Why isn't knowledge valued in society? | INFJ Forum

Why isn't knowledge valued in society?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by athenian200, Jul 15, 2010.

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  1. athenian200

    athenian200 Protocol Droid
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    It really seems to me that our social values haven't kept pace with technology.

    People still seem to value a lifestyle that's mostly focused towards going, doing, and achieving tasks in a predictable way. Life is centered on work and family, with little room left for anything else. Those values were perfect for the Industrial Age.

    But now that we're in the Information Age, those same values are a terrible disadvantage. We need fewer and fewer unskilled laborers, and more skilled workers, more idea people. I think that learning and thinking are now so potentially beneficial to the future of society, that we should be paying people to learn, rather than charging them.

    It seems like we're headed towards regression and stagnation unless something changes soon. I know of so many workplaces that willfully and deliberately stick to outdated methods in order to "make" more work for their employees.

    Anyway, what do you think?


     
  2. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    I do agree with you in most parts. Albeit it might be ...generational differences, because I'm sure those back then also thought that way.

    Except the bolded part, because....uh, my mind goes like; Changing that would probably mean cutting lots of workplace in change of efficiency >> moral problem >> but then those people should be educated >> it's on one way or another, a problem in education >> or is it the problem from the upper management?

    As per reason, I think part of it was the prominence of older generations? That, and in one point of view, obedient subjects are far more easier to control than smart, skilled subjects who might have disagreement.

    As per our own generations, sometimes security triumphs over liberty, I guess.
     
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  3. Jack

    Jack Community Member

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    Imho, we're already there, look at the economic problems going on currently, but there is a paradigm shift her as well, its just taking a while, because everyone has been taught to live in the industrial age, and so many people don't want to let it go.
     
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    #3 Jack, Jul 15, 2010
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  4. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    Well, in the US, there is certainly an anti-intellectual trend in society that is being exploited by politicians and other demagogues. People deride highly educated people as elitists and complain that the Supreme Court has too many Ivy League educated Justices. Some say that the President is not the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with. Well, I say that I want the President and Supreme Court Justices to be smarter than me and I'd be appalled if they wanted to have a beer with me.

    OTOH, how many people, even here, could pick out Afghanistan or Iraq on an unlabeled map? How many people understand the complex (but extremely interesting), ubiquitous modulation schemes used in their cell phones, which they use constantly? Or, how an air conditioner or refrigerator works? Who really understands TCP/IP? Who among your friends knows a Renoir painting when they see one? Most people speak only English here in the US, so that is their linguistic world, a limited perspective that leads to chauvinistic provincialism, that ignores how large and diverse the world is, and leads to mistakes in a dangerous world. How many people complain about "biased" journalists, yet never read newspapers? Obviously, one could go on and on.

    The point is that people denigrate intelligence and learning to our collective detriment. A person with a modest amount of knowledge should not assert immodest opinions.
     
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  5. corvidae

    corvidae ohai internets
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    Exactly. Normal people *shouldn't* become high-level political figures, especially Senators. The Senate is supposed to be the "elitist" house of Congress. That's why they have longer terms than House Representatives, and why before the Constitution was amended, Senators were not directly elected.

    Senator Robert Byrd, despite his conflicting voting record, was an intellectual, who knew everything there was to know about the history of the Senate - both in America and the Roman Republic.

    Lincoln gave long speeches in the Lincoln-Douglass debates, and people listened. Also during the mid 1800s, Senators Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun were such major figures that they were called the "Great Triumvirate".

    Now what do we have? Gerrymandering, boring Senators like Harry Reid, possible corruption in Roland Burris and, John McCain who has lost his "maverick" credibility.

    Under Bush, Republicans overwhelmingly supported his policies, and Democrats were pushovers. Under Obama, Republicans are obstructionist and Democrats are still pushovers.

    The legislative branch is described before the executive branch in the Constitution. The founding fathers took Congress seriously. But we don't...

    /rant
     
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  6. OP
    athenian200

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    Agreed. Why would I wish to be led by someone less intelligent than myself? I don't even think I'm intelligent enough to be a leader, so surely someone less intelligent has no business doing the job.

    I could if I thought about it, since I've done some research on that part of the world, but I have to admit that it would still be tougher than picking out a U.S. state or a European country.
    I only know that some providers use CDMA, and others GSM. GSM is most common in other parts of the world, and is used in the U.S. by AT&T, and T-Mobile. Most other U.S. carriers use CDMA.

    Wait, but I'm missing the point here by talking about what I know.

    I have wondered about that. I've tried learning Spanish, and some people told me that it was inappropriate for me to learn a language that wasn't part of my heritage.

    They said the Hispanics would be freaked out if they realized a white person could understand Spanish, because then they wouldn't be able to speak it among one another for privacy. That it would be sort of like "intruding" where I had no business.

    I have yet to meet any Spanish-speakers who actually hold that opinion, though.
    The irony is that those with the least knowledge are usually those with the most confidence in their opinions. The more I learn, the more uncertain I am of my opinions.
     
    #6 athenian200, Jul 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  7. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    It has been said that, without knowing another language, you don't know your own.
     
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  8. DoveAlexa

    DoveAlexa Chaz's Lovey Bunny
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    It seems whoever said that is part of the PC "Be offended for another race just in case they weren't there to be offended for themselves" crowd. >.>

    Whoever said that needs to DIAF. English speaking people with no other language have to "special privacy" that the Spanish people are given by that speaker, its another occasion where someone decided to devalue and debase their own culture and heritage because of some mis-held guilt for the actions of their forefathers, as a way to "say sorry". Bullshit I say.
     
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  9. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    We have a anti-intellectual bent in the U.S. yes but we do have tons of free and floating information. I'm kinda split on this subject, actually. On one hand, I've seen enough impressive people just around me in a part of the country that's not listed as the most academically promising that I tend to think that that might be a bit exaggerated by media. Obviously the knowledge and books are there for the individuals who want to learn. Now, obviously, we aren't really doing well academically. We're incredibly bad at math for example, but we are also producing quite a few decent mathematicians world wide. I don't know what to think of this discrepancy other than we really aren't trying

    We all want to be worldly but I think a quite a lot of people aren't going to need to learn physics to deal with their life, and I think it's fine if they don't want too. Does that make them anti-intellectual if they choose to not take physics in light of advance classes or study in something else? Is the knowledge of being a impressive welder not that impressive?
     
  10. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    people would jump at the chance to read a book if they suddenly became scarce.
     
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  11. Gaze

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    So, the real question then, is perhaps, what knowledge do we overvalue or undervalue, and how can we change this so that we value what should be valued?

    All knowledge is not equal.
     
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  12. the

    the Si master race.
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    I dont think society is going to evolve in that way. There seems to be a some evolutionary magnet that keeps pulling society back towards unskilled labor and slavery type jobs. I dont think we will ever be a society where everyone must be super skilled to survive. There will always be people who mainly clean, cook, take out trash, and make arts and crafts, and farm etc.
     
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  13. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    I think it's a dichotomy. The intellectual individuals tend to undervalue the skills and knowledge of working some particular jobs (Such as mechanic, plumbing, carpentry, and other blue collar jobs) and the individuals who have jobs that rely on physical skill and knowledge tend to undervalue intellectual individuals who are out of touch with doing stuff by hand.
     
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  14. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    Woah, wait a second here -- how relative is this discussion?

    We know a HELL of a lot more now than we EVER would have even 50 years ago, even from public education. After/during the information boom and the arms race, math and science became much pushed and more widely available. Before, you'd be lucky if you got out of school with a good understanding of algebra in some areas.

    Furthermore, what brought about the information age? I'll give you a hint -- it didn't just happen. The world we live in now is a result of TONS of highly ingenious, intelligent people that really worked hard to take steps towards the future.

    In fact, knowledge is more important now than ever in history. The majority of people in first-world countries are educated, and often times education is not only a requirement for many careers, it's an extremely powerful asset. We actually know much more than we think we do because we can't really compare to generations before us, many of which did not even finish middle school due to farming- and work-related lifestyles.

    What you're probably really getting at is, why don't people search to learn willingly, outside of required education? And the answer to that is fairly basic: they don't need to. If everything is specialized, if you can use technology without a complex understanding, and if you can find someone to fix what you need when its broken, why waste time learning about it? Everything is specialized, even unskilled work. And many people choose to spend their leisure time being, well, leisurely. Also, many people do not find academia to be their strong suit -- people who are physically or socially suited, for instance, may find their time better fit to exercising or creating social connections.

    As for the higher-positioned intelligent people -- a degree doesn't really make a person intelligent or understanding of the problems that plague an "average" person. A judge who went to an Ivy-league school is probably very intelligent, but what's to say they understand the problems of a man born and raised in the slums, where education is much poorer and making "moral" choices is not easy? When people say they want a president they can drink beer with, that doesn't mean they want a president that gets drunk off his ass at a frat party and talks about hot chicks the whole time. They want a president that can relate to them and their issues because he represents and protects the American people. They don't want a rich Ivy-leaguer with money and power on his mind, but someone who can care about the thoughts and concerns of the average person.

    All I can say is, as a person who has basically been dedicating their life to academia, that I am PROUD of the laborers and mental diversities of people. I'm glad there are people who can't stand classes, but love working with mechanics. I'm glad there are people who hate school, but love to work with people. Even if it drives me up a wall to talk to people that sound like they don't really think, and even if I would rather it be that people were more considerate about their actions and words, I'm generally glad that there is variety in the strengths of people and the way they think.


    Although yeah, sometimes it does annoy the hell out of me when I have to deal with them :B
     
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  15. Detective Conan

    Detective Conan Doesn't Cast Shadows

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    Gloomy basically summed up a lot of what I was about to say on this thread.

    However, I must pose another question to apply to this topic: What is knowledge? Is knowledge equal to information? How and why are these two things different, if they are different? (I really ask because we've had discussions like this in government class, and the teacher made us define these things before the actual discussion).

    Really, if you see knowledge being an equal thing to information, then I can't agree with the sentiment that our generation does not value knowledge. Even though one of my friends nearly failed several classes one year, he could still tell you just about anything regarding video games. Another friend, who nearly got held-back this year, knew a lot about body-building and athletics.
    I think the real problem isn't that people don't value knowledge or seek it as much, but rather the knowledge they seek isn't entirely academic.

    If that makes any sense at all =\
     
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  16. driro

    driro Community Member

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    That's my reasoning. Since we already have someone specializing in certain field and we can just go to the person if we need
     
  17. DoveAlexa

    DoveAlexa Chaz's Lovey Bunny
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    We gather knowledge on what is fun to us, not what we need to survive, or thrive, in a career sense.
    I know entirely too much about D&D and other pnp gaming systems, but I have yet to learn to drive. How's that XD?
     
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  18. Detective Conan

    Detective Conan Doesn't Cast Shadows

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    Exactly, and I personally don't see anything wrong with that. Some people think science and math are fun subjects. A lot of people don't, though, but I don't think that means they're bad or lacking in intellect. If someone finds something interesting, chances are they will learn as much about that subject as they can (granted they have the appropriate attention span).

    Oddly enough, most of the things I know come from my favorite hobby, which happens to be reading books of most sorts (not all, because reading about math doesn't sound fun to me, lol).
     
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  19. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    I support that motion. (more as a direction; I'd rather not have charging and paying involved)

    But I think the main reason why it ends up so ridiculous is that there are "too many" people, and not enough positions required for "deep thinkers". A few are enough, and the rest end up kind of "redundant", so for them there's entertainment, sports, megalomaniacal titles, and so on.

    Of course, I don't agree with that situation, I think there's too much of a cult of "intelligence", and too little real effort to bring the best of people's capabilities. It is assumed that only a few can be clever and the rest are better off uneducated. It is assumed that there are only very few professorships, only very few Nobel prizes, and that whoever gets those is untouchable in thinking ability. While the truth is that such people just get more opportunities for personal development.

    This is probably the baggage from times of queens and kings, when it had to be explained with some mysterious concepts why it is that 99% of the population is almost illiterate, and only the lords get to be philosophers and astronomers. Well, no; it wasn't because they were "the chosen" ones.

    On a more practical note, I don't support using bell curve to evaluate students. It just means they compete with each other. They could all be very low or very high in their skills / understanding. It doesn't mean they develop optimally. There should be reasonable objectives, such that - if the whole class slacks off, the whole class could fail; and vice versa: if everyone were good enough, they could all get top marks. That is... if grading should be used at all, which is a whole different topic...
     
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    #19 enfp can be shy, Jul 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
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  20. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    This makes me cringe. Sorry, video games and body building may make you happy, but they don't make you a good voter (except these friends probably won't vote, so that's a relief). What makes a society dynamic, healthy, and growing is curious citizens, people who want to learn because everything is interesting.


     
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