Month: January 2010

Intellectuals Versus Intellectualism

Dear Friends,

The constant accusation from the left that conservatives are morons, anti-intellectual, and anti-science is a bit tiresome.

The reality is they should look in the mirror and they would find this is simply a reflection of their own short-comings. This is often the case when one entity criticizes another. I chalk it up to a defence mechanism for the very insecure circumstances the entity may be in at the moment.

For the record, conservatives ARE NOT anti-intellectual, but I do believe they are against intellectualism. With apologies to Webster’s fine volume of words, I use this last term as a catchall religion (“ism”) for discussion.

My new definition(s) for “intellectualism” is…

1. Imposing untested theories on humanity in order to: gain power, achieve some ideological goal, or do what an elite group believes is good for humanity at the moment.

2. Using the word “nuance” to imply that solutions to humanity’s problems are too complex for the average person to deal with and must be assigned to a ruling elite to solve.

3. Using “intellectual” arguments to demean segments of our civilization to be able to lord over them.

4. Undermining our intellectual standards to be more inclusive of those that may agree with or support the ruling elite.

…can you add to the list? This IS NOT a slam against intellectuals, but a slam against elites and statists that think they are intellectuals.

A necessary caveat must be inserted. As our detractors on the left continue their various character assassinations to divert attention away from their hollow ideas, conservatives also follow blindly behind right-wing concepts that are generally established as polar opposites of a related concept on the left. Don’t follow such ideas blindly but use your mind to discern the underlying merit or truth. Don’t shoot the messenger, but to wake you from your slumber, you must remember that even Hitler did some good things.

GEA

Tolerance

Dear Friends,

Has anyone taken note of how the word “tolerance” has sort of disappeared from the leftist lexicon these days? ¬†What other mischief are these wordsmith revisionists up to?

GEA

To Pass Or Not To Pass, That Is The Question…

Dear Friends,

We certainly do live in “nuanced” times. I had some communications with two PhD’s on opposite ends of the globe. Both had served as instructors during their careers. The not-so-hypothetical situation posed was…

A university class was given a test (pop quiz, mid-term, final, whatever). The best student (s) in the class only got 50% of the test correct. What grade should be given to the top student (s)?

There are two readily apparent answers… Either a failing mark OR an “A”.

How can that be if certain standards are to be kept in our institutions of higher learning?

For the instructor giving the failing mark, the reasoning is quite straightforward… “I have given this test before (assuming the solutions were not widely published on the web) and students have passed it to my expectation.” (The difficulty arose when the department head came in and insisted that one could not fail the whole class in this manner. For the sake of job security, some flexibility was introduced, as I understand.)

For the instructor giving the passing mark, the test was probably graded on the curve (a certain percentage getting passing grades and a certain percentage failing based on the distribution of the results), because the instructor assumes that he may be fallible in the sense of asking material that was TOO difficult or was not properly covered, etc. My instructors often put in “zinger” questions they used to separate the men from the boys, as they put it.

Who is correct or who is wrong is difficult to ascertain in this circumstance. One instructor came to the conclusion that this whole class of that year may not be worth its salt. That happens, you know…. a wave of ignorance and stupidity. Who will carry the flame of excellence?

There are so many subjective factors driving the above examples to the proper conclusion. In this age of political correctness, social promotion through the grades, unbridled self-esteem, etc. our civilization and society will continue to suffer if we water down our standards of education to give equivalency to the lowest common denominator of intelligence in our community.

It goes back to my Fabian Socialism concept. It is the slow progression of communism on our society rather than the abrupt methods used in Russia and China. Put the doctors and intellectuals in the field to tend the crops and elevate the morons to the ruling elite. You must agree with some of this given recent events in our government.

What do you think?

GEA