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New 95 Theses

October 18, 2017

Some highlights from Mike Gibson’s (@william_blake) spin on Martin Luther’s inauguration of the Protestant Reformation – promoting an upcoming assembly by his 1517 Fund:

 1. Life in the U.S. begins with a 13-year mandatory minimum sentence: K-12.

3. Higher education has become America’s national religion, complete with heaven and hell, salvation and damnation. You’re a winner or a sinner. It’s Yale or jail.

17. The debt to party ratio on campus is too damn high.

18. Total student loan debt in the United States is now more than $1.5 trillion.

26. In most schools, boredom with tedium has been diagnosed as a psychological disorder. It is as if we diagnosed orca whales as mentally ill because they lost energy floating in tiny tanks at SeaWorld.

30. A school will defend itself against the true education it hates.

40. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Vermeer — no college.

54. The liberal arts and what colleges call the liberal arts are as different as civilization and insolent barbarism.

63. Illiterate sailors on a rickety ship overthrew a thousand years of university Aristotelian scholarship in 1492.

65. Most published research findings are false. Yup, here’s your footnote.

72. The Bro Wage Premium: joining a fraternity lowered GPA by 0.25 points but boosted future income by 36 percent.

74. The hypocrisy of postmodernism as a philosophy concerned with power structures is that its authority depends on the accredited university.

And lastly:

95. Education ought to be a mission not merely to instruct the world but to liberate it.

Curiously, one could find the roots of the current dysfunctional educational system in the offspring of the Reformation – from the training schools for puritan ministers, which begat the Ivy Leagues, to the whole notion of compulsory education. From Wikipedia:

Martin Luther’s seminal text An die Ratsherren aller Städte deutschen Landes (To the Councillors of all Towns in German Countries,1524) called for establishing compulsory schooling so that all parishioners would be able to read the Bible by themselves.

You can request an invitation to the 1517 Assembly, taking place on Oct. 28 (three days before the 500 year anniversary of Luther’s publishing of the theses) here.

  1. October 22, 2017 1:18 pm

    One quibble, with #63

    Educated Europeans had known the Earth was round since the 6th century BC. Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Euclid all knew it and wrote about it. Ptolemy’s “Geography” takes it as a given.

    Columbus owned a copy of “Geography.”

    “The Sphere” had been written in the 1200s and was required reading in universities.

    The myth of the flat earth was concocted by Washington Irving (and other authors).


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