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  • Do critical thinking skills give graduates the edge?

    It has long been claimed that critical thinking ability sets graduates apart. But are universities really preparing students for the modern workplace? David Matthews reports
    Do critical thinking skills give graduates the edge?

    A bit more weighty and waffly article than a few here would want, but interesting in an indirect way.

    Here's a TL;DR for anyone in the 'argh can't be arsed reading all that word salad' category.

    A number of major employers have conducted research on their workforces that have shown that recruiting graduates results in no real productive gains, and key skills they are looking for somewhat mislabelled: Critical thinking are often missing. In response employers are dropping or downgrading the need to hold degree level qualifications and instead requiring candidates to pass tests constructed on behalf of the employers.

    David Matthews reports responses to the challenge from the Universities, which are consternated that they might have to deliver something akin to an education if employers are going to take the graduates they produce seriously. Perhaps this could be introduced as an additional module suggest some, others that maybe it has a place in the courses and there might be some way of assessing students.

    At the end of the article David tries some of the tests, and finds that employers want students to make rapid and rational summaries of text and numeric data, wanting crazy things like a summary that actually reflects what was written. Humorously he laments his own performance, as an academic journalist he kinda thought he should have passed the test which required him to pick the most accurate summary of a text under time pressure.
    Last edited by voidspawn; 08-03-2017, 06:21 PM.
    "...especially when it comes to communication, it can be observed, if it is not a negotiation it's a war."
    Originally posted by menrppl2
    Can't live with em, life is great without them.

  • #2
    The highly educated by my observation run one of two ways.

    theyre either open and ready and analytical and ready for action like the guy on the horse trying to rope the calf.

    or theyre wide eyed and ignorant ...like the calf

    goes the other way too.

    In my field theyre plently of only modestly educated people that reckon theyre all over politics, mech and elec engineering, fault diagnosis and remediation.

    Shoe-shiners giving investment advice before the crash

    absolutely they got all the answers ... theyre the rodeo clowns
    "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one" - Charles Mackay

    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. - Donne

    "What we are seeing in this headless misandry is a grand display of the Tyranny of the Underdog: 'I am a wretchedly longstanding victim; therefore I own no burden of adult accountability, nor need to honor any restraint against my words and actions. In fact, all efforts to restrain me are only further proof of my oppressed condition.'
    "It is the most perfect trump-card against accountable living ever devised." - Gladden Schrock

    "What remains for most men in modern life is a world of expectation without reward, burden without honor and service without self" - Paul Elam

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by voidspawn View Post
      Do critical thinking skills give graduates the edge?

      A bit more weighty and waffly article than a few here would want, but interesting in an indirect way.
      May I ask what your interest is?
      I agree that edu policies are important, but why this piece in particular?

      Here's a TL;DR for anyone in the 'argh can't be arsed reading all that word salad' category.
      So ... let's assess your ability to pick the best summary

      A number of major employers have conducted research on their workforces that have shown that recruiting graduates results in no real productive gains
      No. It says that doing well in school does not mean that an individual employee will be doing well at work.

      and key skills they are looking for somewhat mislabelled:
      They are also looking for character traits (like work ethic), which one cannot read out of grades.
      Or, one could, in the days when taking a degree was a challenge, required labour, effort and some component on innate talent.
      Then you didn't get a degree if you didn't have a good work ethic.
      When edu is watered down such that all and sundry have a degree, you simply need other tools to separate wheat/chaff.

      They are also testing for the "art" aspect of knowledge, i.e. the ability to perform under pressure, the degree to which students have absorbed and made their own the matter they have studied.

      Critical thinking are often missing.
      This is the interesting part, but otoh I don't see the relevance here in the forum.

      In response employers are dropping or downgrading the need to hold degree level qualifications and instead requiring candidates to pass tests constructed on behalf of the employers.
      No, they are relaxing the requirement of 100% degree holders down to e.g. 80 % degree holders, still giving the degree holder the advantage; and no, some firms are using tests, but the majority are still looking for people with degrees; and no, having a degree is now more important than ever in the US - says the article.

      David Matthews reports responses to the challenge from the Universities, which are consternated that they might have to deliver something akin to an education if employers are going to take the graduates they produce seriously.
      Ah, so Große Misrepresentations-Allée nr 25 is where you live ...?
      Edu is under pressure by those who do not see "how to think" as a value, they want students to cram "facts" (what the article calls "substantive knowledge") to become good little unthinking, but employable sheep. The way to learn critical thinking, says the article, is the exact opposite of that.
      IMO education is a value in and of itself for the individual, and employers can go screw themselves, which the student would know once s/he'd learned critical thinking.

      Perhaps this could be introduced as an additional module suggest some, others that maybe it has a place in the courses and there might be some way of assessing students.
      Here, all students at uni and at technical and agrarian colleges must pass an ex. phil (one semester of basic philosophy, logic and critical thinking) and ex. fac. (scientific methodology) before being allowed to proceed with their studies. That pays off, since students know why they study and how they should study.

      At the end of the article David tries some of the tests, and finds that employers want students to make rapid and rational summaries of text and numeric data, wanting crazy things like a summary that actually reflects what was written.
      Which humorously suggests that students are wont to give summamries that do not reflect what was written.
      The article does not specify this, but i would say that one aspect of critical thinking is to bring analysis and criticism into the process.
      But the difficulty of the test is not represented by accuracy, but being performed under a time limit, which is mainly a test of intuition, i.e. "art".

      Personally, I'm all for uni allowing students much more time on the "how to think" issue than on "what to think".
      We don't criticize a body builder for not being an effective mover of iron. At the end of the day, the weights are in the same place, no work was done.
      The purpose and efffect of moving all that iron is of course on the body builder. A Ph.D. is muscle building for the brain.
      That's also why there's no increase in critical skills in the first two years at college, which the study cited in the article showed.
      It might be different among those who actualy completed a degree. In the first two years people drink and fornicate.

      M

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MatrixTransform View Post
        In my field theyre plently of only modestly educated people that reckon theyre all over politics, mech and elec engineering, fault diagnosis and remediation. Shoe-shiners giving investment advice before the crash
        absolutely they got all the answers ... theyre the rodeo clowns
        It's easy to look on such people with contempt ... otoh people like Ayn Rand emphasize our duty to make such judgement calls (not the she's any authority on anything, but she put the thought out there quite clearly). Should people go about in life shrugging and saying "I don't really know" to all they don't really know? I think very little would get done that way.
        And in this we're all in the same boat. No one really "knows" in a technical sense, 99 % of what any of us "know".
        That goes even for the contempt for the stupid; no one has checked how they fare with their illusions, as compared to if they didn't have them.
        I agree that shoe-shiner portfolio managers can be at risk, but is there really any alternative, that is more desirable, technically and ethically?

        M

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
          May I ask what your interest is?
          I agree that edu policies are important, but why this piece in particular?
          Universities are a frequent topic on these, one of the key areas where the future division of senior places in society, and best paid jobs, will be sorted out. We've long argued for meritocratic promotion and pay. The article is of interest to MHRM as points to the fact that employers are increasingly finding that university degrees are a poor indication of work place merit. I didn't state it but since you've asked, I'd point to the shift in universities moving towards feminist positive delivery as part of that. I think even though this isn't based on a direct study of that, since there isn't one it's wholly fair to use this material - and say 'Houston you have a problem, may well be related to the one we've been saying...'

          Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
          So ... let's assess your ability to pick the best summary
          No. It says that doing well in school does not mean that an individual employee will be doing well at work.
          Yayyy I passed!!!! My sharp short summary is easier to understand than M's word salad, and more on point. Shock horror surprise if I reflect the concerns of the productive workplace, rather than the academics backwards interpretation of their concerns being projected onto the workplace. Don't worry M we probably do have different views on what the purposes of the workplace and employment are, but I still think you have practical uses.

          Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
          They are also looking for character traits (like work ethic), which one cannot read out of grades.
          Or, one could, in the days when taking a degree was a challenge, required labour, effort and some component on innate talent.
          Then you didn't get a degree if you didn't have a good work ethic.
          When edu is watered down such that all and sundry have a degree, you simply need other tools to separate wheat/chaff.

          They are also testing for the "art" aspect of knowledge, i.e. the ability to perform under pressure, the degree to which students have absorbed and made their own the matter they have studied.


          This is the interesting part, but otoh I don't see the relevance here in the forum.
          Depends if you think that universities have systematically been cutting out the areas of education that are of most interest to males, and most reflect the application of observation, practical and time pressured skills. Having worked in education, and known many others I've watched my local universities systematically remove engineering, electronics and materials science laboratories. Dump equipment that wasn't outdated and worth may tens of thousands, and replace them with lower cost seminar rooms, computer suites and class rooms. Which they then fill up with humanities courses. It's a systemic shift that I've directly observed, whilst at the same time seeing the shift to feminized education and we've seen the numbers skew heavily towards females. I think the undermining of males in higher education isn't just by the anti-male policies exemplified by the US Title IX debacles, but a whole sectoral shift away from areas. I'm not going to make an international argument on that, I can merely point to the local case, but I live in a city with a once proud engineering tradition that in effect built those universities. But I see a number of things happening, real decline in productive jobs and big shift to service sector that can't actually provide enough gainful employment, especially for males and the universities pro-actively accelerating decline, by not only just failing to help workers to transition to a different economy (so that wanted or not, it should at least be successful at what it does) but also by skewing that education to dilettante feminized pointlessness that doesn't even match up to the skills of already female friendly sectors.


          Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
          No, they are relaxing the requirement of 100% degree holders down to e.g. 80 % degree holders, still giving the degree holder the advantage; and no, some firms are using tests, but the majority are still looking for people with degrees; and no, having a degree is now more important than ever in the US - says the article.
          The shift is the noteworthy news M. You can argue it's not important, that's fine. I have takes on it, but flagging for observation is of more interest to me. It's going to be what it's going to be. Neither the article nor I say that degrees or university are going to be rendered unimportant or unwanted. But since you ask, I however would like to say that the growing flaws in university education, which shifts towards teaching and assessing within post modernist there is no such thing as objectivity, are showing - and the place they are showing is two fold - not the right skills for productive workplace and not offering skills and education that appeals to males. They can offer all the feminist friendly courses they want - if it's wholly privatised and purely about being a pastime. But we both know that the role to society assigned to universities is beyond advanced macrame and critique of flower arrangements.


          Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
          Ah, so Große Misrepresentations-Allée nr 25 is where you live ...?
          Edu is under pressure by those who do not see "how to think" as a value, they want students to cram "facts" (what the article calls "substantive knowledge") to become good little unthinking, but employable sheep. The way to learn critical thinking, says the article, is the exact opposite of that.
          IMO education is a value in and of itself for the individual, and employers can go screw themselves, which the student would know once s/he'd learned critical thinking.
          This topic goes wider than the information we can pull in from the article. We have to use our own experience and observations. I'd agree with you that critical thinking skills are valuable, and I'd say employers do want them and are willing to pay top dollar for them. The British universities are not delivering them, and the sooner it gets widely exposed the better. I do still have lots of links to universities, even though I don't work in the education system any more, and the discontent and frustration is palpable for many reasons. These murmuring criticisms don't get surfaced as challenges because they fall aside as collateral damage to the priority shift that universities must be about social justice. A prior Tory / LibDem coalition government did try to shift the universities by adding an 'Impact' requirement to state grant funding, kind of funny in it's own sad way, how the government intent to get universities to show improvement and engagement with economy and quality of life, especially in their locality, simply got turned into accelerating social justice agendas. You just gotta laugh sometimes, even though it's like sand in the eyes.


          Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
          Here, all students at uni and at technical and agrarian colleges must pass an ex. phil (one semester of basic philosophy, logic and critical thinking) and ex. fac. (scientific methodology) before being allowed to proceed with their studies. That pays off, since students know why they study and how they should study.
          This sounds worthwhile. And I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to say it's been wholly extirpated from UK higher education. But it's in a very sad state. The missing factor is obfuscated, the ability to go beyond the original material and provide meaning analysis and criticism is being assessed and awarded by lecturers to students who are not able to meaningfully interpret the source materials at all, but asked to read them through a lens of an oppression narrative. This offers a lazy route to passing criteria, a corruption of purpose whilst still demanding the respect of analysis. It infects outside of gender studies, and deeply into political and economic studies. Philosophy has long been in a shambles in the UK, and classical education is a thing of the past, in an odd way I'd actually say that has offered those small foxholes some protection to actually continue to pursue what they do as they have done it. The effect that concerns me is this spread of a fashion of education becoming mainstreamed, a conflation of a lazy politicized critical theory approach with critical thinking skills. A quite deliberate conflation I would assert, because it makes something that doesn't require much effort sell as something which does.

          Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
          Which humorously suggests that students are wont to give summamries that do not reflect what was written.
          The article does not specify this, but i would say that one aspect of critical thinking is to bring analysis and criticism into the process.
          But the difficulty of the test is not represented by accuracy, but being performed under a time limit, which is mainly a test of intuition, i.e. "art".

          Personally, I'm all for uni allowing students much more time on the "how to think" issue than on "what to think".
          We don't criticize a body builder for not being an effective mover of iron. At the end of the day, the weights are in the same place, no work was done.
          The purpose and efffect of moving all that iron is of course on the body builder. A Ph.D. is muscle building for the brain.
          That's also why there's no increase in critical skills in the first two years at college, which the study cited in the article showed.
          It might be different among those who actualy completed a degree. In the first two years people drink and fornicate.

          M
          You may be right, and this is a forum that collects opinions from around the world. I don't have a Phd but I've been closely connected to a number of people who have gone through the process and even provided in depth mentoring. There is aspect of reality to the muscle for the brain idea, but I'd say it's overstated metaphor. The hoops those candidates were asked to jump through, were less attached to developing the muscle - which I would say was connected to the volume of research they did - and more connected to the massaging of the egos of the examiners and current view they were maintaining. PhD's are awarded on the noble goal of adding to human knowledge, which you can't do simply by accumulate and regurgitate, but the use of PhD to support a research process has shifted to a process of getting a PhD to have the title. It's a profound shift, from having support for a piece of research to be done, and a way of recognizing and publishing it to X number of funded places for those candidates willing and able to go through it. For each of the candidates I knew, I'd honestly say, you can put them anywhere their nature and ability would drive them to do something in depth. They headed into higher education expecting to find the best place for them to realise their potential, instead they found a number of years wasted jumping through hoops and battling with the egos of supervisors.

          I'm all for the job of those in education being done well, I'd support the social value of it, and even agree that being worker products isn't the goal. I'd say the point of the system has to be broad and not locked because it's about contributing to society for future and unknown needs, as well as new solutions to existing problems. That does mean an amount of latitude and trust should be given to these institutions, but latitude and trust gets insanely abused when done without scrutiny and the institutions themselves not being on the receiving end of some of the criticism they produce for others.
          Last edited by voidspawn; 08-04-2017, 01:30 PM.
          "...especially when it comes to communication, it can be observed, if it is not a negotiation it's a war."
          Originally posted by menrppl2
          Can't live with em, life is great without them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by voidspawn View Post
            Universities are a frequent topic on these, one of the key areas where the future division of senior places in society, and best paid jobs, will be sorted out.
            I agree that edu is a very important issue, also wrt. social mobility.
            Idk if true or not, but doe we now have more room for "outsiders" to make it big? I'm thinking of the Gates' and Zuckerbergs of this world.
            If so, that should point to the viability of educational and occupational niches. Well,that, and, of course, a good deal of business savvy.

            Wrt. the main issues, AFAICS there are several debates going on here, several of which have a long tradition. One is the issue of industry needs vs. 'independent' knowledge, another one is the upholding or decay of the system as it is. Just to have that basic division at hand.
            The shift towards a "new epistemology" is a wholly academic trend which one can only copy if one is isolated from reality.
            When e.g. launching fighters off a carrier deck, stuff like that will, as it were, not fly.

            I didn't state it but since you've asked, I'd point to the shift in universities moving towards feminist positive delivery as part of that.
            Yes and no ... I think the 'rot' set in in the fifties and sixties, culminating in the -68 rebellion against stuffy authority, and the ensueing "reevaluation of values".
            Bringing more females into education was part of that, of course; and may now be its main consequence, actually, with the results we see.
            Again, just to have it said that the attack on higher education comes from many angles, and most of these attacks are mutully supportive.

            Yayyy I passed!!!!
            Sounds like you have a modern education yourself ...

            My sharp short summary is easier to understand
            Yes, in the sense of people who say " 'god did it' is the best explanation, because it's the simplest, because Occam, so there".

            than M's word salad
            Hey, I'm a foreigner, I can word salad as much as I want; I don't have to meet your standards

            and more on point
            No. Ir you had, the article would say that employees' education level impacts company performance, which it doesn't say.
            It says that employees education does not predict which employees will be the best to boost that performance.

            Shock horror surprise if I reflect the concerns of the productive workplace
            Feel free. But those concerns are not the Fount of Wisdom, either. The present pressure to produce "close to market" research, i.e. research geared towards creating marketable and profitable products instead of foundational research, means that the latter is neglected, since everybody hopes someone else is going to incur the costs of doing that, leaving others to profit. The tragedy of a race towards the bottom of the commons.
            But foundational research, not more advanced cheesecutters, is what is likely to bring new break-throughs in technology.


            rather than the academics backwards interpretation of their concerns being projected onto the workplace.
            Well, academia _is_ a workplace ... too.

            Don't worry M we probably do have different views on what the purposes of the workplace and employment are, but I still think you have practical uses.
            Why, thank you.
            I actually make my living in a trade where no education is offered at all

            Depends if you think that universities have systematically been cutting out the areas of education that are of most interest to males
            Now that is true. Along with teaching styles that men thrive with.

            and most reflect the application of observation, practical and time pressured skills. Having worked in education, and known many others I've watched my local universities systematically remove engineering, electronics and materials science laboratories.
            Which is madness and slow economic suicide. Engineers start companies at a rate way above any other profession.

            Which they then fill up with humanities courses. It's a systemic shift that I've directly observed, whilst at the same time seeing the shift to feminized education and we've seen the numbers skew heavily towards females.
            Is this due to financing models? Uni gets xxx monies for number of heads enrolled, + a bonus of yyy monies for people who graduate (on schedule)?
            Then - as long as unis are run along profit lines, thank you, Reagan, Thatcher and Blair - it makes sense to dumb down and inflate.

            I think the undermining of males in higher education isn't just by the anti-male policies exemplified by the US Title IX debacles, but a whole sectoral shift away from areas.
            That's what they say. They say it so much it sounds like a prayer more than a prophecy.

            I'm not going to make an international argument on that
            I suspect most of the world is moving in the same direction, perhaps with the exception of China. And possibly India.
            Well, I guess people in some ex-third world countries, who still have to make the "class journey", know the value of education,
            like Iran, and many Arab countries. So .. most of the West is going in that direction.

            I can merely point to the local case, but I live in a city with a once proud engineering tradition that in effect built those universities. But I see a number of things happening, real decline in productive jobs and big shift to service sector that can't actually provide enough gainful employment, especially for males and the universities pro-actively accelerating decline, by not only just failing to help workers to transition to a different economy (so that wanted or not, it should at least be successful at what it does) but also by skewing that education to dilettante feminized pointlessness that doesn't even match up to the skills of already female friendly sectors.
            Which makes me think of all the government make-work that is the preferred arena for professional females: unproductive mid and low level administrators.

            The shift is the noteworthy news M. You can argue it's not important, that's fine.
            Nah, that goes to your summary skills.
            We've had a boom in engineering since we found oil, and there are still jobs that do not require any intimate knowledge of Aquinas.

            I have takes on it, but flagging for observation is of more interest to me. It's going to be what it's going to be. Neither the article nor I say that degrees or university are going to be rendered unimportant or unwanted. But since you ask, I however would like to say that the growing flaws in university education, which shifts towards teaching and assessing within post modernist there is no such thing as objectivity, are showing - and the place they are showing is two fold - not the right skills for productive workplace and not offering skills and education that appeals to males. They can offer all the feminist friendly courses they want - if it's wholly privatised and purely about being a pastime. But we both know that the role to society assigned to universities is beyond advanced macrame and critique of flower arrangements.
            This takes us into both the "decay" debate as well as the "postmodern nonsense" debate.
            Of course these go hand in hand, but are still separate issues, since one could have at least decay without postmodernism.
            I'll need to write an essay on "postmodernism without decay", though.

            This topic goes wider than the information we can pull in from the article. We have to use our own experience and observations. I'd agree with you that critical thinking skills are valuable, and I'd say employers do want them and are willing to pay top dollar for them. The British universities are not delivering them, and the sooner it gets widely exposed the better. I do still have lots of links to universities, even though I don't work in the education system any more, and the discontent and frustration is palpable for many reasons. These murmuring criticisms don't get surfaced as challenges because they fall aside as collateral damage to the priority shift that universities must be about social justice. A prior Tory / LibDem coalition government did try to shift the universities by adding an 'Impact' requirement to state grant funding, kind of funny in it's own sad way, how the government intent to get universities to show improvement and engagement with economy and quality of life, especially in their locality, simply got turned into accelerating social justice agendas. You just gotta laugh sometimes, even though it's like sand in the eyes.
            Hey, another root of decay ...! "Impact" .... good one. Ask some anti-consequentialist ethics philosophy professors about the viability ....


            This sounds worthwhile. And I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to say it's been wholly extirpated from UK higher education. But it's in a very sad state. The missing factor is obfuscated, the ability to go beyond the original material and provide meaning analysis and criticism is being assessed and awarded by lecturers to students who are not able to meaningfully interpret the source materials at all, but asked to read them through a lens of an oppression narrative. This offers a lazy route to passing criteria, a corruption of purpose whilst still demanding the respect of analysis. It infects outside of gender studies, and deeply into political and economic studies. Philosophy has long been in a shambles in the UK, and classical education is a thing of the past, in an odd way I'd actually say that has offered those small foxholes some protection to actually continue to pursue what they do as they have done it. The effect that concerns me is this spread of a fashion of education becoming mainstreamed, a conflation of a lazy politicized critical theory approach with critical thinking skills. A quite deliberate conflation I would assert, because it makes something that doesn't require much effort sell as something which does.
            Yes, well, it's the Matrix, isn't it? We are being farmed, and the easiest way around democracy is keeping the electorate uninformed.


            You may be right, and this is a forum that collects opinions from around the world. I don't have a Phd but I've been closely connected to a number of people who have gone through the process and even provided in depth mentoring. There is aspect of reality to the muscle for the brain idea, but I'd say it's overstated metaphor. The hoops those candidates were asked to jump through, were less attached to developing the muscle
            That's the decay argument again. It doesn't say anything about the benefits of critical thinking if it were to be had.
            A lot of people in the economy do say stuff about CT, though. That why I think they need some CT themselves.

            I'm all for the job of those in education being done well, I'd support the social value of it, and even agree that being worker products isn't the goal. I'd say the point of the system has to be broad and not locked because it's about contributing to society for future and unknown needs, as well as new solutions to existing problems. That does mean an amount of latitude and trust should be given to these institutions, but latitude and trust gets insanely abused when done without scrutiny and the institutions themselves not being on the receiving end of some of the criticism they produce for others.
            I think we basically agree on almost everything except the wording of that darned article.

            M
            Last edited by Manalysis; 08-04-2017, 08:48 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
              That goes even for the contempt for the stupid; no one has checked how they fare with their illusions, as compared to if they didn't have them.
              Well, dunno if you believe it or not but there is a hidden world just below the surface where the fairies and pixies and oompa-loompas perform the magic that allows the theoretical human world to keep the illusion of normal functioning.

              We call them engineers.

              In the part of the universe where my faerie-world and your bubble-land intersect I have a Grand Comptroller who apparent knows all things about all things.

              Originally a motor mechanic, he managed to somehow become a registered builder and finally overseer of all things engineering wise in several hi-rise city buildings.

              We of the mythical folk who have the power, can sometimes appear in the real world but to do so, we are forced to work under his awesome tutelage which he permits as a sort grand magnanimous gesture.
              We should perhaps appear more thankful whilst strip-mining the Property Trust he works for of cash.

              His firm hand guides us all to perform the magic at his direction.
              We may think it misguided, faulty, wrong, base-less and sometimes even stupid. But the contempt is always hidden.

              What will happen, is that once the gold is gone we under-earthers will vanish back into the nether-world and leave him and the empire he majestically created to to its inevitable collapse. (oh, it will be a magnificent fall)

              The Comptroller, he's stupid but reckons he has it all under control.

              The Comptroller, he works for the high powered, highly edumacated grand wizard and the grand-wizards family of other grand wizards. Princes, all.
              Naturally theyre wealthy because, well because its their birthright. Of course it is their innate inquisitiveness that led them to higher degrees in Finance, Law and Accounting.

              Their appointment of the Comptroller according to them is probably their like um, smartest-move-evah.
              They worked out that the family friend was the best value around. He knows everything and therefore they dont need things like real engineering, and a sensible measured and structured approach.
              Just think, with all the money they saved...could buy another building...start another development
              The competitive advantage that they so deftly conjured provide the financial motive force that powers even more growth.
              Its simply amazing...possibilities are endless... probably exponential.
              The mind boggles at why nobody ever thought of this before.

              You see, the wizards are both educated AND smart.

              What could possibly go wrong?

              (lucky there isnt a whole pile of mystical bullshit at both ends or how could the people in the middle keep their illusions?)

              contempt and disdain are not misplaced.
              Stupidity, and especially among the higher educated, is contemptible.
              Period

              ie. merit is the only measure, unless of course you're a wizard or a prince
              "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one" - Charles Mackay

              And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. - Donne

              "What we are seeing in this headless misandry is a grand display of the Tyranny of the Underdog: 'I am a wretchedly longstanding victim; therefore I own no burden of adult accountability, nor need to honor any restraint against my words and actions. In fact, all efforts to restrain me are only further proof of my oppressed condition.'
              "It is the most perfect trump-card against accountable living ever devised." - Gladden Schrock

              "What remains for most men in modern life is a world of expectation without reward, burden without honor and service without self" - Paul Elam

              Comment


              • #8
                Does anybody else find it confusing that the post-modern.structural.colonial.feminist notion of Critical-Thinking ... isnt actually the same thing as thinking critically?

                Fuck Foucault and especially, Derrida
                "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one" - Charles Mackay

                And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. - Donne

                "What we are seeing in this headless misandry is a grand display of the Tyranny of the Underdog: 'I am a wretchedly longstanding victim; therefore I own no burden of adult accountability, nor need to honor any restraint against my words and actions. In fact, all efforts to restrain me are only further proof of my oppressed condition.'
                "It is the most perfect trump-card against accountable living ever devised." - Gladden Schrock

                "What remains for most men in modern life is a world of expectation without reward, burden without honor and service without self" - Paul Elam

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MatrixTransform View Post
                  Does anybody else find it confusing that the post-modern.structural.colonial.feminist notion of Critical-Thinking ... isnt actually the same thing as thinking critically?

                  Fuck Foucault and especially, Derrida
                  Hopefully critical thinking can still mean what it is supposed to:

                  "Critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment.[1] The subject is complex, and there are several different definitions which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis or evaluation of factual evidence." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

                  The messiness comes from Critical Theory, "a school of thought that stresses the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture by applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities. As a term, critical theory has two meanings with different origins and histories: the first originated in sociology and the second originated in literary criticism, whereby it is used and applied as an umbrella term that can describe a theory founded upon critique; thus, the theorist Max Horkheimer described a theory as critical insofar as it seeks "to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_theory

                  There is also Critical Pedagogy "a philosophy of education and social movement that has developed and applied concepts from critical theory and related traditions to the field of education and the study of culture. Advocates of critical pedagogy view teaching as an inherently political act, reject the neutrality of knowledge, and insist that issues of social justice and democracy itself are not distinct from acts of teaching and learning." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_pedagogy

                  The conflation is dangerous, in effect Critical Theory and Pedagogy do reject Critical Thinking. Since Critical Thinking is based on a concept of objective truth exists and can be communicated and evaluated.

                  I'm picking through this mess slowly here and there, can't say it all makes much sense to me.
                  "...especially when it comes to communication, it can be observed, if it is not a negotiation it's a war."
                  Originally posted by menrppl2
                  Can't live with em, life is great without them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by voidspawn View Post
                    I'm picking through this mess slowly here and there, can't say it all makes much sense to me.
                    You'll need to deconstruct Derrida's deconstructions
                    "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one" - Charles Mackay

                    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. - Donne

                    "What we are seeing in this headless misandry is a grand display of the Tyranny of the Underdog: 'I am a wretchedly longstanding victim; therefore I own no burden of adult accountability, nor need to honor any restraint against my words and actions. In fact, all efforts to restrain me are only further proof of my oppressed condition.'
                    "It is the most perfect trump-card against accountable living ever devised." - Gladden Schrock

                    "What remains for most men in modern life is a world of expectation without reward, burden without honor and service without self" - Paul Elam

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MatrixTransform View Post
                      You'll need to deconstruct Derrida's deconstructions
                      If you insist ...

                      Anyone remember Gorgias? The Skeptics' Skeptic?
                      He said:
                      "Nothing exists;
                      Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and
                      Even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others.
                      Even if it can be communicated, it cannot be understood."

                      He didn't mean it, though; it was a parody of the earlier Eleatics.

                      Derrideconstruction consists in accepting the two first tenets.
                      This means that there are no longer "things", only "signs" - he did semiotics - i.e. everything is text.
                      This means that not only everybody, but also everything is talking to us - and it's all lies.
                      Given that there can be no knowledge, all attempts to present something as knowledge must be fraudulent and mendacious.
                      Deconstruction, then, becomes the exercise of detecting and demonstrating _how_ any text is lying to us.

                      I can appreciate the motivating sentiment.
                      It is good advice to also listen for and listen to what is not being said when someone is talking; which is all it amounts to.

                      But to question everything at the same time is not practically possible.
                      It's like deciding to keep the bathwater, but to throw away the tub.
                      Good luck with that.

                      Gorgias' friends refuted skepticism as a praxis by noting that in company, even the skeptics turned their chairs towards the room, not the wall.
                      That's why I said you can be as derridaft as you want when studying, but it's not workable out there.

                      Technically, Gorgias is even right. Modern physics is pretty clear that what we call things are pretty arbitrary constructs; there are no divisions down a the electron level.
                      Dragging in the quantum guys, we could even make a case for G2 - we can't tell where any electron is, and the whole HeisenBohr.

                      But we, like the things, are macroscopic objects, and so macroscopic objects effect us on this level, and so they really are _'real'_.

                      M

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by voidspawn View Post
                        I'm picking through this mess slowly here and there, can't say it all makes much sense to me.
                        Yes, this stuff is messy if you don't do dialectics.
                        Any human knowledge is extracted on a sector of a continuum between the original subjective, and the ideal, but scarcely attainable objective.
                        In terms accessible for the descendants of Nirvana: We are doers first, knowers second.
                        Learning to factor in one's own bias is incredibly hard, and few manage because so very few even try.

                        So of course critical theory and critical pedagogy are not rejecting critical thinnking, quite the opposite.
                        They criticize critical thinking for not being critical enough, by including properties of knowledge (like 'objectivity') that do not foster objectivity.
                        They are epistemological pragmatists, claiming that praxis causes and shapes knowledge; and to disregard this is to do truth a disservice.

                        Of course it is possible to diagree with this view. But it's wrong to say that they reject critical thinking.

                        M
                        Last edited by Manalysis; 08-05-2017, 05:45 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MatrixTransform View Post
                          Well, dunno if you believe it or not but there is a hidden world just below the surface where the fairies and pixies and oompa-loompas perform the magic that allows the theoretical human world to keep the illusion of normal functioning.
                          The view from up here in the Ivory Tower is so idyllic ... can't say I've noticed any of the things you talk about. 'Motor' ...? Latin, surely, but ...?

                          M

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
                            It's like deciding to keep the bathwater, but to throw away the tub.
                            *chuckles*
                            "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one" - Charles Mackay

                            And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. - Donne

                            "What we are seeing in this headless misandry is a grand display of the Tyranny of the Underdog: 'I am a wretchedly longstanding victim; therefore I own no burden of adult accountability, nor need to honor any restraint against my words and actions. In fact, all efforts to restrain me are only further proof of my oppressed condition.'
                            "It is the most perfect trump-card against accountable living ever devised." - Gladden Schrock

                            "What remains for most men in modern life is a world of expectation without reward, burden without honor and service without self" - Paul Elam

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Manalysis View Post
                              ... can't say I've noticed any of the things you talk about.
                              Allegorical ... well, at least it is in my world

                              If they choose to bundle all the critical services on the same physical network architecture who am I question what the motor mechanic wants?

                              I should stop interjecting with lectures about redundancy or offering my thoughts on the inherent risks of having a single Smart Router managed separately by 4 different companies with 5 different objectives.

                              Impertinent of me to question where the accountability for everything lies.

                              He does after all take instructions direct from the wizards, no ?

                              ...well anyway, they obviously know better.



                              ----

                              Similarly, reflecting on my role in the greater society, I have recently come to the conclusion that an Arts Degree is ample qualification to assume the supreme guiding role for us all.

                              Colored Hair and a nose-ring is the signifier (dunno how I missed it)

                              Even if they do look and sound a lot like tattoo'd Smurfs ... it doesn't mean they're stupid.

                              and who am I suggest that they may be wrong ... I don't wanna be accused of being a bigot

                              If this old scarecrow only had a brain ... I'd be much better at Critical Thinking

                              Imagine if all of us nasty old men got 'woke' and the in-built but unrealized biases and inherent wrongnesses fell like the tears of a million angels and washed the blue right outta their hair?

                              I think I might sit back and let them have at it.
                              "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one" - Charles Mackay

                              And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. - Donne

                              "What we are seeing in this headless misandry is a grand display of the Tyranny of the Underdog: 'I am a wretchedly longstanding victim; therefore I own no burden of adult accountability, nor need to honor any restraint against my words and actions. In fact, all efforts to restrain me are only further proof of my oppressed condition.'
                              "It is the most perfect trump-card against accountable living ever devised." - Gladden Schrock

                              "What remains for most men in modern life is a world of expectation without reward, burden without honor and service without self" - Paul Elam

                              Comment

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