Tuesday, February 16, 2010

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you'll never be original"

At 5:50 of the video, Sir Robinson states: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original, and by the time [children] get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened to be wrong, and we run our companies this way. We stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst things you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.”

JS Kim is the Chief Investment Strategist for SmartKnowledgeU™
via ZeroHedge
There is an inextricable link between our academic system and the failure of citizens worldwide to understand the dire negative financial consequences of the coming second phase of the global monetary crisis. To help you understand the huge gap of knowledge that is missing from all business curricula today that is necessary to foresee the coming consequences of the second phase of this crisis, I have posted a brilliant speech below by educator Sir Ken Robinson that illuminates all of the deliberate flaws of our current academic system today imposed upon us by the very financial oligarchs that founded our academic system. These flaws in the system immensely contribute to the ignorance of the masses regarding the severity of the crisis that exists today. The below video is a must watch and there is a reason why it currently has more than one million views.

Sir Robinson goes on to explain that the roots of the vast problems in our educational system are relatively new. The standardization of the hierarchy of academic curricula to value mathematics and languages at the top, then followed by the humanities, and then the arts, something that has only happened within the past century, Mr. Robinson claims, is why we have an academic system today that churns out millions of students that have lost their capacity to create. Mr. Robinson argues that there is not a single country in the world that makes dance classes mandatory though he believes dance is just as important to a child’s development as mathematics. Creative arts stimulate the brain in ways linear sciences cannot. And the stimulation of creative right-brain dominant functions that can happen through the arts, Mr. Robinson argues, is absolutely critical to a rich, fulfilling life.

I would argue further that stimulating creative right-brain dominant functions are also paramount to breakthroughs in analytical left-brain dominant tasks. For example, I’ve often had some of my most important breakthroughs in developing the investment strategies I’ve successfully employed to outperform the S&P 500 by nearly 30% to 40% for 3 years in a row while absorbed in a totally non-related task – sometimes while watching a thought-provoking film, and other times, when training in a close-quarter defense technique under the tutelage of my martial arts master. Seven years ago, when I was still employed by a Wall Street firm, I discovered that many of the firm's prospects desired the old-school 50-60 something-year-old person that had been in the investment business their entire life to manage their money. Only when I left the corporate investment arena and founded my own niche wealth consultancy company, SmartKnowledgeU, LLC, did I realize the enormous limitations and low utility of the investment concepts employed by large commercial investment firms. When confined and surrounded by hundreds of employees that held similar investment beliefs, I could not see the motivation behind investment concepts like diversification and ten-year buy-and-hold strategies. However, once I left an environment in which I was bombarded with daily investment propaganda, I immediately recognized how nearly all strategies at large commercial investment firms are squarely centered around gathering assets FROM clients rather than earning profits FOR clients.

Institutional academics operate in the same manner to serve the same dark lords – the global financial oligarchs. As Sir Robinson explains in the above video, today, students with independent, active, and creative minds that refuse to conform to the traditional confines of academics are often misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and subdued with medication rather than celebrated for their creativity. In the past, before the diagnosis of ADD existed, these students were able to fulfill their creative potential. Today, this would not occur under our current system. If we explore the historical roots of academia even further, and there are voluminous works that do so, we will discover that the standardization of the academic hierarchy was facilitated by the financial oligarchy at the very same time as the industrial revolution with only one purpose in mind – to provide a literate, debt-burdened, and obedient labor force for the new moneyed elites of the industrial age.

In the United States, two of the richest families in America, the Rockefeller and Carnegie families, donated vast sums of money to help establish numerous US universities, while millionaires Cornelius Vanderbilt, Ezra Cornell, James Duke and Leland Stanford all founded universities in their own names. The majority of these families did not do so with philanthropic values in their heart, but with the aim of controlling the goals of modern day academia to serve their purposes. Consequently, the financial oligarchy standardized the hierarchy of academia courses with the intent on providing themselves with an endless supply of indebted, literate, obedient factory workers.

Joel Spring, in his book Education and the Rise of the Corporate State, wrote, “the development of a factory-like system in the 19th century classroom was not accidental,” a reference to the financial elite’s goal to discourage dissent through academia and to mold students into literate but very obedient workers that would provide the backbone for the ongoing Industrial Revolution. In 12 years of primary and secondary school, four years of university, and three years of graduate school, I can recall only two teachers out of more than a hundred I encountered during that time span (when counting teaching assistants, lab instructors, etc.) that encouraged dissent in the classroom. In fact, because most of my teachers “hammered down the nail that stuck out,” I can easily recall those two professor’s names, because to this day, they still stand out from the rest – Professors Renee Fox and Mercedes Lynn de Uriarte.

Given the inflation in academic degrees that is being reported worldwide today where master degrees are now required for jobs that five years ago only required bachelor’s degrees, people are misinterpreting this degree-inflation in the employment arena as an indication of a need to pursue a higher degree. Unfortunately, this is a choice that, I believe in the long run, will hurt people much more than it will help them. A greater amount of the wrong kind of knowledge will not adequately prepare anyone to survive the second phase of this monetary crisis. And traditional forums of education only teach the “wrong kind of knowledge” when it comes to understanding today’s global monetary crisis. This is precisely why in five years, we will have a proliferation of PhDs and MBAs unable to secure employment and simultaneously burdened with the double handicaps of massive student loan debt and an inadequate knowledge of how to survive the global monetary crisis.

Though the below story was reported in mid-2009, I believe that millions of students will unfortunately suffer the same fate as Trina Thompson over the next several years because they are pursuing the wrong type of knowledge in their academic pursuits:

In New York City, a Monroe College grad wants the $70,000 she spent on tuition because she hasn’t found gainful employment since earning her bachelor’s degree in April, according to a suit filed in Bronx Supreme Court on July 24. The 27-year-old alleges the business-oriented Bronx school hasn’t lived up to its end of the bargain, and has not done enough to find her a job. The information-technology student blames Monroe’s Office of Career Advancement for not providing her with the leads and career advice it promised. “They have not tried hard enough to help me,” the frustrated Bronx resident wrote about the school in her lawsuit. “She’s angry,” said Thompson’s mother, Carol. “She’s very angry at her situation. She put all her faith in them, and so did I. They’re not making an effort. “She’s finally finished [with school], and I’m so proud of her. She just wants a job.” The mother and daughter live together, but are struggling to get by. Carol, a substitute teacher, has been the only breadwinner. “This is not the way we want to live our life,” the mom said. “This is not what we planned.” As if being unemployed weren’t enough, Trina’s student loans are coming due, saddling the family with more debt, the mom said.

The type of knowledge one pursues will be intimately linked to one’s ability to not only survive, but also to prosper during the second phase of this global monetary crisis. If educator Sir Ken Robinson is right, and traditional institutions of education are killing creativity and intelligence because they offer incomplete or the wrong kind of knowledge, then it becomes incumbent upon everyone to seek the right type of knowledge to survive the second phase of this economic crisis. Among the right types of knowledge are the following subjects: Austrian business cycle theories, how the fractional reserve banking system operates, the relationship between increasing government taxation (income taxes, global warming carbon taxes, etc.) and the creation of money as debt, and the importance of gold and silver to sound monetary policies. Ultimately, seeking and understanding the right type of knowledge that allows one to understand the root causes of this current monetary crisis will be a million times more beneficial to your financial health in the future than a PhD in economics from Harvard ever could be.
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