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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Education and Driving Crosscountry

In his weblog at his new location, Mustang Bobby of BarkBarkWoofWoof made the interesting observation that he had a teacher who said that a good indication that people are well-educated is if they can drive cross-country without turning on their car radios.

He got a lot of comments pro and con on this, and I made one, too, amplified as follows.

I've driven from east to west completly across the "lower 48" and also Canada several times, and once even from D.C., formerly my hometown, all the way up to Fairbanks in Alaska -- without the use of a radio of any kind. But I doubt that this showed that I'm well-educated, even though I do tend to think that I was fortunate enough to get a good and I might even say an excellent education, and for very little money, too.

I spent seven years at Howard University in D.C.. in two periods separated by a four year stint in the Air Force, which itself was merely another fortuitous part of my college education.

The U.S. military is actually a great place to get some education, though of course recently that's been unthinkable, because so far in the 21st century we've had in place a hopelessly belligerent national administration full of officials who -- especially since their own offspring won't be offered for the slaughter -- get an irresistible urge to drag less fortunate citizens into that always unnecessary exercise in bullshit called war.

One reason I've never used a radio while driving is that sometimes I didn't have one, and even when one was installed it didn't work. But also I've never felt the need to listen to one while driving, and I think that derived from having a very active mind, and maybe that was affected by having been permanently stirred up by my education. I always felt the strong necessity to keep my eye on the road, as well as the urge meanwhile to take in as much as I could of the passing sights, in cities or out in the countryside -- a delight from which any kind of radio sounds would just have subtracted.

Making a long drive across this beautiful continent, east and west or north and south, involves taking part in the creation of a kind of symphony, in which the radio would just strike a lot of false, dissonant notes.


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