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Thread: Sagan Called It

  1. #41
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    Re: Sagan Called It

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilroddy View Post
    calamity:

    Despite Carl Sagan's prescient vision of the future, I don't think that the dumbing-down of America is due to the off-shoring of jobs, the structural unemployment caused by capital-intensive technology replacing human labour, the deindustrialisation of America or any other reason cited by Dr. Sagan. The culprits for this dumbing-down are militarism, the financial markets, business and government.

    Militarism is a culprit because the USA is spending so much on its military and other national security institutions that it is crowding out spending on education (as well as other things which are underfunded but are off this topic).

    The financial industry is a culprit because it forces the US Government to fund its deficit spending through private, for-profit financial institutions (including the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve) rather than using cheaper methods of financing through publicly controlled institutions. The service charges on the runaway US national debt are now also crowding out other spending despite historically low interest rates and should those interest rates rise then the burden of debt service will further throttle education.

    The next culprit is business which insists that the best way to deal with any social or societal challenge is through for-profit, private business operating in allegedly free markets (which are too often actually either oligopolistic or monopolistic competition markets which are not efficient at lowering prices through competition). This drives up the cost of everything from arms to healthcare and thus imposes even more costs which crowd out educational spending. The promotion of runaway intellectual property laws is another business practice which is making education more expensive and less extensive. Another reason business is a culprit is that it pressuring educational institutions to become training and indoctrination centres for producing compliant workers despite the fact that labour markets and the demand for human labour is contracting due to off-shoring and substitution of technology for human labour. This faux-vocational imperative has diverted education from also focusing on character building, citizenship training, social and historical learning and has forced schools to cut corners in preparing students for STEM programmes too.

    The final culprit is the state. The US Government realised in the 1960's that a well educated populace is harder to control. The challenges to the state's power throughout the late 1960's and the early 1970's by well educated protesters with law, medical and engineering degrees among others proved to the state that well-educated dissidents with the time on their hands to challenge the system and with the skills and knowledge needed to change the system was too great a threat to the preferential status quo and had to be corrected. The solution was social control through debt. Thus to get a higher education it became necessary to put oneself or one's family in debt and thus when that education was completed there was a need to immediately find work to pay off that debt rather than devoting time and effort to changing society through civil society, protest and challenging the preferential status quo. The high cost of higher education dissuaded many from going into less productive branches of higher learning which have traditionally fed the social/societal conscience of America.

    The state's second great mistake was trying to homogenise education either across entire states or across the whole country. This led to industrial methods of mass production and cookie-cutter stamp education which homogenised the American public. If everyone learns the same things and skills in public education then there are fewer unique skills and talents which can be exploited and taught to others. Furthermore homogenised public education became teaching factories rather than learning institutions and that has alienated students and devalued education in the public's minds.

    Cheers.
    Evilroddy.
    I don't agree with everything here, but you make some key points, especially in regard to education (i.e. our newfound emphasis on STEM rather than humanities). We catch hell for homeschooling our teens, but they are better socialized than most college students and make mid 20's on their ACT at 12 years old. I ignore the naysayers, and keep plugging away, praying that they will be wise and humble leaders of their generation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Newman
    The world has not seen such naivete since 70s porn.

    'You mean, I have to take my clothes off to save the world?'

  2. #42
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    Re: Sagan Called It

    I've always suspected Sagan of being a communist.

  3. #43
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    Re: Sagan Called It

    Quote Originally Posted by CommunityStanda View Post
    I've always suspected Sagan of being a communist.
    If he were alive today, would you suspect him of being a terrorist? Perhaps an anarchist?

  4. #44
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    Re: Sagan Called It

    Quote Originally Posted by calamity View Post


    Bias is probably the end result of the dumbing down. After all, stupid people simply gravitate to news sources which do not remind them that they are stupid.
    Sagan called it "dumbing down." I call it "twiterization." It's the same thing, and one observes it in the manifestly abundant reticence folks, most notably the current POTUS, exhibit toward reading or writing in coherent and complete sentences consisting of more than 240 characters. I observe it further, on DP though not in my "real life" interactions, when folks gripe about my diction as though it's anything beyond what high schoolers are, or at least once were, expected to have mastered.

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