I pulled this from a short introduction to Jon Rappoport’s logic course because what I teach at home totally is in sync with his conclusion that logic is a body of knowledge overlooked today. Especially now that the electronic entertainment age has most students regularly distracted. Even more reason why one should consider increasing their own mental foundation and attention span.
Logic & Analysis in Western Culture
Over the last 40 years, the assault on Western culture and civilization has taken people so far away from lucid thinking and logic, they don’t even know this discipline exists at all.
What has replaced it is entertainment.
It seems that hundreds of gimmicks and machines are now necessary, in order to keep the attention of children in school. There is a fear that without these “up-to-date” items, the kids will drop into a coma or walk out of the classroom.
Well, entertainment has an interesting side effect. It enables humans to jump quickly from one moment to another, leaving the last moment in the dust, forgotten. In other words, all-pervasive entertainment contributes mightily to short attention spans.
I’ve encountered this phenomenon as a lecturer. Standing at the podium, I’ve seen light bulbs of discovery go off above people’s heads as I explain the specifics of medical fraud.
And then, an hour later, standing in the lobby, surrounded by audience members, I’ve heard these same newly enlightened people ask questions that reveal they’d heard nothing of what I’d just said inside the hall.
Ah, but they had heard it. It was illuminating, to be sure, but it was also entertainment-as far as they were concerned. Therefore, they could shrug it off and kick it to the floor under their chairs and forget it.
Why do people opt for entertainment rather than education?
Because they have no mental foundation to which they can attach new learning. It isn’t there.
Yes, learning to read and write and do math are basics-but there is another basic that has been expunged from our curriculum: logic. Most people in America don’t even recognize logic is a body of knowledge in the same way that biology, geology, physics, and chemistry are.
Astonishing, when you realize that learning has to be hooked to the star of logic, so it can flourish.
When Plato began writing his Dialogues 2400 years ago, he was bringing to light, for the first time in recorded history, a version of logic. He apparently learned about these matters from his teacher, Socrates, and he passed the knowledge on to his pupil, Aristotle-who, in turn, created a foundation for what we now know as science.
One can trace the development (and repression) of logic all the way up through Western thought, to the present-where, in high schools, it arouses almost zero interest.
It’s now fashionable to discard logic, just as it is fashionable to grant universal “equality” to all opinions, no matter how ridiculous and unintelligible they are.
When the foundation is gone, the house collapses.
So I am about re-building the foundation and the house.
And that is what all good teachers should be doing too.
by Jon Rappoport