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Der Untergang des Abendlandes

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Der Untergang des Abendlandes

Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Dec 26, 2005 1:50 pm

If you don't believe me - or Herr Spengler, read this....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Re: Der Untergang des Abendlandes

Postby Stargzer » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:51 am

M. Henri Day wrote:If you don't believe me - or Herr Spengler, read this....

Henri


Henri, haven't you noticed the gargantuan handbasket the world is travelling in?
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Apoclima » Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:32 pm

I first read this phrase "Der Untergang des Abendlandes" in a German reader Peter hat Pech that I had as a boy. At first, I took it to mean something like "the tunnel of the evening (shadow)lands," but being the avid dictionary cross- referencer that I was (and am), I quickly saw what it meant.

I was in the last class to learn to read by phonics in my school, and in the last class that offered a foreign language to middle school students. I was the last class to be taught Greek and Roman heritage. Of course, I love Mythology, Grammar and Language and was able to take Latin my high school freshman year.

I was appalled to find that my nieces and nephews (and my brother and sisters to a lesser extent) have no idea how to sound words out, no concept of phonology, syntax or semantics, their ideas of Greek Mythology and Philosophy came from Disney cartoons, and they are lost in mathematics without a calculator. They have very little idea how to manipulate algebraic formulas, and see no use for Π, unless they could eat it.

I am no genius, but I was lucky that I had a love of words and mythology and religion.

Today, it seems that students study for the test, and not for its own sake--rote learning instead of critical thinking.

The American Education system has concentrated on multiple choice and not creative thinking. Sure, creative thinking is harder to grade, but do they ever fail anyone these days anyway!

There are alot of great inspiring teachers out there, but the tenure system leaves far too many apathetic, callous, repetitive teachers in place. Teachers should be judged on merit (and I don't mean getting their students to pass multiple choice tests), and not on entrenchment.

Critical Thinking

Educrats wield the word "rote" as a weapon.


Most theorists in the education industry today think that if we get kids to form opinions out of thin air, without having to know anything a priori, then we are teaching them to "think critically". But many suspect that what that really produces (and we see it all the time in society) is people who have lots of groundless opinions, who can tell you what they think about any issue without even a glimmer of a notion that they might wish to know something it before they open their yammers.


THE DELIBERATE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA

Anyone who has had any lingering hope that what the educators have been doing is a result of error, accident, or stupidity will be shocked by the way American social engineers have systematically gone about destroying the intellect of millions of American children for the purpose of leading the American people into a socialist world government controlled by behavioral and social scientists.


The new reforms simply set the stage for the next crisis, which provides the pretext for the next move forward. This is the dialectical process at work, a process our behavioral engineers have learned to use very effectively. Its success depends on the ability of the “change agents” to continually deceive the public, which tends to believe any lie the experts tell them.


And rote learning does have a place in forming habits and for memorization, but that is just the support beam for a much bigger project -intellectual growth.

Apo
Last edited by Apoclima on Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby KatyBr » Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:27 pm

Apoclima wrote:

The new reforms simply set the stage for the next crisis, which provides the pretext for the next move forward. This is the dialectical process at work, a process our behavioral engineers have learned to use very effectively. Its success depends on the ability of the “change agents” to continually deceive the public, which tends to believe any lie the experts tell them.




Apo


I certainly have to agree with this, I saw the great illustrius Chomsky on TV recently say with a bald face that Liberals comprise only 1% of all educaters, HA! I lost All respect for him then, Even as a Liberal Teenager completely affected by my ALL-Liberal teachers I knew it was a lopsided representation in certain classes, : i.e. History and all current events classes were only taught by Socialistic teachers. I never saw any deviation in their slanted teaching. These teachers had nothing but contempt for anything decent or kind or conducive to freedom.

These particular teachers were touted as the best as "they taught blotter minds how to think" No, they taught us only to think their way, any conclusion we had in school that was not inside their beliefs was met with derision and censure. I saw it even then-clearly. But then I've always swum against the current. {hahahah this will be the thing quoted and exploited}

Kt
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Postby Apoclima » Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:23 pm

Well, there's alot to be said for "swimming against the current." You may not get very far, but you get a good work out, and it's easier to find your way home again.

Apo
Last edited by Apoclima on Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gailr » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:02 pm

I have too many friends dedicated to educational excellence (despite both covert and overt opposition from the worst of their group--supported by the worst examples of administrators, schoolboards, parents, students, prospective employers...) to look kindly on bashing the profession as a whole. The best teachers in the world cannot single-handedly turn the ignorance is bliss tide without help; molotov postings don't count as help.

As US schools are perceived by many as the track for a future in corporate America, I am still dismayed by a former coworker who told me, in all seriousness, that there is "no excuse" for writing perfomance evaluations--for college graduates focused on whether they are sufficiently empowered--above fourth grade reading levels. She didn't learn that from a teacher, she learned it from observing the willfully, belligerently ignorant among her own staff.

So many people boast that they "get all their news[sic]" from a single source, and that is inevitably a source which puts shrill partisanship or lockstep adherence to dogma first, with critical thinking skills a very distant second--if they place at all. (NB: partisanship can be found on all sides of the political spectrum and dogma-olatry in all religions).

Social observers have been documenting their dismay at the dumbing down of society since the classical Greeks and Romans (I suspect even the neanderthals cocked shaggy eyebrows at their stupid offspring in disgust). Like most idealistic struggles, this battle is won and lost one person at a time. I'd like to think that fora such as this are opportunites to encourage broadened minds and literacy (in between functioning as soap boxes and bully pulpits for our respective causes!).

-gailr
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Postby KatyBr » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:06 pm

gailr wrote:bully pulpits
-gailr

we can all just go by our own experiences I cannot deny you have yours, and mine have been vastly different.

Kt
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Postby tcward » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:52 pm

A friend of mine once reminded me: "Never attribute to malice what could be explained by sheer stupidity."

I believe the school administrations have become their own worst nightmares. As the school systems have gotten larger, and the student bodies have gotten larger, the mentality of the large industrial farms has also made its way into the system that is supposed to be educating our children... only this type of application is as doomed to failure or ruin as is the industrialized farming system that it mirrors.

I can't on the one hand point out all the obvious errors of judgment and on the other say that the administrators (or their leaders) are smart enough to pull off some kind of conspiracy to destroy the minds of our children.

I think the types of problems we are having are symptomatic of humanity in general (as a Christian, I refer to it as sin).

But there is hope.

The school that my two boys attend (Glynis is still too young) is as close to perfect as I could expect any school to be. The teachers are caring and loving and attentive, and the children always come first. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it's true. The school and its administration and the types of things they are doing with the children and teaching the children that attend it, all of this has brought my wife to tears on numerous occasions. The fealing of overwhelming love and respect that they imbue at every turn is completely unparalleled, from my experience, in any other school here. I think when you start there -- loving the child and teaching respect and concern for your peers -- and move with that into encouraging the innate curiosity that children have at that age, the results will always be phenomenal.

Apo, I think what we are now witnessing as far as the "teaching for the tests" mentality is what the public school systems are forced to succumb to when an administration is bent on providing statistics as a means of substantiating educational value, rather than letting the "product" speak for them.

Teachers today, in many cases, were not taught some of the fundamentals of learning when they were in school, and unfortunately for those children who have been entrusted to their care, those fundamentals are not even the faintest whisper. But the thread of humanity is so bare in children these days that the classroom can quickly become a scene of desperate acts; and the teachers and the administration are put in the unenviable position of managing behaviors that have no place in a classroom.

I think we are at (or approaching) a turning point in the public education system we have spent so much time and money on in this country. It cannot continue in the direction it is currently headed.

-Tim
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Postby Apoclima » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:51 am

Thanks, Katy, gailr, and Tim! Everyone really gave some food for thought (which I'll think about).

Good night, dear friends!

Apo
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:10 pm

The most recent Big Flap here was the Baltimore City School System's installation of a literacy program for middle schools that was tried and rejected (I believe) by the Denver school system. The headlines touted the program's definition of nouns as "stuff" and verbs as "what stuff does." I thought it was hilarious at first, then, upon reflection, thought it was a good working definition for the first phase of a remedial program. Then I learned that it was to be the main program for middle schools. Then I said a prayer of thanks that I lived in the county so my kids never had to go to City schools.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby frank » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:04 pm

tcward wrote:A friend of mine once reminded me: "Never attribute to malice what could be explained by sheer stupidity."


Or both together... The attempts to implement creationism into the science curriculum (which is almost as absurd as teaching French in the German courses] shows that ignorance (aka stupidity) and arrogance (here malice) go hand in hand.
While calling a noun "stuff" is a matter of (awfully) dumb terminology, forcing people to believe a collection of fire camp stories which were popular among nomads 3500 (or so) years ago, is widening up the door for sheer ignorance. Or in other words, decline or Untergang is too nice a word to describe this kind of free fall into barbarism.

The main reason why i mention this on a language site, is ... well, quite obviously the implications this would have for (historical) linguistic research. Imagine that we have to learn that Hebrew (or any other biblical variant) is the ultimate Proto(-World) Language, imagine thatwe have to deal with Proto-Indo-European (or any other proto-form of a languagefamily) from a YEC point of view...

Groetjes,

Frank
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Postby tcward » Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:28 pm

And now that I've been quoted, my conscience forces me to correct my previous quote. I left out an important word, which came to me after I lay in bed that night and almost wouldn't let me sleep... lol.

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by sheer stupidity.

Ahh... Now I feel better.

-Tim ;)
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:31 pm

Wimp.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby gailr » Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:56 am

Stargzer wrote:The headlines touted the program's definition of nouns as "stuff" and verbs as "what stuff does."
My curiosity has been piqued since reading this, gzer; have you thought about asking them to parse the sentence: "Stuff it."?
-gailr :twisted:
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Postby Stargzer » Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:29 am

I think they're too busy parcelling out money to parse a sentence. I'm sure somebody in that deal could use a nice, long sentence for bringing in a program the Denver discontinued . . . 8)
Regards//Larry

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