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8926  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What should be taught in Schools? on: October 28, 2007, 05:31:20 pm
The problem lies largely in the fact that the lives of most teenagers require little to no knowledge on anything an most are too dumb and/or short-sighted to care abuot the distant future, and hence uninterested in learning things. That is why drills and grades are needed to make kids emerge from their teens with at least some shreds of knowledge.

Now perhaps you're experience is different from mine but generally I find this not to be case, that most teenagers and young people are intellectually curious to a degree though that is mostly sucked out of kids during their early schooling for various reasons. Of course a commodity based culture which isn't based around the idea of knowledge hardly helps.
You're right that intellectual curiosity is present in all young people, however it's not the schools that suck it out of them.  It's the culture.

I think it's about half and half, the actual ratio depending on the individual child. Also alot of Parenting comes into this aswell of course.
8927  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: How will the political landscape be in 2024? on: October 28, 2007, 05:29:45 pm
I don't see how anyone could think the Democrats will move to the right socially, considering how much more socially liberal our generation is from the last.

Myth.

If anything the current generation of Americans is probably the most conservative since the war; except on goober issues like Gay marriage.
Go on? How so are we more conservative? Certainly not on issues of race, gender or sexual orientation.

Only because that is the Status Quo in intellectual circles. My point here is not exactly what most "young people" believe (unless it's happens to be a violent overthrow of the Bourgeoise state, but it's not.) but why, and I think in this way there is far less debate and acceptance of "norms" whether they "liberal" or "conservative" then there was in any previous recent generation. How much "Young People" are actually passionate about the war in Iraq for instance, compared to political activity in the 1950s and 1960s to today shows how pathetic so-called "liberalism" is and is still fighting the battles it won almost 40 years ago. (The 1950s was actually a very progressive decade in many ways; certainly it does not get the reputation it deserves. Also in terms of the Arts and culture this one of the least productive and least questioning decades since probably the early 18th Century.)

Plus liberal attitudes towards Sexual Orientation, Gender or Race are no longer at the cutting edge (or should not be) of liberalism, the liberals won that arguement 30 years ago and we are just arguing over the whereabouts of the line.
8928  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Name the ideology of the preceding poster... on: October 28, 2007, 05:23:05 pm
Typical Right-wing Liberal.

Or to Quote myself:

Classical liberal. (In the real sense of the word; not the way *ahem* "libertarians" abuse it.)
8929  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: How will the political landscape be in 2024? on: October 27, 2007, 06:10:27 am
I don't see how anyone could think the Democrats will move to the right socially, considering how much more socially liberal our generation is from the last.

Myth.

If anything the current generation of Americans is probably the most conservative since the war; except on goober issues like Gay marriage.
8930  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What should be taught in Schools? on: October 27, 2007, 05:53:39 am
It is difficult to even hold a discussion on this topic on this forum because most of us are naturally inquisitive, which means we hold value in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and derive some sort of pleasure in obtaining it. Just think about it: This site was constructed to satisfy the curiosity of those who must know Jimmy Carter's New York state vote margin in 1976.

Not that my opinion matters, but I will say that the best way for young men to learn in a structured environment is either though open argument and disputation, or learning-by-doing. What that subject happens to be is of no real consequence, since the real skill lies in the arguing or the doing.

I would agree with this, but not with Gustaf - especially this bit:

Quote
. The problem lies largely in the fact that the lives of most teenagers require little to no knowledge on anything an most are too dumb and/or short-sighted to care abuot the distant future, and hence uninterested in learning things. That is why drills and grades are needed to make kids emerge from their teens with at least some shreds of knowledge.

Now perhaps you're experience is different from mine but generally I find this not to be case, that most teenagers and young people are intellectually curious to a degree though that is mostly sucked out of kids during their early schooling for various reasons. Of course a commodity based culture which isn't based around the idea of knowledge hardly helps.

Quote
Most people, I believe, want to see what kind of bearing a certain piece of knowledge has on their own lives, especially present, before they're willing to learn it. I, on the other hand, want to see what kind of point in a more intellectual sense there is to a piece of knowledge

Precisely. My criticism is that alot of what is taught in schools is essentially trivial and worthless with no impact on the lives of children; this is especially true for History and what could be important than History in understanding the world Humans' created? For the record I support student centred learning anyway as I find after the age of 12 general curriculum become somewhat irrelevant. (ie. Students choose what they themselves wish to know, Teachers act more along the lines of Tutors, etc.)
8931  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Opinion of this Quote. on: October 27, 2007, 05:43:33 am
Quote
I think whoever this is is kind of missing the point. Anti-Americanism isn't a slander term flinged around by pseudo-fascist conservatives in the United States, it's a rather peculiar mind-set which is very common on the left all over the world. The idea that America embodies certain values or traits, to use Gabu's terms, isn't something the Republicans made up. It's an essential part of the anti-American worldview; most of the evil in the world stems from America, which is an empire of evil which aspires to world domination, Americans are fat, stupid bigots, etc, etc.

I understand that an American who voices criticism of American foreign policy and is told by his countryment that he is being anti-American might getting frustrated. But I live in a country where I encounter anti-Americanism on a daily basis and it's not just a right-wing propaganda thing. It is real and pretty warped. Just look at the reactions to the Iraq war when it broke out. No one in their right mind could seriously view the Iraq war as the greatest atrocity of our times. No one gave a damn about Iraqi civilians as long as they were killed by Saddam Hussein. No one gave a damn about the countless illegal wars for dark purposes being fought all over the world. Yet thousands of people cared about this, of all things. The list of such examples is almost endless. The Swedish left has supported fascist regimes in Argentina, Serbia and Iraq, to name just a few, driven by their hatred for America. One prominent spokesman for the Swedish socialists thought it was legitimate for Iraqi insurgents to gun down Red Cross workers. Those kind of things do not occur unless the US is involved, plain and simple.

Oh I certainly know this to be true. But I was mainly referring to the "conservatives" on this site who see dissent as "OMG ANTI-AMERIKKKA WHY DO YOU HATE TEH TROOPS!111".
8932  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should pop/soda machines be allowed in schools? on: October 27, 2007, 05:41:15 am
Well, allowing it would show much schools actually care about their children or not. Not in favour of course.
8933  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Detail a scandal featuring the previous poster on: October 26, 2007, 02:06:10 pm
Involved in an unfortunate and illegal people smuggling ring involving Cubans, Domincians and Puerto Ricans with a special emphasis on Transvestites. Eventually he finds himself rolled up into a carpet and thrown off a bridge to drift back to the islands..
8934  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: A question for those who dislike blight on: October 26, 2007, 02:04:10 pm
Urban Blight except in parts of North and South West Inner Dublin (and that's decreasing somewhat from when the Liberties region in SW Dublin was the "heroin capital of Europe" in the 1980s) doesn't really exist anymore in Ireland, at least in the way you thinking of. (Actually it's doubtful it ever did, but that's a totally different story.)

This may be something of a nightmare for you BRTD, but most of our blight (If you can call it that) has been exported out into the suburbs. ... and the inner city is getting increasingly yuppified.

Which often have no social facilities at all or very little thanks to the corruption endemic in local goverment in the 1980s and are just magnets for the worst sort of juvenile and sometimes Gangland crime. And given that our murder rate has shot up quite dramatically over the past 25 years iirc along with these places I tend to look down on them as negative. That and I think the gangland is pretty much the opposite thing to civilisation you can imagine.
8935  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Why is this forum so anti-alcohol? on: October 25, 2007, 03:58:26 pm
It is way more anti-alcohol than you'd expect for a forum with these age demographics. For such of one you'd expect to have everyone being crazy about drinking.

It is?

For me, the answer is life (well I'm not Anti-Alcohol, just anti-Excess when it effects other people other than the individual involved; aswell as the emotional issues often associated with binge drinking.)
8936  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Did your high school have the recitation of the Pledge of Allegience? on: October 25, 2007, 11:57:25 am
It would be funny if they did.
8937  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What is wrong with public schools? on: October 25, 2007, 11:53:26 am
Nothing, i'm sure. I was at a private school, but it offered a different style of education and a different environment for learning. I can't compare but it suited me. As long as the school suits the student and the student suits the school then it's fine.

And what does "Suit the Student" mean?
8938  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Pew Research: 41% of Americans can't name a single GOP candidate. on: October 25, 2007, 08:42:44 am
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Poll_Democratic_candidates_far_surpass_GOP_1024.html

Quote
The Pew Research Center has released a new poll showing that 41% of Americans responding are unable to come up with the names of any Republican presidential candidates without prompting. In contrast, only 19% are unable to name even one Democratic candidate.

According to the Pew report, "The Republicans' disengagement, if not disillusionment, with the campaign is borne out by the fact that many more Republicans are able to recall unprompted the names of Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama than can name Rudy Giuliani and other leading GOP candidates."

Hillary Clinton's name was offered unprompted by 78% of all respondents and Barack Obama's by 62%. However, no more than 45% came up with the name of GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani -- and even among Republicans the figure was only 57%.

This level of awareness of Democratic candidates is far beyond what it was at the equivalent point in the 2004 campaign, while the awareness of Republican candidates is generally similar to that in past elections, resulting in what Pew describes as "a sizable partisan gap in campaign interest."

Pew's figures further show that throughout the course of 2007, about half of respondents have indicated they are following news about the candidates either very or fairly closely -- roughly the same as for other major news stories. In the past, that level of interest has developed only with the start of the presidential primaries.

Despite this, 55% of respondents indicated they were finding the presidential campaign "dull" and 66% said elections were "too long," while only 41% consider the press is doing a good or excellent job of covering the campaign.

When asked what particular areas they would like to see better covered by the press, the greatest number, 77%, asked for more about the candidates' positions on issues. By a small margin of 45% to 42%, respondents indicated they would actually like less news on who is leading in the latest polls.

So.. can we please put this poll nonsense here to bed.
8939  General Politics / Individual Politics / Opinion of Edward Bernays on: October 25, 2007, 08:37:07 am
I won't Quote the Wiki article as it's more unreliable than most.

The problem is that (Unsurprisingly) all the major websites about him are even less reliable (usually - again not surprising - from the extreme left) So instead I'll link to others:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Edward_Bernays
http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/08/16/specials/bernays-obit.html
http://www.nndb.com/people/802/000113463/

Also the first episode of Adam Curtis documentary The Century of the Self is very good at this.

Obviously I would say extremely horrible person; but I'm more interested in what everyone here thinks.
8940  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Biggest atheist? on: October 25, 2007, 04:38:40 am
I dunno.  How much does Opebo weigh?

Too much.
8941  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What is wrong with public schools? on: October 25, 2007, 04:37:15 am
Quote
It's all pretty much up to the student, so I don't think what Gully Foyle was saying really applies here.  Schools in America, especially in rural areas, are more than learning factories for "pupils"... they are often what hold a community together.. it's the only place to see live sports or see a play or a concert... and often is the only place that has adequate space to hold community functions.

Oh I never doubted it, and what you said there is certainly true in many cases. But as I wish to point out I was mainly referring to what is being taught in those schools, though I have nothing in principle against the idea of a school; or of doing sports or having plays or concerts, etc.. Actually I think that should be encouraged.
8942  General Politics / Political Debate / Opinion of this Quote. on: October 24, 2007, 02:15:49 pm
"The concept "anti-American" is an interesting one. The counterpart is used only in totalitarian states or military dictatorships... Thus, in the old Soviet Union, dissidents were condemned as "anti-Soviet." That's a natural usage among people with deeply rooted totalitarian instincts, which identify state policy with the society, the people, the culture. In contrast, people with even the slightest concept of democracy treat such notions with ridicule and contempt. Suppose someone in Italy who criticizes Italian state policy were condemned as "anti-Italian." It would be regarded as too ridiculous even to merit laughter. Maybe under Mussolini, but surely not otherwise. Actually the concept has earlier origins. It was used in the Bible by King Ahab, the epitome of evil, to condemn those who sought justice as "anti-Israel" ("ocher Yisrael," in the original Hebrew, roughly "hater of Israel," or "disturber of Israel"). His specific target was Elijah."

While me and provider of this quote don't agree on a great deal. I think he's spot on here.
8943  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: October 24, 2007, 02:02:48 pm
Gully, what's the collective noun for members of Sinn Fein? Obviously it's not "Sinners"...

While I prefer "Terrorists" or even "Judean People Frontists" the correct name is actually "Shinners". (As it make it looks Irish, putting a h after the first letter in a word is common in certain gaelic constructions.)
8944  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Three posters least likely to ever live in a suburb on: October 24, 2007, 01:28:28 pm
I don't have a house.

Gabu doesn't like strip clubs or alcohol.

And that makes him a prude how?
8945  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Three posters least likely to ever live in a suburb on: October 24, 2007, 12:25:39 pm
What part do you think is sarcasm?

However, no, none of it is sarcasm.

Well now I'm glad to know that having gang symbols or indie amenities outside your house is the height of civilisation.

And I wouldn't consider Gabu a prude. He's many things, but a prude he ain't.
8946  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which of these alcohol laws do you support? on: October 24, 2007, 12:21:56 pm
1,3,4,5,10 (sort of) and 11. Also didn't vote 8 as I think bars should have undefined closing times. Also a bit ambigious on blue laws but generally don't approve. Two depends on the level of public intoxication. I'm also dubious on issues where the interests of one individual county (probably rural and out of the way) are overided by those with more authority. Also how do you define minors? (no consumption though should not be illegal)

EDIT: In the case of 11 it should be legal to manufacture. But not to sell.
8947  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tom Tancredo Calls for Raid on Durbin's Press Conference on: October 24, 2007, 12:18:11 pm
8948  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Three posters least likely to ever live in a suburb on: October 24, 2007, 12:17:40 pm
Quote
Why? He's a prude who doesn't care about indie amenities or strip clubs and is absolutely terrified at the slightest bit of crime. Gabu would probably sh!t his pants if someone drew a gang symbol on the entry door to his apartment building. Like someone did to mine. About two weeks ago. And it's still there. Proving how much people in my building care about it.

That *was* sarcasm, right?

Right?
8949  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is it strange to like blight if you grew up in blight? on: October 24, 2007, 12:17:03 pm
Depends really on how much you wish to associated with the enviorment you grew up in..
8950  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What is wrong with public schools? on: October 24, 2007, 12:16:05 pm
Many things. What's taught in them is one; the structure and style of learning is another. (Both of these also apply to private schools btw. I went to a semi-private.)

To copy this post from the Irish General Discussion thread where me and Jas were arguing\debating\showing our national identity here's why in Ireland, whose system isn't too dissimiliar to most of those in the Western World (Though American schools are more modularized iirc) - I would like to write a longer reply but I only have about 15 minutes here.

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I think the aim of producing a potential workforce is a legitimate one. It's quite simply necessary for our economy to function. Literacy and numeracy rates are very high. Over half of our young people now go on to third level education. Advancement through the education system is now reasonably meritocratic. I think these are all positives.

I never said they weren't positive; just that we should aspire to more than that. It depends on whether we wish to see ourselves more as a society driven by ideals or purely by economic concerns; all goverments over the past 150 years or so have chosen the latter. Though personality from experience I think it's waste of time to have about half of the student population in education after the age of 14 (to pick a rough estimate).. and if we keep the current situation as it is I don't think employers will complain too much on missing out learning Intregal Calculus or Bismarck's Foreign Policy.

But I don't think have such an industrial like system of Education is good for Children or inevitably for Society as a whole. Also those Literacy and Numeracy statistics you state are very relative; how do you define those terms? (I not saying that Ireland has a bad standard here or anything; but statistics in this tend to vary alot on criteria.)

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I don't think that it's the education system which is responsible for the rise of consumer culture or conspicuous consumption.

Not Directly. But in a much more subtle indirect way I would so say.

Let me put this way, each class in a school has a structure and that structure is pretty unchanged from the age of 4 to 18 in the Irish system. That structure is there is a teacher who is the centre of the class who is supposed to be font of the required curriculum (more on that later..) and then there are the children who rarely speak and "recieve" knowledge from the teacher, who generally rewards them somehow if they do well and absconds them if they don't. Now as this is seen as the "natural" way of teaching it may not be seen as a big deal, but there are assumptions in this method here which are very important to point out and it is this that is most often imparted in school as opposed to the "official" curriculum (Most Children forget roughly 80% iirc of all the content they learn in a class once it's over. But here I refer to is the "Hidden Curriculum" - what is learnt without even being recognized; the sort of training you get sitting in a similiar position for 14 years straight.)

1) Authority Figures, like Parents (Here Teachers) are genuinely seen to be the holders of knowledge, knowledge and education is what the teacher gives you.
2) In schools there are textbooks which give out this knowledge; which creates a division between the learning in "School" and "non-school" learning. Textbooks are useless when learning things outside of the school enviorment
3) All Questions have "right" and "wrong" answers which are not to be doubted as they held by the authority figure to be truth; accepting the "right" answer (regardless of whether it is 2+2=4 or to be more nebelous, a good story.) without question is the name of the game. ("The first thing you learn in school is to learn how to lie - HL Mencken) Those who are wrong; perhaps because they are just not interested in the subject or just don't have academic ability in it are often punished - a system where praise (and thus Status; especially towards ones parents who love to have straight A grade child) and derision is often given out by how much you accept what the teacher says. So it's no surprise that the least gifted (or for that matter, the most gifted) get alienated from the system.
4) Our civilisation, which is based on Questions, is not even taught in schools. It's an Authoritian system of knowledge driven mainly by an industrial set up. (Ever noticed how Schools and Offices are often alike? Or Schools and Prisons for that matter?)

Now of course here I'm really referring to the first years of Education which are formative of the rest of Ireland's formal system.

But add to this the Curriculum, We both know about the pointless endavour of Irish and the Cultural\Political reasons behind it. But let's look more closely at how each subject (and that's another thing - that division is totally arbirtary. Another thing you learn in School, History is History, Maths is Maths, English is English, Mechanacial engineering is Mechanacial engineering. And never the twain shall meet. I'm a believer in the idea to have true understanding of anything you need to understand it's history. But this form of Education I'm referring to how has nothing to do with Understanding) is taught and what is taught.

- Maths: Actually I think in the Irish system the teaching of Maths is one of the better things about it as shows coginitive ability at abstract taught and unlike most another subjects can't really be bluffed at an exam. But here again comes into my point about the division of ideas; in Maths education we never shown why Calculus? The idea of learning is divorced from function; while I'm not a fan of the idea that education should be "relevant" in Mediaspeak (in other words, made fit into a way which suits students who cram for exams) I just think that this is yet another example of the idea the system alienates students; many of whom actually are interested in knowing stuff. Not to mention that Maths must be continued till age 18; against the interests of most students. Even from the functional POV this is mass Stupidity; if Children show no ability at Maths why keep them on after say 12 once numerical ability becomes obvious; will they repent once they hit Algebra and decide to become Engineers? Don't be silly.

- History: This is a particular issue of mine; let's take the Junior Cert History Syllabus I did back in 2003 - or to be more precise the exam itself (The paper is here: http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exampapers/2003/JC004ALP1EV.pdf) to keep things simple I gave I kept to the essay questions:

Example A: Write one of three following personal accounts:
- A lord or lady of a Medevil Castle.
- A farmer in Pre-Christian Ireland
- A named Religious reformer.

This is a form of biography; but in the end of Trivial biography. Actually that's 80% of Irish schools teach is trivia. When discussing Luther or Pre-Christian Ireland the textbooks usually went into fairly detailed (for 15 year olds) information about personal lives; but they failed to show why these things matterd; why they should be taught; what is their impact today In other words; it created a totally artifical division between history and the present. The fractured nature of the curriculum (inevitable in such a short space of time) makes this issue even worse. In other words, the majority of information students learn about history is school is mainly the gather of trivia; such as say the lives of Lords and ladies - purely an academic interest - without even the idea of context. I believe History matters too much to be divorced from the modern day world like it is in school (and I won't go into how school textbooks often try to justify Irish Nationalism.. it's not that their wrong per se; but rather that they are ideological at all. But then again I'm against textbooks)

Now I'm running out of space; and I want to watch the Rugby. And I've even explained my starting point. I told you I could bore for Ireland on this topic. If you to learn what I actually stand for and put the above in a much more coherent manner that there is Neil Postman's book Teaching as a subversive activity - 40 years old but still very, very relevant. And to be brief, here is what I am for: The Socratic Method
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