A Novel Idea in Iran

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I just finished two episodes of Vice, one about GMO’s and water shortages, and one about Paris and the extreme acts of hate that have happened there over the last few years. Each time I watch Vice the same thought springs to mind. Education could solve all of this. If we could give every single child a good education they would know about crop rotation and how important biodiversity is. They would understand the problems with water contamination and shortages, and hopefully some would grow up to fix the problem. And they would hopefully understand just a bit better that hate begets hate and love begets love.

Which is why, I was so thrilled to see that a judge in Iran is sentencing criminals convicted of minor crimes to read books and write book reports, rather than spend time in prison. Granted, the article did not mention what kind of books he was requesting the prisoners read, though it did say they could access “sophisticated scientific ones.” Either way this sounds like a step in the right direction to me, and something we might consider doing here as well. Imagine how many more interesting and educated people we would have if we sentenced everyone convicted of petty crime or minor drug offenses to read “A Brief History of Time,” or “The Diary of Anne Frank” and report back.

Full story found on BBC