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Patrick
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Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Arkansas, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:06 pm
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As mentioned by Kheltan in another post, it seems to him (and me, and no doubt many of you other Americans out there as well) that the US has been under a cloud of anti-intellectualism for quite some time. I don't mean just in academic circles; popular entertainment has become ever more vapid and intellectually barren.

I've lived my entire life, sans six weeks in Denver and four months in the DC area, in Kansas, one of the reddest of red states, very much in the Bible Belt. Anti-intellectualism here has a long history that goes back to the original white settlers in the 1830s. Although I don't have anything against farmers (well...I do, sort of, but I can explain that, if need be), our traditionally agricultural society has always discouraged "idleness," and intellectual pursuits have always been considered idle, unless they are directed towards approved ends (doctors, veterinarians, ministers, teachers, etc.). If you look at our universities, only one of the old ones (University of Kansas) was founded as a comprehensive school; the others had specific purposes in mind. Kansas State was the agricultural school, Emporia State was the teacher's college, and Wichita State was a small religious school for women.

Even growing up as I did in the 80s and 90s, in the state's largest city, reading for pleasure was considered weird and idle by many (although I wouldn't say most) of the people around me. I've been a bookworm since I can remember, so you can imagine the crap I've heard about it all my life. The common attitude has been, and still is, why don't you put down that book and do something? "Something," in this case, meaning "something athletic or mechanical or, you know, useful." Now, of course, I grew up with certain severe chronic health conditions that prevented me from being as physically active as my peers, but that didn't matter. Reading was still "useless." Why didn't I learn to fix cars or radios or join 4H or do something useful?

(For the record, I did play soccer one summer, and hated it. I also spent several years in the Cub Scouts, and eventually quit when I realized that, here as in everywhere else, if you weren't a jock, you didn't make the cut. That said, people were appalled when I went for and was awarded the Engineer, Scientist, Geologist, and Naturalist merit badges; my fellow Scouts couldn't understand why I would want to do that boring stuff when I could get "fun" and "easy" merit badges like Athlete and Sportsman...you see my problem?)

Up until my freshman year in high school, I didn't have a single friend or classmate who liked to read. I'm not exaggerating here, folks. Not a single classmate, out of hundreds I had over the span of ten years (counting preschool and kindergarten; I was reading at a middle-school level in kindergarten, but who's counting? :P), it wasn't until I met my friend Ben in 9th grade that I found someone else who liked reading. I don't just mean reading for pleasure, either, I mean any reading at all. My sister and I are among very few in our family who read for pleasure; those besides us who do read for pleasure do so almost exclusively through the medium of whatever the local Christian (read: Fundamentalist Evangelical) bookstore offers. The rest of them regard reading anything other than the Bible and what's required for work as absolutely useless. The few of us who go to college are both admired and considered weird. My sister, who will graduate with a BFA degree in May, and myself who will do the same with a BA, are repeatedly asked what we are going to do with our respective degrees (hers in painting and sculpture, mine in history). My recent aim of going to law school has mollified this questioning, to some extent, since lawyers are one of those aforementioned "approved" ends, but my sister the artist probably will be asked the same question over and over again unless she settles into some "approved" mode of life.

With the ascendancy of both the neo-conservatives and the Religious Right, anti-intellectualism in this country has reached new heights. Trust me, I was once an insider in these movements myself. The scary thing is that the vast majority of people in these movements aren't stupid, but they actively and consciously choose to segregate themselves from ideas and beliefs they don't agree with, from lifestyles and worldviews they consider repugnant. They genuinely do believe that a subversive, destructive "liberal" culture has completely taken over all spheres of education in the United States that they themselves do not control, that it sits there atop its ivory towers and seeks, through covert and diabolical ends, to indoctrinate young Americans and poison them against God and Country.

Sounds crazy, right? Maybe it is, but people really do believe it. It leads to (or stems from? Perhaps it's a circular progression) a culture where genuinely open academic discourse and intellectual discovery are frowned upon because they are a.) dangerous in themselves and b.) are conducted in a hostile environment where conservatives are constantly held up to ridicule, their beliefs and ideas punished by those in "the establishment." Only "approved" literature and arts are there for the masses of people who believe this. Go look at any "Christian" website that reviews movies, music, television, or books, such as PluggedIn Online. You'll find a constant stream of horror and chagrin at the utter depravity and deviltry they see in modern society, coupled with a roaring desire to protect "the children" from any kind of corrupting influence.

When those children grow up, their intellectual curiosity has often either been stifled completely or twisted into a fervent and heedless devotion to The Cause (whatever shape that Cause might take). Out of a desire to separate themselves completely from that which offends and is ungodly, their whole mindset becomes so completely skewed to one side that the other side's views are not only wrong, but downright evil. (To be fair, some liberals do this too, from the opposite part of the spectrum.) Some of them have gone as far as creating their own little enclosed academic world of home schools and "approved" colleges and universities, places where you can go from kindergarten through a bachelor's degree in a safe and comfortable climate populated only by people of like mind, where behaviors and beliefs outside of the "the norm" are not only forbidden and banished, but deconstructed in excruciating detail so students can become good little culture warriors and root the evil out of society.

To me, this defeats the whole purpose of education and intellectual pursuit. It's not supposed to be easy and comfortable and intellectually safe. It's supposed to challenge both your intellect and your beliefs. The mind is not, as a wise man once said, a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.

If you want currently applicable examples, look no further than the Bush Administration's open hostility towards science (or, should I say, science that does not fit in with their narrow view of how the universe works), which our new president is, thankfully, now beginning to reverse. Experts in fields such as geology, biology, and meteorology can shout till they're blue in the face about mounting evidence of global climate change, and Bush and others of his ilk will merely hold up their hand and demand silence, because, since the scientific evidence of global warming does not fit with their preconceived notions of a laissez-faire corporate paradise where capitalism is the best thing since the invention of the flint knife, it must necessarily be wrong. Or take stem cells. Or debates about creationism in schools. Or any other of a whole host of issues where science and reason are forced to battle against, not stupidity, but stone-deaf devotion to a black-and-white worldview where anything that doesn't fit doesn't deserve to exist.

So, what do y'all think? Agree? Think this is so much liberal BS? (Yes, I've heard it described that way. Remember, I'm a reformed conservative here. :P) How about those of you outside the US? How does it look to you?
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Dudde
The Monster at the end of this Post


Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:09 pm
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I apologize in advance as I was only able to read about 60% of your OP, but I'm at work and time flies!

I went to art school by the way, your sister is cool.
I'm usually a quite active member of, and nuisance to, those parties who separate and refuse to believe in what they don't want to, as opposed to what can be proven, simply for their own bias. Annoying. I'm also well known in debate circles as something of a redcoat - don't get me wrong, I wear a black coat! But when one side of the argument falters, I'll join that side and help them out, when they start inarguably winning, I start throwing points out for the other side. Not only is it extremely fun to do, but I think it helps members of both sides see most possible views on a single subject, it's how I contribute to society.

I can't tell you how much I hate decisions made from one set of views or belliefs.

I like your topic, and I agree with your post - I was lucky enough to have a sister to keep me intellectually stimulated over the years, because most people in Washington state, while I prefer most of the views to the view here in Oklahoma, are still extremely personal with no regard to what would make more sense.

I hope more people comment, I love intellectual things! I just have to go cause I'm working! Which is...soo..boring...
*/sleep*
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Skarla



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:11 pm
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Ok, you asked for opinions from 'across the pond'...

I think it's not quite as bad in England as is is in the US in terms of people accepting what is different - we are a country that has been invaded so many times adaptability is in our DNA!

For me, as the typical English bookworm, I was encouraged by teachers to read, but teased by classmates until I moved up to... um... what would you call Hazelwick... kids move up into it when they're 11-12. Anyhow, once there I managed to fall in with other kids who liked to read, although to be brutally honest I don't think that many of them read as much as I do - although that has more to do with my reading speed than their enjoyment of books.

Teenagers in England perhaps have more freedom and choice when planning a life course - from the sound of it! - but I am only one case and I have amazing parents, I know realise, who managed to bring me up with no prejudices towards gays, blacks or foreigners. They always let me make my own decisions, occasionally guiding me away from paths that they knew would end in disaster - like my 'fantastic' plan to paint my room barbie-doll pink when I was seven. It got painted yellow instead and five years later I was extremely grateful for that.

Although going to university isn't something I see as unusual, I come from a university background - by that I mean my mother went to University, so did my Step-Father. It was always expected that I would go too. Not that I don't want to be here! But it never felt like I had a choice.

The world that you've described sounds very scary to me, and in my experience of Americans the parents seem to push their children more in the path that they want. My step-mom is from Seattle. When I was 12 or so the dentist told me that due to the positioning of my jaw, an operation might be advisable to re-align it, but it was my decision. The possible permanent side effect was loss of feeling in my lips. Big decision for someone who is only just getting interested in boys and kissing! Mum and Tim were perfectly happy to sit back and let me make my own decision, as usual. My step-mom was very 'for' the surgery and I often heard how she thought it would be a great idea and I should go for it. I did have the operation - I have feeling in my upper lip but my lower and part of my chin has still not fully recovered - and I don't regret it but I decided that I disliked being pushed like that. Of course, my step-mother was just doing what she thought was best and treating me like one of her own children - I was just brought up differently.

I think this has turned into a horrendous ramble now and I've probably lost the plot somewhere! Anyhow, I hope that has shed some light on the differences between American and English parenting, at least in my experience.
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:09 pm
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Skarla:

Well, I should make a caveat that the kind of culture I am talking about is very much Great Plains America; it's probably different in other parts of the country. I've lived here all of my life, so my perceptions are probably skewed by that.

Here on the plains, it doesn't matter if you live in a city of 350,000, eat Japanese food, and are a webmaster or electrical engineer, the pervasive culture is still that of small-town and rural farm country: utilitarian, conservative, traditional, unbending. Friendly, make no mistake about that, but still what I personally would consider somewhat backwards.

We were settled by New England Puritans, and a certain Puritanical strain still winds its way through our culture, sometimes in surprising ways (Heck...the Congregational Church founded many colleges and universities in this country. Of all of the schools which were originally Congregational, Yale is the oldest, and my school, Wichita State, is the largest). It's a fairly similar pattern on most of the plains. You have a few islands of liberalism (Kansas City and college towns, basically) among a wide red sea of conservatism. And by this I don't just mean political positions, I mean religion, art, attitudes towards "alternative lifestyles," and other ways.

I think for me it's magnified because my dad's family is still very small-town, working-class traditional; neither my dad nor any of his siblings went to college. In fact, I don't think anyone on that side of the family had ever been to college until my generation came around, and of us, college grads are an uncommon commodity. When my sister and I graduate, we'll be the first in our immediate family to have degrees. This isn't to say that we weren't encouraged to go, because all of us were if we wanted to, but we weren't directed to it, and higher education has never been a huge deal in the family. When you have furniture stores dating back two generations, college becomes an unusual thing.
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LunaRaven



Joined: 30 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:10 pm
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Quote:
Although I don't have anything against farmers (well...I do, sort of, but I can explain that, if need be),


The need is great, so please explain. But be careful, my farmer uncle Clementine has a right nasty temper when crossed, and his one good arm is great at thrusting pitchforks into things. Fleshy things.

Anti-intellectualism is beyond being rapid where I live. I live on a U.S. territory, but I do completely consider it outside of the U.S.
Reading? Snuh-ort. Nobody wants to read here. Reading is for losers. Iím a loser/geek/nerd/dork/crazy hybrid because I down at least 50 books a year, garden, care about my health(my crazy health, that is), knit, embroider, and write for pleasure(among other things). I would bet that if a survey was done, this Island would have the lowest American literacy rate. Reading here is seldom encouraged, and it is extremely difficult to hold a conversation with anyone without them labeling you snob because you use more than one word that theyíve never heard before. Creativity is usually snuffed out before the age of ten, and most children consider texting while in class a life skill.
Aside from being accused as being a Satanist, mentally retarded, and without marbles(which I openly admit to), Iíve also been called poor because I like to make my own things. I didnít have one friend in high school, because I was just too spiffing different. I supposed their unexercised, atrophied brains couldnít handle the brilliance of my eccentric personality.
My parents donít understand my choice to Major in English, and they arenít excited about my choice to be a writer.
ďWhy donít you teach?Ē theyíll ask.

Because I hate children

ďBut it pays better, and itís more secureĒ theyíll argue

ÖBecause I hate children

I went to a private Christian high school, and some of my teachers couldnít stand my tendency to question things. Iím suddenly not religious because I ask questions. So, was Jesus not religious because he talked to hookers and drug users? I bet he asked a lot of questions. This isnít to say that all my teachers were awful, because I had about three great ones. Now that Iím in college, everyone I meet is anti-religion. Apparently itís not cool to be religious. Itís not ďmatureĒ. Iím personally fine with being labeled as childish(especially if it means that I get to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Top Cat, and Popeye the Sailor man in peace).

ďGee,Ē I bet your thinking ďrant much LunaĒ.

Yes, thank you for noticing.

As a teenager(I suppose at seventeen I still am considered a teenager) I donít think that I was supposed to have as much free reign as I did, but I had it anyway. I donít disapprove of my parents as supporters. Iíve never really wanted for things. And theyíre perfectly fine with my odd persona behind close doors. Itís in public that they begin to pester me about leaving the weird stuff at home. Itís not like I can take of my weird suit and hang it up on the weird rack with my weird hat.
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:08 pm
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Regarding farmers....

What do most people think of when they think of Kansas? The Wizard of Oz. Wheat. Corn. Cows. Farms.

Kansas has about three million people. Of those, about 70,000 work on farms and ranches, spread out over 105 counties. That's about 2.5% of the population. Now, of course, a far larger number of people here work in the agribusiness industries in such fields as seed oil production, food processing, etc. Agriculture is a big deal, and always has been.

But, and it's a big but, kind of like mine (:P), since at least the last fifty years the vast majority of work in the state is not agricultural, it's manufacturing or service-based. Wichita is in fact one of the few truly manufacturing-dominated cities of its size left in the United States. For us, it's aircraft manufacturing and associated industries (which altogether rival the total number of farmers and ranchers in the whole state) along the with petroleum and petrochemical industries, and a few others.

Thing is, Kansas politics and government are still disproportionately ruled by small-town and rural interests, which consistently and vehemently thwart the interests of the rest. There hasn't been a governor from the Wichita area in thirty years. You can point to any area of Kansas life, be it the environment, education, healthcare, or anything else, and what you will see more often than not is an old-fashioned way of doing things that is wholly out of touch with the vast majority of modern Kansas.

Education? Small-town and farm-country schools rule the roost and get whatever their hearts desire, while the urban districts constantly struggle for funding and support. Environment? Everything revolves around what the farmers and ranchers want, which means LOL COAL 4EVAH! Healthcare? It's basically still the 1920s where government has no business being involved and such things as the uninsured urban poor don't exist. Welfare? Food stamps? Help for the homeless? Only farmers deserve subsidies, bitches.

Growing up in diverse, urban, industrial Wichita, I've come to resent the strangle-hold that farmers and ranchers hold on the state government. Wichita, in their mind, can basically go to hell, for all the consideration we get at the state level, even though 25% of the state lives in the metro area.

So, that's why I tend to dislike farmers.
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Rhodric
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:03 am
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"only farmers deserve subsidies, bitches"

*LMAO* thanks a lot pat, i just fell out of my chair.

Remind me never to move to Kansas
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Jade
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:48 am
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I frequently share a lot of the same thoughts, Pat... I count myself so incredibly blessed to have grown up in a better environment than that! Of course, my family is totally the over-educated extreme. My mom is a doctor, and my dad and his two brothers have several masters, PhDs and a law degree between them - and now here I am getting a phd.

I was also lucky to find friends who enjoyed reading as much as I did - but I remember at some time in grade 5 suddenly realizing how far beyond everyone else I was, when I was reading Dragonbone Chair (which in hardcover form must weigh a kg or 2), and some other students were reading things not much beyond picture-book. I'm not sure when I started, but at some point (probably between ages 12-15), I began noticing that people gave me weird looks when I used too many big words. After going through a few rough patches when I didn't have many friends, I was pretty sensitive, so throughout most of my teen years there was a little editor sitting in the back of my head "dumbing down" a lot of my sentences before I spoke. Honestly, I think for the rest of my life I will always hesitate before using more "intellectual" words *sigh*

I see a lot of the anti-intellectualism sentiment here in the US, but I feel it was worse in Australia. Granted, I haven't spent much time in Kansas *lol* Again, there are a lot of the same issues, with very strong blue-collar roots in the country. I think America has more extremes - ie rural areas in the bible belt vs San Francisco and New York. However, in Australia I always felt like anti-intellectualism was not just expressed by people on the street, but had also seeped into the mainstream media. I've seen the term "intellectual elite" coined pretty often.
(other Aussies, feel free to disagree with me... but I used to discuss this with professors at the university where I did an internship, and I think the culture for education in Australia leaves a lot to be desired. Not that it's all bad - there are some truly excellent universities in Australia. But research-wise, for 2 countries with very similar populations/etc., I think there is a far better environment for research in Canada.)

Anyway... I don't really get it. I have a pretty good imagination, but I just can't put myself into the head of someone who thinks education is a waste, or that there's a bunch of smart people sitting around in ivory towers trying to corrupt the innocent. *sigh*

It's awfully depressing though. Thanks for cheering me up, Pat *lol*

Jade
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Dudde
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Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:09 am
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o0o0o yeah, the plains vs. the mountains or the north is WAAY different. You lucky peoples who've traveled out of country beat me, but I've lived in three different states, and I can say that I never really had to dumb down what I said until I lived here, which is madness! Cause I don't use large words! I believe it's really my topics of choice at which people don't agree with - I find happiness living where I'm part of a vast minority in views, and would love nothing more than to hold a giant debate with half the state. yay!

I've never technically been outcast or without friends though for some reason - I was always reading way beyond my own level, but I still went outside and played as a ninja and...raked leaves. I personally find diversity extremely stimulating, and I think that's what irritates me about where I live - everybody I know is completely content to drone on today as they did yesterday, and probably will tomorrow. It's doubly infuriating that I can't make my stupid car stay working, I recently learned of a park!

Also, I can empathize where Pat is coming from, but way up north when I lived in the country with farmers and...country people... I found a totally different mentality. I mean, they still pretty much ran everything, but I didn't have a lot of strict farmers that I knew, and really everybody is friendly and pretty happy just to get along, it's very looked down upon to start any debates or disagreements however, and am not sure how I was tolerated as much as I was =D - of course remember that we have Seattle and the west coast to contend with, as well as Spokane in the east, so there are a lot of dominant metropolis areas. All in all, I liked the way it was run. If only I could locate that Ivory tower..
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Xinpheld
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:32 am
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I think that this line of anti-intellectual thinking makes more sense when you look at it in terms of Systems. I also believe that there are two kinds of anti-intellectualism, which I call Reactionist and Protectionist. Let me take a detached, semi-rational viewpoint on the matter.

Let's look at he Reactionist point of view first. Try looking at society - let's say the U.S. - as a biological organism. We've got different parts of the country representing different systems of an organism: Washington DC as our (supposed) overseer of body functions, orchestrating and focusing the other systems as a (supposedly) cohesive whole; the Central Plains, working as our food basket, keeping the country nourished; the Rust Belt, working as our bone builders; colleges functioning as our various knowledge centres; places like Hollywood and Broadway, among others, serving as our imagination; other examples exist, but are not currently forming in my rudimentary brain. You get the idea, though.

Now each system has its workers, its cells, which do their job to the best of their ability. If the Plains States are our gastronomic system - our intestines, if you will - then there are lots of hard-working cilia in there, making sure they get the most out of the food they process. To them, there is no more important system in the body, because where would we be without food? And it's also the most important system to them because that's all they see. And if you're a good worker, that's all you'll want to see. Change is bad because change disrupts the system, and suddenly you're reaching for the Pepto-Bismol (a.k.a. subsidies). Too much change and you start to rely on that bottle of Pepto too much, to where you can't function without it.

And what of those individuals who think outside the box, who want to read all the time and think about what it's like to be a brain cell or a muscle cell instead of a cell in the intestinal wall? How do you think those cells are viewed by the rest? They are viewed by the other cells as a cancer of sorts, something to be shunned and segregated, lest they infect other cells. After all, if everyone started thinking non-intestine and did other things instead, there'd be no food processing and the body would die. The body dying is bad, to the reaction is to 'destroy' those aberrant cells for the safety of the whole. And this does not just apply to the workforce part of society: wouldn't an intellectual in the Bible Belt feel just as out-of-place as, say, a jock at Julliard?

A shorter approach is needed for the Protectionist point of view. Mainly, these people view the status quo of a system as being important, but mainly because these are individuals who are system controllers that are themselves 'cancerous' by nature, as far as this comparison goes, but are trying to conceal that fact from the Reactionists, so that they can continue to control the systems. One could easily sum this category up as being 'politicians', as they are individuals who play to the masses for their own gain, and are truly cancerous in the more literal sense of the word.

This could quickly devolve into a Manifesto, so I think I'll stop here with the line of thinking. I'd like to take this opportunity to say "Hello!" to whatever operative at the NSA is reading this due to its being segregated for review due to keyword matches. I hope you're having a nice day, and I promise I won't take a picture of your building.

Anyway, as a fellow non-political cancer cell, I say be proud that you are caught in the middle of a class/culture war, where Victorian and Agrarian systems clash with the Information Age for control of the future. And keep reading; just make sure that you sneak in a couple survival manuals into your queue, because there's certainly an interesting future ahead, no matter what happens.
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Caleyna
Queen of Silliness


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:54 am
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I can and do see where Pat is coming from, but I really like Xin's metaphor. It really does depend on where you live. I was the first in my two families to go to college, but it was always just *expected* that I would go to college from the time I was young. My mom had no idea how to make that happen, but we relied on counselors and books and we figured it out. Reading was also an unusual occupation, but certainly not Not Done. The readers were in AP classes together and hung out in the library or band room together.

Now that I live in the DC suburbs it is unusual for people to not discuss boos or other intellectual things.

I do think the fundies have a major problem with this in their political system. That's why the liberals are so up in arms. We want intelligence (and we've finally got it!).
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:49 pm
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Yeah, the systems analogy makes a lot of sense to me. As I say, I'm a little myopic myself, since I live in the Bible Belt and am not a fundie. *l*
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Dudde
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:59 am
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I like the analogy as it presents a good picture, but you should also remember that your cells need the versatility to either change, or grow a cell of a different type at any time. If the digestive tract is having a good time and doing well, and the brain starts falling into disarray and losing it's cells, I think it's fairly important for each part of the body to contribute to help it up, to prevent any further loss and get it back to normal again.

It would be nice if it really worked that way in a human body, but I think we can at least try to function that way as an organizational body
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Xinpheld
Bird Man of Alka-Seltzer


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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Location: the bottom of a well

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:29 am
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I'm certainly not saying that I agree with the mindset of those in a 'closed' system, wanting things to stay as they are. It's antithetic to the idea of evolution, which is probably why Creationism is more popular in such areas, because it lends more toward a status quo - things are as they have been since they were created. The idea of civilizations rising and falling, whole histories of people lost in the sand of time, whole species dominating and collapsing, is not comforting to those who desire consistency and stability. When things look like they're going to hell, they'll cling more to heaven.

So I agree that adaptation is crucial. When you look at where our culture has been, and where it's heading, it becomes more obvious that we're at a severe tipping point, something radical ad at a global level. And it's those people who are different, who can adapt to their environment, who are more accepting of radical change, that will have a leg up.

I realise I've changed the nature of the conversation a bit, but all these things are interconnected. I'm just a Big Picture kind of guy. Which I'm sure one day will be my downfall.
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Dudde
The Monster at the end of this Post


Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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Location: Oklahoma!

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:15 pm
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Xinpheld wrote:
I'm certainly not saying that I agree with the mindset of those in a 'closed' system, wanting things to stay as they are.
~~~
I'm just a Big Picture kind of guy. Which I'm sure one day will be my downfall.


I understand, and I agree with your post, well said.

I also like the big picture, but I doubt the people I debate with on a daily basis will let that picture be my downfall before they get their chance =D
I am prepared however, I study martial arts and sit around being lazy, so it's like an upper hand with a handicap
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LunaRaven



Joined: 30 Jun 2008
Posts: 925
Location: Neverland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:10 am
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Quote:

So, that's why I tend to dislike farmers.


What about moon farmers?
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TamAlthor
The Zeppo


Joined: 09 Nov 2006
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Location: Alberta Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:21 am
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We're Whalers On The Moon,
We Carry A Harpoon,
For They Ain't No Whales
So We Tell Tall Tales
and Sing Our Whaling Tune.

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Ra'ena



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 17
Location: The Netherlands, Noord-Brabant

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:16 am
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Coming from a country known for itís tolerance (but got a heart attack over Fitna), I can say itís not the farming, itís the fact that theyíre American that makes them say and do those things.
I come from a long line of farmers and construction workers. My father came from a poor family, but still, two of my uncles have a master degree, one is an accountant and my father works in the ICT business. It was not just hoped for, it was expected from me and my siblings that we would go to college. Iím currently working to get my bachelor degree in physics, my brother studies architecture and my sister will start on economics and law next year. And that coming from a little town in the backcountry.
(Luckily for us, the Dutch government wants everyone to have a chance so everyone gets a scholarship for a college they want.)
And about reading books. My parents were always disappointed that my brother only read like one comic book a year. While I read like two books a week. I wasnít cool, but I did have friends in school. In high school it was even better. I was in a class with all science students. (We separate our students in groups depending on study interest, my classes consisted mainly out of physics, chemistry and math. Off course there are standard classes for everyone, like Dutch and English.) Our Latin teacher was therefore very surprised that the most popular books in our class were science fiction and fantasy books. After all we should know those books were impossible. Like we cared! Reading was considered a good thing, not a waste of time.
But thatís my personal Dutch view of the world. I personally find that a lot of Americans overreact on a lot of things. Compared to the Dutch, they seem to do everything in extremes. Even the strict way they try to raise their children. Itís like you canít be different, canít do your own thing, canít be good in things that might not be directly useful. They donít even learn to think for themselves this way. It destroys the possibilities and futures of a lot of people, and probably even the future of the country. But that is just my opinion.
I have only one advice for Patrick. Hang in there, and raise your own kids differently, because it won't change in our lifetime.
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Patrick
Sleepless Sonneteer


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Arkansas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:18 am
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Well...I won't be having any kids, myself, but if I did, they'd certainly be raised like my mother raised me, and not Crazy Style that is the norm around here.

I've ranted frequently in the past about American polarization and extremism...as a self-proclaimed moderate, I see our middle grounds swiftly disappearing,
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Dudde
The Monster at the end of this Post


Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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Location: Oklahoma!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:20 pm
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Quote:
I personally find that a lot of Americans overreact on a lot of things. Compared to the Dutch, they seem to do everything in extremes. Even the strict way they try to raise their children. Itís like you canít be different, canít do your own thing,


I partially agree with what you're saying here. I do see a lot of my co-nationals overreact to just about everything, which is annoying - hopefully this next generation will kick out the old stubborn people who aren't cool... there are a LOT of cool old people btw, I'm not discriminating, I just want to oust the uncool ones

My difference comes in when you talk about the strict way we raise our children - that is definitely not true =O Our education levels are dying all over the place, people are more lazy than they pretty much have ever been - including the fact that they don't sit there for actual reasons, I mean straight up lazy. People hitting about my age are ridiculously unintelligent and have no thinking capacity of their own without some stupid logic coming up - I think we need to tighten down on how lax we are with discipline and become more strict, that's the biggest thing I think can happen for our country =D
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