Author Topic: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance  (Read 14613 times)

oldtoyota

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Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« on: December 30, 2013, 12:30:00 PM »
"Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal. It’s no use pretending otherwise and telling us, as Thomas Friedman did in the Times a few days ago, that educated people are the nation’s most valuable resources. Sure, they are, but do we still want them? It doesn’t look to me as if we do. The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. "

"I recall being stunned some years back when I read that a majority of Americans told pollsters that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11 terrorist attacks. It struck me as a propaganda feat unsurpassed by the worst authoritarian regimes of the past—many of which had to resort to labor camps and firing squads to force their people to believe some untruth, without comparable success."

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/mar/20/age-of-ignorance/

It seems we have an entire board here mentioning how stupid people are about finances. You have got to wonder, in the age of common core, if this dumbing down is on purpose or accidental.

I think this very board fights ignorance. My grandfather could fix his car, talk of world geography, and basically had more skills than your average 20- or 30- or 40-something today.

Time marches on. People can't fix their cars for the most part. Most people do not can jellies or fix their own food or grow their own veggies.

And that is only one kind of knowledge. There's also critical thinking. After seeing several propaganda pieces in our very own Washington Post in the past month, I have to wonder who is taking this crap at face value? I hope no one.




Jamesqf

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2013, 12:46:25 PM »
I recall being stunned some years back when I read that a majority of Americans told pollsters that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11 terrorist attacks.

But a good bit of this is due to assessing knowledge through polls, which quite often don't allow for correct, nuanced answers.  So if you ask specifically about the 9/11 attacks, the answer is no, but if the respondents are thinking about the broad pattern of Islamist attacks against the non-Islamic world, a significant number of which were supported by him, a yes answer is entirely reasonable.

And of course that answer can be turned into propaganda in its turn...

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 01:32:14 PM »
"Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal. It’s no use pretending otherwise and telling us, as Thomas Friedman did in the Times a few days ago, that educated people are the nation’s most valuable resources. Sure, they are, but do we still want them? It doesn’t look to me as if we do. The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. "

"I recall being stunned some years back when I read that a majority of Americans told pollsters that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11 terrorist attacks. It struck me as a propaganda feat unsurpassed by the worst authoritarian regimes of the past—many of which had to resort to labor camps and firing squads to force their people to believe some untruth, without comparable success."

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/mar/20/age-of-ignorance/

It seems we have an entire board here mentioning how stupid people are about finances. You have got to wonder, in the age of common core, if this dumbing down is on purpose or accidental.

I think this very board fights ignorance. My grandfather could fix his car, talk of world geography, and basically had more skills than your average 20- or 30- or 40-something today.

Time marches on. People can't fix their cars for the most part. Most people do not can jellies or fix their own food or grow their own veggies.

And that is only one kind of knowledge. There's also critical thinking. After seeing several propaganda pieces in our very own Washington Post in the past month, I have to wonder who is taking this crap at face value? I hope no one.

Well I think your last couple of paragraphs discuss a different thing. Are we talking about skill sets that various generations have which are useful to their existence or are we talking about general geopolitical knowledge? What exactly are we ignorant in according to you/the book?

Is not having the skill to can vegetables ignorance given the vast resources of collective knowledge we have at our fingertips? Is misattribution of who was behind the 9/11 attacks ignorance given that the message at the time was that Saddam Hussein had direct links to Al Qaeda?

People being susceptible to propaganda is nothing new so why is now a time of ignorance? Would you have considered your grandfather ignorant for believing that the communists were going to take over the US and destroy it (an assumption but a popular belief at the time nonetheless)?

Michread

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 02:28:54 PM »
Have you ever watched Jaywalk?  Jay has gone with pictures instead of questions!  For good laugh watch a few:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGRnPi5gpn4

Yes, sad.  Show them pictures of TV/music stars and I'm sure the outcome would be different.

Jamesqf

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 02:38:34 PM »
Have you ever watched Jaywalk?  Jay has gone with pictures instead of questions!

Now something like that would, to my mind, be far more convincing evidence of the 'Age of Ignorance" than politically-loaded poll questions.  And I don't mean whatever content was at that link, but the fact that people thing it's reasonable to create and/or link to videos, rather than simply writing what they want to express.

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 02:46:28 PM »
Have you ever watched Jaywalk?  Jay has gone with pictures instead of questions!

Now something like that would, to my mind, be far more convincing evidence of the 'Age of Ignorance" than politically-loaded poll questions.  And I don't mean whatever content was at that link, but the fact that people thing it's reasonable to create and/or link to videos, rather than simply writing what they want to express.

Not to derail but is the medium of choice for communication of an opinion indicative of ignorance? Or is this just an example of I don't like how you're expressing it so I'll label it as ignorance?

oldtoyota

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2013, 02:58:49 PM »
Have you ever watched Jaywalk?  Jay has gone with pictures instead of questions!

Now something like that would, to my mind, be far more convincing evidence of the 'Age of Ignorance" than politically-loaded poll questions.  And I don't mean whatever content was at that link, but the fact that people thing it's reasonable to create and/or link to videos, rather than simply writing what they want to express.

Did you read the essay? You've focused on the political part. That is what I quoted in my post. However, the essay also discusses the lack of knowledge on the part of his students regarding literature.





« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 03:01:37 PM by oldtoyota »

lentilman

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2013, 03:32:01 PM »
Time marches on. People can't fix their cars for the most part.

This has more to do with cars than people.

I could fix my first car.  I'm sure I could have done pretty well on your grandpa's car, too.  But knowing how to adjust a carburetor isn't even useful these days.

My hobby as a young teen was fixing old TVs and radios.  I even had a pretty nice stash of used tubes ready to swap out for the ones that were burnt out.

But today things are sold with no user serviceable parts.  Transistors are deep within integrated circuits that are epoxied in place. 

On one hand, my grandpa had plenty of technologies that he had to know that I am clueless about.  He could adjust a buggy and wrap his own whip.  Does that mean I am dumb?  On the other hand, my grandpa never had to upgrade memory or install an operating system.  So does that mean I'm suddenly smarter than him?

No, each generation has different technical challenges to meet.


KingCoin

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2013, 03:33:22 PM »
I question whether generations past really were more informed about things like international politics. It's worth remembering that huge swatches of the population held believes that would be considered shocking today, including the notion that people of certain gender, racial, and ethnic backgrounds were fundamentally inferior to white males (certainly this belief is still held by some, but I'd suggest in much smaller numbers). The populace was, on average, far less educated than today with far more high school drop outs and lower literacy.

They may have been able to can strawberry jam and fix their car, but those skills have been replaced with more productive ones like how to use Excel and find information on the internet.

It's easy to wax nostalgic for the past, and I agree that it's disappointing that we're not more informed as a whole in the so-called "information age", but I seriously doubt the level of discourse was much better in the age of the Scopes Trial or McCarthy Hearings.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 07:03:26 PM by KingCoin »

Jamesqf

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2013, 09:21:35 PM »
Did you read the essay? You've focused on the political part. That is what I quoted in my post. However, the essay also discusses the lack of knowledge on the part of his students regarding literature.

Yes. I commented on the political part because that's what you quoted, and so I thought - silly me! - that that was what you were interested in discussing.

As for the author's students being ignorant of literature, that seems a fairly obvious consequence of a culture that doesn't read.  There also might be, I think, more than a little selection bias even for those who do read, since their idea of good reading might not square with his.

Going a little further in that direction, I see more than a little irony in the fact that while he decries what he claims is right-wing ignorance (even though about a third of his examples seem, to a unbiased observer, to have more than a little truth to them), he apparently wants to replace them with equally unsupported pieces of left-wing ignorance.

Reminds me of a quote from Roger Zelazny's 'Lord of Light'.  I can't find the exact text, but it runs something like this:
Quote
A proud and arrogant man, such as yourself--with an admittedly admirable quality of didacticism about him--was given to doing research in the area of a certain disfiguring and degenerative disease. One day he contracted it himself. Since he had not yet developed a cure for the condition, he did take time out to regard himself in a mirror and say, 'but on me it looks good'.

Jamesqf

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2013, 09:31:18 PM »
Not to derail but is the medium of choice for communication of an opinion indicative of ignorance? Or is this just an example of I don't like how you're expressing it so I'll label it as ignorance?

Yes, the medium does indicate ignorance.  Apart from the obvious presumption that video is used because either the creator can't write, and/or the audience can't read, video is inherently a linear, streaming medium, and this tends to derail critical thought,

One theory (which I find persuasive) of how the mind processes information holds that to understand an argument, it must first be accepted, before the slower processes of critical thouhgt can be brought to bear on it.  With video, or other streams such as speeches or debates, there's little opportunity for critical thought, because as soon as the mind apprehends one thought, it's swept away on the stream.

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2013, 05:20:53 AM »
Not to derail but is the medium of choice for communication of an opinion indicative of ignorance? Or is this just an example of I don't like how you're expressing it so I'll label it as ignorance?

Yes, the medium does indicate ignorance.  Apart from the obvious presumption that video is used because either the creator can't write, and/or the audience can't read, video is inherently a linear, streaming medium, and this tends to derail critical thought,

One theory (which I find persuasive) of how the mind processes information holds that to understand an argument, it must first be accepted, before the slower processes of critical thouhgt can be brought to bear on it.  With video, or other streams such as speeches or debates, there's little opportunity for critical thought, because as soon as the mind apprehends one thought, it's swept away on the stream.

Remember the video is being hosted on a website the audience must be able to read in order to find it. The creator may just be better at a video medium in communicating the ideas but also must be able to write and develop ideas in order to think of generating such a video i.e. write down what questions to ask the people in the video. These are not ignorance.

Your second paragraph is not a theory based around ignorance but preference. You prefer written information due to the time it allows you to critically think, that doesn't make video creators nor the world we live in which has provided the tools to make it ignorant. You just don't like the medium, it does not indicate ignorance.

I'm not sure there is a way to prove that a video medium of communication is any more ignorant than a written method of communication, they are just methods of communication. In fact I'd argue that to develop the technology to make video versus the technology to write would mean the world is less ignorant given the technology needed for video.

But I'll leave it at that as it's only a parallel discussion and not really the crux of the OP.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 05:23:29 AM by matchewed »

oldtoyota

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 01:01:42 PM »
Have you ever watched Jaywalk?  Jay has gone with pictures instead of questions!

Now something like that would, to my mind, be far more convincing evidence of the 'Age of Ignorance" than politically-loaded poll questions.  And I don't mean whatever content was at that link, but the fact that people thing it's reasonable to create and/or link to videos, rather than simply writing what they want to express.

Are taking the person who posted to task or the creator of the video?

oldtoyota

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2013, 01:04:07 PM »
They may have been able to can strawberry jam and fix their car, but those skills have been replaced with more productive ones like how to use Excel and find information on the internet.

Finding information on the internet is so easy. I've seen four-year-olds do it.

It's up to you if you think searching the internet is more productive than making food. Although there are some exceptions, I mostly don't agree with you on that point.


Eric

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2013, 01:31:05 PM »
Finding information on the internet is so easy. I've seen four-year-olds do it.

I think this varies greatly, depending on the subject matter.  Simple searches for non-controversial info a 4 year old can do.  But consider searching for 9/11 info for instance.  Or diet information.  Or relationship information.  How do you weed out the junk info from the real info?  This takes skill.  Just as you take for granted your ability to do this, so did your grandparents at being able to perform their daily tasks.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2013, 01:57:19 PM »
My opinion, is that yes, the masses are being dumbed down. Critical thinking is replaced with an emotional reactive thought process. All of this is done various ways, but basically it's been done through the destruction of education followed up with the mindwashing of mainstream culture.

Having 2 kids in public school, I can tell you that Common Core is the biggest threat to education. Some of it is so absurd, I'm just blown away by it. I'm having to part time home school my kids because Common Core math is not taught using tables, but using visual block counting system.

On top of this, there is a massive layer of deception with the corporate culture and state propaganda called the 'news'. If you don't have critical thinking skills, you'll never question what is presented to you.

As George Carlin says, they want obedient workers. People just smart enough to run the machines and dumb not to know how badly they're getting fucked.

Jamesqf

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2013, 03:17:37 PM »
Your second paragraph is not a theory based around ignorance but preference. You prefer written information due to the time it allows you to critically think, that doesn't make video creators nor the world we live in which has provided the tools to make it ignorant. You just don't like the medium, it does not indicate ignorance.

If people don't apply critical thought to the information they receive, doesn't that make them ignorant?  At least in the Mark Twain sense of all the things they 'know' that just ain't so.  As I pointed out earlier, that seems to be the real objective of the author of the linked article.  He's not bothered so much by ignorance per se, but by the fact that the public/his students have been exposed to, and accept, a lot of right-wing ignorance instead of the left-wing ignorance he'd prefer them to unthinkingly accept.

Are taking the person who posted to task or the creator of the video?

Both, to some extent.  The poster, for the assumption that I'd watch a video (which in fact I CAN'T do without booting a different machine); the video creator for hiding what might be useful information in video.

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2013, 03:19:44 PM »
My opinion, is that yes, the masses are being dumbed down. Critical thinking is replaced with an emotional reactive thought process. All of this is done various ways, but basically it's been done through the destruction of education followed up with the mindwashing of mainstream culture.

Having 2 kids in public school, I can tell you that Common Core is the biggest threat to education. Some of it is so absurd, I'm just blown away by it. I'm having to part time home school my kids because Common Core math is not taught using tables, but using visual block counting system.

On top of this, there is a massive layer of deception with the corporate culture and state propaganda called the 'news'. If you don't have critical thinking skills, you'll never question what is presented to you.

As George Carlin says, they want obedient workers. People just smart enough to run the machines and dumb not to know how badly they're getting fucked.

I'm curious why are tables "not ignorance" and visual block systems "ignorance"? Do you have proof that one is superior to the other in terms of teaching concepts, that one leads to greater levels passing tests vs the other? Just because you weren't taught that way does not make it destructive.

And is the news ignorance or is it how we as consumers of news choose to consume it more indicative of the ignorance? Similar to the information diet thread, is the information really the problem here?

They may have been able to can strawberry jam and fix their car, but those skills have been replaced with more productive ones like how to use Excel and find information on the internet.

Finding information on the internet is so easy. I've seen four-year-olds do it.

It's up to you if you think searching the internet is more productive than making food. Although there are some exceptions, I mostly don't agree with you on that point.

I'd replace productive with efficient. That allows the mind to work on other things, hopefully more productive but not always. Similar to how money allows one more opportunity, that opportunity may be wasted but at least you're not trading your time for money anymore. Now you don't have to trade your time for information as much either, it still takes some time but then you can spend the rest of the time on application or development or whatever else strikes your fancy.

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 03:21:16 PM »
Your second paragraph is not a theory based around ignorance but preference. You prefer written information due to the time it allows you to critically think, that doesn't make video creators nor the world we live in which has provided the tools to make it ignorant. You just don't like the medium, it does not indicate ignorance.

If people don't apply critical thought to the information they receive, doesn't that make them ignorant?  At least in the Mark Twain sense of all the things they 'know' that just ain't so.  As I pointed out earlier, that seems to be the real objective of the author of the linked article.  He's not bothered so much by ignorance per se, but by the fact that the public/his students have been exposed to, and accept, a lot of right-wing ignorance instead of the left-wing ignorance he'd prefer them to unthinkingly accept.

Isn't that regardless of the medium of information presentation? Whether you pause to think or literally pause the video to think it doesn't matter what medium you're using. You're still applying critical thinking. I still don't see how video = ignorance, while written word = not ignorance.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2013, 04:07:48 PM »
My opinion, is that yes, the masses are being dumbed down. Critical thinking is replaced with an emotional reactive thought process. All of this is done various ways, but basically it's been done through the destruction of education followed up with the mindwashing of mainstream culture.

Having 2 kids in public school, I can tell you that Common Core is the biggest threat to education. Some of it is so absurd, I'm just blown away by it. I'm having to part time home school my kids because Common Core math is not taught using tables, but using visual block counting system.

On top of this, there is a massive layer of deception with the corporate culture and state propaganda called the 'news'. If you don't have critical thinking skills, you'll never question what is presented to you.

As George Carlin says, they want obedient workers. People just smart enough to run the machines and dumb not to know how badly they're getting fucked.

I'm curious why are tables "not ignorance" and visual block systems "ignorance"? Do you have proof that one is superior to the other in terms of teaching concepts, that one leads to greater levels passing tests vs the other? Just because you weren't taught that way does not make it destructive.


If you solve the problem using long division, even though the answer is correct, it will be counted wrong. One example took 109 steps to solve a problem vs doing it with standard multiplication table. This is only one example of Common Core.

This isn't about my way or the highway. It's about choice where there is none. Teachers are forced to do this. Top down control again.

I'm curious as to why you think Common Core is an improvement? Have you looked into it?

And the main stream corporate news is ignorance. Its full of emotion human interest story, outright lies and deception. Amber Lyon is a whistleblower, former emmy winning journalist at CNN. She's just one example too.

Everyone should research topic.. don't take my word for it.

Jamesqf

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2013, 08:53:41 PM »
Isn't that regardless of the medium of information presentation? Whether you pause to think or literally pause the video to think it doesn't matter what medium you're using. You're still applying critical thinking. I still don't see how video = ignorance, while written word = not ignorance.

To some extent, yes.  The question, though, is how difficult it is to make those pauses happen.  With reading, it happens almost automatically, often without much in the way of deliberate intent.  With video, you have to take that deliberate act of pausing (and perhaps rewinding), and the act of pausing destroys the streaming nature of the medium.

Annamal

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2014, 12:01:29 PM »
To be honest I think a lot of the complaints in the original article boil down to the fact that more people than ever are going to college, meaning that the pool of people he is seeing is much larger and raised in more diverse circumstances and less homogenous.

As KingCoin notes, previous generations held some appallingly ignorant beliefs, and that was just the elites, think about how easy it was to whip up proto witch hunts against just about anybody slightly different, or about how many "good" people thought the Nazis were doing a bang up job.

I do think critical thinking is an acquirable skill and it should be taught at as many opportunities as possible.

Also any article bemoaning youth today is going to join thousands of others littering history.

In conclusion and because I take any excuse to post this video, this is probably the best advice to young people ever (and very mustachean):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoEezZD71sc




KingCoin

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2014, 03:43:00 PM »
I do think critical thinking is an acquirable skill and it should be taught at as many opportunities as possible.

Yes, without some hard data about decline in math, reading, and reasoning skills, it hard not to view many of these comments as curmudgeonly "kids these days" rants.

The most troubling trend I see is radicalization through confirmation bias. It used to be that news was vetted and presented in a fairly unideological way (even if it was somewhat left leaning), but in the information age, people are free to seek out plainly biased sources that are more interested in telling people what they want to hear than presenting an unbiased view of the world.  These sources often thrive on fanning outrage and using any number of intellectual slights of hand to obfuscate rather than enlighten. I think this is why we're seeing shifts to the margins, like the number of Republicans who believe in evolution falling. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/republicans-belief-in-evolution-plummets-poll-reveals/)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 08:33:36 AM by KingCoin »

GuitarStv

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2014, 06:26:35 AM »
We live in the age of optional ignorance.

If you're interested in learning something . . . ANYTHING . . . you can get the information to do this for free via the internet (or to a lesser extent, the library).  At the same time, if you're interested in reaffirming a belief in something . . . no matter how kooky, you can get the information to do this for free via the internet.

There is a large subset of people who aren't interested in learning, but are very interested in proving that their opinion or belief is the right one.  Now they're directly connected to large networks of people who will tell them what they want to hear.  In some places you can avoid hearing a dissenting opinion for surprising amounts of time.  The result of this is the almost institutionalized ignorance that is being discussed.

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2014, 07:27:48 AM »
Isn't that regardless of the medium of information presentation? Whether you pause to think or literally pause the video to think it doesn't matter what medium you're using. You're still applying critical thinking. I still don't see how video = ignorance, while written word = not ignorance.

To some extent, yes.  The question, though, is how difficult it is to make those pauses happen.  With reading, it happens almost automatically, often without much in the way of deliberate intent.  With video, you have to take that deliberate act of pausing (and perhaps rewinding), and the act of pausing destroys the streaming nature of the medium.

Still doesn't demonstrate ignorance, just a preference. It is great that we're clarifying a preference, one that I share, but that doesn't make it any more ignorant as you first claimed. Just that you as a consumer of the information prefer written as it lends itself to easier pausing for whatever reason.

My opinion, is that yes, the masses are being dumbed down. Critical thinking is replaced with an emotional reactive thought process. All of this is done various ways, but basically it's been done through the destruction of education followed up with the mindwashing of mainstream culture.

Having 2 kids in public school, I can tell you that Common Core is the biggest threat to education. Some of it is so absurd, I'm just blown away by it. I'm having to part time home school my kids because Common Core math is not taught using tables, but using visual block counting system.

On top of this, there is a massive layer of deception with the corporate culture and state propaganda called the 'news'. If you don't have critical thinking skills, you'll never question what is presented to you.

As George Carlin says, they want obedient workers. People just smart enough to run the machines and dumb not to know how badly they're getting fucked.

I'm curious why are tables "not ignorance" and visual block systems "ignorance"? Do you have proof that one is superior to the other in terms of teaching concepts, that one leads to greater levels passing tests vs the other? Just because you weren't taught that way does not make it destructive.


If you solve the problem using long division, even though the answer is correct, it will be counted wrong. One example took 109 steps to solve a problem vs doing it with standard multiplication table. This is only one example of Common Core.

This isn't about my way or the highway. It's about choice where there is none. Teachers are forced to do this. Top down control again.

I'm curious as to why you think Common Core is an improvement? Have you looked into it?

And the main stream corporate news is ignorance. Its full of emotion human interest story, outright lies and deception. Amber Lyon is a whistleblower, former emmy winning journalist at CNN. She's just one example too.

Everyone should research topic.. don't take my word for it.

When I went to school if I had skipped steps in long division and came to the right answer I also would have been penalized. Given that was twenty years ago it doesn't seem different from what you just wrote.

I did look into Common Core, I noticed that they want to conceptualize numbers in a different way than they were taught to me. That doesn't make it ignorant, just different. I'm not saying it is a better method or an improvement, it will probably work for some people and not others, much like other methods and modes of thinking.

As for media, it doesn't have to be mainstream. All forms of media will be playing off of emotions and utilizing deceptions. I'm curious as to how that is ignorance? It is clearly manipulation but that doesn't equate to ignorance. And what is Amber Lyon an example of?

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2014, 09:54:46 AM »
Amber Lyon illustrated how corrupt and state run the media is. This is the same media that people take for 100% truth without question. In the age of information, if you accept that, I think it's ignorance. Clearly mainstream media is agenda driven.

There's more to CC than just getting kids to visualize math problem. That isn't the reason its bad. Some of it is just intentionally obtuse.



My wife does childcare specifically for teachers only, and ALL of them hate CC math, that they're forced to teach. Luckily our district has only implemented math at this point, but they're all in agreement it's confusing for their kids. I happen to agree.



Again this is a top down system. It wouldn't be so bad if the teachers had a choice. Are you against teachers having some control over their own curriculum?

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2014, 10:15:28 AM »
Amber Lyon illustrated how corrupt and state run the media is. This is the same media that people take for 100% truth without question. In the age of information, if you accept that, I think it's ignorance. Clearly mainstream media is agenda driven.

There's more to CC than just getting kids to visualize math problem. That isn't the reason its bad. Some of it is just intentionally obtuse.

*snip*

My wife does childcare specifically for teachers only, and ALL of them hate CC math, that they're forced to teach. Luckily our district has only implemented math at this point, but they're all in agreement it's confusing for their kids. I happen to agree.

*snip*

Regarding the media this is nothing new under the sun so to speak. Why is this any different than any other time that media has been being provided? Was there some other "Age" where media wasn't heavily influence by agendas or by the state?

I'm sorry but anecdotes and two pictures does not mean ignorance either.

Again this is a top down system. It wouldn't be so bad if the teachers had a choice. Are you against teachers having some control over their own curriculum?

Please don't use silly spin like that. I'm saying nothing of the sort and you know that.

We could just look at broad trends in math and reading. These trends would suggest that younger people are in fact getting smarter not dumber. I would propose that the fact that kids tested at age 9 and 13 are showing better scores would show that we're getting better with knowledge not that we lack it.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2014, 10:38:14 AM »
I'm not trying to spin anything, it was an honest question. That is big complaint with teachers now. They don't have control and are essentially drones of what the district forces upon them. That's what CC is all about, a top down federalized system of control. I will never endorse consolidated power grabs that lure states in with free money to install their program.

You are I are on the opposite spectrum. You can trot out some state approved data to support your cause, but you won't ever get to the moral argument of the collective vs the individual.

By the way, did you like the CC examples I posted?

matchewed

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2014, 11:17:01 AM »
So it is ignorance by ideology instead of any sort of actual measurement of ignorance? Basically a version of "I don't agree with you so you're ignorant".

Let's see your two pictures, one is obviously a typo from an assessment which can be found here. If one typo from one assessment from one company amongst all the questions proves that something is systematically wrong... wait no it doesn't.

As for the second picture the answer is C. As I mentioned before they're teaching children a breakdown of numbers by groupings of 10 and the like, that question would be a natural extension of that teaching method.

We're not having a discussion about morality though. Just the simple question of are we more ignorant or living in an age of ignorance? If your answer is "yes because I don't like how they teach kids" then I'm not sure if you've got a point on actual ignorance or just to score points in a discussion that isn't happening. Do you have proof that CC generates worse scores? Are kids more ignorant due to Common Core or do you just not like it? From what you post it's more the latter and less the former, and I can't have a good conversation with ideologically charged conversation. So thanks for the brief discussion, I'll leave you alone on this one.


gecko10x

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2014, 11:47:57 AM »


This is interesting to me. I saw this teaching method for the second time a couple weeks ago looking at my son's kindergarten homework. The first time I saw it was a couple years ago, in a Japanese-adapted abacus workbook I was using with him. The exact same method. I imagine it has been used in conjunction with an abacus for a very long time because they complement each other very well.

In addition to the above, this is how I've always done math in my head, for the most part. Not because someone taught me to do it that way; to the best of my recollection, I came up with that method on my own because it made sense to me. So I have no problem with this method of learning math.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2014, 12:27:26 PM »
One size does not fit all. That is a big issue with CC. That, and it does not teach a formula for problem solving.

Myself, I would say the answer is E. 7 + 3 = 10, 15 - 10 = 5, 5 + 3 = 8. It's different for everyone. Ultimately there is some memorization involved in math and CC ignores and attempts to make up work arounds.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2014, 12:59:07 PM »
So it is ignorance by ideology instead of any sort of actual measurement of ignorance? Basically a version of "I don't agree with you so you're ignorant".

Let's see your two pictures, one is obviously a typo from an assessment which can be found here. If one typo from one assessment from one company amongst all the questions proves that something is systematically wrong... wait no it doesn't.

As for the second picture the answer is C. As I mentioned before they're teaching children a breakdown of numbers by groupings of 10 and the like, that question would be a natural extension of that teaching method.

We're not having a discussion about morality though. Just the simple question of are we more ignorant or living in an age of ignorance? If your answer is "yes because I don't like how they teach kids" then I'm not sure if you've got a point on actual ignorance or just to score points in a discussion that isn't happening. Do you have proof that CC generates worse scores? Are kids more ignorant due to Common Core or do you just not like it? From what you post it's more the latter and less the former, and I can't have a good conversation with ideologically charged conversation. So thanks for the brief discussion, I'll leave you alone on this one.

Oh it's a typo. lol. ok. Well, good thing that typo is distributed evenly everywhere to all kids, instead of just one classroom, right?

Your arguments for CC are equivalent to, central planning is good because here is some data that central planning produced saying so. The problem with a collectivist mindset is the fallacy that might makes right.

We are living in an age of deception and by deconstructing the process in which critical thinking is taught, people aren't able to recognize it. See here: http://www.triviumeducation.com/

Quote
For if you [the rulers] suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves [and outlaws] and then punish them.
-Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), Utopia, Book 1

Remove the ability for critical though and it's a breeding ground for ignorance. Central planning is the means in which it's removed. Sorry if you don't like things taken to their logical conclusion. That's all I'm doing with CC.

gecko10x

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2014, 01:01:01 PM »
One size does not fit all.

I agree. But I don't think much has really changed... I remember getting into quite a bit of "trouble" in grade school for not showing my work when I was doing it in my head. Took my WAY longer to write it out, and it was a different thought process than what I wanted to use, so it was a PITA and I didn't want to do it.

Heart of Tin

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2014, 04:57:27 PM »
One size does not fit all. That is a big issue with CC. That, and it does not teach a formula for problem solving.

Myself, I would say the answer is E. 7 + 3 = 10, 15 - 10 = 5, 5 + 3 = 8. It's different for everyone. Ultimately there is some memorization involved in math and CC ignores and attempts to make up work arounds.

This, far from being a weakness, is the Common Core math curriculum’s greatest strength. In this very thread we have been discussing both the necessity and insufficiency of deductive reasoning in primary and secondary education. We bemoan the perpetuation of misinformation by news outlets and the lack of critical thinking by the populace, but you’re, essentially, asking that your child or children go back to a method of learning that emphasizes results and memorization instead of deductive reasoning and conceptual learning.
 
When I learned my times tables, I was told to memorize that 8x7 = 56. This fact was presented as incontrovertible and worthy of committing to memory so that it can be retrieved instantaneously for future reference. We did some exercises like arranging pennies in 8 by 7 arrays and counting them to verify that we had 56 pennies total and grouping to demonstrate that 8 groups of 7 pennies were equal to 56 total pennies, but at the end of the day we were only tested over the problem 8x7 = __. I still don’t have 8x7 = 56 memorized. If I need the answer to the problem I think, “Eight time five is forty plus eight times two is sixteen. The answer is fifty-six.”
 
Common Core is attempting to teach and test something similar to this second approach to the problem 8x7=__. It is attempting to give students deeper, more abstract understanding of numbers that will serve as a foundation for further mathematical study.
 
I agree that once a student has demonstrated both an understanding of the concepts behind and proficiency in performing arithmetic they should be able to choose the method that works best for them in actually computing sums and multiplication. However, as long as we educate students in classrooms with twenty children of different learning styles and abilities there will need to be a standard evaluation method. With the new emphasis on conceptual learning in math, the Common Core problems are a shortcut to evaluating a student’s conceptualization of numbers and arithmetic without necessitating one-on-one evaluation.
 
Looking at your second example, fifteen minus seven is equivalent to fifteen minus five minus two because seven can be decomposed into the sum of five and two. If a student has a thorough conceptual understanding of what seven is, then C should be the obvious answer to your second example since your solution E was not given as a possible solution. This is an example of deductive reasoning. Working from the general concept of what fifteen minus seven means, we come up with various “subtraction sentences” that are equivalent. Instead of testing whether a student can memorize the algorithm of how to take seven from fifteen, they are encouraged to conceptualize seven’s abstract meaning and work from that general definition to evaluate which of a group of possible correct answers is a correct implementation of this general definition of seven.
 
This is not the math you’re used to where there is only one possible solution. There are many possible solutions. That’s why the problem was multiple choice. Only one of the multiple choice answers fit the question being asked. If asked the question “Which of the following is a type of vegetable? A. Tomatoes B. Grapes C. Bread D. Green Beans” would you answer “E. Carrots”? No. You would answer D. Green Beans, because you understand what a vegetable is, and you understand that both green beans and carrots are vegetables. The Number Sense question you posted is exactly equivalent to my hypothetical question about vegetables, but without the necessity of knowing what a vegetable is. It is a distillation of deductive reasoning.
 
In college I became the de facto math tutor in my sorority. Invariably my students would complain about “college math”. Now, I can personally attest to the fact that the algebra, trigonometry, and calculus that they were learning is exactly the same as the algebra, trigonometry, and calculus that I learned in high school. The difference between “high school math” and “college math” was a difference in teaching methods. The high school teachers that these women had learned from were mainly concerned with teaching algorithms, or as you put it “a formula for problem solving”. However, “a formula for problem solving” is a contradiction in terms. If you are using an algorithm or formula you aren’t really solving problems in a purely mathematical sense. You are applying the algorithm, and you might be providing the answer to a word problem, but you have not participated in mathematical deductive reasoning which is what is generally meant by the word problem solving.
 
My sorority sisters constantly complained about the lack of examples in their math classes. Because they had not been provided with a simple algorithm applicable to all problems of a certain type, they did poorly on tests that asked questions even slightly different than what they had been assigned as homework. Sometimes all it took was a professor who assigned homework out of a book but wrote their own exams. The slight difference in wording between one problem set and the other was enough to stump some of my algorithm dependent friends. They resisted using the deductive reasoning necessary to draw comparisons between the homework problems and the test problems, because they had been coddled with exact formulae and algorithms in math classes all of their lives.
 
The real challenge of the information age and the deciding factor to whether our kids will succeed is how to isolate and evaluate which information is valid and important while ignoring the miscellany of misinformation that is widely available. Deductive reasoning is the difference between a gullible dolt who is convinced by confirmation bias and equates correlation with causation and a critical thinker who can evaluate their sources and question the knowledge presented by authority. While the implementation of Common Core can be flawed and the methodology is foreign to adults who learned arithmetic by rote memorization, the motivation behind the Common Core math curriculum is loftier than the motivation behind the curriculum that I learned as  a primary scholar, and frankly, I’m jealous of the kids that get to learn in such a conceptual way.

oldtoyota

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2014, 08:45:41 PM »


This is interesting to me. I saw this teaching method for the second time a couple weeks ago looking at my son's kindergarten homework. The first time I saw it was a couple years ago, in a Japanese-adapted abacus workbook I was using with him. The exact same method. I imagine it has been used in conjunction with an abacus for a very long time because they complement each other very well.

In addition to the above, this is how I've always done math in my head, for the most part. Not because someone taught me to do it that way; to the best of my recollection, I came up with that method on my own because it made sense to me. So I have no problem with this method of learning math.

It's interesting to me too. I would do it slightly differently, but I use similar concepts for higher numbers.


oldtoyota

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2014, 08:49:44 PM »
Finding information on the internet is so easy. I've seen four-year-olds do it.

I think this varies greatly, depending on the subject matter.  Simple searches for non-controversial info a 4 year old can do.  But consider searching for 9/11 info for instance.  Or diet information.  Or relationship information.  How do you weed out the junk info from the real info?  This takes skill.  Just as you take for granted your ability to do this, so did your grandparents at being able to perform their daily tasks.

You have a point. In the post we're discussing, though, KingCoin suggested finding items on the internet is more useful than making food. I don't agree with that. You can live without Google. You can't live without eating. Yes, you do have grocery stores. We're all mostly dependent upon groceries as a food source and, without them, most of us would starve. If I am rating skills in importance, I would rate being able to feed myself higher than searching the internet. Just a difference of opinion as I know I can also find information in books pretty well too. =-)




KingCoin

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Re: Dangers of the Age of Ignorance
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2014, 01:14:55 PM »
You have a point. In the post we're discussing, though, KingCoin suggested finding items on the internet is more useful than making food. I don't agree with that. You can live without Google. You can't live without eating. Yes, you do have grocery stores. We're all mostly dependent upon groceries as a food source and, without them, most of us would starve. If I am rating skills in importance, I would rate being able to feed myself higher than searching the internet. Just a difference of opinion as I know I can also find information in books pretty well too. =-)

If you're worried about a doomsday scenario, perhaps being able to grow and store food is an important skill to have in your back pocket.  In any event, it's certainly a worthwhile hobby and value-add activity at the margin. However, in the modern economy, being able to use a computer is much more conducive to both wealth building as well as navigating one's way through society. Unfortunately, being able to grow some mean heirloom tomatoes doesn't get you far in a job interview, and making a living off of your butternut squash is an uphill battle.

All this is tangential to the original point, that we're more ignorant than in recent history, which I've yet to see substantiated.