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8926  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this organization on: October 29, 2007, 01:24:05 pm
Yeah, except when I use alcohol and strip clubs I'm not hurting anyone else.

What if you get into a fight while Drunk and knock someone out cold.

(Here I should point out that people only get into fights when Drunk if they think getting drunk will lead to them getting more aggressive. It seems to be an anglo thing given that there is no sense in Italy or other Mediterrean countries that getting drunk leads to fights and so there are no drunken fights. But I digress.)
8927  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: October 29, 2007, 01:21:40 pm
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I wouldn't say liberals (of the US type, not the classical liberal type) are self-hating. They are self gratifying; seeking to soothe their conscience through idealistic posturing rather than seek a rational solution. The 'intellectual' liberal left are effective at closing down debate and then indulging itself on a self-defeating, post-communist, anti-American and anti-western ideological binge in which they would rather wallow in cultural relativism and false equivalencies than tackle the reality of society around them (not that it ever is 'around' them; they themselves are literally distant from the problems they claim to understand and the people they claim to
represent)


Alot of conservatives hate intellectualism (or arguments grounded in it) because they see the intellectuals as liberals! Theres a mutual distrust. However it runs much deeper than that. Conservative opposition to gay adoption for example is based non on a 'just cause' but a 'just 'cos' rationale. There's nothing out there, at least put out there by great men of their field to suggest there is anything positive or negative (or, better 'beneficial' or 'unbeneficial' about it. But those great men are in themselves 'intellectuals' and not to be trusted (even if they are the only people who know what the hell they are talking about) - so conservatives can often retreat into populist territory. Of course many don't and increasingly more chose not to which is only a bonus.

Some of what you say is true; though I guess it depends on how you define "liberalism" and "Conservatism" as those words seem to shift meaning every decade or so. (Margaret Thatcher would probably have been in the Liberal party; if she lived in the 19th Century.) I would say no doubt since Reagan though in the United States what has become known as Conservatism has a very, very strong Anti-Intellectual streak, as does most forms of conservatism as it is it's desire to maintain the "Status Quo".

For Example two of the last four American presidents were men who appeared to be of very unsound mind, Bush and Reagan both Conservatives (If you accept that it was all an act; then it was a very popular and effective act. What does that mean?) as they described themselves both played towards certain soundbites like "Family Values" or "With us or against us" and of course draconian civil liberty legislation like the PATRIOT Act all these things show what I mean   
by "Anti-Intellectualism":
1) Bush and Reagan both elected in part because they played to a prejudice against "Elitist Liberals" - usually College educated people who did not speak in the accent of Ordinary folks, they played characters as if out films, actually one of them was an actor, their entire persona was based on Television, which is by defintion a non-Intellectual medium (not that I think Television is bad; I'm just stating what it is) They portrayed themselves as against the "Elite" being liberals who "hated America", by playing this up they were attracted the Anti-intellectual vote and help spread that ideology across America. Hell alot of modern day Republican values are based on such a thing. (Creationism, anyone?)

2) These men then defined the language by soundbites to attack any who disagreed; so If I oppose Bush "I hate America", if I believe in Gay Marriage "I am part of the Homosexual agenda" and so on. In a way conservatives are winning the "Culture war" in that they defining the language of debate in many quarters (though I still find it hard to believe that anyone can say "Homosexual agenda" without laughing) of the country; what's happened though is that "liberals" are winning the war of ideas to the future leaders of the country by their own language, "Human Rights", "Freedom", "Equality", etc.

As for the "Liberals" it again depends on how you use that word; here I define it as how "liberal" is often used in media circles even though I admit I define myself as "Liberal" (Personally I think we need new words). Alot of this self-hate is described was based around enviormentalism which is often a neo-puritianism rather than Race issues; though I admit it may be prelevant there it's not something I pay much attention to. A core of Enviormental movement's core ideology (That is how the Enviormental movement wants to be seen; not the idea of Global warming itself) is:
1) Due to the evil corrupt forces of (always) 'Western' man (this is often disguised as "Capitalism") the earth is being raped and destroyed.
2) Therefore we must forego our traditional culture and we deserve it for our evil ways (again "Capitalism" or "Imperialism")
3) Often then there is a proviso about how other "civilisations" lived in harmony with nature - none of them 'western' o\c, but were destroyed by the evil forces of western man (Often embodied by "The Corporations".)

This is then often then put under a cloud of "intellectualism" which tries to justify this prejudice; but often comes across being smug and self-gratifying, as you say.

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My papa, my mothers father was of Irish immigrant stock and he would be the first to never make us forget that. But he also fought in WW2 and he could never quite forgive 'The Emergency'; the indifference (verging on the unsympathetic) response by the Irish government during WW2.

We gave some very under-the-counter support to the Allies. Despite De Valera signing Hitler's condolences book.

Btw, we were not a dominion in 1939 - we lost dominion status in 1937 - we were still a member of the Commonwealth but in reality a Republic in all but name.

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And it's language, skin colour, religion etc if we want to discrad poltiical correctness and be completely honest. :/

No, only if people 'defining' the nation and the National "quality" decide those are important. But often that's the case. For the past 60 years in Britain there has been a move away from what "Britishness" is partly due to "Multiculturalism". Of course the problem of Multiculturalism is that it can't be seen as a one way process.

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What is ironic is that, politically the last time Ireland was united was under British Rule/Part of the United Kingdom.

Ireland's never been United under "native" rule, unless you count the Rule of high king Brian Boru (1002-1014); but he was really more of a weak Feudal type monarch in an island with no sense of central authority; that idea came from the British.
8928  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this organization on: October 29, 2007, 12:57:06 pm
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Comparing slavery to alcohol.

Wow.

The logic still applies (though admittely it was somewhat lazy); you seem to apply that if you like something not only should the goverment encourage it but that goverment corruption should be encouraged in order to bring about things you like.

You like Alcohol and Strip Clubs; The Confedrates liked Slaves.
8929  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this organization on: October 29, 2007, 12:54:44 pm
The alcohol industry are massive Freedom Fighters, except the ones that are ran by Republicans (like Coors). But Democrats who make alcohol RULE.

I didn't know you liked it when companies participated in exploitative activities.

Depends what you mean by "exploitative activities". After all some people consider strip clubs exploitative. In a nutshell I like it if it's an activity I like, and I like strip clubs and drinking.

No Doubt Confedrate slave holders liked keeping slaves; so it's nice to know you think that's okay.
8930  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What is wrong with public schools? on: October 29, 2007, 12:53:04 pm
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You should watch My Super Sweet 16 then. That show made me want to become a Communist after about 15 minutes. It's probably the best anti-capitalist propoganda ever made.

Strongly Agree.

Though here in Ireland I've often found that the least materalistic segment of society (and here I show a great deal of Prejudice) is Upper Middle class semi-Urban types; especially those whose families have been settled in a certain area for a long time.
8931  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Distinguishing the Generations..... on: October 29, 2007, 09:12:09 am
The one that accept the premises of the world they were given but rather created an active part in creating it, for better (at first) or worse (recently); in other words that strange demographic also known as "the Baby boomers".
8932  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you still live with your parents? on: October 29, 2007, 09:09:06 am
Nope. Living now in the *gasp* suburbs of Dublin.
Still have my room at home though when I go back for the odd weekend, which is nice.

Really? Whereabouts.

Clonsilla - more out of necessity than choice.

That fact that I have absolutely nothing to say about Clonsilla underlines what I think of the place (I had an Uncle who lived there for a while though so I'm not ignorant), not that where I live is much better in that regard.
8933  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: October 29, 2007, 08:50:24 am
FTR, I'm enjoying this fireside chat Smiley

Cool. Nice to see an intruder. Smiley
8934  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you still live with your parents? on: October 29, 2007, 08:47:06 am
Nope. Living now in the *gasp* suburbs of Dublin.
Still have my room at home though when I go back for the odd weekend, which is nice.

Really? Whereabouts.
8935  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: October 29, 2007, 08:46:16 am
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Seriously, you're very pessimistic on this.
(And it's hardly just Irish society that has a dark side.)

Perhaps it's only a communitariat thing. But I notice this in Irish society and not just in Irish society but in Western society aswell (but as this thread is dealing solely with Ireland...). Alot of what is defined as modern "liberalism" seems to be dominated by a nasty streak of self-hatred and while alot of what is "Conservatism" is anti-intellectual. (See Fianna Fail, The Republicans, etc.)

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I think you're being mighty hard on newspapers here. If people want a backstory they can look it up, if The Irish Times was to provide a background piece on Northern Ireland and Iraq and Israel in every edition, there'd be no room left to print any actual news. They have to assume a certain level of knowledge on the part of the reader. The reader can always consult other sources to find this background detail anyway.

Oh no doubt about that, I'm showing it's not in the nature of a newspaper to do so. Which is the problem. Are you familiar with "The Medium is the Message" (Which is kind of central to my thesis here)?

(I'm not bothered to write out a whole Thesis here plus I suck at explaining such ideas, I leave this up to wiki whose article is actually fairly good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Medium_is_the_Message. Each Medium has a certain nature, not just Oral or Visual or Typographic but there is certain things one can do with certain mediums that are just not feasible with others (for various reasons) and within certain periods one Medium tends to be more dominate over the other to give an example for where I stole this thesis in the 1850s the Lincoln-Douglas Debates on slavery lasted seven hours consisting of only three speeches (Proposition-Opposition and Prop Rebuttal) by the two politicians, yet it was quite clear from the records that these were widely tended events from across the population. Imagine doing a seven hour debate on Television? Or on the Internet; which is replacing TV as the "dominant" technology? Nah. Attention Span is one thing, meaning that each seperate medium is part of our enviorment and shapes the way we think, etc.)

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And no-body can convey any significant amount of information on ongoing media stories such as those mentioned above without eventually giving away their own stance, this isn't the same as telling the audience how/what to think. And even if they were simply telling people what to think, people are free to reject the message and the messanger.

And there's nothing inherently wrong with TV. Just like books and newpapers and every other form of media, there's good quality content and bad quality content. Is there anything wrong with learning about the ideas of Mill or the history of the Flight of the Earls or whatever from TV instead of from a book. Surely both are subject to similar potential pitfalls?

Well quite alot of things actually an average sized book is likely to contain much more information than a TV show of average length. Plus with Television there is a need to "enforce" imagination by choosing actors, sets, etc while in the book it would all be on the printed page. This may seem irrelevant at first, but given that one is surrounded by mediums all the time and
that there is always a tendenancy to preference even very young; (A Child watches how much ads by the time they turn 18? In the hundreds of Thousands iirc) which can influence on how   
you think
. A book and a TV show have such inbuilt assumptions in them which even if you don't accept what is in front of you as "fact" can clearly warp you perception on a historical event.

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Ah, but they don't need (or necessarily want) to 'know' her as a person - they want to know what she's wearing; who's she seeing; etc. The 'real' person is irrelevant - appearance is everything.

Exactly. But I don't see why is this particularly a good thing. (Not that it is bad either; just a
value of "society".)

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I haven't travelled enough to comment on how other nations deal with such things - but I must say while I've met and know people who are remarkably prejudiced against 'the Brits', they're a very distinct minority. I simply don't buy the idea that there is a general and irrational blaming of 'the Brits' regarding relevant Irish problems today.

Oh, now? Of course very few people blame the Brits now, much more fashionable is the Roman Catholic Church or De Valera or whatever. When I mentioned the Brits I merely referring to about 50 years old pre-Troubles, such as the Euphoria of Nationalism which engulfed in Ireland in 1966 50 years after 1916 with all that rhetoric which would be impossible now. But that doesn't mean we have matured, just shifted to a different side of the same cube.

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I don't think that economic commentators are hoping for a recession or are downtalking the economy just for the sake of it...whether looking at exchequer returns or projected growth figures (particularly in construction) it seems clear (and generally expected) that we are facing an economic slowdown. Just how much the economy will slow down is up in the air - it could lead to a period of stable, if relatively low, growth or it could lead to a very serious economic shock.

Oh no doubt that we may be heading into slightly dangerous waters (though I doubt it will be as bad as the 1980s. At the very worst, the early 70s) I referring to the reaction of certain commentators towards the possibility, both "Conservative" or "Liberal" who seem to can't wait for it to get started and try to portray the possibilities as in a dramatic and over-the-top way as possible. (As our Melodrama-disguised-as-Politics show "Prime Time" shows.)

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Are books the best medium to express political ideas? What's wrong with the internet; TV; newspapers; and film?

See Above.

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On why the public in disinterested...politics is perceived as dull; irrelevant to their day-to-day lives (at least people are relatively content with the performance of government); and something which they can't do anything about anyway - so why bother. (Not that I agree, of course, but I think this is a reflection of a common belief.)

In other words, they feel it is abstract from their lives and bears no relation to the "real world" but is rather a media event. Which of course is why so little change is going to be forthcoming, even reluctant acceptance of "reality" will mean "reality" is accepted and so on.

Interesting to note though that voting has gone down since the Economic boom while there are some obvious reasons for this (The Tribunal relevations being one of them) it's quite curious to note that people seemingly had more faith in politicians in the 1980s when Turnout was above 80% and emigration for many may have felt that high.

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I'm not sure a country can be understood - or maybe I don't understand what you mean by to understand a country in this context.

It's hard enough to understand another individual nevermind such a large collective of them.

A country is an abstract idea which becomes a reality through its laws, its borders, its government, etc. When you grow up one of the first indicators of identity you have in the Modern world is your nationality; I think I learned that I was Irish when I was two, this may seem normal but is only a relatively recent invention dating back to the Enlightment. (And In Ireland's case, the National Revival movement of the 19th Century) So in order to adapt to being "Irish" you sub(?)conciousnessly adopt some notions of Irish which may pick up, of course it's hardly the only personal influence but there are notions of "Irishness" out there and even though we may not be aware of them it effects our identity at some level or another. One can't really be a 'united' nation without some kind of unifying culture, which is why a United Ireland was a true impossibility in the 1920s (or at least a peaceful one) but more likely now, though still a long bit away.
8936  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Name the ideology of the preceding poster... on: October 29, 2007, 06:24:14 am
Nanny statism

Ehmm.. No.

As For Alcon, European Liberal seems correct.
8937  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Name the ideology of the preceding poster... on: October 28, 2007, 07:35:30 pm
Blandism.
8938  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Will abortion ever be settled? on: October 28, 2007, 06:35:35 pm
THis is, frankly, a wortless poll with too many too detailed options to be answered. To answer it briefly, no, abortion will never be settled because it's a grey moral area where reasonable people will always be of two minds and unreasonable people will choose to pick one side or the other. Basically, I think most people with something of a moral compass recognize that an abortion is a bad thing but also recognize that forcing women to have unwanted children is also a bad thing. What to make of all that policy-wise is hard to tell.

^^^^^^^^
8939  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this organization on: October 28, 2007, 06:17:20 pm
From that brief look freedom fighters. Though I tried to see some connection with either the religious right or political lobbyist groups, As I saw neither and as they act (in their words) as watchdog on the Industry, they get the thumbs up in my book.
8940  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you support the Death Penalty on: October 28, 2007, 06:14:30 pm
Yes, though it's application should require a heinous crime and enough solid evidence to remove any reasonable doubt of innocence.

How can a libertarian support the use of the death penalty?

Al, haven't we learned by now that *ahem* "libertarians" are only for liberty for rich, white, protestant men? Respectable people who know their place in society.
8941  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What was the worst thing you ever did in school? on: October 28, 2007, 06:05:33 pm
Can't really think of anything. But then I wasn't there much.

I'm intrigued.

I guess regularly running out of school whenever I just had enough and missing some 25 days (roughly) a year would count, no?

Let's face it, God invented this earth so that the students could celebrate the end of their edgumacation and the start of their actual education.
8942  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: October 28, 2007, 06:02:19 pm
Back to this again:

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I'd argue that it {Consumerism} does have figureheads - lots of them, just like the church has a whole series of 'figureheads' (priests, bishops, etc.), so does Consumerism (Hilton; Beckham; Moss; etc. etc.).

In a way that's right but modern 'idols' tend to be a bit more abstract. For example every town in Ireland once had a local priest and a great deal of mythology grew up around the powers of local priests (often in the most rural areas this was combined with alot of old Gaelic mysticism, just showing that the Celtic religions never quite died they just started worshipping crosses instead.) of course there were figure heads like the Pope, The Archbishop, etc but until the invention of mass communication the Pope was directly irrelevant to the lives of Irish people he was just the guy (who no-one knew what he looked like; now that's a sobering thought.) who was in Rome who told the other guys who were Cardinal who told the Archibishops etc what to do. Nowadays I think nearly everyone (at least in my age group; so excluding Vincent Browne) knows what Paris Hilton looks like but actually know her as a person? How do you "know" a person anyway?

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True, but it's almost a natural human reaction to avoid blame (see John Delaney). Nor as a nation are we alone when it comes to pointing elsewhere when a problem arises. (Not that this is the right thing to do, of course.)

True; but even more than other nations perhaps because of our location and history we tend to blame solely external sources like the OMG TEH BRITS!!111

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Careful now Gully, you're dangerously close to Bertie Ahern's line here. Wink

I'm sorry if I don't get misery porn? Personally I don't think our culture is a great state is so many of the communitariat seem to be to sexually arouse themselves with the idea of a economic recession. Do we really hate ourselves that much? Or is this just the smugly educated upper middle class folks who become leading journalists (usually writing articles in the Sindo about how awful consumerism is why discussing their latest pair of Manolos.)

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If the market suddenly shifted this week and The Irish Times circulation figures soared while The Irish Sun withered and we saw similar shifts in radio and TV, we'd quickly see the market saturated with debate of a different standard

No doubt; but that won't happen, why? The idea of liberal Democracy is routed in the notion of an active and educated (often self-educated) citizenship. Now admittely alot of these ideas belong to the age of the Printing press and the Enlightment (Books of course the best medium to express Political ideas, but how many people in Ireland are aliterate - can read but don't?) but I don't believe we can have a Democracy or anything similiar without out. Otherwise we are just giving more power than an already morally bankrupt political class.

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It's unfortunately beyond my meagre talents to explain why the market is as it is - but this is one area where I think the market is very responsive, very quickly to the shifting demands of the public. While I agree that the various elements of the media have their own agendas which they will push - these agendas don't necessarily coalese and indeed often work against one another.

True; but we are probing deeper than pure economics here (thus "pseudo-science") why is the level of demand like it is.

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Ah, but given that currently you feel that society is dominated by 'intellectual laziness', is a Democratic decision (as you define it) even theoretically possible?

No or not quite and here is the problem; I realize the contradiction here alas as why that is beyond my meagre talents aswell to truly explain.

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That I can't explain. But then I'm not sure anyone adequately can. This might appear a silly question, but why do you want to find out the origins of their popularity?

Because understanding it is an intregal part of understanding the country in which I was born and raised into?

Also I don't believe much is holding Irish society actually together; in this I agree with the most conservative and reactionary Catholics while it's replaced a series of values which are always rooted locally and "in the soil" so the speak most of the new values (of course this is a sweeping statement, like all sociology, In Offaly I met a middle-aged women who criticized the people I was staying with because they did their laundry on a sunday.) are dependant on high levels of disposable income and foreign investment (Both "Visible" and "invisible" like tourism), and even those don't seem to be effective given the level of self-destruction we see in Irish society (Binge Drinking, et al not that binge drinking wasn't a problem "back in the day", That culture was destroyed by it's contradictions.. so will this one.) What will happen once the money goes away? Then what we will have?

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Again, I'd undelrine that the media, of course, is no monolith persuing a singular objective/agenda. The agendas of The Irish Times and the Irish Daily Star for example are more often than not counterpoints - throw in the Financial Times, Heat, Village, FHM and I dare anyone to come up with anything they all agree on, never mind push as an agenda. Similarly re: books and other media. Different messages all.

And what's more there is no obligation, or necessarily any implication that the audience of any particular media will agree or go along with the agenda they are presented with.

True. But all Media has an in-built "message" which goes beyond what is obvious. Advertising to take the easy example hidden message is that all life's problems are simply solved and can be resolved in a matter of minutes; no thought, no nuance, no emotion just the robotism of "buying stuff". The Irish Times is full of information which seems to exist outside of space and time - for example can one really understand anything about the Middle-east crisis without at least a knowledge of it's history, all newspapers give the perception that information is a daily occurance which exists outside of human context (ie. There are these things called days and what happens on one day doesn't effect what happens on another.) Okay again this is a generalization, but my point is the media is effecting how we think; which then creates the enviornment to what we think. Of course in reality there is nothing we can do about that if 1 million people quite like owning and watching their TVs.

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Ah, but for someone like myself, I must say that speaking in terms of the big picture, I'm reasonably content with the broad approach to running to the country taken by Irish governments - a social democratic model (public provision of healthcare; education; transport; welfare safety net; etc), with good human right protections. Of course, when one considers the detail of governmental approach to the many issues of concern, then I find myself very often in disagreement with the way in which things are done. It is in effect tinkering with the way things are done (a lot of tinkering, but nonetheless...) is how I feel about most matters under government control.

It's unnatural for an Irish story to end happily. It never does.

Personally there is alot to be grateful for; but I can't help feel there is both a nasty masochistic and anti-intellectual streaks in Irish society (to begin with).
8943  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What State is the Previous Poster best suited to Politically? on: October 28, 2007, 05:35:07 pm
The State of Hypocrisy.
8944  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.
8945  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.
8946  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.)
8947  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.
8948  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:

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. 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.

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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.)
8949  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".
8950  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.
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