There are experiments about what helps pupils best to get better with mathematics, and it has been shown that drill and constant exercise is the most effective way, even for complexer mathematical problems.
When the article talks about "exporting water", it actually means that this water used to grow the alfalfa is lost for any other uses, because it is long evaporated. It's not the actual water that gets exported to China (except if the wind blows the vapor to China where it adds to local rainfalls), it's the consumption of water necessary to actually grow enough alfalfa to export it.
The main question is: Where does the water California is watering its crops come from, and what will California do if the source is exhausted?
Take the U2 for instance, it is a line listed as U-Bahn (as you can see from the line number). It runs above ground from Ruhleben to Olympiastadion. Then it disappears in a tunnel until Wittenbergplatz. There it goes up a ramp, and then runs as elevated railway until Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park, where it goes down again in a tunnel. At Eberswalder Strasse, it appears again above ground and runs on an elevated railway along Schoenhauser Allee for two stops, and then disappears again in a tunnel until the terminal.
[...] in keeping the sword of judicial damocles off their heads.
As it is the Sword of Damocles, and it was hanging on a single hair of a horse's tail above Damocles' head, the correct metapher would be the judical Sword of Damocles.
I wouldn't give much on a statistic that only works if you arbitrarily choose a specified starting point. And yes, you can manipulate every trend by choosing your starting point accordingly. So I call all claims that "since 1998, we don't have a warming trend anymore" manipulated statistics.
Even your example of FTL does not hold -- there are enough people out there today greatly interested in anything that makes FTL travel possible, and no one is really hindering them to find out how it works, if it works at all. The whole idea that you just have to hide a secret and it will be gone forever is questionable at best. That's why I think the concept of an "evolution towards less education" is flawed. If the interest in education gets lost, it's not because of biological reasons. Then it's because of a general breakdown of society, where the structures that made it possible and worthwile to actually get an education that goes beyond the knowledge you need for daily survival, crumble and die. There were situations like this, Western Europe experienced them after the end of the Roman Empire. It didn't happen because the people of education died out. It did happen because the once stable environment of 1000 years of tradition, education and careers vanished, and a series of short lived, feuding kingdoms appeared, in a constant struggle to their own survival and in a constant fear of invadors. It took about 400 years for the situation to settle, and then suddenly, education appeared again, universities were founded, ancient texts were rediscovered, commented and a series of new discoveries started.
So it's not an evolution game of us vs. them, it's a game of where the children of each society will go to. Think of the U.S. of the 19th and early 20th century. People from all over the world were coming there to start a new life. They came from very different educational backgrounds, born into societies of very different levels of openess. Three to five generations later, their offspring has a typical american education, typical american behaviour and typical american goals and dreams.
After some time, we describe both populations as different species.
Some experiments of speciations were already performed. For instance, there was a long running experiment with E.coli (the wellknown bacterium from our indestines). As bacteria don't mate, there are other methods to difference between species, and one specificum of E.coli compared with similar bacteria is that E.coli doesn't metabolize Citric acid. But experimentators were putting some E.coli bacteria in an artificial environment which was rich with Citric acid. After many generations (about 40,000) they found that this strain of E.coli indeed had started to metabolize Citric acid. So from a classification point of view, this strain is no longer E.coli, but a new species of bacteria.