Dealing with Ignorance

Anthropology, History, Psychology, Sociology and other related areas.

Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Serpent on July 13th, 2015, 6:53 pm 

Here is one factor in popular culture that supports disrespect for the old: a stereotype image propagated in consumer advertising. The elderly person who is clueless about technology* and fashion*.

* Hey, sonny! All you know is which button to push. We invented the stuff you're so proud of. Some of us still understand more about how it works than you ever will.

*Hey, little girl! You're throwing good clothes into landfill your children will be mining, because you think you'll always have money to buy the skills you disdain to learn.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 14th, 2015, 10:48 am 

Oh my goodness, @Serpent, that is just awful! And it is so wrong! I live in a building for people over 55 and we are extremely conscious of the environment and we recycle everything. As far as we can tell it is the younger folks throwing away stuff with no care for tomorrow.

What we are proud of is our history. Proving a democracy can work and defending it in two world wars. What the people before us endured as they moved our civilization from coast to coast required endurance and strength. The immigrants who came here endured a lot with the hope their children would have better lives.

I think the failure to teach history, has lead to a social problem? And this is what started this thread. The thread in the other forum, that was the motive for opening this one, is still getting comments like, the Greek gods have nothing to do with democracy. That is a thread about the culture of the US, with zero understanding of Greeks and Romans and the enlightenment, or of liberal education, and why the Capital Building in Washington DC has a mural of the gods.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 14th, 2015, 11:18 am 

[quote="Paralith » July 6th, 2015, 1:23 am"

Yes, many things are different when discussing a topic with a person who is informed on the background knowledge and a person who isn't, but one thing is not: no one likes being told their viewpoint is invalid. You grew very angry to be told your contributions weren't desired because of your age. Can you be so surprised, then, that they grew angry to be told that their contributions weren't desired because they don't have knowldege of a certain part of history? Not only not desired, but judged as completely worthless and uninteresting to you. Even if there is some factual grounds for such an accusation, no one likes to hear it. Some minds are closed and stay closed no matter what, but no mind will open when so battered.

There are many ways to approach a conversation with someone lacking background knowledge of a topic, but starting from a position of "they cannot possibly have anything of value to offer!" is a non-starting position. If you want them to have respect for your knowledge and to listen to what you say, you have to repay the favor. Again, some people are deeply entrenched in their viewpoints and no amount of kind talk will sway them, but if there is any chance at all for a productive discussion, some mutual respect is required.

And yes, this can be very hard. But this is what I was talking about in my post about learning from exposure and interaction to people who disagree with you, even if the disagreement stems from a lack of knowledge. You learn how to listen to them, and how to speak to them. You learn how to do your best to teach while being respectful. You practice and learn better how to express your own ideas and thoughts to people of different backgrounds than your own. And you learn that sometimes people can surprise you, that yes, maybe someone growing up and living within American culture can in fact say something insightul about it even if they have not studied the Enlightenment. But you will never have the chance to learn any of these things if you shut down the conversation before it even starts.

Like I also said in my post, it's about moderation. To fully engage and try to learn and teach in a very difficult conversation is a time and energy and emotion consuming activity. It is hard and there is only so much of it a person can take at one time. If you choose to avoid or step away from these conversations for those reasons that is understandable and reasonable, but also take responsibility for the fact that it is your own choice that you're making to step away. For your own growth and evolution, sometimes you have to take a deep breath and make the choice to step in.


Absolutely my post usually take a lot of time and energy. I spend as much as an hour on one post. I usually contemplate what I want to say and how to say it. And then the emotional element comes into this, and when I am being disrespected after all the work I put into my post about a subject that gives me a sense of life purpose, it is not a good thing. The emotional storm shuts down my ability to reason.

I am paying more attention to my emotional reactions and have noticed I get emotional when I feel passionate about something. My emotional expression is often a communication problem because it is often anger and not the communication I want to make. I don't think I would have become aware of this if it were not for you all.

You all might like to know the impact you are having on my life. I snapped at my great grandson when he was resistant to combing his hair before we went out. You all kind of stay in my head, and you didn't approve of my anger, so I questioned why I got angry and realized I have strong concerns for his social acceptance and success in life, because his parents are kind of on the outside of mainstream society. Whatever, the point is my anger was not helpful and I realized that because you all are looking over my shoulder and advising me. I apologized and tried to explain why I think it is important he comb his hair when going out.

I heard it might become possible for us to live 300 years. That would be great as I think I am just beginning to learn how to be a better person and a happier person.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 14th, 2015, 11:37 am 

Braininvat » July 9th, 2015, 10:01 am wrote:
Nobody can be prepared for the magnitude of it - for the massive draughts....


Skoal, mate! Consider me prepared.

There's a lot of meander in this thread, which is fun....for me, the central ignorance problem remains with the general deficiency in science education for hoi polloi and a resultant lack of understanding of the ecological juggernauts bearing down on us. We should be way ahead on the learning curve, compared to Diamond's Mayans or Easter Islanders or (I forget all the examples he used)....but the percent of the population who really understand what a sustainable lifestyle would be, or a reasonable carrying capacity, remains woefully small.

Like the compulsive who needs to touch every parking meter....
A Monk fan, I see. Delightful series.



You have hit on one of my pet peeves, and something that gives me hope. A better we understand math can greatly improve the chances of making good decisions. I wish everyone understood exponential growth and understood sustainable living. I wish everyone around the world stopped reproducing beyond a replacement of themselves, and in areas like many Arab and African countries where there is extremely little water, they have a choice, reduce the population or have a high death rate. At this point in time, there are no other choices. Science might come up with solutions to the water problem, but that solution will not be found in a holy book.

The mindset shift from religion to math and science needs to be made for better life-saving choices.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 14th, 2015, 11:45 am 

zetreque » July 9th, 2015, 12:56 pm wrote:BadgerJelly:

Yes. Do you think curiosity of everything western has a negative or positive impact however? I don't know "The Enlightenment". Does it matter if it is positive or negative to be enlightenment? I would assume it would have to be positive, but negative can lead to learning valuable lessons. As Brain pointed out with the meandering, may I also point out I am a monk fan. :)


Smile, as a Christian thinks everyone should know the bible, and a Muslim thinks everyone should know the Koran, I think everyone should know of the Enlightenment, and that the Statue of Liberty holds a book, because literacy is essential to enlightenment and she holds a torch to represent being enlightened. This means everything to me. There is no understanding of democracy without this basic understanding of what enlightenment is all about, and our role in life as carriers of the torch, and self-governing people.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby mtbturtle on July 14th, 2015, 12:18 pm 

The Statue of Liberty holds the book or tablet inscribed July 4, MDCCLXXVI - the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Athena, Are you going to get around to telling us what enlightenment is all about or just keep complaining about those darn kids today!
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Paralith on July 14th, 2015, 4:14 pm 

It maybe be best to start a thread dedicated to it, but yes, I'm also wondering what you, Athena, think is so essential about the Enlightenment that you cannot or prefer not to discuss American culture without it. After all, this thread appears to be discussing aspects of American culture which can lead to ignorance without much specific reference to the Enlightenment that I can see.

You've also mentioned many times that you think the problem is that we educate for technology. I'm not sure what that means. I found this quote of yours:

There are so many good replies, and I am choosing yours first because YOU HIT ON WHAT I TO TALK ABOUT! THAT IS THE IGNORANCE PROBLEM THE CULTURAL GAP BETWEEN YOUNG AND OLD, THAT HAS CHANGED THE MEANING OUR WORDS AND OUR VALUES AND OUR WHOLE OUTLOOK ON LIFE.

Before the focus on education was technology, it was literature and good citizenship. It is storytelling, songs and dance around the communal fire, and when printing and paper making made cheap books possible it was literature that manifested culture. Culture is not unplanned haphazard anything you think it is. The literature that manifested the culture of the US is now forgotten. The result is complete cultural breakdown, and the meanings of our words are so changed communication is more of a challenge than ever.


You seem to think that we must read literature in order to absorb our culture. But technology can help make literature and other aspects of our culture more accessible to us all.

But I'm also not sure I agree that, because kids these days ain't readin books, that's why we can't communicate between the generations. For one, communication between the generations can in fact happen - it's happening here. I think many of us are of an age with the young woman who was so unkind to you in the other forum. For another, I think cultures and patterns of communication have always been changing with the generations, long before modern technology took the dominating role in our lives that it does now.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Serpent on July 14th, 2015, 4:42 pm 

Athena » July 14th, 2015, 9:48 am wrote:Oh my goodness, @Serpent, that is just awful! And it is so wrong! I live in a building for people over 55 and we are extremely conscious of the environment and we recycle everything. As far as we can tell it is the younger folks throwing away stuff with no care for tomorrow.


Exactly what I was on about. Perhaps my phrasing made the POV unclear. My partner was in the forefront of computer program design from c 1970 to 2000 (yes, even in several Y2K damage control projects.) I've been re-purposing, re-using and recycling all kinds of consumer goods since long before there were government initiatives. We both know how to make a number of useful articles and repair many more - our children refused to learn any of those skills and prefer to replace everything with new, shinier products. We've both followed scientific and social trends with considerable interest, while they prefer ... not to be bothered.
But they depict us as out of touch.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Serpent on July 14th, 2015, 6:54 pm 

Oh, boo! The reply box let me type away for ten minutes, and then informed me that I can no longer edit that post!

Just to add: My children are Yuppies. Their perception and attitude is not shared by all of their generation. The rural young people I meet daily include traditional crafters of remarkable skill, organic farmers, passionate environmentalists and innovative thinkers. The children and grandchildren of my friend are very much aware and concerned. And they read.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 14th, 2015, 8:23 pm 

Paralith » July 14th, 2015, 2:14 pm wrote:It maybe be best to start a thread dedicated to it, but yes, I'm also wondering what you, Athena, think is so essential about the Enlightenment that you cannot or prefer not to discuss American culture without it. After all, this thread appears to be discussing aspects of American culture which can lead to ignorance without much specific reference to the Enlightenment that I can see.

You've also mentioned many times that you think the problem is that we educate for technology. I'm not sure what that means. I found this quote of yours:

There are so many good replies, and I am choosing yours first because YOU HIT ON WHAT I TO TALK ABOUT! THAT IS THE IGNORANCE PROBLEM THE CULTURAL GAP BETWEEN YOUNG AND OLD, THAT HAS CHANGED THE MEANING OUR WORDS AND OUR VALUES AND OUR WHOLE OUTLOOK ON LIFE.

Before the focus on education was technology, it was literature and good citizenship. It is storytelling, songs and dance around the communal fire, and when printing and paper making made cheap books possible it was literature that manifested culture. Culture is not unplanned haphazard anything you think it is. The literature that manifested the culture of the US is now forgotten. The result is complete cultural breakdown, and the meanings of our words are so changed communication is more of a challenge than ever.


You seem to think that we must read literature in order to absorb our culture. But technology can help make literature and other aspects of our culture more accessible to us all.

But I'm also not sure I agree that, because kids these days ain't reading books, that's why we can't communicate between the generations. For one, communication between the generations can, in fact, happen - it's happening here. I think many of us are of an age with the young woman who was so unkind to you in the other forum. For another, I think cultures and patterns of communication have always been changing with the generations, long before modern technology took the dominating role in our lives that it does now.


Wow, I got a lot of explaining to do. Let me start with the culture/communication problem. I have at least one book that explains this, but I will take a huge shortcut to make a point. In IQ test minorities tended to score lower because they do not grow up with the cultural stories those with a White European heritage pass on to our children. That many not be so today because no one is passing on those stories, and we have made a big effort to be less culturally biased in IQ testing, but I hope I have made the point, that culture is learned, it also gives words meaning and conveys concepts. When a culture is is not transmitted there is a communication problem.

Today when I say only highly moral people can have liberty, does everyone understand what that has to do with science and the US democracy? How about if someone does something wrong, that is ignorance, and that is why education is very important to our liberty. I am not expecting everyone to know what I am talking about because that is the communication problem. I made it really bad, by studying what it meant to defend democracy in the classroom. I am saying stuff educated people took for granted and find people are not relating to what I say. It really upsets me when they say our democracy has nothing to do with the gods. It bothers me that they don't realize our Statue of Liberty, Lady of Justice and Spirit of America, are the three aspects of Athena, Athens goddess of Liberty, Justice and Defense of those who stand for liberty and justice, but this one bothers me less because no one know this unless s/he read "Goddesses in Every Woman", and book about psychology written by a woman.

I hope now you get my communication problem is a cultural problem. My head is full of ideas that are not common. In the day of Washington and Jefferson, the problem would not be serious if I were speaking with those who had a liberal education and studied Cicero. On the other hand, if I were speaking with illiterate farmers who studied nothing but the bible, I would not be making any friends, talking about those pagans! Christianity is not really compatible with democracy and this has caused a huge problem.

Yes, we must read the literature to know the culture. Now if you want to understand native American cultures, you would not read the literature I refer to. You would have study native American stories, and songs and understand the importance of dance to their culture.

Technology is not about culture or concepts necessary to civilization, or good moral judgment. On the other hand, science is necessary to good moral judgment.

I am out of time.

The Enlightenment is also known as the Age of Reason. It is brought on by the thinking of men like Bacon and Newton and literacy in Cicero. It is a return to the ancient Greek understanding of universal law and brings us to rule by reason, without superstition and believing a God is controlling our lives. If we don't understand universal law and rule by reason, we don't have a good understanding of democracy. I got to run-
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Paralith on July 14th, 2015, 11:16 pm 

I think most of us would agree that culture is certainly learned. And literature is a potent source of cultural information, but it is not the only source. And literature, especially today, can take many different forms.

Obviously, people who have been raised in and learned from the same cultural sources will have an easier time communicating than people who have not. But, do we really expect each succeeding generation to learn from the exact same cultural resources? Do we not expect each generation to modify, adapt, and grow their culture with their own thoughts and experiences and interests? Should we limit ourselves to only communicating with people who have the exact same cultural background as we do, and censure those who had the audacity to learn from different sources than we have? Obviously I'm indulging in some hyperbole here, but I hope you get my picture.

I suppose it could be argued that technology is not, by itself, about culture. But neither is a hammer, by itself, about houses. Technology is a tool, a tool that can be used to transmit and elaborate and create cultural information. I'm still not sure what you mean by educate for technology. Educate with technology is a phrase I can understand. But for? I'm not sure.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Serpent on July 15th, 2015, 12:11 am 

History, and the learning of history, is certainly important. So are the basics of reason, logic, scientific investigation and every other form of research. So are linguistics, ethics and political theory.

When learning history through the oral and/or literary tradition of a single culture, the student has the advantage of continuity, coherence and identification. He also has the disadvantage of bias, a limited view, a large dark area of exclusion. He can't possibly learn everything about everything, or even everything relevant about everyone. The best he can hope for is a grounding of self in a matrix that fits his abilities and inclinations, from which he can look outward and choose areas of interest, points of engagement - and, if he's curious and lucky - interfaces with real people in other matrices.

I suspect the shortest route to that possibility is not the classroom but the library: not formal education but popular fiction.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 15th, 2015, 11:27 am 

Paralith » July 14th, 2015, 9:16 pm wrote:I think most of us would agree that culture is certainly learned. And literature is a potent source of cultural information, but it is not the only source. And literature, especially today, can take many different forms.

Obviously, people who have been raised in and learned from the same cultural sources will have an easier time communicating than people who have not. But, do we really expect each succeeding generation to learn from the exact same cultural resources? Do we not expect each generation to modify, adapt, and grow their culture with their own thoughts and experiences and interests? Should we limit ourselves to only communicating with people who have the exact same cultural background as we do, and censure those who had the audacity to learn from different sources than we have? Obviously I'm indulging in some hyperbole here, but I hope you get my picture.

I suppose it could be argued that technology is not, by itself, about culture. But neither is a hammer, by itself, about houses. Technology is a tool, a tool that can be used to transmit and elaborate and create cultural information. I'm still not sure what you mean by educate for technology. Educate with technology is a phrase I can understand. But for? I'm not sure.


I don't want to keep repeating myself and going in a circle that gets no where. So let's try some questions.

Would you jump into a discussion about physics without ever taking a class in physics or reading a book in physics, and start telling informed people they don't know what they are talking about?

Did the culture of the US begin the day you were born or was it established before you got here? What have you learned of that culture and how did you learn it? Does your opinion of what that culture is, agree with everyone else? How about the Black person angry about slavery?

Do you believe the church is the authority of morals? Can you explain the relationship between morals and liberty? How is social order best maintained?

Education for technology for military and industrial purposes products for industry. It is turning human beings into programmed parts that can be plugged into the Military, Industrial Complex. It leaves moral training to the church. It uses the Behaviorist Method, rewarding students for right answers and punishing them for wrong answers, and leaves them dependent on authority. Unlike liberal education, it does nothing to transition the young to adulthood. That is the responsibility of parents. Problem is parents who had this education don't know how to be good parents unless they were fortunate enough to have good influences in their lives, like a strong family and/or church, and grew up in a good neighborhood, and not a city ghetto. In short this is the education that brought Germany to Hitler, you know, the Christian Republic we defeated in two world wars, and then imitated.

What made the Christian Republic of the US different from the Christian Republic of Germany? The answer has something to do with the relationship to authority.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Eclogite on July 15th, 2015, 1:10 pm 

Paralith » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:16 pm wrote:Obviously I'm indulging in some hyperbole here, but I hope you get my picture.
I'm not sure that you were. You made an important point and you made it with vigour, but it deserved to made in that manner.

Athena, you seem to be holding the view - and please correct me if I have misinterpreted your position - that only someone with a cultural education similar to the one you describe for yourself can properly appreciate the importance and nature of liberty and democracy, for example.

You mention some interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty that I was quite unaware of. I have contemplated those facts but they have not altered my understanding of liberty, or democracy in any way. Are you, perhaps, attaching to much importance to specific symbols, without recognising that others may arrive at the same conclusion through exposure to different symbols that represent the same thing?

For example, as a Briton and a Scot I attach considerable significance to the Magna Carta and to the activities of Robert the Bruce. I suspect a former East German of my age would understand freedom and democaracy much more through contemplating a fragment of concrete from the wall.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby zetreque on July 15th, 2015, 1:18 pm 

Eclogite » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:10 am wrote:Are you, perhaps, attaching to much importance to specific symbols, without recognising that others may arrive at the same conclusion through exposure to different symbols that represent the same thing?


I had a similar thought but wasn't quite sure how to put it into words. The USA is a country of many immigrants with incredibly different backgrounds. So there are lots of interpretations and many of them could lead to the same conclusions. They can even see the same symbol in a different way but arrive at the same conclusion.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Paralith on July 15th, 2015, 3:06 pm 

Athena wrote:Would you jump into a discussion about physics without ever taking a class in physics or reading a book in physics, and start telling informed people they don't know what they are talking about?


If someone had never ever studied physics - or, in a field more relevant to my own knowledge, biology - at all, no, I probably wouldn't want to discuss any high level biology topics with them. But I readily accept that different people can gain knowledge about biology in different ways than I did. I went to grad school; maybe someone else studied books and read articles at home; maybe someone else has been a research assistant in a working lab. There is a difference between someone with no knowledge on the topic versus someone with different knowledge on the topic.

Did the culture of the US begin the day you were born or was it established before you got here? What have you learned of that culture and how did you learn it? Does your opinion of what that culture is, agree with everyone else? How about the Black person angry about slavery?

Do you believe the church is the authority of morals? Can you explain the relationship between morals and liberty? How is social order best maintained?

Education for technology for military and industrial purposes products for industry. It is turning human beings into programmed parts that can be plugged into the Military, Industrial Complex. It leaves moral training to the church. It uses the Behaviorist Method, rewarding students for right answers and punishing them for wrong answers, and leaves them dependent on authority. Unlike liberal education, it does nothing to transition the young to adulthood. That is the responsibility of parents. Problem is parents who had this education don't know how to be good parents unless they were fortunate enough to have good influences in their lives, like a strong family and/or church, and grew up in a good neighborhood, and not a city ghetto. In short this is the education that brought Germany to Hitler, you know, the Christian Republic we defeated in two world wars, and then imitated.

What made the Christian Republic of the US different from the Christian Republic of Germany? The answer has something to do with the relationship to authority.


This sounds to me that you dislike training students for particular jobs or roles and would prefer to train them generally in learning and critical thinking and even how to behave. I'm still not sure how you got the phrase "educating for technology" out of that, but this is a position I can comprehend. Personally, I think it is important to find ways to teach students both things, because they will need both in their lives.

The question is now, however, what legitimacy students who have been "educated for technology" have in a discussion about culture and history. If they do not know the background and history of the topics, well, they cannot speak to what the history and background is exactly. But I think there are many topics they can discuss, especially as pertains to what knowledge and background they do have. And again, just because their knowledge may be different doesn't mean it's not legitimate or worthwhile. They may not be able to discuss the specific topics you may wish to discuss, as there are few people I know who can discuss human life history theory with me, but does that mean they're not allowed to discuss culture at all? I don't require that you know human life history theory before you can talk about human evolution with me.

You have seemed convinced, however, that without knowledge of the Enlightenment any and all discussion of American culture is impossible. And this I wonder about.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby zetreque on July 15th, 2015, 11:25 pm 

I did my best to find a point and split this thread into a new topic.

Here:
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=29156

The title might not be right since the subject matter is now way out of my knowledge area but I went with
The Enlightenment, Democracy, Religion.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 22nd, 2015, 7:55 pm 

What is a good way to reply to this post?

As someone who lives in the southern hemisphere the only acceptable way of looking at the earth is from our perspective rather than the imposed position that northern hemisphere people force on the world.

Which means that the sun does rise in the west. But one would have to argue the point with northeners.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 22nd, 2015, 8:04 pm 

zetreque » July 15th, 2015, 9:25 pm wrote:I did my best to find a point and split this thread into a new topic.

Here:
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=29156

The title might not be right since the subject matter is now way out of my knowledge area but I went with
The Enlightenment, Democracy, Religion.


Sorry I missed your post as I was busy in the thread you started. I really like it. There is a major pull between how people of science understand reality and people of religion understand reality. As I understand democracy, it demands the scientific point of view. This is important to everything a democracy deals with from morals to the management of resources. But my notion of democracy is a complex concept, requiring knowledge of many simple concepts.

I am not opposed to learning skills but if that is all the people learn, they are not prepared for democracy. Keep in mind, since the earliest civilizations, education for technology was for slaves. Liberal education is for free people who govern themselves. Since the 1958 National Defense Education Act the US has prepared the young for the Military, Industrial Complex, and left moral training to the church. This is devastating to our liberty, and past President Eisenhower warned us the dangers of the Military, Industrial Complex.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby CanadysPeak on July 22nd, 2015, 9:05 pm 

Athena » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:04 pm wrote:
zetreque » July 15th, 2015, 9:25 pm wrote:I did my best to find a point and split this thread into a new topic.

Here:
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=29156

The title might not be right since the subject matter is now way out of my knowledge area but I went with
The Enlightenment, Democracy, Religion.


Sorry I missed your post as I was busy in the thread you started. I really like it. There is a major pull between how people of science understand reality and people of religion understand reality. As I understand democracy, it demands the scientific point of view. This is important to everything a democracy deals with from morals to the management of resources. But my notion of democracy is a complex concept, requiring knowledge of many simple concepts.

I am not opposed to learning skills but if that is all the people learn, they are not prepared for democracy. Keep in mind, since the earliest civilizations, education for technology was for slaves. Liberal education is for free people who govern themselves. Since the 1958 National Defense Education Act the US has prepared the young for the Military, Industrial Complex, and left moral training to the church. This is devastating to our liberty, and past President Eisenhower warned us the dangers of the Military, Industrial Complex.


Athena, for about the umpteenth time, NDEA did NOT provide for education for technology; it authorized funding for technology for education. Quit reading it backwards. It also authorized huge increases in funding for science, math, and global studies. It did not provide additional monies for classical studies, but none was needed. If you studied the classics, you are aware that one can run a perfectly good Latin program for the cost of thirty Ponies.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 22nd, 2015, 10:30 pm 

CanadysPeak » July 22nd, 2015, 7:05 pm wrote:
Athena » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:04 pm wrote:
zetreque » July 15th, 2015, 9:25 pm wrote:I did my best to find a point and split this thread into a new topic.

Here:
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=29156

The title might not be right since the subject matter is now way out of my knowledge area but I went with
The Enlightenment, Democracy, Religion.


Sorry I missed your post as I was busy in the thread you started. I really like it. There is a major pull between how people of science understand reality and people of religion understand reality. As I understand democracy, it demands the scientific point of view. This is important to everything a democracy deals with from morals to the management of resources. But my notion of democracy is a complex concept, requiring knowledge of many simple concepts.

I am not opposed to learning skills but if that is all the people learn, they are not prepared for democracy. Keep in mind, since the earliest civilizations, education for technology was for slaves. Liberal education is for free people who govern themselves. Since the 1958 National Defense Education Act the US has prepared the young for the Military, Industrial Complex, and left moral training to the church. This is devastating to our liberty, and past President Eisenhower warned us the dangers of the Military, Industrial Complex.


Athena, for about the umpteenth time, NDEA did NOT provide for education for technology; it authorized funding for technology for education. Quit reading it backwards. It also authorized huge increases in funding for science, math, and global studies. It did not provide additional monies for classical studies, but none was needed. If you studied the classics, you are aware that one can run a perfectly good Latin program for the cost of thirty Ponies.



Are you drunk? For how long have you studied the history of education? What are you using as your source of your information?


This is what J. A. B. Sinclair said at the National Education Association Conference in 1917.
"The German military organization is the world's model, at least from the standpoint of immediate accomplishment of results, and therefore we can hardly do better than to emulate it in its perfect working. It was effected in its minutest detail by the very essence of scientific thought and application. In that organization every tongue fitted its groove, every tooth its socket. We have seen how the Kaiser's marvelous soldiers carried their banner to the very outskirts of Paris in August and September, 1914. It is tge Great God of efficiency, to which the Germans were required by their commanders to pay the homage of worship- and it behooves us either to effect a thing that will operate as well or to copy theirs. The fact of the world at war has silenct the erring lips that declared against the necessity for preparation against disaster, like that of Belgium and Servia."


This was the first time National Defense, Education and Industry sat on the same board, and it is when vocational training was added to public education for military and industrial purpose. However, until the development WWII military technology and especially air warfare and the atomic bomb, patriotism was more important to our national defense than anything else, so education for citizenship remain the priority of education, until 1958 when education for the Military, Industrial Complex became the priority of education, and the US more fully replaced its model of education with the German model.

Today we can enter a war on 4 hours notice and do more damage in a few hours than could have been several troops in many months.

If you want to discuss this with me, you will do so respectfully, or I will ignore you post.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby mtbturtle on July 23rd, 2015, 5:58 am 

Athena,

If you want to discuss this with me, you will do so respectfully, or I will ignore you post.


If this is your idea of respect
Are you drunk?
, I understand why you have so many problems dealing with people on other forums. I wouldn't be surprised if CanadysPeak ignores you which is too bad for the rest of us.
How rude.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby CanadysPeak on July 23rd, 2015, 6:51 am 

mtbturtle » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:58 am wrote:Athena,

If you want to discuss this with me, you will do so respectfully, or I will ignore you post.


If this is your idea of respect
Are you drunk?
, I understand why you have so many problems dealing with people on other forums. I wouldn't be surprised if CanadysPeak ignores you which is too bad for the rest of us.
How rude.


I am not offended. Athena responded to my objection, and that was my intent.

Athena,
You are mostly correct about a shift in educational emphasis, but you are wrong about the time and you are wrong about what the shift was.

There was emphasis in high schools on education for the more highly skilled trades at least as early as the late 1800s. You can see this most clearly, I believe, in the schools of New York and Massachusetts. But, there was little emphasis on education for the lower skill levels needed in factories.

In the early 1900s, educators began to look closely at the German education system, especially as practiced in Prussia, as a way to address this lack of education. Keep in mind that a large number of Americans were going to be earning a living on auto assembly lines, in steel mills, etc. They had no need of Latin, but they had a need for shop math, for familiarity with tools, for skill at typing, and so on. The Germans were doing this preparation very well, and are still doing it pretty well to this day. We were not doing it so well.

This was addressed in some school systems at the time of World War I, but not many. All school curricula were still controlled at the state level.

I'll leave it there for the moment, to await your response, but we are talking late nineteenth century to early twentieth century, and we are talking about classes in woodwork and sewing, for example, for people who often didn't read English very well, let alone Greek.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby vivian maxine on July 23rd, 2015, 7:41 am 

I think I know what Athena means by "education for technology". If I'm wrong, so be it. There has been a zeroing in on strict education in the field one intends to spend his life working at and an elimination of anything that is "not relevant". Computer science is one very good example. All the student is studying is computers. He never heard of William Blake or Henri Rousseau. His knowledge of geography or history is zilch. And he has no idea who, where or what Pluto is. I know a doctor - very learned in his own field - who often expresses regrets that he never got to read any of the classics as he went through school.

In other words, education is not as broad as it once was. Am I on the right track, Athena? If so, there is a point to be made that there is simply too much to study today. Our learning has expanded exponentially and something has to give. We can't cover as much territory as we once could. But, that said, surely we could do better than zero in on computers or other topics and spend the whole four or eight years at that and nothing else. An enriched life is a more enjoyable life.

About your question: would you dare try to talk physics with a physicist if you knew nothing about physics? My answer to that question is "it depends on the physicist" but that's another topic worth thinking about..

P.S. My apologies, CanadaysPeak, I typed this before seeing your post. You have said it far better than I. I would ask, though: Farther back - 100 years ago - didn't they also try to included literature, history, even art and music along with the technical skills? That is what seems to have gone by the wayside today.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby CanadysPeak on July 23rd, 2015, 8:19 am 

vivian maxine » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:41 am wrote:I think I know what Athena means by "education for technology". If I'm wrong, so be it. There has been a zeroing in on strict education in the field one intends to spend his life working at and an elimination of anything that is "not relevant". Computer science is one very good example. All the student is studying is computers. He never heard of William Blake or Henri Rousseau. His knowledge of geography or history is zilch. And he has no idea who, where or what Pluto is. I know a doctor - very learned in his own field - who often expresses regrets that he never got to read any of the classics as he went through school.

In other words, education is not as broad as it once was. Am I on the right track, Athena? If so, there is a point to be made that there is simply too much to study today. Our learning has expanded exponentially and something has to give. We can't cover as much territory as we once could. But, that said, surely we could do better than zero in on computers or other topics and spend the whole four or eight years at that and nothing else. An enriched life is a more enjoyable life.

About your question: would you dare try to talk physics with a physicist if you knew nothing about physics? My answer to that question is "it depends on the physicist" but that's another topic worth thinking about..


I also think I know what education for technology is, but I believe I see it primarily at the post-secondary level. High schools offer some courses in microprocessors, robotics, etc, but still require the students to take courses in language, history, and government/POD/(whatever they call the course about politics, finance,etc).

To understand the discussion, and I think Athena has lost that understanding by focusing on one small part, one must understand one difference in 1900 between the US industrial system with its large, vertically integrated factories and the German industrial system with its emphasis on small shops fitting together into an industrial complex. German industrial workers were then, and are now, more likely to be satisfied and productive than the American auto worker who spends his life putting left side door latches on mid-sized sedans. But, the handcraft system in Germany required coordinated education curricula and a systemized apprenticeship program.

The focus of the 1958 NDEA was not on this vocational education, but on the sciences, engineering, and math. One might argue that engineering is education for technology, and I would not disagree, but science and math are traditional classical studies. Moreover, NDEA did nothing at all to impede study of literature, arts, or any of the classical studies.

I was a student when NDEA came into being. Prior to the law, I was in a school that had three classes crammed into the cafeteria. There were no science facilities, but there was weekday religious education. Many of the teachers had provisional certificates, meaning they had completed at least one year of college and were still enrolled, probably one class a summer (My cousin was an elementary principal and finally completed her BA after about 30 years of teaching).

Following the passage of NDEA, the biology class got several microscopes, the chemistry course got real sinks and chemicals, and physics got plastic slide rules. Overcrowding was partially alleviated by purchase of "trailers." We still took Latin, still studied geometry, still memorized Shakespeare, and still debated the meaning of the Bill of Rights.

But, we had training for retail, training for business careers (think secretary), and training for agriculture, both before and after NDEA. I took the high road, studied more Latin, more science, and more math than required, completely neglecting the vocational programs. Then, when I graduated and could not afford to attend college (a real possibility in that time), I landed a minimum wage job in a textile mill, all that I was qualified for. But, I could read Latin better than any of my coworkers.
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Postby vivian maxine on July 23rd, 2015, 8:54 am 

Yes, it is primarily at the post-secondary level - if by that you mean college/university. I have heard university students who had zeroed in on technical training for a career say "Shakespeare is irrelevant". I know what they meant but they miss something.

Quote: "But, I could read Latin better than any of my coworkers". Well said but you never know when it might have become useful. Once when I was working in an office of a science research company, one of the scientists walked in and asked in German "where is the telephone?" I answered him which probably surprised him but was fun.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby neuro on July 23rd, 2015, 9:19 am 

vivian maxine » July 23rd, 2015, 12:41 pm wrote:... would you dare try to talk physics with a physicist if you knew nothing about physics? My answer to that question is "it depends on the physicist" but that's another topic worth thinking about..

Totally agree that it is worth thinking about.

And quite connected with the specialization question.
Obviously, personal qualities may play a role (intelligence - whatever that might be, - teaching capacity, being smart, amusing and intriguing, ...); but I feel that one of the most important aspects, in finding a physicist who one would dare try to talk physics with, would be that such physicist had not spent her own life studying physics only, but had studied - though to lesser depth - a number of other aspects, related to literature, philosophy, history and social sciences not less than maths, science, technology and whatever one may think of.

Because if one has explored fields that are not connected with their own, then they are able to speak another language (to translate at least some of the physics into everyday language), to drive you along metaphors and analogies that help understanding, to realize what are the aspects of the topic they study that are most relevant for non-phisicists, and possibly to make also the less directly relevant ones interesting for the non-phisicist.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 23rd, 2015, 10:22 am 

vivian maxine » July 23rd, 2015, 5:41 am wrote:I think I know what Athena means by "education for technology". If I'm wrong, so be it. There has been a zeroing in on strict education in the field one intends to spend his life working at and an elimination of anything that is "not relevant". Computer science is one very good example. All the student is studying is computers. He never heard of William Blake or Henri Rousseau. His knowledge of geography or history is zilch. And he has no idea who, where or what Pluto is. I know a doctor - very learned in his own field - who often expresses regrets that he never got to read any of the classics as he went through school.

In other words, education is not as broad as it once was. Am I on the right track, Athena? If so, there is a point to be made that there is simply too much to study today. Our learning has expanded exponentially and something has to give. We can't cover as much territory as we once could. But, that said, surely we could do better than zero in on computers or other topics and spend the whole four or eight years at that and nothing else. An enriched life is a more enjoyable life.

About your question: would you dare try to talk physics with a physicist if you knew nothing about physics? My answer to that question is "it depends on the physicist" but that's another topic worth thinking about..

P.S. My apologies, CanadaysPeak, I typed this before seeing your post. You have said it far better than I. I would ask, though: Farther back - 100 years ago - didn't they also try to included literature, history, even art and music along with the technical skills? That is what seems to have gone by the wayside today.


You have no reason to apologize to CandaysPeak. What you said is the tip of the iceberg. There are German words for generalist and specialist that I forget, but I had sociology professor who spoke of them. Democracy coming from Athens, it was important to be a generalist, and Pericles defends this in a speech explaining the difference between Athens and Sparta at a war funeral. People thought they had discovered a race of genius when Athena was rediscovered, and we had education for well-rounded individual growth. C grades were just fine, and a research project concluded people with C grades were most apt to succeed, and it was assumed this is because they are well-rounded people. Now C grades are failure. I hope you are getting this is about more than having knowledge. It is also an attitude about life and has something to do with how we relate with one another. Teachers did not always judge students by their scores on test. Children didn't always fear not passing the stats test. How we judge a person's self-worth has changed, and so has our attitude and behaviors. We are as changed as Athens was when Sparta won the war and took over.

Our ability to govern ourselves is crippled with specialization. Now people can only vote with self-interest because all they know about life is their personal experience of it. We are not working with the principles and concepts we used when we used the Conceptual Method for education. As Germany did, we have destroyed our national heroes, and changed our values, and there are serious political consequences to this. A person familiar with Shakespear will come to the polls with a different understanding of life, than someone who thinks literature has no importance in our lives.

There is so much behind what I am saying, I feel overwhelmed and inadequate in my ability to express it. Our equality didn't mean the same, any more than the gods are all the same. No we all are unique and have our place in the larger scheme of things. This goes with ideas of respect and integrity and dignity and I will not tolerate being disrespected, not just because I do not like it, but it is a very bad social behavior and whole of society matters a lot. We once valued each other based on character, and we thought virtues were synonymous with strength. Then we had a Great Depression and a second great war and the US adopted the Germany model of bureaucracy and the Germany model of education replaced our model of education. The bureaucracy and model of education are complimentary.

The German model of bureaucracy is actually Prussian bureaucracy applied to citizens. It is what makes social programs like Social Security possible, and we could not imagine living without this socialist bureaucracy above us. Today education does not internalize authority as our education did but makes everyone dependent on authority, because this advances technology the fastest, and hey, life is too complicated to leave decisions to the people. The decisions are rightly made by experts, and we now have the bureaucratic organization that crushes individual liberty and power, and we all follow policy. See how the education and bureaucracy go together? See how welfare and learned worthlessness go together? When my children were in school the most popular thing a commentator said is, "teachers should not have to spend time on poor students." A young man at the school my daughter attended, killed his teacher parents, and went to school and killed and wounded many people. It was a horribly impersonal school. The change in education includes teaching teachers to be impersonal, and while the explanation for this sounds good, it is also dehumanizing.

Enough, only I have heard disability social security will be bankrupt next year. What will happen to all those people who depend on it? Charity stopped being enough to cover all the people who need help long ago. Right now we may feel like we are the greatest nation on earth, and so did Rome just before the fall. What concerns me a lot is how will we organization ourselves if we do fall like Rome did? Specialized people will never be able to put in place the democracy our forefathers gave us, because they know nothing of it, not the language of virtues, or the reasoning for the inefficient democracy we had, or the value of using the Conceptual Method of education and allowing others their opinions.
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 23rd, 2015, 10:50 am 

vivian maxine » July 23rd, 2015, 12:41 pm wrote:
... would you dare try to talk physics with a physicist if you knew nothing about physics? My answer to that question is "it depends on the physicist" but that's another topic worth thinking about..


What you said is perfect for this thread.

My father was a main engineer for NASA when we sent Apollo to the moon. I didn't grow up with him, and my sister and I did not get child support or visits. I didn't know who he was when I met him age 18. He kept his second in an exclusive neighborhood and explained why it is important to protect children from the neighborhoods where I grew up. He knew a lot or he wouldn't have had his position with NASA, and there is a lot he did not know! Such people can socialize a little bit with people who are just like them, but in general they would not have family and social relationships if it were not for their wives.

It didn't take long, before I realized the professor I was dating could only talk about his subject. He was complete inept at conversation when it was a subject he was not familiar with.

I used to think it was my low economic position that made it impossible for me to find intellectual people to socialize with, then I facilitated a philosophy discussion group at a very high-class retirement community and the only person who continued to come, had been a professor himself. That is to say money doesn't necessarily mean people are well educated or intellectual.

I suppose I should check to see why CandayPeak thinks he is an authority on education, but many people who have not studied the history of education think they know all they need to know about the subject. We all respect Bill Gates and his opinion about education carries a lot of weight, but his idea of a good education seems seriously limited to me. Mostly what determines if I engage with someone or not is the person's manners and how the person responds to me, and makes me feel. This forum has many people who appear to know alot and also are very good at working with people, and some I am more reluctant to engage with because the experience with them has been so bad.

How do we value people?
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Re: Dealing with Ignorance

Postby Athena on July 23rd, 2015, 10:55 am 

mtbturtle » July 23rd, 2015, 3:58 am wrote:Athena,

If you want to discuss this with me, you will do so respectfully, or I will ignore you post.


If this is your idea of respect
Are you drunk?
, I understand why you have so many problems dealing with people on other forums. I wouldn't be surprised if CanadysPeak ignores you which is too bad for the rest of us.
How rude.



Absolutely not, that is not my idea of respect.

Sometimes being ignored is a good thing. It kind of goes with what I said in the thread about increasing the number people who participate in the forum. If people come here are made to feel bad, perhaps they will stop coming. I think it is important to be respectful, but when speaking with someone who isn't, then it might work better to play by that person's rules.
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