The Degradation of the Student

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#31 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:10 PM

View PostNecroWinter, on 22 September 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

http://en.wikipedia....intellectualism
Plenty of material on American anti-intellectualism, wikipedia cites some of it.


Quite. And lots of other places too, which tends to prove my point. And, honestly, those are only the ones that made the list. Factor in religious fanaticism and and fascism and the percent of the population covered increases. At least, in the US, you can bitch about it.

View PostNecroWinter, on 22 September 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

You cant do much without the thinking first


Communism. Not really big on intellectuals, but it's hard to accuse them on not doing much.

Free thinkers are a societal threat. They are tolerated in small groups and for short times. In the free world, such thought is generally curtailed through total control of the media. And, yes, that's the US as well. If you believe other places have it better, you simply haven't looked closely enough. Those in power like to keep it; some are just gentler than others.

View PostNecroWinter, on 22 September 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

a smartass is more akin to a troll than a person who reads a lot.


It's a very, very fine line. Trust me on this. ;)
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#32 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:52 PM

Quote

You cant do much without the thinking first, and again, its related to political view points. Academics usually dont vote right wing, right wingers want to maintain the status quo, America is far more right wing than the rest of the world. Talking points and political platforms definitely shape the way we have a national conversation.

You really cant have a discussion about this topic without mentioning the political history and culture of the USA.

Wait a minute- we're talking about students not being prepared for school and we jump to politics? Since you brought it up, I want to pursue this. It sounds to me like the argument you are trying to make can be summed up with the following implications (at least this is what I took away):
Those who think tend to lean liberal (Thinking -> Liberal).
Academics think.
Americans lean conservative overall (Americans -> Conservative).
The rest of the world is liberal (~America -> Liberal).

For the sake of definition, let Conservative = ~Liberal.

By contrapositive, I gather from your argument that: Americans -> ~Liberal -> ~Thinking. While in certain domains, this is true, I wouldn't induce this conclusion based on simply the fact that someone is an American, due to simple empirical evidence.

Then the way you phrase "right wingers want to maintain the status quo," it sounds like you are implying that conservative is bad, and liberal is good. And I wouldn't agree with your argument that conservatives want to maintain the status quo, nor that liberals want to shake everything up. Both sides have things they want to change based on their agendas, for better or for worse. And both have valid ideas that our country needs to move forward.

Also by your statement that America is more conservative than most of the world leads me to believe you are comparing it to Europe and Canada. Look at the Middle East or Africa in comparison to America. Both are very conservative regions.

Next, I want to address your point regarding thinking. People can and actually do a lot without thinking things through. A good deal of this is counterproductive. Jobwise, people can do data entry, garbage collection, work as secretaries, and similar types of jobs without really thinking. The average person can spend money due to a whim without considering whether or not they can afford said item. This happened on a massive scale, hence, the mortgage crisis. baavgai's example of communism is a good one as well.

Quote

There is far too much emphasis put on white collar work. Blue collar jobs are just as important - if not more so. Someone has to raise the cattle and grow the corn and build the offices and keep the vehicles running and repair the leaky sink and lay the carpeting and haul away the trash and serve the food in restaurants.

Maybe there is, but there are two sides to this coin. I have a lot of relatives who live in a small town in New York. The public schools basically pass you if you show up. The economy is heavily reliant on tourism. Those with college degrees usually have two year degrees. What I don't get is why so many people up there don't have the motivation to really strive for more in life. It's a standard case where there are the haves and the have-nots. I agree that college isn't the panacea for this. However, there should be a push to come out of school with some marketable skillset so one can move up in the world. That's the American dream- to move forward in life and do better than the previous generation.
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#33 BenignDesign  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:13 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 22 September 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

That's the American dream


Keyword.

Sometimes, there's more to life than "striving for more". Sometimes, there's a point of satisfaction. If I'm content spending my work hours as a customer service rep, why should I have to strive for more? Why is doing what makes me happy not good enough? I could be a damned good car mechanic and make more money in a year than the average programmer, but the programmer looks down his nose at me because I'm just an uneducated car mechanic.

Dreams vary by person. What constitutes "moving forward" varies by person.
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#34 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:35 PM

The definition of doing better varies from person to person. I'd say that if you aren't struggling to make ends meet, and you either have a steady job or have retired, and you're happy at the end of the day, then that's a good working definition of the American dream.
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#35 BenignDesign  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:39 PM

You just contradicted your previous comment, pumpkin.
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#36 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:41 PM

I feel dumb. I read, but I didn't process. :stupid:
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#37 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:55 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 22 September 2012 - 05:52 PM, said:

<Snip>



We didnt just jump right into politics, somehow it turned into a discussion as to why people generally arent prepared for college and furthered education in general, I suggested that its cultural, and our culture is very influenced by our political history.

I dont believe conservatives dont think, but rather, that they have prefered people stay out of academia, and one way to accomplish that is to try and spread cynicism towards academics, which contributes to anti-intellectual viewpoints.

The reason conservative republicans have preferred that people stay out of academia is because academics or people with at least bachelors degrees tend to vote democratic. Republicans need votes, but they also seek to see less people vote, which is why they often oppose motor voter registration, and they want voter id laws. The less people who vote, the better off their chances of winning an election, the less people who goto college, the better off their chances are.

You're reducing things way too much.

"You cant do much without thinking" means you cant do many successful things with out thinking first. If communism is your example, then it proves my point, the soviet form of "communism" didnt work, and I would argue, was not thought out well. If America prefers the doer to the thinker, what are you going to do, besides trivial every day things, without really thinking first? America also values innovation, theres no innovation when everyone just does trivial things exclusively. Given the context, my statement does not mean "you have to think hard or human actions dont happen"

Some conservatism is bad, it depends on the context. The very definition of conservative means maintaining the status quo. At the time of the quote, I wasnt using the term to mean "Republican", but rather a broad set of right wing ideas. I also dont think shaking things up for the sake of it is a good thing either, at least politically.

Im comparing the US to: Europe, Canada, most of S.A and most of Asia. Though, the US is more conservative than the rest of the world (when you consider American conservatism), the definitions of right wing and conservative is going all over the place in this conversation.

This post has been edited by macosxnerd101: 23 September 2012 - 12:35 PM
Reason for edit:: It isn't necessary to quote massive posts

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#38 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:49 PM

*
POPULAR

View PostBenignDesign, on 22 September 2012 - 03:23 PM, said:

What is wrong with these professions? Why is it so unacceptable to be a mechanic or run a snow plow in the winter? Without these people, the rest of us would be SOL.


Because, apparently, people didn't get the message I did at home:

Son, I'll be proud of you doing whatever you want for a living as long as it's legal, and if it's not I want a cut.

--

Seriously though, we as a country, over the last 100 years especially, have transitioned from a society that actually makes stuff to a service oriented culture. We sell intellectual expertise. Thus, the last several generations have been brought up on the notion that working for a living is something to be looked down upon or in the very least shunned and/or viewed as a last resort career.

If the guy down the road cleans pools for a living, but can provide for his family, who cares?

If you're going to be a ditch digger, be the best ditch digger you can be.
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#39 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

View PostNecroWinter, on 22 September 2012 - 10:55 PM, said:

Some conservatism is bad, it depends on the context. The very definition of conservative means maintaining the status quo.



Etymologically, maybe. But it's been a long time since it's been anything but a label for a brand.
The same goes for "liberal", mind you, which has strayed a long way from its roots as well.
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#40 CTphpnwb  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 23 September 2012 - 09:34 AM

View PostKYA, on 23 September 2012 - 12:49 AM, said:

Seriously though, we as a country, over the last 100 years especially, have transitioned from a society that actually makes stuff to a service oriented culture. We sell intellectual expertise.

True, and it's ironic that it's the "conservatives" in this country who think that's a desirable transition at the same time that they discourage education. How can anyone think the path to prosperity is to ship manufacturing jobs (and give tax breaks to do it!) out of the country while at the same time advocating cuts to public education? Where do they think this "intellectual expertise" is going to come from?

Another thing that *boggle's my mind is the conservative viewpoint on teachers in general. They blame them for student failures at the same time they cut education budgets, but isn't that to be an expected outcome of the "free market"? Don't the rules of supply and demand suggest that if you supply a lower income there will be less demand for the job? Doesn't it naturally follow that with less demand for the job you have fewer and less qualified candidates to choose from? And isn't it to be expected that the more qualified candidates would take higher paying jobs in other fields?

*Not really, I do recognize that they're being less than honest. They want to kill education to keep the masses stupid and voting for them, so they cut spending and then use the poorer results to justify further cuts. It isn't mind boggling. It's sleazy and anti-American.

This post has been edited by CTphpnwb: 23 September 2012 - 09:35 AM

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#41 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 23 September 2012 - 12:56 PM

Quote

I dont believe conservatives dont think, but rather, that they have prefered people stay out of academia, and one way to accomplish that is to try and spread cynicism towards academics, which contributes to anti-intellectual viewpoints.

Can you cite this? A lot of this sounds like a giant conspiracy theory to me. I don't give politicians enough credit to be organized enough to enact a conspiracy successfully.

Quote

The reason conservative republicans have preferred that people stay out of academia is because academics or people with at least bachelors degrees tend to vote democratic. Republicans need votes, but they also seek to see less people vote, which is why they often oppose motor voter registration, and they want voter id laws. The less people who vote, the better off their chances of winning an election, the less people who goto college, the better off their chances are.

Again, this requires a citation. Given how close the last two presidential elections were, I don't think this is a fair assessment. And I would argue that voter ID laws come into play because we have a problem with illegal immigration. If you are a citizen of this country, you have the right to vote and should exercise it. What is wrong with requiring people to show photo ID to prevent voter fraud?

Also, why would Republicans shy away from people with college degrees in favor of those without them? Stereotypically, fairly wealthy, college educated, working class people tend to vote Republican based on fiscal issues.

Quote

"You cant do much without thinking" means you cant do many successful things with out thinking first. If communism is your example, then it proves my point,

You and I both agree here then. I did implore other examples such as mindless jobs, where people can still earn a living. Not a lot of thinking is involved with data entry.

Quote

America also values innovation, theres no innovation when everyone just does trivial things exclusively.

Nobody is arguing that. But conversely, the mindless jobs are necessary too. Mindless people only become unnecessary when these jobs are automated. We're not quite there yet, though.
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#42 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:22 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 23 September 2012 - 02:56 PM, said:

Again, this requires a citation. Given how close the last two presidential elections were, I don't think this is a fair assessment. And I would argue that voter ID laws come into play because we have a problem with illegal immigration. If you are a citizen of this country, you have the right to vote and should exercise it. What is wrong with requiring people to show photo ID to prevent voter fraud?



This is a bad solution for a non-problem. First of all, it's simply not the case that illegal voters are a problem that is actually happening. Since there isn't a problem, it's not necessary to bring in illegal immigration as a cause of the problem, but if you wanted to talk about this, why on earth shouldn't someone vote in the elections that affect them where they live*?
So that's what's wrong with requiring photo ID to prevent voter fraud: there isn't voter fraud to prevent.
What is wrong with requiring people to show photo ID, just in case? It imposes an undue burden on the voter, which is a burden in time and in money. This burden falls disproportionately on the poor and the working people - the lower down you go on the pecking order, the harder it is to take a day off, and the less likely you are to have that time paid, and the higher the proportion of your income or wealth that time represents.
If I'm Willard and I run Bain Capital, I can take the afternoon off to get my ID, and it'll never be a problem. If I'm me, and I work in tech, I can take an afternoon off if I want - assuming there's no meetings I need to be at - but I can't charge for it. That's fine, I can afford it. Nuisance at worst, I might have to sign in that night and answer some emails.
Now let's say I'm working in retail - if I can get the time off, it's at my expense, and I'm working for minimum wage, which means I don't have a lot of room to move. Taking a few hours off can really hurt, especially if I have kids, so I'm likely to not do it.
This is not even getting into the fact that Willard is likely to have the time and resources to follow the politics and keep up with the requirements on exercising his franchise, which tends to fall off as you move down the salary chain.

So, this "solution" means you disproportionately disenfranchise the poor in order to solve a problem which is simply not a problem. That's a problem.


*If you believe in basic free market economics, you simply can't defend restrictions on labor based on nationality- that's a government meddling in the market, distorting prices, which as we learned on day one of macro always leads to a suboptimal outcome. Further, if you believe in the very basics of economics, you have to believe that our economy depends on these people being here - you'll notice that there is a defined niche for "people not subject to labor law", and our social security system relies to a large degree on their paying into the system and not taking money out. If we believe that they should be allowed to work here, and indeed we rely on them working here, it seems to me simple justice and plain common sense to grant them voting rights based on where they live, not on where they were born.

nativist frothing and bubbling > /dev/null please
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#43 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:42 PM

I'm pretty sure more voter fraud comes from miscounts, "finding" votes, and the horribly bugged and insecure machines than people voting under false pretense.

Citation needed, but seriously, they don't go around rounding up thousands of people off the streets to vote for a particular party like back in the good old days.


View Postjon.kiparsky, on 23 September 2012 - 04:22 PM, said:

nativist frothing and bubbling > /dev/null please

I AM SO FROTHY RIGHT NOW.

This post has been edited by xclite: 23 September 2012 - 01:44 PM

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#44 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 23 September 2012 - 02:09 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 23 September 2012 - 12:56 PM, said:

<Snip>


I dont know why you think its a conspiracy, or even anything like one. Republicans have gone on record saying that they are generally not in favor of academia. Its not a conspiracy, they just say what they want about academia and hope it sticks, and in alot of situations, it has.

Heres on recent instance:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIh1F-V6eXM

Religion is a platform for the right.

Not to mention, the red scare had a major impact on the anti-intellectual attitudes of the US, and colleges, to some extent were seen as strongholds for American communists, in a large part, this attitude is still pretty prominent among the more extreme right wingers:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=3OALYNRY3Vw

I dont know why you think this is hidden knowledge, the right largely admits to having these attitudes. Even if they kept it secret, I dont really know how it could be seen as a conspiracy, either. This isnt some group of people hiding behind the curtain planning out some elaborite system. Theyre simply spreading their opinions on academia, and in some ways, it catches on.

senate vote: http://www.senate.go...on=1&vote=00118

Voter id to surpress votes in PA: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EuOT1bRYdK8, Pa. House Republican Leader Mike Turzai speaks on June 23, 2012

People with college degrees more often vote democratic.
There is a partisan logic to the Republican hostility to higher education: the well-educated — a reliable source of conservative support as recently as the 1980s — have been moving steadily toward the Democratic Party

Similarly, those without college degrees lean toward voting for Republican congressional candidates 49-40, while those with them lean toward Democrats 46-44.

Not only are Democrats making gains among the better-educated, but these voters are becoming a larger share of the electorate. Exit polls show the growth of the college-educated voting bloc.

By 2008, the Republican advantage of the early 1980s among voters with a college degree or higher had disappeared

Then take in mind the southern strategy.

The things im saying arent conspiracy theories, they are usually taught in most Poli sci classes
http://campaignstops...ing-to-college/

im not saying "mindless" jobs arent necessary, but you cant have a sustained economy with those exclusively

This post has been edited by macosxnerd101: 23 September 2012 - 02:12 PM
Reason for edit:: Please stop quoting large blocks of text.

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#45 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: The Degradation of the Student

Posted 23 September 2012 - 02:11 PM

View Postxclite, on 23 September 2012 - 03:42 PM, said:

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 23 September 2012 - 04:22 PM, said:

nativist frothing and bubbling > /dev/null please

I AM SO FROTHY RIGHT NOW.


Well, that's what I like about you.
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