Educating a Brave New World about Roman Numerals in the 21st Century

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by danshawen, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    A liberal education was once promoted as producing individuals with broader educational horizons, equipped to face whatever they may encounter in the job market. How's that working out for ya, by the way? But the world has changed. There is as much disinformation as there is reliable information out there, and as often as not, no practical way to distinguish between them. What if the all-powerful Google were just some quirky little guy hiding behind a thin curtain of advertising revenue? The information you got would be used to prompt you to buy or to promote something, nothing more.

    Nearer the turn of the millennium, educational certifications of all types of professional work were found to be needed so that people who were qualified for jobs were the ones who got them. And almost as soon as that started happening, a certain individual who had what appeared to be believable educational credentials got voted into the highest office of our government and we all got first-hand experience about what it means to have an incompetent person in charge. He put other unqualified people in charge of things they shouldn't have been allowed to touch also. A concert pianist as Secretary of State was just one example of many.

    With the proliferation of certifications for technical and other professions coming from places like Liberty University, I for one think it is time for a permanent division of Academia along the lines envisioned by Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. We have emulated Orwell's 1984 almost to the letter, and I read those dystopian works at about the same time, so why not? Some people who never belonged in college at all are not only tenured, but trying to teach subjects they didn't learn themselves. They don't have to anymore. That's what Google is for, isn't it? One medical school turns out real physicians who want to apply the real science they have been taught, while another turns out just as many homeopathic and placebo-pushing quacks using a different search engine. No one should be satisfied with the fact that their credentials are nearly indistinguishable from each other. The quacks will probably make just as much or perhaps more money, and some of them will do so without ever curing a patient. Some will obtain work making policy for medical insurance companies. Stacking formularies is a great way to get kick-backs. I don't think there is even a term for that sort of crime. Military and perhaps sport medicine is the only area untouched by this.

    Literacy should be worth something, obviously, particularly to those professions requiring a knowledge of what has been written previously. But there comes a point in education when there is an academic focus on how much went wrong, and a corresponding reduced emphasis on what went right. The Romans never did much of anything original in math. Roman numerals deserve to be forgotten, like mastering the use of a buggy whip for practical transportation. I hope neither of these ever come back.

    Home schooling can't do this. Teaching religion in place of science and getting academic credit for doing so can't do this. Standardized tests dumbed down to the point that everybody and anybody can pass them can't do this. Never mind most of the misbegotten and educator-unfriendly ideas of NCLB and Common Core. You don't give students or their parents control of what is taught unless you are a politician or an imbecile, which amounts to the same thing these days. Or would you want your children and their society trapped forever in a spinning hamster wheel, learning and then repeating the mistakes of the past because there wasn't enough time to teach them how to do their jobs better?

    Khan University is the best model I can think of to educate a better world in the 21st century. John Dewey's ideas about teaching anything you can, practically speaking, get textbooks to support has got to go the way of teaching Roman numerals to math majors. Anyone else have any favorite educational models? How do we certify academic proficiency areas with teeth so that unqualified people can't schmooze their way into occupations they never belonged in?
     
    Jason.Marshall likes this.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Messages:
    654
    Danshawen for President!! Please continue to speak am learning a lot!!
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,232
    1. Understand that we are aiming for equality of opportunity, not equality of achievement.
    2. Understand that the skills of an artisan are as important as those of an intellectual.
    3. Shoot all stockbrokers, bankers, and other parasites.

    (The third option is not essential, but just a personal favourite.)
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Messages:
    654
    Now is time to separate the wheat from the chaff...As skilled opponents become combative there becomes less and less room for error and charlatans, "logic is triumphant over all" and love trumps logic every time. The song that will be heard traveling at the speed of electromagnetism translated on your dial-tone "Gabreil's Horn" answer the call for the Trumpet shall soon sound...
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,755
    Then how would anyone know which Super Bowl they were watching? Have to keep the priorities of the American people in mind.
     
  9. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Messages:
    654
    Why don't you ask him his views on what he thinks of watching sports.
     
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
    It's ironic that you say something like that in what appears to be a rant about educational philosophy.

    Google is a web search engine. It isn't the all-powerful Oz. Anyone using search results will have to exercise some critical thinking skills. That starts with recognizing Google for what it is.

    That pianist was one of the world's most respected academics in the field of international
    affairs and Provost of Stanford University at the time she was appointed National Security Advisor. Only then was she appointed Secretary of State.

    I've met a number of graduates of Liberty University and thought that they were as well educated as any other university graduates.

    I think that worthless professors are most prevalent in areas like postmodern literary theory, feminist epistemology and philosophy of science, or in the so-called cultural studies so popular in today's British universities. Most of those subjects are affectations of the academic left.

    I don't know of any conventionally accredited medical schools that teach homeopathic medicine. Nor am I sure what Google has to do with medical education.

    Here in California, in order to obtain a physician's license, an applicant must be a graduate of a domestic medical school accredited by the AMA and/or the CME, be a graduate of a Canadian medical school with similar recognition in that country, or be a graduate of an international medical school on a list of those the state finds credible. (That's intended to screen out doubtful off-shore medical schools.)

    I think that the ability to read and express one's self well in English prose is probably the single most important skill that a school-leaver can have.

    Can't do what? Stop teaching Roman numerals?

    Are you an educator?

    Who would you propose handing that power to?

    How do you propose to avoid the mistakes of the past if nobody knows what they are? I think that learning history is important. It's valuable that we know how we got to where we are now. That gives people perspective.

    I don't think of education simply as job-skills training.

    That being said, I think that secondary schools in particular are failing badly at job-skills training and that is an area that they really need to address.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
    danshawen and Ophiolite like this.
  11. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,232
    My apologies Yazata. The Like button only functions once per member per post. I suppose I could create a bunch of sockpuppets, but that is against forum policy. You'll just have to accept that I thought you made some excellent points.
     
  12. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    A secretary of state who was trained as a concert pianist would have shined as a beacon of hope if the Bush administration hadn't played THE WRONG CHINESE NATIONAL ANTHEM to visitors from Taiwan!!!!!

    As it is, no one is seeking Condoleeza to run for president in 2016. Sarah Palin either. Incompetence is the principle reason why.

    G.W married a librarian, and then his Attorney General tried for all he was worth to convince librarians that it was the government's business what folks were checking out and reading at public libraries after 9/11. It's NOT. Any librarian's who were "with it" were in a state of revolt, and I know of one librarian, rather highly ranked among librarians, who was leading the charge.

    Not only was the man incompetent; either he wasn't listening to anything his wife had to say about the situation, or else she was too incompetent as a librarian to mention it to him when her activist librarian friends apprised her of the situation. I honestly don't know which. Perhaps she deserves part of the blame.

    No one talks about this issue any more, because the intelligence reorganization he set up routinely does get information about what we read. Are we any more secure as a result? I seriously doubt it. It would just put journalists in a bind when all the government needs to do to find their sources is to review the titles and sources of books and articles they have been reading. No one wanted this. It takes incompetence to a rather harmful level, don't you think?

    Those search engines like the all powerful Google pose the same danger, for the same reasons.

    Torture is torture, and even that initiative was carried out by the most incompetent means possible, and as little return on the investment. You expect such things of people better suited to used car sales. To call it stupid is an insult to people with more sense who also are. There's a big difference between information obtained covertly (like, from library checkout lists) and information extracted from prisoners under duress. The latter cannot even be acted on without entailing a great deal more risk.

    Cherry on the top: the demise of Bin Laden had to wait until the middle of the term of the next administration. It might have happened sooner if pains were not taken to whisk Bin Laden's relatives out of the country after 9/11. Demonize Michael Moore all you want; the facts are all there, even if you simply choose to ignore them.

    And thanks for asking so many great questions so quickly!

    I would also like to completely do away with the teaching intern's requisite "statement of educational philosophy", mainly because I would like to dispense with the teaching of any manner or form of philosophy at all. I found no use for it whatsoever in a long and productive life. Educators must teach the curriculum, period. They may help to develop it, of course, but once it is set, they must teach it any way that is comfortable to them. No "philosophy" is really required here, is it? John Dewey had an "educational philosophy" and no one should even be studying his any more. It's part of the reason I'm not an educator, because one of my "mentors" idolized Dewey and all he stood for. I always idolized Bertrand Russell, you see? Despite this, I actually did develop a (very comprehensive) "philosophy" of education, and this endeavor only discouraged me when I realized the full impact of the major mistake I was about to make. Pearls before swine, if ever there were cast.

    I basically feel about philosophy the way scientologists feel about psychiatry. However, I support both the study and teaching of both psychiatry and psychology, particularly for educators, but only if it can be done without injecting anything relating to philosophy.

    That's right. Home schooling can't be depended upon to stop teaching Roman Numerals, or basically any other literature that has been collecting dust for 2000 years or so. The curriculum is neither standardized nor will it be comprehensive if the source is a parent. "It takes a village to raise a child" has never been more true, no matter what you may otherwise think of the source of that quote.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  13. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Euclid and Archimedes are both keepers. Aristotle and Plato need to be forgotten about entirely. Berkeley along with them. Worthless players of philosophical word games, all.

    Even PhD should be a derogatory title, replaced by an earned GPA or one of Huxley's castes in its place.

    If you think these philosophers should be retained in a compendium of 21st century curricula, please tell us why. It is philosophy, religious and otherwise, that is largely responsible for us retaining ancient knowledge past its expiration date.

    Hoarding is bad, even ancient knowledge, for anyone possessing a finite min and memory. Don't lie to yourselves and claim that it is otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  14. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Messages:
    654
    Definitley do away with Aristotle he deserves what he got, at least Plato was entertaining "a good story teller" but to actually learn from him you would have to do all the research your self which takes years of intensive research to understand his mysterious statements. Archimedes I will give him 50 percent usefulness just my personal opinions because I have discovered the errors he made with his mathematical concepts.
     
  15. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    That was amusing. A few were on board with the idea until they googled Huxley's book and found out just how dystopian his brave new world actually was!

    See how powerful search engines have become? Huxley's dystopia wasn't so far from the mark after all.

    Beware; we shall have a real search engine to educate Alphas like Jason, and the deltas can use Bing. It works that way in the brave new world. Like BNW, the deltas won't understand they are exploited from birth. BNW created itself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  16. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Messages:
    654
    You are very intelligent Danshawen never retreat keep shining your light for all to see there are many still blind and in darkness. There is also a lot of waste of potential that never gets tuned to perfection great dissonance amongst the inhabitants of earth lacking much efficiency.

    You see this is why I was smart enough never to take Ritalin or any of the drugs that turns you into a drone I was aware of the great plan instinctually they could not quiet me. "The Matrix has you"symbolism messages given to channelers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  17. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    One of my stepsons (one PhD physics, one PhD math) was such a handful when he was young, ritalin was needed. Later in life, he no longer needed it, but only then did he really begin to shine. Just remember to begin the next big project long before the last one plays itself out. I know you'll be fine.

    No worries. Those born blind do not at first realize there exists another sense they are missing. Perfection is in the eye (if you are blind, please pardon the pun).
     
  18. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Messages:
    654
    Blindness is a beautiful thing because once you begin to see you have witnessed a miracle...Danshawen you have spoken the words of a wise man indeed.
     
  19. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Educators might actually benefit more from the daily use of the drug ritalin than the students. I'm not kidding.
     
  20. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Messages:
    654
    Yeah they say Ritalin is an enhancer of mental cognition I personly never used it although it was suggested when I a child. But if I would use a cognitive enhancer it would have to be Modafinil.
     
  21. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,232
    Opinions are interesting. When they are presented as facts they are potentially dangerous, especially to the presenter. It reveals a lack of confidence in their ability to argue the case.

    (That's an opinion, by the way.)
     
  22. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Absolutely. Philosophy is nothing but opinion, which is part of my point. Curriculum is also an opinion of what is worth teaching. Whose opinion do you think that should reflect? A politician, a teacher, a religious leader, potential employers, or a parent?

    Which search engine would these different stakeholders use to develop curricula if they had no functional knowledge, skills, or education themselves? You see the problem now?

    Which one is more likely to know what skills and knowledge our children will need?

    If you answered "none of the above", give yourself five gold stars. The blind leading the blind we are, and educational philosophies like John Dewey's don't help either. Politicians are worse than usless for anything but passing and enforcing truancy laws, or giving vouchers to constituents even more clueless than they are, when they are not in gridlock. The fewer new laws like NCLB, the better.

    Maybe someone like Hans Rosling could help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
    Jason.Marshall likes this.
  23. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,232
    I choose "all of the above" and seek no formal reward, finding adequate satisfaction in being correct:

    The good politician (and contrary to popular opinion there are many good politicians) will have an army of specialist advisors available.
    Teachers are in the front line and deliver a wealth of practical experience.
    Religious leaders can ensure moral and ethical values are not overlooked.
    Potential employers can certainly define the skills they would appreciate.
    Parents, quite reasonably, have expectations concerning the development of their children, spiritually and materially.

    I would also at linguists, scientists, psychologists, your despised philosophers, shopkeepers, beekeepers, peacekeepers, and Uncle Tom Cobley's widow.
     

Share This Page