Why bad philosophy leads to worse maths

Mark Latham commented on NSW maths results on Sky News arguing that the introduction of wokeness into the curriculum and the lack of specialised teachers lay behind the accellerating declines in performance

https://www.facebook.com/MarkLathamsOutsiders/posts/7343436572364285

Many people will disagree reflexively with Mr Latham perhaps because he’s appearing on Sky News and represents One Nation, but there is a huge problem with education…and there always has been. I don’t think anyone has ever said “the system is doing a great job let’s let it be”.

I disagree with Mr Latham that wokeness is the problem per se. I don’t like the way that controversial ideas are being taught as fact in schools to young children, but all of that is symptomatic of deeper problem: People seem to lack the ability and willingness to think critically about things.

If being critical is something you want your culture to do, you have to nuture it. Being critical requires you to actively seek out weakness in other people’s ideas and arguments and point them out. This is risky because it is potenitally threatening to the person whose ideas are being examined. Teachers are supposed to teach critical thinking, but it’s actually very hard to do when kids are trying to learn the basics of the subject at the same time.

Philosophy allows students to consider in a structured way arguments about every day life. Everyone has ideas about everyday life. Everyone has ideas that are flawed because ideas are models of the universe, not the universe itself. There are arguments to be had and everyone shall be humbled. Instead of philosophy being at the core of efforts to encourage critical thinking, the once core subject (except in France), has been abandoned. Instead, the term “crtitical” has come to be associated with marxist approaches.

In the education bureaucracy there are large numbers of ex teachers who are terrified of going back to the classroom. They are always seeking ways to make changes because changes mean they have more work and they are incentivised to make change projects that will get approved. The “woke” changes that Mr Latham refers to flow from a set of ideas that have become socially acceptable among many elite decision makers. The reasons for that are many, and debateable, but among the consequences is a lack of critical thinking, but a belief that critical thinking has taken place because the output leans in a marxist direction.

What you absolutely do not see is the widespread adoption of continuous improvement management processes that will lead to useful data collection and consequent policy adjustment. This goes right down to what a teacher in the classroom does to manage their own teaching. What data do they collect and reflect on? How will they measure the effectiveness of any changes that they make each year? Are they supported by the system around them so that hypotheses about what actually works can be evaluated with some kind of rigour? Can they share their ideas and findings without fear?

What education needs is an ISO9001 type of quality management system, and everyone needs to study philosophy. Wokeness must be challenged with reason, data and rigour, not more ideology.

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T

Great article!

How much schooling is going to change is a very good question. This – 50+ Homeschooling Statistics 2021 – US Data and Trends (thinkimpact.com) – shows that home schooling is going up in the US.

Right now its at 3-4%, but once it jumps past 5% or so its going to become very interesting. Complex systems (like US public education) generally cannot withstand more that 5% defection rates.

Here in EZFKA, the base rate is small but growing fast – NSW COVID: Dramatic rise in children registered for home schooling (smh.com.au) – which is very interesting.

Seeing as we take most of our cultural cues from Uncle Sam (Halloween lol) this is definitely coming to Oz too.

Gruppenführer Mark

Oooooh! Can I have a rant on this one?

Ideology is absolutely a driver in any system of education. We happen to live in “woke” times. In the 50’s the USA were looking for “reds under beds”, and in the 80’s-90’s they were the “shiny city upon a hill”, which slowly morphed into “terrorists and support our troops”.

In Soviet-aligned countries for about 50 years it was “Marxism-Leninism” with a local flavour. I am not that familiar with the SE Asia or Middle East, although I work with a decent number of well-educated Chinese and Iranians now, which means those educated in 70’s-90’s had a pretty good system in those countries. Subcontinent, not so much.

But what educator folks in the olden days understood well is that ideology, any ideology, while subtly shaping the young minds from an early age cannot be the foundation of the education of the younger minds! Sure, as one grows older and moves into mid-to-late teens, the ideology takes a more substantial role.

The key to good education, as it was then, as it is now, is a solid foundation of basic principles: reading, writing, story-telling, basic mathematics. Mathematics done by hand, not with a calculator. Memorisation of the multiplications table up to 12. Simple stuff. Then build on that – geography, history, geometry, algebra, real sciences: physics, chemistry, botany, biology. Introduction to literature, simplified, but real literature. All measurable with real grades. Solve 10/10 problems – get an A, solve 6/10 – C, anything less – fail and remedial classes.

By, say, 11-12, the kids then have a base of solid knowledge that enables them to function in the real world. Yes, not everyone will succeed at the same level. Some will fail, some excel, that’s how you separate the wheat from the chaff.

What we have now, before the “woke” ideology, CRT, LGBwhatever education is a departure from achieving real measurable results of an educational system to an environment of participation. Kids feeling good about themselves in primary and middle years became more important than learning actual stuff. Introduction of calculators in year 1, so a 16-yr old at the checkout cannot calculate in their head change from a 10 dollar note rounded to the nearest 5 cents. Everybody gets a ribbon!

Of course, it is in the interest of the ruling class to have an uneducated mass not capable of critical thinking, it is by design, so the ruling class is not questioned or challenged. But this is a whole another discussion.

T

Sure, but ‘Ideology is absolutely a driver in any system of education’ has always been the case right.

Additionally, if you say Marx et al come from aristocracy funded anti-republican sentiments from the 1850’s or so, then we can replace ideology with religion and the argument remains valid.

In this view, ‘Marxism-Leninism’ is just, as Orwell brilliantly called it, English Socialism. IngSoc is after all, the little cult which could…

The other branches, Russian Socialism (Communism) and German Socialism (National Socialism) died out thankfully. We are still stuck with Chinese Socialism (Chinese characteristics communism) unfortunately.

But all of this is just a distraction from the fact these are all branches iterations of the more radical forms of Protestant Christianity, in that they are children of an inbred elite attempting to immanentize the eschaton, i.e. cowards virtue signalling they are holier than Jesus.

That is, the state religion (progressivism) is no longer fit for purpose, so the output of the temple hierarchy (i.e. academia and the public schooling system) is turning to dogshit.

Historically when this happens we get the following –

(a) temple prostitution (sugar babies/only fans to pay for college),
(b) rise of the eunuch caste (trannies ftw!),
(c) women in positions of power (rome rules the world, but women rule rome),
(d) spiritual wickedness is high places (look at the wives of billionaires, i.e. elon etc, for examples of women in thrall to the dark rider),
(e) bad shit with children (sacrificing children is prevalent in every fallen society in the world, I wonder if that is a coincidence)

Btw I’m not disagreeing with you. But the key point to realize is, as society starts to fall, much much more of this nonsense will happen.

The problem is not that the education system is failing, or teachers are bad people. The problem is that the underlying social technology / religion of progressivism no longer works.

Gruppenführer Mark

100% right. I cannot comment on what happened in the 1850’s, say, as I can only get information from history books and analyse it (reading comprehension and logical thinking, hey!), but ideology in those days was religion.

One difference, though, in the modern societies there is a push to have everyone get some level of education whilst prior to 20th century this option was not available to wide swaths of many societies.

And yes, when the state religion/ideology is no longer fit for purpose (or is usurped by certain members/groups of a society), it all turns to shit and a society enters decline. And in our case, our underlying social construct is running on fumes, barely.

However, I posit that if there is a system of education that provides actual basic structure of learning, a foundation of sorts that I described above (and maybe actually combined with some low-level skills), a society, as it goes through decline and inevitable rebirth, will be better positioned than a society of equal participants dumbed down to their lowest denominator.

Stewie

Great post T – likewise, I’m in a 100% agreement too, especially in regards to these observations:

(a) temple prostitution (sugar babies/only fans to pay for college),

(b) rise of the eunuch caste (trannies ftw!),

(c) women in positions of power (rome rules the world, but women rule rome),

(d) spiritual wickedness is high places (look at the wives of billionaires, i.e. elon etc, for examples of women in thrall to the dark rider),

(e) bad shit with children (sacrificing children is prevalent in every fallen society in the world, I wonder if that is a coincidence).

I appreciate that fact that you use the term ‘Temple’ rather than Molbug’s deceptive preference in using the term ‘Cathedral’ in regards to the elite’s self organising superstructure.

Temple is much closer to the cultural source of the problem.

Last edited 24 days ago by Stewie
T

well, ‘cowards virtue signalling they are holier than Jesus’.

Same people virtue signalling they were holier than Jesus back then, are virtue signalling they are holier than Jesus now. Who’da thunked?

the more things change, the more they stay the same. And I’m not even christian lol.

Stewie

In regards to points (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and what I consider (f) – elevation of LBGT culture as an aspirational lifestyle, people should check out HBO’s new teen drama ‘Euphoria’.

If you haven’t heard of it before now, chances are you soon will. It is now HBO’s second most watched show of all time, behind only Game of Thrones with 6m views.

The show’s stars are now major celebrities and are avidly followed by droves of young fans.

With all of that being said, here’s a question: How many adults actually sat down and watched this thing? Because I did. And it did not leave me feeling ‘euphoric’ at all. Actually, it left me with the gut feeling that I’ve witnessed something deeply toxic. And why are there so many penises in that show marketed to minors?

Euphoria is not merely another edgy drama that tackles teen issues such as drugs and sexuality. It goes way beyond that. The only word that properly describes what’s going on in Euphoria is “grooming”.

The goal of child groomers is to “establish a connection with children in order to lower their inhibitions and desensitize them to sexuality”

https://vigilantcitizen.com/moviesandtv/the-hidden-agenda-of-euphoria/

The article then goes on to rally further against the show in much of the above tone. In the process of doing so it identified one of the producers ‘Drake’ who was behind its launch, the article then goes on to say that Drake was accused of grooming teenage girls including a 14 year old Millie Bobby Brown. Frankly I find the idea of a grown man having private texting conversations with an unrelated 14 year old minor to be deeply concerning.

As I do when I come across a TV producer, reporter or personality star in the media who is responsible for propagating values that I consider to be morally questionable, and certainly against the values ‘held as true and proper’ within our legacy Christian secular nations, then I do a cultural background check to see where they source their values.

“Religion typically figures into Drake’s public persona only as ingredients of his identity mishmash: He was born to a Catholic father, raised in his mother’s Judaism, and is conversant in the Islam of his close friends”

To say that it his values are sourced from his Father would not earn anyone any significant loss of social credit points, however to suggest that his values were obtained by his mother would be considered to be antisemetic and result in the maximum possible deduction of social credit points.

The inconsistency is interesting.

Last edited 23 days ago by Stewie
Peachy

No need to bring the christianity & judaism thing into it – maybe Drake is just a shitcunt?

i reckon that’s what Billy Occam would say.

Last edited 23 days ago by Peachy
Stewie

Possibly – but values are imho downstream from culture.

I am interested in culture, it is a critical element of the model that I use to understand the world. Consequently I am inevitably drawn to consider what ‘cultures’ involvement is in the behaviours that I find objectionable or in conflict with my own.

Perhaps people just behave randomly? As you say, maybe he is just a shitcunt? That is certainly a possibility – yet at the same time the regularity with which I link programs with which I have values conflicts with, to a specific cultural group, is more than a statistical blip.

Big Mouth, Euphoria and even Russian Dolls are all shows I find disturbing at some level. Yes, they are entertaining and amusing, yet at the same time they are culturally grooming their audience.

In Russian Dolls, all the non-jewish women are perverted, lesbians, the white male is a chunt, all the relationships are inter-racial, while the protagonist is a nihilistic Jewess.

Honestly, the shows are entertaining, but culturally they are depressing, nihilistic sermons on living selfish, self absorbed lives and contributing as little to society as possible other than ‘doing what you feel like’.

There are certainly plenty of Christian shitcunts – yet they just don’t seem to turn up as regularly as I seem to find that they do within the entertainment industry, nor have their values elevated to such pinnacles and hailed as creative or ‘ground breaking master pieces’, especially once you factor in demographics within the industry vs the wider community.

Last edited 23 days ago by Stewie
Gruppenführer Mark

Sorry, robert2013, yes, I did not address your point specifically.

To me, philosophy, in a sense I understand the word, is not applicable at the early age. By philosophy I mean, as you write, questions about deity, morality, works by various philosophers from Diogenes to Nietzsche and beyond. But we sure must tech kids from a very early age about what is wright and what is wrong. Egoism vs. compassion, that sort of thing, but this does not start at school, it starts at home.

I do agree that values and morals need to be taught starting with kindy and primary school, was just lost in definitions. Philosophy also needs to be introduced, first, in literature (Daniel Defoe, et al, which I alluded to in my post), and then in more serious form. This is what forms critical thinking, logical thinking, ability to become an individual and respecting the views of other individuals.

Peachy

I do agree that values and morals need to be taught starting with kindy and primary school, was just lost in definitions. Philosophy also needs to be introduced, first, in literature (Daniel Defoe, et al, which I alluded to in my post), and then in more serious form. This is what forms critical thinking, logical thinking, ability to become an individual and respecting the views of other individuals.

but, to continue the theme from my post below – mustn’t we acknowledge, and take into account – the fact that this stuff is largely inaccessible to at least 50% of the population. (perhaps more, certainly in some places – more)

in terms of societal design, I think it’s nicer to have a society where people across a range of intellectual achievements and capacity can have a nice life. Rather than forcing everyone into University (mostly into bullshit courses).

im thinking of the postcard picture of 1950s America and Australia (which still existed then). 8 years of education, assembly-line or clerical job, comfortable life in the suburbs with a wife and a couple of tots.

…no need to understand what Nietzsche was raving about or monads…

Last edited 24 days ago by Peachy
Peachy

I’m with you entirely – philosophy should be something that kids are introduced to and understand that it is “a thing”.

That there is not just the world as they happen to find it, but that there is a debate on the meaning of particular things, on how we come to know anything, on what is right and wrong, on what is just… a debate that has been going on for thousands of years. That many things that seem self-evident, are merely conventional or traditional.

Although my preference is probably for this to happen in a secular context, there is no reason why the same thing can’t happen in a religious context either. (Although religion, by nature, seems more likely to tend to settle into rigid orthodoxy and decry any prior debate as heretical, etc, rather than being able to relive it neutrally and academically)

Peachy

theology. Religion is what you get when the people who want to run things and tell people what to do and how to think learn enough about the debate to pretend they are experts. It’s like what political parties do with philosophy. I’m sure you’ve had discussions with leftists or conservatives where their adherence to rigid orthodoxy is readily apparent.

👍👍👍👍
yes, right on – you make a very good point.

Religion is to theology as politics is to philosophy! Superb!

(who says nothing good comes out of the ezfka?!)

Stewie

One of the reasons I re-embraced Catholicism as an atheist, was I came to realise the importance of imparting a value set to your children.

Just contrast of teachings like “The sins of the father are not the sins of the son” with the woke ideology surrounding “Whiteness and collective guilt”.

Likewise with forgiveness vs enduring hatred:

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2003/02/the-virtue-of-hate

The way society deals with this issues has a profound effect in terms of the type of society we end up living in.

It may not defend your kids from the brainwashing they are likely to recieve through CRT in schools and Universities, but it may be sufficient for them to question what they are being told.

At least they will have some form of critical scaffolding present to help them build their own models to understand the world.

Last edited 24 days ago by Stewie
Jam

I could not agree with you more on the hand written and memorisation of 12 times tables. This was done as punishment for 8yr Olds in the eighties memorising those visually you would see other patterns in the numbers, by writing them out over and over and over . I am awesome at the numbers on 8 out of ten cats.

DJE᳆KA

timetables is an excellent pattern and lateral memory tool. When I learned it, I thought us to learn in “sentences” like 6,8,4,8 – 6×8=48, 8,4,3,2 – 8×4=32 etc which is pattern creation. This is a memory language style as excellently depicted in Allan Pease’s book “Memory Language”.

Allan Pease is one of the last Aussies that made an impact on the international scene. Well known in Southern Africa, Europe, likely in small patches of the US of A too.

DJE᳆KA

Kids feeling good about themselves in primary and middle years became more important than learning actual stuff.

There is a reason for that.
Intelligent people are not quite consumers, can defer a reward.
feel-good need to be groomed from the young age to want instant gratification is the name of the game. How else could you be happy and have nothing, not a thing material or emotional?

JimsCentralBank

The kids with quite strict and involved parents are the ones producing the best results. The woke BS doesn’t help, but if you expect to just send your kids to school and watch great results flow in you better have well above average kids.

Focus on high level mathematics and English. If those skills are covered it should be possible to learn almost any subject.

JimsCentralBank

I’m leaning toward what is being argued by those who identify politically as Red Tories. People like Phillip Blond and closer to home Gray Connolly.

Communitarianism seems to be key to correcting the narcissistic individualism powering decades of economic rationalism destroying social capital and undermining the economic ability of responsible people to form families or meet their families needs.

As an example, when I went to school mum was involved with the PTA along with various school events and so were many other parents. As Ramjet pointed out, how is this type of involvement possible when both parents have to work just to pay a mega mortgage?

Pushing back against the economic rationalism that deems housing an investment, and education as consumption, rather than social needs that form the basis of a stable and productive society, has got to be part of the solution.

It would all go a long way to putting the breaks on the factional identity politics, too. But that shit exists to make us too politically fragmented to do anything about the economic rationalism.

JimsCentralBank

“putting the *breaks on fractional identity politics” LOL. Freudian slip.

Ramjet

Agree and with both parents working to pay off mega mortgages, then there is limited time to be involved. How much do kids love it when you take interest in their projects or any school work?

Ramjet

Robert, the data they collect is through NAPLAN. Some schools use it to find areas to focus on. However, mostly used to rank schools and write newspaper articles about how far we have fallen behind Singapore.

Peachy

Measuring the impact of any changes takes a minimum of 2 years. The first year’s data is the baseline and the second year’s data gives you a read on the effectiveness of your changes. However, the results are only indicative since the numbers of students in a class is small. To do it properly you have to manage the changes made across multiple teachers with classes, and possibly multiple schools

Faddish changes obscure the truth, and make good people quit

perhaps this is a trite observation, but you could say that the old-fashioned or traditional ways of teaching were, in effect, the result of a very long and slow distillation and filtration process, which yielded a system that worked well.

This system, by definition, excluded fads, being as unchanging as it was (regardless of which century you’re in – you still read Homer, dammit!)

Of course whether an education system or approach is good or bad is confounded by the question of what is education for?

…and this has probably drifted over time. Previously the education was for preparing the elite to be the elite. When education stated to be widely provided to the plebeians, perhaps it must be quite a different education, no? Perhaps the plebeian education is complete with rote learning and feel-good activities and other education-shaped filler?

Peachy

Ahaha! I knew it! Homer and Euclid – I had you pegged!

Stewie

Pegged – isn’t that Chad Thundercock’s sexual preference?

Peachy

I was thinking of a pegs as in tents. Or as weaponised by Jael.

I don’t know peg it means in that Thundercock context…. Just like I didn’t know about Spanish fly…

is pegging as unpleasant as the Spanish fly (with genital blisters, etc)?

Last edited 24 days ago by Peachy
Stewie

It would not be my cup of tea, so I would say a ‘yes’ more unpleasant.

T

‘Previously the education was for preparing the elite to be the elite. When education stated to be widely provided to the plebeians, perhaps it must be quite a different education, no? Perhaps the plebeian education is complete with rote learning and feel-good activities and other education-shaped filler?’

This is sorta true, but also false. Education was supposed to help answer the big questions back in Greek times and most ancient civilizations.

Thats why Physics is the Queen of the Sciences. Its supposed to light the way by providing physical truth to Meta Physics or Philosophy which is the big questions and the king of sciences so to speak. Also astronomy, astrology, geomancy etc.

The whole for the elite thing is a specifically European aristocracy thing, mostly pioneered by Bismarck and the German Professorial caste (think Dr. Prof. / PHD type nonsense) to fight Patriarchy (conservative, i.e. only fight for the land of your fathers, not what feminists talk about) and push Nationalism (back then, left wing) as part of Bismarck and the Princes of Orange attempts to create a unified German nation, because they were fighting the Romanovs. Not much has changed since then.

This was obviously not the first attempt, Charlemagne paid for schools the same way, but its the Princes of Orange who setup what we know now. Which is also how it gets to England via Victoria’s reforms. Also Florence Nightengale and Maria Montesseri were funded by the Vatican / euro elites for the same outcome for women.

This gets perverted a little later to focus on rote learning because that is the best way to get artisans retrained into assembly line type factory workers, but that is another story.

Freddy

IMO Rote learning a big part of the problem. Kids are taught to memorise accepted solutions with little thought as to what the problem is, and how they would solve that problem. Come exam time, ask the same question in a slightly different way and they have no idea. 

Something I learnt about mathematically gifted children. At a young age, ask them to solve something like 56 + 75. The mathematically gifted children IGNORE the teachers and solve that problem left-to-right in their heads, the same way they have been taught to read. Their talent is actually not maths. Their talent is calling bs on teaching methods and learning to think for themselves. That leads to your point about critical thinking.

I partially disagree with the continuous improvement thing. It encourages the narrow-minded KPI nonsense which has destroyed our way of life. I don’t want children growing up into brilliant academics who have been deprived of a childhood and lacking in social skills.

Peachy

At a young age, ask them to solve something like 56 + 75. The mathematically gifted children IGNORE the teachers and solve that problem left-to-right in their heads

what does that mean, exactly?

I solve it as:

  • 56 + 70 = 126
  • 126 + 5 = 131

whats another way?

Freddy

Similar to that. The point is reading left to right the kids can do the carry-overs in their head. Right to left they need a pen and paper.

Peachy

I always forget to carry the one! 🤤

Aussie Soy Boy

I go 75 + 50 + 6

Peachy

Kids are taught to memorise accepted solutions with little thought as to what the problem is, and how they would solve that problem. Come exam time, ask the same question in a slightly different way and they have no idea. 

in the book “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” there is a great chapter on that in relation to some South American country’s (Brazil? Chile?) school and University system.
it would be in-bloody-believable… if it were not true…

Gruppenführer Mark

Why are you shouting?
I feel microagressed!
I want my safe space!

See you at MB!

Peachy

That’s the one! 🥰

LostSocialist

Thanks

Freddy

Agree. It was more the point about thinking about the problem rather than simply memorising the solution.

Gouda

It’s not so much memorisation, but being able to recall what one has learnt. 

I used to get by using quite inefficient methods, only finding out about active and passive learning methods halfway through university. Completely changed my approach to learning, and every subsequent exam was a breeze.

Peachy

used to get by using quite inefficient methods, only finding out about active and passive learning methods halfway through university. Completely changed my approach to learning, and every subsequent exam was a breeze.

so, uh, are you going to keep these methods to yourself, or provide some sort of link or direction to the curious among us?

Gouda

For me the quickest way is to go 50 + 70 + 5 + 6 = 131

Add the 10s, then the 1s and combine.

But I remember as a kid we had to show the “working” otherwise the assumption is that we guessed it or copied someone else.

However, the curriculum has changed – was looking at what the kids have to do nowadays, and it’s much easier than I remember. Then again, I can remember the words of my Year 12 maths teacher who lamented that what we were doing used to be taught in Year 10 a decade ago, and in Year 8 a decade before that! 

Things have definitely been dumbed down, and I can also remember some years after leaving school that traditional sciences like physic and chemistry were having more language based and written components which were added to attract girls to those subjects.

DJE᳆KA

@ Freddy

they actually teach them multiple ways, like jump, compensation, carry over and what not (i do not know all the names)

56+75=?

56+70+5,
50+70+6+5
6+5+50+70

56
+75
131

56->60 (error +4)
75->80 (error +5)
60+80-(error)9

The last one not tought as a technique outside a narrow purpose of reintroducing accuracy after rounding

Stewie

A good article Robert, one could almost say “Culture Matters”.

I would agree that a large part of the decline in educational standards has to do with the declining culture around education.

To me the majority of the cultural shift is explainable by the same factors that are causing cultural shifts in so many other parts of our societies, i.e. the increasing role of the feminine in our social narrative and the prioritisation of collective issues we face.

In respect of education it is the elevation of the feminine preference of Equity as a social goal or responsibility, being elevated above more traditional aspects of education – the transferal of knowledge.

That said, changing cultural aspects are only one part of the decline in educational standards. The changing composition of our school age children relative to previous generations is also something that should be considered:

“The 2018 study found… 41 per cent in schools in which more than 10 per cent of students are immigrants or from a migrant background”

https://www.teachermagazine.com/au_en/articles/talis-2018-diversity-in-australian-classrooms

A similar concern about the US’s educational achievements in the SAT’s is often aired, however when you drill into the results like the great autist Steven Sailer often does, what you will find is that there has actually been very little change on a like for like basis when you measure by population groups.

Pretty much all of the observed decline can be explained by the change in composition of population groups within the various vintages of SAT being compared. According to Steve there’s been little change in the median results between population groups today versus in the past:

“A decade and a half ago, the overall score for everybody was 36 points lower than the white score. Today, it’s 52 points lower. Most of that 16 points of relative decline is due to the demographic composition of America’s SAT-takers changing for the worse.”

https://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/09/sat-score-changes-by-race-since-1996.html

The only exception is Asian categories – but then this is a broad category that has been heavily influenced by recent working visas from highly educated Asians vs the refugee Asians from the 60s and 70s coming from SE Asia.

Last edited 24 days ago by Stewie
Illis

What’s everyone’s top philosophical reads?

Gouda

An interesting piece – the lack of critical thinking is definitely a problem, but I’m not sure if teaching philosophy in schools is the answer. Although I think it is certainly something that society should be exposed to, part of this is simple pragmatism – there is a lot of variability and nuance in philosophy, and I don’t think the current lot of educators are up to that standard.

As part of an effort to broaden the medical course, we were required to do other electives, and I found myself enjoying philosophy subjects immensely. It started with basic stuff like utilitarian vs deontological approaches, led to dualism vs materialism, religion, morality and the philosophy of justice – Veil of Ignorance/social contract, with the latter concepts and theories being things that have stuck with me throughout life.

IIRC it was actually quite left and progressive leaning. Thinking back to a lecture regarding the origins of morality and it not being linked to religion (but rather “good” behaviour being a genetic advantage in evolutionary terms as it promoted the survival of the species) caused a number of religious students to walk out. Other memorable discussions were the notion that being agnostic about the existence of God was akin to being a fence sitter, simply ignoring the available evidence and not being able to utilise inductive reasoning. If philosophy is to be taught in religious schools, there is a fundamental conflict here. To believe in a religion, one has to essentially accept without understanding, and to me this is the complete antithesis to the notion of critical thinking. However, as someone who did attend a religious school one thing I did remember was the amount of times the religious ed teacher was challenged by students on the inconsistencies, so maybe it’s not all bad for promoting critical thinking.

The other reason I think that critical thinking is unpopular, is because it can lead to conclusions that one isn’t comfortable with, and for many it’s easier to ignore data that doesn’t fit with one’s worldview than it is to challenge pre-existing beliefs and assumptions. Then when that worldview is related to making a living… it’s why Real Estate Agents always spruik “It’s never been a better time to buy property.”

On the issue of education, for as long as I can recall EZFKA is definitely anti-intellectual. In other countries being a teacher is quite prestigious, but in EZFKA it’s derided (“those who can’t do, teach”). The entrance requirements for teaching are incredibly low, and governments also don’t mind a dumb population, as they hate being questioned or challenged. If one doesn’t think critically, they may be content with their lot – so they can tell you to own nothing and be happy. If you think critically, you might come to the conclusion that things can be better – compare that to people voting Lib/Lab just because their parents did it.

Gouda

My initial reaction was that people with low self-esteem critique themselves a lot, so that in itself is not necessarily a good thing in of itself.

My earlier comment about “acceptance without understanding” is based on observations that for one to be a believer, a number of premises must be accepted without question. For Christianity, some examples include the presence of an all-powerful omniscient being, world created in 7 days, immaculate conception, miracles etc.

And this can spur on questions that promote critical thinking. “Who created God? If God is so good, why are there problems in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is life unfair?” And this I think, is often the earliest exposure that people get to philosophy. People are essentially seeking an explanatory model in keeping with their real world experience.

As an aside we have heard similar widespread and unchallenged statements by believers in modern religions – property prices double every seven years, it’s always a good time to buy, the government will never let property prices fall etc.

As for sticking to a set of devout convictions, I was surprised at as it seems unlikely that Christians would be asking themselves every day “what would Jesus do?” or regularly reflecting on their actions in this way.

For an example, if you went out to the shops to buy a particular item and found that you had left your wallet at home, I’d bet that most people would look in their car for some loose change, and failing that drive home, get their money and return. After something like that, does the average Christian go home think, I could have saved time by shoplifting but the commandments say “thou shalt not steal” so good job and well done to me?

Or another example – let’s say you get invited to mate’s place for a BBQ, and you enjoy some pork chops. Does the average Christian go home at night and reflect on the Leviticus, and think – I did the wrong thing, because it says pig meat is unclean? My guess is no.

This may all seem ridiculous and I would suspect that no-one actually goes through these thought processes. No one would dispute that that theft is wrong, and it’s not going to be world ending to eat pork. But it does raise more questions. How does one choose which elements of their faith to stick to? If elements of the Bible can be ignored, does it make the whole thing arbitrary?

T

Historically social shaming was used very effectively to encourage adherence to the critical bits of the social infrastructure, i.e. don’t kill or steal or covet, no single mothers etc.

Death penalty also stopped undesirable males from having offspring with said undesirable traits. And female sexuality was kept under lock and key by the matriarchy to protect young women from making bad choices.

The system was imperfect, but it provided the basis for the modern age and all the nice things we have today.

I suspect I’ll miss it more as this age draws to an end.

Stewie

There are two* main types of morality in the world in respect of limiting or controlling social behavior – shame societies and guilt societies.

Most societies are actually shame societies, where the limit on behaviour and acceptable morality is externally administered.

An act is wrong if it brings shame upon you or your clan, meaning that if you can perform the same act without being caught or bringing shame upon oneself or ones clan, then it is may be acceptable.

Guilt however is internally administered. The act is wrong if you know it is wrong, whether or not your transgression is discovered or undiscovered, it remains wrong.

Nearly all African societies, all Arab and most Asian societies have a high emphasis on Shame in terms of policing of morality. Only Christianity and Judaism, among the major religion groups, are guilt based societies.

The difference between Guilt and Shame based societies, is a great example of how the difference in prioritization of a base cultural value, in this case in terms of policing morality, can have profoundly different outcomes in terms of the type of societies you end up living in.

*There is arguably a third category – Fear based societies, like Vlad the Impaler’s. However these tend to be despotic and unstable, generally a product of unique circumstances or influence of a particular leader. They are unstable enough that they generally burn out within a generation – a recent exception would be the Aztec civilization…. it would have truly been one of the most horrific places to have been born into within the past 1,000 years.

Last edited 21 days ago by Stewie
Stewie

Just before Cortez showed up the Aztecs had just finished a ritual rain or harvest ceremony that had culminated in 80,000 people being decapitated over a month long festival.

Stewie

Limiting the frame of Religion to discussion of the existence of a sky fairy or the exact adherence (or not) to every rule, is a trap in thinking about religion. IMHO it results in people dismissing its importance with a wave of secular sophistication.

For many people I would agree, their understanding of religion is in the ‘Sky Fairy’ stereotype. But imho religiosity often follows a similar curve as Dunning-Kruger.

I’m often surprised when reading autobiographies, how many Physicists and complete braniacs, were also highly religious – how could they maintain the duality in the minds? On the one hand their complete mastery of the physical realm, yet also remain spiritual or religious?

I can only imagine it is in the realisation that religion and the values they propogate and promote within our society, are profoundly important in terms of determining the type of society we end up living in.

As for the question of asking oneself “What would Jesus do?” I have never personally used it in terms of consciously policing my own actions.

However, I have frequently used it as a device when I wish to draw attention to a behavior I am wanting to modify or have my child consider.

The internalisation of guilt starts with building a mind model of someone within ourselves for which nothing is hidden, and which will subconsciously police our morality internally, via the shame of ‘Jesus’ always knowing of our transgressions.

Last edited 21 days ago by Stewie
The90kwbeast

I’ve always held the Occam’s razor view – science and religion can coexist if you hold the belief that there is a divine creator (likely – per Occam’s razor) and we are all just playing by the rules generated by said creator (laws of physics etc).

Stewie

Yeah, I’ve come to see Religion a little like a Pixar movie. There is something in there for kids, and something in there at another level for adults.

The jokes or in this case, the lessons, it tries to impart exists at several different levels in terms of accessibility.

Peachy

I’ve always held the Occam’s razor view – science and religion can coexist if you hold the belief that there is a divine creator (likely – per Occam’s razor) and we are all just playing by the rules generated by said creator (laws of physics etc).

something like this is not really falsifiable…. But I find an aesthetic difficulty with it – seems too much like a “God of the gaps”.

everything that we understand is “science” and nature, and the rest – gaps In our understanding – must be God. Then as understanding improves, the gaps shrink… but that’s where god now resides.

also similarities to St Anselm’s proof of the existence of god (that than which nothing greater can be conceived, etc)

Peachy

So, their best “debunking” of the heart issues (after spending weeks on it) is that Andre La Gerche says it’s not true?
Seems that they’ve got no actual data.

and their “debunking” of Bells Palsy is to confirm it:

“acute facial paralysis including Bell’s palsy is a known but very rare side effect” of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that has been “reported in fewer than 1 in 1000 patients in clinical trials”.

“Bell’s Palsy occurs spontaneously in the community, at a yearly rate between 13 and 53 cases per 100,000 people.”

(Geee, 13 in 100,000 is a lot less than 1 in 1,000)
…and then present an obviously made-up number to try to normalise the palsy:

By some estimates, 1 in 60 people will experience the condition in their lifetime.

why hadn’t I previously met anyone with the condition? hmm?

In all these years, where were the 1-in-60 schoolteachers with a paralysed face? 1-in-60 checkout chicks? 1-in-60 people on the train?
1-in-60 premiers? Footy players?

Last edited 23 days ago by Peachy
Bananaman

Along with tthe visual Checkmate! It looks like it’s come straight from the department of propaganda

canuckdownunder

Par for the course at our Aunty. Just like their article about allowing men to compete in women’s sport:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-27/trans-inclusion-womens-sport-participation-politics-election/101015082

You could basically run this as a satire piece.

tl;dr summary – Academic desperate to prove men aren’t at an advantage can’t find any proof. Some nobody playing casual hockey in a social women’s league in Woop Woop isn’t dominating, therefore nothing to worry about. What a joke.

T

That is super cringe. What losers.

Ramjet
The90kwbeast

He can go jump.

Honestly it’s not rocket science, just have the RBA slowly and gradually increase interest rates like every other country is doing, and pause when property starts sinking too much (say more than 10-15% peak to trough).

Peachy

“So, in terms of managing inflation in the future, we’ve reached close to full employment, and it’s clear that we need more people in the country with the right skills sooner rather than later.”

Labour shortages have been a major issue for the retail industry in recent months, with many companies unable to find enough workers to man registers, stock shelves and drive trucks, which has led to delays and higher costs for shipping and logistics.

lol

desperwtely need to import people with “manning register” and “stocking shelf” skills.

what a fucking fine example of Elite EZFKA unit!

Big Boy 4 U

Lot of big-brained people on here suggesting philosophy/big brain things for the masses. I know working class guys that have trouble reading, so big concepts are not for them.
Basic literacy and personal finance lessons would be a start.

Peachy

Lot of big-brained people on here suggesting philosophy/big brain things for the masses.

yes and no… https://www.ezfka.com/2022/04/28/why-bad-philosophy-leads-to-worse-maths/#comment-22318

DJE᳆KA

schooling is not a compulsory ingredient.
YT is full of intellectual interviews with people of whom majority has no formal eduction whatsoever. your average 4th grader is more formally educated than some of the historically important philosophers.
formal education helps but does not make a philosophical mindset. parenting can do more for that than education alone.

A fly in your ointment

https://dms.licdn.com/playlist/C4E05AQEcUyqgn7iM4Q/mp4-640p-30fp-crf28/0/1650834303686?e=2147483647&v=beta&t=R115Fp5WJI7lFp28LVRTthKadAqcM-MY6wA0dUNqTDs

From a terrorist to a wiZe man.
Not an overnight trip requiring a lot of self-restraint and sacrifice.
The multipolar world iZ here and it ain’t going away.

DJE᳆KA

https://vk.com/wall578617852_17362

pepe escobar
daily Von der Lugen stupid-o-meter
(may need VPN for access of media that is unapproved)

Last edited 21 days ago by DJE᳆KA
A fly in your ointment

UKRAINE WAR UPDATE with PEPE ESCOBAR and RICHARD MEDHURST
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mlFxcVItnQ

WARNING: not for fainthearted US apologists…

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