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America The Illiterate

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posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Surprising? It shouldn't be to most of us here on ATS. What does this mean to us though(And by us I mean ATS and like minded folk)? It means that the word "sheeple" does have significance today. It also means that those illeterate people, or even the semi-literate, are being fed biased information from the talking heads on the tube. This could have an impact on voting, could it not?


The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without the ability to make decisions based on textual information. American political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience. They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment and collective salvation. Campaigns that succeed are carefully constructed psychological instruments that manipulate fickle public moods, emotions and impulses, many of which are subliminal. They create a public ecstasy that annuls individuality and fosters a state of mindlessness. They thrust us into an eternal present. They cater to a nation that now lives in a state of permanent amnesia.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


That sounds about right, nothing new. And for issues that may have contributed to our current economic failure.....


The illiterate and semi-literate, once the campaigns are over, remain powerless. They still cannot protect their children from dysfunctional public schools. They still cannot understand predatory loan deals, the intricacies of mortgage papers, credit card agreements and equity lines of credit that drive them into foreclosures and bankruptcies. They still struggle with the most basic chores of daily life from reading instructions on medicine bottles to filling out bank forms, car loan documents and unemployment benefit and insurance papers.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I like the last paragraph the best. Take the time to read this and tell me if this isn't what we, here on ATS , are trying to demolish. Deny, and Demolish Ignorance.


The core values of our open society, the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense indicate something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to understand historical facts, to separate truth from lies, to advocate for change and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable, are dying. Obama used hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign funds to appeal to and manipulate this illiteracy and irrationalism to his advantage, but these forces will prove to be his most deadly nemesis once they collide with the awful reality that awaits us.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Enjoy

Source: www.truthdig.com...
-Dev


[edit on 1-4-2009 by DevolutionEvolvd]

[edit on 1-4-2009 by DevolutionEvolvd]




posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 07:34 PM
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Thank you for the article, truthdig.com is now bookmarked.

My girlfriend is a first year middle school teacher. Earlier in the year she was astonished at how hard it was to get the kids to write in complete sentences. There were times when she wanted to give up on it and have them just do all multiple choice, or fill in the blank, but she stubbornly worked through it and has seen a marked improvement. The sad part about this is she teaches in a wealthy area where she did not think she was going to run into these types of problems.

I personally believe that there is a lack of motivation for education or reading. Many people have never had it truly hard in this country, and because of this there is no motivation to work hard or to educate themselves.
The availability of cheap nonstop entertainment, TV, doesn't help at all....



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 07:37 PM
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"The core values of our open society, the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense indicate something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to understand historical facts, to separate truth from lies, to advocate for change and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable, are dying."

That is so true! I speak for Generation Y, when I say... most of us barely read, and we're the most educated generation????
I call bull.

Out of the seventy-five students in my class... only a handful actually read, question, challenge authority, and know that there are multiple paths to the same truth.

The rest? Sheep. Ignorant sheep... that think the news is the magical source of information that doesn't ever lie to it's viewers...

"A literate man is just as good as an illiterate man if they don't read. It is up to US, to question and challenge our government, and to find the truth.
If we don't challenge our government, We will become a nation of sheep; being told what to believe and what not to believe." - My world history teacher said that... It has stuck with me ever since..

P.S: To answer the poster above me:
"I personally believe that there is a lack of motivation for education or reading. Many people have never had it truly hard in this country, and because of this there is no motivation to work hard or to educate themselves." - Exactly. Even I am that way sometimes; I push myself hard to stay on track.


Oh and, Generation Y = Full of cheaters that don't learn much... a little more then 3/4 of all the students in my class cheat on ALL their tests; even VOCABULARY! (/rant - It's a small book with definitions, and a few long exercises. WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT OPENING UP A SMALL BOOK AND PUTTING YOUR BRAIN TO WORK?
)

[edit on 1-4-2009 by ShoopDaWhoop]



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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The quick electronic transfer of information via email, text messaging, etc. does little to help matters. Since when did it become acceptable to write in incomplete sentences and to ignore punctuation and capitalization?

Just like anything else, reading and writing have to be practiced constantly. These new communication mediums are detrimental to the proper use of the language, thus contributing to the illiteracy problem.



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by ShoopDaWhoop

Oh and, Generation Y = Full of cheaters that don't learn much... a little more then 3/4 of all the students in my class cheat on ALL their tests; even VOCABULARY! (/rant - It's a small book with definitions, and a few long exercises. WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT OPENING UP A SMALL BOOK AND PUTTING YOUR BRAIN TO WORK?
)

[edit on 1-4-2009 by ShoopDaWhoop]


Kinda sounds like the valedictorian of my graduating class....Despicable. He actually beat out one of the most honest hard working and generous people I have ever met. It was years ago, but I still remember how bitter I was listening to his speech...



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 08:20 PM
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Well, you would expect this to happen in a society that praises spoiling kids. I know my education will earn my place in society. By doing good in school, I know that one day it will lead to success in my life. It's all about working with them at a young age, my grandma had me counting change at age 3, with continued practice, I learned how to do math. It's all about teaching them as kids, not buying them toys and not caring.



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 08:32 PM
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Originally posted by SphinxMontreal
The quick electronic transfer of information via email, Text Text, etc. does little to help matters. Since when did it become acceptable to write in incomplete sentences and to ignore punctuation and capitalization?

Just like anything else, reading and writing have to be practiced constantly. These new communication mediums are detrimental to the proper use of the language, thus contributing to the illiteracy problem.


This principal at a high school near where I live tried to do something about cell phones due to text-cheating, etc.

www.ctv.ca...



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 08:58 PM
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Don't make the mistake of blaming the students. Put blame where it properly belongs and that is the policy makers in Washington. What they want is not to educate, but to churn out generation after generation of good workers that don't question authority.



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 09:32 PM
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This is happening more than in America. Canada faces this problem as well. And it's been happening for quite awhile now. See the first link in my signature.

That film was made in '76. So 33 years later, we are well into our third generation raised by the tube. Everything he says is an apt description of today. I haven't had tv in my home for four years and my kid, who is nine, reads at an adult level. She picks up and reads everything. She's reading some of my Drizzit novels right now.

Although the net may be helping somewhat, a bulk of the writings are in text speak or some other abbreviated form of language. I guess they have a place but they don't help with literacy.



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 09:46 PM
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The best example of how our poor education system and illiteracy have hurt us economically is this news article:

Toyota to build 100,000 vehicles per year in Ontario (Americans too illiterate to train)


...He said Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment


America is literally (pun intended) devolving in front of our eyes.



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