Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The dumbing down of America continues. Thank you teaching industry. You self-serving selfish motherfuckers.

 

The Educational Testing Service, in a report titled Americas Perfect Storm, cited three powerful forces that are affecting the quality of life for millions of Americans and already shaping the nations future. They are:

  • The wide disparity in the literacy and math skills of both the school-age and adult populations. These skills, which play such a tremendous role in the lives of individuals and families, vary widely across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • The seismic changes in the U.S. economy that have resulted from globalization, technological advances, shifts in the relationship of labor and capital, and other developments.
  • Sweeping demographic changes. By 2030, the U.S. population is expected to reach 360 million. That population will be older and substantially more diverse, with immigration having a big impact on both the population as a whole and the work force.

Clueless in America - New York Times

The real reason American schools are failing is:

  • Our school systems are not systems adjunctive to the main system of governance of society, there to serve society in the capacity of the main source of information which is on average necessary for the common citizen. They are now industries for the profit of those empowered by them, namely the collective collusion between the local government and the teachers and administrators of the educational system.

That is it. Cut and dried. No amount of distracting whining about "blaming teachers" doing a "thankless job" while crying crocodile tears can change this.

Look to the bottom third of the first page of the book shown in at this link.

Yes, 2x as many teachers in public schools come from the bottom quartile as from the top. Almost 2x as many teachers in private schools from the top quartile as the bottom.

Hmmmm... Are we surprised now that our system of education is screwed up? We hire people from the bottom of the barrel more than the top. Is it pay? No, because public school teachers make quite a nice amount of money. See the amount here. The lowest figure on that chart is more than I make as a telecom support technician with ten years of LAN/WAN/PC experience.

Granted, my pay does suck, but it is a real world private sector job and I agreed to it because it paid more than the job I came from.

Private schools do pay better, but they pay more like mid to large corporations do their upper middle management. Like say 10K a year more.

Now then, I know people don't work for free. More than most I know it. I had to pay my little sister to shlep to the house for supplies when I ran a lemonade stand by the road as a kid. People act from perceived self-interest even if it is only internalized and/or subconscious.

So, why do we not link teacher pay to quality of said teacher?

Hmmmm... Why indeed.

The answer is that the present so-called and laughingly called "educational" establishment, much like everything else in government, works to further its own interests, most notably those of the elite already in power and their hangers on.

Those who are not in power but taken care of by those who are in power will ever work for the protection of their benefactors and only work against them when they believe they can do it with relatively decent chance of success in supplanting them. Those who are in power will of course give scraps such as they believe their supporters and servants will take and like well enough to continue keeping them in power.

This is how your local city council works, your board of education, your pretty much any human hierarchical organization functions.

However, the mark of man is to be able to recognize one's own lesser instincts which are not or not as conducive to the forward progress of man's collective society and world, and to act by free will intelligence choice contrary to those recognized instincts. Our intellect says that educational systems run by government, and adjunctive to it, should be for the betterment of the intellect of our citizens. Our hearts say that the educational system should be noble and to enrich the lives of our youth. Our bestial nasty side says every man for himself and screw the results as long as I get mine.

Here are my recommendations for a guerilla attack on the problem by you the common person:

  • If your education is lacking, educate yourself. Central to the effectiveness of this is self-interest.
    As I said, no one works for free. Your pay is that you will be empowered more than the man who knows nothing. The man who knows nothing is more easily swayed by emotion inducing words. The man who knows much can more confidently say "you must prove the accuracy and rightness of your case to me".
  • Educate your children as early as you can in everything you can that can help them most especially language, reading, and writing, numbers, arithmetic, logic and algebra.
    We humans learn to speak from those we hear around us and we begin to build within us inferences to connect the sounds to actions and emotions we witness in the wake of those sounds. We then learn to link those sounds and inferences with letters. We learn to link the letters together. Teach your children to speak clearly as quickly as you can, and teach them the phonetic connections between what they say and the letters and words.
    Math is then the second thing to learn because logic is part and parcel of it. Your children need to learn logic and reasoning. Solving 2x+3y=20 for x teaches application of generalized rules within a rules-based system. Such ability to abstract is necessary for my next suggestion.
  • Educate yourself and your children in religion and philosophy including politics and civics. Do not make glib simplistic assumptions because you are a conservative or liberal. You only serve a master other than your own interests if you do that. It is time to serve your own best interests which if you study these things, you will find in honesty to and with yourself to be much in common with the best interests of your neighbors.

America is our nation. Ours. As in you who read this are part of that collective ours. Either we all win or we all lose. For far too long we have been allowing ourselves to settle for the scraps off the tables of those in power no matter what the political or philosophical persuasion or banner, and defending those elites to maintain our scraps.

It is time to revolt America, and as thousands of years of human history clearly illustrate, the ONLY revolt that can work is the one of conscience and will. Wake up. Stop voting blindly. Think for yourself. Study. Learn. Grow. Develop. Advance. Wake up and stop flying on automatic pilot. Start making informed choices born of free will in consultation with your knowledge. Wake up. You're sleeping and our nightmares are in charge.

You may be right, you may be wrong, but you will be you. Don't you want to say at least once in your life that you were truly you and not someone else's pawn or the servant of your inner demons? Don't you want to be able to say, "I truly was for one moment me and free"?

Good luck.

Astronomy Picture of the Day