Here are three statements that I would say are true:
1. Most of what is written is not read
2. Most of what is read is quickly forgotten
3. Most of what is read and is not forgotten remains if at all in the notes of a few individuals, the writer of course and his or her few readers.
At the present time most of which is written will show up on the internet. And of the internet one might speak of it as a field of ideas where the vast majority of the thousands of them that bloom online are destined to wither, die, and fall to the ground, so to speak, unrecognized let alone picked up and gathered by an even more numerous army of readers. (Most of what is written is not read.)
And for myself I know that most of the internet ideas will pass right by me. There are too many of them (172,800 blogs are added to the internet every day).** There is no way I will even see them, let alone read them. Furthermore, those few that I do happen to stumble upon and read I will most likely forget. (Most of what is read is quickly forgotten)
Yet the ideas that I encounter while reading internet articles and blogs are what a good part of my life is all about. My mornings are often made up of those few ideas that I find so well said, so interesting, and stimulating that I “pick up and gather” them and put them into my own journal notes (of which there are now tens of thousands of entries) with the intention of eventually getting back to them and making them a part of my own thinking while turning them into a post on my own blog.
As I’m doing right now. (Most of what is read and not forgotten remains if at all in the notes of a few individuals, the writer of course and the few readers.)
Right now I’m looking at my journal entry for October 1 of 2008. In particular at an article by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz of the American Enterprise Institute. (I’m right with Kling in most of what he says, although he, of course, is usually ahead of me behind.)
Anyway looking over a section of my notes I read this from Inequality and the Sergey Brin Effect :
The widening gap between the incomes for college graduates and those for workers who never attend college raises a question. Why doesn’t the supply of college graduates increase? Indeed, despite the benefits that come with higher education, the rate of high school graduation is actually falling, according to the American Bar Foundation’s Paul A. LaFontaine and Nobel laureate James Heckman of the University of Chicago.
It might seem natural to pin the blame for the disappointing rate of high school graduation and college training on America’s education system. However, Heckman and others find little evidence that education can reduce differences in cognitive skills that arise from genetic endowments and early childhood experience.
Here’s the gem of the idea that struck me, —there is little evidence that education can reduce differences in cognitive skills, in particular those skills that arise from genetic endowments and early childhood experiences.
Of course the progressive educational Establishment, probably also the Republican Right and the Liberal and Democratic Left will reject that idea. Nearly everyone will, because it does smack of a kind of determinism, —a child will be what his genes and early family environment have determined he will be. Schooling (or anything else we might do) will not change that.
Understandably the educational Establishment will reject, probably has already many times rejected, the Nobel Laureate’s statement. The Establishment has no other choice, because to accept it would be to shut down the nearly 200 year old public school system, and in its place have something (what would that be?) that faced up at least to the ingrained differences among children, actually differences among us all.
At the very minimum the present use of the age filter for grouping children within our public schools would have to be thrown out, because age and especially sameness of age has so little to do with cognitive skills, and, no less important, with readiness for learning.
Now our public schools are organized into groups of student-learners, erroneously grouped by age. But any other grouping would probably work no better in respect to the two bench marks mentioned, —college attendance and high school graduation rates.
When if ever will the Establishment realize and accept (and make the necessary structural changes to the present system) that individuals, not groups, learn?
**The advent of the internet brought about the opening of the blogosphere. Now, it seems like the blogosphere is over-populated; there are approximately over 152 million blogs on the internet…. In fact, a new blog is created somewhere in the world every half a second…. Since a new blog is created and set up every half a second, we will have to multiply the 86,400 seconds in a day with 2. And what figure do we finally get? Goosh! 172,800! This is amazing! 172,800 blogs are added to the internet every day.