The time for change is today for tomorrow never ever comes; change now or remain woven into yesterday’s cocoon forever. Sol Palha
Continuing from the previous post (Mob Mentality: How to overcome & Win Investing Game) we are quoting yet another section of this extremely insightful book; a work of art and a masterpiece in our opinion. The author quite clearly illustrates the principle of which we have spoken several times, that education as we know it, for the most part, is a waste of time. We once stated that individuals enter these institutions sane and emerge on the other end brainwashed and on the border of insanity. They are taught how to repeat and regurgitate matter, in the same manner, a parrot is taught to repeat several dozen words. It does this task very well, but it does so with no understanding of what it is saying or doing; an action that is mimicked by most market technicians today. They take another’s work, add some nonsense and then try to market it as their own. What is lacking in the field of financial analysis today is new insight and new ideas; the majority are happy to work together re-packaging the same nonsense repeatedly. To make things look even more appealing, they start to validate each other’s rubbish and thus you have a perfect recycling machine that can take even the worst sewage and churn out a product that smells wonderful but is extremely poisonous to the mind. As stated last week, the only way to understand others is to understand yourself and the only way to teach others is first to learn to teach yourself. The problem with our current world is that everyone is trying to show the other something of which they know almost nothing of; all they have done is master the principles of the subject matter through repetition and assume that in doing so they are now masters of this subject. Remember masters are just slaves in the making. The moment one gives himself the title of master, the process of learning stops and dictating takes over. Only a student can continue to advance; a master sits there waiting to be dethroned by a former student.
In truth, however, all I understand of the matters that the gravest and hardest of human sciences is the rearing of children. It is easy enough to beget them; but once you have them, then the cares, troubles and anxieties begin. Their inclinations in babyhood are so obscure, their promise so uncertain and deceptive, it is mighty difficult to have any solid conjecture or judgement about them. Cubs and puppies quickly show their natural bent; but mean as they grow up, fit themselves so readily into received customs, opinions and laws, they soon change or, at least, mask their true nature. Hence, it happens that by not guessing their real road we waste our time and pains in educating them to things they are hardly fit for. As to this difficulty I believe they should be set upon the best and most profitable highways without bothering too much about the hints and signs they give in childhood to which Plato, I think credits undue weight.
Learning, Madame is a fine ornament and marvellous tool, especially to persons of your rank. While I am sure that you who have tasted of its sweets will not omit this necessary ingredient in the education of your child, I will nevertheless presume to tell you a crotchet of mine, which runs contrary to the common usage. It is about all I can offer you on this subject.
A boy of good family then who seeks in letters not a livelihood or outer adornment but something for his personal use to furnish and enrich his inner being, who wants to make of himself an able rather than a learned man; for such a boy I would have his friends select a teacher who had a well turned rather than well-filled head. We need a man with both, but preferably with manners and understanding than with learning. And we want him t do his work in a new way.
Teachers are forever thundering in our ears as though pouring into a funnel, and our business is mere to repeat what they tell us. I would have our tutor reform this altogether. At the very outset, he should put the pupil on his own mettle. Let him taste things for himself and choose and determine between them. Sometimes the teacher should break a new path and sometimes the pupil. It is well to make the boy, like a colt, trot before him so he can judge the pace and by how much to abate his own speed. This is one of the hardest things I know of. Only the most disciplined and finely tempered of souls know how to slacken and stoop to the gait of children. I walk firmer and surer uphill then down.
Our school master should judge what his pupil has gained by the testimony of his life, not his memory. Let the boy examine and sift everything he reads and take nothing on trust or authority. Then Aristotle’s principles will be more principles to him that those of Epicurus or Stoics. The diversity of opinions should be laid before him. If his able he will make his choice; if not he will remain in doubt. And if he adopts the principles of Plato through his own reasoning, they will no longer be Plato’s but his. The man who follows another follows nothing, finds nothing, nay, seeks nothing.
The video below provides an overview of the subject for those of you who prefer to listen and watch as opposed to reading the above text.