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Shirley Serious
Amarr
The Khanid Sisters of Athra
Posted - 2008.07.05 20:30:00 - [1]
 

Something occurred to me the other day.

At school, I was never really taught to question what an article was saying, beyond basics such as: Who is writing this? What are they trying to achieve? And that sort of thing wasn't really taught until quite late at school. (16+)

Then, when I was at university I was taught to really question things. Things like: Why are they using these particular words? What are they not saying? What is their agenda?

So, with most people not going to university, and many not staying on at school beyond 16, how does that affect things with people not questioning the media much? and how does it affect conspiracy theories?

JAQUE ALERA
Quafe Company Logistics
Posted - 2008.07.06 04:44:00 - [2]
 

Surely you're not serious.

pwnedgato
Posted - 2008.07.06 04:48:00 - [3]
 

Her name is not Shirl...

Bob Stuart
B. S. Radioactive Sheep Farm
Posted - 2008.07.06 08:29:00 - [4]
 

Wut?

Are you saying that there would be less conspiracy theorists if everyone was taught to question what they are told from a young age?

Jim McGregor
Posted - 2008.07.06 10:39:00 - [5]
 

Edited by: Jim McGregor on 06/07/2008 10:41:57

I dont know what kind of view you have on conspiracy theorist... my own is that they are often intelligent, but the media makes them out to be nutcases. And so the sheep cheer on. But if you listen to what they are saying (like in the case of 9/11 for example), they have solid arguments that cannot be swept under the rug.


Princess Kyky
Posted - 2008.07.06 11:45:00 - [6]
 

the 5 w's is all you need to know apparently, thats what my english teacher taught me in secondary school

who
what
when
where
why

Gojyu
Ever Flow
Axiom Empire
Posted - 2008.07.06 12:19:00 - [7]
 

Originally by: Jim McGregor
Edited by: Jim McGregor on 06/07/2008 10:41:57

I dont know what kind of view you have on conspiracy theorist... my own is that they are often intelligent, but the media makes them out to be nutcases. And so the sheep cheer on. But if you listen to what they are saying (like in the case of 9/11 for example), they have solid arguments that cannot be swept under the rug.




No, but they can be thoroughly refuted by scientific evidence. Conspiracy theorists are an educational failure of another kind, that of refusing to analyse your own arguments with the same rigor as one looks at others'

Kalahari Wayrest
Posted - 2008.07.06 12:20:00 - [8]
 

school is about enforcing ideology, university is about questioning it...that was true of my course anyway, but it depends on what you're doing.

that said it's kind of elitist to assume people who don't go to university won't learn to question the world around them just because they weren't specifically taught to.

additionally people can be resistant to indoctrination at school and the system doesn't always work.

But as a general statement comparing the two methods of education, rather than the results of them, you're probably right.

Mark Lucius
Final Agony
B A N E
Posted - 2008.07.06 12:31:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: Jim McGregor
I dont know what kind of view you have on conspiracy theorist... my own is that they are often intelligent, but the media makes them out to be nutcases. And so the sheep cheer on. But if you listen to what they are saying (like in the case of 9/11 for example), they have solid arguments that cannot be swept under the rug.


Conspiracy theorist often have one or two good arguments that at least bring doubt to existing explanations. It is because they are usually mixed with ghost stories and fear-based arguments that stops people from taking them seriously.

Just like everybody else conspiracy theorist also tend to get into one-track minds, which makes them oblivious to proper counter-arguments. They tell us to question what the media is telling us, but they don't really question their theory themselves.

It's impossible to question and research everything for yourselves though, so everybody makes a selection of things to accept and to question. Some people question less than others, but I don't think that is a bad thing.

P'uck
Posted - 2008.07.06 12:43:00 - [10]
 

There are people that point out a few things that just don't fit when you look at 9/11. Those are usually called "normally friggin people with a bit of common sense left".

And then there are conspiracy theorists. That's a big difference.

also, 9+11+2+0+0+1=23 Laughing

Isiskhan
Gnostic Misanthropy
Posted - 2008.07.06 14:57:00 - [11]
 

I remember a chapter in a book we had at some point in school for Language where it reproduced side by side two articles on some past French general election: one picked from a left-leaning newspaper, the other from a right-leaning one. They offered wildly different accounts and points of view on the very same event, this appreciation was precisely the point of the chapter, and I distinctly remember finding it quite striking in my then forming mind.

Truth is a whore, and our subjective minds play a far larger and creative role in shaping and interpreting what we perceive as "reality" than we're generally aware of, as well as ignoring the bits that don't fit with what we don't want to believe, amplifying or simply making up the ones that do, seeing patterns where there are none, etc...

Conspiracy theorists are particularly prone to fall for these sort of trappings, as often you'll find there's a strong underlying desire to believe a particular idea beneath their theories, whether it is that aliens are here, or that government is utterly evil, or simply that there's a far more exciting explanation for the world as it is than us humans being dull, selfish and stupid. Some argue that conspiracy theories make the individual feel "empowered" towards the evil "them" who are the ones ultimately responsible for bad things that affect the individual.


But aside from that chapter, yes, in school you are basically taught "facts" about things, whereas in college there's also an emphasis on the "meta-facts". In school you learn about historical events, in college you learn about what makes a good historian, the (scientific) mindset and methods you use to arrive at good historical "facts", the importance and effect of bias and perspective in others' and your own historical "facts", etc...

College is not just about the particular knowledge you acquire, but perhaps more importantly about the mechanisms, disciplines and attitudes your mind learns, and I do think these certainly have an influence in developing a proper framework for critical thinking, whether it's regarding what we see on newspapers, books, tv or the ramblings of some conspiracy nut. Not to say it can't be developed otherwise, of course, but it sure helps - at least if you were paying attention.

Kazuo Ishiguro
House of Marbles
Posted - 2008.07.06 16:27:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Isiskhan
But aside from that chapter, yes, in school you are basically taught "facts" about things, whereas in college there's also an emphasis on the "meta-facts". In school you learn about historical events, in college you learn about what makes a good historian, the (scientific) mindset and methods you use to arrive at good historical "facts", the importance and effect of bias and perspective in others' and your own historical "facts", etc...


Ahem...

Isiskhan
Gnostic Misanthropy
Posted - 2008.07.06 17:40:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Kazuo Ishiguro
Ahem...


Hehe, well, ok... mathematicians are on a league of their own.

annoing
Amarr
Dirt Nap Squad
Dirt Nap Squad.
Posted - 2008.07.06 17:51:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: pwnedgato
Her name is not Shirl...



^^^ this wins "most witty answer of the year award" ^^



Jim McGregor
Posted - 2008.07.06 17:51:00 - [15]
 

Edited by: Jim McGregor on 06/07/2008 17:59:00

Originally by: Gojyu

No, but they can be thoroughly refuted by scientific evidence. Conspiracy theorists are an educational failure of another kind, that of refusing to analyse your own arguments with the same rigor as one looks at others'


I disagree, you usually have scientists both for and against a theory.

Also scientists are dependent on funding, and no scientist that come up with some other answer than what the funder wants is going to survive.

The media also typically invites only people that underlines whatever theory they want to get attention, or they invite someone with a different view and runs over them completely for kicks (O'Reilly or Fox News in general).


CCP Mitnal


C C P
Posted - 2008.07.07 02:52:00 - [16]
 

Originally by: Princess Kyky
the 5 w's is all you need to know apparently, thats what my english teacher taught me in secondary school

who
what
when
where
why


How never gets a mention Sad

Slade Trillgon
Endless Possibilities Inc.
Posted - 2008.07.07 10:42:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: CCP Mitnal
Originally by: Princess Kyky
the 5 w's is all you need to know apparently, thats what my english teacher taught me in secondary school

who
what
when
where
why


How never gets a mention Sad


Yes the infamous "How" always forgotten like Y is sometimes a vowels.


Originally by: Jim McGregor
Edited by: Jim McGregor on 06/07/2008 17:59:00

Originally by: Gojyu

No, but they can be thoroughly refuted by scientific evidence. Conspiracy theorists are an educational failure of another kind, that of refusing to analyse your own arguments with the same rigor as one looks at others'


I disagree, you usually have scientists both for and against a theory.

Also scientists are dependent on funding, and no scientist that come up with some other answer than what the funder wants is going to survive.

The media also typically invites only people that underlines whatever theory they want to get attention, or they invite someone with a different view and runs over them completely for kicks (O'Reilly or Fox News in general).




There is some good explanation above on the diferences between Universities and grade schools. As for the media, statistics, and conspiracy theorists it couldn't have been said better.

Slade


Mark Lucius
Final Agony
B A N E
Posted - 2008.07.07 12:23:00 - [18]
 

Originally by: Jim McGregor
I disagree, you usually have scientists both for and against a theory.

Also scientists are dependent on funding, and no scientist that come up with some other answer than what the funder wants is going to survive.

The media also typically invites only people that underlines whatever theory they want to get attention, or they invite someone with a different view and runs over them completely for kicks (O'Reilly or Fox News in general).



Scientific evidence != scientist. Proper scientific research makes a scientists opinion superfluous as the results is always the same. Problems and contradictions arise when scientists voice their opinions on matters instead of doing that proper research.

The part about media is spot on though.

Keorythe
Caldari
Terra Rosa Militia
Posted - 2008.07.07 12:49:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Mark Lucius
Originally by: Jim McGregor
Scientific evidence != scientist. Proper scientific research makes a scientists opinion superfluous as the results is always the same. Problems and contradictions arise when scientists voice their opinions on matters instead of doing that proper research.

The part about media is spot on though.



Yes, and no. One of the biggest problems with studies today is the lack of scientific method. X+Y=Z isn't always true. Yes the experiment will be repeatable and yet it may still be invalid. Often scientists who are seeking to prove something (regardless if it is true or not) will disregard variables that may cause the end result. X+Y=Z but only if W is present invalidates the hypothesis. However, as mentioned before funding plays a big part in this as well and while unethical its not that hard for a scientist to turn a blind eye to certain variables and still produce a case study which looks well researched.

As to the media thing, all outlets have their slant in one direction or another. However, in the end its all about ratings. Reuters, Fox, AP, CNN, and MSN have all played the sensationalism game equally. Its just not going to get you ratings for very long if someone comes out and disproves "global warming prediction 50,000 people will die in tsunami of doom". Instead of being able to milk a story its killed and they end up with slow news days.

Oh, and college doesn't make someone more intelligent. And frankly it doesn't teach you anything that you aren't already willing to learn. College will only enhance your curiousity which needed to be there in the first place.

Mark Lucius
Final Agony
B A N E
Posted - 2008.07.07 13:39:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: Keorythe
Yes, and no. One of the biggest problems with studies today is the lack of scientific method. X+Y=Z isn't always true. Yes the experiment will be repeatable and yet it may still be invalid. Often scientists who are seeking to prove something (regardless if it is true or not) will disregard variables that may cause the end result. X+Y=Z but only if W is present invalidates the hypothesis. However, as mentioned before funding plays a big part in this as well and while unethical its not that hard for a scientist to turn a blind eye to certain variables and still produce a case study which looks well researched.


My reply to Jim was to point out that scientific evidence is not always unreliable because scientists are fallible (for whatever reason). You are basically saying the same as Jim, so my response stands.

You are right that a research can be flawed because certain aspects have been overlooked or ignored, but to state that scientific evidence is similar to having an opinion is plain wrong. Proper scientific evidence is simply not bound to the person doing the research.

nahtoh
Caldari
Brotherhood of The Saltire
EVE Animal Control
Posted - 2008.07.07 21:22:00 - [21]
 

Edited by: nahtoh on 07/07/2008 21:32:42
Originally by: Shirley Serious
Something occurred to me the other day.

At school, I was never really taught to question what an article was saying, beyond basics such as: Who is writing this? What are they trying to achieve? And that sort of thing wasn't really taught until quite late at school. (16+)

Then, when I was at university I was taught to really question things. Things like: Why are they using these particular words? What are they not saying? What is their agenda?

So, with most people not going to university, and many not staying on at school beyond 16, how does that affect things with people not questioning the media much? and how does it affect conspiracy theories?



Well perhaps that was not the best approch...

So your trying to say that only higher education outfits you for any kind of inquisitve thought? Or without soem kind of instuition that allows you to question what is said?

Pergaps foir you thats true, but do not project your mental lazyness onto others.

Shirley Serious
Amarr
The Khanid Sisters of Athra
Posted - 2008.07.07 22:58:00 - [22]
 

Originally by: nahtoh
Edited by: nahtoh on 07/07/2008 21:32:42
Well perhaps that was not the best approch...

So your trying to say that only higher education outfits you for any kind of inquisitve thought? Or without soem kind of instuition that allows you to question what is said?

Pergaps foir you thats true, but do not project your mental lazyness onto others.


No. I'm saying that schools don't really encourage their pupils to think for themselves, while universities do a better job.

My parents got their opinions from the Daily Express, and never taught me to really think for myself. Most of the children in my age were the same. If they're not encouraged to think for themselves at home, and schools don't do much, then will they ever think for themselves? Or just believe what the papers say?

nahtoh
Caldari
Brotherhood of The Saltire
EVE Animal Control
Posted - 2008.07.08 00:22:00 - [23]
 

Originally by: Shirley Serious
Originally by: nahtoh
Edited by: nahtoh on 07/07/2008 21:32:42
Well perhaps that was not the best approch...

So your trying to say that only higher education outfits you for any kind of inquisitve thought? Or without soem kind of instuition that allows you to question what is said?

Pergaps foir you thats true, but do not project your mental lazyness onto others.


No. I'm saying that schools don't really encourage their pupils to think for themselves, while universities do a better job.

My parents got their opinions from the Daily Express, and never taught me to really think for myself. Most of the children in my age were the same. If they're not encouraged to think for themselves at home, and schools don't do much, then will they ever think for themselves? Or just believe what the papers say?


They can pull their head of their arse by themselves...


 

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