EDUCATION in North America - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15152824
There are many definitions of "education," and in English, we tend to use this word to mean many different things.
Which is confusing since these "things" are very different from one another.

In French, different words are used for different types of learning:

Scolarisation : This refers to the education you get in schools like colleges and universities. Schooling. Academics.

Dressage : This refers to the education that a dog or other trained animal receives. Dog training.

Formation : This is the kind of schooling that teaches you a profession. Manpower training. Professional training. Career track.

Éducation : When used alone, the word « éducation » usually refers to the rules of behavior and social skills that you learn from your parents, peers, and community (which means "other adults").
Upbringing. Being raised. Learned values...

Image

It’s this last one that concerns this thread. Éducation - from parents, siblings, neighbors and "the community." This is the one that is supposed to create a decent upbringing, which is supposed to lead to a continuation of the community.

In our age of screen-watching and media manipulation, do we still have a functional "community?"

The Saker wrote:Sadly, most Americans are not educated by their parents, their religious leaders, their communities, or their schools. Most Americans get most of their education from watching TV.

Since all the US TV channels offer almost the exact same mix of vulgar entertainment, propaganda and commercials, this “education” resulted in a huge amount of massively dysfunctional families and communities.

This addiction to a flickering screen (be it the Idiot Tube or You Tube – same difference) gives them a very short attention span and a limited ability to process large amounts of written information, which is what is needed to be able to analyze a situation]

The Saker concludes that real éducation is sorely lacking in our culture - in our rich, North American societies.

Adam Smith wrote:In every commercial nation the low people are exceedingly stupid.


Since most of us here at pofo have grown up in a household with "flickering screens," how many of us would agree with the Saker's assessment? That our parental-community education are at a critically low level?

And if you are very familiar with other culture(s), how does the general family-community "éducation" of North Americans measure up, in your experience, compared to the other culture(s) you are familiar with?
#15153251
You have made interesting points.

I spent many years with zero TV and zero computers. It was years reading at a public library and lively conversations with my parents and educators.

I am concerned that over dependence on T.V. and social media is about people giving up on critical thinking and mental lack of focus.
#15153257
Tainari88 wrote:You have made interesting points.

I spent many years with zero TV and zero computers. It was years reading at a public library and lively conversations with my parents and educators.

I am concerned that over dependence on T.V. and social media is about people giving up on critical thinking and mental lack of focus.
Tainari88 wrote:You have made interesting points.

I spent many years with zero TV and zero computers. It was years reading at a public library and lively conversations with my parents and educators.

I am concerned that over dependence on T.V. and social media is about people giving up on critical thinking and mental lack of focus.


The modern world has too many distractions. These distractions prevent us from looking inward. Looking inward and self-reflecting is the only way anyone has a chance at finding happiness, but the modern world prevents us from even having a chance.

It is sad.
#15153275
Tainari88 wrote:I spent many years with zero TV and zero computers. It was years reading at a public library and lively conversations with my parents and educators.

I grew up with TV-addicted family and neigbours, and never understood why no one had any ideas of their own, or knew how to tell a story. TV watching seems to kill natural curiosity about what is actually around you.

But I got used to it, and I got used to being called "weird" for enjoying story-telling, the drama that can be created by just talking, and reading to learn more about the world and have more to say. I was totally unsupported in doing these things.

But as I got older, left suburbia for a city with neighborhoods, and met people from all over the world, the boringness of our North American suburbanites started striking me as really, really sad. Imagine having only one life to live, and never developing the capacity to entertain other people with conversation.

Trapped in a world of mutes

How can the world reveal itself to you if other people are locked in cars driving by you? If your friends don't know how to make conversation interesting? If there is no community education at all?

And with a TV- damaged mind, no complex ideas can ever really stick or bloom in the mind.

Not watching TV or movies for the last 20 years has made me more aware of the damage that these things do to people's personalities. It's worse than most drugs.
#15154064
"The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance” '

Carl Sagan, 1997
#15154069
QatzelOk wrote:I grew up with TV-addicted family and neigbours, and never understood why no one had any ideas of their own, or knew how to tell a story. TV watching seems to kill natural curiosity about what is actually around you.

But I got used to it, and I got used to being called "weird" for enjoying story-telling, the drama that can be created by just talking, and reading to learn more about the world and have more to say. I was totally unsupported in doing these things.

But as I got older, left suburbia for a city with neighborhoods, and met people from all over the world, the boringness of our North American suburbanites started striking me as really, really sad. Imagine having only one life to live, and never developing the capacity to entertain other people with conversation.

Trapped in a world of mutes

How can the world reveal itself to you if other people are locked in cars driving by you? If your friends don't know how to make conversation interesting? If there is no community education at all?

And with a TV- damaged mind, no complex ideas can ever really stick or bloom in the mind.

Not watching TV or movies for the last 20 years has made me more aware of the damage that these things do to people's personalities. It's worse than most drugs.


You know Q, you have jogged my memories of my earliest experiences with watching TV. I was born in 1966 and I do remember being fascinated with shows where classical ballet like Swan Lake and Firebird and Sleeping Beauty in black and white and in the excitement of full color TV was broadcast. I found the early shows in Puerto Rico like Pacheco and el Tio Noel and Pacheco the most fascinating. Let me see if I can find a clip of those days of Puerto Rican television eh?

Sharing kids drawing on TV.



And also watching these women like Iris Chacon shaking their bodies on primetime TV. It was another reality Q.

I never understood why people were so hung up on what is entertainment.



You had your adult entertainment, (Iris Chacon) and your kiddie entertainment (Pacheco show).

You had your news and some telenovela like Esmeralda with Lupita Ferrer. Venezuelan and Mexican soaps and some game show and real-life occurred in communities with real dancing and singing and fighting and laughing and going to the beach with your cousins on Sundays Q.



Lol. I felt vitally alive when my family was together and my family was always full of love and laughter and good times. I never felt oppressed or depressed. i felt alive. That is what I remember. ;)
#15154070
I remember being a ''DM'', or ''Dungeon Master'', back in the late 70's and early 80's playing ''Dungeons and Dragons'' and other role-playing games with my friends, back before video games when all I had were dice, some charts, and an imagination in telling a story as my friends adventured in a world of myth and legend. We couldn't see the action, we had to imagine it, drawing on descriptions from stories we read as children from a heritage thousands of years old.

We also went outside and played games, in a similar way we imagined being soldiers and outlaws and indians and warriors and cowboys and astronauts, heroes.

Then came video games, television and movies, and suddenly most of my friends were content to see other people's imaginations being shown on a screen and immerse themselves in that, gradually just passively watching sports or shows or playing video games, one or two player.

I went another direction and lived in my books and out in the world, frankly bored to tears with the television and movies and computers/video games. I often read stories and articles and tracts and books of various kinds, write on forums and comment sections online, but most of the time I either work and live life. My friends children often are pasty and a-social and don't exercise. They and their parents have very short attention spans and have a constant need to be entertained, can't go for much longer than an hour without some self-centered entertainment or food aimed directly at them.

How can such people be truly educated? They have to be de-programmed first.
#15154121
Tainari88 wrote:You had your adult entertainment, (Iris Chacon) and your kiddie entertainment (Pacheco show).

Yes, neither kids nor adults had to be entertaining, charming or informative after this drone entertainment gadget entered the home.

I felt vitally alive when my family was together and my family was always full of love and laughter and good times. I never felt oppressed or depressed. i felt alive. That is what I remember.

Me too. I had "those feelings" while my family were glued to the TV set, staring forward at the media products Feelings that were manufactured by large corporations in order to get you to be work more hours, not make friends, and just get your social life from a box full of corporate values.

What did the TV replace in our lives? I ask this because it is the "amputations" of technologies that are the most important in the long-run. The "extensions" are mostly cheap thrills.

EDUCATION-of-children changed hands with TV, going from parents-neighbors-friends-associates to corporate media products. This is an incredibly important transfer of social stimulation and childhood education.

annatar1914 wrote:...we imagined being soldiers and outlaws and indians and warriors and cowboys and astronauts, heroes.

Our imaginations were limited by what mass media normalized for us. With tragic consequences on human development.
#15154153
@QatzelOk , you said;


Our imaginations were limited by what mass media normalized for us. With tragic consequences on human development.


I agree, but there is a further development that will eventually end the whole charade. See, the institutional ''elites'' who set up this kind of society, their own children and grandchildren are themselves influenced by living in this artificial world they also live in. In short, they're terminally stupid. Terminally stupid elites eventually get replaced by elites that are not, especially if such stupid decisions are made that the entire system collapses and implodes.
#15154155
@Rancid

Rancid wrote:Education in America is boot camp for a desk job!


I think our Bachelor's Degree programs should be extended from 4 years to 5 years with the last year studying philosophy. Studying philosophy also makes for a better programmer too in addition to a better citizen. I also think college education should be free to all who attend and each student given a monthly stipend to pay for monthly living expenses so they can focus their full attention on their studies. If they don't make good grades, they get booted from college and have to go to work. In addition, those who do not want to attend college, should have the option to attend vocational and trade school to learn a skill to earn a living. Their educations too should be paid for by the state and they too get a monthly living stipend. However, if they start doing poorly in classes, give them the boot.

Public school educations also need to be improved dramatically for school prior to college or vocational training. Especially in poor neighborhoods. This is so students can compete better towards getting accepted into top notch universities but more importantly, so they are better citizens. These policy ideas of mine, I think, are key to help democracy survive and not succumb to a demagogue who becomes a dictator and destroys the democracy he came from. Strong education of ALL the population is one of the keys towards strengthening our democracy and our republic and making it less susceptible to being destroyed by a demagogue.
#15154161
Politics_Observer wrote:@Rancid



I think our Bachelor's Degree programs should be extended from 4 years to 5 years with the last year studying philosophy. Studying philosophy also makes for a better programmer too in addition to a better citizen. I also think college education should be free to all who attend and each student given a monthly stipend to pay for monthly living expenses so they can focus their full attention on their studies. If they don't make good grades, they get booted from college and have to go to work. In addition, those who do not want to attend college, should have the option to attend vocational and trade school to learn a skill to earn a living. Their educations too should be paid for by the state and they too get a monthly living stipend. However, if they start doing poorly in classes, give them the boot.

Public school educations also need to be improved dramatically for school prior to college or vocational training. Especially in poor neighborhoods. This is so students can compete better towards getting accepted into top notch universities but more importantly, so they are better citizens. These policy ideas of mine, I think, are key to help democracy survive and not succumb to a demagogue who becomes a dictator and destroys the democracy he came from. Strong education of ALL the population is one of the keys towards strengthening our democracy and our republic and making it less susceptible to being destroyed by a demagogue.


I disagree. My BS was a 4.5 year degree, originally it was a 5 year degree. It was clearly a ploy to steal more money from students via tuition. I anything, remove 1,2 of the bullshit classes you have to take, and throw in philosophy.

BTW, I took philosophy and an ethics course in college.
#15154164
Politics_Observer wrote:I think our Bachelor's Degree programs should be extended from 4 years to 5 years with the last year studying philosophy. Studying philosophy also makes for a better programmer too in addition to a better citizen.

In the 1800s, the kind of mercenary education you are describing was only considered useful if it made your horse-shoes fit better or your musket work better "against savages." (real education would have suggested that the genocide of the First Nations was an immoral atrocity)

In the 1400s, mercenary education was important to make sure your "health" leeches were being used correctly.

What you pine for is "training" and not "education." And this leads to what George Carlin described:

(education rant starts at 6:34)

George Carlin wrote:Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.
#15154165
QatzelOk wrote:Yes, neither kids nor adults had to be entertaining, charming or informative after this drone entertainment gadget entered the home.


Me too. I had "those feelings" while my family were glued to the TV set, staring forward at the media products Feelings that were manufactured by large corporations in order to get you to be work more hours, not make friends, and just get your social life from a box full of corporate values.

What did the TV replace in our lives? I ask this because it is the "amputations" of technologies that are the most important in the long-run. The "extensions" are mostly cheap thrills.

EDUCATION-of-children changed hands with TV, going from parents-neighbors-friends-associates to corporate media products. This is an incredibly important transfer of social stimulation and childhood education.


Our imaginations were limited by what mass media normalized for us. With tragic consequences on human development.


Q, I do remember being very little about three years old. And the ballet shows on the old TV is what inspired me to study ballet formally. I pestered my parents to buy me some ballet leotards and sign me up for lessons. It culminated in my becoming a great lover of dance forms my whole life. As a child you can be exposed to things and make it a positive instead of a negative. But the truth is too much TV of any sort is not good. It is passive activity. People don't talk to each other anymore. But, my family was different Q. We were conversationalists and always were. We discussed politics, culture, language, history, science, art, etc non stop my entire life. There were years where we did not own a television. It was all stories. People ask me all the time now how I know so much about my mother's life and my father's life. My short answer is "We talked every day we were present in each other's lives. We talked for hours. I asked them questions about how life was like for them. When they were children? As teens? How were the fifites and sixties and so on? Their experiences working and living in different cities...their experiences about politics and world events, and about the things they read....I remember having a conversation with my mother about her first exposures to philosophy. What she thought the Greek myths represented about human beings. What she thought about specific African political movements. I had such fun listening and participating in those conversations. I think after they died (my mother died in 2007), I joined PoFo about two years later....it was a way of trying to recapture those fine conversations.

I found you. And others. It is not the same as face-to-face conversations but it is good.

I never met face-to-face with you or with any of the many pofoers except one. Lol. And it has not disappointed me. Great convos are a great thing to have in life.

But people allowing a TV to take the place of true connection with live and loving people is a mistake. A very grave mistake.
#15154168
Although I greatly value the sense of education in terms of cultivating well rounded individuals, it is also the case that education doesn't necessarily seem to go beyond what is demanded by the economy and hence creates strong pressure for changes to accommodate economic changes.
[url]caute.ru/am/text/cogitare.html[/url]
Idealistic attempts to teach the masses to think, while the economic demand for thinking is not yet large enough, inevitably ends in default and millions of shattered minds thrown away by the economy as unnecessary.

Materialism in the understanding of history, in my opinion, requires the recognition that society cannot be smarter than the quality of the productive force of labor requires. It is this quality that decides how smart humanity can afford to be. Clever people need to be fed, warmed and serviced, the same computers for them must be stamped in the millions. Machines cannot do all this by themselves . People will have to help them - to work mechanically , for which the economy desperately needs stupidity . And in the twenty-first century, it is still not the mind that drives the economy, but the economy — the mind. The bearded founders proved this position theoretically, and the sad fate of a dozen "planned economies" confirmed it in practice.
...
Well, how, then, should teachers and educators act? The advice, again, is quite simple: you need to chase not the number of smart young people, but the high quality of the mind you bring up.
...
By and large, historically, the amount of intelligence in society does not depend on scientists, teachers, or officials . This proportion is determined by the economy through the commodity form of the exchange of activities, called the market .

Hence why there is increasing emphasis on education raising critical and creative thinkers for complex jobs and so not an overall outlook necessarily but within the specialized field.
Because what else is wishing for more than a wish, a nice dream but in itself doesn't necessarily realize itself without some basis of creating such a strong need. And the economy's development is what creates new and sometimes even superfluous needs beyond the crude ones reduced to biological.
#15154171
Tainari88 wrote:...the ballet shows on the old TV is what inspired me to study ballet formally. ...my family was different Q. We were conversationalists and always were. We discussed politics, culture, language, history, science, art, etc non stop my entire life. ...

This is excellent... but only for you.

If all parents were required to have PhDs in Mass Media before having children, a lot of great decisions would be made about controlling its use, and a lot of children's minds would be saved.

But that's not likely to happen. And to spend a lot of resources "fighting" the natural consequences of a capitalist society is a waste of resources. It's like training kids to defend themselves against pickpockets, rather than simply eliminating pickpockets. (and a story about growing up with zipper-sealed pockets could be inserted)

A hundred years ago, working class parents were giving their kids opium products (like Laudanum) to knock them out during the day so that they could go to work and leave their stoned kids unattended. This had tragic consequences for these children, though the products were endorsed by our oligarchs, who decided that all that damage, "it was worth it."

And though your story about discovering ballet through TV is heart-warming, it is also a bit of an endorsement for a type of mind control that goes way beyond "ballet-promotion." And commecial media is mainly about mind control.

Wellsy wrote:... the economic demand for thinking is not yet large enough...
#15154189
QatzelOk wrote:This is excellent... but only for you.

If all parents were required to have PhDs in Mass Media before having children, a lot of great decisions would be made about controlling its use, and a lot of children's minds would be saved.

But that's not likely to happen. And to spend a lot of resources "fighting" the natural consequences of a capitalist society is a waste of resources. It's like training kids to defend themselves against pickpockets, rather than simply eliminating pickpockets. (and a story about growing up with zipper-sealed pockets could be inserted)

A hundred years ago, working class parents were giving their kids opium products (like Laudanum) to knock them out during the day so that they could go to work and leave their stoned kids unattended. This had tragic consequences for these children, though the products were endorsed by our oligarchs, who decided that all that damage, "it was worth it."

And though your story about discovering ballet through TV is heart-warming, it is also a bit of an endorsement for a type of mind control that goes way beyond "ballet-promotion." And commecial media is mainly about mind control.


There has always existed mind control Q in all societies and most especially modern ones. People feel uncomfortable if there is no internet or there isn't any T.V. in their hotel rooms or rented spaces. I did study mass communications and many other subjects related to it. It is incredibly manipulative. My mother loved reading articles about subliminal messaging because she did a master's degree late in her life on social psychology at the University of Puerto Rico. It was very interesting. Social psychologists have to study and analyze why society has certain psychological pathologies. Some of it is related to making people believe in lies or myth. They are considered vital to the keeping of the status quo. If societies stopped believing in the legitimacy of a government, or of a bank or of an institution? They lose power over that group or individual.

My mother loved studying the power of myth. How powerful are myths in shaping values. She would read endless volumes about it. People don't realize how integral a culture's myths are to its value systems and cosmology. How they see the world they live in.

Sidney Mintz was an influential anthropologist and sociologist that studied the Caribbean cultures in particular and how their value system and mythology was built. The Puerto Rican is gregarious. Part of it is history. Part of it has to do with environment. But also there is what is ethos. How that shapes large groups of people. And the negative part of it too...


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Mintz

People should be far more mindful and self reflective and be empowered and take charge of their own internal dialogues and internal choices. That can only happen if they are vitally aware of what is myth and what is reality. A critical thinking skill. They need to turn off the messages filled with lies and falsehoods and start realizing what is meaningful for entire societies.

It is important. One exercise is to take time to truly try to understand what it might feel like to be someone else. If you are white to picture in your own mind being black. Being a man instead of a woman....how does that feel like? Or might feel like? Really do the work of picturing it. It means you have to have a sense of flexbility and being able to change and control your own thought process. It is interesting. It requires strength Q.

And it requires a lot of work.

But if enough people do the work and have the strength? It is the greatest thing in the world.
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