The history books in our schools tell us that scientific and technological advancement have freed us from boredom, ignorance and oppression; from drudgery and repetition; from dirt, disease and malnutrition.
Let’s briefly examine these assumptions about what “progress” has achieved, and consider where we go from here.
Freedom from boredom, ignorance, and oppression
To be free from boredom, ignorance and oppression, first we condemn our children to approximately two decades of mind-numbing “education” during what should be the free-est years of their lives. (Education, depending on how it’s conducted, can either be liberating or it can restrict children’s thinking and experimentation to such an extent that most of them forget how to think for themselvesi.)
“So long as our kids get the 3R’s and plenty of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) drummed into them,” we might think, “they won’t be disadvantaged.”
Next, we enshrine a screen in every home; even in every room of every home; even in the car! (Because, now that we have all this leisure time thanks to technology, we need something to fill it with.)
Numbed by popular media, programmed for consumption to support a never-ending-growth economy, we adults send our kids to good schools and exhort them to work hard and earn good grades so they’ll get good jobs, while we keep our own noses to the grindstone and our feet on the treadmill.
We’re sure that once the mortgage is paid off and the cars and screens are upgraded, THEN we can start having fun.
Freedom from drudgery and repetition
School prepares children for their working lives.