Posts Tagged ‘dumbing-down’

Did Universal Education Destroy The West?

Saturday, October 1st, 2016


In the midst of a standard Leftist rant about how education is failing because the people who were not all geniuses before education are still not all geniuses, The New York Review of Books goes full greebo with a wishful thinking history of American public education:

Death may be the great equalizer, but Americans have long believed that during this life “the spread of education would do more than all things else to obliterate factitious distinctions in society.” These words come from Horace Mann, whose goal was to establish primary schooling for all children—no small ambition when he announced it in 1848. Others had already raised their sights higher. As early as 1791, exulting in the egalitarian mood of the new republic, one writer declared it “a scandal to civilized society that part only of the citizens should be sent to colleges and universities.”

How that part has grown is a stirring story. It begins in the colonial period with church-funded scholarships for the sons of poor families. It continued after the Revolution with the founding of public universities such as those of North Carolina and Virginia. In the midst of the Civil War, it was advanced by the Morrill Act, by which Congress set aside federal land for establishing “land-grant” colleges, many of which became institutions of great distinction. By the later nineteenth century, when most colleges still admitted only white men, the cause was advanced again by the creation of new colleges for women and African-Americans.

Hillary Clinton may have recently shocked people by referring to Bernie Sanders fans as “basement dwellers,” but in the quarter of the population that is above 115 IQ points — this is a terrible sign, by the way, when only one in four people in your nation can halfway make sense of even moderate complexity problems — it is not exactly a secret that most people are basement dwellers, greebos, geeks, or otherwise dummies. In fact, it is openly mentioned all the time.

The reason is that while the Dunning-Kruger effect limits what we can understand, and makes smart people cowed as a result, it also allows us to see what those dumber than us cannot, which is that their idiocratic solutions are laughable and insane. Society is a cascade, with the upper levels looking down on the lower and laughing, not out of malice but sheer absurdism. When you are not an idiot, what idiots do is usually slapstick because of the wide gulf between anticipation and reality.

Most of us bumble our way through life, stumbling onto working combinations more by accident than anything else. This is even more prevalent at lower intelligence levels, which is why those groups are even more rigidly conformist so that they can take advantage of what has worked for others in similar situations. The bizarre conventions of the ghetto or inbred isolated community seem odd to us, until we realize that in those groups, signaling normalcy is more important than trying to distinguish oneself, no matter how ludicrous the results (sagging pants, “No Fear” stickers, etc).

And so we have the Bell Curve — the standard mathematical distribution of intelligence that occurs in all populations, of the same shape but varying according to the mean on which it is centered — appearing yet again. To the people on the far-right side of the curve, the left side is inscrutable and vice-versa. To the people in the middle, the far-left is nonsense, but what the far-right goes on about is equally weird. Translation: most people oppose intelligence.

How to deal with this? The principle of equality is that we cannot agree on a direction, so we should pacify individuals by offering equal inclusions in society, ignoring the differences in capabilities and the bad decisions made by others. In order to keep that mythos of illusion alive, the new religion of education springs up: we will educate them, and then, everyone will be equal, or at least roughly so.

Modern citizens cling to symbols and education is one of them, along with book fetishism. External appearance is more important than reality as always. Are they capable of making intelligent decisions? What is the content of those books? These questions of actual importance are denied so that the illusion can keep functioning, and so we insist that educating the three-quarters of the Bell Curve who cannot be educated will mysteriously, magically solve the inner inequality of individuals.

This results in a large number of people memorizing what they do not understand, and applying it rigidly because in the absence of understanding, they have conclusions given to them by others which become assumptions that take on a religious role. One cannot question the orthodoxy because the orthodoxy is what allows most people to feel good about themselves, and like heroin addicts, they prize feeling good over being realistic.

In essence, education legitimates a lie. Those who can learn generally will do so on their own, by reading books, experimenting and thinking. Many if not most of history’s greatest contributors were autodidacts. But for the pretense of keeping the group together, this cannot be, and so education falls prey to control, or standardization in order to limit the role of each individual to a universal, abstract and pre-determined form.

As with all utilitarian systems, in order that education be universal, it is dumbed-down or reduced to the lowest common denominator. This means that in addiction to people parroting conclusions that they do not understand as if they were universal law, they are getting these with a removal of all nuance. They have no idea how to correlate details to a larger argument, so they memorize assumptions and interpret every detail according to those, which results in mastery of detail and utter obliviousness to any larger point, as if those could be understood.

One reason for this is that in Europe and America, the wise choices of our ancestors led to an overflowing of the lower castes who breed at higher rates than the upper castes. This means that we are awash in fools, and under democracy, they must be made to feel equal too or there will be unpopularity. As Vice observes about the composition of the American population and in turn, the excesses of its originating population:

Although your textbooks are silent about it, most historians agree that two-thirds of ALL whites came to the colonies in some form of bondage. Legal papers on both sides of the ocean referred to them as “slaves.”

We are taught early in life that education is essential to democracy. In fact, it is the reverse: democracy is what produces education, which is designed to remove intelligence from the process and replace it with factory-made assumption-spouting robots who cannot analyze anything for which they do not have a template. If you wonder why our leaders and functionaries are shockingly but blithely incompetent, the reason is found in that saint of liberal democracy, “education.”

The Left depends upon studied intellectual decline

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016


I’ll keep it brief this time. The picture above speaks volumes. It shows us that Leftism is truly a refuge from competence and a safe space from the requirements of basic human competence. It’s hard to find your place in the world when you are that allergic to simple place value.

People like Hillary, Bernie and Barack Obama live off of people like this. Speaker Ryan doesn’t have a prayer of passing his recent budget if the population of our country stays awake in 6th Grade Math. The only way Leftism continues to remain popular is if it rallies the support of people like the woman below. They are the electoral majority that makes Obamacare possible.

A teachable moment

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at USC produced this interesting infographic:

The US spends the most of any of these nations on education, and comes in ninth in science and tenth in math test scores.

The UK, the next biggest spender, trails right behind.

Who tops those scores? South Korea, Finland, Canada, Japan, Australia, Germany.

Each of those spends less than the US.

What’s the difference? I nominate a few factors:

  • A culture of pity. Here in the US, we view ourselves as successful when we spend 75% of our education dollars on at-risk kids, who have the lowest success rates of any group.
  • Diversity. Diversity causes instability and incompatibility. The result shows in the educational scores and the resulting costs. Other diverse nations — Brazil, Mexico, and Russia — actually clustered with the USA on the results.
  • Politicization. The US school system measures its success through a complex matrix including help for the poor, egalitarian teaching, amount of athletic fields, and other things entirely unrelated to learning.

If we take a lesson away from this chart: the most homogenous nations with the most “nerdly” (focus on hard learning) triumphed, while here in the US we spend up to twice as much per pupil for results we’d expect from a wealthier version of Brazil, Mexico or Russia.

Fifty years ago, we would have clustered in with Japan, Finland, South Korea and Germany.

People of Earth

Friday, December 30th, 2005


In the common parlance, it is often said that power corrupts, but this generally applies to people who are personally unstable and spiritually undisciplined, and so once they escape the corset of social obligation, they act out their suppressed inner fantasies with deranged results. The flip side of power is that it teaches a form of compassion, a “tough love,” that comes from the necessity of motivating people, because motivating people is both a matter of strict external force and gentler internal reward. If you’re going to lead people into battle or business or a volunteer effort, you need to show them that their task is just and there is no other way, but also make them feel a sense of empowerment and world-remaking importance in their job, so that they see it as not only necessary but beneficient to society and self.

People are raw material. They come to you a mixed bag: they have strengths, and weaknesses, and fears as well as ambitions. Most of them do not know how to channel their ambitions, so if not given reason to think otherwise, will become egocentric and either seize power, or disclaim it entirely and retreat into personal worlds of amusements and fetishes. On the other hand, if their ambitions are given a clear path and a reason to exist, they can exponentially increase their productivity and acumen simply by the fact of being inspired toward their task. Among other things, this explains how throughout history small groups of men and women have changed the world radically, and how sometimes a smaller army or business can crucify its competitors: its people are more focused and believe in their task more than the opposition.

Although amplified by the modern world, throughout history most people have spent their day to day existence in a state of slight depression. The simplest reason for this is that very few of us get to live a life where we are a constant focus of attention, and so we labor mostly unknown except to a few close friends and our families, whose praise means a lot to us, yet, we would prefer to be more widely influential. Further, because life is a long and winding road in which it is necessary to make errors in order to learn the foundations of successes, all of us will have some failings and embarrassments lurking in the past. We prefer not to mention them in public, but whenever we consider our next move, doubt arises in the form of these past memories, much like beating a dog with a stick when it soils the carpet will convince it in the future to remember pain and associate it with that act. Our own histories literally condition us to depression.

What amplifies this depression in the modern time is the sheer size of our society, and its general course downward, which even the dumbest among us seem to have noticed. We notice such things on a subliminal level more than an articulated one, since to understand the situation in structure and words requires knowing more of it than most lives will see let alone analyze. Since our society is huge, and seems so far beyond our control or even understanding that it is inexorably going to do what it does, most are slightly depressed by their lack of influence on changing a worsening situation. Among the intelligent, it is recognized that masses of morons will undo whatever they achieve, or worse, turn it into a dumbed-down version of itself, missing meaning but preserving appearance (if you’re thinking of what Metallica did with the “black album” here, you’re on the right track). This keeps even the best among us depressed.

The catalyst of change for this situation can be a seemingly miniscule change in belief. People now believe they cannot change themselves or the world, and that things will continue as they have been; if given the knowledge that not only are things invisibly changing, but that the future favors this change, and that they can be the implements of such alteration, people will become inspired and find belief in the future. The same energy that fuels their depression can propel their hard work and brilliant invention in remaking the world. Another way to view this is that depression is the result of one’s energy having no outlet, thus it works against the individual by creating internal chaos. Give people an outlet that they believe will have positive results, and they will move the world. It is for this reason that stubborn assholes such as this writer believe that as has happened in the past, a small group of determined people will change our world yet again. People of the world, your time is coming.

And time is on our side. Every day we grow stronger and more disciplined, the errors of society bear it and its lackeys further into oblivion, crushing them under the weight of a design which is doomed by its own contradictions to failure. Each day that we do not give in and do not parrot their rhetoric, ours is seen more clearly by others, and more respected. And with each passing day, more of the failures of our current civilization come to light, and more people look for alternate answers, perhaps not to act on directly but to support covertly or simply as vessels for their hope of a better future. When people become inspired, they gain a nearly godlike status in their ability to think clearly, act decisively, and make each choice correctly the first time. In this state, the errors and stumbling confusion that hampers us in daily life is minimized, and replaced with a state of pure function that comes of a lack of spiritual doubt about one’s course. People of earth, your fortunes are changing.

If you’ve got a modicum of intelligence, you are probably depressed, and you were probably born depressed: society is against you, as it wants to dumb down every aspect of its function to the point where you will be a misfit and your best efforts will not be appreciated even when successful. You are surrounded by idiots, and thanks to democracy and consumerism and popularity, they do have greater power than you – for now. You have no faith in the rotted process of our society, or its calcified judgment, or even life itself, perhaps, for it has delivered you to this state. Yet this is changing, and the same force of life – call it nature, God, or chance; your pick – has brought this cycle toward the beginnings of a close. You must have faith in the process of living and the change it can bring, because at that point, you can see yourself as an agent of this change. As a wise man once said, “I don’t know if what I’m doing will make things better, but I feel better working toward something in which I believe.” That outlook requires leaving behind the comfort of feeling you cannot change anything, so contenting yourself with distractions like television, drugs, novelty music and social pressures.

We live in a world of a lack of absolutes. We cannot “prove” what we’re doing is right any more than those who oppose us can, but we can make a firm stand with statements of personal experience and wisdom such as “I prefer” and “I believe.” Nature takes her time, but our environment has changed to the point where it will no longer favor the foolish with excess, and all of the things that smarter-than-average people have dreamed of as a means to restore meaning and beauty to our world are returning. The forest will reclaim the cities, the wilderness our moral souls, and intelligence will storm the walls of our civilization and plant the banner of “ever upward” over the ruins of contentment, gluttony and placating the crowd. Our time is coming, and our victory is a choice of our hands and our hard work. Our depression is obsolete, and the time of our triumph newly dawning. Where will you stand: with those who give up their comfortable depression and sloth, and take charge toward the future, or those who will through inaction defend the dying? For me, I prefer to believe. And the more I see, the more I realize that the age of great change is coming, and the era that has oppressed all the fine things is life is ending in flames and smothering decay. People of earth, you can similarly be inspired, but you must choose it.

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