Classic Chomsky: Education as the indoctrination of the young

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

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Ice ages cycle over many millions of years, but don't come to an abrupt end like we see with global warming. Currently we are in a cooling stage that began 3 million years ago. So the warming that we see can't be chalked up to these much more gradual glacial cycles. All graphs show global warming from the late 1800's to today, and all the data confirms that this correlates to the manmade build-up of CO2 and other pollutants in the atmosphere.

    "Between 52 and 57 million years ago, the Earth was relatively warm. Tropical conditions actually extended all the way into the mid-latitudes (around northern Spain or the central United States for example), polar regions experienced temperate climates, and the difference in temperature between the equator and pole was much smaller than it is today. Indeed it was so warm that trees grew in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and alligators lived in Ellesmere Island at 78 degrees North.

    But this warm period, called the Eocene, was followed by a long cooling trend. Between 52 and 36 million years ago, ice caps developed in East Antarctica, reaching down to sea level in some places. Close to Antarctica, the temperature of the water near the surface dropped to between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius. Between 36 and 20 million years ago the Earth experienced the first of three major cooling steps. At this time a continental-scale temperate ice sheet emerged in East Antarctica. Meanwhile, in North America, the mean annual air temperature dropped by approximately 12 degrees Celsius.

    Between 20 and 16 million years ago, there was a brief respite from the big chill, but this was followed by a second major cooling period so intense that by 7 million years ago southeastern Greenland was completely covered with glaciers, and by 5-6 million years ago, the glaciers were creeping into Scandinavia and the northern Pacific region. The Earth was once more released from the grip of the big chill between 5 and 3 million years ago, when the sea was much warmer around North America and the Antarctic than it is today. Warm-weather plants grew in Northern Europe where today they cannot survive, and trees grew in Iceland, Greenland, and Canada as far north as 82 degrees North.

    We are still in the midst of the third major cooling period that began around 3 million years ago, and its effect can be seen around the world, perhaps even in the development of our own species. Around 2 and a half million years ago, tundra-like conditions took over north-central Europe. Soon thereafter, the once-humid environment of Central China was replaced by harsh continental steppe. And in sub-Saharan Africa, arid and open grasslands expanded, replacing more wooded, wetter environments. Many paleontologists believe that this environmental change is linked to the evolution of humankind."---
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I've never understood how social change towards recycling, renewable energy sources, green technologies, and reduction of our carbon footprint could EVER be a bad thing. So what IF by some remote miracle global warming isn't the result of our pumping 37 billion metric tons of pollutants into the atmosphere annually? Wouldn't it STILL be good if we started trying to pollute the earth less? Ofcourse it would. Why NOT clean up our act for future generations to come? The only argument for NOT doing so that I ever see made is that it hampers current industries like coal-fueled power plants and cement factories to have to make such expensive modifications. The rightwing ideal that greedy laissez faire capitalism, just left to itself and unregulated by the government, will end up bettering everything in the end. That's the only rationale I ever hear FOR polluting and littering as per the status quo. And if that isn't a politically motivated reason I don't know what is.

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    The conventions from Kyoto and Doha are a start.

    It's hard to imagine what kind of hell would precede that.

    It's really not that bad. There's a small contingent of scientists taking measurements on Mauna Loa. They have a suite of sensors which go through daily calibration. Most of the sensors cross-check each other one way or another. There are all kinds of ways for a curious person to double check this. The simplest is to download the files for a given time period, and do some simple statistical analysis on them. I did it using Excel and left the experience convinced that they all have the signatures of valid raw data sets. There are too many characters that simply can't be faked. After walking through the data from Hawaii, the truth-seeker can go to the stations all over the world and repeat the drill. These are collected in countries that have no basis for shoring up a US conspiracy, and the cost and effort of trying to do it makes it ludicrous. Add to this the network of buoys and automated collectors scattered throughout the world--simply for the purpose of resolving the trends to fine-grain local detail--and it becomes quite clear that this is just simple data collection, nothing more.

    It helps to have some prior hands-on experience to confirm this, and it does take about a day to understand the nuances of Mauna Loa's data collection and recording techniques, but it's an excellent cure for conspiracy-itis.

    I noted that he said early in his remarks that could back up his claims with detailed numerical treatment, but recognized that it wasn't necessary. Undoubtedly he knew his audience doesn't care.
    Pearls to swine. Which really reduces this to hyperbole vs. basic skills. That's pretty much all it ever was, it's just that the folks like Dyson know their hog calls.
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    The Keeling Curve may be a simple and stark alarm bell, but a generic swath of technical knowledge is really what I intended with that passage -- not climatological papers and disaster themes in particular (though broadly straying from Wellwisher's focus, probably).

    I've personally witnessed too many working colleagues, friends and relatives get a glazed look in their eyes from suggestion of far less effort (with respect to other topics). Which isn't to say that they couldn't fly to the moon if a gun was to held to their head as an incentive, or if a despised rival placed the proper burr under their saddle, or if they developed any kind of motivating passion for pursuing an interest or accomplishing something that they never cared about previously. But for most of the ever shrinking, limited time during a crowded life, it is easier for non-supermultitasking, ordinary, incapable of being everywhere humans to take the word of familiar / reputable specialized authorities, experts, witnesses, etc. Or optionally reject such on either inverted or similar grounds, personal biases, etc.

    Also, for most of history we chose routines and everyday perception over intellective apprehensions or combination of both; chose habits and the "immediate knowledge" of rocks and trees and food and social interactions over a less travelled road of extended thought affairs / interrogating attacks. The latter eventually yielding hidden realms of forces, chemical orders, deep cosmic dynamos, biotic machinery and formerly obscured geological stories. If the latter is the level of "true knowledge" which eliminativist philosophy seeks to replace thousands and thousands of years of traditional folk illusion with, then it's not surprising that the vast majority of the global tribe lags behind or clings to its hunting, gathering, reproducing, and ritual dancing. Egah waves his club a few feet from the flickering fire, amidst the circle of huts: "Let the 'shaman' be the authority on what lies outside the cave of shadows and the meanings of slashes and abstract animal pictographs painted on stone. I shall listen to this wisdom of another world, or not, as suits the practicality of the shaman's visions -- according to how I grasp what matters to me or mine in this one."

    IOW, it was just exploring the why, of when a supposed true knowledge* fails in and of itself to impress significant numbers of the population. The "outside the club" individual may need an interest and a will to plunge further; and perhaps even an amateur cryptoanalytic talent just to distinguish it from the rest of the background noise and crack it. (Einstein might have experienced that problem with the public if not for the alert from "pilot cars" ahead of and behind the "extra wide load" warning that this really was 'something special'. With the latter ascription perhaps afterwards still remaining the extent of the meaning / significance for many back then.)

    * Whatever exhalted characteristic "true" is supposed to denote in preference over "It works reliably!" or "It is fitting to use for accomplishing this job / goal!" or "As adequate an explanation as any!" or "Very popular for today; perhaps phlogiston tomorrow!". I was simply running with the expression that had been submitted. ​
  8. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The original question I posed was why the rebranding from global warming to climate change? Climate change can include both warming and cooling since both reflect changes in climate.

    Statistical and empirical science opens the door to emotional subjectivity and is the basis for clever marketing. For example, say there is an add about a new car, which shows the male getting the pretty girls if he owns that car. This is not rational, since there is no cause and effect that can be proven. However, this car might, nevertheless, increase of the odds of getting a pretty girl, since many pretty girls look at the purse and any new car could shows success. This correlation can be shown from previous data, and one could do a statistical analysis to show with all else being equal, this will increase the odds of getting the pretty girl. But again this is not a done deal based on cause and effect but only based on changes in the game odds.

    The gap between cause and effect and this statistical correlation is where you work on the emotions, since there is semi-logic that can be fueled by emotional appeal. This is how indoctrination also works.

    The change from global warming to climate change helped to fuzz things out, since any subjective standard could be used to express change; there is something for everyone to read into (new car will attract pretty girls). Warming was to too specific (new car will attract only pretty blonds). Each can do an internal correlation, better, and be swayed with emotions. This type of marketing actually uses both sides of the brain, with rational science more left brained, eliminating the right side in the decisions.
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    temperature change itself isn't the most severe effect of changing climate. Changes to precipitation patterns and sea level are likely to have much greater human impact than the higher temperatures alone. For this reason, scientific research on climate change encompasses far more than surface temperature change. So "global climate change" is the more scientifically accurate term...
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That is false. We also have mechanism, theory, analogy, and general law, along with present trends to go with past ones.
    If you are propagandizing, like the denialist think tanks carrying water for the corporate profiteers, that's a good approach, yes.

    If you a climate scientist, or an honest and competent popularizer, you connect the statistical correlations to the predictions by reasoning from mechanism and theory, rather than emotional appeal.
    In the first place, there is no such thing as a "liberal" approach here.

    In the second, the implied claim is false. Many smaller time periods would hand you the same predictions as many longer ones.

    In the third place, it doesn't matter what different time periods would yield when the question being asked is best answered by certain ones. The different answers would be wrong ones, and the choosing of those misleading time periods would be just an error, a mistake.

    And all that is obvious, basic reasoning from such data, would be true of any similar matter.

    This odd characteristic, an inculcated confidence and comfort with repeated assertion of obvious falsehood as the basis of discussion, is part of what Chomsky was referring to by indoctrination and its effects, btw.
  11. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Have you ever seen the NASA photos of the earth's surface gravity, which can have an impact on local sea level. The local sea level can rise and fall due to changes in local gravity, as the plates move and as materials inside the earth go into flux. The photo has an exaggerated scale and is from National Geographic.

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  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Ahh, but then we're not talking "local sea levels" are we? We're talking Global Mean Sea Level. Here's an explanation for you from National Geographic since you like them so much:

    "Core samples, tide gauge readings, and, most recently, satellite measurements tell us that over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year, roughly twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years.

    Over the past century, the burning of fossil fuels and other human and natural activities has released enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. These emissions have caused the Earth's surface temperature to rise, and the oceans absorb about 80 percent of this additional heat.

    The rise in sea levels is linked to three primary factors, all induced by this ongoing global climate change:

    Thermal expansion: When water heats up, it expands. About half of the past century's rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space.

    Melting of glaciers and polar ice caps: Large ice formations, like glaciers and the polar ice caps, naturally melt back a bit each summer. But in the winter, snows, made primarily from evaporated seawater, are generally sufficient to balance out the melting. Recently, though, persistently higher temperatures caused by global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting as well as diminished snowfall due to later winters and earlier springs. This imbalance results in a significant net gain in runoff versus evaporation for the ocean, causing sea levels to rise.

    Ice loss from Greenland and West Antarctica: As with glaciers and the ice caps, increased heat is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt at an accelerated pace. Scientists also believe meltwater from above and seawater from below is seeping beneath Greenland's and West Antarctica's ice sheets, effectively lubricating ice streams and causing them to move more quickly into the sea. Moreover, higher sea temperatures are causing the massive ice shelves that extend out from Antarctica to melt from below, weaken, and break off.


    When sea levels rise rapidly, as they have been doing, even a small increase can have devastating effects on coastal habitats. As seawater reaches farther inland, it can cause destructive erosion, flooding of wetlands, contamination of aquifers and agricultural soils, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants.

    When large storms hit land, higher sea levels mean bigger, more powerful storm surges that can strip away everything in their path.

    In addition, hundreds of millions of people live in areas that will become increasingly vulnerable to flooding. Higher sea levels would force them to abandon their homes and relocate. Low-lying islands could be submerged completely.

    How High Will It Go?

    Most predictions say the warming of the planet will continue and likely will accelerate. Oceans will likely continue to rise as well, but predicting the amount is an inexact science. A recent study says we can expect the oceans to rise between 2.5 and 6.5 feet (0.8 and 2 meters) by 2100, enough to swamp many of the cities along the U.S. East Coast. More dire estimates, including a complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, push sea level rise to 23 feet (7 meters), enough to submerge London and Los Angeles."

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  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

    I am going to go back to the original topic, which is indoctrination. In my second to last post I tried to show how empirical and statistical, although useful in the hands of experts, can be used to manipulate the layman herd, since there is gap between this type of science and science based on cause and effect. To quote my own example:

    The gap between cause and effect (common sense) and this statistical correlation is where you can work on the emotions. This is how indoctrination also works. In practical terms, reason and logic is processed in the left brain, while emotion is processed in the right brain. Statistical empirical actually uses both sides of the brain (semi-rational with emotional appeal) while reason only uses one side.

    There is an old saying that two heads are better than one. This should be true, such that statistical empirical plus emotions, by using both sides of the brain, should be better, but there is slight problem in this case. The left brain uses spoken/written cultural language which we all share allowing us to get very specific.

    The right brain has it own type of language, which is common to all, but which is not as well understood. The net effect is each side of the brain is reacting to different problems, which is why two heads are not always better than one. The male you buys the marketing of the new car, based on slight statistical empirical evidence is banking on the feeling from the right brain analysis, which is telling him this is his lucky day such that logical/reason/common sense should be less important.

    One of the questions I asked which nobody has answered is why change the global warming brand? ANd why is fear so important to this version of science, when science is supposed to be rational and free from emotions?
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    “My guess is that you would find that the intellectual elite is the most heavily indoctrinated sector [of society], for good reasons. It's their role as a secular priesthood to really believe the nonsense that they put forth. Other people can repeat it, but it's not that crucial that they really believe it. But for the intellectual elite themselves, it's crucial that they believe it because, after all, they are the guardians of the faith. Except for a very rare person who's an outright liar, it's hard to be a convincing exponent of the faith unless you've internalized it and come to believe it.”
    ― Noam Chomsky
  15. thecalling Registered Member

    how else can people live in harmony without societal rules indoctrination?
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

    This statement is a good way to begin explaining the impact of the right brain. The right brain processes data in a spatial way and therefore is about integration, such as social integration, personal integration in relationships, and integration with nature via instincts. The left is more differential, allowing science, to focus on tiny details. A pure right brain person is about integrating regardless of reasons. The abused wife living with an abusive husband, who still loves him, is using too much right brain and not enough left brain reason; maintain integration. Scientists like Mr Spock is more pure left brain with very little emotion. His insistence on facts and logic makes him seem cold and distant. For the most part we use both sides of the brain. Captain Kirk is logical but also runs on his gut feelings during crisis. This is left to right. Indoctrination typical goes right to left. It starts with integrating feelings and then adds the logic line.

    As an example, say you were standing among a crowd of people that is spread out. As you look around, you begin to notice more and more of the crowd is beginning to walk to the right. Many people will start to follow before they figure out why. The personality firmware, which defines human nature, filters through the right brain first. There is an instinctive programming to stick together for safety.

    This is the from the right brain, and can occur even before we differentiate why we are moving. We may ask people nearby, what is happening and why are we moving. Some won't know but will continue to walk, others begin to speculate. This is right brain leading the left brain, with emotions being used to help us differentiate a scenario. The fearful will project fear and come up with a fear scenario. A right brain feeling will helps to differentiate a left brain explanation, centered on the chosen emotional valance.

    The right brain is more directly wired into the personality firmware, which are neural software/programs which define our human nature, which is common to all humans as a species. There are two main levels based on long term evolution, one of which is connected to our instincts and the other based on human relationship and all combinations thereof (personal to group). Left brain science and reason is relatively new on the evolutionary scale, so there is no natural firmware to parallel science, unless genetic theory is wrong. Religion appears to indictate there is another firmware layer; inner spirit.

    What tends to happen in indoctrination, like global warming, is the left brain science, but not being fully rational but empirical, merges with firmware connected to instinct and relationship. The two heads addressing separate problems. The herd will follow if you can trigger right brain first; fear of global disaster will work just fine for most. They will start to walk and then start to ask the questions, with many generating their own justification if you throw out enough bones to chew.

    It is possible to develop higher level or level three firmware connected to reason. These are firmware of meaning. Often most depend on others to output this for the herd; the experts. This firmware will attempt to integrate reason into larger blocks of data, beyond the narrow data of specialization. Specialization is like a microscope that can see a small area, while the firmware is a telescope; big picture.

    As an example, say you had a large poster size picture that is upside down so you can't see the picture.. What I will do is cut out a small section, randomly, and give this to you. You can flip over this piece. This is an analogy of specialization. The biologists does not know what the physicists is doing nor does he know what the historical does, yet each knows their own areas in great detail.

    You may be able to completely define that small random section of the picture, but will have to guess how it fits into the biggest picture. It is huma nature to place you interest as the center piece of interpretation even if cut off center. The biologists think in terms of biology since he knows the most about this sector. If this small sector was a person's head, you can see all the details. But you may not be able to tell the where, when or why of that person in the context of the larger poster sized picture. Are they inside or outside, at the beach or mountains, is the the past or present? The bigger picture can also be filled in with the right brain. Indoctrination, will narrow the focus by not presenting all the data, such as past trends, so you can't see the larger context and then trigger the right brain herd to get it moving.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The differentiated roles and functions of the two hemispheres of the human brain are a fascinating subject of current research and analysis. You should take a look at some of it - it would be well worth your time.
  18. river Valued Senior Member

    When education is the indoctrination of the young we stagnate thought and new ideas , thinking , understanding

    We then become robotic

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