Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down" of America

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  • Kev - Coat and KeysKev - Coat and Keys EarthPosts: 351
    Anti-intellectualism and generating mistrust of experts is a great tool for people on the wrong side of things. Climate change is obviously a current big one, but it goes with things like the immigration policies, danger of smoking and the ozone layer (Trump being a massive aerosol in enclosed spaces and all that).
    You should see Professor Whatever from Big University on the news and go "Probably smarter than me on the topic, I'll have a listen and see what I think", but instead we go "Boo!! Elitist!! Ya wrong. No what channel is that coddled Boo-Boo girl on?".
    Down neon streets the streaker streaks.
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    but the truth still leaks,
    Where even Donald Trump has got soul.
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 11,866
    Some kindness happening here, it's nice! This circle jerk has some fine participants!
    :wink:
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  • seanwonseanwon Albany, NYPosts: 213
    hedonist said:



    It's funny...well, not...as I've been looked down upon by some who do have degrees and make assumptions because after high school, I chose to work rather than attend more than one semester of college.

    And I'm doing pretty well on both the life and smart fronts.

    I'd rather reserve opinions of people and their brains, intellect and common sense based on their words and actions, vs a diploma.

    (Street-smarts go a long way too!)

    Absolutely! I'll take someone with street smarts over book smarts any day.

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  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 46,854

    Anti-intellectualism and generating mistrust of experts is a great tool for people on the wrong side of things. Climate change is obviously a current big one, but it goes with things like the immigration policies, danger of smoking and the ozone layer (Trump being a massive aerosol in enclosed spaces and all that).
    You should see Professor Whatever from Big University on the news and go "Probably smarter than me on the topic, I'll have a listen and see what I think", but instead we go "Boo!! Elitist!! Ya wrong. No what channel is that coddled Boo-Boo girl on?".

    Totally.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • InHiding80InHiding80 Upland,CAPosts: 7,623
    seanwon said:

    hedonist said:



    It's funny...well, not...as I've been looked down upon by some who do have degrees and make assumptions because after high school, I chose to work rather than attend more than one semester of college.

    And I'm doing pretty well on both the life and smart fronts.

    I'd rather reserve opinions of people and their brains, intellect and common sense based on their words and actions, vs a diploma.

    (Street-smarts go a long way too!)

    Absolutely! I'll take someone with street smarts over book smarts any day.

    Just ask Ben Carson. It's funny how Trump fans discredit what Hawking said about Trump and his followers because he's more science smart but they're okay with Carson because of party
    RIP America (1776-2016)
  • myoung321myoung321 Posts: 1,762
    Good example.. Giving Climate change deniers equal time on TV when the science is 95% vs 5%..
    "The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." - Yusuf Karsh
    My Photo Website  Given2Flyimages.com   
    Twitter - @Given2Flyimages



  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 19,530
    I'm for all voices and views having equal time to make themselves heard. We are all in that, together, and I am thankful for it. The freedom to speak your mind trumps your mind. Or maybe equals it.

    Common sense, thinking! Step No. 1.

    After that, it's on each of us to inform ourselves best we can. Do-over's aren't often an option.
  • myoung321myoung321 Posts: 1,762
    edited June 2016
    hedonist said:

    I'm for all voices and views having equal time to make themselves heard. We are all in that, together, and I am thankful for it. The freedom to speak your mind trumps your mind. Or maybe equals it.

    Common sense, thinking! Step No. 1.

    After that, it's on each of us to inform ourselves best we can. Do-over's aren't often an option.

    Opinion vs Science does not deserve equal time. Should we still have debates that give equal time to the earth being flat, illness is caused by bad evil sprits or the stars are pin holes in the sky so we can see heaven?

    How any 1000 year storms do we have to have before it sinks in?

    Even freedom of speech has its limits. ie..shouting fire in a theater will get you arrested..etc..
    Post edited by myoung321 on
    "The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." - Yusuf Karsh
    My Photo Website  Given2Flyimages.com   
    Twitter - @Given2Flyimages



  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 19,530
    myoung321 said:

    hedonist said:

    I'm for all voices and views having equal time to make themselves heard. We are all in that, together, and I am thankful for it. The freedom to speak your mind trumps your mind. Or maybe equals it.

    Common sense, thinking! Step No. 1.

    After that, it's on each of us to inform ourselves best we can. Do-over's aren't often an option.

    Opinion vs Science does not deserve equal time. Should we still have debates that give equal time to the earth being flat, illness is caused by bad evil sprits or the stars are pin holes in the sky so we can see heaven?
    I'd say opinion borne of experience is quite valid...valued? By some, I guess.

    Because I give credence to one aspect doesn't mean I don't extend the same to the other.

    Wish it were so black and white, but it simply isn't.
  • myoung321myoung321 Posts: 1,762
    edited June 2016
    hedonist said:

    myoung321 said:

    hedonist said:

    I'm for all voices and views having equal time to make themselves heard. We are all in that, together, and I am thankful for it. The freedom to speak your mind trumps your mind. Or maybe equals it.

    Common sense, thinking! Step No. 1.

    After that, it's on each of us to inform ourselves best we can. Do-over's aren't often an option.

    Opinion vs Science does not deserve equal time. Should we still have debates that give equal time to the earth being flat, illness is caused by bad evil sprits or the stars are pin holes in the sky so we can see heaven?
    I'd say opinion borne of experience is quite valid...valued? By some, I guess.

    Because I give credence to one aspect doesn't mean I don't extend the same to the other.

    Wish it were so black and white, but it simply isn't.

    Understood.. I guess it depends on the subject and the opinion. I was comparing real measurable science to pseudo science bought by corporations to confuse people.. i.e. fracking isn't bad for ground water because the Koch Bros commissioned a report saying so.. big tobacco companies had plenty of "Science" saying cigs were good for you... we all know better now.. Denying Science is not a new phenomenon used by corporations and religions.
    Post edited by myoung321 on
    "The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." - Yusuf Karsh
    My Photo Website  Given2Flyimages.com   
    Twitter - @Given2Flyimages



  • SmellymanSmellyman AsiaPosts: 3,670
    edited June 2016
    hedonist said:

    myoung321 said:

    hedonist said:

    I'm for all voices and views having equal time to make themselves heard. We are all in that, together, and I am thankful for it. The freedom to speak your mind trumps your mind. Or maybe equals it.

    Common sense, thinking! Step No. 1.

    After that, it's on each of us to inform ourselves best we can. Do-over's aren't often an option.

    Opinion vs Science does not deserve equal time. Should we still have debates that give equal time to the earth being flat, illness is caused by bad evil sprits or the stars are pin holes in the sky so we can see heaven?
    I'd say opinion borne of experience is quite valid...valued? By some, I guess.

    Because I give credence to one aspect doesn't mean I don't extend the same to the other.

    Wish it were so black and white, but it simply isn't.
    opinion based on experience means it would be borne from the scientific method with testing. Learned

    Opinion based on opinion is opinion.
    Post edited by Smellyman on
  • pjalive21pjalive21 St. Louis, MOPosts: 2,797
    edited June 2016
    jeffbr said:

    We can see the results of this just by looking at our Republican presidential candidate. The only way Trump has any support is the rise of anti-intellectuals. But is isn't just conservatives, or Republicans. Progressives are protesting any kind of speech on campus that may slightly offend someone, creating safe rooms, talking about microaggression and trigger words, etc... This isolation and coddling of our kids/students will perpetuate and worsen this anti-intellectualism.

    completely agree with this assessment nice to see you take on both aspects of it
    seanwon said:


    I said there's no trend of growing anti-intellectualism.

    Yeah, I don't know. I seem to hear a lot of Conservatives attacking education in recent years. Telling people college is a waste of time because the professors are all "commies", and they are teaching all our kids to be "Socialists". I don't recall hearing that talk 10 years ago, it seems to be a somewhat recent thing.

    Have you attended a University lately? I went back to college at the age of 34 (im 37 now) and its liberalism brainwashing left and right with it being shoved down your throat 24/7 and any opposing view is mocked and shut down even someone my age who was obviously older than the average attendee. I'm an open minded person and was thrown back how true this actually was because I didn't even believe it.
    Post edited by pjalive21 on
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  • myoung321myoung321 Posts: 1,762
    The same thing was said about college students, professors & universities protesting Vietnam War ,Iraq War, Wall Street Bailout..etc etc..

    The younger generation are usually the ones that start change and revolutions. They're the ones looking at the future and what opportunities will be available. Where as people 40+ are usually set in their ways or have created a comfortable life or have responsibilities like family, or paying for those kids to go to school and protest ;).....
    "The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." - Yusuf Karsh
    My Photo Website  Given2Flyimages.com   
    Twitter - @Given2Flyimages



  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 46,854
    edited June 2016
    pjalive21 said:

    jeffbr said:

    We can see the results of this just by looking at our Republican presidential candidate. The only way Trump has any support is the rise of anti-intellectuals. But is isn't just conservatives, or Republicans. Progressives are protesting any kind of speech on campus that may slightly offend someone, creating safe rooms, talking about microaggression and trigger words, etc... This isolation and coddling of our kids/students will perpetuate and worsen this anti-intellectualism.

    completely agree with this assessment nice to see you take on both aspects of it
    seanwon said:


    I said there's no trend of growing anti-intellectualism.

    Yeah, I don't know. I seem to hear a lot of Conservatives attacking education in recent years. Telling people college is a waste of time because the professors are all "commies", and they are teaching all our kids to be "Socialists". I don't recall hearing that talk 10 years ago, it seems to be a somewhat recent thing.

    Have you attended a University lately? I went back to college at the age of 34 (im 37 now) and its liberalism brainwashing left and right with it being shoved down your throat 24/7 and any opposing view is mocked and shut down even someone my age who was obviously older than the average attendee. I'm an open minded person and was thrown back how true this actually was because I didn't even believe it.
    I work at a university, and this is bullshit as far as I'm concerned. I think the problem lies in what you're calling brainwashing, what "shoving down your throat" entails, and what views you're talking about. And honestly, unless you are at the worst university ever, opposing views are not shut down. All view points are specifically respected in most university settings. What you might be seeing is a lot of people disagreeing with with those opposing views (what views are we talking about here btw??), which is not at all the same thing.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • myoung321myoung321 Posts: 1,762
    Example: Even though actual illegal immigration is at an all time low. You wouldn't know it listening to Trump or anyone in the GOP for that matter.

    There's no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a study that is bound to stir public controversy.
    LiveScience - Article link
    The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.

    "Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood," he said.

    Brains and bias

    Earlier studies have found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, Hodson said, so studying intelligence seemed a logical next step. The researchers turned to two studies of citizens in the United Kingdom, one that has followed babies since their births in March 1958, and another that did the same for babies born in April 1970. The children in the studies had their intelligence assessed at age 10 or 11; as adults ages 30 or 33, their levels of social conservatism and racism were measured. [Life's Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican]

    In the first study, verbal and nonverbal intelligence was measured using tests that asked people to find similarities and differences between words, shapes and symbols. The second study measured cognitive abilities in four ways, including number recall, shape-drawing tasks, defining words and identifying patterns and similarities among words. Average IQ is set at 100.







    .
    "The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." - Yusuf Karsh
    My Photo Website  Given2Flyimages.com   
    Twitter - @Given2Flyimages



  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 46,854
    edited June 2016
    Pardon me actually, I am talking about Canadian Universities (I forgot what country I'm in for a sec, lol). I have no first hand knowledge when it comes to American universities. Sometimes I forget just how different some things might be south of the border, and the university system is especially different, what with the private universities, people being able to buy positions and degrees basically, etc (according to some American academics who now work at my university). That said, I still don't know what this "brainwashing" is supposed to be. I'm still not convinced of that. I work with plenty of American academics, and they certainly aren't brainwashed. I think saying so might be a part of the dumbing down, frankly.
    Post edited by PJ_Soul on
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • PJ_Soul said:

    Pardon me actually, I am talking about Canadian Universities (I forgot what country I'm in for a sec, lol). I have no first hand knowledge when it comes to American universities. Sometimes I forget just how different some things might be south of the border, and the university system is especially different, what with the private universities, people being able to buy positions and degrees basically, etc (according to some American academics who now work at my university). That said, I still don't know what this "brainwashing" is supposed to be. I'm still not convinced of that.

    :scream:
    Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both ideas are overwhelming. AE
  • myoung321myoung321 Posts: 1,762
    PJ_Soul said:

    Pardon me actually, I am talking about Canadian Universities (I forgot what country I'm in for a sec, lol).

    HAHA

    "The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." - Yusuf Karsh
    My Photo Website  Given2Flyimages.com   
    Twitter - @Given2Flyimages



  • what dreamswhat dreams Posts: 1,011
    Here's some science for you: It's an absolute scientific fact that alligators live in Florida's fresh waters. Yet I got blasted by a bunch of "highly educated intellectuals" for expecting people to know that. Their common inellectual argument refuting my expectation is that Walt Disney is responsible for teaching people that, that without Walt Disney posting a sign, people frim Nebraska can't be expected to know basic science. Perhaps the dumbing down of America really is Disney's fault, if a group of highly educated intellectuals expect Disney to be our primary source of science education.
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 46,854
    I really don't think that your example applies, lol.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • MalrothMalroth broken down chevroletPosts: 1,853
    :dizzy:
    The worst of times..they don't phase me,
    even if I look and act really crazy.
  • myoung321myoung321 Posts: 1,762
    edited June 2016
    seanwon said:

    hedonist said:



    It's funny...well, not...as I've been looked down upon by some who do have degrees and make assumptions because after high school, I chose to work rather than attend more than one semester of college.

    And I'm doing pretty well on both the life and smart fronts.

    I'd rather reserve opinions of people and their brains, intellect and common sense based on their words and actions, vs a diploma.

    (Street-smarts go a long way too!)

    Absolutely! I'll take someone with street smarts over book smarts any day.

    To do what? I don't want the street smart only guy giving me open heart surgery...

    Then again, why limit yourself to one? Be both..



    Post edited by myoung321 on
    "The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." - Yusuf Karsh
    My Photo Website  Given2Flyimages.com   
    Twitter - @Given2Flyimages



  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 26,924
    myoung321 said:

    The same thing was said about college students, professors & universities protesting Vietnam War ,Iraq War, Wall Street Bailout..etc etc..

    The younger generation are usually the ones that start change and revolutions. They're the ones looking at the future and what opportunities will be available. Where as people 40+ are usually set in their ways or have created a comfortable life or have responsibilities like family, or paying for those kids to go to school and protest ;).....

    Oh did this hit a sore spot for me! And it is so very true. My fellow boomers were going to change the world. We were as rebellious, motivated, angry, idealistic, demonstrative, visionary and ready to move forward as any in modern history. And then so many made their cushy bed and decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I very often feel lonely among my peers.

    But not all! Sure, later in adulthood other challenges and responsibilities arise and maybe one's activism time is compromised but it doesn't all have to go soft. No way. Some of us still work to support our family, kids, grand kids or godchildren (or as in my case a 95 year old parent) AND work to create change. We did not all throw in the towel.
    “Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.”
    -Terry Tempest Williams
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.






  • FreeFree Posts: 3,562
    edited June 2016
    Right on, Brian. :)

    Once an activist, always an activist. Look at my guy Neil Young. Still a hero.
    Post edited by Free on
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 26,924
    Free said:

    Right on, Brian. :)

    Once an activist, always an activist. Look at my guy Neil Young. Still a hero.

    :plus_one:
    “Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.”
    -Terry Tempest Williams
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.






  • When I posted this article in the Trump thread https://newrepublic.com/article/134667/conservatives-groomed-perfect-suckers-trumps-epic-scam
    I wasn't sure if it belonged here but I thought of this thread.
    There’s another factor at work here: The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks. After all, if you are taught to believe that the reigning scientific consensuses on evolution and climate change are lies, then you will lack the elementary logical skills that will set your alarm bells ringing when you hear a flim-flam artist like Trump. The Republican “war on science” is also a war on the intellectual habits needed to detect lies.
    Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both ideas are overwhelming. AE
  • FreeFree Posts: 3,562

    When I posted this article in the Trump thread https://newrepublic.com/article/134667/conservatives-groomed-perfect-suckers-trumps-epic-scam
    I wasn't sure if it belonged here but I thought of this thread.
    There’s another factor at work here: The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks. After all, if you are taught to believe that the reigning scientific consensuses on evolution and climate change are lies, then you will lack the elementary logical skills that will set your alarm bells ringing when you hear a flim-flam artist like Trump. The Republican “war on science” is also a war on the intellectual habits needed to detect lies.

    Which is why he loves uneducated people.
  • ^^^
    I don't want to derail, but it seems there is an awful lot.
    Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both ideas are overwhelming. AE
  • FreeFree Posts: 3,562

    ^^^
    I don't want to derail, but it seems there is an awful lot.

    I thought it fit in perfectly.
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 26,924
    Interesting topic here! Too much to do right now to read the whole thing but I'm guessing somewhere here some of you have touched on schools and how in general our educational system is geared to create automatons who remain at best only vaguely aware of the concept of critical thinking and who, when they receive their mass produced little pieces of paper at graduation move on to become obedient worker bees.

    Anti-intellectualism is an absolutely necessary component to an industrial military complex form of capitalism. And out of necessity, we've all been willing subjects of that complex at one time or another. I know I have been and still am in some ways. But awareness of that necessity can also get us closer to being free (in our minds if nothing else).
    “Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.”
    -Terry Tempest Williams
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.






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