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View Diary: Silence of Civics Kills: How the lack of education dooms us to old mistakes (27 comments)

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  •  I agree with you, mostly (2+ / 0-)
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    home solar, JBL55

    I think that the dumbing down is certainly real, and one reason for it is the sound bite, but we ourselves grew up in the same age of the same bite. There is something else at work today, something not at work when I came along.

    I was coming up when "Network" warned about how we were being lied to and controlled by commercial interests. The movie was right, of course, and yet the generation still produced its share of intellectuals and dissidents, if not a few more than usual.

    I rather think the abbreviation of all discourse into the text message is a serious harm. The sound bite is now also the message between persons. It's the conversation. It's the personal expository discourse. When that happens, the "short now" goes past a tipping point, because the mind's containers are too small to hold even the aspiration for deep focus.

    (Every year I judge high school literary competitions and their ex tempore speaking on political issues. It's Fox News as half remembered by kids who heard it from their parents, or it's a conclusion from Fox News without the reasoning and a new attempt at trying to reach it.)

    Everyone is innocent of something.

    by The Geogre on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:22:50 PM PDT

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    •  Perhaps pandering to anger (4+ / 0-)
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      alice kleeman, The Geogre, Chi, JBL55

      Everyone who has to study and take tests has some level of anger about it.  It is natural to want to resist that which pushes and challenges us.  What makes us rise is coming to an awareness that this is leading to a better future, on some level.

      What Republicans have done, particularly the religious right, has been to pander to that anger unscrupulously, decoupling it from the better future.  

      It is all too easy to appeal to the lesser angels of our nature.

      Karl Rove made an art out of this, and got Bush elected as Governor of Texas on this schtick, and then President.

      The Texas State Board of Education is a side effect of this process, which has turned the word "conservative" into something Edmund Burke would mostly not recognize.

      Evangelical culture is predicated on the idea that modernism is alarmingly wrong, and it is most characterized by educational systems that cause students to question orthodox belief around social structure.  In places like the South, where I grew up, what was really being worshipped was the ruling class.  

      An assumption built into right wing politics by evangelical leadership is that you cannot win if you tell the public what you really think because the public is listening to the siren song of liberalism.  Thus, for the Righteous, the ends justify the means and that means artfully dodging, weaving and outright lying if that gets to a Righteous end.  

      I think that is not getting the recognition it really ought to have and that this set of precepts, which are not stated out in the open, is underlying the decline in the value Americans have for education.  That, and the insane drive on network television to find sicker and sicker violence to drive up the response rate for commercials.  

      If you ask people who have visited in prisons enough to know, they will tell you that there are no such criminals in the Big House as the diabolically genius level masterminds of bizzarely twisted crimes you see on TV.  Why? writers are smarter than criminals and they need ratings.  

      That intensification to put money before all things may be the single most identifiable aspect to all this, but it isn't that simple, of course.

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:15:35 PM PDT

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      •  Consequentialism, yes (2+ / 0-)
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        Stuart Heady, JBL55

        Evangelicals believe that they serve God. Because they are not serving the state at all, but serving the higher law than the laws of man, all which gets in the way of that service may be ignored or subverted. They do believe that the ends justify the means, and the ends are especially dire because of their eschatological panic/glee.

        What is more worrying is that the Texas Board of Ed. is probably a separate matter from the GOP's "ratfucker" brigade. There was a pre-Dominionist movement among the evangelicals where, because they must prepare America to be the new Israel in the coming Armageddon, they encouraged activism on local school boards and all vulnerable democratic institutions. They urged serious banding together for state office, county office, and then immediate exclusion and "reform" to a Godly standard.

        Again, this was the exploit of "tolerance." I really recommend that Princeton UP paper.

        Everyone is innocent of something.

        by The Geogre on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 05:52:00 PM PDT

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    •  CIVICS (1+ / 0-)
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      The Geogre

      THE STATE OF POLITICAL DISCOURSE IN THIS COUNTRY IS SAD. iT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY STARTED TO LOSE THE VISION OF WHO WE ARE IN THE 70'S. IN MY DAY (I'M ANCIENT) A STUDENT DIDN'T GRADUATE WITHOUT HAVING A RUDIMENTARY KNOWLEDGE OF BOTH AMERICAN HISTORY AND CIVICS.

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