pondrthis t1_j1vsgqp wrote

Keating is an idealist in a harsher reality than he realizes. His philosophy is a good aspiration, but must be approached with the temperance of discipline. I do think the main moral of the story is what you said, but I think a more thoughtful consideration of the events would identify a different core issue.

The real problem was that Keating's mindfulness and the academy's temperance were at odds, each side pitted against the other and taken to the extreme. If each side embraced the other--Keating telling the boys to take their biology as seriously as poetry and the administration embracing Keating's style as producing a balanced young man--the student character would have found support and a model for living the life you mentioned in the OP.

Our school now strongly supports the arts in addition to athletics and traditionally prestigious academic routes.


pondrthis t1_j1vmc1o wrote

I would argue that it is partially his fault. That's why he's asked to resign, as I recall. It's presented as (and indeed is) Keating being punished for opening the boys' hearts in a society that rewards only discipline, but there's something to be said about discipline as a coping mechanism for the difficulty of puberty.

I don't really think this undermines the philosophy of the film, because the pro-discipline crowd ultimately shirks their responsibility onto Keating, the ultimate hypocrisy. But as I'm a teacher at the school that inspired the screenplay, I think it's important to look at all the contributing factors. The culture was primarily at fault, but a teacher sending mixed messages confused the student further.


pondrthis t1_ituckde wrote

They certainly won't. We do not have the technology to measure "neural pathways" to this level of detail. The technology used correlates fMRI activation (which is already suspicious in general due to finding differences of differences in extremely low SNR data, then being analyzed poorly in many cases as pointed out in the famous dead-salmon study) to diffusion fiber tracking MRI to determine how nerve fibers connect activation sites. These are measured at the millimeter scale due to the limitations of both diffusion and functional MRI. In other words, they track whole nerve bundles, not individual neurons.

IIRC, there is some evidence that people with severe neurological disabilities (some kinds of ASD being one example) can have MS-like nerve fiber issues without the decrease in myelination associated with MS.

Source: I was an MR research engineer until about 5 years ago, did my research in one of the largest MRI research institutes in the world. This wasn't my area of expertise, but I worked closely with the people doing this.