Tripping the Learning Curve

Deborah Venable



As we bid this year a fond good-bye and welcome a fresh slate New Year, perhaps we should look at resolutions that embrace achievable results from realistic efforts instead of falling back on the usual pie in the sky, “wouldn’t it be nice” attitude most folks take when daring to make resolutions at all.  The upcoming year, as an interim election year, is probably far more important than 2012 will prove to be simply because if conservatives play their cards right, the path toward salvation and improvement of our floundering self-governing experiment will be cast in concrete long before the election of 2012.  If we resolve to trip the learning curve as informed voters instead of lottery playing hope and changers, that will be the case.


It has been said that never before have American voters been as informed and involved in the political process as they are today.  I don’t know whether we should believe that to be true or hope that it isn’t. 


If it were true just two years ago, we would be immeasurably better off today than we are, but only if we were still on the same page as our Founders.  Therein lies the current American dilemma.  Conservatives are not hard to understand.  We simply believe that our Founders had the important things right.  Individual rights form the cornerstone of self-governance, and no government can ever grant them, but it can surely take them away.  So, truly informed voters in a self-governing society would naturally choose to conserve the cornerstone of successful self-governance. 


But, information has been corrupted.  Education has been bungled to say the least.  It is very safe to say that most Americans alive today are totally ignorant of much of our history, even though “higher” education has been stressed and achieved at a higher rate than ever before.  I don’t like to think of today’s society as a bunch of highly educated ignoramuses, but it is becoming increasingly true.  Conserving a heritage of educating from a common sense approach that refuses to merely credential educators or graduates based on strictly compartmentalized instruction is essential if we are to survive.  Information must be studied for its accuracy and challenged for its applicability to individual freedom. 


The learning curve that I am talking about is something that few adults even think about in terms of their self-governing and social responsibilities.  Once a person reaches adulthood, with or without his accepted higher learning academic credentials in hand, he may decide that he has “learned” all he needs to know.  He has had mandatory education shoved down his throat for so many years that he feels justified in just the “doing” without any further thought to learning how or what needs doing.  This may be fine for the everyday aspects of a vocation or whatever puts food on the table, but it is an extremely dangerous attitude for a society that expects to protect and secure individual rights for themselves or their progeny.


Human beings should never stop learning. 


The learning curve to be reckoned with involves the human ability to learn rapidly at first introduction to something new while retaining a large percentage of information, but as one digs into a deeper understanding of the subject matter, the curve can literally flatten out and allow much to slip beyond retention.  It becomes increasingly important to make an extra effort against these plateaus of learning.  When this effort is rewarded, it is a beautiful thing.


Let’s take an example that everyone should be able to relate to in one respect or another.  Looking at the last twenty to twenty-five years, when the computer age literally consumed the greater portion of society, those of us who have clear memories of what life was like before the computer age, and how we ourselves adapted to the seemingly overnight changes, may remember a certain reluctance to “give in” to the fact of our ignorance – thus the necessity of extra effort to learn how to use computers. 


I remember how quickly I went from an attitude of being intimidated by the on/off switch of a computer to a driving need to understand what made it work.  I was not merely satisfied with using computers to make complicated tasks easier.  I insisted on learning the whole concept of machine computing.  I quickly learned to write code that would tell the computer what I wanted it to do and invented new ways to utilize this fascinating machine to accomplish things I’d never dreamed of.  My husband and I built very successful, ground floor businesses building and selling computer systems and products associated with them.  I became the company software and customer service expert, and even branched out into the brand new field of digital photo restoration.  As the internet was taking hold, I was learning how to make use of it to do the things I wanted most to do. 


We made and lost several fortunes in those tumultuous few years, and enjoyed every minute of it all.  When modernized operating systems took much of the nuts and bolts trouble shooting out of the hands of ground floor computer types like we had been, we  tired of the constant struggle to keep up with everything.  We moved across the country, away from the rat race of the silicone valley and retired to a quieter life.


It was during this whole time that I became more interested than ever before in learning more specifics about the exceptionalism of this country and commenting on it.  The computer made all this so much easier than ever before.  I had been a writer back when the typewriter was king, and a researcher when a good library was the only way to go.  Now, everything was literally at my fingertips in my own home!  Mistakes on the typewritten page never had to be made, and “white out” became a thing of the past – all because I gave in and tripped the learning curve, bravely had my way with the on/off switch, and turned on the computer.  Now I could sing the praises of my free country and sound the warning bell of her pitfalls.


Freedom to be individualists is what drives the American society to the top of the heap, and if more and more people will endeavor to learn why this is so, we can save this exceptional country.  Salvation will not come from university classrooms overrun with socialist professors, nor collective government bureaucracies hell bent on progressive, secularist theory taking over in every community.  It will not come from a newly elected Congress that forgets just who employs it.  Salvation will come from individuals who are not afraid to trip the learning curve and do the hard work of staying on top of what goes on in the country and letting as many people as they can know about it. 


Salvation will come when we learn what it means to be the “one nation under God” that we are, and when we insist that He gets the credit He deserves for having sustained us longer than any other self-governing society in the history of man.


The only resolution that we need make this year is to honor the fact that we were “created” with unalienable rights which are entirely up to us to protect!                        



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