February 24, 2009

The Spirit of the (Educated) People

Obama tonight: "In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity - it is a prerequisite."

Certainly the vogue of social intellect has faded; can it be regained in a Caldwell v. Berkeley world? I mean, talk about macromyopia: anti-evolutionists gloss right over issues like dinosaurs and DNA to secure themselves a spot in the Great Afterlife Country Club, too bad for the planet, never mind that their kids (anti-evolutionists love to procreate!) will be the generation to inherit an increasingly violent earth.* But, educational idealism plus the White House equals potential for progress. The sciences must be our savior, and America's kids its disciples; but first, I think, the prerequisite for the prerequisite must be met: higher teaching salaries, larger state education budgets, increased funding for specialized education programs in reading, math, art and music, foreign languages, world history, ecology. Globalization gets a bad rap: only a united world spirit can conquer the economic and environmental troubles that plague us, and right now, we're behind.

*Marq de Villiers wrote a terrifying book, The End, about every feasible natural disaster that could devastate mankind. Then he ended it by saying that ultimately, it won't matter: overpopulation, and the ensuing resource depletion and destruction of the ecosystem, will be what consumes us.

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