Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Anti-intellectualism and the dumbing down America

Bayek

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,703
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201407/anti-intellectualism-and-the-dumbing-down-america

There is a growing anti-intellectual dumbing down of our culture


snip:

,Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Texas, argues the problem is that Asian countries have core cultural values that are more akin to a cult of intelligence and education than a cult of ignorance and anti-intellectualism. In Japan, for example, teachers are held in high esteem and normally viewed as among the most important members of a community. There is suspicion and even disdain for the work of teachers that occurs in the U.S. Teachers in Japan typically are paid significantly more than their peers in the U.S. The profession of teaching is one that is seen as being of central value in Japanese society and those who choose that profession are well compensated in terms of salary, pension, and respect for their knowledge and their efforts on behalf of children.

In addition, we do not see in Japan significant numbers of the types of religious schools that are designed to shield children from knowledge about basic tenets of science and accepted understandings of history--such as evolutionary theory or the religious views of the Founding Fathers, who were largely deists--which are essential to having a fundamental understanding of the world, Traphagan contends. The reason for this is because in general Japanese value education, value the work of intellectuals, and see a well-educated public with a basic common knowledge in areas of scientific fact, math, history, literature, etc. as being an essential foundation to a successful democracy.

We’re creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation.

Bill Keller, writing in the New York Times argues that the anti-intellectual elitism is not an elitism of wisdom, education, experience or knowledge. The new elite are the angry social media posters, those who can shout loudest and more often, a clique of bullies and malcontents baying together like dogs cornering a fox. Too often it’s a combined elite of the anti-intellectuals and the conspiracy followers – not those who can voice the most cogent, most coherent response. Together they foment a rabid culture of anti-rationalism where every fact is suspect; every shadow holds a secret conspiracy. Rational thought is the enemy. Critical thinking is the devil’s tool.

Keller also notes that the herd mentality takes over online; the anti-intellectuals become the metaphorical equivalent of an angry lynch mob when anyone either challenges one of the mob beliefs or posts anything outside the mob’s self-limiting set of values.

Keller blames this in part to the online universe that “skews young, educated and attentive to fashions.” Fashion, entertainment, spectacle, voyeurism – we’re directed towards trivia, towards the inconsequential, towards unquestioning and blatant consumerism. This results in intellectual complacency. People accept without questioning, believe without weighing the choices, join the pack because in a culture where convenience rules, real individualism is too hard work. Thinking takes too much time: it gets in the way of the immediacy of the online experience.

Reality TV and pop culture presented in magazines and online sites claim to provide useful information about the importance of The Housewives of [you name the city] that can somehow enrich our lives. After all, how else can one explain the insipid and pointless stories that tout divorces, cheating and weight gain? How else can we explain how the Kardashians,or Paris Hilton are known for being famous for being famous without actually contributing anything worth discussion? The artificial events of their lives become the mainstay of populist media to distract people from the real issues and concerns facing us.

The current trend of increasing anti-intellectualism now establishing itself in politics and business leadership, and supported by a declining education system should be a cause for concern for leaders and the general population,one that needs to be addressed now.


end of snip. there is more to the article..

This is what is wrong with America. Forget just AA, America.
 

Bayek

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,703
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201609/the-psychology-behind-donald-trumps-unwavering-support

Explaining Trump supporters.. this is very informative to those who just cannot understand why people would support Trump.

snip:

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,131
Tekate|1475409431|4082877 said:
The new elite are the angry social media posters, those who can shout loudest and more often, a clique of bullies and malcontents baying together like dogs cornering a fox. Too often it’s a combined elite of the anti-intellectuals and the conspiracy followers – not those who can voice the most cogent, most coherent response. Together they foment a rabid culture of anti-rationalism where every fact is suspect; every shadow holds a secret conspiracy. Rational thought is the enemy. Critical thinking is the devil’s tool.
Recently I was criticized on Hangout for mentioning historical precedents for current events. One poster accused me of "living in the past" because I used analogies of events from history to compare with present events. On another occasion when I suggested that since humans had always behaved in a certain manner through the millennia and gave examples of it, she dismissed my argument out of hand saying, basically, that history was irrelevant. She said, without offering proof of her argument, that people had "come a long way" in 300 years. (The thrust of her argument was meant to be, I suppose, that we could throw out all past human behavior as a predictor of future human behavior, since we had "come a long way".)

ksinger posted that there is a history of this kind of behavior on this forum. I find that troubling. In any normal conversation in which I engage, people mention events that have have happened in the past. I find it a sign of declining inclination towards rational debate to become annoyed with people who wish to insert examples of behavior from history into a discussion.

AGBF
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
AGBF|1475411765|4082886 said:
Tekate|1475409431|4082877 said:
The new elite are the angry social media posters, those who can shout loudest and more often, a clique of bullies and malcontents baying together like dogs cornering a fox. Too often it’s a combined elite of the anti-intellectuals and the conspiracy followers – not those who can voice the most cogent, most coherent response. Together they foment a rabid culture of anti-rationalism where every fact is suspect; every shadow holds a secret conspiracy. Rational thought is the enemy. Critical thinking is the devil’s tool.
Recently I was criticized on Hangout for mentioning historical precedents for current events. One poster accused me of "living in the past" because I used analogies of events from history to compare with present events. On another occasion when I suggested that since humans had always behaved in a certain manner through the millennia and gave examples of it, she dismissed my argument out of hand saying, basically, that history was irrelevant. She said, without offering proof of her argument, that people had "come a long way" in 300 years. (The thrust of her argument was meant to be, I suppose, that we could throw out all past human behavior as a predictor of future human behavior, since we had "come a long way".)

ksinger posted that there is a history of this kind of behavior on this forum. I find that troubling. In any normal conversation in which I engage, people mention events that have have happened in the past. I find it a sign of declining inclination towards rational debate to become annoyed with people who wish to insert examples of behavior from history into a discussion.

AGBF
Yeah, I almost hurked up a lung on that one. I remember it. Which is itself a form of sin around here these days. Not only are you not supposed to bring the past into discussions of the situations now, you're pretty much not supposed to remember things that have gone on HERE either.

I have long been interested in history, although (in the past, pre-husband) more narrowly and from certain angles - like say, I get a wild hare to read about the Magdalene laundries. This means I read stuff that usually involves a sociological component, rather than pure history (of which there is very little, admittedly). But on histories having a point of view, well, one of my favorite quotes by Barbara Tuchman - one of my favorite historians - is, "There is no such thing as a neutral or purely objective historian. Without an opinion a historian would simply be a ticking clock, and unreadable besides." And this, "It is wiser, I believe, to arrive at theory by way of the evidence than the other way around, like so many revisionists today. It is more rewarding, in any case, to assemble the facts first and, in the process of arranging them in narrative form, to discover a theory or a historical generalization emerging of its own accord. This, to me, is the excitement, the built-in treasure hunt, of history."

But back to the topic - the last decade has been me saying something about how I think "things are different today", and my husband immediately trotting out multiple examples of the same thing occurring in the past. Or multiple examples from the US past, contradicting my take on how "things are". And pointing me to the books/sources to read more deeply about what he's just told me. He's not an easy person to be married to if you're looking to hold onto your preconceived notions, I can tell ya. He does this same thing to his conservative buds too, when they get out of hand imagining a hazy and glowing US past that they bemoan ever "getting back to". They either blow what he says, completely off, or they get angry, and insist all this history crap is irrelevant. So it's not just here Deb, I promise.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,196
Tekate|1475410384|4082880 said:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201609/the-psychology-behind-donald-trumps-unwavering-support

Explaining Trump supporters.. this is very informative to those who just cannot understand why people would support Trump.

snip:

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.
Yes, America is dying.
I blame TV.
Too bad America didn't heed that classic bumpersticker, "KILL YOUR TV!". :knockout:

Let me quote what I wrote in this thread yesterday [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/as-america-sleeps-trump-goes-after-his-enemies.225890/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/as-america-sleeps-trump-goes-after-his-enemies.225890/[/URL]

"Post by kenny » 01 Oct 2016 10:06
Call me cynical but I'm starting to wonder whether many of his supporters care only about which candidate will deliver four years of the best low-brow entertainment, the country be dammed.
:nono:"

Of course the ultimate in cynical irony is Trump's hat.

screen_shot_2016-10-02_at_8.png
 

redwood66

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
7,008
IMO this is not breaking news. It was happening long before Trump and Obama and Bush Jr. It has been happening for decades. Its not like someone woke up in the last 6 months and had an epiphany because of Trump. If they did, then they are seriously blind to everything around them. Now it is a problem because of fear. Fear of a Trump presidency.

What is to be done about it? Let government fix it for you? They can't. It will take everyone to see that education is important. And I am not talking about just college. The severe deficit of skilled workers will become a major problem in America.

I do my part by paying taxes, volunteering, helping when I can, and the most important - raising children who appreciate education, hard work, and common sense. If more people did this one thing we would be better off. But that is JMHO.
 

ruby59

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
3,553
One poster accused me of "living in the past" because I used analogies of events from history to compare with present events.
___________________________________________________________

And this same poster also defended you when you were being accused of "stirring the pot" and causing problems, and said that you have a right to your opinions, the same as anyone else. - And that you should never be afraid of expressing them.
 

purplesparklies

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
743
Yet, the anti-intellectuals, the ones described herein:

"We’re creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation."

always assume this refers to the "others". They never recognize these very behaviors in themselves. True intellectuals recognize that opinions vary and personal attacks are unnecessary and counterproductive.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,864
It's not just the US, it's the whole of the Western world, in my opinion. The recent EU referendum campaign seemed to be largely carried out on Twitter and one of the politicians on the Brexit side was heard to say that people were 'bored' with experts. Our schools are to blame, I fear with an increasing emphasis on non academically rigorous subjects. A new headteacher at my kids school has a degree in film and media- very interesting and useful to some folks, I'm sure, but not for someone who is supposed to be fostering great intellectual activity. It's like the poster above says about how teachers are valued- where are all the graduates with degrees in science, engineering, history? Out earning more than teachers currently do, I guess. (I am an intellectual snob, I do recognise!).
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
Snowdrop13|1475479535|4083114 said:
It's not just the US, it's the whole of the Western world, in my opinion. The recent EU referendum campaign seemed to be largely carried out on Twitter and one of the politicians on the Brexit side was heard to say that people were 'bored' with experts. Our schools are to blame, I fear with an increasing emphasis on non academically rigorous subjects. A new headteacher at my kids school has a degree in film and media- very interesting and useful to some folks, I'm sure, but not for someone who is supposed to be fostering great intellectual activity. It's like the poster above says about how teachers are valued- where are all the graduates with degrees in science, engineering, history? Out earning more than teachers currently do, I guess. (I am an intellectual snob, I do recognise!).
A few things...

First, I suspect you'll love this piece as much as I have since the first time I read it years ago. It is written from a US perspective, but I am pretty certain it's at work in the EU too.
http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/

Second, I could write a lengthy diatribe on schools, teachers, admin, etc., but will content myself with saying that blaming the schools for (insert societal ill of the day) is the tail wagging the dog. The schools reflect; they are the canaries in the societal coal mine. And while I can't speak for Britain or the EU, I can tell you that in the US, subject matter is dictated to the true subject matter experts (the teachers) by those with the very least expertise in just about anything, and who are motivated by very different concerns than true education - the state legislatures.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,131
ruby59|1475434442|4082951 said:
One poster accused me of "living in the past" because I used analogies of events from history to compare with present events.
___________________________________________________________

And this same poster also defended you when you were being accused of "stirring the pot" and causing problems, and said that you have a right to your opinions, the same as anyone else. - And that you should never be afraid of expressing them.
My point was that a poster had criticized me for making references to historical events, not that any one poster was without virtues. As you just pointed out, the poster who objected to the use of historical references was in favor of democratic participation on this forum. I was not trying to discuss the character of any one poster, but to deplore the way that people in general now dislike the use of historical references and other intellectual references being inserted into discussions of the mundane and daily event, as if nothing but what occurs today could be logically relevant to a discussion we are having here.

AGBF
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
34,092
AGBF|1475494820|4083131 said:
ruby59|1475434442|4082951 said:
One poster accused me of "living in the past" because I used analogies of events from history to compare with present events.
___________________________________________________________

And this same poster also defended you when you were being accused of "stirring the pot" and causing problems, and said that you have a right to your opinions, the same as anyone else. - And that you should never be afraid of expressing them.
My point was that a poster had criticized me for making references to historical events, not that any one poster was without virtues. As you just pointed out, the poster who objected to the use of historical references was in favor of democratic participation on this forum. I was not trying to discuss the character of any one poster, but to deplore the way that people in general now dislike the use of historical references and other intellectual references being inserted into discussions of the mundane and daily event, as if nothing but what occurs today could be logically relevant to a discussion we are having here.

AGBF

Deb I agree. History is critical to the present and to the future.
As Santayana wrote (in The Life of Reason, 1905) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”


Very interesting thread and yes not a new concept. Also troubling also is the desensitization of people with regards to violence. Everywhere you look in the media violence is plentiful. And at least in the USA we abhor showing nudity and sex but violence, gore and murder is OK. Seems backwards in every way.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,761
purplesparklies|1475438406|4082970 said:
Yet, the anti-intellectuals, the ones described herein:

"We’re creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation."

always assume this refers to the "others". They never recognize these very behaviors in themselves. True intellectuals recognize that opinions vary and personal attacks are unnecessary and counterproductive.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I see what you did there. :appl: :lol:
 

OreoRosies86

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
3,037
missy|1475496485|4083138 said:
AGBF|1475494820|4083131 said:
ruby59|1475434442|4082951 said:
One poster accused me of "living in the past" because I used analogies of events from history to compare with present events.
___________________________________________________________

And this same poster also defended you when you were being accused of "stirring the pot" and causing problems, and said that you have a right to your opinions, the same as anyone else. - And that you should never be afraid of expressing them.
My point was that a poster had criticized me for making references to historical events, not that any one poster was without virtues. As you just pointed out, the poster who objected to the use of historical references was in favor of democratic participation on this forum. I was not trying to discuss the character of any one poster, but to deplore the way that people in general now dislike the use of historical references and other intellectual references being inserted into discussions of the mundane and daily event, as if nothing but what occurs today could be logically relevant to a discussion we are having here.

AGBF

Deb I agree. History is critical to the present and to the future.
As Santayana wrote (in The Life of Reason, 1905) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”


Very interesting thread and yes not a new concept. Also troubling also is the desensitization of people with regards to violence. Everywhere you look in the media violence is plentiful. And at least in the USA we abhor showing nudity and sex but violence, gore and murder is OK. Seems backwards in every way.
+1
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
906
Violence: I took a college class back in 1992 or so, on marriage and family. The prof said that the upcoming generation was much more violent than past generations, and attributed this to the rise of video games which began as training devices to school military personnel for combat. Unemployed and surplus programmers for the military training and simulation software went to video games and Hollywood. There are many movies I can't even sit through because they have no real plot or dialogue and are just a bunch of violence, noise, and gratuitous special effects. And to boring and simple-minded for me to waste my time on.

Dumbing down: You see that all over rural and small town America, and it started in the '70s with the demise of factories that provided a decent living and a way for families to earn enough money to boost their kids up the educational and socioeconomic ladder. People earning $10-$12 / hr part time, no benefits, can't even support themselves much less a family. The bright and ambitious and financially secure move for better opportunities and what's left behind are pensioners, other aged, and no/low skill lower socioeconomic people who will never break the cycle of poverty and dependence on government because there literally is no way to do that in that community or region. And I am talking about former middle class whites, not ghetto people. People who live in urban areas with other well-off people and who don't look out their windows every day and see eternally more decay, rot, and despair really are out of touch with what's been happening for over 40 years in many parts of America. Take Youngstown ,OH, for a good example. Per the 2010 census, something like 8% of the adult population over age 25 has a baccalaureate degree. And I'd wager that many of those are retired retirees, or teachers, or nurses. "Youngstown 2010" plan was to actually consolidate the population by relocating people, and then raze and completely abandon parts of the city! That was to avoid having to maintain the infrastructure and keep having to send the fire department out to at least monitor the arson fires to keep them from spreading to occupied structures. The need to stop this decay and death of communities and loss of livelihood is why people back Trump. At least he publicly acknowledges that the country can't continue to NOT have manufacturing.

Sports vs. education: Look at what pro athletes are paid. It's an OBSCENE amount of money to do what they do, and to build the stadiums for them to play in. Look at how many kids go to college on an athletic scholarship, and the massive amounts of money spent on college stadiums and arenas. High school sports are big entertainment and the major social events for many small town people who have no life except family life. Not only do the high schools have paid coaches, but half of the small town dads here get paid at least some money to be coaches or assistants, as well. I think it's past time for America to grow up and separate academics from sports. Make the pro teams and the tailgaters and the mommies and daddies and all the fans completely foot the entire bill for their entertainment and farm teams and coaching their kid(s), because sports are not education and should not be something schools are required to even provide. Make education great again, LOL.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,196
monarch64|1475510594|4083196 said:
Guys, you can stop worrying. All of this is probably some other species' virtual reality.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/152927/20160423/universe-probably-simulation-neil-degrasse-tyson.htm
Sure, it's fun to wonder and speculate about all these big questions but I give this branch of 'science' no more credence than I give religion.

I don't understand the need to invent answers to unanswerable questions.
What we're sure of is plenty good enough for me.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,761
kenny|1475511147|4083200 said:
monarch64|1475510594|4083196 said:
Guys, you can stop worrying. All of this is probably some other species' virtual reality.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/152927/20160423/universe-probably-simulation-neil-degrasse-tyson.htm
Sure, it's fun to wonder and speculate about all these big questions but I give this branch of 'science' no more credence than I give religion.

I don't understand the need to invent answers to unanswerable questions.
What we're sure of is plenty good enough for me.
Coming from this guy (NDT), a 50% chance is huge. 1%? Eh. But 50%? I, at the very least, will give it a listen. It makes more sense to me than any other theory that's been offered. Genetics were unanswerable questions. That the earth was flat was an unanswerable question. Many diseases were unanswerable questions. Etc.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
3,847
This is an interesting topic, but I'm not sure a new one.
In the BLM thread, I tried to explain 2 different terms to 2 different posters and how they were using it wrong. I was brushed off with "That's how I was raised" (to use a word incorrectly?) and that I was arguing "semantics". People don't care if they're WRONG, they will just continue talking to hear their own voice.

More on the topic of youngins, I find it interesting to relate the dumbing down of America to religious schools as well. Critical thought is not appreciated (as much) in these schools. It is much more a 'this is what we teach, this is what is right, this is what is on your test' culture. Along with the banning of evolutionary teachings, proper sex ed, etc. We are trying to shield children so much that they get smothered. They learn everything else from the internet or their friends instead of a proper source - and who knows if that is even factual. There are SO many people that will read a story on the internet and believe it is true. I believe FB was going to implement a 'satire' badge so people weren't duped by these. But really? Facebook has to tell you to double check and not blindly believe whatever you read? FACEBOOK?! Ugh.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,196
Haven't you heard? ... Everyone, everything, every thought, every idea, and every belief is equal now!
Nothing's 'for sure'.
There are now 7,343,343,213 (and counting) versions of what's correct, true, right, real.

Religion is as valid as science, science actually being the most common religion used to brainwash the masses.
There is no correct spelling of anything.
2+2 can equal 5 if I believe it.
Every child is equal and identical, and they all deserve straight As.

It's called embracing diversity, you know.
Get with it!

:knockout: :knockout: :knockout:
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Handmade diamond studs
    Handmade diamond studs
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top