pat gilbert

This conversation is closed.

Today we have more technology to acquire knowledge than than anytime in the past, yet we are more ignorant, what is up with that?

From what I read the knowledge of the average citizen has never been lower. How come?

Schools are doing a poor job.
How come?

The teachers are rewarded on something other than performance.
How come?

The Unions has a huge amount of public influence.
How Come?

They have a lot of money to spend/
How come?

Because various public officials have seen to it that they have collective bargaining.
How come?

Because various government officials have made it so.
How come?

Because these officials benefit hugely because of collective bargaining?
How come?

Because there is no accountability.
How come?

Because the government has slowly made apathy personally beneficial to the voters.

Closing Statement from pat gilbert

I did not hear any compelling reason to change my thinking on this. I can be discounted as merely "flag waving" but that is an admission of being guilty of the accusation ie not LOOKING because of preconceived notions.

I think the real answer is an education. I suppose the real question is are people educable? The meme of non prejudice is ubiquitous, and the consequent "I don't make value judgements" renders people quite stupid.

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    Mar 27 2013: Sheep are easier to herd then foxes. "They" want sheep not foxes.
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      Mar 27 2013: Yup but I would not give them that much credit, they think from election to election
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    Mar 27 2013: .
    .
    Yes!
    We are getting more and "more ignorant"!

    It is because our brains can never bio-evolve as fast as the technology and knowledge increase.
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    Mar 26 2013: Maybe too many of us attended public schools. The rest of the answers pretty much come from that..
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      Mar 27 2013: The meme spreads from there, yes I agree. But what most do not see is that is spread tacitly.
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    Mar 15 2013: Where do you think we are at Pat? Technology wise? What i mean is is that i see us possibly where the world was just before the rail roads spread across the planet in the 18th century. The pause before the storm, it took centuries of tinkers to get the steam engine, (though there seems to be designs that looks like steam engines that predate the steam era) maybe this is our tinker time. Discovering new or creating new materials for a new infrastructure.

    We can only blame the parents, it they show no interest then their children will show no interest unless you happen across the rare uncut diamond. Language is the first sign, how it is used and pronounced, annunciation. If a person lacks these basic skills then their life choices will be limited unless their parents have taught them to work for nothing at first.
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      Mar 16 2013: Looking at this from a reverse engineering point of view. What would is the one thing that if changed would change the aggregate intelligence?

      If you say the parents, at what generation would this effect a change?

      If you say it is a pattern in innovation, why does this have to be the case?

      It appears to me that the one thing that would change the culture the parents the pattern of innovation the whole magillah would be to quit giving people stuff, quit training them into entitlement, quit training them to not think critically, as this is construed as prejudice.

      In other words simply quit making people dependent on government. Quit training the m to be stupid. Quit fostering dangerous memes to garner votes.

      Require at least a rudimentary understanding of what they are voting on to be qualified to vote.
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        Mar 16 2013: I hate you Pat, you always point out the obvious. Yes, when you think about it, is there a pattern or not? There is always a pattern but whether it is what one thinks it is is a different matter. I'm always pleasantly surprised at how things turn out.

        We recently had our second reading of our countries version of the gay marriage bill read in Parliament except most of the country are still old fashioned and can't understand why this is an issue that is perceived to be on the level of your countries civil rights era, it's been rail roaded through the system but not by public pressure, instead it's the international profile points this government wants to foist on us to go out on if they don't get in a third time. A basic rudimentary understanding of a persons government system. We should just line them all up and shoot them for treason and start over.
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          Mar 16 2013: You are going to have to get in line.

          Truthfully NZ is in the top 5 in the world for economic freedom. What ever you are doing it is working. Social issues are a distant second to economic issues as a Libertarian I could not care less about them.
  • Mar 15 2013: No you will not understand me, maybe you do not understand the rules of Empire especially when you are non European.
    During the days of Empire we were taught to consume, not to create.
    Try and look at Jeremy Paxman documentry on Empire and you will get started and maybe understand.
    Did you evr hear the saying. "the red savages".
  • Mar 14 2013: Its not what you have today, but what you acquired yesterday.
    Example: The yellow belly rats. Slit eyes, Savage red Indians.The Yellow peril, A chinc in the armour..
    Will the superiority image of the past cannot change, it's part of game played by all races.
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    Mar 13 2013: As a school teacher for the last 15 years the major change I have noticed regarding the academic success of the average student, is that parents in general take very little interest in the academic success of their children. It's not PC to say to your child that their marks are unacceptable so the child feels no pressure to achieve. I'm just waiting for the time where the entire olympic field for the 100m gets participation medals, then i can enter and win a medal.
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      Mar 14 2013: Well Pedro

      I think what you are describing is an extension of what I was talking a about regarding prejudice and how not evaluating things trains children into an inability to determine importance's.
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      Mar 15 2013: Peter, I'm a little off topic here .. but. Do you send physics homework home? How many parents do you think can help them with physics homework? High schoolers who take physics are achievers. Do you grade on the curve? Is this an honors class? What percent of students are accepted into this class? I think that most parents would find a opportunity to fit ... my kids is excelling in his physics class ... into a conversation. So is a class in physics important to the student or just bragging rights to the parent who probally does not understand any of it. Maybe the pressure to achieve at that level is from peers.

      Bob.
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        Mar 18 2013: My comment was refering to my general teaching. I don't only teach senior physics, I also have general science classes from 7th to 10th grade. Elective physics is available in 11th and 12th grade and in those classes the students are generally self motivated.
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    Mar 13 2013: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him inform himself and participate in the government of his nation.
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    Mar 13 2013: systems fail but they are ingrained. people are trained to kowtow to systems at all levels, except for the owners and producers of said systems. they are above the law in this sense, but at some point, the system will absorb them too.

    there is no longer simply 'knowledge' but versions of it.

    you are sharing your version. others will subscribe to their preferred version.

    we live, not in the Information Age, but in the Opinion Age which, when combined with peoples' ongoing faith in information has resulted in the Propaganda Age.

    the most difficult part of this wondrous new era is that we must hold our opinions while accepting all others. keep waving your own flag. everyone else is..
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      Mar 14 2013: The system that most certainly fails is the one that does not have to answer to the market place which of course is the government.

      The producers are the ones that keep the whole magilla going and answer to the name Atlas.

      Your inability to discern what I'm talking about from flag waving indicates your ignorance of what I'm talking about in fact illustrates it.
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    Mar 13 2013: Pat, You made it more than clear that we had the technology available to find the answers but yet we remain ignorant. No responses made reference to Plato, Socrates, the failure of republics both ancient and recent, the cause of the demise. Even as we have pointed out Argentina many times and the current plight of Venezuela, the EU this has been a cry in the dark and once said forgotten. Why.

    IMO ... In our representative democracy the voters have the opportunity to see the way to enhance themselves through the politically inept. Since the poor and lower middle class will always out number the "better off" the election will go to those who make promises to "provide" for them. The common factor in all of the failed democracies is to offer socialized programs that cannot be maintained by the economy. Once a society can recieved all of their needs without the benefit of work the end is near. This cannot occur without politicians that find out they can vote themselves money, perks, benefts, and legally place themselves above the laws that they create.

    Many people missed the event of the year. The Huffington Post (of all papers) made the claim that Obama's administration is less transparent that Bush's was. Obama recieved a transparency award in private, that was not on his agenda, and the press was not invited. Now that is irony at its best.

    Marx and unions have never made sense to me. Thousands of workers say do this or we will shut you down and put ourselves out of a job and go homeless and not be able to feed our kids .. that will show you. Not well thought out.

    I would like to think it is a cultural meme. But I believe it to be generational. The immigrants that founded America believed in our system, language, education, and a better life. That outlook has changed to a selfish and self centered generation who live for the day.

    Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat its failures ... the info is available.

    All the best.
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      Mar 14 2013: In a book I was reading at the time the author indicated that the same technology that had created the Roman Empire still existed during the dark ages, yet it was not used.

      I just got back from the store, in the alley way behind the store were two bums counting their coins for their next bottle. Not too long ago one of them worked construction. It occurred to me that he was one of the causalities of increased taxes and inflation. I asked the clerks at the store I was at if they had bums in their countries in the middle east. They indicated none nor in many European countries. Many of you will say aha capitalism, and you would be wrong. Here is why:

      Jerry saw fit to increase sales tax by just a penny but that means that 12.5% more money went to the governor. This is not nothing.

      The public employees make twice what their private sector counterparts make and much more when you consider pensions and healthcare, this money would have been spent instead in the private sector.This is not nothing.

      The cost of housing shot up over the years because of regulations that created a dearth in housing while making more money available for housing increasing the price for the housing that was available. This is huge.

      Immigrants are subsidized which gives them an advantage when competing with indigenous workers. This takes away jobs from the aforementioned workers. This is huge.

      California has raised the cost of doing business to where business's leaves the state/country in droves. This is not nothing.

      So on and so forth.

      None of this is obvious to the individual who has been trained into equality for all, as we most certainly are not, but what is infinitely more damaging is the inability to determine what is important CAUSED by this meme.
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    Mar 13 2013: Some people have argued that in school and in the accumulation of information afterwards, there has been an increasing tendency to go "a mile wide and an inch deep." The relentless accumulation of bits of information by any individual, or access to it does not in any way guarantee increasing understanding or the ability to use it constructively.

    I suspect, without evidence, that the tendency to confirmation bias among adults has increased along with access to information. I also suspect that the increase in the amount of data/information available has not particularly favored high quality information- that there is an increasing amount of high quality, valid material but, hand in hand with that, an increasing amount of false and misleading material, and that people are not necessarily good at telling the difference.
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      Mar 13 2013: You mentioned this the other day and the need to teach logic.

      My contention is the culture has taught them anti logic, the opposite of deductive reasoning. The most basic element of which is what is important.
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        Mar 13 2013: You got it all wrong Pat. You simply ignore the fact that many people who would previously never have been even heard are now everywhere.

        The culture of the past was the culture of the elites. The dumb were hidden in their cottages.
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          Mar 13 2013: How am ignoring this ambiguity? I'm talking about the aggregate not some.

          The inability to determine what is important is what fetters people from being able to solve problems as it puts their attention on too wide of an area. On the other end of the spectrum is focusing on too narrow of an area as with real prejudice.
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        Mar 15 2013: Sorry I didn't get back on this, Pat. I am sure the culture, or the environment, is a part of the problem, in conjunction with physical limitations on information processing and a psychological leaning (quite pronounced in some people) toward single-minded attention to confirming prior belief. It is utter closed-mindedness. Many who claim to "love to learn" only love to gather information that confirms their current beliefs. Many are deaf to anything challenging.

        It is hard for me even to discuss this subject, because the lack of inclination to critical thinking and the all too frequent willful disregard for anything that challenges prior beliefs is so discouraging- makes it really hard for people to grapple with problems together. Many settings are just endless and predictable superficial arguments that take a lot of time and energy.

        At present I have no solution for adults, but I am looking. The issue does not arise, or is easy to shift, in young people.
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          Mar 15 2013: I think the key is in application as this elevates the discussion from opinion. This is something you do not have to deal with when it comes to math?

          One thing I think helps is just in learning logic as this not only disciplines the person in the subject but also makes them more amenable to illogical that they may have. The other I do not see any difference between the discipline of the scientific method and logic.

          Scott espouses to the problem is big evil business, Pat espouses to it is big evil government. Both do not need to consider the others perspective as they already have the answer. IMO the truth is never understood by a superficial understanding but in the same breath IMO the truth is simple. I think the answer to this conundrum is in the area of application. What makes for a better standard of living? as this force the discussion into application.

          Another example how can an airplane fly. Well of course it is because of Bernouilli's principle most people will say. But if that is true how come an airplane can fly upside down? How come you can make an RC airplane with flat wings that flies just fine? Application cut through the "answer" the person has and makes them look.


          We talk about this as though it is rare when in fact logic is the rarity. I don't think the whole answer is Dennet's meme, but it is a big part of it. I view it more that people are generally nuts and would be more nuts if not for the real knowledge they have acquired out of necessity. You might say a job is the only thing that keeps many out of the loony bin.
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          Mar 15 2013: A couple more thoughts.

          The source of the illogical is often from someone who benefits financially from the premise. E.G. global warming.

          Another factor is the idea of being interested or interesting which Colleen and I discuss often this is a big factor in fostering illogic.

          This article (short) talks about some of this:

          http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/03/15/intellectuals-and-race-part-iv-n1531154
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        Mar 15 2013: I wrote a long reply and then my computer shut down.

        Yes application is central in mathematics but is also a component of pedagogy more generally. People need to know when and how to use tools and strategies and to be able to do it. Opportunities should arise at school. For some people there are loads of challenging opportunities and indeed demand to think critically in the workplace.

        Once people are neither at home or workplace, the choice becomes theirs. Some people engage critically with ideas, others only listen to people who agree with them, some do look for possible errors in other's ideas but do not look for strengths, some people scrutinize their own ideas and others have only convinced themselves they do while gathering confirming information.

        At a point personal preference or eg-needs sometimes dominate learned thinking skills.
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        Mar 15 2013: And yes, the desire to be thought clever and interesting can interfere with open-mindedness and critical thinking, depending on what the person thinks makes him seem clever and interesting.
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    Mar 13 2013: That is the price we have to pay for having a mass society. Inefficiency is an inherent part of it. I have no reason to doubt all your above statements - the situation is dramatic in certain aspects, yet if you try for once looking at the whole picture from a greater distance you will see that the world, in fact, has never been better educated in its entirety, and people have never been better off than today.

    The same is in art. There have never been days when so much crap was produced as today, yet there have never been so many people dabbling in art as today.

    We could go on like this finding other parallels. What is more important is the question - is it all one nasty scheme prepared by the government or governments or yet another powerful forces to enslave all of us? I do not think so. No one can control what is happening and even if someone usurpts such rights they must know that life is always a polar phenomenon: whoever posits one thing inevitably posits its opposite at the same time.

    The discussion you raised is of utmost importance, no less.
  • Mar 13 2013: The average Amerikan worships lies.
    They desire neurosis over the truth.
    Thus, they teach neurosis (what isn't true) and pass on their mental illnesses to their children.
    Mental illnesses, not of an organic nature, are in over 1/2 the U.S. population; they are spreading and begin at just under eleven years of age, running upwards of 20 years before being spotted, diagnosed properly and treated.
    Their parents, and eventually the children, have suffered under intense, decades long, bombardments of propaganda that leads to brainwashing.
    The main effect of brainwashing is a dulled ability to reason.
    The second main effect is an impeded ability to act.
    What are some lies they believe? Voting works. Politicians solve problems.
    Bums and those on welfare are hurting the economy, yet D.Rumsfeld can announce the disappearance of 2.3 trillion in transactions with no accountability for those funds and this, the day before 9/11 so it never got discussed or investigated.
    If one were to take the time to think about it, they could come up with numerous lies they have been told but all that happens is talk, No action is taken by the populace, the only thing that would stand a chance of working.

    And money. Money is the source of all corruption, crime, greed, inequality, poverty, and slavery.
    Those are the nutrients money needs in order to survive.

    Technology is used to make more money, not as its intended usage which was to free mankind from drudgery, unsafe conditions, dumbing down labor and other negatives along with freeing mankind to enjoy more leisure, in safety.

    So technology is another aspect of global existence that is mismanaged by those who control them, such as the earths resources along with the institutions we depend upon.
    The risk to human existence isn't over-population or human nature. It is mismanagement by those who promise to solve problems they only create and then profit off of.
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    Gail .

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    Mar 13 2013: I don't think it's apathy. I think it's fear. A fear so pervasive and so common to our everyday experience that most people don't even recognize it as fear. The problem is systemic
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    Mar 13 2013: How do words impact and effect the mind?
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    Mar 13 2013: I actually have had similar thoughts on this and recently posted a question. I am currently reading "The Dumbest Generation" and it talks about precisely your question. However, I believe that we should be altering the way we view information and not dismiss the obliviousness of today's generation. What I am currently struggling with at the moment is the immensity of information available to me now. There is so much to learn about the world and so much going on that I can't seem to find time to learn it all. My question I posted earlier today pertains to the quality vs quantity of information we should be gathering. In this fast paced society, information and data is flying by every day, and I don't think anyone has the time to un-ignorance themselves in every aspect. What is important for the average person to know?
  • Mar 13 2013: Good point Pat. The average person is like a dog chasing its tail.
    They are so busy, and most of them could care less.