Esoteric Benefits of School



School Sucks

  • It’s generally accepted that the purpose of school is not effective teaching (it’s extremely wasteful)
    • You’ve heard how it’s just a state-sponsored daycare, necessary for socialization, etc.
      • Probably the best defense I’ve seem so far is that school is a warm, safe, healthy place where children can spend half a day around adults who (probably) won’t kill them. This alone would make them worth keeping around.

  • School allows many weird things to happen as it is a disconnected independent environment
    • Something I worry about is that bullshit beliefs and trash institutions may in fact be load-bearing and whatever replaces them could be worse. (A Literal Banana)

Esoteric benefits of school

    1. It’s a bare minimum
    • The “surrender control and receive a guaranteed outcome” tradeoff is present in many institutions in our society
    • School provides one of the best minimums (after graduating, you can become an average member of society)
    • As much as I resent the over-optimizing mindset, and strive for the purposeful creation for slack, there’s a certain amount of coercion that’s necessary to lay the foundation for that freedom. Slipping into unproductive catatonia is a real failure mode when you’re relying on self-directed effort, and one that having fixed minimums helps avoid. Even if I did absolutely nothing else, the minimums ensure that I keep moving towards what I want.

    1. You’re not in charge
    • So once again, there’s upside to relinquishing control. You’re put into situations you’d have never chosen yourself, hoping for outcomes you’d never get to see otherwise. What school does is push around a bunch of kids into doing things they might hate, in the off-chance that it’s good for them. And sometimes, it is.

    1. It rewards the unpleasant
    • “But this stuff is useless.” Yes, that’s the point. You’d have never done them yourself, given the choice. Lucky for you, school takes away your choice the moment you walk in. My fellow libertarian souls will resent this, and learn an important lesson in half-assing things. But somewhere in that largely worthless pile of mandatory practice, there are a couple things that will matter in the long run.

    1. Love and other drugs
    • The more optimistic among you will point out that clubs and playgroups exist to fill this gap. But unlike school, attendance in those institutions isn’t mandatory. So they’re much smaller and you aren’t guaranteed a collection of your entire age-cohort in one place the way you are with large educational institutes.

    • If you were to experience drugs, it’d probably be best at school
      • You don’t have obligations, you heal quickly, and you’d get enough support to get out of the habit
    1. Rebellion and lies
    • It’s fine for a child to dislike (or even resent) a teacher. It isn’t ideal, but it’s fallout is fairly limited. Teachers are explicit agents of coercion, and as such, they deal with disrespect and dissidence everyday. But having a parent-child relationship based on regular insubordination and consequent punishment does not end well.

    • Education system deals with fears parents often have (e.g. that their kid is falling behind, etc.)
    • It’s better to learn to lie in school than at home, school gives you a good deception skillset
    1. It’s a nemesis-sourcing platform
    • Not only does school give kids a structure to rebel against, it gives them the opportunity to form rivalries and create sworn enemies. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of bullies and physical violence either. Just being around a bunch of peers is enough to get the competitive juices flowing.

      • And kids need someone to compete against. A rival to overthrow, an adversary to chase down. Someone to envy and someone to crush in battle. You might not like, but this is what peak performance is fueled by.

    • This is good to keep out of the family too

[school provides] structure for those who need it and structure for those who need to defy it – marsienne