Education

Status Anxiety

"The past two hundred years in the West have seen staggering increases in wealth and economic opportunity, and yes, there have been no comparable increases in our level of happiness. Despite being so much richer than a few generations ago, we’re often more anxious about our importance and achievements than our grandparents were. I call this modern state of restlessness and dissatisfaction, ‘status anxiety’." We care about our status for a simple reason: because most people tend to be nice to us according to the amount of status we have (it is no coincidence that the first question we tend to be asked by new acquaintances is ‘ What do you do?’). With the help of philosophers, artists ...

Weather Underground, The

"I think that part of the Weathermen phenomena that was right was our understanding of what the position of the United States is in the world. It was this knowledge that we just couldn't handle, it was too big, we didn't know what to do. In a way, I still don't know what to do with this knowledge. I don't know what needs to be done now and it's still eating at me just as it did 30 years ago." -Mark Rudd Fueled by outrage over racism and the Vietnam War, the Weather Underground waged a low-level war against the government throughout much of the 1970s—bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary ...

Secret of Oz, The

"In the book version of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's slippers are made of silver as opposed to in the film version, where Dorothy's slippers are made of rubber. You take away the silver slippers on the gold or yellow brick road and all the other symbolism tends to be lost." -Dr. Quentin Taylor It is well known in economics academia that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum in 1900 is loaded with powerful symbols of monetary reform which were the core of the Populist movement and the 1896 and 1900 president bid of Democrat William Jennings Bryan. The yellow brick road (gold standard), the emerald city ...

Revolution OS

"The crucial point about GNU is that it's free software and free software refers not to price, but to freedom. So think of free speech, not free beer. The freedoms that I'm talking about are the freedoms to make changes if you want to..." -Richard Stallman REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement. On June 1, 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." Microsoft fears GNU/Linux, and rightly so. GNU/Linux and the Open Source & Free Software movements arguably represent the greatest threat to Microsoft's way of life. Shot ...

How Does Your Memory Work?

"Remembering feels very simple, we just do it. It's like breathing. Just like you don't know how you breathe, you don't know how you remember." You might think that your memory is there to help you remember facts, such as birthdays or shopping lists. If so, you would be very wrong. The ability to travel back in time in your mind is, perhaps, your most remarkable ability, and develops over your lifespan. Horizon takes viewers on an extraordinary journey into the human memory. From the woman who is having her most traumatic memories wiped by a pill, to the man with no memory, this film reveals how these remarkable human stories are transforming our understanding of this unique human ability. The findings reveal ...

N is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdös

"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me." —Sir Isaac Newton A man with no home and no job, Paul Erdös was the most prolific mathematician who ever lived. Born in Hungary in 1913, Erdös wrote and co-authored over 1,500 papers and pioneered several fields in theoretical mathematics. At the age of 83 he still spent most of his time on the road, going from math meeting to math meeting, continually working on problems. He ...

Stupid in America

"American schools don't teach as well as schools in other countries because they are government monopolies, and monopolies don't have much incentive to compete. In Belgium, by contrast, the money is attached to the kids -- it's a kind of voucher system. Government funds education -- at many different kinds of schools -- but if a school can't attract students, it goes out of business." "Stupid in America" is a nasty title for a program about public education, but some nasty things are going on in America's public schools and it's about time we face up to it. Kids at New York's Abraham Lincoln High School told me their teachers are so dull students fall asleep in class. One student said, "You ...

Sex, Drugs, and Democracy

"If true freedom were readily available and could be found without great effort, how is it possible that it should be neglected by almost everyone? But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare." –B. de Spinoza SEX, DRUGS & DEMOCRACY is Jonathan Blank's award-winning, indie cult film, which grossed over $1 million in its art-house run, and is now available on video and DVD. The Dutch idea of a free society includes a legalized sex industry, the open sale of marijuana and hashish, total equality for gays, distribution of clean syringes and methadone to addicts, and government financed abortion, euthanasia and sex education for schoolchildren. Has this unconventional approach changed Holland from a land of tulips, windmills and wooden ...

Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment

"It's important not to think of this as prisoner and guard in a real prison. The important issue is the metaphor prisoner and guard. What does it mean to be a prisoner? What does it mean to be a guard? And the guard is somebody who limits the freedom of someone else, uses the power in their role to control and dominate someone else, and that's what this study is about." In the summer of 1971, Philip Zimbardo, Craig Haney, and Curtis Banks carried out a psychological experiment to test a simple question. What happens when you put good people in an evil place-does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? To explore this question, college student volunteers were pretested ...

One Nation Under Siege

"The purpose of education is to change the thoughts, actions, and feelings of students. Hitler wanted to control the education system in Germany, Stalin did in Russia, and Mao Zedong in China. You have to get a hold of the minds of the young, where you break the person's values, you break their understanding of their individuality. You bring them to consensus with the group. They become a member of the collective. It's soviet education." Prepare to be instantly propelled into a world dominated by spying, tracking, and control as you go behind enemy lines drawn in our own backyards. One Nation Under Siege presents disturbing facts never before disclosed to a majority of the sleeping American public. Through the ...