Jerry Pournelle, the well known sci-fi writer, has an interesting and rather politically incorrect post at The View From Chaos Manor entitled, “The threat to America.” He identifies Bill Gates as a public enemy, contributing to our primary threat, for reasons unrelated to Microsoft:
I won’t go into the main body of what I talked about, but my conclusions were simple: I believe that the worst threat to the United States is our failure adequately to educate the smartest 25% of our students; that there are no hopeful counter trends; and the result will be disaster. Add to that our failure to train or teach skills to the lower half of the population, and the disaster is made worse. These trends have related causes.
The underlying cause is our attempt to provide every public school child with a university prep education. Bill Gates becomes involved because his foundations promote the idea that “every American child deserves a world class university prep education”; and the attempt to do that insures that very few American children will receive a world class university prep education, and most of the smarter children will receive an education that is indifferent at best. The failure of our schools to educate the smart kids will put the United States into a terrible competitive position that will only get worse. We will continue to live off our capital, both intellectual and financial.
The problem here is that I don’t have any startling information: everyone knows the facts here. One fact is that this is not Lake Wobegone. Half of the American children are below average. That means that the only way to make sure that no child is left behind is to see that no child gets ahead.
It is impossible to argue with his logic. I am not sure if he realizes that dumbing our kids down is by design; but if we somehow survive all the more immediate existential threats nipping at our heels, he is absolutely right about the future prognosis for such an undereducated and/or unskilled population. It has come to pass that modern academia themselves are now too dimwitted to even be embarrassed by their inadequacies and failures. ◄Dave►