Thursday, June 25, 2009


The inimitable Freeman Hunt has had a blog for quite some time, but I never linked to it because she didn't blog much. But since the new baby came around she's stepped it up a bit, so I added her to the roll. She has a couple of posts I wanted to call out, too.

Item the first: He Is Not Coming. This is a rather depressing and scathing indictment on modern society, not entirely undeserved. But I'm not sure I agree with the conclusion. How many people 235 years ago fit the mold that Freeman outlines? A small percentage, to be sure. We have a much smaller percentage today, to be sure, but we also have one-hundred times as many people (in this country). The percentage can afford to be smaller--with the only rub being that there has to be an appreciative audience.

I believe a segment of the audience is getting more receptive with each passing day.

Also, while The Boy and I are looking at learning Latin (on Victor Davis Hanson's advice), I would note that the Founders did not know the language of relativity, of computing, of information science and so on. The game has changed and education needs to reflect that. Today, the primary skill may be knowing how to sip from the firehose.

The past had its festering effete as well, even if today universal education and socialism has allowed them to spread their disease as a philosophy.

Finally, I'm not sure we need a "he". I think we need--and may have--a "we". That's where the "he"s and "she"s will come from. We don't need a revolution: We need a hundred revolutions. The rot came from the top down; the cure will come from the bottom up. Economics may work better supply-side; liberty must needs be demanded.

Item the second: Freem also linked to a blog called "Life is Not a Cereal" with an entry on what to do if your homeschooling kids get "school envy".

Homeschoolers are not immune to "grass is greener"-itis. This is almost entirely resolved by acquainting them with the realities of industrialized schooling? Yes, those kids get to have recess. But, yes, they must take it, whether they want it or not, it is always an exact amount of time, and hell, you never know when you're going to be stripsearched.

As the entry also points out a little bit of consumerism can take the edge off: Let the kids buy "back to school" supplies or lunchboxes, for example.

Finally, it's not unheard of for homeschoolers to let their kids take the senior year of high school. Certainly there's nothing wrong with that, though it's preferable that they have their college degrees first.

Anyway, check out Freem's blog. Oh, especially these pictures from her grandfather from 1952. She claims they're military but they look an awful lot like The Thing From Another World to me....


  1. Thanks, Blake!

    The reason I don't see things like Latin as being replaced with new technological knowledge is that I think it's old technological knowledge that's replaced by that. We don't all have to know how to farm anymore. We don't all have to know how to sew and churn butter and take care of horses all the rest. But I don't think foundational knowledge of Western civilization can ever be replaced.

    Of course, they may be replaced with the foundations of some other civilization, probably to the detriment of the whole world. Only the next 1000 years will tell.

  2. I read that "He Is Not Coming" post a while ago. It is a great post, if a bit dark. But Freeman's blog has always been great, notwithstanding infrequent postings.

  3. It depends on what the merits of learning Latin (and Ancient Greek) are.

    I think the foundational knowledge of Western civilization can be conveyed in English. Is it really that reading Virgil in Latin is so instructive that you can't read it in English and achieve the same (or close enough) effect?

    Learning Latin has the same merits as learning other languages, too. It also has some extraordinary merits, having influenced so many others.

    In addition, of course, it raises the general cultural literacy, since much important literature that's not outright written in Latin is peppered with Latin phrases.

    But absolutely necessary to the continuation of Western civilization? What percentage? Surely there hasn't been a majority of Latin-knowers since the days of Rome.

    Was it Latin--which after all didn't save the Romans--or was it a more general literacy and character of thought?

  4. Agreed, knox,

    But last time I considered linking her she had, like, one post up for the winter. Heh.


Grab an umbrella. Unleash hell. Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. If swelling continues past four hours, consult a physician.