Collin McCauley

Student, Saint John's University
Collegeville, MN, United States

About Collin

Areas of Expertise

emergency medical tech

I'm passionate about

I'm passionate about individuality, specifically how we might change our society to be more accepting of individuals, their unique personalities, and what they have to offer our society in return.

Talk to me about

Any topic involving individuality, being open-minded, and anything unorthodox, no matter how silly it may seem to others.

People don't know I'm good at

I'm great with kids. I find them easy to understand and enjoy. They're inspired in everything they do and have far less prejudiced than other age groups.

My TED story

I used to have nothing more than a passive interest in TED until I saw Ken Robinson's 2006 TED Talk. It almost perfectly mirrored what I felt about our education system and I was vastly encouraged that someone of notoriety had a similar outlook. It gave me the courage to change the course of my life from what I was told it was supposed to be to only pursuing things that are of interest to me, and things that I see as being truly important.

Comments & conversations

215252
Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
Should there be an international agency in charge of regulating education and if so how much authority should it have.
I think you're confused, Seth Stephens could be entirely wrong, naive, and uninformed; and so could I. We could both be complete idiots, but that doesn't give you a pass to be condescending. There are much more respectful ways to tell someone that you disagree with their opinion. Actually, if you look further up the conversation, you'll see that I commented earlier in opposition to his idea as well, whether you think I did so in an intellectually correct manner or not is neither here nor there. I simply don't like how you choose to disagree with people.
215252
Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
Humans vs Animals
Very good, I like your ideas. For the term intelligence, I think that at this point, I'm willing to accept that we have separate definitions, and I'm concerned that we made end up circling our past conversations, but I have enjoyed working through it.
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Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
Humans vs Animals
I agree that humans are very foolish and that we fail to grasp how much we need nature. We drastically under appreciate its benefits and its beauty, but that doesn't mean animals aren't guilty of the same thing; they're also equally guilty of self-destruction. Animals, and even plants for that matter, fullfill their basic needs as best as they are able, no matter the long-term effects for their race. For example, in a given area, animals will overeat their resources if they can; they'll eat more than they need, while reproducing as much as they can, and they'll run out of resources to support their population. As a result, they'll all die. What we humans do is more complicated, but only because we are more capable. We have a bigger impact on the environment only because we bring about great change too quickly, because we're capable of doing so in the course of further securing our basic needs. Basic needs such as making house installation for warmth, developing processes and chemicals to preserve food, and making weapons of mass destruction to protect ourselves from others of our species. If other species had the intelligence and resources to further secure their needs, I have no doubt they would do so. So, as far as our inability to recognize that we're killing ourselves, I believe we're on an equal playing field with animals. We just have to deal with the added factor of our intelligence, capability, or whatever else you'd care to call it, that brings about so much rapid change.
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Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
Is the notion of "adult" a misleading myth?
I mainly agree, however it's one thing to be kind and trustworthy to others when you have had no to little experience with being hurt by them, while it's another thing to think about others after having had experience with them. Being kind to others when you know that they might not be appreciative and they might hurt you in return is a lot harder to do, and I believe it requires and indicates a higher level of moral maturation than is possible in kids.
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Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
Internships are better than a full university education
I would whole-heartedly agree that critical thinking can be gained tremendously outside of the classroom when talking with teachers. I do think that a lot can be gained from teachers, depending on the teacher, but it is outside of the formal structure of the university, which is the classroom. The same one-on-one experience is available in an internship and an internship or job allows you to immediately turn around and apply that information. Knowledge gained in this manner is more heavily filed away in the long-term memory and misconceptions are cleared up in the application. I obviously don't know where you went to college, but the structure of a lot of universities, depending on the class, doesn't sponsor further inquiry when you're interested in a tangent topic. They'll most often be happy to talk to you about it, but not for long in class as they have to get back to what they'll be testing you on. The duration to which you're allowed to talk about something off topic inside of class doesn't really allow for more than superficial covering of the topic/tangent. If pursued with the teacher outside of class to a critical-thining degree, it takes out a lot of time out of their day and your own. Many students have massively busy schedules and are unable to pursue topics within a class outside of what they'll be tested on. I can think of ways that many of my mentioned problems may be worked around, but the structure of the university is not what normally helps you to do that. It would take real independent study, an internship, or a more open dialogue of some kind. Aside from extremely low student-faculty ratios, a critical-thinking dialogue is extremely hard to obtain during class, unless the student hasn't thought of the topic before. An important factor to mention might be that I'm in the United States, and I can't say that I'm familiar with the education system in the Netherlands. A class with only guest speakers, depending upon how you're graded, sounds great.
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Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
ADD and ADHD aren't becoming more common. It's our current and changing society that creates this perception.
Thanks for your input. I also believe that they are true conditions, just not necessarily problems in the way that we see them. I view them more as symptoms of problems within our society, though I would evaluate it on a case by case basis. In other words, I regard them as conditions just as much as I do someone with an aggressive, care-free, or quiet personality. People with these disorders simply have a personality that doesn't mesh with the society that we've constructed around them; and we're still moving in a direction that's contrary to the conditions that they would flourish under. I also don't think this discrepancy is unique to people with these diagnosed disorders; they are simply the individuals who are most observably out-of-step with the society that we've constructed.
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Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
Humans vs Animals
Without spending too much time refining the definition, so I'm open to refinement, I would define a species/individual as having intelligence if they are self-aware. By this I mean that they're both aware of themselves as a separate individual, and they're conscious of an existential impact that their existence brings about; they know they have a purpose, outside of simply following their instincts. I would measure intelligence by the capacity to reason once self-awareness has been established. I would say that animals have varying levels of reasoning capabilities, but they lack the prerequisite self-awareness aspect. While I don't believe reasoning and self-awareness are the only components of intelligence, I feel that they make up the core of the concept. I have a hard time drawing strong similarities between intuition and intelligence. Intuitively knowing something doesn't seem to necessitate a thought process.
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Collin McCauley
Posted 6 months ago
Humans vs Animals
I also really liked your post. I challenged you and you responded very well. My respect for you as a stranger has risen quite notably. I'm no longer sure if I actually disagree with you, or if I simply consider certain terms slightly differently. I think our understandings of the word "intelligent" was on slightly different fields of perception, neither incorrect, but perhaps different in their application. I find that I would agree with your comments if I were to change the word "intelligent" with the word "capable". In this way, I would agree that nature is more intelligent by its design. Where I might disagree, if this is part of your point, is the idea that nature is more intelligent in its thought processes or reasoning capabilities. As impressive as nature is, and I would definitely agree that it's impressive, it doesn't have intelligence of its own in the higher functionality that humans have. Animal species seem to have a simplistic and refreshing view of the world around them and they're unconcerned with philosophical dilemmas, or at least as far as we're able to tell by observation. As far as experiments go, you're right on many counts. There are a fair share of improperly performed and unethical experiments. I get the feeling that we may differ slightly on what we consider ethical experiments, only slightly, but I'll resist following that tangent for now. However, I agree that I've not encountered an experiment that has done a successful job in taking all factors into account, but there is still the issue of feasibility of many experiments if they try to standardize and naturalize many factors. The 2nd paragraph under #2, isn't the fact that you were able to get a complete understanding with an animal but not a human evidence that the animal is likely more simplistic? Also, many of our points thus far debating human vs nature intelligence has concerned physical capabilities. If we discuss further, I feel we might want to define intelligence.