you’ve got to worry when you hear things like this

It’s the same every year…

You pick up a newspaper, read Yahoo! News or hear someone telling a story and you just have to scratch your head.

Despite access to the incredible knowledge we all possess today, ignorance and stupidity aren’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

A remarkable thing happened in the 90s when the Internet was born: information became available to anyone with a computer.

But navigating through it all was slow going.

Enter Google.

Suddenly you couldn’t just buy your position on the search engines, and soon afterwards you couldn’t trick them.

Today it’s all about three things:

  1. Good product/service
  2. Good marketing
  3. Good content

As a result, now when you do a search for relevant material on your topic of interest you find pretty much everything you’ll need on the first two pages. (although occasionally we have to dig a little deeper)

So not only do we have access to the greatest minds and thinkers in the world but with Google you find what you want fast.

Take Ken Rockwell for example.

His site is about photography (and a must-read for anyone thinking about buying a camera). He doesn’t get paid by any of the big camera companies and it shows. He pulls no punches and tells you the good, the bad, and the ugly of pretty much everything he can get his hands on.

It’s got no fancy intro, no graphics, run by one guy who just loves taking pictures…and yet it is among the top 10,000 websites in the world.

But that’s the good news.

The bad is that there is a growing gap between the information-have’s and the information-have-not’s which is evident when I read about 4 very different stories.

Yoga in school is unconstitutional.

Yeah, I get the fact that yoga has links with Hinduism (meaning it has no place in school according to the law) but for most people it is simply about exercise.

And last I checked, America has one heck of a problem with obesity. When you’ve got something like 20-30% of children in the US being obese, shouldn’t we focus on that and not whether it has links to religion.

Then you have the high number of people using anti-depressants. I can’t speak for everyone but for me yoga helps me clear my mind and help my body relax. Oh, no…what a horrible thing that is.

C’mon now…

Despite almost bringing down the entire financial world, bankers receive billions in bailouts.

After the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008, other banks were given large sums of money to stay afloat, in spite of making risky bets themselves. To make matters worse, they have now doubled or tripled their bets.

It’s common knowledge that what you reward, you repeat.

If a child is kicking and screaming and throwing a tantrum because mommy didn’t buy him a toy…so she runs back into the store and gets him what he wanted…guess what? He’ll do that again.

What happens if the same situation happened and instead you grab his candy out of his hand, throw it in the trash and carry him home kicking and screaming. It’s not easy…but kids are fast learners.

“Ok, kicking and screaming didn’t work…it only made matters worse…can’t do that again.”

Adults aren’t much different from kids in this manner.

Too Big To Fail.

Oh please…

Too Big To Fail is the motto of big companies today. If our company collapses then it will put 20,000 people, 50,000, 100,000 out of work.

It will cause problems in the economy. You will lose their votes in the next election – save us!

Essentially a threat by a company that made poor decisions now is getting a reward for failing.

Imagine if we did that at school?! Say kid, you failed the test but here’s an A. B and C students, sorry, you’re not dumb enough to qualify for this bonus. How long would it take for most B and C students to start failing…not long at all, let me tell you.

(tiny commercial here – be sure to check out my latest mini-video series here on the latest in the financial world)

Homework should be banned.

Just recently I read that the French priminister Hollande doesn’t think it is fair that some kids get help from their parents at home while children who come from disadvantaged families don’t.

It’s an issue that goes well beyond France, and has been part of the reason that some Americans oppose homework, too.

He was quoted as saying “An education program is, by definition, a societal program. Work should be done at school, rather than at home,” as a way to ensure that students who have no help at home are not disadvantaged.

Oh, please…give me a break.

I think my wife’s experience will enlighten people to what should be obvious but then again, maybe not as you will understand from watching the video below. (Deer crossing)

As a child, my wife, just before summer vacation, was asked by her parents what she planned to do over the break.

Being a typical kid, she wrote up something that looked like this:

  • 8:00 wake up
  • 8:30 breakfast
  • 9:00 homework
  • 10:00 play with friends
  • 12:30 lunch
  • 1:00 play with friends
  • 7:00 dinner

Her mother and father, upon seeing her schedule, said something along the lines of, “Oh, no no no…this won’t do. We will make a schedule for you.” which looked like this:

  • 8:00 wake up
  • 8:30 breakfast
  • 9:00 math hw
  • 10:00 science hw
  • 11:00 Japanese hw
  • 12:00 lunch
  • 12:30 break
  • 1:00 Kanji hw
  • 2:00 history hw
  • 3:00 English hw
  • 4:00 play with friends
  • 6:00 Japanese hw
  • 7:00 dinner

My wife, being a young child then made the mistake of saying, “But I don’t have any homework in Math, Science, English or Kanji.”

“No problem, we’ll come up with our own homework for you.”

That’s what most educated parents do – give their children the best opportunity for them to succeed in life.

Some hope that school will be enough but most know that hiring tutors is pretty much a necessity to help children with their weak areas, or giving them extra work is a must.

Either way, banning homework will not succeed in closing the gap between the have’s and the have-not’s but ironically, widen it.

But I don’t need to tell you this stuff, you’re reading this site (and hopefully listening to my blog) so I’m preaching to the choir here.

Most people never think that they should make success a study. Most people think that school is enough. Most adults never even read a book after graduation…for them, school is one and done.

But you know better.

You know that school is just the beginning. That’s why call our final ceremony from college – commencement, because it is just the beginning of something bigger and better and in today’s ultra-competitive world we are either staying ahead, or getting left behind.

Hearing things like this make me worried.

People today, thanks to better materials, better technology and (hopefully) better teachers should be better able to succeed in life

But it just isn’t the case.

We are, and always will be, human. And therefore, err.

I guess no matter what we do or how smart we get; ignorance and stupidity are here to stay.

Adrian Shepherd

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