Friday, November 13, 2009


Brain....can't...take much...more...information.

I love this feeling, after a few hours spent following information thread after information thread, learning more and more...cramming more into my under-utilized brain. For example, in wanting to know why styrofoam recycling seems to be pretty much non-existent, I learned about RecycleTech, a company that designs and builds EPS recycling equipment AND which has built a market for the main product (the other by-product being air) of the recycling process. I suggest everyone lobby their local government to look into this company and removing EPS/styrofoam from our landfills. Their website led me to, another site that promises to jam more information into my poor brain...albeit important and required information. With all the building that I am considering, this might well be a very handy site. A worthy learning opportunity indeed!

I remember sitting in classrooms looking forward to the day when I didn't have to learn more boring crap. Windows in these classrooms are kind of like double edged swords. The natural light they allow is so important, but the view to outside can be soooo torturous. Some days I almost wanted to cry from feeling so...imprisoned.

I know now that this environment did nothing to show me the real joys of learning. I realize that there is a necessity to learn some form of structure and discipline, but I can assure anyone reading this that school did nothing to teach me discipline. I learned discipline first from fear and then from maturity...well, I kind of learned it anyway. I must admit it is a lesson I am still but barely passing (even these posts serve as distraction sometimes), but my point is in the source of what improvements there have been.

I look at a family like that of Sugar Mountain Farm, and I see how young learning CAN I think it needs to be, for some. This doesn't mean that I lament my youth, at all. Quite the opposite, as I have said before I believe I grew up "better" than most of my age peers. But I maintain that such an environment as provided on the Sugar Mountain Farm, will result in happier, more balanced and more productive human beings, than 12 years of what I see as little more than learning cells within youth camps. And because of this, it always amazes me that there are not more, a lot more, ex-teachers who have lost their minds. My jab here is not intended at teachers, at all. The vast majority of them were taught how to teach in exactly the same kind of environment so, best of intentions or not, most of them are fighting a lost cause. I should also add that I feel it is very possible to create this sort of environment in an urban setting as well, even on the same grounds as education currently occurs.

My other issue with modern western schooling is the opportunity for potentially questionable social programming. Combine this with the overt AND under-toned push towards conformity and I think you have a recipe for serious trouble. It's no wonder we have a society so full of adults who despise learning, while being so intent on avoiding responsibility and seeking more and more mind-numbing entertainment...and looking more and more for someone to "take care" of everything else.

Along this line, there is another point that we should be thinking about. More and more of our information, our KNOWLEDGE, is being stored electronically. I love the internet and its opportunities, but it would seem highly prudent to be storing our knowledge physically as well, including all known languages. 10 or 20 modern Library of Alexandria's ought to keep a lot of people employed for a long time, hmm?

Learning has to be made important again, and that doesn't have to mean forced in camps.

Feed your heads, my brothers and sisters, feed your heads.


Linda said...

Thanks so much for sharing the Green building site Jerry! Just we needed.
I agree with you about learning. I actually decided when in high school to attend as few classes as possible.If in the first week, the class looked interesting, I went every day. If it looked like the same old, same old, I went only for important tests. I spent my time in the library, staying out of trouble and reading. The librarian helped me a great deal and kept me hidden. She understood. Essentially, I home schooled myself using the schools resources. Somebody finally caught up with me (my adviser which took him 2 years to do) and he insisted (based on state test scores) that I take an optional exit test and head off to college where he said I belonged. I did and passed. I was 16 and in college. That worked much better for me.
Sorry to go on and on. Its an important issue. I'm glad you brought it up.

Jerry said...

No need to apologize. I'm glad to hear the story!

I actually an easier time focusing in high school, personally, but the discipline was still an issue even into and beyond college.

MoonRaven said...

Thank you for this post. I've often wondered why we can't recycle styrofoam (it was a piece of major frustration to me a few years ago). And your link to the 'GreenBuildingAdvisor' looks really useful.

I also agree that all this great knowledge accumulating on the internet needs to be stored physically somewhere--and, really, several different places. Your '10 or 20 modern Library of Alexandrias' sounds like a great idea--especially since I suspect that the internet is just not sustainable.

Jerry said...

Thanks MoonRaven. It is a little frustrating, however, that so many of my ideas are rather large in scale...

Conny said...

"Broth-uh" I hear what you're saying. I "feed my head" daily, mostly through podcasts from iTunes and reading blogs that interest me (like this one). On iTunes-U [university] there are tons of class lectures available for FREE - you pick the subject: some credible Universities post lectures (even Stanford).

There's a craving for knowledge that's better suited to lectures at my own convenience, rather than forcedly sitting at a desk (at night, because I do have a full-time day job).

Thought I'd share maybe one more avenue for learning.

Cheers ~ Conny

Jerry said...

Thanks Conny, that is appreciated.