226. Love & Engineering: A Geek’s Guide to Hacking the Software of Love

11 takeaways from this documentary: Continue reading “226. Love & Engineering: A Geek’s Guide to Hacking the Software of Love”

106. The Story Of Stuff: How Our Modern Markets Economy Is Destroying Our Planet

19 important takeaways from this documentary:

00:00:25 Have you ever wondered where all that stuff you buy comes from, and where it goes after you throw it out? Standard economics says that your stuff moves through the materials economy; a linear system of: 

Extraction > Production > Distribution > Consumption > Disposal

The problem with this system is that humans are currently confined to living on Earth, which is a finite planet; and you cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely. In every step of this linear process, waste is created which diminishes the system’s efficiency, and subsequently, the Earth’s sustainability.

00:01:50 The government’s role and reason for existence is to be ‘of the people, by the people, and for the peole,’ and to protect the citizens which give that government its authority, but over time corporations have become so much larger than the government that the goverment has slowly switched priorities from protecting its citizens to catering to corporations.

Extraction Stage

00:02:45 Extraction – natural resource exploitation – is the mining and stripping of minerals and resources from the planet in the production of goods, thus undermining our very ability to inhabit the earth. 

Production Stage

00:04:50 We then use energy and toxic chemicals to make toxic, contaminated and contaminating products. As of 2007, there were over 100,000 synthetic chemicals used in commerce today. Very few have been tested for their long term impact on humans and the environment, and none of these chemicals have been texted for their synergistic impact – the consequences of all those chemicals interacting.

00:05:20 Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs), for example, are super-toxic, neuro-toxins which have been proven to negatively affect the human brain; yet these BFRs can be found in common, everday household items such as computers, couches, matresses, and even our pillows, which we lay our heads on for at least 8 hours per day.

In addition to these toxins leaving the production process as products, they also leave as by-products – the pollution which clogs our skies and seeps into our oceans, rivers, skin… 

00:06:05 Over time, these toxic chemicals build up within our own bodies. So much so that a mother’s breast milk has been found to be the food with the highest level of toxic contaminants. 

00:06:45 Those who bear the biggest brunt of these toxins are the factory workers who spend 40+ hours per week, many of whom are women of reproductive age, working with and handling these carcinogens. The only sane person who would knowingly expose themself to such harmful toxins is a person who has no other option.

00:07:50 Who wants to look at and live with such chemical pollution? Definitely not the product’s consumers; and brands don’t want their image directly associated with the destruction of their consumer’s plant, which is why businesses choose to move their dirty factories overseas.

Distribution Stage

00:08:15 Distribution is the selling of all the products produced during the previous step, and as quickly as possible by keeping the prices down, keeping the people buying, and keeping the inventory moving.

00:08:37 Cost externalization is the process of cutting costs and recuperating profit through means other than the price made visible to consumers. In fact, at such low prices, you aren’t actually paying for the product. All along this materials economy system other humans unwittingly pitched in so you could purchase the product as such an “unbelievably low price.”

00:10:30 In this linear markets economy, consumer spending is the key holding this entire model together. In this measure, a human’s value is measured primarily by their capability to consume. As of 2007, roughly 1% of all products purchased were still being used six months after the purchase date; meaning 99% of all the materials which are extracted, produced, distributed, and then sold are thrown into the trash within six months of being purchased.

00:11:57 To ramp up the economy following World War Two, retail analyst Victor Lebow created the credence that “Our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded in an ever-accelerating rate.”

00:12:40 Most consumer goods fall under two life cycles:

  1. Planned obsolescence involves creating products specifically designed for the dump; created with the intention of being useless as quickly as possible whilst leaving the consumer with the belief that they are getting a good deal. Products ranging from plastic bags to take-away coffee cups, DVDs, cameras, computers and smartphones…
  2. Perceived obsolescence involves convincing consumers to discard products which are still perfectly usable. Products ranging from the newest fashion trend to the latest iphone model…

Advertising, branding, and media communications play a huge role in consumer spending and perceived obsolescence. What’s the point of an advertising except to make us unhappy with what we currently have? Media communications also aid in hiding the extraction, production, and distrution parts of the markets economy.

00:16:52 At our current rate of consumption, all the stuff we purchase cannot possibly fit in our homes, so where does it all go? We throw it away.

Disposal Stage

00:17:01 Disposal is one of the most obvious effects of our markets economy because it is us who have to haul our junk out to the sidewalk ourselves. Our disposed waste is then picked up by garbage trucks and dumped at a landfill and/or is burned in an incinerator – which pollutes the environment as all those toxins injected into the product during the production stage are released into the air – and then left in a landfill. All of the disposal options pollute our air and land.

0017:42 Dioxin is the most toxic, man-made environmental pollutant known to science. The incinerators which turn your waste into ash are the number one source for dioxins.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on where your stuff goes after you throw it out, watch the news report How Your Technological Waste Destroys The Planet & Compromises Your Security.]

00:18:10 Recycling helps reduce the amount of disposed garbage as well as the pressure to extract to create new products, but household recycling doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface and address the core problem:

  1. Household waste is just a very miniscule percentage of the waste created on the planet. 70+ times as much garbage is created during the extraction and production stages to create the product you recycled.
  2. Much of our waste cannot be recycled because it either contains too many toxins or because brands didn’t see the need to create a product which was designed to be recyclable in the first place.

00:19:06 There are people and organizations committed to cleaning up the process at each of the above stages in the markets economy, but all their hard work can only be truly effective once humans, and the government they permit to have authority over them step back, see the big picture and acknowledge that the current system does more damage than good.

00:19:50 It is possible to re-align our markets economy which can replace – or at least diminish – the disposal stage. Sustainability is the process of “enabling the earth to continue supporting human life.” 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For more interesting information as to the state of the world, read the article The 9 Limits Of Our Planet… And How We’ve Raced Past 4 Of Them by John Carey]

101. Transcendent Man: When Humans Merge With Technology & Transcend Biology

18 important takeaways from this documentary:

00:05:20 Singularity is a future period which technological change will be so rapid and its impact so profound that every aspect of human life will be irreversably transformed and there won’t be a clear distinction between humans and machines.

Technology feeds on itself and it gets faster and faster.

In the future this change will be so quick that humans will not be able to keep up with the pace unless we enhance our own intelligence by merging with the intelligent technology we are creating. By then, technology will be small enough to be inside our bodies and brains, and we’re going to be a hybrid of biological and non-biological intelligence. – Ray Kurzweil

00:07:00 If you put things together in just the right way you can create transcendent effects. Most inventors fail not because they don’t get their gadgets to work, but  because the timing is wrong. People don’t start a project when the hardware and the technological capability doesn’t exist yet to support it; but in fact you should do that.

00:08:04 Information technology follows relatively predictable trajectories, and you can use this as a planning tool. Meaning I can’t just take projections for just 2, 3, 4, or 6 years, but 10, 20, 50 years from now and invent with the technologies of the future. I can’t build those devices yet, but I can describe them and write about them.

00:11:44 People routinely underestimate what is achievable in long periods of time because they leave out the radical implications of exponential growth.

People can see, even in their own lifetimes, how much more quickly technology moves today than it did five years ago.

The law of accelerating returns argues that the nature of technological progress is exponential. If I count linearly (1, 2, 3, 4…), if I take 30 steps, I get to 30. If I count exponentially (2, 4, 8,16…),  30 steps later I’m at 1.07 billion.

00:12:30 Moore’s Law observes that basically every two years, we can fit twice as many components onto a chip. And because they’re closer together they run faster. And so computers get twice as capable overall for the same price every year.

00:13:30 Information technology grows exponentially because we are constantly using the latest technology to create the next.

This is true in general of an evolutionary process. In fact even biological evolution long before humans even evolved shows the same phenomenom.

Major paradigm shifts such as search engines evolved with the past few years. The reason we get to the point of singularity is because the time of evolution will continue to decrease.

00:18:00 There will come a time when having sight or not (or any other handicap for that matter) will not really matter. Today we can communicate to one another by sending thoughts over the internet. It’s certainly possible that computers embedded in our brain and bloodstream would allow us to communicate directly.

00:19:10 We only have to capture 1/10,000th of a sunlight that falls on the earth to meet all of our energy needs. So, barring any copyright and patent fights from lobbying industry leaders, we could actually replace fossil fuels with nano-engineered solar panels.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on the modern state of the industrial industry, watch the documentary End:CIV – How Our Indstrial Society Is Leading Towards An Ecological Apocalypse.]

00:19:45 Intelligence is the most powerful force on the planet. All the problems we struggle with today – the environment, energy, health, disease, poverty… – we’ll be able to solve those problems – in fact well before the singularity – just through the increasing power of information technology.

80% of disease in the world comes from polluted water, and there are very inexpensive technologies emerging to clean polluted water.

00:21:00 The three great overlapping revolutions (GNR) are in:

  1. Genetics (bio technology) – We will eventually be able to program biology away from disease and aging.
  2. Nano-technology – Blood-cell sized devices that can go inside your body to keep you healthy from the inside and allow us to merge with non-biological elements.
  3. Robotics (AI) – Arguably the most significant revolution of all, machines will be able to match, and surpass, human intelligence, giving us super-human intelligence and enable us to solve problems impossible to solve today. At this point, our brains would be mostly non-biological machines, so we would theoretically be able to  back up our brains, stop aging and live indefinitely.

00:27:00 A lot of people today are racing with the hopes of singularity before they die, perhaps even being able to escape death through singularity. Perhaps immortality yes, some day… but maybe not in this lifetime.

00:35:10 A thousand years ago, life expectancy was around 25 years. Whereas biology and health medicine used to be hit or miss, today we’re able to reprogram it just like you’re able to reprogram a computer.

“In genetics, there aren’t ‘good’ genes and ‘bad’ genes; there is a balance. We could do a lot of foolish things to try and alter human beings; to improve them. The net result of that might be tragedy.

Ray Kurzweil is an interesting, entertaining visionary. But he’s not a biologist. Were he a biologist, he would be more moderate in his extensions and extrapolations of the uses of our technology.

Engineering a better human being is going to be a daunting task. After nearly 5 million years of field-testing, the modern human being is who he is because of this field-testing – creating an organism atuned to survive in a range of environments with a range of talents and a range of possibilities. To upset this balance by exaggerating some feature will cost us something. We shouldn’t just arrogantly think we have transcended the wisdom of 1,000s of years of human experience.  –Dr. William B. Hurlbut, Neuroscience Professor at Stanford University

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In his lecture Critical Thinking: Keys To Critical Thinking & Thinking About Dubious Claims, James Randi posits that intelligent people can fall victim to critical thinking mistakes because being competent in one field of study in no way guarantees being competent in another field of study.]

00:40:20 Artificial Intelligence (AI), in terms of broad general intelligence, is more closer to Artificial Stupidity in that the brain sciences still have yet to accurately identify and explain what exactly intelligence actually is. Neuro-science is still in its elementary stages. – Hugo de Garis, Professor of computer science and mathematical physics at Xiamen University

00:47:40 What would happen if in 40 years Ray Kurzweil passes away and his predictions haven’t come true? He would be known for being right about some things, but the precursers of the technologies necessary for Ray Kurzweil’s idea of future technology to exist simply are not here today.

00:52:25 It’s an outrageous hypothesis to think humans will be able to maintain control over AI once it has been created and set free. Once AI has become 10,000 times smarter than humans, whose to say it doesn’t figure out a way to reprogram itself, or even humans? Or capable of communicating with aliens the next universe over?

00:53:42 The Artilect War (artificial intellect) coined by Hugo de Garis is the idea that these AI machines may wipe out humanity; there is always that risk. De Garis posits that sometime around the end of the 21st century there will be a war between two human groups: those who believe AI is important for the survival of the human race, and those who believe AI will lead to the extinction of the human race.

00:57:00 “I predict we will eventually arrive at the Terminator scenario: intelligent machines calling the shots while humans become some subservient slave. 

Consider humans as we are now, I don’t think the future is good. If you are a human after the singularity, forget it.

Once you link a human brain to a computer network, not only can you improve communication and sensory input, you can think in many more dimensions and have extra memory, of course.”Kevin Warwick, Professor at the University of Reading, UK who carried out several human implant experiments on himself.

00:59:50 “As we merge with machines, and I think it is inevitable that we will, we will transform into something new… Anyone resisting this progress forward will be resisting evolution, and fundamentally they will die out. It’s neither good nor bad, it’s inevitable.”  – Peter Diamandis, Chairman of The XPrize Foundation

94. How To Ru(i)n A Business: Streaming & File Sharing Better Absorbed Than Fought

19 important takeaways from this documentary:

00:01:00 It’s becoming harder, maybe impossible to encapsulate information into discrete units and sell them.  Says Yochai Benkler of Yale Law School

Hollywood and the individual artists have put a lot of money into making these movies and music (digital products) and so they want to get something back, but the way they are trying to stop the copying now is definitely not working, says Eric of mininova.org

Ever since Napster the music industry has been trying to kill filesharing, says the late Aaron Schwartz, Co-founder of reddit.com

(All the popular filesharing sites of the time) were sued, and in the end the entertainment industry succeeded in driving filesharing technology out of the mainstream. The industry has turned to suing individuals for downloading music without permission. In the 1970s cable news was viewed as a pirate medium, seen as nothing more than a channel that pirated their content and broadcasted it to individuals – piracy pure and simple. Movie studios immediately brought lawsuits against the news studios. The first .mp3 player by Diamond Rio were met with a lawsuit. 

Traditionally copyright lawsuit has just been in civil matter. Criminal infrigement liability – the ability to prosecute you and throw you in jail has been reserved for circumstances of commercial piracy such as making and selling copies of your copyrighted material on the street for a profit. Well, in recent years copyright owners haven’t been satisfied with that and have wanted to reach out against people engaged in non-criminal activity. 

So they have sought to sue people and punish them severely enough so as to essentially intimidate a large number of other people.  –Fred von Lohmann, Attorney, FFF

There is a long history of whatever the encumbant industry happens to be, they’re resisting whatever new technology provides… the video recorder was strongly resisted by Hollywood. The sheet music people resisted recordings. Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs

We recognize that we will NEVER stop piracy. We just have to try to make it as difficult and as tedius as possible and let people know that there are consequences if they’re caught. –Dan Glickman, Chairman of MPAA

The fact that the DVD writer is the new weapon of mass destruction in the world is primarily for the fact that a $50 billion firm can be reproduced at the cost of $0.10-$0.15 

This should not be seen as a singular event in and of itself, but rather a repetition of events that have already happened in the past. –Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum, Bangladore

Mark Getty, chairman of Getty Images once stated that intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century. This is a fantastic quote that can be condensed into a single word: war. This is simultaneously ridiculous and serious.  -Sebastian Lûtgert of Pirate Cinema

00:07:00 Before the arrival of the printing press in the 1800s, information was scarce and relatively easy to control. This economy of scarcity permitted the select few to send information across time and space.

Print brought with it an abundance of information which threatened the control over ideas. This new mass communications technology was seen as the unholy work of the devil.

Printing, moreso than authorship, became associated with rebellion and emancipation, and so printers were hunted down.

00:14:23 What happens when a copying mechanism is invented – be it the printing press or bit torrent – it shapes people habits and gives people completely new ideas how they can work and work together, what they can share, what they can relate to, what their lives could be.

The one technique that brought us (humanity) to where we are is copying.  -Sebastian Lûtgert of Pirate Cinema

00:15:28 Communication – the need to talk to someone – is an act of sharing. The need to listen to someone is an act of sharing.   –Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum, Bangladore

00:15:33 Culture and language is shared through imitating each other. This is how we learn to speak as a baby and how new things come into and spread through society; what keeps us together is that we copy from each other.  –Felix Stalder, Media Theorist

00:17:20 From paper to digital, Joseph Licklider, wanting a better way of improving the distribution of information, initially came up with the idea of creating a network of information sharing computers. The ARPANET, established in 1969, was designed to allow scientists to share computer resources in order to improve innovation. With AARPANET, there was no centralized ‘giver of information,’ and anyone could join the network provided they agreed to abide the rules.

00:19:48 This network was built so that there wasn’t anybody in charge and that everybody has control over their own communications. -the late Aaron Schwartz, Co-founder of reddit.com

00:22:20 One of the main battle grounds in law and technology now is the extent to which it is possible to exclude people from information, knowledge, and cultural goods. The ability to put this information into a container and then say ‘you have to pay me to access this information.’  –

Yochai Benkler of Yale Law School

00:23:45 The entire monetary payment system was built around the idea of the sellers choice to give his or her product/service to someone else for an agreed price.

00:26:00 The war on piracy is failing because of the very fundamental social reason that people like sharing and transforming things, and technology makes this so easy that there is no way of stopping it.

00:28:55 You can sue people forever, but once your product/service is that far out of the bag (on the internet), trying to contain it is hopeless. 

00:34:56 This ability to take and recreate at ease is turning passive consumers into active creators. This suggests a new economic model for society.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For an interesting look into this new economic model for society of how brands exploit your attempt at accessing these information, knowledge, and cultural goods, watch the documentary Generation Like: How Your Quest For Identity & Connection Is Subtly Manipulated by Douglas Rushkoff.]


90. Human Resources Management: Social-Engineering in the 20th Century


35 Important takeaways from this documentary:

00:00:45 “Give me a baby, and I can make any kind of man.” –John B. Watson, founder of Behaviorism

00:01:03 “Behavior is predictable, and therefore controllable.”

00:01:50 “Fear can be conditioned.”

00:02:36 “The driving force in society is not love, but fear.”

00:07:19 “the maze is adopted as a symbol of hope that people can be controlled in a very scientific manner; that social life could be remade on the basis of scientific principles.” -Rebecca Lemov, author of World as Laboratory

00:08:10 “The science of behavior is based on the principles of operant conditioning, i.e. Behavior modification.”

00:09:07 “Behaviorism is the whole idea of behavior modification where you can use various kinds of techniques to modify people’s behaviors so that they stop doing what you don’t want them to do and that they start doing what you want them to do.” -George Ritzer, author of The McDonaldization of Society

00:10:00 “Behavorism suggests that organisms can be viewed as flesh and blood machines. Like machines, we require fuel. Like machines, we can be put to work for a specific cause. Like machines, we can be repaired, or redesigned for new purposes. And like machines, we can be compelled into performing a certain action at the push of a button.”

00:11:50 “Civilization comes with a light side and a dark side.  Every civilization believes in it’s own propaganda, so it tends to emphasize the light side.” -Morris Berman, author of The Reenchantement of the World

00:12:10Tropism – any directed response by an organism to a constant stimulus”

00:12:29Julius Sachs’ work with plants begat Jaques Loeb’s work with insects begat, who begat Ivan Pavlov’s work with animals, who begat John B. Watson’s work with human beings. Watson was always interested in control.”

00:15:15 “Alongside the rise of Jim Crow segregation…Corporations developed a much more elaborate way to justify the fact that the wealthy corporate elite to explain the reason why. That reason became the basics of the Eugenics movement, you were either born with good genes, or not good genes.” -Sharon Smith – Historian.

00:16:20 (elaborating on the Eugenics movement) “Those that have good genes should be encouraged to reproduce, and those who are ‘unfit’ should be discouraged from reproducing.” -Sharon Smith – Historian

00:16:45 “Eugenics was rooted in the idea that you can A) recognize pre-biological differences of people based on their ethnicity, and that B) you could construct a policy that favors some ethnic groups over others, both in terms of immigration policy and in terms of integration into the U.S. society based on this hierarchy of heredity… It took root in universities. It took root in the highest offices of government. We see that this belief is going to play an important role in shaping immigration policy after the passage of the immigration act of 1924 which essentially creates a national quota system that favors immigrants based on their ethnicity and based on their nationality.” -Justin Chacon,  author of No One is Illegal

00:18:58 “The Eugenics movement was created and funded by the corporate elites that ruled America coming into the 20th century. They funded these ‘research programs’…As the eugenics movement developed it went in a really horrible direction…” -Sharon Smith – Historian

00:22:40 Adam Smith warned that division of labor would create a human catastrophe for human society. Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of Scientific Management, disagreed. Taylor believed that factories could run far more efficiently if tasks were mechanized and broken down even further.  On the surface, increased effeciency allows more products to be manufactured in a shorter amount of time.”

00:23:30 Below the surface, factory work was a highly-skilled labor, which meant that the power lied in with the workers. And workers could go on strike when they felt they were being treated unfairly. For management, this was an unacceptable bargaining chip. For Frederick Taylor, it was simply inefficient.

00:24:30 “Taylorism was certainly about de-skillling.  It was about studying about what skilled workers did to decompose those tasks into their basic elements and then teaching people to do specific aspects of it without learning the entire set of it, or array of activities that were involved, and are involved for a skilled person.  In that sense it’s a mechanism of control because it lets you dectate to people ‘well, you do this part of the entire task and you don’t do anything else and you dictate to 8,10, or 12 people various specfic aspects of the whole task rather than allowing a skilled person to decide how the entire task should be done… This takes power away from the workers and the collectivity of workers makes them less likely to be rebellious and less likely to form various kinds of movements that would operate against, broadly, the capitalist system.” -George Ritzer, author of The McDonaldization of Society

00:27:00 ” So instead of a thinking creative skilled worker, you had a kind of mindless kind of worker who repetively did the same task over and over again. That kind of worker is robot-like.” -George Ritzer, author of The McDonaldization of Society

00:27:41 “In the study ‘Where have all the robots gone’ by Herald Shepard and Neil Harrick? confirmed that people trapped in an unrewarding work life were not only more likely to be dissatisfied, but were also more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, a feeling of helplesness, alienation, and to be plagued by a variety of mental disorders. The least satisified workers were the least likely to vote or meet in any organisations.”

00:29:00 “The corporate entity is pathological because it drives towards profit regardless of the broader implications. It doesn’t matter if your drive toward profit induces pain and suffering, pollutes the environment, or literally destroys the society.  You’re forced by the nature of the social relations inside and among corporations to pursue and accumulate profit.

00:28:21 “If you work in an environment where you’re beaten up all the time, and if you work in an environment that is so fragmented and so robs you of dignity and so robs you of the expression of your own capacities, then they’ll be diminished and you’ll be bored and reduced in your potentials, and you’re not too likely to take initiative in other domains either. This is why fragmenting of work is pursued. It weakens the workers.  Not just on the job, but in their communities too. Which is what you want them to do so that they don’t take more of the income for themselves thus reducing profits for the elites.  So it’s perfectly sensible approach from those at the top who are trying to stay there. What you’d have to do is create a new kind of economy in which these situations and these conditions don’t restrict our options.” -Michael Albert, author of Parecon

00:35:20Researchers found that the very act of allowing workers to talk about their feelings reduced the possibility of aggitation and rebellion. It made workers feel as if they mattered. Even if the social relations remained fundamentally the same.”

00:35:37The Hawthorne Experiments found was that no matter what changes were made, everytime they had made a change after having discussed it with employees, production went up and employee satisfaction went up. So what came out of (the experiments from a hierarchal context) was a industrial public relations school, mostly taken as a way to control employees by trying to manipulate them ideologically.  I would say the wrong lesson was learned: put out a suggestion box so employees can feel they are being asked, but you don’t necessarily pay any attention to it… and in real teamwork organisations employees get to take each other into account.  They begin caring about each other… Employees say ‘if we’re treated better, we’ll work better’…Now the broader social impact of doing these kinds of things… is that they become more collaborative and care more about each other.” -Stephen M. Sachs, Political Scientist

00:39:27 “In participatory economics (‘in a good ecomomy’), instead of organising economic life to keep a small sector of people on top and to enrich them beyond any sensibility, and to utilize productive apparatus, even when it entails doing things that are a complete waste of time – building missiles that will never be used, or (incomprehensive garble), we produce and distribute, for purposes of human fulfillment and development”

00:40:50 “Taylorism, combined with Human Management, make up the cornerstones in the 21st century. In China, scientific management has taken on nightmare-ic proportions. So extensive is the division of labor that millions of people are forced to perform roughly the same motion thousands of times a day. In the US, workers in some assembly plants are required to be in continual motion for up to 57 seconds a minute. In Indonesia, sweatshops owned by corporations like Nike chart productivity down to a thousandth of a second. Corporations are increasingly resorting to surveilance monitoring and computerized monitoring.”

00:41:52 “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he has learned in school” -Albert Einstein

00:41:57 “A primary reason why the mass of the American population resisted compulsory schooling was a widespread belief that it’s purpose had little to do with public education, and everything to do with control. Their suspicions were well founded.”

00:48:12 ”With graduation, the community receives a new supply of young people who want a better life on the one hand, and to bear the ability to work for it on the other. Now the tax investment returns to the taxpayer.”

00:48:35 Taylorism meets public education by way of the Gary Plan?, whereby “different subjects would be taught by different departments. Students would be herded from classroom to classroom in order to digest a stream of standardized factual information. Like Pavlov’s dogs, they would do so at the ring of bell.”

00:50:02 “You will not find the doctor’s son, however ignorant he is, in a class with the marginalized kids.” – John Taylor Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down

00:53:41 “(Students) tend to pick the easiest possible tasks. That’s not because their being lazy, its because their being rational.  If we tell kids we want to see a better report card, that we want to see higher grades, naturally they’ll pick the shortest book or the easiest project because that maximizes the chance of achieving that goal.” -Alfie Kohn, Education theorist

00:58:30 “Corporations claim they want kinds that can thin outside of the box, but only so far as they’re caught within a larger box that works to the advantage of the free market; which means that the market economy, based on competition, based on economic rather than human considerations, ends up controlling the system.” -Alfie Kohn, Education theorist

00:59:22 The frustration-aggression hypothesis was an attempt by behaviorists at Yale to combine their own science of behavior with that of the Freudians – When people perceive that they are prevented from receiving just rewards, their frustration is likely to turn to aggression.

01:00:25 Human beings are not rats. Armed with the necessary information, humans can come to a logical conclusion about whose to blame for our frustrations in life. Rightly or wrongly, we often point the finger back at ourselves.