Education when school closes

So. School – and just about everything else – is shut down. Everything but vaguely defined “essential services” are told to have their employees stay home and chill, unless they can work from home remotely. Teachers are getting an unexpected pause, or break, as are the kids, while the ossified bureaucracies across the globe try to figure out how to teach when nobody is allowed to come to the school… or at least how to go through the motions well enough that they can keep drawing a paycheck. Most of the teachers really do want a solution, a way to effectively teach their far-flung classes. But they are often hamstrung by broken and inappropriate paradigms, insufficient tech, poor curricula, and stifling regulations.

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What if Zinn was right?

I just put together a short video speculating on what the logical consequences of Howard Zinn’s depiction of the Native Americans and colonists was right are.

I can’t possibly be the first to think of this, but it makes sense to me. Certainly it wasn’t mentioned by my kid’s AP US History teacher after they were required to read the first chapter. Obviously, critical thinking is missing from our schools. We need to change that.

Zinn and the Rhetorical Question

One of the problems with Howard Zinn’s People’s History is his insidious use of rhetorical questions. He is a very good writer, and makes excellent use of the his rhetorical skills to hide his poor scholarship in order to push his hard-left views. Most students reading this book (or excerpts from it) are going to be pretty average, meaning relatively ignorant of the topic at hand, unsophisticated in the identifying and use of manipulative rhetoric, not particularly critical thinkers, and are trusting that their teachers would not deliberately mislead them. They want to know what’s on the test, and assume that anything they are presented with is a valid and factual, if “alternative” account. It isn’t. It’s an anti-America polemic.

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Podcast test

Checking out the viability of sound files for podcast thoughts while I learn video editing for posting things to youtube. How’s this one work?

Learning Threads

The learning curve for picking up totally new things is brutal. I’m an experienced speaker, but learning to figure out what video and audio tools to use to do basic capture and editing is steep. even with all the resources available, or perhaps because of, the first steps are hard. I’m thinking more about ed program and making progress, but learning to present it smoothly is another thing. Learning these tools and their limits, realizing I really need a better new machine to do even basic video editing (VERY CPU and graphics card intensive), finding ways to make recordings that are reasonably sized, etc., all while continuing to work, and edit, write, etc., takes more time than I thought.

The Problem

School ≠ Education ≠ Learning.

The problems with our current school system are many, too many to list in detail. Expensive, poorly matched to the needs of today’s work force, overtly political and hostile to the more traditional half of the population, inefficient, ineffective, horrible for boys, philosophically incoherent, and generally an illustrated example on how Rome fell. They are even demanding to open the gates to the barbarian hoards. The system has been hijacked by people who are either insane, evil, morons, or those who do not understand but still hate America. It’s no longer serving the American people as individuals or families, workers or small corporations, voters, or the world at large by being strong and prosperous. It serves the self-styled elites, transnational mega-corporations, the gliteratti of the media and Hollywood, the bankers, the corrupt, and various puppet-masters around the world. That must change.


Welcome to the Howling Puffin, an internet mental watering hole that aims to to find solutions. It was named for the fictional pub/tavern that was the birth-place of the order of St Possenti.
The current goal is to find the people who have the rest of the pieces of the solution to how to reform our entire modern education system. Not just replace the K-12 government-school establishment with a new one that has the same structural problems and bloat, but a different paradigm of learning, connecting with community, jobs, knowledge, and health, and making it better for the 75% of the population that it currently serves badly. It won’t happen over night, it won’t take the track most people expect, but education is the ultimate platform. And, as Vox keeps saying – build your own!