The Worst Filing System Known To Humans

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Reload the Canons!

This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.

Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Dork Is Rising

Our Valued Customers, capturing the voice of our time.

@the_moviebob: What we have now isn't "meritocracy;" because the people in charge aren't there for their actual merits
@the_moviebob: Things should be run by whoever is best equipped to run them. Maybe that's closer to Technocracy, but it makes sense.
‏@GreyTheTick: It's perfectly possible to be both smart and insane.
@the_moviebob: at this point, I'd take that option. I am TIRED of being ruled by lesser minds rendered "superior" by incidence of birth.

--Moviebob, conversation on Twitter
Movies right now need more kid detectives. Give smart kids someone to root for.
--Moviebob, on a different day.

Ho ho ho Nerd Rage! Isn't it hilarious? Those silly nerds, always getting so worked up over everything.

You know, it's true. There's lots of nerd rage to go around these days, it seems. We collectively seem to always be angry, but we're not exactly managing to control that side of ourselves quite as well as we perhaps should. We are, it seems, no Bruce Banner.

And boy, that rage sure does manifest itself in some rather destructive and awful ways, doesn't it? Like, how about the psychotically vehement attacks on women in geek communities of late? That's sure not the healthiest manifestation of rage I've ever seen. Or the continuous racism and homophobia within the culture? Or even the often insanely hostile battles within fandoms? I mean, take this analysis of the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom, for example. It sounds absurd--I mean, the character is a super fast hedgehog--but apparently that fandom is a giant roiling cosmic Lovecraftian space of madness and entropy. And you know what? It's not the only fandom to approach that level of awfulness:

"Fandoms by nature are usually pretty horrible. Get enough people together who like something and you’ll quickly find their personal opinions clashing violently. Have something that has been around long enough or had enough changes in it’s lifetime and you’ll find yourself with a fanbase divided and constantly at war with it’s self. Lord knows merely posting about any Final Fantasy is fuel for an instant flamewar."

Plenty of people have written about the toxicity withing the culture that gives rise to such expressions of fury. But, you know, I don't think we can just look at geek culture in isolation. it exists, after all, within a larger social system, so why not explore it within that system? Weirdly, this is already being done to some extent, but largely from a standpoint of feminist and race theory, looking at the white straight male nerd as a powerholder. To some extent, I think that sort of analysis is reasonable.

But in another sense, it misses a major point:

Nerds are an oppressed group in American society.

Now, let me be absolutely clear: none of what I'm going to say justifies the awful treatment that a vocal segment of our community has shown even people we should consider part of our own number. I do think it might help to explain it, however.

Consider the two quotes that I started this post with. They're both from Bob Chipman, Moviebob, one of the really great video game and movie analysts on the web right now, and a regular champion of progressive thought in geek culture. But man, that first exchange sounds more than a little frustrated. Blow-up-a-building frustrated. Check out that last line: "I am TIRED of being ruled by lesser minds rendered "superior" by incidence of birth." (emphasis mine) That "lesser minds" bit is particularly interesting, because it suggests where the frustration is coming from.

It's coming from the same place that the second quote is coming from: the feeling that "smart kids" have no one to root for, and no one to root for them.

Now, Moviebob isn't, in my estimation, the type to actually blow anything up, as enraged as his rhetoric is. In fact, he's pointed out before that just because he's bringing up what he considers a catastrophic system failure doesn't mean he's advocating the most extreme solution--or, to put it another way, the most final solution. I've noticed it myself--it's easy to assume that when I condemn an organization like the Catholic Church that I'm demanding stronger measures than, uh, widespread public outcry and police inquiry into criminal activity. Not totally crazy, right? Our rage and our rhetoric outstrips our actual political stance.

But Moviebob and I aren't the only geeks out there that feel shut out of society. Those psychos railing about men's rights and how straight white males are the most oppressed people? Yeah, those guys are a product of a priviledged society that's going through the heaving convulsions of progressive change, but let's be clear about one thing: they were never in the top rung within their group. In fact, they've probably been frequently ground into the dirt despite their privilege in other areas of life.

It's an inevitability, actually, in a culture that so vehemently despises the intellectual. I mean, my god, American culture in particular seems hell bent on reverting to the days when heretics were actually burned at the stake. All the natter about the liberal elite? The mockery of the ivory-tower intellectuals who are out of touch with "common sense" and folk wisdom? Bill O'Reilly basically echoing the rhetoric of fucking Insane Clown Posse?!

All of that is a sign of a culture that has so devalued intellectualism that a sizeable chunk of America is ready to get out the torches and pitchforks when someone so much as dares to suggest that maybe demonstrable scientific theories should be given precedence in a science class.

Oh, and what's more, this is all occurring against a backdrop of the absolute collapse of higher education. Collapse too dramatic, you say? Oh, I'm sorry, what would you call ballooning costs paired with a scarcity of work, and a culture that responds to outcry against this insane system by not just accepting the unjustified arrest, beating, and pepperspraying of students, but cheers these authoritarian actions along from the sidelines?

America has become a state that despises knowledge, despises those who seek knowledge, and despises those who openly display knowledge.

And you absolutely cannot leave this fact out when you talk about Nerd Rage and the horrifying maelstrom of sociopathic rage that is modern Geek culture. Because we are exactly as our society made us. We're just expressing our horrifying maelstrom of sociopathic rage in a way that isn't accepted, because instead of wrecking global economies, decimating the environment, and marching cheerfully to war, we're directing our poison inward at our own community and expressing our rage and helplessness the only way we know how: by lashing out at each other over what fucking Final Fantasy Game is better.

Or, for those of us who have been particularly poisoned by the ingrained structures of hate in society, we lash out in far, far more destructive ways, at women, at queers, at people of color, and so on.

Oh, and sure, some of the people I'm talking about here are shut out of society because they've just decided that being maladjusted is who they are, by god, and if you won't accept them, well, it's YOUR FAULT, YOU HATER! These people suck, no argument, and I'm not sure what we can do as a culture besides take a stand and say that we aren't going to tolerate their idiocy.

But these problems aren't going to magically go away if we expel the absolute creeps, because, well, for one thing... where will they go? Join the NRA? Start a militia? This occurred to me as I read a recent Pervocracy article about fixing the broken steps in our social groups. Don't get me wrong, I think Cliff is totally right here--we need to actively refuse to accept vile, inhumane behavior, and if that means expelling someone from our social spheres, well, that's what it means. But the creeps have to go somewhere, and as we've already started to see, when people who are already being ostracized by society are further pushed to the margins? I really do fear that one day soon the geek community is going to be utterly shattered because someone on the edge of reason is going to snap and actually outright murder one of the big, important voices for equality within the movement. How long till someone takes the threats against someone like Anita Sarkeesian and decides they need to become reality?

I feel like an absolute heel putting it that way, because A. it seems sensationalistic and B. I don't have a good solution to this problem. I don't like even talking about these things because, well, I cry uncontrollably when I read about books getting destroyed, for goodness sake. The actual human suffering I'm invoking here is enough to make me go practically catatonic if I ponder it too hard.

And I really do hate bringing up what I think is a very real, very weighty problem when I don't have an easy answer. What I might suggest is that we need to find a solution here that takes into account the second problem with just focusing on the worst manifestations of this behavior:

It doesn't address the anti-intellectualism that is fanning the flames of nerd rage.

I think if we're going to fix this we need to fix a whole lot of other things in society, as well. A short list, off the top of my head, might include:

  • Government funded undergraduate education. If we value education, we should, as a society, be bloody well paying for it.
  • An immediate halt on the treatment of geeks and the intelligent as curiosities. So, no more snide dismissive references to nerd rage, no more Big Bang Theory bullshit, and so on.
  • A kind of self-imposed open door policy--we've got to stop lording our knowledge over newcomers. That just makes people--especially the people who are already scared of smart things--even more likely to dismiss the things we love.
  • Pro-intellectual messages within the community. We really, really need to stop the infighting between lib art geeks and science geeks.
  • More public education campaigns. We're doing a lot to reach people on the borderline with pro-intellectual messages. We're not doing enough to reach beyond those realms. I probably sound like a broken record by now, but hey, it's important stuff.
  • The active recruitment of children living in the bermuda triangle intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality, &c. We're losing kids because they aren't getting support from the school system, they don't have access to pro-intellectual summer programs, and they're not a part of net cultures. This needs to be fixed, for the good of everyone. The anti-intellectualism in some strands of urban culture is deeply troubling.
The creation of pro-intellectual media that is aimed at a general audience. I.E.: give the smart kids someone to root for.

Basically what I want to see is a broad coalition of the intelligent and educated, reaching outside of geek culture to the assaulted university system, and reaching beyond that to the members of society most at risk for becoming anti-intellectuals and perpetuating this dumb system.

And I do have hope for that. I mean, I've personally been dealing with quite a few issues of my own, partly stemming from the problems I'm describing here, but every so often I get a reminder of why Geek culture is so important and so worth saving. Whether it's someone commenting that an old article of mine really touched them, or the opportunity to geek out with an old friend over the clever thematic structures in Cowboy Bebop, or someone that I've only ever met online letting me know that he might be leaving our geeky online community, but he wants to keep in touch with me. Those are the types of bonds that make the frustrations of living in a society that doesn't think that we're valuable, well, worthwhile.

Because we can remind each other that we ARE valuable.

And that's a whole lot more constructive than rage.

You know what? Screw the rest of this article, that title is GOLD! You can follow me on Google+ at gplus.to/SamKeeper or on Twitter @SamFateKeeper. As always, you can e-mail me at KeeperofManyNames@gmail.com. If you liked this piece please share it on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Reddit, Equestria Daily, Xanga, MySpace, or whathaveyou, and leave some thoughts in the comments below.

23 comments:

  1. "...and those who are making it rot..."

    Good article. I couldn't agree more. Hopefully some of the actions I take over the next several years will have at least a minor impact to fix these issues. That's certainly one of the goals, anyway.

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    1. It's one of mine, too. You know, weirdly, I think the Pardee Parties are a good start, especially if we can reach out to other people. Anything that brings people together across the cultures on campus to introduce them to stuff they might not otherwise have seen is a good idea in my book. It's small, but it's something.

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  2. PLUS FUCKING ONE!
    Seriously, I love being part of geek culture, but I had an online debate over gender in videogames last week and, well... it was hard...
    This is probably my favorite article you've written so far, because it resonates so much with me. It's everything I think, but written down nicely.

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    1. Man, I wasn't expecting this to be in like anyone's top ten, let alone a favorite. I'm glad I was able to articulate some of this stuff. I still fee like there's a lot more to cover.

      And yes, any online debate about gender in video games seems to go straight to hell almost immediately. Although, to our credit, I do think we could pull off such a conversation on the Flavor and Storyline board. Our community gives me hope.

      Let me ask you, though: since most of what I was talking about pertained to American anti-intellectualism, and since I don't have a great knowledge of this sort of thought in other countries... do you have any input? What's it like where you are?

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    2. The only reason that our community could do it is because they won't automatically default to *whining voice*"But men are misrepresented in games toooooooooooooooo."*end whining voice* I also think we mostly agree on the issue, so much debate won't be happening on the topic.

      As for the local situation, I don't feel very comfortable answering that. In my personal circles, intelligence is highly regarded, but I don't have much reference outside of that. My father's side of the family (I think "white trash" would be the most accurate translation/description) doesn't like the idea of higher education, but they're the only people I know that think like that.

      Education wise: Our high school system is tiered to some degree, and the academic tier is regarded as the highest you can achieve in high school to the point that people end up in the wrong place, because they (or more often their parents) decide on the more prestigious tier, instead of the more fitting.
      Smart kids aren't cool though, in high school.

      I can safely say that the mere thought of teach anything other than evolution isn't even considered except by the most radical religious individuals that no-one takes seriously.

      I'm seeing a couple of friends (who I mostly consider intellectuals) and I'll ask for their opinion. I'll also ask my brothers (who have wider circles).

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    3. Interesting.

      Yeah, it's a little weird for me to talk too, sometimes, because my closest friends are also intellectuals. I have the advantage, though, of being in classes with people who are certainly NOT as open minded as I would frankly expect (I mean, honestly, if you're in a 300 level theory course, and you're STILL arguing that an interpretation only makes sense if the AUTHOR INTENDED IT, then you really, really need to reevaluate your major...) so I can at least comment in that sense.

      Also, thanks for posting this article in the thread about Guildwars II. I looked through it a little bit and I can see why it was so relevant... it's too bad, it seems like there's a really strong divide there between people who want to create a new community and the people who are jaded and sick of dealing with the haters.

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    4. I hate to be "that guy" so damn late in the game, but men ARE misrepresented in media. VERY misrepresented. Our current media culture portrays masculinity and patriarchy as so thoroughly equivalent that it should in fact be considered, well, a bunch of oppressive brainwashing bullshit.

      Right, ok, time for me to go home later tonight and write that long-time-coming blog entry on the reconstructed-masculist themes of "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann" (WHOTHEHELLDOYOUTHINKWEARE!!!?!?!?!?!?).

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  3. Very good article!

    The general point about anti-intellectualism is something I find to broadly be true, and is something that infects groups and individuals which claim to oppose the current system as well. There are some anti-intellectual trends in the socialist movement, both from the perspective of "we don't need to care about theory and the history of our movement, it's what's going on today and the activism we can do now that's important;" along with "we don't need to re-evaluate our own ideological history based on new research and scholarship, particularly if it calls into questions some of the ideological precepts we base our movement on." Granted, this is in some ways your point, but the above example hopefully provides more evidence that, even in subcultures or movements that exist on the fringes of, or sometimes even in opposition to, mainstream culture/society are still affected by it. While this doesn't mean we need to keep cleaving off from these subcultures/movements in order to maintain some sort of "purity," it does mean we need to resolutely fight against these problems as they arise.

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    1. Thanks!

      I think you can also see the outside anti-intellectual pressures affecting leftist politics from the standpoint of frustration... I mean, Moviebob was talking about whether democracy actually makes sense in that one quote up there, and you KNOW I've gone back and forth a lot as to whether I think it works... I really think that stems from frustration.

      I think the fact that we've got metrics that measure intelligence, and an understanding of how difficult it is to increase things like IQ scores, exacerbate the problem because to some extent we can empirically demonstrate that some people probably aren't capable of voting in informed ways. It's hard for someone with a high IQ to look at that and not wonder if maybe a takeover by the literati isn't reasonable. But, of course, voicing that feeling makes you a monster, ESPECIALLY in a climate like this, because it's the paranoid fear of the anti-intellectuals made manifest.

      I don't know, it's a truly frustrating mess. I just pin my hopes on the idea that IQ might be relatively fixed, but lateral thinking seems to be a bit more fluid and teachable... [sigh]

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  4. Pretty good read, I dare say. This voices all the thoughts that have been eating at me inside about the geek culture of today.

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    1. For the sake of sharing: I went to a magnet school rather than a standard high school, Communication Arts High School. The entire school was centered around the idea of enriched curriculum and higher learning, and just about every student in my small 110-person class of 2005 actually placed value on intellectualism. It was a pretty neat thing to have so many other people my own age interested in actually being smart (although, to this day, I wonder how smart I really am - even in my own graduating class, there were some impressive people).

      But we still had to take certain courses over in the "normal" school, so we were often exposed to normal high school students, and the way they approached their education. It was like night and day, and even back then it bothered me that people could be like that. There were some great teachers over there, especially in the math department, but most of the students in Taft didn't really seem to care about their education, so much as the standard high school teenager stuff.

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    2. And then, after my graduation, I actually noticed the way the school was being run. My school, not the standard one. I noticed that the school's standards for admissions were steadily dropping, even well before I'd gotten in. What had started happening was that parents were constantly complaining about their own special little genius not getting into the school. So much pressure was applied that, unless things have changed since I last checked, there are no longer serious standards of admission - beyond the effort to apply.

      I think part of this anti-intellectualism stems somewhat from that sort of problem. You might enjoy this article that goes very in-depth into the subject: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2012/07/02/120702crbo_books_kolbert?currentPage=all

      This anti-intellectualism is, in some ways, being pushed on us by the very people seeking to make us smart! Ironic, no?
      Not only ironic, but it makes the problem that much more difficult to correct.

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    3. Thanks for the comments, Drake.

      I'm torn about that parental pressure, because to some extent I'm a product of that same pressure (my teachers and my parents fought to get me into the gifted program at my elementary school despite the fact that I was a few points below the cutoff) and because... well... there are probably opportunities granted to people in elite schools like that that aren't available to people shut out from that system. I can sympathize with the parental impulse to fight for your kid, especially when it might make a huge difference in their life later on.

      But if parents are fighting to get access to schools like that and the kids are spoiled rotten and aren't interested in learning... yeah, the whole system starts to fall apart. Er, starts to fall apart even further, I guess.

      I'm not sure what the solution there is. It's frustrating all around. Maybe it's just to persuade people in public schools that they should care too?

      But, again, it's hard to do that when the discourse currently is that public schooling has "failed"--why try in a failed system, after all?--so students are practically taught to see themselves as products of that failed system. It's another way in which right-wing anti public education rhetoric is poisoning the entire nation. I mean, not to be melodramatic, but that's really what it's doing--they've created a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

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    4. Oh man, I think I need to link something to you that I watched on youtube on the very subject of why the public education system has stopped working and is actually fundamentally flawed in design, but I can't for the life of me remember what the name was... I may have to do some googling.

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    5. Aha, I found it! It was an RSA Animate, based off a talk given at the RSA.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

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    6. It could admittedly be a bit of a boring watch for some people, but I found it to be a very interesting discourse on the subject of our education system and how it needs to change to match the times.

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    7. Oh, and also, on a more personal note, I think it could be said that my own parents pushed me into honors programs when I was young as well. I think the program was even called "GIFTED" or something close to that - some fancy acronym. So I get what you mean when you say you're personally torn. I doubt I'd have ended up in honors programs otherwise.

      I don't think parents pushing you to do greater things is, on it's own, a terrible thing. In fact, I'd say it's basically a parent's job. But that article I linked, which I'll admit I speed-read, seems to suggest that it's much more than just pushing children to greatness. There's such a thing as pushing too hard, especially when the parents are fighting all the battles instead of the children.

      Originally, I wasn't put into public school. My parents put me into private school for 2 or 3 years, before they decided it was just too costly. At first, they tried to get me into 3rd grade. I think my birthday meant that I was at one of those borders where you're too old for one grade, but too young for another at the same time. I was there for all of one day before, still being a young kid, I had one of your standard temper tantrums for young kids. I obviously wasn't mentally ready for 3rd grade, so they put me back in the 2nd grade.

      It's been so many years since that happened, so I only have vague fuzzy memories of any of that happening.

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    8. RSAnimate is pretty consistently fascinating. It's a great blending of media in a wonderful style...

      I definitely get what you're saying. I guess I'm just frustrated with the whole "THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE FAILING!" meme because it's being promoted and adopted and coopted by conservatives who intend to disband public education and institute their own private brainwashing camps masquerading as schools. They're losing the battle against things like evolution and sex education in public schools, so they're intent on destroying the institution itself... ugh.

      But yeah, I definitely get what you're saying.

      Have you read Outliers? You might find some of that material interesting... especially as a fellow student that was held back a year (I was right on the borderline to enter kindergarten, and my parents held me back a year... turns out that was not just the right thing to do but a staggeringly important decision. Read the book, it explains things in greater detail).

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  5. Keeper, is this your most popular article ever?

    I don't think I entirely agree. I may be somewhat biased coming from a preparatory school where all I did was talk about the classics and intellectual culture for four years. I know that anti-intellectualism is a real problem, and I've experienced it myself, but is it so necessary for it to be fixed? Some level of education is required for success in modern culture, every political leader who has been in a position of real power is very well educated. Sometimes they're wrong, but that is a problem of opinions and groups of intellectuals, not lack of education or care for knowledge.

    I am also strongly opposed to your solution of taking federal money out of higher education, especially in the current economic times. I am an incoming freshman this year, and due to the housing crisis that really hit hard here in Arizona, my family looks more wealthy on paper than we actually are, and were it not for federal aid, I would not be going to college, despite being in the top of my class at a prestigious school and having near perfect scores on my SAT and ACT exams. I am sure there are many more like me who need that money to further our education and use our talents for a better nation. There is a problem when students who do not deserve to go to college are allowed in, taking grants they don't deserve and loans they can't pay back, I agree, but that's a problem with the colleges, not the amount of money that the federal government is putting into the colleges.

    I had some other things to say, but I was interrupted in the process of writing this and forgot about them. Oh well. Still a good article, and I think that the anti-intellectual culture is a problem, but, as you pointed out, there are some problems with intellectuals that help to perpetuate it. You brought up the battle between liberal arts and science, completely legitimate and an issue that needs to be addressed. Another is the mentality of the Ivory Tower, top notch intellectuals tend to isolate themselves from the outside world, making their study pointless and the world hateful.

    I have a feeling we're singing to the same tune, but I have some blue notes to add.

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    1. I think you misread--I don't want to take federal funding out of higher education. Far from it! Federal funding is one of the things I think we absolutely must have for our culture to be fixed! In fact, I want this country to pay for EVERYONE'S undergrad education. That's a long term goal, though.

      I think how much you've experienced this depends on where you are, and how bleak a view you take of our current political climate. I mean, I don't think there's any contradiction between our political leaders being highly educated but also highly against education. If I may be blunt, that is a hallmark of fascist thought (it's only bad if the masses are educated, when you get right down to it), and it's something the American right has been embracing cheerfully with both arms for the last decade or so.

      And yeah, I think my perception is affected by my educational experiences. Weirdly, the place where I found the strongest intellectual culture was at the community college where I got my Associate's degree. Tragically, a lot of the people at my prestigious undergrad institution where I transferred after graduating were there largely because they could pay for it. Essentially, they funded my education (I received a pretty staggering grant from the college) and I repaid them by raising the overall GPA of the college.

      It's hard to even be bitter, because the whole thing seems so... well... absurd. But hey, it meant that I stood out, and now I'm close friends with my professors, which is leading to job opportunities and grants and so on. I don't know. It's weird.

      But yeah, I'm a total drama queen, so I tend to behave as though the world is lighting itself on fire whenever the temperature spikes above normal. :P You're probably right that it's less bad than I think.

      And this isn't my most popular article--not by a long shot--but it's currently hanging on to tenth place. (The most popular is my first My Little Pony article... go figure.)

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    2. Thank you for this article (Having read this after your Dark Knight Rises, it helps me understand the context better, and your comments there are much less out of left field).
      On the point of the debate of public vs private education, I want to provide a counter-point, based on discussions with the more intellectual elements of the right wing, to hopefully provide a different light on it (Not trying to change opinions, or even say you are wrong, just trying to help).
      The basic argument is the lack of choice. Public education, sadly, is not consistent across the country, or even in any one specific area. Because of this, many fear they are putting their child at a disadvantage in the local school. Most educated conservatives I know accept that there are some very good public schools, but know that they are restricted by where they live, and may not have access to them. The idea of school privatization, or vouchers, in a more general sense, is about giving parents the power to choose the best option for their kids and, indirectly, forcing higher standards on the individual schools by making them compete. (That's also a major reason for the dislike of unions, since they tend to protect worse teachers without rewarding the better ones, at least in theory)
      As an example, the city I grew up in had 11 public schools. Of those, there were 2 (Cox and Kempsville) that were considered top tier for standard education and 2 gifted programs that students could apply for as an alternative. On the other end, Salem, Bayside and, especially, Green Run were considered poor education opportunities and generally dangerous. While my family deliberately moved into the Kempsville area, I wondered how many of those individuals in Green Run (I knew several of them, from extracurriculars I was in) would have gladly been somewhere else, but their families couldn't afford it. Honestly, I see systems such as Vouchers as a method of balancing unfairness, not a secret conspiracy of anti-intellectuals.

      Again, I am not trying to say you are wrong. I am just stating a possibility that it seems like you may not have considered.

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    3. Also, sorry for always playing Devils Advocate when I come to your site. In general, I appreciate your opinion and find your conversations enlightening. I just fear that there is a side of things that you haven't seen due to being trapped in the bible belt (I dislike the anti-intellectual conservatives at least as much as you, since they serve little purpose but to wreck any value I hold with their ignorance).

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    4. Rereading that last comment, I think my main point is a bit muddied. I think this blog is VERY good, and VERY important. Being able to look at everything with a critical eye and assess it on its true merits and pulling it out of existing social norms and understanding is fantastic. I have reassessed my understanding of many things, while having many other ideas validated by your always insightful arguments.
      What I fear, though, is that there are still some elements that you, due to your present understanding or philosophy, will not be willing to cast a critical eye on. Topics that have an emotional resonance that you do not want to give up. What I intend to do when I disagree is try to cast light on something you may not even know you do not know. If you feel I ever go beyond that, as I believe was the case in the initial DKR post, by all means call me out on it.

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