We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, July 7. 2007
I will be able to recover my usual sanguine approach to life once I dump this comment on ye olde blogge.
How can it be possible to earn an undergraduate degree without having studied calculus, chemistry, economics, Plato, statistics, Classical History, Shakespeare, and physics? The sheer ignorance of supposedly "educated" (at great cost and parental sacrifice) Americans never ceases to amaze me.
I know why this is, too: it is market-driven. Give those young brains-full-of-mush nice dorm rooms and eliminate standards for what a degree means, and the applications will flow in. People aren't stupid: they know they are just buying a piece of paper. And yes, I know that many serious kids do not approach college that way, but today I have had several encounters with recent grads of fancy schools which were beyond appalling.
Some smart people, from outside the education establishment, ought to sit down and re-think the whole idea and purpose of "liberal arts education" in America.
American college education is a scam on the same dimensions as the scam of investment management. And now I feel much better. Thanks for listening!
VDH on Modern Education
A reader pointed out that VDH emitted an excellent rant on education which, while more articulate and detailed than mine of last week, led in the same direction. Plus he was a prof for a long time, and I never was. All that I did was to pay the bills.
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Jul 11, 12:48
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Amen, Amen, Amen.
That's what 25 years of dumbing down curriculums, race norming tests, and other social engineering to promote those who couldn't keep up if all God's chill'in had always been free and equal gets you.
Allan Bloom's 1987 publication, "The Closing of the American Mind" was a scholarly righteous rant on much the same thing. Naturally the left went ballistic, but Bloom was right on the money.
Barrister, would you like that rant super sized?
Yeesh! Makes me glad I quit high-school. (Barrister, sorry if that rekindles your fire). Stop by my place sometime and see what the unwashed masses are on about these days.
What the unwashed masses are on about: "where's the soap & water?"
B, your post reminded me of this--Michael Barone essay on the same topic (thank you Google):
Made quite a ripple when it came out--been awhile now but nothing's changed.
Man , like you some kinda buzz kill dude wit yo white bread education of dead dudes. like what can they know. like i can take a ki of blow,step on it 2 or 3 times and make good money i bet you cant name the top ten tunes dude. help be here
1. Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson - The Way I Are
2. Rihanna - Shut Up and Drive
3. Avril Lavigne - When You're Gone
4. Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls
5. Boys Like Girls - The Great Escape
6. Gym Class Heroes - Clothes Off!!
7. Lil Mama - Lip Gloss
8. Pink - Who Knew
9. Nickelback - Rockstar
10. Justin Timberlake - LoveStoned
i like curant stuff. who needs more
I would like to be sympathetic, but I'm not sure. I am 54, but see my son's post about discussing history with a woman in her 60's: http://10-4goodbuddy.blogspot.com/2007/07/we-all-love-history-dont-we.html
I recall stories when I was in school in the 60's and 70's about how few adults could name any of the Bill of Rights or Ten Commandments. There is a selection bias. People who are readers and learners reinforce the memories of the basic info they learned in school, so it winds in deep and just seems automatic.
Incidentally, there was never "ye olde" anything. "The" was the pronunciation then and now. The thorn was a single letter for the "th" sound but is no longer used. It looked sort of like a "y," thus the confusion. See what happens when you allow pedants in?
But those things that are not really basic knowledge we have not rehearsed and have long forgotten. Those people who don't read and reinforce the memories lose what we think is basic. And it was ever thus.
There is a selection bias at work. The people you talk to and read are the ones who have reinforced the info. That group isn't representative of our own generation, and isn't a fair comparison for younger generations.
Click here for an interesting interview with the man in charge of chasing down diploma mills in Oregon. Scroll toward the bottom and you will see that in one place his own opinion is that we "require too many diplomas".
For me it is quite simple: the problem began with the willingness to accept a lie. Dropping the standards will cure the racism. WRONG: what they really wanted was to control the teaching jobs (fewer requirements easier to slide your own 'deserving' union member into the seat). When the teachers of this country were too naive to understand why it was wrong for the teacher's unions to join up with the AFL-CIO, we were already lost.
There is a solution. We can demand that degrees offered on campus clearly state whether they are traditional in breadth and depth, or whether they are warm and fuzzy. The first we should call diploma, the second we could call certificate of study. We MUST also differentiate between degrees acquired on campus in the classroom, and those degrees acquired through "continuing education", or "distance education". Distance education has become a real hypocrisy. How far away is 3 miles from downtown? If they offer night courses in the classroom, why do you have to take a "distance" program? I suggest that courses offered on line, or only on the weekends in some sort of easy time schedule for the working man or woman be labeled as such. Sorry--the importance of interaction, having to speak spontaneously, etc.etc.is too valuable a piece of being truly educated. Therefore, I propose that anything not taught in a regular classroom requiring regular number of hours of attendance be labeled something else. Perhaps, the diploma acquired on campus should have "en situ" printed on it.
I know that tune!
I got an education of just that sort.
It is very likely that my homeschooled son will have a better education through high school (just starting) also homeschooled, than I have as result of completed degree from a CA state University.
What passes for a university education today might pass muster for the 8th grade education of my grandfather.
Sad and it explains much about the sloppy thinking we see/hear in current public discourse.
Homeschoolers have for some years now been winning ALL of the national spelling bees. Considering the relative numbers of homeschoolers (what, one in a hundred?), this is flabbergasting.
You can't solve a problem unless you define it properly.
Some things are hard in our PC world to face,especially if you're still answering to "the man" and conforming to corporate rules, but this is all about race.
Their culture even decades after Brown V Board doesn't put a premium on ecucation. It's being "too white". Do more and more each year overcome this , yes, but the reality is that you can't end up a Clarence Thomas and still be a real n-black...Oreo is the word.
So to show greater gains and make blacks feel like "I m somebody" everything was dumbed down, and throughput was increased, thus more available blacks qualified for the workforce because they now had diplomas. Seventh grade skills and knowledge but high school diplomas. We've even had college graduate blacks sue their colleges because they couldn't read.
MacDonalds had to put pictures of their products on the registers to cut down on the mistakes. Almost every industry you can name conformed lest they be sued for discrimination. Racial quotas had to be met.
These are basically generational black Americans I refer to not black immigrants from the Indies who happen to do very well educationally. They have not been acculturated to reject the "cracker society" and thus are not forced to remain in an unintigrated society.
But that's what we won't talk about anymore, racial preferences.
Less market driven than ideology driven, actually. The reason you can get a BA in English Lit without ever having read a word of Shakespeare, Milton, or add your favorite literary canon figure here, is because of the ideology of department faculty, which has, largely, spread to the university administrations.
Jesse Lee Peterson, among many, many other black leaders these days, is saying the same thing. Most of my extended family is Louisianian, and the issue there, post-Katrina and the spotlight on New Orleans, is gathering huge. Take a look:
Might also want to see Rev Peterson here:
Don't be averse to spreading the word, Peterson requests that you do so. America can repair this, but it will take time, and enlightened attitudes.
BTW, the new British Prime minister is making the same mistakes in Britian by outlawing phrases like "war on terror' and "Islamists".
You can't ignore or solve geopolitical, ethnic , and racial problems away by changing the argot. It's akin to treating a termite infestation with a fresh coat of paint. The facade looks grand while the core is eaten away and collapsing, eventually hurting everyone.
Of course our latest HomeDepot (Homeland Security) paint job is "protecting our borders".
Of course if you really want an eye opener Google *Department of State Publication 7277*. The program outlined was presented by President Kennedy to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25, 1961, AND it is still th law of the land.
Good links to gov't docs here:
Recent rsearch has led to the discovery of
element yet known to science. The new element,
has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy
neutrons, and 198
assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of
These 312 particles are held together by forces called
are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like
particles called peons.
Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert;
however, it can be
detected, because it impedes every reaction with which
it comes into
contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a
would normally take less than a second to take from
four days to four
years to complete.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years; It
does not decay, but
instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion
of the assistant
neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact,
mass will actually increase over time, since each
cause more morons to become neutrons, forming
characteristic of moron promotion leads some
scientists to believe that
Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a
This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical
When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes
element that radiates just as much energy as
Governmentium since it has
half as many peons but twice as many morons.