The Useful Duck!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

I feel tired and discuss odd subjects with my daughter on the way to school

I'm eating my lunch at 3 p.m. Perhaps it is the time change.
Feeling a bit tired today for some reason. I did load a semi-truck of hay but didn't actually touch any bales. I could say I loaded fifteen bales into a horse trailer but actually I just pushed them off the stack.
My wife has gone to help her sister who is a bit under the weather.
Took daughter to school.
Started on a theology lecture. She looked a bit blank. I said, "you've been at a Mennonite school for three of your seven years has anyone at school ever explained who the anabaptists were?
Or Menno Simons 
What about Conrad Grebel?
Billy Sunday?
John Wesley?
The Great Awakening?
Do they ever teach you about church history or important Christian leaders?
"Well not really. We don't talk about that stuff all that much...."
I realize that she is a kid and related to me and so communicating with her about specific issues in the morning is not always productive but....
The point of sending her to a Church School, specifically Western Mennonite was so that she would have some else but me talk about important issues that have shaped her family attitudes and understanding of the world. Whatever, I guess people just don't talk about that sort of stuff any more.
But then I kind of went off the rails...cause the conversation kind of dead ended and we were waiting for the school bus so I got to pick the topic.
So Lulu, Have you ever thought about the difference between the Orwellian concept of Societal control  in "1984" vs Aldouss Huxley's vision in Brave New World. They are both fascinating discussions of means of controlling populations and I think you can see them in action in the world today.
Both restrict information as a means of societal control but they do it in different ways. Orwell described a tightly control society where information was completely managed by the government but Huxley took an very interesting different approach. Huxley saw control through information overload, lots and lots of useless information and distractions which distracted and hid the real information that is needed for people to make essential decisions about personal freedom.
"Dad, did you say information overload," she said.
"Oh yes I did, and..." exclaimed I, absolutely thrilled that she was joining in the conversation!
"Oh, yeah, I know exactly what he meant then," said my daughter
A moment of silence then followed...
Then I think there might have been something said about Dr. Who followed by a cough that sounded a lot like the word "Dork."
The helper is here today. My uncle called him Sunday to mind the store while he took the Aunt to the Dr. I left the helper with a list of jobs. He pretty much stayed at the store. I think there were quite a few customers.... Someone did have to make coffee...
Now I need to put him to work.


  1. My cousin sent his boys to a Seventh Day Adventist school their first three or four years because they DID teach the Bible. Any longer, though, and he was afraid they'd be brain-washed into their cult.

  2. Dr. Who does seem to have all the answers! He is very successful in whatever he does.
    Lulu probably didn't catch the veiled reference between societal control and her school. (Lulu? does she know that's her alias? :-))

  3. It is an interesting path for discussion. If people adopt voluntary rules which are understood and shared by a majority of other people within the culture then it makes for a very stable and self contained situation. But, money, power, influence can be gained from change and so there is always an incentive for subversion or domination.
    We see that in her school where the new administrator imagined crisis in order to show his "effectiveness."

  4. There is a name for that.
    The Petty Bureaucrat
    "It may be tempting to think of over-bureaucratisation as a benign, though annoying, malaise that will pass quickly. But one of its strongest early opponents, the President Ronald Reagan, argued it was as much a threat to liberty as communism"


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