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Monday, November 08, 2004

Ted Rall Makes Good Point: A Sign of the Apocalypse?

Now that I've been inducted into Chimpy McHitlerburton's Undead Christian Army of Jesusland, I am on the lookout for signs of the Apocalypse. I believe I have found one: I am in complete agreement with this Ted Rall cartoon.

For those unwilling to risk contracting the Cooties of Impurity by clicking the link, Ted compares the U.S. to a classroom in which mentally handicapped children are "mainstreamed" by being placed in a classroom with the unspecial (c.f. the other week's "For Better or Worse", a comic deemed completely wholesome despite being produced in the United States of Canada).

Ted goes on to detail how this well-meaning experiment goes awry, since it not only places an extra burden on the other students, but also slows their pace of learning and blurs the difference between the achievment of the normal kids, and the necessarily lesser achievments of the handicapped ones. The danger is that the distinction will blur so much that the slowest learners will become the teachers!

(Speaking of achievments, notice that in the second panel the kids are studying relativity. The lower equation is a Lorentz mass transformation. Wonder who scribbled that on Ted's arm so he could put it in the strip?)

Ted is completely right in this. In the Sixties, many people began to believe that entire modes of inquiry had been closed off by dogmatic adherence to tradition. Those people appealed to their colleagues' and the public's spirit of free inquiry and fair play to get non-traditional viewpoints and methods accepted into the academy.

The problem was, of course, that many of these non-traditional viewpoints were rubbish. Once in, however, they were soon entrenched, driven out only when changing fads replaced them by other rubbish. Eventually it got so that any efforts to separate wheat from chaff was met by indignation toward the anthropocentric nutritional-imperialist mindset that decreed that wheat was more useful than chaff.

Which is where we find ourselves today.

My only surprise is that Ted Rall, of all people, would display such insight and spirit of self-criticism as to...

What? What are you all looking at? Was it something I said?

Via Tim "Divine Pool Cue to the Eye of the Unrighteous" Blair