The first thing that really jumped out at me was the realization that people have to sort of go through a “child” stage in every new thing they take on. It takes Bishop the entire essay to realize that the only way he can become a pseudo Kimonian is that he must be a naive child and sort of give the system some pressure and resistance, because it will show that he recognizes the expectations of society and that he is starting to conform. This happens to every person in every new stage in their life because they are no longer the person who knows everything; they are in a way inferior to the people who do know the ropes. To me, this connected back to our discussion from Illich and how you have to work your way through what society wants you to do to really prove yourself and become something in the world.
Another thing I would like to discuss is sort of branching off from the child stage, but the fact that Bishop had to go through years of studying and passing an exam that only one out of a thousand people pass is sort of parallel with high school students and college. With Kimon being so selective, it reminded me of how universities are so selective today as compared to even a few years ago. This also relates back to Illich’s essay with following what the system wants you to do, and being forced into a pattern of 12+ years of schooling just to reach the bare minimum, and now 12 years isn’t even enough.
One last major thing I found interesting was the differences in cultures between Kimon and Earth. From the differences in schooling and behaviors within the cultures, Kimon has a much more sophisticated atmosphere and Earth is portrayed as an unorganized mess that doesn’t really have a strong diplomatic standing within the “galaxy”. When reading this section of the essay, it reminded me of how different US cultures and Asian cultures are. In Japan, children start in school much earlier and start with harder material, which is why Asian children grow up to be much smarter and are more able to innovate in the technological world. A majority of American children, and the number is growing, are starting to think that they can do less and less and still do well in the world, which is wrong. It is so important to work hard because that will give you the work ethic and the motivation to be successful when you are older.
I felt that this essay could have gone in a lot of directions, but these things are what stood out to me; let me know what you think!