0259 - The path. - 2022.09.19



It's no secret that the primary purpose of most education - particularly early education - is not actually learning math or physics or Shakespeare, but learning how to be a human being. Show up to the same place five days a week. Interact with peers and authority figures. Prepare big projects. Research. Communicate what you've researched to others. Use your sick days responsibly. Handle surprise tests. Handle group projects where one person isn't pulling their weight. Pretend to care about the numbers on the paper that say you're doing a good job.

Students often complain that they'll never use what they've learned in the "real world", but, if I were the guardian of a small child, I'd rather send them to school to learn Klingon than keep them home and teach them to balance a checkbook.

Of course, that should really no longer be the case, once one has progressed to post-secondary education. Lee should, in theory, be well past learning to be a functioning human being, and should now be actually learning the thing that the class is ostensibly about.

But, I think we can agree, regardless of the importance of Socrates' insights, perhaps Lee needs Orb and Caleb and the outside world more than they need philosophy. Certainly, if Lee had never placed the personal ad that brought Zoa to their door, and just watched some episodes of Sox, Plate and Tottle instead, they would have developed far less... and the comic would be far less interesting.


0259 - 2167/07/06/19:01 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
LC: So the point of philosophy class isn't actually the philosophy?
Zoa: Sure, that's why you have to attend in person. It's all about learning with the other students. School experience is about preparing you for the real world, and properly doing assignments and interacting with peers and authority figures is what the real world is.
LC: Okay, but I didn't want to learn that. I wanted philosophy! Is there some other thing where the point is the philosophy?
CP: Wh-why do you want to learn philosophy?
LC: Oh, you know why. To figure out what the best thing is to do with my life!
CP: And th-that best thing isn't c-completing tasks on time or interacting with y-your peers?
LC: It might be! I don't know yet!
LC: ...I hope it isn't. I'm shit at both of those things.
Zoa: Ooh, there's a thought. If there is a right path to life, and some people are naturally better at that path than others, does that mean the people who are good at it are good people, or is it a sliding scale thing?
CP: I th-think that dep-p-pends on who's j-judging whether or not y-you're a good person.
Doc: ...and the only person whose assessment of whether or not you're a good person matters is yourself.
Zoa: Uh, I don't know about that, Doc. In my experience, humans are usually pretty good at convincing themselves that they're good people, regardless of their actual behaviour.
LC: And you agree with them, don't you?
Zoa: Well, yeah, but their corresponding friskergibblins are real pieces of shit.