Infinite Learning (&) Is the answer to our political discourse rooted in Education?

Infinite Learning

As a young child, we learn just about everything society has developed to date.  Young children are a whiz on the computer, changing profiles to access certain information and quickly finding the Disney website or downloading Tigger on your iPhone.  Many of us who can remember the times before the internet might wonder, “How do these kids know so much?”

Well we did the same things as kids, quickly learning about the world around us while our parents had to learn these things at the slow rate of development.  See it takes an incredible amount of knowledge to develop technology and make such advances.  But it doesn’t take much to learn them once developed.

So really, I like to think that children have the capacity for infinite learning.  They quickly catch up with the rest of us to understand everything developed to date, and then they can expand on that knowledge depending on their skills.

Differing View of Education at the Heart of Political Disagreement?

It’s clear that the liberals want higher taxes to pay for programs giving basic needs and opportunities to all.  Just as it’s clear that conservatives feel they have earned their wealth and do not want to give a free ride to people who are willing to work for it.

So who is right?  Well on this superficial level they both are.  But I think this argument is a symptom, not an underlying cause of the issue.  I think the underlying issue is the different opinion about education, opportunity, and how people learn.  Well actually it’s a lack of understanding of these issues and therefor a mis-belief about the necessary laws and regulations.  What exactly do I mean by this?

It’s as if the conservatives belief that they have earned every opportunity they experienced: good education both schooling and culturally, adequate nutrition and emotional support, the means to pay for an expensive education to mingle with a group of people having similar opportunities, and the list goes on.  (Sure there are success stories of people lacking these opportunities and support, but for now lets consider them outliers.)

And the liberals act as if these opportunities are not inherent to everyone’s life situation and that they are the major factor for success.  They ask for society to provide extra support for those lacking such opportunities.

So on some level we agree that, in general (not counting outliers), we would all benefit from these opportunities and have a fair chance as success.  And the breakdown occurs when we get to the discussion on Motivation.  If something is provided for free, people may stop working for it.  But when we don’t have something, we are motivated to work for it.  So how do we provide equal opportunity (we can never provide exactly equal) without also creating a sense of entitlement?  Maybe that discussion will bring the 1% and the 99% closer together.

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