Socrates: The great teacher modern education has shunned

Hello Uncommoners, 

Here's your random dose of intrigue — a collection of content, ideas, and resources that I've recently found mind tingling.  Consume, skim, or skip at your leisure.  Enjoy. 


No one could claim to know me if not aware of my passionate feelings about how the structure and approach conventional education is inherently and maddeningly flawed.

The current system (not pointing fingers at individual teachers) is doing students a incredible disservice in preparing them for the modern world.

In an effort to be “fair” to students and teachers we have taken the path of least resistance by pushing tests and examinations over the ability to think critically and independently (two terms that need not be so philosophically defined). I don’t think this is what Socrates had in mind when he urged people to lead an “examined life.”

What the solution? Well, I’ll let the following article explain it for you. The author does an excellent job outlining the approach to how education may look like in “Kentopia” (lol). Not surprisingly, the same ideas also accurate define my own beliefs about what effective parenting should look like.

The examined life: Students are working harder than ever to pass tests but schools allow no time for true learning in the Socratic tradition


“The reading language of the past contains something precious that needs to be preserved, indeed celebrated, in the present. For centuries the rich contrasts of the reading-eating spectrum expressed a conviction that different kinds of reading mattered, and this conviction would serve us well in our media-fraught world. ‘Just reading’ is not good enough: we need to revive reading’s diversity. The language of digestion encourages slowed-down reading habits (along Slow Food lines). It reminds us to be more attentive to the subtle ways in which texts have been put together by their creators – to think before just bingeing upon pages.” – Sam Dresser, Aeon

We are, it seems, neither complete slaves to our environment or experience, nor are we tossed about by pure randomness. What makes us human is that our brains can ratchet up choice and creativity from a sea of randomness. – Peter Hoffman, Nautilus

Most people would sooner die than think, and most of them do. – Bertrand Russell


Researchers have finally discovered the key to naturally stripping sugar from all our foods: “By deploying invisible fungi molecules to camp out on a person’s tastebuds while they chew food, the company has found a way to block naturally-occurring bitter flavors that food companies have long depended upon sugar to mask.” – Chase Purdy via Quartz


“Research has found that the brain has about a three-second tick to it, which constitutes our maximum cognizance of what we would call the present, after which it is then consigned to memory and the past.” Stuart Whatley via Business Insider

“You want to have a balance of antioxidants to oxidants… If you have too many antioxidants, you suppress your body’s own ability to turn on its antioxidant defense system,” – Diane McKay, Ph.D via Greatest


Ridiculously awesome Quatrefoil boat. No more rough water

How to Booze Without Undoing All That Hard Work You Put in at the Gym

Hope you enjoyed this eclectic collection of brain food. Every UM newsletter is slightly unique and may include intriguing quotes, interesting reads, recommended resources, cool products, and other fun surprises.

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