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James, I'm so glad you brought this up.

This is my life. I left high school last year, to get home schooled. I felt, and feel, so strongly about this, and believe I can contribute a lot to this concept.

So a little background: I picked up a passion five or more years ago. I found an extreme interest in technology. I started doing web development three or four years ago. Two years ago I found a job working with other high school kids. (I still work with them.) It wasn't a lot of work, but I became encouraged nonetheless. I taught myself everything and continue to learn-- I spent hours a day with this.

Sometime between the time I started doing web design and maybe a year ago, I found a passion in ideas. I began writing ideas-- lots of ideas. I started thinking a lot. I'd have ideas for businesses and projects. I started thinking, and writing, a lot about government and life and people and education.

I couldn't.. I cannot stand the education system. I couldn't stand the system. I can't stand this system. It was overwhelming. To persuade my mom to let me get home schooled, I wrote (found this on my computer):

"I don't want to go to school because it's taken far more from me than it's given me. It's made me angry, upset, and stressed. It's given me a false sense of reality. It's not even about the learning. It's about getting through school, to get to college, to get a job, that will most likely make me miserable. Or, I can live, learn the things that interest me, and do what actually makes me happy."

I was miserable.

Now, I'm home schooled-- my mom has supported me, but she won't let go of the standardized testing and the intensive core classes and the transcript-- I haven't escaped the path that public school set me off on.

Though, home schooling does have its advantages. I have found more time to follow my passions.


What I've learned from my experiences:

Compulsory education is good at what it does-- I am compelled to do my work, but I'm miserable and stressed (though, I'm not sure how effective it actually is-- how much do people retain from this system).

When I start thinking about what I'm learning, all of it seems plenty important: English and Math and Science and History. I take interest in all of these! English is important to communicate effectively. Math to understand the vastness and meagerness of things and to calculate simple things. Science to understand life and our place in existence. History to learn from past mistakes.

But as soon as each becomes a subject, they lose their attractiveness and I lose interest. This, I believe, is because, frankly, school sucks! As animals we learn to avoid bad things. School bad. Things in school become negative, and when we experience these negative things elsewhere, they keep their negative connotations-- It always sticks with us.

Also, actually how important are these subjects to us? Can we measure this? Can we see what actually does matter to society? What is the actual object of it all-- and why don't we start from an objective, and work to fulfill something clear?

We don't need a new system. It would take a lot to convince me a different system could work. Systems break easily. Human determination and passion, on the other hand, is quite stronger. We just need to learn how to take advantage of that.

I would love to discuss ideas for how this could be solved with anyone who'd be interested. Skype anyone? luke.burns

Luke (sorry for the horrifically long post!)

No. To forget is to surrender the ability to learn. We should dispose of the disgusting things, but never forget. What we need to do is remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We need to understand how naive we are to believe that any good can come of having enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire planet. We need to learn from our mistakes; never ever forget them. Most importantly so future generations don't make these mistakes again.


Luke commented on How can we use technology to create open democracy?

The one way I can see America adopting a technologically driven open government system in the future is if the idea gets big in the younger generations-- and sticks around for a while, until all the old guys retire and the new guys move in with newer thinking.

Countries that I believe would be more open to this:

Iceland is having ordinary citizens draw up a new constitution. They're willing to make a big shift when the time calls for it. Much of America is too proud to even consider rewriting the holy constitution. I think for technology to make an impact in government, it should be at the core-- acknowledge at the very least.

Portugal is adopting new technology-- they're building a completely sustainable city!

Countries like these. They'd probably be more willing to adopt a technological government.