and in contemplation of all other starstuff.

=> Funerals are for the living, not for the dead.

=> Marriages are for the community of the bonded pair, not for the bonded pair.

=> It is highly probable men and women cannot understand each other, for, were that understanding possible, the fascination for each other necessary for pair bonding (& necessary for the propagation of the species) would not be near as intense. The two sexes were meant to “drive each other crazy,” so that we will always fall in love.

=> Schools are not businesses; schools are not sports teams; schools are not technology exhibitions; schools are not expensive baby-sitting facilities.

=> Schools ARE facilitators of developing students’ minds, coordinated by a group of professional colleagues called the faculty.

=> Education is multi-pathed communication among students and teachers.

=> Personal tastes and choices (e.g. food, drink, music, sports, literature, politics, religion, life styles, etc.) are not to be mandated by society; ethical behavior (e.g. The Golden Rule), on the other hand, is NOT a matter of taste.

=> Science is reliable because it is never considered sacred or finished; nor is science held beyond vicious self-scrutiny, which also makes it reliable.

=> Science is not so much “believed in” as it is “subscribed to,” as if subscription to any and all theories can be changed when a better alternative or better alternatives come(s) along.

=> Teaching is never better than when the teacher tries to “teach his/herself out of a job.” No greater gift can a teacher give a student than the self-confidence that the student can learn the curriculum just as well without the teacher.

=> The teacher who does not learn from the students is not paying attention to his/her classes.

=> Particular courses that should be added to public secondary school curricula (required or elective) are 1) philosophy, 2) comprehensive, responsible sex education, 3) comparative religion, and 4) the Bible as literature.

=> Teachers are not 2nd class blue collar workers; they are professionals, like medical doctors, veterinarians, and lawyers.

=> School administrators are too often nothing more than over-paid hall monitors; their job is to support classroom teachers, not manage them.

=> The highest paid professionals in a school district should be tenured teachers.

=> Students are the clients of teachers; teachers work for their clients, not for administrators, school districts, States, or nations.

=> Teacher contracts should not contain the word “insubordination.” Administrators are supporting peers of teachers, not teachers’ “bosses.”

=> Education courses are unnecessary for teacher certification; only a period of classroom “student teaching” is.

=> “Lesson plans” are unnecessary; they only fill administrators’ filing cabinets; teachers individually develop the syllabi by which they teach day-by-day.

=> As professionals, teachers should mentor teachers-to-be, who function in the classroom in a secretarial role and observe the “nuts & bolts” of teaching as part of their “student teaching” requirements.

=> HR departments of school districts are support staff for teachers, not strong arms of the district administration.

=> For each subject a teacher teaches, it should be taught as if it is absolutely vital every student knows its content; students should feel the teacher’s passion for the subject.

=> Teachers should be hired and fired by other teachers.

=> Outside the classroom a teacher should have interests beyond his/her specialty; a teacher should have an extracurricular mental life.

=> Schools waste taxpayers’ money through at least two corrupt “good ol’ boy” systems: 1) promoting administrators’ careers via favoritism instead of merit, and 2) exclusive use of school supply companies that deal in ridiculously inflated prices.

=> Understanding does NOT necessarily also mean agreement.



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