The truth is that everyone is incompetent, no one wants to listen, and change is hated. But luckily those aren’t complete truths. The cracks in those walls are the space change takes place in.

Cracks in rocks over many winters widen, so might the minds of practices of humanity become better.


Flawed People, Flawed Government

People are flawed. People make mistakes. People are corrupt, greedy fartbags who forget their grandmothers’ birthdays and don’t correct against obvious cognitive biases and fallacies like confirmation bias and the sunk cost fallacy, who pick their noses when they don’t think anyone is looking, put their underwear on inside out and then dont notice until that evening, and roll through stop signs while listening to Blank Space by Taylor Swift.

So people are flawed. Thats okay. Hey, even the president poops.

And for some reason we want to- need to- organize ourselves into bundles– societies. And in order for these groups to avoid anarchy they need to organize themselves in a way where people feel protected- this is government.

Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the later negatively by restraining our vices.
~Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Maybe a society of ten or even fifty could coexist without needing an organized government. But as people become more distant- they seem less peoplely, they seem less human. It’s easier for humanity to stomp all over those who we rarely- if ever see and rarely- if ever interact with.

For example, Huckleberry Finn steals things throughout his adventures (By Mark Twain), but when he comes face to face with people who he is hurting or could hurt, he is no longer interested in the theft.

Like Huck Finn, it is easier for us to unleash our vices against people we don’t know. So as larger groups of people get together, more and more vices come out to play, and when more vices come out to play, our happiness starts taking a serious hit. So, according to Thomas Paine, government must come in and help us out.

The problem is, government is necessarily made out of humans. Humans are necessarily flawed.

So then, what is the best way of governing?

How do we minimize human flaws in government?

13th Grade

The 4 Steps To Be Successful

  1. Go to highschool
    1. (go to a community college for 2 years only)
  2. Go to four year
    1. (expensive preferably)
  3. Get a degree (law, med, business, economics, engineering)
  4. Get a job with your degree
    1. (Work it until you get raises and then die)

This track does not have the same potency that it used to have.

  • People have a greater range of career options, and none of those options are Guarantees in any way.
  • Many People have no idea what they want in life. My college aged friends rarely have solid life goals. Many don’t have purpose or a passion, or even know if there is value in purpose or passion.
  • Lots of time and money is wasted by students who think they are following the “right path” — and then realize that their path wont lead to a job, happiness or anything useful.

Unfortunately most students are still thrust along that path as if it is the only option.

Actually, there is a beginning of a solution to this problem being implemented in several Oregon school districts–13th grade has been made an option for high school students.   This program allows students who have completed 4 years of highschool to stay connected to their highschool and their local community college to start their college education for free (with state funding).

This program could be helpful in both easing students into college life (with the work load and with financial support)  showing students that there is freedom and choice in their futures.

I would take this program further to include 10th or 11th grade students . A diploma would be an option, after 10th grade but community college classes would also be available and encouraged as part of the end of their high-school years. With this program, A big part of curriculum in student’s last year of required school would be to learn how to learn (perhaps using something like the Independence Project) and how to survive in the wider world.

I wish I had the opportunity for an extra year or two of challenging classes for free that could be used towards college credit in the future (but that weren’t AP tests).  Knowing that I had respected options would’ve lent me confidence in high school.  I needed the extra time and support to figure out some semblance of a plan, but in my (“college prep”) school and the atmosphere within it and within my social group, going to community college was Not An Option. It was shameful to admit that such a path was needed, and so many of my peers were advised to go to expensive schools when they had no idea what they wanted out of those schools.

In a program like “13th grade” or my proposed “11th12th13th grade” students could see how open their future is to design and customization, how there isn’t only one path to success, and that the community wants them to succeed.

We have to consider opportunities for students who don’t want to continue their education immediately (due to adolescent shenanigans, laziness or circumstance), but who change their minds after a few years. Its not a perfect program but It’s a good start.