Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

One on another (on another)

with 14 comments

While photographing Mexican hats (Ratibida columnifera) in Great Hills Park on May 5th I noticed that several Texas bindweed plants (Convolvulus equitans) had climbed on and twined around them. One of the bindweed flowers, above, got a taste of its own from an ant scurrying over it. In the second picture, note the bindweed bud about to open. In both photographs notice the eccentric and varied shapes of bindweed leaves.


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Independent self-reliant people would be a counterproductive anachronism in the collective society of the future where people will be defined by their associations.

The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society that is coming, where everyone would be interdependent.


Those lamentable statements are alleged in several books and on various websites to be by John Dewey, the first from 1896 and the second from 1899. While I haven’t been able to verify the authorship, I can say, alas, that increasingly many people who control education are acting as if they believe those things.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman









Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 17, 2022 at 4:29 AM

14 Responses

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  1. These are fear-inspiring prophecies threatening to become a reality.

    Peter Klopp

    May 17, 2022 at 9:20 AM

  2. False quotations are becoming a problem and not just an annoyance. Wikipedia articles and dictionary definitions are also being changed, while books are being ‘digitalized’ and destroyed due to lack of storage space. History is in the process of being rewritten, and I am not sure I like the authors!


    May 17, 2022 at 10:24 AM

    • The fact that dates were given for these two quotations gives me some assurance that Dewey might really have said those things, even if I wasn’t able to track them down. Even if Dewey himself didn’t make such blatant comments, his followers have certainly followed those thoughts, as we see from the horrid things that have been revealed to be going on in schools, like the imposition of race essentialism and the unmooring of sexuality from biology. As you say, history is getting jettisoned or rewritten. Fewer and fewer Americans (and from what I gather, Britons as well) know the history of their country. This is how civilizations decline.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2022 at 1:32 PM

      • I recently saw someone asking teenagers in Berlin simple questions such as ‘Have you met a homo sapien today?’ or ‘Which countries were reunited when the Berlin Wall fell?’ Answers to the second question were so extremely worrying. Many had no idea at all and they live in Berlin! (Answers to the first question were equally worrying….).


        May 18, 2022 at 6:14 AM

        • And German students used to know so much. I remember how impressed I was when I first encountered some, which was when I spent the summer of 1966 in Lisbon.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 18, 2022 at 7:11 AM

  3. Beautiful flowers, I had no idea John Dewey said something like that, how horrible and interesting. I’m glad I picked up his work thinking it was by Melville Dewey, I guess. Maybe not.

    And Or Theory

    May 17, 2022 at 12:56 PM

    • The Dewey Decimal System is okay with me. The other Dewey’s system—or at least what educationists have turned it into—is not.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2022 at 1:35 PM

  4. It did take me a while to recognize the second photo as a Mexican hat. There has always been pressure to comply. Think about the inquisition, for example. These trends come and go then come again. History is cyclical.

    Alessandra Chaves

    May 18, 2022 at 7:26 AM

    • Agreed: history is cyclical, for better and—alas—for worse. I anticipated your admonition to think about the Inquisition; I’ve thought of it a bunch of times in the past few years, given the crazy orthodoxies some people have been increasingly trying to force us to believe.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 18, 2022 at 7:43 AM

      • the truth always wins. We finally can say that the earth is round!

        Alessandra Chaves

        May 18, 2022 at 1:36 PM

        • As crazy as things have gotten, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some people saying the claim of the earth’s roundness is racist—just as some are already claiming mathematics is.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 18, 2022 at 3:07 PM

  5. The bindweed flowers not only are lovely, they’re as attractive to beetles and butterflies as to your little ant. I amused myself recently by attempting to photograph the underside of one; if anyone else had been around, I’m sure they would have been amused, too.

    One of the things I’ve noticed about social media is the prevalence of memes, retweets, and such. Those attest to the increasing presence of group-think that characterizes society. Why state an independent conclusion when repeating what others have said avoids the need to take responsibility for one’s words — or the effort of thinking at all?


    May 18, 2022 at 7:53 AM

    • The view from underneath often repays the trouble it takes to get that view.

      There sure is a lot of repeating in social media and on “news” shows. At times it’s as if a signal went out, and within hours or even minutes a lot of people are suddenly saying the same thing. You may have seen video compilations that show a slew of people individually doing that, often with identical words and phrases.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 18, 2022 at 10:36 AM

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