isn't it the height of folly to learn inessential things when time's so desperately short?

more stoic philosophy:

“…isn’t it the height of folly to learn inessential things when time’s so desperately short!” - Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius, Letter XLVIII

i think this idea is universally true and has always been. in fact, i can actually imagine that it’s part of what certain people at certain points in history “get ahead.” maybe it has to do with being an early adopter, maybe not. but i can imagine a trend among people who have a knack for identifying what is folly to learn based on their current context and avoiding those things.

this is showing up for me in two contexts. the first is preparing to live life in a trump presidency. the second is watching education systems fail all over the place.

on the trump point, i’m finding myself drawn to different things than before. i’m thinking more about what skills and knowledge do i want to have to best serve my community (myself included) in a fascist america. this has shifted my reading list and also where i think i should be spending my time.

on the education systems side, i’ve talked about this several times before, but it really comes down to google and cell phones. it’s crazy to me that school systems are still “teaching” people, young and old, with a deficit model. we have a lot of human knowledge available at our fingertips, but we’re still transferring knowledge in industrial ways. the model of school has just got to evolve to take that into account. the goal of education (to prepare future generations for participation in the world) can still be the same, but the tactics and methods need to evolve. it is folly to not do so and i’d argue that we’re actually wasting resources while also diminishing the ability of future generations to participate well in the world we’re living in (which is, itself, changing constantly).

ps - the edition i’ve been linking to isn’t the edition i’ve been reading. the one i’m ready has language that makes much more sense to me, but isn’t online. the translation differences seem minor but they have a marked difference on meaning. sucks.

writing: 12:54
spell-check, link-finding, & formatting: 5:58