Effective Education

What is valuable about education? What is the measure of its effectiveness? Considering that most of the world’s population receives some, or much education. Little is done to address the answers to those two questions about the value and effectiveness of education. That is especially true of the institutions that do much of the educating.

Education is a product, and that product is sold by the institutions that do the educating. They advertise the product, and what sells is sometimes harmful to those who learn, harmful to those who fail to learn, and harmful to society at large. The harm is concealed to sell the product.

The war, the poverty, and the injustice that plagues humanity is not necessary, and it is not smart. Education is, at the very least, part of the solution to problems that don’t solve themselves. Education produces results. It is important that results solve problems, not perpetuate them, and certainly not make them worse.

Educational value translates into behavior. The smart behavior does no harm. Absent harm, education can produce safety, efficiency, and happiness. There is exactly one world. People have the ability to improve it, and make it a better place for others. Other people either make it a better place for them, or they fail. The failure is not a product of education. The failure is imminent when education is lacking.

Education is sold as a way of increasing intellectual power. Unfortunately the power is often used to pit humanity against itself, because the value of education is minimized, even negated by repeating disastrous results. Education is not a personal competition. It is a project to improve humanity. When people work hard to improve the lives of others they need not worry. Others are working hard to improve their lives. There is little that a person can do to improve their own existence other than opportunely improve the environment for others.

Force times distance measures work. Education has no mathematical equivalence because of the individuality of its effectiveness. Its value is recognizable, not as an amount, but as a direction away from harm, toward humanitarian benefit.


In 1956, as a senior in high school, the class took a social studies quiz with 30 true and false questions. One student predictably received an “F” on the test. What was unpredictable however, was his score, “0” none right. The teacher lost no time in taking advantage of that teachable moment. What better time to learn the statistical unlikelihood of a perfectly terrible paper. While the popular teacher was humiliating an unpopular student, he had the undivided attention of the entire class, with just one sad exception.

Ever since that day I have struggled with the statistical significance of that test. With a guess on each answer, he would get them all wrong about one out every 900 tries. However, that test gave him no chance to choose the correct answer, because there were no options for him to include the correct answer. The teacher desires one of two answers, but in a true false test there are exactly three possible correct answers, “true,” “false,” and the one that test makers hide. The the hidden answer is “inconsequential.”

There was no way that poor student should have been asked to answer any of those questions because each answer for him was inconsequential. Our laughter however was of great consequence, in a bad way. Whatever the value of the questions on the test, of which I can’t remember even one, the dehumanizing influence we applied that day was deplorably consequential.

Why Is There WIP? (war, injustice, and poverty)

Why Is There WIP?

Why is there still WIP (war, injustice, and poverty)? Can’t it be eliminated? Just publicly asking the question is considered reasonable proof of the mental instability of those who ask. Yet the misery, the danger, and the despair created by them are the fuels that allow the worlds bureaucracies to create more war, more injustice, and more poverty. While despicable behavior is best avoided by removing the incentive to behave despicably, honor is bestowed on stupidity.

WIP still exists because there is no plan to eliminate it. Which institution has a plan? Is there a certain religion? a certain government? a certain educational institution? or is there a certain political system that has a plan? If there is, it is a well kept secret. War, injustice, and poverty are used to inflict misery, danger, and despair on other people, so the other people can’t inflict them first. How has that worked out? Add technology, and nukes. Does that look more appealing?

Of course there is no logic in hurting others before they hurt you because sharing an environment is vastly more satisfying, and more effective than fighting over it. Misery, danger, and despair are symptoms of an underlying problem, a problem that is only challenged in fairytales.

Who are the crazies? Are they those who live miserably with the infinite escalating recursion of the symptoms caused by WIP? Wouldn’t stopping the disease, stop its symptoms? Can’t WIP be eliminated? Is peace, justice, and humanity not a real possibility? If the answer is no, then why not? If the answer is yes, shouldn’t there be a plan to achieve it?


The concept of world citizenship is alien to much of the worlds population. Of course, each of us knows only a fraction of what others inherit, of what they experience, or of the blessings they would be capable of bestowing on humankind it they weren’t isolated.

Alienated people tend to respond to their feelings of alienation in one of three ways. They suffer in secret. They migrate, or they fight. Alienation divides humanity against its own environment. It needlessly creates a dangerous, unsatisfying place to live, and pass to new generations.

Alienation destroys the fabric of civilization. War, injustice, and poverty is caused and exacerbated by alienation. The same alienation causes hopelessness, depression, and despair.

Education is a great tool to decrease, or prevent alienation. Unfortunately it is often used for precisely the opposite purpose, to alienate. People feel threatened by people who are different. Education can reduce alienation by increasing the understanding of differences, but education can tend to make people believe that certain people are better because of particular things they know that others don’t. People receive, and prominently display documentation to prove their super humanity, alienating them from the rest of the world.

Education is a direction, not an amount. No matter how much a person knows, the people they communicate with know important things that they don’t. People are ignorant about much that is shared by people they don’t communicate with. Economic and ecological harm is practically absent from the educational discussion. There is a terrible price to humanity for choosing to remain ignorant.

None of the seven billion people who populate Earth is a replica of any other. Diversity is a single trait that we all share. Earth is where we share it. Alienation is an act of cowardice. It is imposed on a people who need acceptance to patch the fabric of civilization that protects humanity from needless harm, harm that is caused by alienation.

Economic Law

There is no rational correlation between evil beings and economic harm. Harm is harmful whether it is caused by a felon, or by the pope. Similarly, there is no correlation between intellect and harm, for exactly the same reason. Harm is harmful regardless of stupidity, brilliance, dastardliness, or the godliness of the people who allow it to degrade humanity.

Law that is contrary to natural economic law is potentially harmful, probably usually harmful, and perhaps always economically harmful. A nation that is governed by law is first governed by economic law, reality.

Economic law is universal. It is simple to understand. Nevertheless it is academically unrecognized. The result of this is that people are being educated to ignore economic harm. Students go into the world with powerful academic tools that can do harm, that allow harm, and that hide it.

Throughout history essentially four kinds of power have been pursued to combat harm. They include physical, spiritual, intellectual, and political power. While there is a role for these attributes, they have been so ineffective in eliminating economic harm that humankind is needlessly destroying itself. War, injustice, poverty, and despair are not becoming less prevalent. They are creating an environment that is increasingly hostile to humanity.

As people cast blame for harm on others, feelings are hurt. Sub economic habitat is dehumanizing. It spawns animal-like behavior, and the harm becomes an infectious plague that divides humanity against itself. It causes people to destroy each other, and themselves.

This is the universal basic economic law, reality. All generations share one environment, forever. It is not effective, or satisfying to fight over it. Safety, comfort, and joy are gifts derived from the efforts of other people, and other generations. Every person makes a difference. It matters that each person, and each institution chooses to first do no harm. Personal benefit, and satisfaction is produced by others, and it is produced for others. Together people build economy. Divided they sabotage it.

Economic harm is the enemy of humankind. Left unchecked it causes the plague that haunts humanity. Protect us from economic harm by protecting other people from it. Humanity cannot occupy the same environment as the plague, and there is only one environment. You are important. Protect yourself by protecting others. Make a difference. We love you.

Economic Wall

Any wall disingratiates people on opposite sides. Walls dampen communication. They separate facts from the reality that all people, across all time share exactly one environment. The kindness, and the competence that people exhibit as they share this habitat is economics. Nothing else is. There is only one reason to build an economically credible wall. That is to increase kindness and competence by avoiding economic harm. The wall is between harm and benefit. The world’s population occupies the side that is creating the barrier to protect itself from the harm that they are isolating to the far side of the wall.

There are also educational walls. They share the same attributes as the economic walls. Disenfranchisement and super-enfranchisement block communication, the foundational attribute of education. Education is the foundational attribute of economics. Education is a direction, not an amount. Each discovery gives birth to many new mysteries. ‘Know-it-all-ism’ is a wall that blocks economy. It damages the nest of humanity that allows high quality life and assures its natural continuance. The environmental damage to the nest destroys human lives, and threatens human existence.

Walls are erected for protection, out of fear and ignorance. When people surround themselves with walls they lock themselves inside with the fear, and the ignorance. They block their innate ability to eliminate, or avoid harm. The outside forces are seldom as devastating as those inside the wall. Economic advancement is accomplished by tearing down walls. There is one necessary exception. The economic wall that separates harm from benefit must be consistently kept in a state of repair. Repairing that wall is how people protect others, and other generations. It is how they protect us.

While our existence is miraculous, reality is where we live. It is up to humanity to protect itself. People are not gifted with the ability to care for themselves. Instead, they have an innate economic attribute, the ability to care for each other, and other generations. It is infinitely beneficial to do so, and tragically harmful to fail.

Detaching Fact From Reality

Standardized education, for all of its benefits, also has dehumanizing drawbacks, a glaring one of which is the subject of this article. Education that mass produces standardized subject matter produces logic that trivializes facts that fall outside of its perimeter. The resulting behavior of educated people, values the popularity of what is learned above both, the harm that can be ignorantly encountered, or the benefit of what must necessarily be learned for the safety of humanity.

Before explaining how mass education detaches facts from reality, let us examine the harmful effect of giving credence to detached facts, when, in fact, truth detached from reality is about as useless as ignorance. Bright educated people often learn facts, detach them from reality, and become popularly empowered at the expense of the human environment.

Popular educational empowerment presents a threat. Education evolves into superstition when fact is detached from reality. That causes information to turn into propaganda with an educational stamp of approval, albeit an unauthorized one. People tend to believe, and repeat what is popular, and institutionalize it.

Reality exists. Education is a direction, not an amount. Functional education illuminates reality. People don’t create reality. It just exists. Survival, as well as the quality of survival depends on cooperating with it. Reality is the environment that must be protected for human habitation. Confidence in the unsinkability of the Titanic was insufficient evidence. Reality rules, and a great ship unnecessarily shares its grave with fifteen hundred and three unfortunate souls who failed to recognize the importance of that fact. Humanity either learns from reality, or pays the consequences.

A plague has infected humanity. Its symptoms are war, injustice, and poverty. There is a cure. Its symptoms can be alleviated. Ultimately humanity can be free of the depression, and the despair that turns people against themselves, and against each other. Symptoms of the plague are real. Each person, and all of humanity need to confront the plague to keep it from decimating humanity.

Education that applies facts in a manner that increases the incidence, or the severity of symptoms of the plague fails its mission, to educate. Harm is toxicity that has no antidote. Curing the plague begins by learning how to eliminate harm, or when that is not possible, avoiding it.

No amount of harm is insignificant. Just as a surgeon must insure sterility, education must insure reality. Greater good does no harm. Neither does lesser good. Good does no harm. Education does no harm. Its legitimate purpose is to eliminate it, or avoid it. Allowing education to do harm detaches the facts from reality.

Democratic Lies

Beginning with the ancient greeks, democracy has played a role in what is commonly thought of as effective governance. Based on the history that preceded now, what effect has that governance created? Are democratic principles sufficiently principled? Are they based on superstitious ideology?

Have you ever wondered why there is still poverty, injustice, and war? Isn’t it too bad that, despondence, desperation, and despair are so prevalent in a world where people work so hard? Why aren’t we leaving a better habitat for coming generations? Is there a particular hurdle that we have to get over that will help us become kinder, and more competent human beings?

Is democracy a goal, or is it just a way to reach one? Accepting democracy as a goal, validates the democratic results, which are sometimes appalling. Majority rule does not nullify the effects of bad results, nor does the principle that spawns majority rule.

Democracy has to become a vehicle to eliminate harm. Democratic favoritism not only allows injustice, it creates it. The two elements necessary to the quality of humanity, and to its survival are kindness, and competence. We share one small planet. What we do determines the future, and the quality of the future.

Spirit of the Law

Laws create lines between what is acceptable, and what is not. Those borders are not static. They move. Harm and benefit are what move them. For example when it was illegal for women to vote they were treated badly. They were disrespected just because they were denied the power to protect themselves. It wasn’t that treating women badly was right, or smart, but it was considered legal because there was no law prohibiting it. The spirit of the law requires more than the letter of the law, much more. The Constitution requires laws to have a higher purpose. They are purposely written to form a more perfect union…

Obeying laws is not good enough behavior to avoid harming people, or the environment they share. It is not good enough to support other generations. If there was a behavioral report card, simply obeying the law would merit a D minus. Only breaking it would bring an F.  How does it feel to be part of a society whose government behaves at a D minus level? Does that make anyone happy? Hopeful? How will that work out for children? Grandchildren?

Government whose officials disregard the spirit of the law create a disheartening atmosphere. They push down the border of acceptability, making the creation of more harm legal, as they put benefit beyond the reach of increasing numbers of people. As they cast disrespect on vulnerable people, they threaten the vulnerability of even more. Many potential societal leaders laud their own brilliance, as they monetarily reward themselves for being sycophants of the powerful, and the greedy.

Constitutionally speaking: Getting by with injustice is not legal. Failing to defend the vulnerable is not legal. Creating chaos is not legal. Trashing the environment is not legal. Failing to leave the blessings of liberty to coming generations is not legal. The problem is that no amount of law would be enough to protect citizens against people who think it is smart do dodge the letter of the law by failing to embrace the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law is kinetic citizenship, humanity.

The first law of civil behavior is to do no harm. The previously referred to etherial behavioral report card would award anyone who tries to do no harm with at least a C. Law is for the protection of its citizens. It is the spirit of the law that is important. The D minus that barely keeps some people out jail is Constitutional failure, harmful behavior. Sans the spirit of the law, anarchy is legal.

Elements of Democracy

There are three elements of beneficial democracy. It is important to note that democracy is not necessarily an effective or beneficial way to govern or to choose. Elections are said to reflect the will of the people. They seldom do that. The quality of democracy determines its effectiveness. To make it good, people need to try to make it good. Each of its elements need to be clearly present, measurably present. Additionally, progress must be clear, and measurable.

The first element of democracy is education. More isn’t better. Better is more. Better is the unifying direction democracy must travel. Its purpose is betterment. First, do no harm. Voting requires that no one is hurt. Trivializing any harm is educational disfunction. Harm is the dictatorial weapon of choice. It is used to subvert the will of the many, for the power of the few. The entirety of history is a case study of how bad an idea that is for humanity, for future generations, and for the environment they all share. Education is like fire. Use it to cook food, and warm friends, but first be careful not to burn the house down.

The second element of democracy is participation. Participation protects others from harm. Democratic participation is how others protect you. Soothing anxiety, and unifying people carries everyone farther. It makes them happier. Don’t forget that they are protecting you, and counting on you to protect them. It takes 1000 people to build an airplane, but only one to knock it from the sky. While one thousand to one is an astounding ratio, the plane crashed anyway. The strength of democracy is in how well it unifies. Can people safely travel in planes? The vote count is not an accurate measure of democratic participation if there is no unification. We are not on an airplane. We are all on a sphere that is falling through space. It is the only place in the universe that supports our being. People have the ability to make it a much better place for other people to live. Other people have our lives in their hands. Democratic participation increases safety and comfort, but it is most easily measured by charting the receding harm.

The third democratic element is money. In a more perfect world money would not be a democratic element because it would only be spent for unification. The academic fields of education, and economics use money wrong. They are failing to distinguish the difference between harm and benefit. More money is considered better, and so is more education. Neither money or education are beneficial because of their amounts. Only money spent on betterment is better, and only education used for betterment is beneficial.

Democracy is a method of making choices. Good choices are not randomly made. They require careful study, and due diligence. Bad choices are catastrophic, but they are preventable. There is a clear window of opportunity available to assure democratic quality control. Real information, enthusiastic participation, and a monetary system that exclusively funds humanity are the elements that allow democracy, and humankind to succeed.