First Corinthians 13:11 says:
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
How much of our current discourse seems to be of childish things? How much of our daily debate is dominated by discussions about idiotic things done by government and not about just living life?
This is terrible – Obama pardons the sequester and sends it to Portugal:
If this video isn’t proof that a person should have to pass a basic civics and current events test before being allowed to vote, nothing will. This clip was designed to be funny but it is not – it is pathetic.
I guess that is the thing that irks me the most about our current times. There are very, very few on our culture, our society or our political class who are interested in actually being serious about what we face (or even smart enough, apparently)…or even more frightening, that they believe that they are very, very serious about frivolous, inane and idiotic “subjects”. Seriously unserious, as it were, fanatically arguing about falsehoods, myths or factual, yet inconsequentially trivial matters or defending to the death a position so ludicrous that the greatest frustration is that they can’t even see how devoid of reality and moronic their position is.
We live in a society so deluded by pop culture that Obama can be named one of the 50 most powerful people in sports when the sum total of his “power” is this according to Sports Illustrated:
POTUS might be the ultimate global power player, but he also wields significant influence in the Republic of Sports. One relevant riff — on his NCAA tourney picks, on his desire for a college football playoff, on his concern over permitting the sons that he doesn’t have to play football — and the sports world takes notice. Plus, the 51-year-old can shoot the J.
So his “power” and “influence” is simply because he can fog up a mirror with breath from his worthless piehole, not that he has actually done a damn thing…but then that fully describes his political career as well, doesn’t it?
The hated George W. Bush actually was a “power” player – he was part owner of the Texas Rangers and he never received such accolades.
Several years ago, I proposed that we face a series of real crises – not farcical, concocted political crises – but real, honest to God, potential extinction level events:
We face an educational crisis. This is perhaps the most significant crisis facing America. Public education has become regimented and systematized to the point that it has become dogmatic. We even refer to our educational services as school “systems”. Socratic learning has been largely replaced with regimented indoctrination, free thinking is not encouraged, and following the “system” is valued over critical thinking.
Value is placed on the simple command of facts and not the critical “why’s” behind them. We also appear to lack important overarching historical context, preventing us from viewing modern issues in proper context and facilitating understanding. We do appear to be more focused on teaching what to think and not how to think. Objective truths and established facts are dismissed as “your opinion”. Direct, vigorous debate and defending a position seem to be alien, just “sharing” opinions or presenting a list of facts is good enough. Knowledge is substituted for wisdom. It makes for an intense interest in politesse but leads to arrogant, undisciplined, unorganized thought, resulting in overt hostility to any challenge or correction.
Recent studies have shown that college (at least the first 2 years of it) is largely a waste of time and money and the total college package leaves something to be desired. Richard Arum (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1996; M.Ed. Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1988), authored the new book “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses” (University of Chicago Press). It followed 2,322 traditional-age students from the fall of 2005 to the spring of 2009 and examined testing data and student surveys at a broad range of 24 U.S. colleges and universities, from the highly selective to the less selective. To those of us who have hiring responsibilities for business, what he found is hardly a surprise.
“An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn’t learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.
Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn’t determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.
Forty-five percent of students made no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during the first two years of college, according to the study. After four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in these so-called “higher order” thinking skills.
Combining the hours spent studying and in class, students devoted less than a fifth of their time each week to academic pursuits. By contrast, students spent 51 percent of their time — or 85 hours a week — socializing or in extracurricular activities.”
A critically thinking citizenry is primary to the success of a Republic. If we continue to grow a society that cannot recognize fact, how can we ever expect that society to face them?
We are passengers on a ship of fools.