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Critical Thinking Courses: Teaching How (and how not) to Think

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posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 02:48 AM
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I've been running into something a lot lately, and I've had a hard time deciding whether the stupidity of it is intentional or not.

Taking a college level course in Critical Thinking and Sociological Analysis has been a most disappointing experience, because most of what is taught is plainly incorrect. At its most benign, it is just a bunch of pseudo-intellectual dribble designed to provide its proponents with an income that does not require work. At its worst, it's a neat little box to contain a student's thinking.

Three concepts have proven particularly frustrating because of their obvious shortcomings. The course makes no pretense against the fact that there is no objective application of these concepts and that no two people are likely to get the same results from them, yet they are presented as a road to truth.

1. Systems Theory. It's all well and good in a vacuum. You label the interacting components of a process, map out all input which affects them, map out all of their interaction, their output of results, the way those results affect their environment, and the consequent feedback from the environment, and in theory you now have a complete picture of how something works.

The problem is that when you step back and question this seemingly wonderful analytical tool, it requires a thousand assumptions. You must know every angle. You must know the nature of all interactions. Short of having perfect knowledge, all this amounts to is a "scholarly" variant of your standard-fare idealogue's blame game. You generalize masses of individuals into unified "components" of a single machine, all sharing common input and output.
Imagine the mess you'd get if you applied this to the issue of illegal immigration.
You'd have to generalize the immigrant population and society's reaction to them, you'd have to assume motives and internal processes, generalize results, then assign causality to certain actions.

Although my text assures me that exactly the opposite is true, I find the result to be a disgustingly linear and mechanistic paradigm. It reduces millions of personalities: things we nowhere near fully comprehend, into just a few lumped "components" engaged in simple "stimulus and response" interactions.

Why are institutions of higher learning teaching people a subjective and simplistic model of society which can be used to lend a thin pretention of scholarship to absolutely any contention? In my opinion, this method of analysis is highly conducive to "us and them" thinking and the labeling of entire groups as faulty components within an otherwise cohesive system.


2. Historical Dialecticism: In my opinion, the fatal flaw in the development of Marxism. This is a great tool for generalizing and misrepresenting history. It only works in hindsight, and with convenient ignorance of details and unfavorable examples.
A dominant viewpoint is named the Thesis. Any challenge is labeled Antithesis. The two clash until it becomes necessary to synthesize them, and a compromise of some kind comes into being and becomes the new Thesis, thus resulting in a natural progression and improvement of ideas. This would theoretically work in scholarly circles. John Stuart Mill alludes to it rather convincingly in On Liberty, I think in Chapter 4.
In the real world, it's too simplistic because it isolatesa given issue from outside influences and does not account for the phenomenon of total victory, often by force.

Using Historical Dialecticism to interpret economic history, Capitalism is likely to be seen as an optimum compromise in the revolution against Feudalism.

When you examine the continued importance of land ownership under Capitalism however, it seems the Historical Dialecticism serves chiefly to force the ASSUMPTION of positive change. In truth, Capitalism is essentially a conspiracy to centralize the power of feudal states and simultaneosly expand that control beyond borders.

You still work for your landlord and spend most of your life in debt, but the tie is more subtle. Under feudalism, you work your land and as a direct result you get to stay on the land. You cross the landlord, you're out.
Now land ownership is spread out, and instead of working for your land lord, you work for somebody else who gives you money to pay your land lord with. The beauty of the system is that your work is no longer limited to providing what is needed.

Under feudalism, once the work is finished, you're done working. It's a results-driven system. The buildings get built, the livestock get raised, the crops come up, the landlord gets them, and that's that.

Under capitalism, everyone has to work, even if all of the work is already done. If you've got 300 Million People and 50 Million jobs, then unless 5 out of every six people are the dependent of someone who has a job, you're gonna have a lot of homeless people unless you create unnecessary new industries and advertise their wares effectively. This breeds excessive luxury industry and excessive comsumption, so now just because Dad's putting food on the table doesn't mean that little Johnny can have a childhood and develop himself into a fully functional man, because he's gotta buy CDs, cocacola, and porno mags so he's gotta get a paper route.

The upshot of it all is that virtually everyone, not just one or two people per household necessarily, can become dependent on a corporation for employment. This brings us to company policy- you can be fired from Miller for drinking Budweiser.
Picture this: If Walmart and a few other retailers say that smoking creates overhead in the form of medical insurance and stop doing business with companies that employ smokers, wouldn't the result be a completely non-democratic defacto ban on tobacco?
Cheap example, but apply it to whatever and see what you come up with.
Capitalism has the potential to be wielded as a conspiracy for getting people to trade their freedom in for a few cheap luxuries.

You'd never come to that thinking the way they teach you to in college though, because historical dialecticism doesn't allow for unified control or total victory of a viewpoint, and it ASSUMES progress.


Then there's Socratic Inquiry- OH MY GOD- Vagabond isn't going to second-guess Socrates is he? Kinda, not really.
It's the application that bothers me.
Socratic Inquiry is a negative debating technique used to eliminate hypotheses. It's best when the person you're debating with isn't nearly as smart as you.
If he's as smart as you, he won't contradict himself, but his contention won't actually be affirmed, it just won't be contradicted. There won't be any affirming proof as a result.
If he's not as smart as you, he'll contradict his thesis with another belief or fact, thus eliminating the hypothesis in question. At this point, the instructor asserts an alternate answer and if the pupil falls for this false dichotomy, the pupil is won over to the instructors way of thinking.

Gee, that's a great thing to teach in schools isn't it? How to invalidate the results of someone's cognitive processes and then use their fear of uncertanity to lead them around by the brain-stem. Useful for lawyers and politicians, but absolutely worthless to any pursuit of truth.


I feel this post getting long, so I'll just sum up with a simple question: Is the theory that education should teach "how to think, not what to think" really any less of an indoctrination process?

Personally, i think it's an open-ended indoctrination, which gently guides you in self-indoctrination into the camp of your choice.

[edit on 1-4-2006 by The Vagabond]




posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by The VagabondTaking a college level course in Critical Thinking and Sociological Analysis


Prior to this class, have you taken sociology before?





Is the theory that education should teach "how to think, not what to think" really any less of an indoctrination process?


I do not know, you are sounding like a sociologist, please put this into plain English. (you have not yet explained what indoctrination process is)

I think sociology is a horrible subject and should not be taught in schools as well with psychology, political science, government, any race based study program, philosophy, religion, and economics. Maybe I missing something else.

EDIT: Yes, here is the other one that should not be taught. Honestly, what is this all about?

[edit on 1-4-2006 by Frosty]



posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 02:45 PM
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The problem with teaching "how to think" without providing information is that it's a pretty pointless exercise.

I can teach you to think critically, but that doesn't mean you'd be able to correctly determine when to use the Chi Square analysis on data (something I happen to be struggling with right at the moIment.) To do that, I have to stuff your head full of facts, first -- facts about what chi square is, why it's used, how it's calculated, and what kind of data it is useless to beat with the statistic.

See what I mean? They have to both be taught.

And don't dismiss the scholarly views such as Marxism out of hand. They're tools; ways of viewing data. What they do is enable us to think beyond the box (though some folks get boxed up in them, admittedly.)



posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty
Prior to this class, have you taken sociology before?


Nope, first time out actually. I'm not denying that the course has had it's good moments- it certainly has inspired some good critical thinking.
My only beef with it is that when you teach a subjective system of inquiry which is only as good as the level of detail you plug into it as the road to objective truth, it becomes a box unto itself, rather than a means of thinking outside the box.

The beauty- and the horror- of human thought is that it doesn't seem to have a simple structure or step-by-step approach. It almost "just happens". We can accept its limitations- in that your point of view will by definition affect the way you see things, and consequently most if not all thought is at least mildly subjective on some level. It still works, and it has carried us for considerable distances, but it is imperfect.

When you take a frame of reference which the user builds for himself according to a loose template (such as Systems Theory) and set it up on a pedestal as a scholarly model, the student's mind can justify a very slanted approach by the immense authority of academia, which has taught him that he can interpret the world in an objective manner through a series of generalizations and assumptions.

To build a Social Systems model of the immigration issue, I must decide who acts first, who belongs in what group, who interacts and does not interact, which results are caused by which interactions, who is "in the system" and who is "outside in the environment" etc. If I build one way, I can "demonstrate" that Mexico is a "broken" component of the international system creating an output of immigrants who try to join the American system, which has no room for them, causing reactionary force from the immigrants, etc etc, all because I subjectively chose to look focus on America as the most relevant component of the global system, assigned causality to Mexico's breakdown without zooming out to see how Mexico got that way, etc etc etc. The necessarily subjective application of Systems Theory to this issue with imperfect knowledge allows me to conclude through "scholarly" sociological analysis that Mexico is the root of the problems here and should be eliminated, and it doesn't even sound so bad when I refer to them as "a faulty component" as opposed to "a nation housing 1 out of every 60 human beings on this planet".


So Frosty, to put this plainly, if still in a single needlessly complex run-on sentence, what I'm saying is that rather than telling us exactly what to think, it seems to me that some of the tools for analysis we are given, if we confine ourselves to them too rigidly simply because we had to pay several thousand dollars to hear about them from someone who did likewise before us and as a result attained a few letters after his name (such as PhD), will cause us to think whatever we initially choose to think, but in precisely the same dogmatic fashion as we would think if they'd simply drilled their views into our heads by rote.

If I were running a school, which I admit I am probably not qualified to do, my focus would be on provoking students to ask questions, find their own answers, then question their own answers. I wouldn't worry to much about HOW they choose to inquire, but rather since a certain level of subjectivity is unavoidable, I would allow them to be confronted with the subjectivity of it by the fact that they derived most of their questions and answers freestyle and unassisted. I suspect my school would produce more than its fair share of nihlists, chaos theorists, agnostics, and nervous breakdowns, but so be it.

I would be against banning any field of study. The focus for me is simply that dogma regarding how to approach the subject is only slightly less harmful than dogma regarding the results which must be reached.

I view this as a loosening of control designed to coax us into staying away from banned ideas.
It used to be that if they didn't want you going to Destination X, they just tell you exactly where to go instead.
Now they give you a map that doesn't have Destination X on it and tell you that you've got everything you need to go absolutely anywhere that exists.

Either way, you'll never get to X unless you test what you're given and add something of your own to it.

Don't get me wrong, I see the value of an education- I'd be far too proud to spend my money on a peice of paper if I wasn't growing in school. I find that most of the value of my education comes from being prompted to think things over for myself, and from challenging the professors from time to time. When schools done with, only half of what I put into my final paper for this class will be worthwhile. The inquiry into my the subject I've chosen will be valuable. The application of Systems Theory and Historical Dialecticism to that subject will likely have been in vain.

There is one qualifier I suppose I should add. There are certain benefits to having an inquisitive nature. Perhaps if I hadn't developed my own way of questioning things I'd have more use for somebody else's framework. Even still, if you're not an artist, and you trade in your stick figures for a coloring book, you haven't actually improved as an artist- you've just found a way to get by.



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 12:41 PM
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Excuse me if my last post seemed incoherent.

I have taken sociology already and I can tell you it lacks empirical method, discipline, rigor and anayltical thinking. I have already come to the conclusion that sociolgoists and the courses taught are very adolescent. I can rant for a long time about sociology and what I do not like about it and how to fix it. It is the worst class I have taken, as of yet.


Mathematics will definitely teach a student how to think and not what to think. So if you are looking for a subject that teached this (how to think), take math. If you want to study only the facts of the matter and how to apply these facts, become an engineer. But I wouldn't recommed taking classes related to sociology. This is just from my youthful freshman experience. Unless of course you're looking to go into politics, then of course sociology and political science are highly recommended.



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond

1. Systems Theory. It's all well and good in a vacuum. You label the interacting components of a process, map out all input which affects them, map out all of their interaction, their output of results, the way those results affect their environment, and the consequent feedback from the environment, and in theory you now have a complete picture of how something works.


It's meant to be a general analytical tool.....not specifics. In the application....usually, statistics are used to determine a majority 'mindset' and then apply a social doctrine to accomodate. The human animal and its many interactions on a sociological scale necassarily require (redundant...yes) a constant negotiation between the individual variable and the societal variable....so yeah....your take is spot on....unless you are trying to apply Systems Theory to an individual, you're going to more often than not end up with a satisfactory answer.....please note that I too take issue with the 'satisfactory answer'.....still working it out, but none of it works with the current societal system.....as you said, capitalism is a subtle form of feudalism....which means a class system is in place. Until a class system can be eliminated...not via socialism/communism....or a popular, educated acceptance..(which incoroprates its own problems)... then a perpetuation of archaic issues will occur. I don't know how many times I've encountered popular media that propagated base, emotive information in the guise of 'need to know'....in my opinion, education is the answer. But then you run into the question you posted at the end of your initial post, Vagabond.....What is critical thinking if it has to be taught?


Originally posted by The Vagabond

2. Historical Dialecticism: .........[snip].....
In the real world, it's too simplistic because it isolatesa given issue from outside influences and does not account for the phenomenon of total victory, often by force.


First define 'total victory'.....the statement implies an end of action/event when it really is just a segue for further event/action.....the phenomenon, as you described it, is fallacious....the thing with thesis/antithesis is exactly the ability to fundamentalize a concept....to break it down into a workable thought process and then expand from there...in context. The problem with the propagation of the concept is that it usually is described as an end all be all for any given situation.......it's not, precisely because there are different categories of variables that can be ascribed to a situation that will effect the interpretation of the concept by as many different individuals....to fundamentalize a concept, is not necassarily going to provide against different interpretation.....


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Then there's Socratic Inquiry- OH MY GOD- Vagabond isn't going to second-guess Socrates is he? Kinda, not really.


Why not....


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Is the theory that education should teach "how to think, not what to think" really any less of an indoctrination process?


Until the process can teach self reflection and require self therapy as an avenue of education......it is an indoctrination.





(Mod edit: Fixed quote tags.)

[edit on 4/3/2006 by Majic]



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 12:10 AM
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Looks like somebody is sizing me up for round 2 of the debate tourney.

Good to see you, but forgive me if I don't mix it up too much here.


Originally posted by MemoryShock

Originally posted by The Vagabond
OH MY GOD- Vagabond isn't going to second-guess Socrates is he? Kinda, not really.

Why not....


Sacred cow just isn't as good of a meal as it sounds. Lots of fat and not much meat. My beef is with the application of socratic inquiry in the classroom. The idea itself has its place as a debating tactic, particularly in the philosophical realm.



Until the process can teach self reflection and require self therapy as an avenue of education......it is an indoctrination.


Require self therapy- now there's an interesting concept. The requirement sort of sucks the self out of it wouldn't you say? Afterall, if you have to be required from outside, then whose therapy is it really? Outside forces in a non-self-transcendent society cannot truly have your own best interests at heart 100%. Even in the most benevolent case they are ultimately giving themselves therapy because the pain they percieve in you is paining them.

Required therapy is not therapy for you, but therapy for those who require it. There is not something inside of you which offends you which has inspired the therapy, rather you are something in society which offends society.
An education that "requires self reflection and self therapy" would cure society of you, not necessarily cure you of anything.

I suppose if you wanted to take my objection to the curriculum to its logical conclusion, any teaching at all which rises beyond the relaying of objective basic facts is an indoctrination. The student must take the facts and construct everything for himself on his own initiative in a perfect system.

Of course then there's a sticky subject of what constitutes an objective fact. 1/3=.333~ is not an objective fact. It's a symbolic representation of something you can only observe for yourself: multiply .333~ by 3 and it doesn't equal 1.

So practicality can get in the way, (and here's where I highlight the inherent contradiction of this entire thread by breaking out my own utilitarian philosophy), because when it comes right down to it, the end of this philosophy is that one should not be taught at all, but should only observe and interpret. Of course this would get far less done. We'd have to reinvent the wheel not just every generation, but over 6 billion individual times per generation (assuming there are 6 billion people in the world- I haven't seen them).
So then the question becomes, to what degree do we submit to indoctrination in the name of society and its luxuries? Depending on the answer, this negates the criticism of the course which started the discussion, because it gets you a piece of paper that says you're qualified to make money.

This is why I have such a love-hate relationship with my philosophies- they are always dualistic. There's the ideal way, and the way that works, almost invariably, and they are usually quite difficult to reconcile.



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 12:49 PM
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Philosophy..

Greek

Philo..love ..sopha..wisdom..

Love of wisdom. to love wisdom.

You have quite a dilemma here. A type of catch 22. None of the alternatives or choices seem to be palatable.

May I suggest that you learn what passes for philosophy or thought but use this or not to your satisfaction when you leave the schools of "higher learning." I say this because not all of what you learn in school is useful in the world. It is only shadows and types. Much of it taught and reinforced mostly to reinforce the school systems and the body politic which finances the school systems. Not necessarily does this type of education benifit you ...for your best intrest. Understand??? What you are learning is politics...not necessarily for your benifit. For the purpose of a predictable outcome..not for you but someone or something else.
I think this is what bothers you ..you sense something is missing from your education ..it is not a complete set. Parts are missing. I agree with you. You will learn this when you get out in the real world..not the cloistered environment of school. I am assuming, perhapsed incorrectly, that you are still young. This may not be true and would answer why you sense that something is missing/incorrect in the course.

Learn what you need to get the sheepskin...you dont have to buy into it or believe it. Get the sheepskin and if you are so inclinded redefine your life for yourself..not in terms of these philosophys which with you so disagree or question. Not everyone out here buys into this drivel they teach in schools ..they just dont let on or write books. They dont want to be fingerprinted that they dont agree with what is taught or the body politic who finance this system of thought.

Take a good look at who finances eduaction and pulls their strings.. this will be a very strong indicator of what and why things are taught or not. This is often the missing indicator ..or fingerprint.

Dualistic???? Hegalian dialectic???? That statement of yours got me to thinking along this route.
Dualistic philosophys among men are usually used to steer thinking in a way or route which is desired. Not necessarily for the benifit of the individuals they are trying to control..
Control ones thinking you can control their actions..you can do this with language too.. Use or misue words and you can control thinking. Dualism works quite well here.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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I should also add..that Education is not just teaching you facts..but teaching you a method of putting the facts together in a usable coherent manner for your benifit not a predetermined political benifit..for the bee hive. The method of thinking and analyzing which allows one to work for ones own benifit..not just group think. Not behive mentality but individual benifit. Understand??

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by orangetom1999
Philosophy..
Greek
Philo..love ..sopha..wisdom..


Etymologically speaking, yes. Ironic isn't it?
Irony
Greek
eironeia: feigned ignorance


May I suggest that you learn what passes for philosophy or thought but use this or not to your satisfaction when you leave the schools of "higher learning."


Pretty much what I said in my digression into the application of my utiliatarian views to the question of whether or not the indoctrinating nature of the discipline is the most relevant concern.


Not necessarily does this type of education benifit you ...for your best intrest. Understand???

Well, that was kind of the point of the thread. I hope the "Understand???" was supposed to be... dare I reuse the word now... ironic.


I agree with you.

And, fortuitously, I agree with you. This saves us a lot of headache and pondering as to how only one of a pair can be in agreement.


You will learn this when you get out in the real world.

Been there. Didn't like the part I ended up in, hence the return to school. I might not have read anything in to the flaws in the curriculum if I hadn't seen my share of corporate culture and Marine Corps education.


I am assuming, perhapsed incorrectly, that you are still young. This may not be true and would answer why you sense that something is missing/incorrect in the course.

Hey, look at that, we're quite on the same page. 22 is fairly young, but not so young that you wouldn't see anything if you had your eyes open. There's lots of time for observing when you spend 4 years working jobs that don't challenge you under a heirarchy of bosses among whom you can't seem to find all the components of a single functioning intellect.


They dont want to be fingerprinted that they dont agree with what is taught or the body politic who finance this system of thought.

Yeah, I kind of see my big mouth blowing that game for me. If I had my choice of careers (and I figure I will if I make the right reputation for myself) I'm going to devote a considerable part of my effort in life to butchering sacred cows and serving them up as meal suppliments to the working poor.
Hegel, Marx, and Smith are high on my hitlist. All I've got to do before I can start picking on those who had the wrong answers is find the right answer.


Dualistic???? Hegalian dialectic???? That statement of yours got me to thinking along this route.
Dualistic philosophys among men are usually used to steer thinking in a way or route which is desired. Not necessarily for the benifit of the individuals they are trying to control.

Misphrased on my part. Not dualistic in terms of establishing a false dichotomy. Dualistic in terms of yielding an unworkable ideological answer which I tend to set on the shelf as a show piece and replace in practice with a suitable variation of the sloppy but functional system I set attacked to begin with.
Case in point: My finding that one should probably not allow himself to be taught at all where freedom is the primary concern, but that I would compromise that value where practicality offers a greater quality of life than freedom alone.

Which brings us to a suitable question to carry this discussion on with:
Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven? Heretical as I often am, I think I've shown that I would take exception to that. What say you?



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 01:24 AM
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You posted.

quote "Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven?" quote

This is a standard type of cliche used by alot of people. IN the context of your post...Hell is what you keep running into with this state of public education or if you like critical thinking or lack there of.

What you seem to be thinking or coming across to me with is that much of this type of education doesnt make good nonsense. This becomes eventually a type of hell when you recognize the fingerprint over and over and over and over. Even when you find that among many this passes for excellence or greatness. How many times can you watch a movie like this before you ask..can this be accidental or deliberate??

Would you want to reign over this?? I wouldnt.

practically should offer a greater quality of life if you have the freedom and common sense to know and put practicality of life to use. No nonsense..just simple practical usage...not politics but practical every day simplicity in common sense.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 03:03 AM
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Originally posted by orangetom1999
You posted.
quote "Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven?" quote

IN the context of your post...Hell is what you keep running into with this state of public education or if you like critical thinking or lack there of.


Although I suspect you get my meaning actually, I'll clarify that it's a simpler question than you make it out to be, at least as I apply it. Hell, in this context, is indeed the system which attempts to limit you. Reigning in it, as I put it, is just putting up with it for the sake of enjoying the benefits of a society which is heavily based on those limitating illusions.

The suggestion that you can live in it and not buy into it is only partially viable. Ultimately it will have an effect, not unlike the most infuriating of commercials and the attendant jingles: It will stay with you on some level.

The alternative is basically to reject all knowledge not gained completely independently, which when practiced rigidly almost necessitates withdrawl from society.

I don't really find that practical, and so I differentiate between my perception of what is intellectually/spiritually right and what should actually be done.
It's selling out in a sense, or if you wanted to put a happy face on it, it's buying in (in more ways than one though).

I think I'm starting to understand why some of the brightest people I know are completely obsessed with the idea of destroying their own consciousness, and in some cases the Universe.



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 01:53 AM
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I am curious what you did for the Corps??? Or can you say?

I agree with you that the system is a type of hell. Or it tends by and by twords hell...while selling us a illusion that it is not.

Also that you can live with it is only partially viable. It tends to sneak up on you when you are not often prepared for it. One of the sickening things about it is that it tends to change the rules on you when you think you have some of it figured out. It is a system of control.

I dont know if destroying ones own consciousness is a good thing as much as taking on another one. Not necessarily the one they want you to have or to which this system wants you to default.

What I read in your post is a type of pattern recognition...that there is a pattern to the madness. You are a part of it and in it but dont want to be thus. You want another pattern ..outside the default settings. Not a unreasonable expectation..its called freedom....at least it used to be. Maybe not now days with all this group think. Or as I sometimes say..LIke a copy machine..punch in fifty and get fifty copys.

By the way..in my thinking and observing ..watching I notice a type of across the board ..presentation..or direction twords exactly what you describe ..feudalism. A system in operation designed to preserve the status quo..at a feudalism level..almost protecting a feudal intellligentsia/fiefdom...in every facet of our lives..education. politics..merchandizing..anything to keep one on this treadmill. The term I uses to describe it is exactlly that a return to feudalism/royalty. You have to dumb people down across the board to preserve this. Almost seducing them into it by ignorance or emotions and unawares too.....in many arenas.
Have you noticed this??

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 03:12 AM
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Originally posted by orangetom1999
I am curious what you did for the Corps???


You're going to laugh your butt off. I scored high enough on the ASVAB that I pretty well had my pick of MOS, and the recruiter was putting a full-court press on to get me as a linguist, but I asked for infantry and I got it. Which turned out to be rather Shakespearean because I hurt my back at the school of infantry just a few months into my hitch and ended up discharged. If I had been a pogue I would have been able to just tough it out through SOI, secure in the knowledge that it would probably be the last time that I had to carry a substantial weight on my back.


By the way..in my thinking and observing ..watching I notice a type of across the board ..presentation..or direction twords exactly what you describe ..feudalism. Have you noticed this??


I've been convinced for some time that Capitalism as practiced at present (I'd have to do a little research before I'd stretch to say it always was) is simply refined feudalism. It's brilliant, in a diabolical way. Land ownership begets unnecessary production begets excessive luxury begets over-comsumption begets debt, ultimately placing virtually everyone in the pocket of those who run the corporations.

I always remember that Mussolini said that fascism would be better termed "corporatism" because it is the merging of state and business interests.

Where are we going, and what's this handbasket for?



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty
I think sociology is a horrible subject and should not be taught in schools as well with psychology, political science, government, any race based study program, philosophy, religion, and economics.

Eh, I disagree; I think Psychology should be tought; it can teach us how easily our minds can be manipulated by others, and perhaps that we CAN resist being manipulated like that sometimes. However, politically correct text-books make me wish that ANY course in any way related to history with textbooks should be discontinued.




Mod Edit: Please Don't Quote Entire Posts


[edit on 4/10/2006 by Majic]



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 02:17 AM
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Again, I think it would be a mistake to ban any discipline from schools. If I were looking for a happy medium between completely selling my soul for a diploma and simply shunning society and its ideas entirely, I'd say just make the curriculum a little less structured and a little more introspective.

The oddity of psychology, and the reason that I've never been to a shrink willingly, is that it necessarily involves someone less familiar with a given specific event helping the more familiar person make sense of it. Granted some people need this kind of guidance, but I'm not sure they would if they had better developed their own thinking skills.

Shrinks may have a great deal of knowledge which prepares them to better ask questions and propose adjustments, however I believe a naturally inquisitive person would be far less likely to ever need such guidance in order to put his own life in perspective and weigh the options.

If they can make six figures by asking the intellectually lazy how they feel though, good for them.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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I do believe you are a natural skeptic of the human condition.

Do you know how to work a rubic's cube???

I too am such at many times....skeptical of the human condition..and the institutions designed to "guide/rule " over it.

Psychology

From the Greek..Psyche..meaning soul. Ironic isnt it. Is this religion??

I agree with your rationale about shrinks.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 02:02 PM
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I'm not really good enough at arts and crafts to beat the rubic's cube OT, but if I had steadier hands I'm sure the sollution would involve a hobby knife and some superglue. (My brother solved it that way once, but the stickers came out all torn and skewed so that you could tell he hadn't really solved it.


As for my skepticism of other people... let's just say that ample experience supports my conclusion. I'm always depressed, but I'm rarely surprised.



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 12:27 PM
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I to am not good at arts and crafts. I can however work a rubics cube..at least the 3x3 ones.

The reference to the rubics cube was about three or more dimensional thinking which is what you seem to have. At least enough to question the type of institutional insanity which often surrounds us as normal. Hence also the skepticism.

Likewise ample experience here supports this conclusion/skepticism and the quest for knowlege to see around the corners..the dimensions if you like ..in the dark like radar.
I do not believe the quest for this knowlege will be totally forthcoming in public education. Much of it ,while intresting, will be standard nonsense designed to keep you within the varioius blocks on the "Cube". Your quest for this will take you elsewhere. Sometimes outside the cube. Away from the three dimensions. Bon Appetite.
Having served in the Marines and a grunt..I am sure you understand that whatever you learn out here among the wildlife in its natural habitat...there are times you dont dare blink. Especially in education..they will slip one past you very quickly if you are not awake.

As for depression..I have tended to get that way at times..but it is not conducive to sanity. Besides ..I am a nuclear fuel loader.. I cannot afford depression. My team depends on me. I have to suck it up and keep going. But you understand that too!!

OH by the way I forgot to mention in my earlier post...Refined Feudalism..yes I agree..still feudalism but refined to the available tools of the day.

Semper Fi,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 02:04 PM
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I get what they were teaching you. But your right. I can't spell. lol

Jokes aside; the Martixism of history/Historical Dialeticable?(Correct me, if I wrong on it, it goes by both in the academic community.) only helps one determine what's more plasable; not necessarily accurate. And the systems can work, the idea is to already have a "componant" defined. It's simple marketing and High School psychology. You pick your "target" people for a product or service, and use the componants of the enviroment, goverment, area, etc. to determine how to sell it. Why do colleges make easy concept classes harder without outlining the uses of these?

Martixism are used by Historians, Anthropologists, and Archeologists all the time like Dr. Zuwass and William Manchester all the time to figure out what happened in Egypt, France, etc. The Systems theory is a marketing designed to help to figure out how to promote something to a specific group of people. Hoped I helped. Sorry, if I offended anyone.


[edit on 13-4-2006 by freethinker4356]



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