26 April 2007

Einstein Once Again Ahead of His Time

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. – Albert Einstein

I’m not sure if Einstein was wearing his scientist hat or his socially/politically active citizen hat when he coined this quote, but, wow, is it ever poignant today. What we have here is the idea that when we make a significant mistake, we create a hefty problem, or we find ourselves engulfed in a grave situation (usually of our own making) we simply and absolutely must think our way out of that situation with a different mindset than that which got us into it in the first place. The actions that stemmed from our original level of thought created this situation; the actions that will untangle us must necessarily arise out of a higher level of thinking. If they do not, won’t we just continue to dig a deeper and deeper hole? At the very best we’ll stagnate.

Now, in all honesty, this seems to be a fairly simple principle and one which can easily be followed. After all, we should be learning from our mistakes. Whatever got thinking got us into this problem created obvious actions and, probably, obvious reactions. We pinpoint those, we ruminate on those, we grow from those, and we think/act our way out of the mess. Or…at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

So tell me…what the hell happened? When did we decide it was good idea to just keep plugging away with the same thinking, the same actions repeated time after time? No wonder we’ve created a “quagmire.” What else could have possibly happened? We haven’t grown, we…fuck that, not WE, the Bush administration…hasn’t learned a darn thing. They just keep plugging along with the same broken logic, the same flawed worldview. When are they going to start thinking on a different level and get us out of this mess?

24 April 2007

How to Respond…

Came across this article yesterday on CNN.com, and I just don’t know what to think. It seems that Turner County High School in Ashburn, GA, had never had a school sponsored prom before this year. In the past parents put up the money for students to hold dances off of school grounds. This is all well and good (I mean, sad that they didn’t have a prom, but not too bad) except for one minor detail; the dances have been segregated. That’s right, the white students had their dance, the black students had theirs, and no one went to the other. Separate but equal…give me a break. Even this year with the “integrated” school sponsored prom the “white prom” still went on.

Nichole Royal, 18, said black students could have gone to the prom, but didn't. "I guess they feel like they're not welcome," she said.

It’s not a race issue, it’s just tradition, another student espoused. No, that’s not a race issue…they just “feel like they’re not welcome.” Hmmmm…I wonder why? What is the one defining feature that separates the “welcome” from the “unwelcome” at this dance? Skin color! Sure, economic status may play a role, but let’s be honest (and slightly stereotypical)…in this town, that’s likely a function of race. How about attitude? Do the black students not feel welcome because of the way the perceive themselves to be treated? I would be willing to bet that this plays a roll…but what lies beneath it? Race.

In any case, the new school prom was semi-successful at starting to close this rift in the school. But I’m still not sure how I feel about this article. I’m horrified and appalled that this “separate but equal” idea has endured in such an institutionalized fashion for so long. At the same time, I want to say kudos to those students who FINALLY pushed for a change. Is it a bright light for the future, or just another sad truth of our present day?