Thread: Living Car Free
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Old 07-15-18, 06:14 AM
  #23  
tandempower
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
In Japan kids often go to schools some distance from home. Not all schools are the same here, some are better than others. To get into elementary, junior high, and high schools, you have to pass an entrance exam. The best schools have high standards, and getting in is hard. But of you get in, it makes your odds of getting into a good university better. You will see many children on the subways and trains going to and from school, some have to commute an hour each way.

My daughter goes to an international school, mainly because I want her to go to university in America or the UK. Public schools in Japan are far better than American public schools (despite Japanese teachers working longer hours for quite a lot less pay). But Japanese universities are a joke, and are only suitable for graduating robots to work in Japanese companies.
I notice this pattern, which seems to be unintentional, where driving becomes a way of separating people for elite privileges. In your case it seems to be about attending PTA meetings in a relatively elite school in order to have your kids transcend the local opportunities for higher education, but for others in other places it might be about taking a higher paying job or a job that is hoped to be a gateway to greater opportunity available to a more elite subset of the population.

This is a hard issue for me, because I don't see anything wrong with people working hard to achieve something exceptional, but it bothers me when LCF becomes the sacrifice you have to make to strive. This is because in my analysis of how to best progress in terms of sustainability, environmental and economic, LCF is in itself something to strive for and achieve, and the more people do it, the less cars and pavement are usurping the natural ecology and future potential for human civilization. So it bothers me whenever I see people feeling like they need to compete for more elite privileges by driving, but maybe that's also because I have seen so much sprawl and traffic in Florida cities where the majority of people are in the mindset that they are competing for privileges by driving, so really there is no elite because it's just the majority driving around believing that they are more elite than if they don't, and it gets to the point where there are just poor people driving to rich neighborhoods to do service jobs and rich people driving to other distant job sites and no one can just LCF close to home and have a productive and fulfilling holistic life experience the way many people in more traditional parts of the world seem to have.
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