Thursday, May 5, 2022


I had cause to think of one of the smarter people I know and while it was not required and never will be I called to mind a phrase from one of Larry Niven's remarkable books about Kzin. The Ringworld engineers built things to last. Here is the thought.
I think about this as I watch people distress violently over little things.

We used to teach people 'civics' in school. I got my fill of them with the nuns, with the assistant football coach teaching Alabama State History and with countless other teachers who taught young people that this was a republic and taught us the nuts and bolts about how it was supposed to work. They never really got into the graft and corruption but they did lay out the fundamental principles much as one would talk about the laws of thermodynamics.

I really don't think anybody does that anymore. That is probably not a good thing. In fact, I'd venture to say it is a very bad thing. I really don't think people want to be in a society that has decided that the best way to lead is to outthug the rest.

I didn't expect to live in a kzin society.


  1. Polite disagreement and discussion has gone the way of the gooney bird. Part of that is that there is no longer time to teach civics or American history in today's school. There is too much diversity training and gender surveys going on to have time for anything else. I think kid's actually feel left out if they do not have something to rage about.

  2. in high school, we had montana history taught in the first person perspective by a teacher that grew up in lewistown montana. she was born in the 1870s. very knowledgeable lady, sharp and elderly. still teaching the one class a week. Cascade county was glad she bothered. she told all the required things about civics and the nuts and bolts of our Great Republic and how it's supposed to run. and then, she told us younguns about the criminal history of montana.Sheriff Plumber and the band of coach/train thieves he ran with, the robber barons and their mining companies, the railroads and their activities that made 'the octopus' seem like a kindertale.
    I actually developed a liking for study of history. stood me well down the road.