Nothing is Immutable, Including School Rules

31 01 2011

Neither the philosophical nor scientific meaning of of life itself is immutable. The magnetic core of the planet upon which humans live (so we can argue about conflicting rules and broken authority and inhuman corporations and what’s in a name) is not immutable. It’s moving all the time and sometimes even reverses polarity!

Magnetic north has of late moved right out from under our airport landing strips. It literally isn’t where we thought we left it even though we were right at the time; it’s not there anymore.

How much less immutable then, are our standardized textbooks and test scores? Seems to me the smarter and better educated we really are, the more likely we will be to admit and accommodate the reality of change as the closest we come to unchanging.

Nothing about school is immutable, none of the who, what, where, why, when or how, certainly not its administrative authority over the rights of sovereign citizens such as the legal construct of uncrossable school zones say, conceived and enforced as critical borders worth sacrificing children to, nor how to mark the race box on school registration and test forms, much less academic pronouncements even when they aren’t borne of changes in religious or political power of story — which planets aren’t planets anymore when the rules and definitions change, say, or something as seemingly cut and dried as how to spell a word correctly:

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4 responses

2 02 2011
JJ

The Constitution clearly is not immutable, as evidenced not simply by a few dozen amendments to date. Every word is open to interpretation. Who gets to be president, for example. Bush v Gore didn’t work at all the way one would have expected from reading the words and living through their previous application . . .and who could have sensibly read Citizens United in those hallowed words, before it was ruled to have been there all along?

13 02 2011
JJ

Missing Micrograms Set a Standard on Edge:

“Despite all its shortcomings, the reason it hasn’t been redefined before now is that nobody has come up with something better,” said Professor Kühne, who has a fetching model of the prototype in his office. . .

There are about 100 working copies of the international prototype in countries around the world. These are periodically brought back to Sèvres to be compared with the original.

This is a fraught and delicate undertaking.

. . .Because a kilogram is defined as whatever the mass of the prototype is, it does not, for definitional purposes, matter if the prototype loses mass, or indeed packs on the micrograms by spending all its free time gorging on éclairs: it is still a kilogram. . .

The new definition should render unnecessary such frustrating intellectual exercises. Even still, it is a little sad to contemplate the demotion of the prototype, which has served so valiantly for so many years . . .

6 03 2011
JJ

Thirty-seven ways to spell Khadafi!

. . .so that’s where NPR and AP get their spelling: from a letter Moammar Gadhafi wrote to a bunch of second-graders in Minnesota.

11 03 2011

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