Every civilization has had priests whose job it was to maintain the state mythology. Ours is no exception. We simply pretend they aren’t priests and that ours isn’t really a religion. The idea of separation of church and state might be fundamentally flawed: it might be impossible to separate the two. At best we can pretend we’ve done so.

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It doesn't surprise me that this highschool is doing away with merit, much like many colleges are starting to.

I'm about 4/5th of the way through Chaos Monkeys. I'm liking what comes across as a mix of personal honesty and cynicism, as much as witty characterizations that go throughout.

After this,

"Meritocracy is the propaganda we use to bless the charade"

You say soon after,

"Capitalism is an amoral farce in which every player-investor, employee, entrepreneur, consumer-is complicit"

I think that worse things happen when you suppress the natural outlet to power.

"There are worse ways of monetizing sociopathy than startups. If you know better ways, I'm listening" (p. 148).

Denying meritocracy in education is withholding an outlet for children to prove their intelligence. Moreover, it's denying manhood in itself: be smarter, be rich, be fit, be funny, to get that better mate. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the whole redpill/etc community but all this is a backlash to the coddling from school authorities growing up. When you were ousted from the apple job, people treated your book like an incel manifesto for convenience's sake. Tattletelling to the teacher, someone said something bad.

I think that it's not surprising there's an increasing rate of women are graduating college more than men. It comes after decades of an equity movement for women. People tell boys from a young age that everything a man becomes is evil. Frankly, I see defeatism in the self directed cynicism you have towards yourself as a startup founder. I know you're purposely exaggerating, which is why it hits the mark. Feeling the necessity to demean yourself as a man for wanting money is a new cultural fad. Social justice is the charade that the corporate machine enacts moreso than pure meritocracy.

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I don’t understand the “Again Smith.” Where was the previous mention of Smith?

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One of the most brilliant classes I had in college was a history of science. As it is, "science" was originally a slur. Anyone that professed to be a scientist or study science was considered a quack. Now? "Believe in science!" I've thought about that class regularly over the last two years.

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Today's ideology of equity is too fanatical to deal with real-world facts: use exam-based admissions for elite public schools and over 60% of the students are Asian-Americans, often from lower-income families. A result that shows 'white supremacy' is not barring the way to education for minorities.

The real world result contradicts the woke ideology so much their solution is to conceal the facts by shutting down gifted school classes. "Anti-racist mathematics", frighteningly easy to find on google, focus on ways to avoid judging or ranking students by "perceived mathematical ability" and that there is no right or wrong answer.

This new ideology remains blind to the concept that some people are innately more gifted than others, for example Stephen Wolfram, John von Neumann, Freeman Dyson and many others, all of whom completed major research in mathematics in their early teens.

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The book is by Matthew B. Crawford not Matthew B. Shepherd, though Matthew Shepherd, though - if we are on Matthews - Matthew Stewart's The 9.9% Percent is also on point :-)

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When I worked as a teacher, I noted that the much discussed standards (NGSS was what we were talking about at the time) were developed as if everyone was going to do a job that needed that particular knowledge set, rather than be a plumber, cook, or insurance adjuster. Perhaps if our goal with education was competencies, rather than more education (or worse, babysitting), it might be easier to see both if we'd succeeded and how to adjust what we were doing to get to an objective. I can always get more kids into college -- just lower the entrance standards from tenth grade reading comp to fifth...

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