Monday, March 8, 2010

Lessons in life

Aviation brings many good lessons for life, as would any other thing that depends on nature for its outcome. Farming and competitive sport are other good examples that spring to mind.

One particularly potent lesson that nature teaches, a deal breaker one might say, is that the consequences are certain when the rules are violated. One may still petition a judge or a prosecutor for leniency or strike a deal that benefits both the state and the accused, but when nature's laws are broken, there is no appeal or a jury to consider circumstances. There are only sudden and immediate consequences.

Nature is a perfectly balanced system which will only allow one thing at the cost of another, creating benefit only when the desired is greater than the cost. Nothing is for free.

For instance, an increase in speed increases drag exponentially, which means drag will eventually overcome speed regardless how much power one applies to the equation. To be able to move through the atmosphere is a necessity of life. Something as basic as walking moves the air around us out of the way, some air going around our left, some going around our right and some going over our heads. As soon as we have moved on the air rushes to congregate again behind us, bouncing around a bit in the aftermath.

What does this have to do with anything?

When we make rules that have consequences when violated, we tend to ignore the example that nature holds for perfection. Not that we should be as harsh and impersonal as nature is when we deal with humans but instituting rules and then ignoring them is as misleading as the sleight of hand of a magician, which is not magic at all. It does, however, challenge the perception of reality, which is the magician's goal.

Contrary to an airplane that has to deal with nature every time to its fullest extent and in every minutia, humans are able to click into stupid-mode and quickly unlearn decency, decorum, and even basic needs to survive, expecting some other, magical outcome.

Education comes to mind. Not many folks would knowingly invest in a scheme that is blatantly a fraud. Some skill in hiding the deceit is required to fool people into parting with their money. But people are perfectly willing to let others, whom they know nothing about, have never met and probably will never meet, educate their kids, knowing full well that the kids of today will decide the events of tomorrow. How bad and misleading a scheme is that?

Ponzi, or pyramid schemes, are the easiest to pull off, which is why they are illegal together with robbery and embezzlement, but the similarities to the fraud of education is daunting. Like a pyramid scheme, having someone else educate one's kids, has instant payoffs on the short term (the parents are free to pursue other activities, which may instantly bring in more cash or provide more leisure time) while the crash comes later when not enough investors can be recruited to pay the existing investors (as adults, the kids might be totally unprepared to adequately operate in their environment). The damage is far worse with education than with a fraudulent investment scheme because education fraud cannot be rectified in a single generation, if at all. And, yet, we see scores of parents lining up to invest their kids' future in this human Ponzi scheme.

Immigration is another fraudulent scheme. As our dollar devalues due to poor and reckless monetary polices (it doesn't matter who causes it), the integrity of citizenship of this country is also devaluing. Having been born here is not a guarantee that one would be a patriot and loyal to the homeland any longer. There, naturalized citizens have an advantage over those who have been born here, because during the naturalization process, the new citizen swears an oath of loyalty to the flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

In spite of the sacrifices that come with pulling up roots and replanting them in another country in another culture, the disruption that it pours out on one's families, and other things that never go away, the naturalized citizen perseveres, burning with a patriotism for his new homeland that oftentimes surpasses that of citizens that have been born here.

Moreover, the naturalized citizen desires to be here for the fruits that the opportunities to pursue happiness provide. These fruits are not free; they can only be had at the costs that are associated with them, as it is with any other operation, such as aviation, farming or competitive sport.


  1. Nico: Well said. The current generation coming of age is proof of this. The public schools do not teach English, Penmanship, Math, Manners, Common Courtesy, or any people skills necessary to function in a civilized society. Morris Kernick

  2. Nico, education until 9th grade should be open to all, so everyone has the basics down. knowing that the schools will need to be more assertive, since most students will not be able to continue unless parents take over and care about what the school is offering and getting more involved in the daily curriculum of the student. College should be open to all that make the grade, after all the college system is the best in the world. on the other hand High School should be selective and based on previous grades plus an entry exams. education until college level is a joke in this country it is open to all when it should be more selective to the few that are serious about education. this will encourage all parents to get involved in their child advancement. several positive things will be immediately recognized. the class will be much less distracted by students that have no interest in school, cost per student will go way down and let the remaining students go to a private trade school to be able to better function in society. also public education costs can be lowered by eliminating the unions and teachers tenure.



Comments are moderated. Comment to your heart's content. I will not publish all comments but only the best of those that are pithy, relevant, smart and in good taste.

About Me

Seeking the truth until I find it.