I don't normally read novels for Twitter Book Club, I usually read education related books. In fact, the only other non-education text I've read for TBC so far was E. M. Forster's (1909) The Machine Stops.
Both Brave New World and The Machine Stops are distopian visions of our future and somewhat similar. Where Forster feared future man would place their faith in a grand machine, Huxley feared we would place our faith in industrialized production and consumption. Both stories have great relevance for education and both seem to be looking on our time (or our near future time) saying "I told you so." I highly encourage you to read Brave New World through the lens of what we are doing to public education today with common core curriculum, mood and behavior altering drugs, mindless entertainment, glorification of ignorance (both in entertainment and in politics), tracking students by age and ability, the roles of science & religion in education, etc.
This book didn't lend itself very well to my normal TBC method. There really were not very many quotable quotes. Most of the best stuff in this novel is situational and not very well represented in 140 characters (even with Twitlonger). Therefore, I've abandoned my normal routine of archiving by chapter. What follows are the few tweetable passages that really grabbed my attention:
"For particulars, as everyone knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils." Huxley
"Major instruments of social stability...Standard men and women; in uniform batches." Huxley
Isn't this what lies at the heart of the Common Core movement? Social stability by creating standard men and women? Of course, to have this view you must also see students as "adults in training" and the purpose of education as preparation for the future, not preparation for the now.
"All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny." Huxley
"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are so much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse." HuxleyThis passage from Brave New World reminds me of this article I read this week http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jul/25/secondary-school-streaming
"when you're not accustomed to history, most facts about the past do sound incredible." Huxley
It is amazing how soon we seem to forget our past, even our recent past. That is why we need people like Ira Socol and Diane Ravitch. We need to be constantly reminded of our past and view present and future endeavors through a historical lens. I know it's a cliche but that doesn't make it any less true that, "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it."
"Words can be like X-rays, if you use them properly—they'll go through anything." Huxley
"what would it be like if I could, if I were free—not enslaved by my conditioning." Huxley
"The greater a man's talents, the greater his power to lead astray. It is better that one should suffer than that m... http://tl.gd/c5h4jh
"You've got to choose between happiness and what people call high art. We've sacrificed high art. We have the feeli... http://tl.gd/c70ae4
"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery." Huxley
"we have our stability to think of. We don't want to change. Every change is a menace to stability. That's another ... http://tl.gd/c70jsv
"One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them. Finding bad reasons for what one believes fo... http://tl.gd/c7mdqc
"Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether 'tis better in mind to suffer ... http://tl.gd/c7mn5a
This reminds me of this TED Talk about "filter bubbles:"