“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.” — from an article centered on a former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya

Hearts, Likes and Thumbs Up Bringing Us Down With War and Much More was my initial title for this article. So many words, though, fly in the face of the race we must take part in… moving in the opposite direction of our insane race toward the precipice. I opened with the above quote from Silicon Valley’s realm, however, because I believe that the loved ones and instructors of youth can turn millennials around… if they get around — with them — to turn away from what’s now considered indispensible, their gadgets.

Social Networking is clearly making rubbish of all that’s dear to us, and there is a great urgency for educators and parents to address what Chamath Palihapitiya  spotlighted in a recent speech. But many things must be dealt with simultaneously if any educator and/or relatives of youngsters are going to come up with decent approaches for our collective crises. War and much more must be on the table for reconsideration… along with a necessary new look at high tech gadgetry and its offshoots.

We can no longer afford to wrestle with one issue at a time. It’s time, yes, to get with the horror of high tech (so-called) advances, but we must acknowledge our war crimes —  OUR war crimes — and our routine, mindless degradation of Mother Nature at the same time.

Look at your local school. What are they doing on that last score? Passing out leaflets about how important recycling is… while using one-use plastic in the lunchroom? Putting up posters about Peace and Love while continuing to pay taxes for abominations abroad? Announcing with pride that some Silicon Valley corporation has donated the latest technological device to the kids and community?

A new language of liberation will be required to transform the dreadful educational institutions we now are so proud of; all will have to be made to see that what’s being taught is for the living dead. Before Rocinante is read about no more. It is absolutely true that we are “creating modes of education that promote a ‘technically trained docility.'” A perfect setup for war crimes ad infinitum… and worse.

And so I ask readers to contact me to get on a new steed with great speed in the right direction (and with fresh vocabulary)… serving up the same fervor that one would embrace if headed for an Emergency Room operation.

Richard Martin Oxman has been an educator for half-a-century, and he can be reached at

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One Comment

  1. K SHESHU Babu says:

    New zeal and enthusiasm starts when education is mixed with entertainment and knowledge which instills awareness of society and environment. Only true educators and activists can lead the way