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#1
Interesting interview where Susan Jacoby explains how Anti-Intellectualsim is destroying the US and yea, it is really long, but really interesting in my opinion


How Anti-Intellectualism Is Destroying America
By Terrence McNally, AlterNet
Posted on August 15, 2008, Printed on August 16, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/95109/

"It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant." Barack Obama finally said it.

Though a successful political and electoral strategy, the Right's stand against intelligence has steered them far off course, leaving them -- and us -- unable to deal successfully with the complex and dynamic circumstances we face as a nation and a society.

American 15-year-olds rank 24th out of 29 countries in math literacy, and their parents are as likely to believe in flying saucers as in evolution; roughly 30 to 40 percent believe in each. Their president believes "the jury is still out" on evolution.

Steve Colbert interviewed Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on "The Colbert Report." Westmoreland co-sponsored a bill that would require the display of the Ten Commandments in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but, when asked, couldn't actually list the commandments.

This stuff would be funny if it weren't so dangerous.

In the 2004 election, nearly 70 percent of Bush supporters believed the United States had "clear evidence" that Saddam Hussein was working closely with al Qaeda; a third believed weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq; and more than a third that a substantial majority of world opinion supported the U.S.-led invasion, according to the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. The political right and allied culture warriors actively ignore evidence and encourage misinformation. To motivate their followers, they label intelligent and informed as "elite," implying that ignorance is somehow both valuable and under attack. Susan Jacoby confronts our "know-nothingism" -- current and historical -- in her new book, The Age of American Unreason.

A former reporter for the Washington Post and program director of the Center for Inquiry-New York City, Jacoby is the author of five books, including Wild Justice, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. Her political blog, The Secularist's Corner, is on the Web site of the Washington Post.

Terrence McNally: Have things gotten worse? How were things different as you were growing up?

Susan Jacoby: Well, I have just been told that all of my memories of growing up are wrong, because memory is absolutely inaccurate. It's only a "narrative."

I'll give you an example of how stupid this country has become. I'm one of the village atheists on Faith, a panel sponsored by the Washington Post and Newsweek. In a recent post I wrote that when I was 7 years old, I was taken by my mom to visit a friend who had been stricken by polio and was in an iron lung. Polio has basically been eradicated, but I grew up when polio was still a real threat to children, before the Salk vaccine.

This childhood friend had been playing and running only three weeks before, and now he was in an iron lung. And I asked my mom, "Why would God let something like that happen?" And to her credit, instead of giving me some moronic answer, my mother said, "I don't know."

After posting this on Faith, I received an e-mail saying, "All childhood memories are unreliable. We construct narratives to justify what we now think."

Of course it would be stupid if I'd said I became an atheist at the age of 7. But I hadn't said that, only that I remembered this childhood experience as making me begin to question what I'd been taught. The whole tone of the e-mail was that nobody's memory about anything could possibly be accurate -- no fact could possibly be true.

TM: That doesn't sound like a typical evolution doubter. It sounds like an attack on rationality from a rational person.

SJ: That's right. One of the points I make in my book is that unreason pervades our culture. It's not just a matter of right-wing religious fundamentalism. There are all kinds of unreason and suspicion of evidence on both the Right and the Left.

TM: Misinformation may well have been the deciding factor in a close election in 2004. I worry not just about the lack of information and knowledge, but also the active disparagement of those who would even care about such things.

SJ: Contempt for fact is very important.

I'll give you a great example that's already obsolete. At the end of the primaries, both Hillary Clinton and John McCain endorsed a gas tax holiday for Americans this summer. Every economist, both liberal and conservative, said this would do nothing to help matters. And when Hillary Clinton was asked by the late Tim Russert, "Can you produce one economist to support the gas tax holiday?" she said, "Oh that's elite thinking."

Now to say that economists have nothing intelligent to say about whether a gas tax will give people economic relief is like saying that you don't ask musicians about music; you don't ask scientists about science. It's not just an attack on a political idea; it's an attack on knowledge itself.

TM: And this from a woman who was in the top of her class at Yale Law School.

SJ: Of course, she doesn't believe it for a minute. It shows that a lot of politicians think they have to play to ignorance and label anything that goes against received opinion as elitism.

I was quite encouraged that the actual majority of Americans -- both Republicans and Democrats -- said the gas tax was just a stupid gimmick.

TM: They were already getting a tax rebate check. At a certain point we see through this.

SJ: Elite simply means "the best," not the political meaning that's been ascribed to it. If you're having an operation, you don't want an ordinary surgeon. You want an elite surgeon. You want the best.

TM: I suspect the connotation is better known now than the actual definition. "Elite" now implies stuffy, superior, arrogant -- and, most importantly, not one of us.

SJ: These basic knowledge deficits -- the fact that American 15-year-olds are near the bottom in mathematical knowledge compared with other countries, for example -- actually affect our ability to understand larger public issues. To understand what it means that the top 1 percent of income earners are getting tax breaks, you have to know what 1 percent means.

TM: Richard Hofstadter's 1963 classic, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, described our anti-intellectualism as "older than our national identity." Yet our founders developed a form of government that demanded an informed citizenry. How do these two things fit together?

SJ: That's really the American paradox. For example, there is no country that has had more faith in education as an instrument of social mobility. No country in the West democratized education earlier, but no country has been more suspicious of too much education. We've always thought of education as good if it gets you a better job, but bad if it makes you think too much.

Hofstadter was writing at the dawn of video culture, so he could not talk about one of the key things in my book. The domination of culture by mass media, video and 24/7 infotainment has been added to the American mix in the last 40 years. Video culture is the worst possible means for understanding anything more complicated than a sound bite.
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Last edited by blues-guitarist at Aug 17, 2008,
#2
Continuation:

TM: I recall the book The Sound Bite Society (by Jeffrey Scheuer, 2000) said that television inherently prefers simplistic arguments, simple solutions, simple answers.

SJ: As we're talking, I happen to have my computer on. News stories are flashing and off the screen. If they're on for two seconds, you're going to miss a lot, and that's the problem with video culture as translated through computers.

TM: Having all that information at our fingertips is a plus. What's the negative?

SJ: I love that I don't have to go through half a dozen books to find a date that I've forgotten. The ability to get quick information is great, but if you don't have a framework of knowledge in which to fit that information, it means nothing.

I'll give you an example. In my talks to people, I often mention a statistic from the National Constitution Center that almost half of Americans can't name even one of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. A student stood up at a university in California and said, "That doesn't matter because you can just look it up on the Internet." But if you don't know what the First Amendment is in the first place, you don't know what question to ask the Web.

Garbage in, garbage out. The Web's only as good as our ability to ask questions of it. The ability to access information means nothing if you don't have an educated framework of knowledge to fit it into.

TM: Why America? Other countries have television and the Internet.

SJ: The network of infotainment has no national boundaries, it's all over the world. But there are a couple of things that make America particularly susceptible.

A fundamentalist is one who believes in a literal interpretation of sacred books, and a third of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. That's about 10 times more than any other developed country in the world. It's entirely possible to be a religious believer and to accept science, but not if you're a literal religious believer. You can't believe that the world was literally created in six days, and be open to modern knowledge.

There's also something else: We've always had more faith in technology than other countries. One of our problems with computers is that we believe in technological solutions to what are essentially non-technological problems. Not knowing is a non-technological problem. The idea that the Web is an answer to knowing nothing is wrong, but it's something that Americans -- with our history of believing in technology as the solution to everything -- are particularly susceptible to.

TM: I'm beginning to feel like the child who keeps asking "Why?" You say that a much larger percentage of Americans believe in the literal word of holy books. In your investigations, have you come up with some sense of why that is?

SJ: That's in my previous book, Freethinkers. One reason, oddly enough, is our absolute separation of church and state. In secular Europe -- as it's often called sneeringly by people like Justice Antonin Scalia -- religious belief and belief in political systems were united. So if you opposed the government, you also had to oppose religion. That wasn't true in America because we had separation of church and state. Many forms of religious belief survived in America, because you could believe anything you wanted and still not be opposed to your government.

TM: So because religion wasn't tied to government we had more freedom ...

SJ: And more religion.

TM: But what is it in our culture? Is our geographical isolation part of it?

SJ: You anticipated what I was going to say. There's also the idea of American exceptionalism -- that America is different from every other country.

I say in my book that Americans are unwilling to look at how really bad our educational system is because we've all been propagandized with the idea that we're number one. That may have been true after World War II, but not anymore. The idea that we're number one and special and better than everybody else is a very powerful factor in American life, and it prevents us from examining certain respects in which we're not number one.

TM: Politicians in particular tend to preface any comment by saying, "Well, of course we have the best education system," "We have the best health care," the best this and that. And people accept that even though we have clear evidence that it is no longer true.

SJ: Evidence involving infant mortality and life expectancy. Though the very rich in this country get the best health care in the world, by all of the normal indices of health, we are worse off than Europe and Canada.

TM: Our universities and particularly our graduate schools are still the envy of the world, but with the education available to everyone, that's no longer so.

SJ: Right, and to call arguments like mine elitist is wrong. I think that the basis of a society is what people with normal levels of education understand. That means we need to be concerned about elementary schools, secondary schools and community colleges -- not what people at Harvard and Yale might be learning.

TM: What are the possible solutions?

SJ: There are solutions at a social level, but they have to begin at an individual level.

After the Wisconsin primary, Barack Obama was asked a question about education, and I was very encouraged when he said, "There's a lot we can do about education, but first of all, in our homes we have to turn off the TV more ..." Not altogether, but turn it off more, put the video games on the shelf more and spend more time talking and reading to our kids.

With my book, more than making a prescription, I wanted to start a conversation about how we spend our time. I'm not one of these people who think that you should raise your kids without ever watching TV. We all have to live in the world of our time. I'm saying people ought to look about how much time we spend on this. There is nothing wrong with a parent coming home and putting a kid in front of a video for an hour so they can have a drink and an intelligent conversation with their partner. It's wrong when the hour turns into two hours or three hours or four hours or five hours, as in too many American homes.

TM: When it becomes just a habit.

SJ: Moderation. I know it's very unfashionable and it seems like a small idea, but I think more than what people watch on video, what matters is how much they watch it.

TM: I believe we're finding that as kids become more addicted to television and other screens, they become less familiar with nature, with their own bodies, with what we would call the real world.

It strikes me that intelligence has been defined by so many as just cognitive intelligence. Is part of the solution that we begin to shift our way of thinking, so that intelligence includes emotional intelligence and other forms of intelligence?

SJ: No. I don't actually recognize these different forms of intelligence. Emotional intelligence depends largely on whether we are brought up to empathize with other people. But it doesn't matter if you're kind to others and you understand them if you don't know anything about your society and history.

These are actually different things, and my point is, one doesn't substitute for the other. They're all important. In terms of society, having emotional intelligence without knowledge is useless. And, of course, having knowledge without emotional intelligence is also useless. But they're not the same thing.

I think spending eight hours a day in front of television -- the amount of time the average American family has a television on in its home -- is probably bad for both emotional intelligence and knowledge. I don't think these things are in opposition, they're both necessary. Neither of them is adequate without the other.

Interviewer Terrence McNally hosts Free Forum on KPFK 90.7 FM, Los Angeles (streaming at kpfk.org). Visit terrencemcnally.net for podcasts of all interviews and more.
© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/95109/
"There's Jimmy Page, the greatest thief of American black music who ever walked the earth."
-Homer Simpson
#4
I find it ironic you post this just now as a bunch of 4chan anti-intellectuals started spamming ****.
#5
Didnt read all of it, just the first post.

It's an issue that I've been waiting for someone in some position of "power" to address for the longest time.
Why the hell would anyone ever celebrate not knowing? Solidarity is good, but its never good when it involves stupidity. People need to get over the idea of being equal. Thats horse ****. Some people are ALWAYS going to have the drive to be better than others, and if we dont develop that drive as well, than we're going to get left in the dust.

In my opinion, elitism is just what america needs.

Rant end. (That probobaly veered off topic some as well)
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#6
Um...how the flying **** is that picture allowed here?! That is sick....BAN HAMMER
#8
That memories being untrue thing was kinda weird. It reminds me of doublethink from 1984.
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#10
Interesting. Very real, kind of scary. Thinking about my generation running the world. ****.
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#12
i liked this, it made me think, i have alot of friends who aren't very smart, and they don't even care, they just get drunk and play videogames, they have no interest in learning..... they get bad grades in school or they don't even go to school.... because school is dumb, anything you have to work for is dumb, anything you have try at is dumb..... or maybe they're dumb?
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#13
Didn't read it completely, but intend to. From scanning I can say:

+1
BOOM-SHAKALAKALAKA-BOOM-SHAKALAKUNGA
#14
But, I'm going to part with a few words.

First of all, that is the most left and liberal article that I've read out on the internet in a while. I knew it would be as such when the "says Barak Obama." came across.

And who the hell said that Rights where anti-intelligence. I want to get the sources for all of those statistics. Because I highly doubt that 70% percent of Americans who voted in Bush believe that there was a reasonably large amount of evidence supporting the invasion in Iraq.

Reality check! The democrats would have won the election 4 years ago IF THEY WOULD RUN SOMEONE WORTH A DAMN! John Kerry doesn't ****ing count. A large portion of the people who voted for bush where Blue-Collar-Democrats who didn't want to see some nut-job in office screwing away their hard earned money. So, if your telling me that 70% of all republicans think that there was reasonable amount of evidence supporting the envision, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that 30% of Bush's voters where Blue-Collar-Democrats. If you're assuming that the rest believe in the above, then that is bull****, and your ignorant.

How the hell can you cite off some bull**** statistic like that. Did you personally go around and interview every single person who voted for Bush, ask them what their stance on the war was? **** no you didn't. If you went to Texas, asked 10 people and got 7 answers confirming your statistics, then your logic is wrong on that one.

And the above goes for the statement that we rank 24th out 29 countries in Math Literacy. I might be able to believe this, but my question is: What countries are we comparing to. We have a hell of a lot more people than Lithuania has. Plus, we have a MANDATED policy in most states that says you must be 16 or older to drop out. A lot of countries don't have that.

On the topic of the ten commandments: look who was asking the ****ing questions. A GOD DAMN COMEDIAN! I don't hold anything a comedian says to be truth or cannon.

And this Susan Jacobson sounds like some High-Horsed-Rationalizing-Liberal-Bitch. I'd like to know what her life story is.

I'll give you an example of how stupid this country has become. I'm one of the village atheists on Faith, a panel sponsored by the Washington Post and Newsweek. In a recent post I wrote that when I was 7 years old, I was taken by my mom to visit a friend who had been stricken by polio and was in an iron lung. Polio has basically been eradicated, but I grew up when polio was still a real threat to children, before the Salk vaccine. This childhood friend had been playing and running only three weeks before, and now he was in an iron lung. And I asked my mom, "Why would God let something like that happen?" And to her credit, instead of giving me some moronic answer, my mother said, "I don't know."



How the **** is that a dumb answer. Maybe she thought that she didn't know the answer her self. God damn, maybe she is right. She sure as hell isn't real smart. Dumb Bitch.

TM: That doesn't sound like a typical evolution doubter. It sounds like an attack on rationality from a rational person. SJ: That's right. One of the points I make in my book is that unreason pervades our culture. It's not just a matter of right-wing religious fundamentalism. There are all kinds of unreason and suspicion of evidence on both the Right and the Left.


No ****. We got a rationalizer right above us.

TM: Misinformation may well have been the deciding factor in a close election in 2004. I worry not just about the lack of information and knowledge, but also the active disparagement of those who would even care about such things. SJ: Contempt for fact is very important.


Because I'm sure we'd all prefer to stay ignorant. Well then god damn it! Pick a side! Half of the time, your saying that we aren't giving enough information. And the other half, it's too much. Simplify it.

I don't think that any of you "third age feminists" would say you'd rather be kept ignorant.

TM: And this from a woman who was in the top of her class at Yale Law School. SJ: Of course, she doesn't believe it for a minute. It shows that a lot of politicians think they have to play to ignorance and label anything that goes against received opinion as elitism.



Well god damn me! Even Susan Jacobson doesn't like the people supporting PEOPLE JUST LIKE HER. You back stabbing confrontational bitch.

TM: They were already getting a tax rebate check. At a certain point we see through this.



Given to us by who? Might I add...


TM: I recall the book The Sound Bite Society (by Jeffrey Scheuer, 2000) said that television inherently prefers simplistic arguments, simple solutions, simple answers. SJ: As we're talking, I happen to have my computer on. News stories are flashing and off the screen. If they're on for two seconds, you're going to miss a lot, and that's the problem with video culture as translated through computers.


Let's see you go back to the dark age then you flip flopping ****.

TM: Having all that information at our fingertips is a plus. What's the negative? SJ: I love that I don't have to go through half a dozen books to find a date that I've forgotten. The ability to get quick information is great, but if you don't have a framework of knowledge in which to fit that information, it means nothing.


Exactly what I was saying. You sound like John Kerry.

A fundamentalist is one who believes in a literal interpretation of sacred books, and a third of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. That's about 10 times more than any other developed country in the world. It's entirely possible to be a religious believer and to accept science, but not if you're a literal religious believer. You can't believe that the world was literally created in six days, and be open to modern knowledge.


Says who?

There's also something else: We've always had more faith in technology than other countries. One of our problems with computers is that we believe in technological solutions to what are essentially non-technological problems. Not knowing is a non-technological problem. The idea that the Web is an answer to knowing nothing is wrong, but it's something that Americans -- with our history of believing in technology as the solution to everything -- are particularly susceptible to


Says who?

That's in my previous book, Freethinkers.

Are those our third wave feminists?

I say in my book that Americans are unwilling to look at how really bad our educational system is because we've all been propagandized with the idea that we're number one. That may have been true after World War II, but not anymore. The idea that we're number one and special and better than everybody else is a very powerful factor in American life, and it prevents us from examining certain respects in which we're not number one.


What the ****?!?!?!?!?!?!?! We have some of the best education systems in the world. Where the hell did you go to school?

God damn. I was happy to call my self a moderate democrat. But after this, **** it! I don't want any part of this bull ****.

This lady above is the opposite version of Ann Coulter.


NOW!

I welcome someone to comeback at me. I'm ready.

I'm not a republican. I'm a practical person who doesn't have to rationalize everything.
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#15
I agree with your points, I think the main problem is Americas education system, if people were more informed in general there would be less political problems, to be fair I don't live in the US so I'm just saying what I have heard a lot.
#16
Quote by greatone_12
I agree with your points, I think the main problem is Americas education system, if people were more informed in general there would be less political problems, to be fair I don't live in the US so I'm just saying what I have heard a lot.



Well then, don't agree with anything. Learn stuff from factual items. Not biased pieces of **** such as this skank.
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#17
That was single most biased piece of bull**** I have ever read and I love you Weeping Demon for tearing it apart so that I don't have to. I am voting for Obama in this coming election but I cannot stand **** like this...
/rant
#18
Lol Dardo. I thought at first you where agreeing with me. But then I thought you where bashing me. Now I see you are simply affirming and justifying.

I know. I'd vote for a reasonable Democrat if they'd run one.
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#19
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Lol Dardo. I thought at first you where agreeing with me. But then I thought you where bashing me. Now I see you are simply affirming and justifying.

I know. I'd vote for a reasonable Democrat if they'd run one.

Because McCain is really the "voice of reason"..
#20
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Well then, don't agree with anything. Learn stuff from factual items. Not biased pieces of **** such as this skank.


whats wrong with a bias, just because an author has one doesn't mean they should be ignored that bias should just be taken into consideration by seeking out the other end of an argument. I think the author does present some factual items because I remember them happening, thats good enough evidence for me to agree with her points.
#21
^^ I disagree
The so called factual items aren't really factual. You can find "factual" statistics that say
whatever you want. I could go to a KKK meeting and ask 5 good ole boys what they think of Barack and when all 5 of them say he's a dumb n*****, I can say that all of America hates Barck Obama.
Is this true??
No, but the Statistic says it is....
and your from Canada and this is about the American education system so I am puzzled at how you remember these things happening
#22
I can say that all of America hates Barck

No you couldn't.You could say 100% of americans polled hate Barak, but that would be different.
#23
Quote by Spamwise
No you couldn't.You could say 100% of americans polled hate Barak, but that would be different.


you have defeated me, and i bow to your nitpicking

*bows*
#24
Quote by Weeping_Demon7

And who the hell said that Rights where anti-intelligence.

Yay for intellimagence!


Reality check! The democrats would have won the election 4 years ago IF THEY WOULD RUN SOMEONE WORTH A DAMN! John Kerry doesn't ****ing count. A large portion of the people who voted for bush where Blue-Collar-Democrats who didn't want to see some nut-job in office screwing away their hard earned money. So, if your telling me that 70% of all republicans think that there was reasonable amount of evidence supporting the envision, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that 30% of Bush's voters where Blue-Collar-Democrats. If you're assuming that the rest believe in the above, then that is bull****, and your ignorant.

Yay for QQing about bias in a retarded response that's biased on... retardism?


How the hell can you cite off some bull**** statistic like that. Did you personally go around and interview every single person who voted for Bush, ask them what their stance on the war was? **** no you didn't. If you went to Texas, asked 10 people and got 7 answers confirming your statistics, then your logic is wrong on that one.

And the above goes for the statement that we rank 24th out 29 countries in Math Literacy. I might be able to believe this, but my question is: What countries are we comparing to. We have a hell of a lot more people than Lithuania has. Plus, we have a MANDATED policy in most states that says you must be 16 or older to drop out. A lot of countries don't have that.

Uh, your polling thing seems dumb. I think people kind of realize that miniscule polls are stupid. I think people realize that any single poll is stupid. People need to realize that basing your information on one data set is stupid as well, and that each article lends towards a different lean for the same subject.

As for comparing education. Go to school in the U.S., or Canada. Go to school in some European countries. I went to school originally in Yugoslavia, and now go to school in Canada. Comparing the complexity of each type of problem you do (in this case you're discussing math), and when you learn each type, will make you realize something.


On the topic of the ten commandments: look who was asking the ****ing questions. A GOD DAMN COMEDIAN! I don't hold anything a comedian says to be truth or cannon.

And this Susan Jacobson sounds like some High-Horsed-Rationalizing-Liberal-Bitch. I'd like to know what her life story is.

You're a retard! Look, I can make the same responses you do, woot woot.


How the **** is that a dumb answer. Maybe she thought that she didn't know the answer her self. God damn, maybe she is right. She sure as hell isn't real smart. Dumb Bitch.

English mother****er, can you read it?
instead of giving me some moronic answer, my mother said, "I don't know."

Does that help?


Because I'm sure we'd all prefer to stay ignorant. Well then god damn it! Pick a side! Half of the time, your saying that we aren't giving enough information. And the other half, it's too much. Simplify it.

Simplifying it would be giving you too little information. It gives you enough information to draw a point.
NEWSFLASH: Not all articles try to convey their point with not a single other potential viewpoint in store. Whether this one does or not, is a different story.
In this case, the article states that the intelligence given is available. It is peoples choices that decide whether or not this information is used. Simplified information can help remind towards the greater data.


I don't think that any of you "third age feminists" would say you'd rather be kept ignorant.

No point arguing. Just proves your intellimagence.


What the ****?!?!?!?!?!?!?! We have some of the best education systems in the world. Where the hell did you go to school?

Lol. I don't need to argue this.


Uh, the rest of your arguments just state random crap, eventually stemming down to the same random crap, proving your ultimate purpose in life.
Essentially, the whole bit about being given information but not choosing to utilize it. This dwells into the society, causing the society to be melded into this image, which is what it says.
#25
Quote by DardoBoy
^^ I disagree
The so called factual items aren't really factual. You can find "factual" statistics that say
whatever you want. I could go to a KKK meeting and ask 5 good ole boys what they think of Barack and when all 5 of them say he's a dumb n*****, I can say that all of America hates Barck Obama.
Is this true??
No, but the Statistic says it is....
and your from Canada and this is about the American education system so I am puzzled at how you remember these things happening


I guess you could say that but it wouldn't have enough accuracy to be accepted by anyone it would be similar to flipping a coin once and saying that flipping a coin in guaranteed to produce heads. I remember the facts such as; The Colbert Report; the presidential hopefuls gas tax issue; and I have seen the education ranking study. I don't even think the article had much to do with educational systems at all.
#26
I was expecting something lefter. Some of those statistics seem a bit foggy though.

Also, Stephen Colbert being a comedian doesn't make the interviewee's inability to list the commandments any less alarming.
#27
Witch woman! Witch hunt! Together, christians, today we strike a blow to the hearts of atheists!!!

On another note, I may just pick up some of this ladies books. She speaks the truth.
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#28
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
But, I'm going to part with a few words.

First of all, that is the most left and liberal article that I've read out on the internet in a while. I knew it would be as such when the "says Barak Obama." came across.

And who the hell said that Rights where anti-intelligence. I want to get the sources for all of those statistics. Because I highly doubt that 70% percent of Americans who voted in Bush believe that there was a reasonably large amount of evidence supporting the invasion in Iraq.


She said everyone was anti-intelligence. In case you didn't notice, she cited cases of Clinton doing it too.

And yes, it's a well known fact that the USA was completely misled over the Iraq War.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3707.htm
http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/14319

Oops.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
How the hell can you cite off some bull**** statistic like that. Did you personally go around and interview every single person who voted for Bush, ask them what their stance on the war was? **** no you didn't. If you went to Texas, asked 10 people and got 7 answers confirming your statistics, then your logic is wrong on that one.


No, you take a representative sample of the entire populace and then ask them. Do you really not understand the concept of opinion polls?

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
And the above goes for the statement that we rank 24th out 29 countries in Math Literacy. I might be able to believe this, but my question is: What countries are we comparing to. We have a hell of a lot more people than Lithuania has. Plus, we have a MANDATED policy in most states that says you must be 16 or older to drop out. A lot of countries don't have that.


So what if you have more people than Lithuania? That doesn't mean your education system is somehow better.

http://www.all4ed.org/files/IntlComp_FactSheet.pdf

OECD nations:

http://www.oecd.org/document/58/0,3343,en_2649_34483_1889402_1_1_1_1,00.html

I.e. Most of the Western countries. And you're 24th out of 29th.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
On the topic of the ten commandments: look who was asking the ****ing questions. A GOD DAMN COMEDIAN! I don't hold anything a comedian says to be truth or cannon.

And this Susan Jacobson sounds like some High-Horsed-Rationalizing-Liberal-Bitch. I'd like to know what her life story is.


That's because you're anti-intelligence, amusingly what the article was arguing against. Instead of actually being able to criticise her points, you're trying to smear her.

And how is "rationalising" an insult? You do realise the opposite of being rational would be to be IRrational, something that is clearly a lot worse? Are you sure you're not a troll? Because you're playing up to the article so much I'm starting to get suspicious.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
How the **** is that a dumb answer. Maybe she thought that she didn't know the answer her self. God damn, maybe she is right. She sure as hell isn't real smart. Dumb Bitch.


She said it WASN'T a moronic answer, genius. Learn to read.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
No ****. We got a rationalizer right above us.


Not an insult.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Because I'm sure we'd all prefer to stay ignorant. Well then god damn it! Pick a side! Half of the time, your saying that we aren't giving enough information. And the other half, it's too much. Simplify it.

I don't think that any of you "third age feminists" would say you'd rather be kept ignorant.


...Are you sure you read the part you responded to? That just doesn't make sense as a reply.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Well god damn me! Even Susan Jacobson doesn't like the people supporting PEOPLE JUST LIKE HER. You back stabbing confrontational bitch.


Again, doesn't make sense. Also, the constant insults aren't exactly making you look like a nice person. I'd put money on most people reading your post and just thinking you're a cunt.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Given to us by who? Might I add...


Probably not her.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Let's see you go back to the dark age then you flip flopping ****.


Look, it's a straw man! Beat it up!

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Exactly what I was saying. You sound like John Kerry.


She hasn't flipflopped at all you fool.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Says who?


Logic.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Says who?


Americans apparently. And that guy in the anecdote she told.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Are those our third wave feminists?

What the ****?!?!?!?!?!?!?! We have some of the best education systems in the world. Where the hell did you go to school?




That's amazing. Did you not read what she said? You demonstrated that what she said was true by saying you do have the best education system in the world and reacting angrily at the suggestion that America isn't number 1.

Honestly, I thought the article was pretty good after I read it and you've dispelled any doubts I had.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
God damn. I was happy to call my self a moderate democrat. But after this, **** it! I don't want any part of this bull ****.

This lady above is the opposite version of Ann Coulter.


Yes, she's smart, rational, educated and intelligent.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
NOW!

I welcome someone to comeback at me. I'm ready.

I'm not a republican. I'm a practical person who doesn't have to rationalize everything.


This was the funniest fucking post I've seen in a long, long time. You are one dumb motherfucker.

I can just imagine you sitting there frothing at the mouth while you read it.

Quote by DardoBoy
That was single most biased piece of bull**** I have ever read and I love you Weeping Demon for tearing it apart so that I don't have to. I am voting for Obama in this coming election but I cannot stand **** like this...
/rant


You are even dumber than he is.

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On another note, I may just pick up some of this ladies books. She speaks the truth.


+1

Damn good article.
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#29
How do u think? it's making pepple dumberer.

...Ok, I'll go and read the article now.
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#32
Quote by Weeping_Demon7


Reality check! The democrats would have won the election 4 years ago IF THEY WOULD RUN SOMEONE WORTH A DAMN! John Kerry doesn't ****ing count. A large portion of the people who voted for bush where Blue-Collar-Democrats who didn't want to see some nut-job in office screwing away their hard earned money.



I sure as hell bet they ate their words.
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#34
This is old news.
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#35
i didnt read any of it.
cuz i dont know how to read
cuz i'm "anti-inlecturialism"
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#36
Quote by thrashfan
I sure as hell bet they ate their words.


haha

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Anti-intellectualism is a problem everywhere.


+1
Is it still a God Complex if I really am God?

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde
#38
I blame the brunt of it on the way our education system is set up, to treat those without excessive education like failures, while others find their higher education useless because the market for college degrees is so inflated and exagerated. THe problem runs from elementary schools all the way to the universities.

I've spent a fair amount of time studying pedagogy, and I really think an emphasis on elitism should return to US public schools as part of a new approach, intellectual elitism that doesn't patronize or deride those who don't pursue a lifestyle that is all about education, but simply accepts that we should be devoting substantial public resources to those who do.

The problem with a no child left behind attitude, is that actually high scoring students--those who should be leading the country in several decades-- are stifled and left far behind their own potential.

Anti intellectualism has been a big facet of US society for over a century, IMO the modern breed of it is exacerbated by the evangical political movement of the last 30 years, the big business nature of our university system, and the self esteem movement of the late 80s and 90s that made us ignore the facts that different children have different strengths and forbid us from calling a kid who is bad at academics, bad at academics, instead wasting resources trying to force him to have the exact same cognitive processes as a higher performing student.

These factors among any others, place the intellectual portion of the community at odds with the rest of it.

I don't think you can write an artical blaming it entirely on Republicans though. No child left behind and other programs founded with the same attitude are very bipartisan. Bush actually boosted funding to things like military technology and space development, a small boost, but one the sends the messege that highly educated people are very important to the US.

And a small portion of the left, which resents the evangilicals' rise to political prominance over the last three decades has exacerbated anit-intillectualism by unifying behind "secular science" as if religous people can't be scientifific thinkers or highly educated members of society. (Granted this is hardly a large group).
#39
That article and this whole thread is so "internet." By that I mean biased, short sighted, and cheap. There is always another side to the story. I don't care what it is, there is always another argument to be heard. But on the internet, no one wants to hear it. No one ever makes any effort to view the whole picture, but instead just the parts that support what they already believe.

Information is taken to heart quickly, with little consideration as to any real world foundation. If someone says it, and it's in line with what you want to believe about the issue, than by god it's FACTUAL. And who dares challenge it because we have the fool proof statistics to back it up! It's right here on... THE INTERNET. Infallible, completely trust worthy source of all the things I like to think about people I don't even know, and about situations I've never in reality actually been a part of!!

You're all going on about how people "take pride in ignorance," when in fact you are guilty of the very same faults, the only difference being your viewpoints. Both are equally near sighted. Both are dependent on exclusive allowances of thought. Not to mention strength in numbers. I'm the only person that's going to point this out, but does that make me wrong? No, it just makes it easier for you to feel right in your established way of thinking. And guess what? That's exactly what the people you're condemning do.

EDIT: That having been said, excellent post, Mike. I will say that I strongly disagree with the way our education system discourages individualism.
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Last edited by Martyr's Prayer at Aug 17, 2008,
#40
^...Shut up. Take your ego elsewhere. Mine's taking up all the room in this thread and I don't need all your assumptions about me cluttering it up.

Quote by dullsilver_mike
And a small portion of the left, which resents the evangilicals' rise to political prominance over the last three decades has exacerbated anit-intillectualism by unifying behind "secular science" as if religous people can't be scientifific thinkers or highly educated members of society. (Granted this is hardly a large group).


You cannot be evangelical and scientific/educated. You can just about get away with being religious and scientific/educated.
Is it still a God Complex if I really am God?

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde
Last edited by Meths at Aug 17, 2008,
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