Classic Chomsky: Education as the indoctrination of the young

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Magical Realist, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,723
    You are perfectly . . . wrong. The top 10 hottest years on record have come in the past 20 years.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    You were saying?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,632
    Not everyone who undergoes education is young. Ideally people keep learning things throughout their lives.

    But to answer your underlying question, I'd say in general, yes.

    Nobody is in any position to discover everything for themselves, from the beginning, all over again. If they were, it would be a terrible waste of effort. And even if education only purports to give students the tools to discover things for themselves, that's still indoctrination in terms of methods.

    So yes, education typically consists of people being told things that professors (like Chomsky), writers and pundits of all sorts want them to believe.

    Sometimes that's because the teachers themselves believe what they teach. Sometimes it's because teachers believe that it would be useful to their own purposes if other people believe what they teach, even if it isn't true. Often a little bit of both.

    In a society that values free-speech, anyone can set themselves up to teach others.

    How is truth distinguished from bullshit?

    Part of it is consensus. Cranks and looney-tunes can often be seen to deviate by a wide margin from the consensus of people who are knowledgeable about a particular subject. But this consensus criterion isn't air-tight. If it was, recognition of errors and inadaquacies in accepted thinking would be impossible.

    And part of it is pragmatic. The truth has a better tendency than error to actually work. The practical success of engineering and medicine are indicators that the natural sciences really have learned some truths about the natural world. Experiment in science tends to support true hypotheses and create problems for false ones.

    That's probably one reason why the natural sciences seem to progress a lot better than the humanities (and the so-called social "sciences" along with them).

    Noam Chomsky's a life-long Marxist. Marxism has traditionally thought of everything apart from the economic relations of social classes as ideological "superstructure", a system of systematically misleading ideas intended to protect the favored economic classes in their exploitive power. Hence the tendency for the contemporary left-academia to undertake skeptical deconstructions of everything imaginable, from religion and art traditions on one end, to the truth and objectivity of natural science on the other.

    In a way it's kind of the reductio-ad-absurdem of higher education. The general public is still supposed to believe in and accept university professors' authority and status, even as those very same professors tell that public that everything that everyone believes they know is nothing more than evil ideological bullshit.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,655

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Messages:
    5,160
    You can find graphs to support both positions, but this will not be enough to overcome the brain washing. So the question I posed was, why the need for the rebranding, from global warming to climate change, if global warming is true?

    Why go from a specific cause and effect, that is easier to study and prove, to something nebulous (do-all) that allows for both cooling and heating? If it gets colder this is climate change. The brain washed, who are stuck in their original programming, will assume this means the same thing. If it is hot today but cools to morrow that is climate change and therefore means global warming is true.

    Why would Coke or Pepsi need to rebrand a product? This comes from the board of directors with the inside scoop, before they create a sanitized version given as propaganda aids. This usually means consumers are going away. You can bring them back by appearing to be a new thing. The climate change brand is about something for everyone. If you see graphs that show cooling, this is also climate change so don't leave the original manufacturer.
     
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,655
    I would venture to say that the term "climate change" became a more accurate and comprehensive description of the world situation. Global warming denialists would always point to the short term drops in global temps and whine that it was evidence against global warming. But what you have to look at is the trend in this variation overall, over decades,in order to see the real pattern of warming. Calling it climate change better describes both the short term variations between heating and cooling and the longterm trend in global warming. Personally I have no issue with the term global warming, as long as it is recognized that this is a GLOBAL temperature increase over many decades and not over say one or two years.

    Your own chart below shows a huge spike in global warming right when the industrial revolution was taking off. CO2 levels have been increasing dramatically ever since. I also noticed your chart stops at 1960. Why is that? Does the data show even higher spiking in temps after that? According to all charts yes it does. Your chart is a deceptive depiction of the true situation. Below your chart is another chart depicting global CO2 levels plotted against global temps. Note the direct correlation. Do you have any charts to misrepresent THESE facts?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,655
    Excerpt of Youtube speech. This is all I could find for those of you who can't access Youtube..

    "The educational system is supposed to train people to be obedient, conformist, not think too much, do what you’re told, stay passive, don’t cause any crises of democracy, don’t raise any questions, and so on. That’s basically what the system is about. Even the fact that the system has a lot of stupidity in it has a function; it means that people are filtered out for obedience. If you can guarantee lots of stupidity in the educational system—you know, like stupid assignments, things like that— you know that the only people who will make it through are people like me and most of you, I guess, who are willing to do it no matter how stupid it is because, well, we want to go to the next step… So you may know that this assignment is idiotic and the guy up there couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag but you’ll do it anyway because that’s the way that you get to the next class…Well, there are people that don’t do that. There are people who say, ‘I’m not gonna do it, it’s too ridiculous.’ Those people are called behavioral problems."
     
  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    As Freeman Dyson contended, there should always be at least some contrarians or critics of mainstream judgments. Little should be so approved that it gets by the security gate from that point on with zero challenges to re-test and confirm its mettle. These lingering skeptics might sometimes be immigrants from Quackville rather than irritating sticklers for proper procedure demanded within a methodology itself. But either one or the other provides a stimulant for its immune system to demonstrate it is in the right when protecting and fending-off attacks upon a targeted selection from its brood of cherished / warranted conclusions.

    "In the modern world, science and society often interact in a perverse way. We live in a technological society, and technology causes political problems. The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, 'Sorry, but we don’t know'. The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities. So it happens that the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future, and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true, and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong. That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed.
    [...]
    The prevailing dogmas may be right, but they still need to be challenged. I am proud to be a heretic. The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies. Since I am heretic, I am accustomed to being in the minority. If I could persuade everyone to agree with me, I would not be a heretic. We are lucky that we can be heretics today without any danger of being burned at the stake. But unfortunately I am an old heretic. Old heretics do not cut much ice. When you hear an old heretic talking, you can always say, 'Too bad he has lost his marbles', and pass on. What the world needs is young heretics. I am hoping that one or two of the people who read this piece may fill that role."
    --HERETICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SCIENCE AND SOCIETY
     
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,152
    Your avatar has me grinning from ear to ear. I also like the site Dyson posted on, and much of what he said. But he has made some fundamental errors, like this:

    "The number that I ask you to remember is the increase in thickness, averaged over one half of the land area of the planet, of the biomass that would result if all the carbon that we are emitting by burning fossil fuels were absorbed. The average increase in thickness is one hundredth of an inch per year. "

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    The CO[sub]2[/sub] data measured by NOAA has a sawtooth riding on it, reflecting the annual seasonal changes in vegetation. Each year the amount of CO[sub]2[/sub] produced (roughly 10 ppm) cannot be reduced by the total summer vegetation (roughly 5 ppm). The result is around 5 ppm/yr positive ramp. There is no way to get from this sobering fact to Dyson's idea, other than to equate all of the earth's vegetation (or presumably this is just the Northern Hemisphere) to a mere "hundredth of an inch per year" of "thickness". On the other hand, if he were to say that we could stop the ramp by doubling the earth's vegetation, then I think he would have a valid point. That's why I can never accept statement like this one he makes, which feeds the denialist frenzy:

    "My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models."

    Models alone are not driving climate science. It's the actual measurements. There is nothing insignificant about wishing the earth would magically double its biomass. It leaves me wondering if he's ever even looked at the NOAA data, and whether his sense of heresy is nothing more than a vestige of what we once called "radical chic".
     
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Yeah, unfortunately* there was a receptive lay audience which didn't feel that Dyson had "lost his marbles" yet. During times of polarizing political sideshows and inflamed passions, perhaps it would be nice if the contrarians could keep their "civic duty" roles more in house among their peers. But OTOH, that echoes a bit of the thought patrol, especially when a few loose cannons on the other side start recommending items like "the death penalty for heretics such as Dyson. As did Galileo, they can get a reprieve if they recant."

    *If the pessimism over climate change does indeed pan out, which already seems justified if one is an inuit or polar bear. ​
     
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Messages:
    5,160
    Knowledge that is true does not require emotional appeal, nor does it need free market and political manipulation. Emotional appeal is needed for subjective knowledge.

    The way the original scam worked, was it only plotted a segment of all the known data . As an analogy, say you plotted Microsoft stock from company inception to the present, there is a increasing trend. Say instead we only plotted a particular month, on the same size paper, and then take this out of context of the whole. We can make it do anything we want. This data is real, and the plot of this real data is real, but it has no long term contrast to see this is not unique nor does it remain that way in the long term.

    In my last post, I showed long term data based on core samples in Greenland. This data show a cyclic warming and cooling. This is the Microsoft stock data from inception. What the sales pitch uses is the most recent warming hump, it but does not attempt to qualify this by showing this in the context of the longest term data. This is where it gets subjective. Politics is all about optics. How about the pro-global warming show us plots of data for the last 1000 years to prove this to themselves.

    An analogy is the teacher asks if John hit Mike. The answer is yes, so she gets mad at John. But if she also knew Mike punched John first, and John had to fight back, then the same facts have a new context. Limited data, out of the entire data base, uses truth to weave subjectivity. It then needs Mike to fuel the emotions t get away with it.
     
  14. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,152
    Polar ice melt, coupled with the annual shortage in CO[sub]2[/sub] uptake by the biomass, seems to be the correlation that Dyson is skirting. He did comment at Edge on the dangers of ocean levels rising, which contradicts other statements he's made.

    For every N denialists there is at least 1 person with enough curiosity to download the data from Mauna Loa and study it. It's a great way to learn how measurements are actually done, and it partly addresses Dyson's justifiable concern that scientists working on computers in air-conditioned rooms are too isolated from nature to make informed assessments. That is, the site at Mauna Loa has been doing just that since the 1950s. Unfortunately the mob pays no mind to details like the fact that there is a research station reporting a grim trend in atmospheric chemistry, and has been doing so throughout their lives. There is nothing new about the data. What's new (or relatively new) is that it finally got public attention.

    Better would be to attack the data directly. Most of the lay commentary avoids this, leaving it to questions of hearsay and opinions of people rather than opinions of chemistry and physics which are ultimately the real enemies of human survival.

    This also strikes a chord with anti-papists, to the extent that fundamentalism embraces the study of European history at all. It brings to mind the way anti-science posters are prone to comparing themselves to Bruno, after posting erroneous pseudoscientific claims and receiving the predictable attacks from readers who evidently have some working knowledge of actual science. To a denialist, there is little recourse but to adopt a conspiracy theory. And there is a half-truth in their notions of a thought patrol. After all, education is truly a tyrant: it polices ignorance rather aggressively.

    In the future, pundits and historians will probably reflect on the very protracted death throes of social conservatism in all its garb, particularly the lab coats they're presently wearing. Of course one could only hope for a future in which kids learn, as soon as they are able, the meaning of common thinking errors such as bias and denial. In an idyllic future, one in which young people would typically revere scholarship, it's reasonable to assume that all of these present fears of knowledge would be overtaken by wonder, and that, as a matter of conscience, students would tend to feel a desire to contribute to the cure of anything that threatens future generations. In all probability such an era would produce a rather large percentage of budding scientists. For them, the present question would turn their attention to the raw data--unencumbered by punditry--back to Mauna Loa, which, for all we know, by then may be regarded as a historical monument.
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,655
    None of your charts show any rise in global temps as dramatic as that from the industrial age of the late 1800's up to 2013. This is exactly what we would expect if the warming was due to increasing man-caused levels of CO2 levels in our atmosphere. We DON"T see warming like this in previous ages. No doubt there were periods of cooling and warming caused by volcanic eruptions over time. But nothing like what we are seeing today based not only on world temp readings but also on these other facts:


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  16. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    No doubt we'd eventually be in another greenhouse / iceage / misc-mess cycle (including the brief burps of those), just as has repeatedly befallen Earth in the past. These nary required an irresponsible human industry to bring them about. But I guess the underlying panic here is: "Geez, all this disruption shouldn't happen when my family and I are alive. Let the cyborgs and posthumans deal with it one or five or more thousand years in the future. Since we're triggering it this time, let us reform our ways." Personally, I feel it would already be too late to stop devastation from rising waters and hyper-hurricanes and Europe freezing to death, or whatever the various celebrated horrors currently are. But I suppose there are more dreaded stages of this Godzilla-fest anticipated to arise to deliver greater havoc, if the sins of naughty capitalism aren't scrubbed away immediately. On the contrarian-side, of course, is Dyson dispensing Pollyanna forecasts like the Sahara returning to a moist garden land. [Sticking foot in suspicious-looking, bubbling pool of liquid, while snatching it away quickly: "Hey, I don't think it's that bad."]

    A consensus interpretation of data indeed should not require such in the specific discipline itself that outputs it. But the farther that stack or disc / thumbdrive of formal description distributes to the public and other professions lacking more and more in the technical background to decipher what the non-generalized details of the work even mean, as well as how it was arrived at, the more it becomes a game of just genuflecting to the conclusions of the original authorities: "Okay, we'll take your word for it because....". What follows "because" could range anywhere from being commonsense impressed by the successes / contributions in the past of that field or specific group within it; to robotically acceding to the proper chain of hierarchy according to their system standards; to possibly the social-marketing affairs and personal preferences stuff even infiltrating the acceptance process by any somewhat "clueless" individuals it eventually falls on the desktops of. Also the very reverse of a lukewarm attitude or outright rejecting of a "true knowledge" for what are deemed its shortcomings within the context of an applicable "...because...". Where a tire-kicking *heretic* like Dyson then may enter the picture of capturing part of the available audience.

    In the end, "true knowledge" is not given as such in itself; it's as vulnerable to being ignored or under-utilized as a sports car given to a herd of swine as a gift. Derived / inferred / manufactured information needs an agent with an interest and a decoder key.
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,099
    No, you can't.

    Also, there is no such thing as "both" positions - there are several positions just among the scientists speculating, let alone the political catfights Exxon and Chevron and Shell are weighing in on.

    Depends on what you trying to do with it - if you are trying to cut back on Exxon's profits by political action, you will need everything you have to beat them at political manipulation, market power, and emotional (propaganda) appeal, not to mention direct threat.

    We are in far more danger of educational system indoctrination through the influence of power and great wealth, than by a collection of underfunded academic researchers talking statistics and so forth.

    Chomsky is certainly no expounder of the view that science itself is an ideological superstructure of systematic deception for the protection of the favored economic classes. Surely he can still be Marxist (like most educated people) anyway?
     
  18. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Messages:
    5,160
    There are different scientific approaches. Applied, practical and rational science are emotion free, since they are tools which are self standing and therefore useful for predicting the past, present and future. Empirical and statistical are different in that these are rules of thumb. The difference between the cause and effect of rational science, and the rules of thumb of empirical, allows room for emotional subjectivities.

    For example, each year the experts use statistics and empirical data to predict the number and severity of hurricanes. This science is not yet all the way to cause and effect, but is more of a rule of thumb for the season. At the beginning of the season, before the chickens hatch, you can act confident and panic the herd with fear if the estimate is high. By the end of the season, the fear may not have been warranted or may not have warranted for particular people, but still you were able to panic the entire herd. If it was cause and effect, each person could infer or deduce the future thereby dispelling this manipulation.

    We can predict where a ball will fall, based on velocity, direction and gravity, using basic Newtonian mechanics. We can't panic the herd into thinking it can fall anywhere due to chaos and probability or even based on past events. I can't panic the crowd in advance and say if he throws the ball due east at 45 degrees everyone on the south better watch out, unless you dumb down the crowd into thinking reason is the same as statistics so don't learn to reason, we will do it for you.

    The political divide of global warming, which amount to conflicting emotional appeal, is connected to this being less than rational science. We don't have a rational way to predict the future, except by past trends. If we chose a smaller time period you get the liberal approach and if you look longer term you get the conservative approach. Indoctrination is not about the self reliance of reason but is about empirical curves through selective social data to make rules of thumb, which make room for emotional manipulation.
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,655
    You keep spuing your jibberish and I'll keep posting the hard facts. Here's a chart from a NASA website going back 650,000 years. Is that enough past trend for ya? This chart is based on ice core samples taken from Antarctica..

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!




    Here's data collected from 4 scientific agencies. Compare and learn:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Go here for more evidence:

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,632
    What about the ends of ice ages?

    It seems that the current planetary climate is somewhere in the middle of a natural range of variation that extends from periods when polar icecaps extended south of the Great Lakes in North America (and covered Scandinavia in Europe) to periods when the Earth doesn't appear to have had any polar icecaps at all. As I understand it, the reasons for these dramatic natural fluctuations in the Earth's climate aren't currently understood.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,723
    Yep. But you can't predict where a space station will fall using the same mechanics.

    No. But you can "panic the herd" into thinking that the space station might fall on them. Indeed, if it MIGHT fall on Manhattan, and you don't warn people, you'd share some of the blame for the resulting damage/deaths if it did.

    If emotion is the enemy of reason, then climate change deniers are surely the enemies of science. Their red-faced rants against science, liberals, green energy, conservation etc are generally fact-free and contain the sort of fearmongering (i.e. you will FREEZE IN THE DARK while Al Gore laughs all the way to the bank!) that Joe McCarthy would be proud of.
     
  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,632
    Nice ad-hominem.

    I'm kind of sceptical about the climate-change hysteria myself.

    Is the climate changing? Probably. (It's probably always been changing.) Is it warming? Probably. (I think that the degree of certainty on that one is still good, though it might be a little lower.)

    Is it unprecedented? Arguably with regards to rates. (But since our actual measurements extend less than 200 years back, earlier rates will have to be estimated indirectly. When we are talking about millions of years ago, it's going to be very difficult to observe small fractions of a degree changes on the timescale of years. So these claims are going to be a lot more speculative.) Is it unprecedented with regards to absolute temperature values? No. (The Earth has experienced climactic periods in the past that were both hotter and colder than anything that we see today.)

    Is mankind responsible for whatever changes we are seeing today? There are plausible arguments that we are contributing to it. (But given that even larger climactic shifts have happened in the past without any human contribution, we can't be entirely sure.) If the observed small yearly changes are extrapolated out to bigger climate changes, will those changes be disastrous? Probably for many, but they might be a benefit for others. (Rising coastal sea levels vs longer growing seasons in high latitudes.)

    But ultimately, what puts me off is how politicized this stuff has gotten. It's all about left-right identity and group-think. Billvon's little rant up above illustrates that. I do find it peculiar how all this climate-change militancy appeared on the scene right about the same time that Communism tanked, and how we are all being told that the only proper response to global warming is (you guessed it) radical social change.

    I'm a layman concerning this stuff. Just about all I can do is to either accept would-be authority, or else adopt the mode of scepticism. And given all the politics that are so visibly at play in this thing, I think that I lean pretty strongly towards the latter. I just can't get past the idea that people out there on all sides of this issue are trying to make me believe things that they want me to believe, so as to further their own agendas.
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,723
    An ad hominem would be an attack on the author. The above was a characterization of climate change deniers, not of the author.

    I guess - in the same way that the population of the world is probably increasing.

    Not at all. We've had extinction events where cataclysms (meteor impacts, volcanic eruptions) drove much faster changes.

    Agreed.

    The existence of previous changes does not mean that it's impossible to tell what's happening now. People's body temperatures fluctuate throughout the day and over their lifetimes, yet doctors can still determine that a virus is causing a fever.

    Definitely true.

    Agreed. We have deniers whose political views require them to deny what's happening; we have alarmists who are certain we will all die in the near future unless something is done. In reality nothing we can do now will prevent continued warming in the near future; all we can do now is slow it down and reverse it in the long term.
     

Share This Page