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Old 06-22-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
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Default With its ‘cult of ignorance and anti-intellectualism’ the U.S. risks falling behind rivals in Asia.

I have been traveling to East Asia (and many other parts of the world) for more than 25 years and over that time one of the things that has always struck me is how intelligent the general public in countries like Japan appear to be. It’s not that there aren’t dummies in East Asia, but it always seems that the average level of education and ability to think about the world intelligently and critically is impressively widespread. I’ve often thought about why this is the case and also why the same seems more difficult to say about the U.S. The answer, I think, can be found in a comment science fiction writer Isaac Asimov made about the U.S. while being interviewed in the 1980s: “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Asimov is right on the mark, and this cult of ignorance is the most serious national security issue facing the U.S. today. It is more important than the external threats from terrorists or the rise of a politically and economically powerful China. And a major part of the reason it is such an major issue for Americans to fix is that our immediate competitors, particularly those in Asia, have managed to create a culture in which rather than a cult of ignorance, a cult of intelligence plays a major role in shaping attitudes about the world and, thus, policies about dealing with other countries.

Many Americans are aware that the U.S. does not score well on measures such as international student assessment tests when compared to other industrial countries. For example, the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TMISS) the top five countries for math were Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan—the U.S. is not in the top ten. It is better by 8th grade, where the same counties are in the top five (although the order changes) and the U.S. makes number 9. Roughly the same pattern can bee seen for science results. This doesn’t seem too bad, but in a different testing organization’s measure, the Programme for International Student Assessment, the U.S. does not fare quite so well, scoring 36th for math, 28th for science, and 24th for reading. With the exception of science, where Finland is ranked 5th, all of the top five countries in this measure are from East Asia.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/asias...-intelligence/
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by baja View Post
I have been traveling to East Asia (and many other parts of the world) for more than 25 years and over that time one of the things that has always struck me is how intelligent the general public in countries like Japan appear to be. It’s not that there aren’t dummies in East Asia, but it always seems that the average level of education and ability to think about the world intelligently and critically is impressively widespread. I’ve often thought about why this is the case and also why the same seems more difficult to say about the U.S. The answer, I think, can be found in a comment science fiction writer Isaac Asimov made about the U.S. while being interviewed in the 1980s: “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Asimov is right on the mark, and this cult of ignorance is the most serious national security issue facing the U.S. today. It is more important than the external threats from terrorists or the rise of a politically and economically powerful China. And a major part of the reason it is such an major issue for Americans to fix is that our immediate competitors, particularly those in Asia, have managed to create a culture in which rather than a cult of ignorance, a cult of intelligence plays a major role in shaping attitudes about the world and, thus, policies about dealing with other countries.

Many Americans are aware that the U.S. does not score well on measures such as international student assessment tests when compared to other industrial countries. For example, the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TMISS) the top five countries for math were Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan—the U.S. is not in the top ten. It is better by 8th grade, where the same counties are in the top five (although the order changes) and the U.S. makes number 9. Roughly the same pattern can bee seen for science results. This doesn’t seem too bad, but in a different testing organization’s measure, the Programme for International Student Assessment, the U.S. does not fare quite so well, scoring 36th for math, 28th for science, and 24th for reading. With the exception of science, where Finland is ranked 5th, all of the top five countries in this measure are from East Asia.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/asias...-intelligence/
They may be intelligent but they like to bury their head in the sand when they find out info they don't like to hear. All you have to do is look at the ***ushima disaster. Their government has told them many parts near the plant are safe to go back and live around. Watched a piece on Vice last month and they have these radiation level monitors around this school which gives a readout of the radiation levels around the school. A team from Vice went in there with their own reading devices and found that the radiation levels were much much higher then the stand still devices the government had set up. No doubt those things were rigged to give a certain reading and no higher.

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Old 06-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #3
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I see we reached the part of the off season where Baja ****s in America like a coward.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:36 PM   #4
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Higher educashun is for them damn libruls. We need to get rid of it.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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Higher educashun is for them damn libruls. We need to get rid of it.

Would probably help if higher education focused on education and not classes on white guilt or radical feminism.

Because that matters.

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Old 06-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #6
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I see we reached the part of the off season where Baja ****s in America like a coward.
The first step to fixing a problem is to recognize there is a problem.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:53 PM   #7
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Those who, through pride, refuse to admit to a problem are doomed to the consequences of said problem.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:10 PM   #8
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Those who, through pride, refuse to admit to a problem are doomed to the consequences of said problem.
Who cares about whether somebody is intellectually interesting or not? Based on which country they are from - really? That is your premise? Sounds like a crisis to me - let's get Oprah and Dr. Phil involved
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:28 PM   #9
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America is in decline.


Education is declining.

Economy is declining.

Physical and Mental health is in the toilet.

Politics are corrupt.

We are 17 Trillion in debt.

Ect, ect, ect..


I think its fair to blame the federal government and large corporations for destroying this country. It's almost as if they are trying to.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:32 PM   #10
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America is in decline.


Education is declining.

Economy is declining.

Physical and Mental health is in the toilet.

Politics are corrupt.

We are 17 Trillion in debt.

Ect, ect, ect..


I think its fair to blame the federal government and large corporations for destroying this country. It's almost as if they are trying to.

Now now the peeps on here are going to call you anti American. The truth is unacceptable.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:46 PM   #11
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Seriously, as much as you hate America you should have nothing to do with it.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:25 PM   #12
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Traitors!!!

No one is to think or say anything negative about the glorious USA!!
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:27 PM   #13
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"“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”'

This describes your behavior perfectly Baja. Kinda ironic you don't have the self realization to understand that.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:30 PM   #14
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Seriously, as much as you hate America you should have nothing to do with it.
You may disagree with him, however, when someone expresses concern about something, it rarely means they dislike it. In fact, typically the opposite is the case.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #15
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You may disagree with him, however, when someone expresses concern about something, it rarely means they dislike it. In fact, typically the opposite is the case.
Might help if Baja didn't flee the country.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:41 PM   #16
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it's okay txtebow says it's just our genes.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:21 PM   #17
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As an educator I can simplify it pretty easily.

We educate all, most countries do not. We water down our educated by continually pooling those that want it with those that do not.

Solution: You screw around in school, you get kicked out and work. Makes parents more vested in their children. Removes the need for standardized testing. Fixes a load of problems. Expulsion just doesn't happen and it doesn't remove them from education, just that school.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:31 PM   #18
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"“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”'

This describes your behavior perfectly Baja. Kinda ironic you don't have the self realization to understand that.
Amazing how the paid government shill makes a rare appearance on the main board when duty calls.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:37 PM   #19
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I'm for more education, but it really isn't about making people smarter. It is about paying for tenured professors and perpetuating liberal dogma. It's also a total money grab. Women's studies, poly-sci and other fluff courses that get students to make posters and put politically-minded hashtags in their twitter feed don't do anything to better the country or their personal contributions to society.

Meanwhile students are getting nickel-and-dimed out of higher tuition, a book scam that forces students to buy new books at several times more than their worth every semester when the content has barely changed, but they manipulate it with things like "end of chapter quizzes" that are different with each iteration and so you cannot buy the used ones and have to get the $80-200 ones. And councilors are funneling students to take out huge amounts of student loan debt for degrees that will afford them no real value to society, and therefore not give them any way of paying that debt with the worthless graphic-design, ancient literature or whatever else bull-crap they were advised. But the university got their money and they graduated he student so they appear to be "doing it right."

I am not against art or the humanities, but I don't believe you should pursue a degree in those courses unless you are going to teach or you are some kind of savant.

Anyway the whole structure is broken and the payoff isn't nearly good enough. If you're going to pay to have someone teach you, make sure it isn't in something you could learn on your own. Sciences, math, medicine, engineering are great things to learn in college.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:39 PM   #20
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Might help if Baja didn't flee the country.

I travel to many countries including my home country the USA. I live by the beautiful Sea of Cortez mostly. Sorry you have not created the options I have. Life is grand. It is good to be me.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:41 PM   #21
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As an educator I can simplify it pretty easily.

We educate all, most countries do not. We water down our educated by continually pooling those that want it with those that do not.

Solution: You screw around in school, you get kicked out and work. Makes parents more vested in their children. Removes the need for standardized testing. Fixes a load of problems. Expulsion just doesn't happen and it doesn't remove them from education, just that school.
Can't do that Cosmo, need all the citizens trained to not think for themselves they make better corporate soldiers that way.

Currently school is about dumbing down the students you know I am right just look at what they force to to teach. I mean no slight toward you sir.

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Old 06-22-2014, 09:48 PM   #22
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Seriously, as much as you hate America you should have nothing to do with it.
Did it ever occur to you that I love the USA and that is why I bother pointing out to you blokes that are fast asleep what is going on right under your dull noses? If I hated America why would I bother raising angst on a football message board. You are my assignment, wake the hell up before you lose what others fought so hard to hand to you.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #23
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What kind of a country are you going to leave your kids?
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:06 PM   #24
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The one area where the USA excels in is creativity. Also, in 'murica, a few great minds tend to lift all the boats. So, lemme essplain:

Yes, our educational system is in shambles and yes, much of it is because many people, especially in the lower classes, don't give a crap about getting a good education. Now, I know I'll be called racist for saying this, but this is also the case with white trash, that is, these people care more about what they can get from the system rather than what a great education and a great career (should a poor person choose this route) can offer to the rest of society.

On the other hand, this country is absolutely fantastic when it comes to enabling great ideas to work. That is, when two beautiful things come together, like a great idea and a bright, motivated person to initiate the idea and bring it to fruition, then this is where being in the USA is great. There are stories after stories about people like Steve Jobs or Carl Sagan or Barack Obama who have reached the pinnacle of success because they wanted something (Jobs and Apple, Sagan and science, Obama and politics) and they had the motivation, courage, smarts and determination to make it happen. Jobs ended up creating thousands of jobs (lol), Sagan ended up educating millions of young minds and Obama ended up as the president of the USA. This is what I mean by a few individuals raising all the other boats.

So, um, yah... the USA lacks in education and that won't ever change. But even if these East Asian peoples can crunch numbers, rattle off stats and generally be more "educated" than 'muricans, they lack something us dummies have in spades. Creative intellects that can bring great ideas to the masses.

JMHO of course.

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Old 06-22-2014, 10:08 PM   #25
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Would probably help if higher education focused on education and not classes on white guilt or radical feminism.

Because that matters.

No kidding. If 3% of campus studies are going to be dedicated to this kind of politically unacceptable crap, we should close the campuses.
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