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Stopping the rise of the idiot savant.

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posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 06:10 PM
In society there has been a rise of the idiot savant. Especially in the education system, there exists in the uk many academics which have no ability outside of their own subject, but worse very specialised skill sets. There are mathematicians who can barely write anbd have real problems with english never mind any foreign languages. There exists english people who cannot do maths. Worse still there is a division between the sciences and the arts.

This has all been part of a rise of the idiot savant. I will ignore the mathematics phd who was unable to do maths and pretend they can all still do their own subjects. Part of the problem of society is that an economist may know nothing of say biology etc. I understand that in the usa you have a liberal education ideal and you do not specialise untill after studying the first two years of a degree.

But what I say is that any degree or study should be half languaged based and the other half mathematics or science based. So a person studying a degree could study statistics and history, or english and physics, but not maths and physics. This idiot savant spread has spread to such a level that I believe it to be the main cause of many of todays problems. It has been made easier to move up with a speialised mind than with an equally clever more adaptable and more general one.

I would love to hear your views.

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 06:21 PM
A bit confused but I think I get the gist. Over specialization does seem to have its draw backs. This reminds me of Bertrand Russell ( I think it was his paper on the Scientific Outlook but could be wrong) when he mentions the society of learned experts. In this society knowledge is controlled by "experts" or those who specialize in various fields and these experts are essentially without question. This removes the need for individuals to think critically about their own problems and must rely on these experts until you end up with 2 distinct classes of people one that is knowledgeable and the other which is merely lead by the experts.

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 06:34 PM
Our brains are not limitless in size. If you get really good at one thing, the brain reproportions it's lobes to allocate more power to the subject you are good at. Even the lobes can change size. If you fill your brain with junk that you will never need, you lose common sense or intellect. The brain can memorize a lot like a computer but once it fills up it gets slower at computing. The size of the head is and is not a way of judging intelligence, it depends on the structure of the brain and the speed at which energy flows through it smoothly and in the right direction. I know people who have small heads and they are extremely intelligent. Their brains must be wired differently. Of course the ones I am speaking about here are women, their brains are wired different than men. At birth a male usually has a rush of testosterone that splits the brain, forcing thoughts to go around. Women don't have this, the connection is straight through. Most men cannot properly utilize this because the signal gets scrambled or confused and they tend to make irrational decisions. A woman usually thinks quicker but is usually limited unless she trains her brain to shuffle thought around the back and front lobes. Either way, the electrolyte balance in the brain is crutial, including intake of proper microminerals to make everything flow right. Too much fluoride is bad, it can take things past the blood brain barrior, both good and bad stuff.

I think that the people running this country have little common sense, they all have big heads and no brains. This includes some of the experts at the top of our health and education system. They got to quit putting people who know to much in those jobs, they need people who can think and see reality.

I feel like I am posting in a rant thread
S&F I guess I shouldn't have eaten those mushrooms with my steak. Maybe skipping the chow chow would have been wise.

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 06:39 PM
reply to post by werewolf99

I think you put far, far too much emphasis on education.

There is nothing wrong with specialized professors. LEt them be amazing in their own bailiwick.

I have seen, instead of what you describe, universities giving complete morons a degree. And then corporations allowing those morons to stay employed while developing a resume. I work with this one dude that, seriously, I have no idea how he ever got his first promotion. Let alone a director level position. I spend a full 15 hours a week cleaning up messes he makes.

The idiot savant has a role to play. Although, what you describe is less about true savants, and more about people who have learned via tunnel vision.

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 06:55 PM
I don't think that it is entirely about education and I think the world has been set up for the idiot savant to flourish. Also when someone says that somone cannot do this unless they are a specialist they are usually wrong as there are always some people who can who aren't.

After all if it is easier for a person to get a degree because they have a specialised mind, then they may get jobs or promoted because of it. This creates a specialised mind getting in positions of power. After all what most people do has little to do with their degree or education and also due to the fact that many people change careers many times, then people having to study unspecialised degrees or qualifications would make them more employable.

After all a person with a diploma or degree in journalism and engineering surely is much more versatile in skill set that a person with a degree or diploma in either?

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 11:06 PM
no kidding eh i have seen people that should not be breathing good air .

how the fxxx did they ever manage to crawl out of the aborted bucket moments and it is not just with education there is some seriously stupid adults out there .

i have come across some people with letters after their name and my old dog had more brains [munchers]

if you cannot blind them with brilliance .

baffle them with bullsxxt

posted on Dec, 4 2013 @ 01:20 AM
reply to post by werewolf99

Actually the whole point of getting degrees is to specalize in something. Here's a nice, simple, illustrated explanation for you.

And, the term idiot savant is a slightly derrogatory term for people with devolopmental disabilities who are uncomonly good at certain skills like math or music or something. Like rainman.

posted on Dec, 4 2013 @ 12:23 PM
reply to post by dave0davidson

Many people study more than one subject and joint hons are quite popular(studying 2 subjects equally).Also I would like to point out that most people work in a field completely different from their degree subject/or subjects. Also you mention the phd: and bring up the idea that degrees are really preperation for a phd. But the phd did not exist in the `19th century as it does now and was give at the end of a career. The reason it became what it is now was so that students could be made to do research for free.

Can you really say that the researchers are better now then they were then: not I say better not more knowedlgeable as I am not questioning the growth of human knowledge.

posted on Dec, 4 2013 @ 12:56 PM

A bit confused but I think I get the gist. Over specialization does seem to have its draw backs. This reminds me of Bertrand Russell ( I think it was his paper on the Scientific Outlook but could be wrong) when he mentions the society of learned experts. In this society knowledge is controlled by "experts" or those who specialize in various fields and these experts are essentially without question. This removes the need for individuals to think critically about their own problems and must rely on these experts until you end up with 2 distinct classes of people one that is knowledgeable and the other which is merely lead by the experts.

Yep! You pretty much summed up Russell's Scientific Outlook. Here's an online copy of Mr. Eugenic's book for further perusal: He definitely talks about class based education. The elite get educated in a variety of subjects while the common people are placed in those subjects most suited to their predispositions in a very narrow education with emphasis on not being questioning. It's a heck of a read and does sum up the duality of the American educational system as it has been since, at least, the 1960's.

I was taught to be diverse in subject matter--a so-called "classical" education of statistics, history, the arts, and sciences. That stuck with me to the point where I'm an accountant with a degree in biology along with credits in philosophy, sociology, psychology, literature and more writing credits than one can shake a stick at. At the time of taking all of these additional credits, I rationalized all of it as being "useful" regardless of what I did in the end. Now that I'm older, I really appreciate all that diversity of knowledge because the world is not simple and problems, big or small, are not cut and dry. People are complex beast and so is the world.

I honestly agree with the OP that over-specialization could be a huge problem for today's society coupled with the inability to think critically.

posted on Dec, 4 2013 @ 01:49 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

I am glad others are aware of this and its relation to the world today. Russell is essentially the modern blue print for the scientific dictatorship.

I could be wrong but wasn't Russell a polymath? Seems like we have fewer polymaths today or perhaps it is just a matter of perception since we wont know much about the ones currently til after they pass and their contributions tallied?

If there are fewer polymaths then this would be an indication that perhaps the emphasis on specialization as opposed to classical curriculum like the trivium etc really is taking a toll on society. Most polymaths I am aware of have been upper class as well at least in times passed but perhaps this was just due to the general lack of available education to other classes ?

posted on Dec, 4 2013 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by NihilistSanta

Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to see you mention Bertrand Russell's Scientific Outlook. Always makes my day.
I personally have myself about 99% convinced that that particular work by Russell became a blueprint for our educational system.

And yes, Russell was, in fact, a polymath. His "expertise" was logic, mathematics, and history. He dabbled heavily in multiple subjects outside of those and wrote multiple social critiques on subjects from education to human nature, itself. Part of the reason why I think so few polymaths exist is most likely due to the expense of just obtaining one degree. A ton of college degrees aren't cheap (and boy did I get in trouble when I was caught lol). Whether they are more common or not in today's world, I do not know. I've met a couple in my lifetime and, from what I understand, the majority of environmental philosophers could fall under polymaths so it could be that they are simply gravitating to one subject and condensing there.

Basic education in the US does not provide for polymath opportunity though it touches on it slightly. Kids are exposed to a variety of subjects for basic comprehension but are, ultimately, shoved towards one primary subject (where their prowess lies). This is the difference between basic comprehension and expertise--learn enough to kind of get what the experts are talking about but not enough to reasonably question with any authority. Where you do get polymath encouragement is in the gifted programs within the US where multiple and seemingly divergent subjects are taught under one subject. For instance, my 6th grade child is in a gifted humanities as opposed to regular humanities. Here's an actual side by side comparison of the two for consideration (list function apparently broken). These are straight from the school's curriculum pages for each, exactly as they are listed on the page with the exception of my using italics to denote difference. I'd post links to the actual curriculum pages but privacy issues with that.

Regular Humanities Curriculum:

Mapping skills/Geography
World Cultures
Writing process/styles
Greek and Latin stems
Fiction and non-fiction reading

Gifted Humanities Curriculum:

Writing--writing process, brainstorming, modes of writing (narrative, expository, persuasive), ideas and content, organization, voice and word choice, writing conventions, fluency.

Reading--comprehension/vocabulary building, including greek and latin stems, context cues, fiction and non-fiction reading (short, novel, editorial, letter, essays), concepts, supporting evidence, logical organization, and reading fluency for silent or aloud (for audience).

Geography--location and mapping, geography themes and critical thinking, regional exploration (climate, regional environment resources, cultural change), systems thinking (trends and patterns, environment, population, cultural universals, diversity and forces of change, elements and evidence of culture (gov't, economy, history, geography, language/history, art, and music).

Critical thinking--main ideas/concepts/theories, supporting evidence (relevant/specific), logical order, collaboration and cooperation, independent work strategies, assessment models and self assessment skills, learning about learning

Just a few, minor differences there... One would hope that every child gets to at least attempt to learn those italicized subjects when passing through the public school system here in the US. However, these subjects are relegated to classes that are mandated to include only the "top" 1-2% of children in the US through really questionable measures. People should be screaming about this because what this equates to (though with no guarantee) is a distinct advantage being offered to a very small portion of the population over the rest of the populace. Hello Bertrand Russell...

Video by Matt Groening (The Simpsons) on the subject (doesn't want to embed):

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