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LostCosmonaut

The Actual Civil War Discussion Thread

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I didn't read all of it, but I just had the thought that educated folks from that period seemed to have a much greater command of English than is commonly found today. Maybe it's a sampling issue, I dunno, but with the exception of people who are obviously wanking off with a pen, 19th Century writers seem to know exactly how to say what they want.

This often leads me to adopting somewhat archaic language when I try to achieve high levels of clarity in my writing, so it's the weird balancing act for me where I try not to go so far in that direction that I sound pretentious, but I still very much want to be understood.

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I didn't read all of it, but I just had the thought that educated folks from that period seemed to have a much greater command of English than is commonly found today. Maybe it's a sampling issue, I dunno, but with the exception of people who are obviously wanking off with a pen, 19th Century writers seem to know exactly how to say what they want.

This often leads me to adopting somewhat archaic language when I try to achieve high levels of clarity in my writing, so it's the weird balancing act for me where I try not to go so far in that direction that I sound pretentious, but I still very much want to be understood.

On this note, I was once told something which really struck me as true, and has sort of stayed with me ever since: modern schools are the factory production line reworked to churn out citizens as product.

 

Before, the function of schools was two-fold: to train peasants the bare minimum needed to sing mass and count sheep (ie: school as rural handcraft), or to train the children of aristocrats for rule (ie: school as bespoke luxury good). Come the industrial revolution there was a need for the masses to have more education, but the old upper-tier system couldn't handle the numbers. So the proles got a mass-market version of what the aristocrats received. This can be seen both in the way things are traditionally taught at school (large batch sizes, simplified instruction, quantitative quality control, standardised inputs) and the way the schools themselves are run (sorting into homogenous groups, uniforms, regulated hours and activities).

 

Basically the whole story of education in the last 50 years is a realisation that the product which the modern school produced (mass-educated factory workers) was/is becoming increasingly obsolete, coupled with increasingly frantic attempts to modify the system without changing its fundamental nature. These increasing gyrations of curricula, educational philosophies, increased tertiary education and so on are simply the ongoing crises of a system which is trying to produce a new product without changing the tooling. Indeed, even the new product itself is in doubt.

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