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Author Topic: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming  (Read 2437 times)

cropperb

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2006, 11:10 PM NHFT »

How can you say that "rhyming" is the only legitimate poetry?
Haiku?
Shakespeare and iambic pentameter?
approximate rhyme (a la Emily Dickinson, wherein the "rhyme" isn't real, only sounds such to the ear)?
Alliteration?
???
The ancient Hebrews did great poetry based on the rhythm and meter of the line, sort of the same thing Shakespeare accomplished.
Many feel that exact rhyme feels forced, and artificially constrains the verse. 

Haiku is not in the English language, and to the extent that it is poetry, in any langauge, it will have the qualities of music.

Shakespeare isn't poetry. If it rhymes it is, if not, its prose. Shakespeare is prose. However, I am very quick to note that Shakespeare "forced" rhythm and meter on much of his writing. That is part of the reason that Shakesperian prose is so powerful - he went over much of it painstakingly, line by line, word by word. That is fine, it just isn't poetry. :D

"Many feel that exact rhyme feels forced, and artificially constrains the verse."

This is a very good DEFINITION OF POETRY: Artificially forcing rhyme and meter onto prose.   8)

As for approximate rhymes and Emily Dickinson, I mentioned both in the above essay. ::)

You say "...when a rhyme isn't real, it only sounds like it to the ear." The entire point of my essay is that a true rhym agrees with the ear - it is sensory perception. So in my definition, a rhyme that agrees with the ear is real. Fake rhymes like food-good or power-whore are the ones that fall false on the ear.

Since I answered most of your concerns in the essay, maybe you should read it again. ;)
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cropperb

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2006, 11:19 PM NHFT »

Quantum Mechanics says no such thing.

The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics does.

But their are numerous other competing interpretations. currently we don't know what the correct meanings behind quantum phenomina are.

Tracy

Correct: we don't know the meaning behind quantum phenomena.

The modern theories have said it is impossible to know them. They call it probability. They say quantum mechanics can give predictions about subatomic behavior, but no more than that.

Every month Scientific America publishes a new "theory" of what the universe might be: a n-dimensional dohnut, a soccer ball, a hologram, a hologram of a soccer ball, a trembling quantum string...

Its all based on assumptions that God plays dice with the universe.
(Einstein, if you remember, said, "God does NOT play dice with the universe.")

cropper
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tracysaboe

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2006, 11:29 PM NHFT »

Quote
Its all based on assumptions that God plays dice with the universe.
(Einstein, if you remember, said, "God does NOT play dice with the universe.")

The fact is. We don't know if he doees or not.

My current belief is that the Big Bang was real (but biological evolution doesn't hold up to scientific scrutany.) and in the "cosmic DNA" (for lack of a better word) that was the universe before the Big Bang, God Put just the right balance of chaos and order in it.  If the Big Bang had been too orderly nothing would have formed. But if it had be overly chaotic, nothing would have formed either.

Stephen HAwking and Weinberg (Both probably misspelled) tried calculating the exact odds of the the forces just randomly being the exact mixes needed and basically it needed to be 1 in infiniti. Of course -- since thier's an infinite number of universes we just happen to be in the one that it all worked out it. (That's one of the anthropic principles in a nutshell BTW)

I think a lot of stuff in this universie is chaotic -- (as in the mathmatical definition of deterministic yet non-predictable.) And I believe God designed it that way -- otherwise it's quite possible none of the galaskies would have formed. But it also had to be orderly enough for the galaxiees to stay in existence once they were formed.

TRacy
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tracysaboe

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2006, 11:30 PM NHFT »

You say "...when a rhyme isn't real, it only sounds like it to the ear." The entire point of my essay is that a true rhym agrees with the ear - it is sensory perception. So in my definition, a rhyme that agrees with the ear is real. Fake rhymes like food-good or power-whore are the ones that fall false on the ear.

Yeah. I never really understood how you could call those "post-modern" poems I read in high school English class poems.

Tracy
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cropperb

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2006, 11:38 PM NHFT »

Aside from Bohm ... there are very few serious physicists who doubt Copenhagan.

This, as I understand it, is Bohm's virtue: his theory is non-Copenhagian (if I may).

The situation physics is in right now is this: we don't have a non-contradictory theory of light (we treat it as a (wave-particle"), and we define space as a thing.

Space is not a thing. It is the absense of things. Space is the area between things, the area where things are not. It cannot expand, contract, tear, twist, or whatever. Only things can do that. Space is the area between things. Science does not currently recognize that fact.

Once physics disposes of these two problems, we'll be a lot closer to alot of questions that currently stifle us. :)

Tracy, you mentioned the "probabilities" of our universe occurring, and say God had a hand in it.

Firstly, if God made the universe, who made God?
Or can God exist defacto, but the universe can't? That would be absurd.

Secondly, probability theory infects the thinking on the Big Bang, resulting in the idea that we live in one possible universe, which is absurd: If the universe developed any other way, it would still be that - the universe. This is the only universe, btw, which is an  important assumption in my statement. The universe is everything, by definition. 8)
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cropperb

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2006, 11:45 PM NHFT »

An Essay On the Nature of Poetry

By Brandon Cropper

I begin by offering the following two specimens of poetry:

How Sorrow Can Cause a New Poem
by Brandon Cropper

Nothing need happen, I?m already sad.
And my soul is full of thought.
The thick tar of anguish is holding it back,
The struggle could turn me a sot.

My soul wants to speak, yet better, be heard!
But anguish muffles my cry.
Expression that?s weak is futile and absurd;
One can?t just live to get by.

Demanding an audience, my soul cries out,
Negating my sluggishness, ending its clout.

I crystalize feelings and work them like steel,
And soon a new poem has come from my mill.

The end


Poetry?s Virtue

What sanctifies poetry?
What is its virtue?
What brings a good line to life?
What makes a good rhyme ring true?

Music is sugar for the ear;
A poem is sweet in this way;
Rhyme is sugar one hears;
Meter is words? joyful play.

A poem with no rhyme
Or time in its verse
Sours the ear,
And approaches perverse.

the end

*****

What if I said e e cummings had no value as a poet? Assuming I were not hung from the nearest lamppost on a meat hook, I would add that John Donne was a tremendously valuable poet. Such an evaluation goes against every basic assumption of the modern art culture. It is assumed today that all art is sacred. Art, by modern definition, is anything that anyone says is art. I say this definition is nonsense.
   How could I so arrogantly elect myself the final judge and pronounce who is and isn?t a poet? I believe it is justified and here are my reasons.

Poetry?s Musical Nature

   Poetry is unique: it is a form of communication, and simultaneously a form of art. It is my contention that the essential characteristic of poetry, which differentiates it from all other written communication, is the quality of music, including rhythm, rhyme and meter. There is no other form of writing which mixes the qualities of music with the qualities of prose. When the properties of music are divorced from writing, then the remainder is no longer poetry by definition.
   The question may arise: ?Why can?t a set of powerful, memorable lines be called a poem, even if they don?t rhyme?? To this I must say I have written ?poems? that didn?t rhyme or have rhythm or meter, but they aren?t a finished product until they have been forged into a poetic form. Sometimes when I am writing down inspirational lines for a possible poem, I get a line or set of lines or phrase that is so powerful and inevitable that I can see no way to change it for the better. The language or cadence may grab my attention, or it may be some more elusive quality, accountable only to my own tastes. But for whatever reason, the lines sometimes don?t want to lend themselves to recasting. When this happens I set those lines aside, sometimes for months or even years before trying again to find a poetic form, a workable rewording. So I regard such ?poems? as the beginning notes from which a truly poetic statement may be formed with some effort.
   Here is an example of a poem which I liked and was unable to alter at first:

A Human Romance

She was with me but not mine -
Her eyes were sleepy with beauty.

I had her; I did not own her.
I was a captive of my captive -
and she felt she was too.

The skin on her body reminds me of milk
While her delicate voice recalls for me silk.

Her beautiful eyes burn a hole in my sole.
Why did I have her? I still do not know.

I woke on a morning when she was with me;
I sat up to ponder her morning physique.

No make-up and puffy eyes;
a red crease on her cheek.

But her beauty transcended
my scrutiny.

I saw only perfection in her visage.

end

   I loved that line ?captive of my captive - and she felt she was too.? And I loved the part where she was ?sleepy with beauty.? These lines expressed my feelings on the subject so perfectly that I left them unaltered for almost three years. Then one day, reading the poem, I decided it was just too good to leave unfinished, so I sat out to get more rhyme. Here is my revised version, with changed portions in italics:

A Human Romance

I had her; I did not own her,
But this did not make me blue.
I was a captive of my captive -
And she felt she was too.

She was with me but not mine -
Sleepy with beauty, she was supine.

Her skin?s complexion reminds me of milk,
While her delicate voice recalls for me silk.

Her beautiful eyes burn a hole in my sole.
Why did I have her? I still do not know.

I woke on a morning when she was with me;
I sat up to ponder her morning physique.

No make-up, puffy eyes, crease on her cheek.
But her beauty transcended my scrutiny.

I saw only perfection in her visage.

the end

   What had seemed inevitable and unchangeable turned out to be good material for an even better version. Here is one more example of a poem which hit home for me, and was hard to change:

Your Softness
(On missing Marta)

You are fading into the past
And I?m scared.
You are going where memories dim
And your face will be clouded by time.

And yet I cannot stop you
Because you do not hear me.
I scream from frustration
But softly, because I know it won?t help.

And besides, softness reminds me of you.

end

   I was stalled for over two years on the above. Each time I read it, the language was so potent in reviving the feelings that went into the poem, I couldn?t believe it could be improved. So it remained unchanged until...

Your Softness
(On missing Marta)

You are fading from my mind.
The process frightens me.
You?re withdrawing into the past,
Through time?s shroud soon unseen.

You are going where memories dim;
Your face will be clouded by time.
And I cannot travel with you -
For you are no longer mine.

How can I stop you from moving away,
Into shrouded clouds of time?
I scream your name - its all I can say -
Frustration is God?s cruelest crime.

I scream softly - soft for three reasons:
Deep sorrow dampens my voice;
I know you don?t want to hear me;
And I know all this was my choice.

And besides, softness reminds me of you.

The end

   What was before a terse nine lines has become, with some effort and pencil grease, a well-structured sixteen line poem with a finishing declaration, left unmatched so as not to detract from the feeling of desperate sorrow in the speaker?s voice (a melodious match for the last line would give a joyful feeling to a solemn thought, clearly not desirable in this context). I am very happy with the revisions.
   Working and reworking the lines to get a workable rhythm and rhyme means that the poet must comb over every syllable and carefully choose every word, especially if he has a particular word he wants to use in a given place. This leads to the astounding conscientiousness of every syllable in a well-written poem. Changing one word, even one syllable, can wreak havoc on a finished product. Inversely, the poem may be rough in a spot because it has a single extra syllable, or lacks one, or a word the poet wants to use doesn?t fit. But once this is overcome, the result feels like a law of nature: one feels the poem couldn?t have been otherwise. This repeated editing to get the words to fit the poetic form is certainly responsible for the purposeful and inevitable feel of a good poem. A good poem had to be this way. But the task can be daunting. How does one get started?

Getting in the Mode of Poetic Writing

   I have found a very useful tool that I often use when writing a poem: I read poetry beforehand. Good poetry, almost anything from before the year 1900, and never ?free verse?. Reading poem after poem, all with rhyming, rhythmic qualities, gets one?s brain into a mode of thinking that automatically tries to form sentences and phrases with a rhythmic beat, or rhyme. Its like forming a short-term habit, giving your mind the instruction: think like this. The joy and delight I get from writing a good poem, then reading it over and over, is irreplaceable, and the qualities of music are indispensable for this end.
   Prose as such is simply the organization and presentation of ideas, concepts. Poetry is prose plus music. If you have ever read a line in a poem and thought it didn?t quite work, and read it again, shifting the emphasis or stress on a certain syllable or word that made it conform to the rest of the line or stanza, you have experienced the musical quality of poetry. Note the delightful qualities of music in the following classic poem:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

         -- Robert Frost

   Take note of the pattern Frost forces upon your handling of the word ?promises?. It is not significant in itself, but it demonstrates the delight your mind takes in the musical qualities with which he has infused the poem. This musical quality is like the tongue's delight with sugar, like sex for the sex organs, like a beautiful woman for the eyes - it is pure sensory pleasure, music to  the ears.

Grammar

   A note of caution to would-be poets: Don?t break grammar to make a line work. Sure, its been done, even by the greatest poets, but it detracts from the quality of the work. Interrupting grammar in order to make a line correctly rhyme is an interruption of the poem, and has the effect of a speed bump or stop in the wrong place. This is not to say that every line needs to be a complete sentence or thought, but the ideas in the lines must match the beat or rhythm, so that one can keep the beat and still get the idea. Pausing at the end of a line for the next line can cause a loss of the thought if the grammar fails to break in the same way as the poem?s rhythm. An example follows, taken from a poem by Emily Dickinson, self-titled ?I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died?:

I willed my keepsakes, signed away
   What portions of me I
Could make assignable, - and then
   There interposed a fly.

   In this example, the poem?s beat demands a small pause after ?I? in the second line, but the grammar demands that ?I? be read with ?Could make assignable? and will not permit a break. This causes the stanza to read awkwardly. It is not irredeemable death for this to occur in a poem (note that Dickinson is widely published) but popularity does not mean quality or profundity (note that Hitler was elected to office and Picasso?s paintings sell for millions of dollars).
   Reading Frost?s ?Stopping by Woods? one is not halted for grammar breaks, and there are no half-rhymes like food-good or ran-town. That is what makes it such a classic and pleasurable read. I have heard ?Stopping by Woods? derided as ?sing-songy? as if the essential musical quality were a detraction, a vice. I believe that the evidence is available for anyone?s ears: good poetry exhibits the qualities of music. The public at large still understand this - just listen to the top 40 some time. This is because the joy of poetry, of rhyming, is a sensory pleasure. One doesn?t need to study some philosopher or attend a lecture on the qualities of good poetry - one can hear it. Note that it is mostly in the universities today that they read e e cummings and James Joyce. This is no coincidence: an appreciation for tempo and melody comes naturally to the human brain. It requires active indoctrination in subjectivism for people to start believing that e e cummings is a real poet even though he has dispensed with poetry.
   To say that this musical quality, this one essential that is unique to poetry, is not necessary to make a good poem, is to declare that your definition of poetry is not the same as mine. Rhythm, rhyme and meter make poetry what it is. A poem without these is not a poem, by definition. And a poem with them is a most delightful pleasure for the ears and soul.
   
The End
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tracysaboe

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2006, 02:18 AM NHFT »

Aside from Bohm ... there are very few serious physicists who doubt Copenhagan.

This, as I understand it, is Bohm's virtue: his theory is non-Copenhagian (if I may).

The situation physics is in right now is this: we don't have a non-contradictory theory of light (we treat it as a (wave-particle"), and we define space as a thing.

Space is not a thing. It is the absense of things. Space is the area between things, the area where things are not. It cannot expand, contract, tear, twist, or whatever. Only things can do that. Space is the area between things. Science does not currently recognize that fact.

Once physics disposes of these two problems, we'll be a lot closer to alot of questions that currently stifle us. :)

Tracy, you mentioned the "probabilities" of our universe occurring, and say God had a hand in it.

Firstly, if God made the universe, who made God?
Or can God exist defacto, but the universe can't? That would be absurd.

Secondly, probability theory infects the thinking on the Big Bang, resulting in the idea that we live in one possible universe, which is absurd: If the universe developed any other way, it would still be that - the universe. This is the only universe, btw, which is an  important assumption in my statement. The universe is everything, by definition. 8)

Probably the best thing to do is to refer you to my essay
http://ed.augie.edu/~tosaboe/cosmo.html

I wrote this a long time ago, but my beliefs really haven't changed.

God is eternal. With no begining or end. He created the universe with the proper balance of chaos and order.

The law of entropy dictates that everything degenerates towards more and more randomness. If the universe was eternal, then it would be dead by now because it would have already degenerated because it started an infinit amount of time ago.

But read the article. It'll explain a lot more of my thought processes.

Tracy
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Caleb

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2006, 07:23 AM NHFT »

Quote
none of the galaskies

Quote
orderly enough for the galaxiees

Alright, Tracey, which is it?  Galaskies or galaxiees?  ;D

Quote
The situation physics is in right now is this: we don't have a non-contradictory theory of light (we treat it as a (wave-particle"), and we define space as a thing.

Just to play the Devil's advocate here ... But quantum theory doesn't say that light exists as both a wave and a particle.  It says it exists as either a wave or a particle.  This is a gigantic distinction, for according to quantum theory it exists as a wave until the "wave function" is "collapsed", after which it assumes a position as a particle. (And this is not unique to light, but actually is true of all the subatomic particles.)  Now, this isn't necessarily satisfying to me ... but that doesn't make it contradictory, any more than it is contradictory for someone to say that water exists as a liquid, solid, and gas.

Finally, space is not, technically, defined as a "thing".  It is the opposite side of the coin as time.  This isn't quantum theory, this is basic relativity theory.  Do you challenge relativity theory too?  Space is NOT the absence of things, although things can exist in it.  And there is no guarantee that space is infinite.  Einstein posited that the universe had a definite spheroid shape ... infinite in the sense that you can trace a line and never stop, but not infinite in the sense of "without boundaries."

Quote
Firstly, if God made the universe, who made God?
Or can God exist defacto, but the universe can't? That would be absurd.

Only absurd if you change the definition, or fail to understand the argument.

Everything that has a beginning has a cause.
The Universe had a beginning.
Thus, the Universe was caused.

Now, if one were to say that God had a beginning ... well, then the subject of his causation would be legitimate, but since no one posits a God who exists in time, then the issue of his "cause" is self-contradictory.

Yes, you can posit that the universe had no beginning.  Philosophically, that is.  The question would be, does the scientific data align with that statement?

Getting back to the original topic, I think your statements about poetry reflect your opinion.  You note that Shakespeare forced "meter" on his lines, but then discount them as poetry?  Jesse Jackson rhymes.  I would hardly call that "poetry".  The definition of poetry is not "anything" that rhymes.  Arts are difficult to define, as they are largely subjective.

I personally HATE Picasso.  I think that I could do what he does.  I mean, in my opinion, art should be a special skill.  Not everyone has the soul of an artist.  So I tend to view art as something that is beyond my personal abilities. 

Then again ... what if Michelangelo took that approach.  By his definition, almost nothing would qualify as art.  (From what we know of him, that seems to be pretty much his outlook.  :) )

Since art, music, literature, etc. are so subjective, your attempts to artificially constrain them are a little closeminded, imo. 

Btw, there are a lot of people who DO consider natural things to be artwork.  Photography is the art of capturing such images so they may be enjoyed longer than the moment.  (Or ... if the art is not "enjoyable" ... at least appreciated or affect the emotions in the intended manner.)

Caleb
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AlanM

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2006, 12:25 PM NHFT »

I recommend "Why Johnny Can't Read" which is a timeless classic and profoundly correct in its diagnosis of the problem.

OK, I will read it. Will this book also explain why Johnny cannot spell or add or subtract? I am just flabbergasted at how dumb many young people are today...

Back in my day, students who didn't put forth at least a minimal effort to learn the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic (and spelling!) were literally made to sit a corner of the room with a dunce cap on. The humiliation was a good motivator to get them back on track. And what ever happened to "leaving back" kids who couldn't master a grade? It seems to me that nowadays they are just pushed through to the next grade whether they have learned anything or not. And yet the cost per pupil just keeps going up and up and up. I really don't understand what is going on in the schools today. ???

Have you read John Taylor Gatto's "Underground History of American Education"? It will answer most of your questions, IMO.
Available to read on-line: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm
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cropperb

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2006, 01:31 PM NHFT »

...yet the cost per pupil just keeps going up and up and up. I really don't understand what is going on in the schools today. ???

Problem #1: the government own them, so they have the means to throw all the money in the world into the schools. Ever looked at a pie chart of the US Federal budget? We spend more on our schools than the next dozen countries put together, and a lot more per pupil.

It is NOT sufficient to reform or radically reconstitute the schools - they can only be fixed by privitization. Think of Soviet Russia and all its problems. There was no possible plan to alleviate the problems of a controlled economy. It just had to go, out, finished.

There is no way to fix government-run schools. They simply have to go, out finished.

Problem #2: Bad philosophy. The problem of why the schools are so bad and how they got that way is hard to get to the bottom of because it requires a lot of historical perspective and knowedge in the history of philosophy. Not a lot of people study history or philosophy in that manner anymore. (History is now "social studies" where you learn about blacks and women; philosophy is an ivory-tower game for otherwise unemployable idiots. If you doubt that, go to college and take philosophy courses for a few years.)

BTW, John Taylor Gatto is correct in diagnosing the problems with education, but is absolutly clueless as to the cure: he advocates embracing the fundamentals of John Dewey's philosophy as a way to help kids blossom (The line of bullcrap goes like this: Each child is different and unique. They  have different feelings, ideas, beliefs, and ways of learning. Since all kids learn differently, the teacher is there to guide them and practice non-interference so the child can blossom on his own.)

John Dewey is exactly the source of the ideas which are choking and killing education today. It would do no good to privatize education and still not teach the kids anything. Then we would have useless private schools.

(Of course, in a free economy the schools turning out dolts would soon run out of customers and the schools which properly abandoned John Dewey's ideas and actually educated would grow and flourish. The only way to put Dewey's ideas over on an entire nation is to do it at the point of a gun, i.e. by government-run education.)

Lastly, "Why Johnny Can't Read" will certainly tell you why he can't spell and will show you the basic reasons for the over-all failure of education. There is also "Why Johnny Can't Add" which explains the horrid things being taught in place of math today.
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tracysaboe

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Re: "Places of Learning" - a poem in the only ligitimate style: rhyming
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2006, 02:48 PM NHFT »

Caleb:

For the record. I don't challenge either Quantum Mechanics or Relativity. Both are theories that have been verified over and over again. Awhile back when I used to keep up on my journals, their is some discrepency between mainstream quantum theory and sizes smaller then a pico-meter. The theory starts to break down and isn't as usefull. Yet currently a better theory of quantum phenomina doesn't exist.  And frankly, the Pico-Meter is (just to compaire) the distance between a proton and a neutron in an atom. The Strong nuclear force acts over these distances and the pions and virtual pions that move back and forth between these too is actually observable (Not to any ordinary microscope but their are ways of detecting them.) But quantum theory isn't as relevent down below that scale -- which is why many theories trying to synthasize the strong, weak, and electromegnetic forces run into problems.

Anyway,

Tracy
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Objectivist

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I'm back - I erased my old profile and cropperb is now Objectivist
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2006, 02:40 AM NHFT »

I'm back - I erased my old profile and cropperb is now Objectivist (the name Objectivist wasn't even taken on this forum!  ;D ).
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