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The Continental Divide

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posted on Sep, 15 2016 @ 11:57 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
If all one is truly interested in is making a living, education can be difficult in hard economic times and appear unnecessary in good economic times.


For women, it's the ONLY way out of dead-end service jobs. And more women are in college recently than men.

Heck, even my ridiculously expensive degrees have given me multiple jobs (teaching adults) after I retired. Nice source of income at an age when most struggle.

Education was a lifesaver for my family because of the income.




posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 02:58 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

According to that point of view the mechanism by which this would happen is karma. I just got done reading a lot of Theosophy stuff yesterday and that's pretty much how they see things.

So coming at it from that point of view it would be possible to break out of this cycle, but it wouldn't be easy.



posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 04:28 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

The sentiments reflected in the 1980's film Wall Street would have indeed come from that era. Staying with sentiment I feel none of what is on offer from Clinton or Trump is new in character. I find myself asking if Americans will really choose between the next Goldwater (Trump) and Nixon (Clinton)? The underlying social and economic currents to bring about this blurred mixture of historical cycles has been long in coming.



posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: TheLaughingGod
a reply to: TheRedneck

According to that point of view the mechanism by which this would happen is karma. I just got done reading a lot of Theosophy stuff yesterday and that's pretty much how they see things.


I think the "karma" argument sounds very weak since the idea of some sort of divine justice doesn't really hold up in all cases. A lot of people simply aren't getting the kinds of karma (good and bad) that is due to them. While "karma" is a means of making sense of the question "why do bad things happen to good people?", I don't accept the idea that atoms have karma (as was expressed in some of the Theosophical writings.)

However, I agree that environment and behavior of the family and locality as well as the actions of the individual certainly do shape things.


So coming at it from that point of view it would be possible to break out of this cycle, but it wouldn't be easy.

I agree with the notion of our ability to change things but I don't agree that there are cycles if you look closely at history. Social and political and religious leaders at both the local level and beyond are usually part and parcel of this change. People don't follow in a lock step behind any particular idea now that we are exposed to a world of ideas - in a sense we are now cycle-free.



posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 03:03 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

In a way, we do have 'heroes'... well, more like 'role models' since I wouldn't agree the connotations surrounding 'hero' apply.

We have our government... the policymakers.

People tend to be enthralled with those who have a better life than they have, whether it is celebrity or leaders. These people are larger than life and well-known. I do not pretend to understand this phenomenon, only observe it.

In the absence of compelling role models, people will tend to emulate the celebrities and leaders as long as their actions can be justified in the peoples' minds. Since our present leaders are shallow and do not appear to think things through, is it any wonder that the citizenry at large are also becoming shallow and refusing to think things through? This phenomenon, as you point out, is prevalent more in the United States than in other countries, and my experience talking with foreign nationals at my school (of which there are many) is that they are all amazed at the level of corruption that happens in all levels of our government.

That is not to say other governments are not corrupt, but rather to say that ours is among the most corrupt for the longest time. This is indicated in my OP: the policymakers are willing to stop at nothing to support their failed policies. So what we have is a reaction to our leaders from the admittedly large segment of our population that are of lower intelligence.

And obviously such will tend to spread. It is true that if a lie is repeated often enough, people will consider it the truth, although I am tempted to add that the less intelligent the person,the less the lie needs to be repeated.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 03:06 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

My experience supports your belief. I see quite a few women in engineering programs, and to be honest, the ones that make it are very capable. There is no glass ceiling any more, only shadows of the one that used to exist and people that like to point and claim it does still exist.

Restrictions can be external, or internal.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 06:26 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: Byrd

My experience supports your belief. I see quite a few women in engineering programs, and to be honest, the ones that make it are very capable. There is no glass ceiling any more, only shadows of the one that used to exist and people that like to point and claim it does still exist.

Restrictions can be external, or internal.

TheRedneck


Oh, that glass ceiling is there and it's still fairly hard to crack. Look at the number of women who direct major motion pictures or the number of women in Congress. Or the number of women who chair academic departments.

Compare it to England, for example.

And take a look at the differences in their films/media/music and ours. Their narratives are different and they aren't as fearful.



posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: TheLaughingGod

To attribute it to karma, one would have to acknowledge the existence of a greater intelligence guiding humanity. While I myself subscribe to such a philosophy, many would take offense at the introduction of a higher intelligence. So I would like to, as much as possible in psychology, keep religion from becoming the main focus.

That said, I would like to believe mankind has the ability somewhere deep down to overcome what appears to be an instinctive phenomenon.

It is observed, however, that since individual intelligence would obviously be required to overcome instinctive behavior, that looks unlikely. Evolution is supposed to favor the most favorable traits in a species, but that selection is based on one activity alone: reproduction. Typically the higher intelligence level a person has, the less offspring they will produce. Intelligence seems to prefer quality over quantity. The result is that the average intelligence level of a society will experience a self-correcting control that enforces a peak in that average intelligence level. Individuals may become more intelligent, but the number of lower-intelligent individuals will increase to compensate.

That is precisely what we see: a precious few individuals are expanding our scientific and technical prowess. We can look down upon other planets, have seen the surface of Mars from ground level, and have had men stand on the moon. We can communicate vast amounts of data around the globe in seconds, without the need for wired connections. We can split the atom to produce power. But amid all these accomplishments, we find our society drowning in both ignorance and apathy.

'Idiocracy' is not a comedy; it's a documentary. That's a joke, of course, but it contains a few grains of truth,

So unless we find a way to somehow increase intelligence among the masses, I fear we are doomed to follow the patterns of previous great civilizations.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

...and if you listen to them carefully, you realize that very quickly.

I listen to Limbaugh when I'm driving, so as not to disturb people when I'm yelling at him...
.

In my almost mid-fifties now, next month (dammit), I can't recall, recently, anyone in the public eye that I admire, or respect. Who set examples for not only their fans, but folks who really don't know anything about them other than they're respectable... But that may have to do with the fact that as a culture, especially now, we would rather tear down than build up.

A prime example of this is the young Seattle Seahawk QB Russell Wilson... I've met the guy. He is a genuinely nice man. But there's a ground swell building "He's not black enough." or "It's all a sham." or "he's fake." The same sort of thing is said of his team mate Richard Sherman... He's a Stanford graduate. He didn't just use up his eligibility, and move on to the NFL millions. He worked just as hard in the classroom as he did on the football field. He's articulate. Thoughtful. Yet what, outside of Seattle's fan base do you hear? "Thug" "cheater" etc... I've met him, too. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

How many others in other walks of life do you see that happening to? Oh,she's a slut. or worse... He's a thug. He's whatever the choice derogatory slur of the day is...

This is something that seems endemic to society that seemingly cares for nothing except retweets or shares. ...and what retweets better the plain, mundane truth of the matter, or a sensationalized bs that bears no resemblance to reality? That's rhetorical. We all know the answer.



posted on Sep, 17 2016 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: seagull

And that, my friend, is simply more evidence that our average intelligence is decreasing.

If I may go 'trekkie' for a moment... "As a matter of history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create."

Byrd's description of the Dunning-Kruger effect also applies. When one believes their own abilities are superior to obviously superior abilities, what is one to do? Especially when one's true abilities are not strong enough to overcome the superior abilities? Destroy the competition, of course.

Those of us who analyze such actions can see that the old saying, "Extinguishing another's candle doesn't make yours shine brighter," is true. But if all one is interested in seeing is the relative brightness, it does make one's candle appear brighter in comparison. The difference is one of wanting a brighter light overall and wanting to have the brightest candle.

Of course, we know that in the end this philosophy is inherently self-destructive. But in the end can signify a very long time, during which mankind must suffer needless darkness.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 17 2016 @ 09:26 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

I would be foolhardy to not bow to your obviously more intimate knowledge on this matter. As a woman, you will obviously see things that I do not as a man.

Suffice it to say that I have not personally seen the results of that glass ceiling, but admittedly may not have the best viewpoint to see it either. I can say that in the majority of positions, I personally see no reason gender should play a role whatsoever, and in the remaining where gender differences may be applicable, at least half favor women's abilities over men's.

IMO of course.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 17 2016 @ 03:03 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

An opinion I share.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 08:34 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

It's funny that even before I got to the part where you mention Idiocracy I instantly thought of Idiocracy.. which is sad and somewhat alarming.

Solutions? Well, there's always eugenics.. but the idea isn't particularly popular.

Personally I believe in the tradition of philosopher kings, or enlightened priesthood.. maybe.. But there's inherent problems with those ideas too. There's no perfect system, I think.. but many could work.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

The premise of your argument about karma is based on looking at the current life of any one person. Karma is inseparable from reincarnation and karmic effects aren't limited to one life. It's not really a fair assessment, the information needed for a fair assessment isn't really available so to many it remains a curiosity.

It depends on by what parameters you measure those cycles, and how large they are. As far as we know all of our known history could be a part of one single cycle. It also depends on how you define such cycles.

An article I read just yesterday touched a little bit on this:


But Guénon and Evola did not regard historical decline as a disembodied force. They thought it was produced by concrete, embodied groups of historical agents.


Historical decline in this case refers to the Kali Yuga - the dark iron age.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 09:19 AM
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Wise word my friend, I think you nailed it.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 09:27 AM
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a reply to: TheLaughingGod

I try to forget about Idiocracy when reading threads, but somehow it keeps coming to mind. I think the guy who played Cledus in the opening scenes is my second cousin.

Sadly...



Eugenics has been going on in some form or another since pre-history. Some people actually do consider offspring characteristics when choosing a mate, and I believe more consider it subconsciously. As an accepted and overt institution, however, I can think of no more dangerous experiment. The possibilities of producing mutant children due to DNA tampering is something straight out of a horror movie, and we have all seen how some will try to push limits of any science to dangerous extremes. Plus, as you seem to indicate, there is the issue of inherent corruption of any program so powerful as to accomplish institutional eugenics.



I consider every civilization to be, at its core, an experiment in humanity. Some succeed, some fail, based on how the experiment progresses. The real issue that causes eventual failure of initially successful experiments is human adaptability. With progress and prosperity comes an adaptation to a more leisurely lifestyle. Leisure leads to laziness and complacency, which leads to laziness. As a society becomes lazy, it also becomes diseased with corruption and eventually fails.

Unfortunately for us, these experiments cannot be carried out in rapid simulations... they must happen in real time, meaning failure can last for hundreds of years before a new experiment is begun. As the human lifespan is under 100 years, that fact means many will never be blessed to live under a successful experiment.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Don't you think that failure in the modern world would be far more rapid though? I think we can both agree that we're not really living in the successful part of our current experiment.. so the question then becomes, when will it all come tumbling down?



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 11:50 AM
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I don't think this has been mentioned, but there is another reason (aside from those already suggested) that people are rebelling against the established norm in politics and society. That reason is fear. The intense and obvious ramping up of police capabilities, the "crackdowns" on perceived law-breakers that have only intensified and toughened laws over time - including the "War on Drugs" that has seen entire generations of people sent to prisons around the world and the general "tough on crime" attitude that has only worsened over the decades.

Don't get me wrong, we need law and order and law enforcement - but the criminalising of practically anything that doesn't fall within a narrow view of whats legal, according to people who live their lives detached from society as a whole, has made people feel this world is now one giant prison. I, for one, feel this way and I, for one, want off this planet. I fear even driving my car around for fear of getting randomly pulled over and having to deal with a roadside interrogation that makes me feel like I don't even have the right to breathe without their permission - innocent as I may be.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Well, good to have a thread topic like this one.


Agree that there can be cycles. Actions, reactions. Generational, economic.

I will leave it up to Ornstein and Mann to explain our current political divide. This truly is something we have not seen for 150 years. It is why everything we have been accustomed to in elections must be thrown out the window.

What I have observed for decades has been a culture that has turned to exclusivity as a hallmark. The 1960s legally tore down walls for racial divides, but the 1980s brought us a new cultural wall of religiously inspired citizenship, a fight against "secular humanism". You were either "born again" or not, "saved" or not saved, and the goal was to save the nation by placing in power (govt, business, culture) persons born again and saved.

The 1990s added to the dividing wall with a sorting out of liberals and conservatives. (And here is where Ornstein and Mann come in)

The new Millennium ushered in further dividing, with "you're either with us or against us", either American or unAmerican, patriotic or unpatriotic, in a battle for Good versus Evil.

Against this backdrop, we have lost our sense of community, and even One Nation is being kicked to the curb nowadays. The 1980s ushered in the myth of the "rugged individual", alone against the world. Pair this with a campaign to mistrust govt and each other, and We The People were no longer to be feared, as we fought each other. The wheel of inclusiveness had lurched to a halt, and we flew apart. Inject fears of survival into society, and we run away and cower, trying to save ourselves but not each other.

And this lack of community prevented "community based" mental health services to take effect fully, leaving mental health issues up to law enforcement, schools, hospitals, and patients' families. Other community based help (feeding the hungry, providing shelter for those without a residence, for ex) became beyond what churches could handle. And it didn't help to start wars in the Middle East with soldiers needing to return home to find healing in community, but the community is no longer there as a support as it once was when wars were fought.

Where once the names of heroes and high ideals could be found gracing community structures, we now have names of corporations.

Where national education has been narrowly defined as points on a test, and when we have no time or tests for The Arts, we include an increasing amount of facts but exclude what is good for the soul. Facts, not thinking, has been the goal.

Reasonableness has been replaced with the idea that unreasonableness must be accepted, and truth is whatever the speaker says it is. Irrationality and illogic is the modus operandi.

Our generation was raised with structure, which is why we could rebel against it. We questioned authority, to change it. I heard one young person in the 1990s say that their generation just ignored authority. It may be it is this not paying attention to authority, this lack of engagement with the idea of authority that has allowed authoritarianism to find its way in.

My 2c only paid for this much data, so I end here.



posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 10:26 AM
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My heroes (they didn't have any for girls, so I adopted male heroes) were Bat Masterson, The Rifleman, Matt Dillon, Zorro, Spock, etc - violence could be used but was never exchanged over words (that's what the "bad guys" in these stories did... fought over words.) There's a realm of "things where it is justified" and "things where it is not justified."


Yes. I remember those guys. Use of brains, reflection. It seems that when it was discovered that women could be on equal footing with men in use of brains, such brainpower declined in popularity and culture was left with one area where men could claim a superiority, physical. And a stress on the physical without a balance of brainpower leads to fighting over words.

My first true heroes were the Mercury Seven astronauts. I loved that time! But I had to wait for the first female hero in space, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (1963).

I think that one of the things we go wrong with is the way we prefer to think of our heroes. We demand our heroes nowadays to be a manifestation of either all good or all bad. We strip the humanity away from our heroes, demanding human heroes something which they cannot give us. It is unreality we demand from them. Other cultures and in other times have seen their gods and heroes to be with flaws but providing something heroic otherwise.

We now demand what we deem perfection even in our politicians, refusing to understand that we are talking about people, flawed individuals as each one of us is. It is then we either engage in what many would call "lies" or disengage completely, not seeing that no human can provide this type of hero. We have elevated our politicians to mythic hero status, rather than seeing them for what they are, people interviewing for a job.

Since Western religion has always been a big part of American culture, the type of religion dominant the last few decades promoted the idea of only two possibilities, being "saved" or "unsaved"; and that meant that we saw individuals who were "saved" as being somehow "above" others, sinless (or less of a sinner at best), a dangerous notion for individuals as well as society. To "save" the nation would produce a "flawless" nation, an impossibility.

I believe this, we are out of balance now. We ARE flawed, as individuals and as a nation. (Who and what nation isn't? We can assess degrees of flaws, however.) Get over it. Get real. There is no "glory age" we can turn back to. There is only a future which, because we are a democracy, we can help shape. Go forward, not backward.

2c data used up.



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