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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 04:54 PM
Original message
Chomsky: The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter...
"The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent".

I've seen this quote from Chomsky before and I tend to believe it, I posted it because someone else brought it up in the thread about Chomsky's writings being banned at Gitmo.

So, what do you think, does our educational and professional training system act to weed out people who are too independent?
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Agree......There's very little I don't agree with Noam Chomsky on.
nt
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Same here.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Agreed.
It is rare that I disagree with Chomsky. His reasoning and explanations are usually very encyclopedic and thorough.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
53. he's snarky as well. I often find a google video of one of his
lectures and put the headphones on and drift off to sleep listening to him. i can't sleep in silence. chomsky is my white noise.
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PSzymeczek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
144. Politically OR linguistically! n/t
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. yes.
Oh, yes, it does.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. I guess someone hates Chomsky.....
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 05:02 PM by marmar
UNRECS GONE WILD !!!!!
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. Chomsky is certainly a polarizing figure, that's for sure.
There don't seem many people who are aware of him who are neutral.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. without a doubt!
I've been through the process...
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. Absolutely...
I never heard of an "Economist" for years... now they are everywhere...and they all say the same thing...on the side of big business... it's like an army of mind controlled freaks..
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. I think the educational systems weeds out people who are too independent...
at studying, doing homework, and taking tests.

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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. So you think Chomsky was bad at studying, doing homework and taking tests?
Eh?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
37. I think Chomsky's had a lot of problems lately.
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 06:07 PM by HiFructosePronSyrup
But education's not one of them.

He's studied at Harvard, has a PhD at U Penn, and is professor emeritus at MIT.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #37
54. his wife recently died. relatively recently that is. nt
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
98. Both your claim and Chomsky's are correct.
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. That's old think. Now it's much simpler: American -> Trashcan
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whathehell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
25. What does that mean?.
Please elaborate...I don't much like hearing myself and my countrymen equated with "trashcans"
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. Actually, I agree with this.
But the problem is, the whole system is dependent upon money. And the money only comes when you perform. And the only measure of "performance" is tests. And they don't call them "standardized" for nothing.

Fix that system and we can be as independent as you can imagine. I have schools chomping at the bit to break away from the mold.
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swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
131. How About Corporate and Government Funding
'independent' academic research. So scientific studies actually support the conclusions that big business want them to find - independently of course. :think:
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
10. THIS IS EXACTLY RIGHT
Some of the most intelligent people I know LEFT PhD programs because they could not stand the conformity. This leaves the second string--the smart enough but not genius level--in the universities with PhDs.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
86. Not to mention in charge of the dissertation committees
And in charge of who gets to advance/publish/tenure/live/thrive.

Wouldn't you say that's true HighFrucFreepSyrup?
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
12. chomsky's experience must be different from mine....
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 05:12 PM by mike_c
Getting my own doctorate made me MORE independent, and each educational step contributed to that independence. And my colleagues and I certainly value independence and creativity from our students-- the main lament I hear, and agree with, is that most college students are not intellectually independent enough!
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. I suspect that the particular discipline involved may make a difference..
Some fields are more likely to produce independent thinkers than others.

And your lament that most college students are too conformist kind of agrees with Chomsky in a way I think.

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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. "which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don't kn
Funny thing is...everyone who knows me describes me as being all three. In truth, I am a giant pain in the ass to those in the administration that stress conformity. However, they all want me around.

Chomsky may be right in macroscale, but in my little microcosm of academia, I have not found what h descriebes. True, there are too few who are rabble-rousers and certainly academia doesn't have the political courage it used to have.

So yeah, mike_c and I have a disagreement with Chomsky, but then again, both of us are biologists. Half of us show up to work in shorts, and the other half in metal T-shirts. Conformists make boring biologists.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. The difference between your discipline and many is this..
In the hard sciences competence is something that is easy to prove or disprove, you can either do the work or not. Your ways are tolerated because you are clearly competent at what you do.

In a great many fields these days competence is a fairly nebulous concept, just look at Wingnut Welfare for myriad examples of totally incompetent people who nevertheless make large salaries because they are willing to spout the line their employers wish to hear.

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Tsar_Bomba Donating Member (194 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #19
90. Hey, I heard you belting out those bass lines
on your you-tube channel. It kicks ass!
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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #90
110. Thanks....it's a hobby :)
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #12
41. Where did you get your doctorate?
?
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. University of Georgia (Athens)....
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 07:10 PM by mike_c
Department of Entomology back in the day when there were separate science and ag entomology departments-- the College of Arts and Sciences ent department where I got my degree no longer exists, technically. During the late 90s all the faculty transferred to the ag branch.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. You may have met a particularly interesting group of people there
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 07:17 PM by Nikki Stone1
My friends who have gone through graduate programs tell me the exact opposite.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I did my dissertation on a topic that my advisor knew relatively little about....
I mean, he was an expert on the broader topic of forest insect ecology, but I used methods and answered questions that were completely outside his experience. Everyone on my committee brought some part of the necessary expertise to the table, but basically it was my job to educate and convince them that I was right, and that what I did had merit. That translated into remarkable freedom. I did not fit into any of the existing pigeonholes, at least not at the time, and certainly not in that lab. I was not even physically located in my adviser's lab, because the resources I used were elsewhere. I got paid (a pittance, of course) to do what jazzed me most in those days, and could devote all my time to those studies.

It was a fantastic experience. I wish I could do it again. My faculty scientist job is cool, and interesting, and mostly gives me the freedom to pursue my own interests-- and I've been able to change them several times during my career and start more-or-less from scratch because I pay my dues teaching-- but it's not as exhilarating as grad school was. Of course, it's way more secure and better paid!
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. You had a great committee. They weren't threatened by you.
Friends of mine who have gone through the process are not as happy with theirs. The brighter they are, the more desperately unhappy they are. I had one brilliant friend leave his program for 10 years: he had gotten through qualifying exams and then just could never deal with the faculty. When he returned 10 years later he was older, wiser and knew how to handle the egos of the committee and how not to threaten them. He got through.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #42
117. I got my M.S. there...
..back when they had a Zoology Department. It no longer exists, either. All the faculty transferred to Ecology or the Genetics/Cell & Molecular/Biotechnology Departments. I frequently shared Friday afternoon beers with some of the entomologists over at Little Bob's in Five Points. They were loads of fun! Even Little Bob's is gone...
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #117
148. yup, I was there when that happened....
The ZOOL dept I mean. I was there from 1989-1995. I don't remember Little Bob's-- is/was that the Mean Bean? Or the deli type place across from Five Points Bottle Shop? The latter was either not there or it was something else when I was drinking Friday (or Thurs) beers in 5P.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-14-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #148
155. I left in 1987
Little Bob's (I'm not sure that was it's real name, or referred to as such because that was the owner's nickname) is now the Mean Bean. He sold it shortly after I left, and it has changed hands at least one more time since then. Little Bob had legal issues, and it's possible he wound up back in prison. The women to whom he sold the business turned it into a burger joint or something like that.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #12
57. That was my experience with college and grad work, too.
And agree about most students.
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #12
70. What you're saying and what he's saying aren't mutually exclusive.
If you're getting college students, then you're getting students that have just made it through high school. I think we can all agree most high schools punish independence. So what gets to college are people that managed to conform enough to the system to not get pitched out.
Using my HS as an example, of the top ten standardized test scores in the school within 2 years on either side of me: 1 was expelled, 4 quit, 1 died, 3 didn't have the grades to get scholarships. So of the top ten scores, 1 went on to college. (The guy that got expelled and 2 that quit went on to college, but I'm talking about what the school accomplished.) So we're talking about a system that weeded out 80-90%(allowing for the guy that died) of the brightest before colleges ever see them. And those are the ones that made it far enough to take those tests. It's entirely possible others were weeded out before it got that far. Private schools are even worse than public ones for cracking down on thought.

So I agree with you and Chomsky.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #70
73. totally agree about high school....
I thought the quote was about higher ed. I completely agree with you about high school. I dropped out early, and my daughter home-schooled before college for precisely that reason.

Further, I think MANY of the problems we have with undergrads stem from their high school experiences, where creativity and independence were not rewarded. If intellectualism and creativity have little or no currency within educational institutions, then they're failing miserably IMO.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
14. Here is the entire quote:
"The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don't know how to be submissive, and so on -- because they're dysfunctional to the institutions."

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/47436
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-15-09 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
159. I Find That
this is far more true of the actual working world than the training system. I kind of think of my Master's program as "Think for yourself now, because there's no place for it when you get out in the real world.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
16. I don't think it's just educational institutions
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 05:14 PM by Confusious
It's society in general. We are a social creature, and conformity is always better ( As ape society goes ) then independence. It just gets worse the larger the organization. Even on this board, you get pressure to conform if you happen to hold a different view on a subject then most. "that's not a liberal position!"
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Well, yeah, but the mechanisms for enforcing conformity aren't that strong here..
And I'm more likely to notice people telling me I'm a "purist" and more recently "freeper". :)
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #18
47. My point is you get it anywhere

at larger institutions it's going to be stronger. Too many egos in a small space. :)
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
129. Or that you are just "Bitter"
Funny thing, I've been called RW Freeper and Bitter in the past few days, and that I should just "Come back when I have something positive to say", or that I am not a realist because I demand perfection which is somehow unattainable.

I say Bullshit. When we are exploring new frontiers, I can agree that the outcome may be hard to predict, but for things that we know a great deal about, such as political will, actions vs campaign promises, I expect to get what I asked for, and not get dog food instead of a steak.

It's like the people that like to enforce conformity no longer believe in producing change any more. They are satisfied with being pure consumers, and when we raise the issue that we are being fed a bunch of substandard product, they become angry because they they now see that they are eating the same substandard product.


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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
52. Confusious, you have a good theory there.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
91. Good point...
this is particularly true in a corporate setting, and the larger the corporation, the more it seems that conformity is required.
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Gman2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
20. Almost everywhere, mediocrity is enforced by the rabble.
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trackfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
21. Yep.
I've always believed that. I don't know whether or not it intentionally does that; but that is exactly what it achieves.
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
23. MIT must've missed the memo then ...
Because that educational institution has been employing Mr. Chomsky himself for decades. And I doubt it's an aberration.

I must be missing something about this argument, not having read the entire context. .


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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Of course there are going to be exceptions to pretty much any rule..
But I think the Japanese aphorism about "the nail which sticks up gets hammered down" is a fairly apt one in general.

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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Oh, exceptionalism of the "elites"
This argument is making no sense whatsoever.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. Actually, if you look around at our "elites" the rule seems virtually iron-clad..
The M$M and the political elites in Washington deviate so rarely from the consensus view that a Soviet citizen was awed by their unanimity of voice and couldn't understand how it was done without a secret police force.

Chomsky is worth listening to because so few are saying what he does.





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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
24. This is why I like Chomsky. He doesn't worship academia like some leftists.
And I do agree with him. Certain professors/departments can be just as dogmatic as the evil institutions they claim to oppose.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #24
100. No great thinker does. The closest to Einstein's capacity for independent
thinking I've ever come across is the late economist who mocked the field of economics, J K Galbraith. The half-wit Friedman would be besieged by admirers, while Galbraith's talks were poorly attended. Einstein once commented - although obviously to deaf ears: "Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character."

I suspect by character he meant, integrity, courage and imagination, where the rule of society is to "get on", to become quite wealthy and respected among your peers, and among the rest of society, which will be cast in the same mould. Survival and providing for your family is not to be belittled, but neither is identification of its consequent drawbacks in the broader perspective, and the desire to redress the villainies perpetrated by such corporatist societies, and the disasters to which they inevitably lead.

You will find many quotes by Galbraith in a similar vein to Einstein's, although, of course, he alluded not to physics, but to economics (such as the field exists,) and to fields of knowledge, generally, and he was less acerbic in his critique of the general run of scholars in his own field of expertise than Galbraith. He had less cause to, after his genius began to be recognised; and of course physics is a "hard science", so that was inevitable, and not necessarily a reflection of unimpeachable integrity on the part of the leaders of the scientific community of his day.

"It's not what you know; it's who you know", is no less true for being an ancient truth - and that applies to the groves of academe in spades. Especially in the non hard sciences, of course, as someone observed above. Yet, increasingly, the corporations dictate (in the normal, despotic, political sense) which areas of study are funded within the particular disciplines. "Who pay the piper", alas, are psychopaths, whether essential or adaptive.

This lady correspondent on Joe Bageant's blog writes beautifully on the theme of what Joe calls "the hologram" we live in:

http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2009/10/corporations-gove...

Chomsky is a fund of information on the realities of what is going on in the world, as only a brilliant and assiduous scholar can be. I am sure it is presumptuous of me to suggest that the he may not 100% accurate in all of his conclusions, but a region of around 98% constitutes a particularly bountiful, divine gift to mankind. I know he is technically or formally an atheist. But it happens.




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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #100
118. Two quotes I found of Einstein that I like are
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

"The question that sometimes drives me hazy: Am I, or the others crazy?"

Neither one is really deep but speak to me and the last one makes me smile because I often am driven hazy with this thought. ;)

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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #118
138. I'm not sure that the first one isn't profound. A lot of people don't realise
it. They imagine the naked intellect is everything. Now that does take imagination!

I remember a sig line on here "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." A quote from a theosophist, I think, called Krishnamurti.
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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #138
150. The first one speaks to me because my imagination
is more extensive than my knowledge. I love to learn but it requires work where my imagination comes naturally. I have studied much of my life but even here I have used my imagination to make sense of what I have learned.

I don't think anyone would accuse me of being well adjusted to society so Krishnamurti would probably find me unmeasurable (?). lol
A truly profound quote though.
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whathehell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
28. Well, it seems they didn't filter out Chomsky...
So what is he saying about himself?
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. No filter is perfect?
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. He acknowledges that he was obedient enough to stick it out
(in the video link I sourced below)

Although the important thing here is that he doesn't mince words; obedience. That's what got him through.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #28
135. Yeah, That's Why He's the Most Celebrated Writer In the US
And is invited to be on all the TV news shows and given a regular column in the NYT.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
29. Agree. Especially in the sciences.
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 06:30 PM by moondust
Artsy programs usually have some free spirits (thankfully) but don't expect to see many longhairs or piercings in the computer science or engineering departments (unless their parents are really rich and really generous.)
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #29
48. Expand on that thought please

How exactly are science departments?
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. In my experience
"science and technology" schools as well as science and technology departments within schools with broader curricula and stronger liberal arts programs typically have a conservative bias which is reflected in the conformity of their students to conservative values, dress, activities, etc. Of course there are exceptions.
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #51
140. Yes because to be independant
Yes, because to be independent you must have long hair and lots of piercings. Just like all the other independent people showing how unique they are. :sarcasm:

The reason the students in "tech schools" dress differently than artists is that they are geeks, not artists. Not that they are conservative. We simply don't give a damn how we look to others.

Anyway, I disagree with the premise in the OP anyway (in the sciences). You need a small number of visionaries that think outside the box, and you need a large number of "followers" who figure out if the visionaries are correct or incorrect, and expand their theories into other areas.

One Einstein has provided fodder for thousands of PhDs testing and elaborating on his theories.
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coffeenap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-14-09 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #29
156. Yep--my son is in the middle of this right now.
He is 19, has long hair and a braid to his waist, is small and skinny and the exact opposite of everyone in his masters program in applied mathematics. He wants to delve eventually into pure math and has the imagination and intellect to do it, but there he sits with the khaki clad engineers. I think it is hard on him--stranger in a strange land.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-15-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #156
160. Sorry to hear that.
It is hard being in the minority like that. I hope he can stick it out if that's what he loves.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
30. Whew, good thing he made it through in order to tell the rest of us all about it...
:eyes:
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Yes, his voice is so *common*, practically everyone says that..
Edited on Mon Oct-12-09 06:00 PM by Fumesucker
:eyes:

Edited for speling.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
31. It was I who sourced the Chomsky quote on education, which he refers to as "imposed ignorance."
Noam Chomsky on the Role of the Educational System: (system of indoctrination for the young re obedience, remaining passive, etc)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g2Gn0kq8QY&feature=rela...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQHhK7UQt7s

"...they'll have ideas of their own instead of believing what they're told, and privilege and power doesn't want that."
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. Thank you for that.. n/t
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
36. Chomsky obviously never served on a National Science Foundation panel reviewing grant proposals.
Just sayin'
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LooseWilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
39. I agree... but I think too many here are only applying this thought to Academia
and educational institutions in general (probably as a result of working in such settings). I think it is very important to realize that a filter is put in place to "keep stuff out"... and as such, the "education and professional training system" as filter is meant to say that the system filters "people who are too independent" from the institutions that then hire those with said training.

In other words, education is meant to catch those who are too independent before they get out and are hired by Corporate USA for their training. Independent thinking clearly doesn't go with corporate culture, and I'd imagine not with corporate research sciences either.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. I had an OP a while back that kind of made the same point..
Someone who had tried to enter the corporate world and hadn't worked out very well pointed out that in the corporate world the appearance of logical thought without so much actual logic or thought.

It might have been the author of "Liar's Poker" but a cursory search doesn't show up the reference.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:36 AM
Response to Reply #39
63. Academia is the realm Chomsky was talking about. n/t
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pink-o Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
46. The same is true with prisons.
On the other side of the tracks, so to speak. Anyone who's edgy and rebellious, but not necessarily a criminal, merely acting out against conformity and an oppressive system--send them to prison for a few years, they come out as criminals and now Society can safely pigeonhole them. File under Felon.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
49. Agree . . . think it's always been true . . .and increasily so now with LSAT's, SAT's, etal . . .
PLUS, any real mentoring has always been denied.

Parents haven't always been up to it -- plus, so much is ignored which doesn't fit

into one of the set ideas of what anyone should do with their lives.

All of the human stuff is ignored, as well, in our schools!



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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #49
108. As a parent I admit I suck at mentoring.
I'm the first one to jump away from the books on the kitchen table yelling, "What the fuck! I don't get it! They want you to do this this way WHY?" All I can do is back my kid up and so far, he's getting money for school for journalism as opposed to being chucked into trade school for welding like many of his peers (nothing wrong with welding, but it's not my kid's vocation and the program he's in stresses job above education).

Mentoring at school has often become a way of throwing kids into job fields that they may or may not be suited for on the basis of realpolitik pragmatism. Lord knows, I see kids everyday who were urged to go to school get into my field becuase of 'demand' who have no talent, affinity or ability to do the work. When asked 'why', they invariably say, 'well the job counselor said this was a growing field and easy to get into'. :shrug:

I seek out the jobs I do because I cannot work in a corporate environment. What they do to even the most insignifigant of their employees is basically micromanagement and much of it is deadening and inhuman supervised by low amangement mediocrities with 'bonus' pay on the line who got their jobs by being toadies all their lives. Those bonuses are predicated on enforcing uniformity, keeping your staff in line so they produce more money in less time, denying staff help for injury because you would lose your monetary reward for x number of days without an accident, etc. In short, you are rewarded for being inhuman to others.

I am not the first to envison it as an abbatoir of spinning blades reducing all to the same piles of shite. The first thing gone is the soul (or humanity, if you prefer)...



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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #108
133. I see you have had the Ah Hah! moment!
This is exactly the point of the Original Post. You have run into the Classification system.

Some people are good at one thing, and terrible at others. I'll be the first to admit that there are a great many things that I just cannot do, but, as time goes on, and life presents real challenges to me, I will seek out the solutions on my own terms, and find a good reason to understand how to solve a problem.

Schools demand that you solve problems that are totally unrelated to benefiting your quality of life, and children and young adult are left is a state of submission in learning things that they most likely will never use in their lifetime.

It is this rote learning, or the transformation of an ever changing organic system into a machine that is the most destructive. The learning process becomes not an interactive event, raising questions and further theories, but a rubber stamp of the way the system say's it ought to be, and this is what I think is most damaging. Nobody questions the reason for the stupid problems in textbooks, but just accepts them and marches toward the solution.

Personally, I think the best motivation for education comes from direct observation, the desire for Conservation of Energy, both physical and mental, and a deep yearning for an understanding of the process involved.

Furthermore, the mechanistic view of the world is a detriment to all of us. We are all connected in subtle ways, yet we are taught to ignore these subtle signals and believe that we are nothig more than machines.

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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-14-09 03:43 AM
Response to Reply #133
152. Furthermore, the mechanistic view of the world is a detriment to all of us.
Edited on Wed Oct-14-09 03:46 AM by juno jones
We are all connected in subtle ways, yet we are taught to ignore these subtle signals and believe that we are nothing more than machines.


I remember being very disappointed when I found out my college psych prof was ultimately a Skinnerarian. She was a very good teacher but I was hurt to find out that she basically thought everything was somehow mechanical. I felt the theory seemed to eliminate possibilties arising from chaotic happenstance, like artistic inspiration or any other problem solving unique to the individual and she didn't seem to question it.

I think there is more to humans (and animals) than mere interchangable automatons.



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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-14-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #152
157. I agree, It's an excuse to avoid Spirituality and the really hard questions
Strangely enough, it appears that many Mechanists migrate over to the Spiritual side after seeing how many questions are left unanswered by the current educational system.

What is most intriguing to me is the Honesty of the scientists and researchers of the 1930's. One is taught that the past is synonymous with primitive and limited understanding, but when one delves into the writings of the day, you can see that these guys were very good scientists given the primitive tools on hand at the time. Furthermore, one can see that the Great Depression caused a great deal of power to shift into organizations whose primary goal was maintaining the profit machine at any cost, and we see it in the suppression of Pleiomorphism postulated by Antonne Bechamp, the works of Royal Rife, Dr. Weston Price and his works with Nutrition and Degenerative Illness, and Wilhelm Reich, whose insight were so powerful, he was demonized and jailed where he died.

This behavior has continued to gain power, so far now that almost all honest study is suppressed, scrubbed or manipulated in such a way that it becomes only accessible to Specialists working within the Corporate realm, which includes the Universities and so called "Higher Education".

Of course, we now know that simple life forms can change to forms depending upon their environment, and that Bacteria commonly utilize Horizontal Gene transfer in order to evolve, yet, this information is masked by the educational system to provide cover for the Fast Tracked BioTech Industry. That cell of BT Corn that is in someones stomach has the very likely probabilty to be incorporated into the normal Flora of the Human gut and cause that normal flora to start producing BT Toxin as a natural part of it's life process. Or perhaps it gain Antibiotic resistance, or maybe it mutates from a common, benigh organism into one such as Clostridium Difficile.

God forbid that this information would become widespread, because Mandatory Labeling of GMO would be a huge priority, but no. Our Government knows all of this, but, like and good Client Attorney relationship, they won't tell us something that may harm their client, the BioTech industry.

The same thing applies to Medicine and the Pharmacological focus of American Medicine. Monomorphism dovetails into the mechanistic view quite nicely, as it provides and excuse for the billions of bugs that make one sick.

For the most part, Americans are taught to ignore their intuitions and rely only upon the physical senses. I was lucky to be raised by a parent that promoted the recognition of intuition and it took many years to actually become fully convinced that it does exist, and can provide foresight and quality information. The Universe is based on really simple rules, and one of them is vibrations or oscillations that drive it. Since we are electric machines by nature, we are truly transmitters, and it's only natural that others can pick up the signal and "Hear" it.

Schools of fish do it, Flocks of Birds do it, Torn Muscle Fibers do it. There is no reason to doubt that Humans do it as well.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-15-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #157
158. Wonderful reply, thanks!
I agree.

It is as hard, maybe harder, to avoid GMO food in this country than it is to avoid HFCS. And that's saying something.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #108
147. I always tried to fight the inane instructions, etal ---
Edited on Tue Oct-13-09 05:44 PM by defendandprotect
but we parents also know we're not infallible and you only go so far --
Now, I regret not being really more determined --

I doubt there was ever any real mentoring in schools --
My son was always interested in animals, discovery, science and that's where
he should be -- but ended up a long way from that.

My daughter wanted to be a writer, but she's ended up writing for "fund-raising"
for a college!!!

If you can't pass these robot like tests, then they have a permanent roadblock to
keep you out.

I also well remember the go-around's challenging what some teacher had told one or the
other of them -- and trying to get them to challenge back. But it's hard for kids to do
that and they know it.

When you mention "no talent," I think of all the doctors now who I think should be mechanics!
Money seems to have been the big attraction.

And agree with this . . . but so many years now where employees have been intimidated and shoved
around, I don't know how they can fight back now?

I seek out the jobs I do because I cannot work in a corporate environment. What they do to even the most insignifigant of their employees is basically micromanagement and much of it is deadening and inhuman supervised by low amangement mediocrities with 'bonus' pay on the line who got their jobs by being toadies all their lives. Those bonuses are predicated on enforcing uniformity, keeping your staff in line so they produce more money in less time, denying staff help for injury because you would lose your monetary reward for x number of days without an accident, etc. In short, you are rewarded for being inhuman to others.

In better days, we had much fewer managers and you actually learned a great deal doing the job --
you gained independence, as well. Of course, at that time, those in charge were more like us.
Not true any more. Everything reversed.

I am not the first to envison it as an abbatoir of spinning blades reducing all to the same piles of shite. The first thing gone is the soul (or humanity, if you prefer)...

Agree -- very sadly agree!!




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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
50. If true, this is very sad.
I can't say I disagree, "independence" of "little people" simply is not tolerated, unless you call the treatment of homeless folks "generous".

I think Chomsky may be right in this case, it certainly seems to fit the outcomes as I've experienced them.
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Mr Rabble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
55. This is a truism. Think in context of "privatizing schools".
The fact that there is debate about this topic is proof that it is likely true.

Try to consider who writes history, and what those people would want you to know.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
56. It weeds out some. It created distrust in others.
Imagine the group of people under 32 who graduated from college at the start of a dry run of no jobs and no salary increases (amazing isn't it). They are likely thinking that the whole process of the economy is less than useful. Then they look at the world around us and see a filthy environment and a government that won't even give people a little health care after making them sick. That's an education.

The technical underpinning of the system is weak in the the social sciences, history in particular (I have no idea what political "science" is and neither do they). Big events like the colonization of North and South America, the Compromise of 1877 are glossed over or simply misinterpreted.

In areas like the hard sciences, engineering, and computer science, in particular, the curriculum is rigorous and the training is excellent. Graduates with these degrees have nothing but challenges and thinking out of the box to look forward to so Chomsky, while correct technically, has limited "education" to just K-12 and college. It goes on for a lifetime.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #56
64. DISCIPLINED MINDS
Who are you going to be? That is the question.

In this riveting book about the world of professional work, Jeff Schmidt demonstrates that the workplace is a battleground for the very identity of the individual, as is graduate school, where professionals are trained. He shows that professional work is inherently political, and that professionals are hired to subordinate their own vision and maintain strict ideological discipline.

The hidden root of much career dissatisfaction, argues Schmidt, is the professionals lack of control over the political component of his or her creative work. Many professionals set out to make a contribution to society and add meaning to their lives. Yet our system of professional education and employment abusively inculcates an acceptance of politically subordinate roles in which professionals typically do not make a significant difference, undermining the creative potential of individuals, organizations and even democracy.

Schmidt details the battle one must fight to be an independent thinker and to pursue ones own social vision in todays corporate society. He shows how an honest reassessment of what it really means to be a professional employee can be remarkably liberating. After reading this brutally frank book, no one who works for a living will ever think the same way about his or her job.

http://disciplinedminds.tripod.com /



Upon publication of Disciplined Minds, the American Institute of Physics fired author Jeff Schmidt. He had been on the editorial staff of Physics Today magazine for 19 years. Following advice given in the book itself, Schmidt and free-expression advocates mounted a campaign that brought public judgment to bear on Schmidts dismissal. Such justice is available to anyone not afraid to go public.

The public campaign also led to a formal settlement whose terms are highly favorable to Schmidt.


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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:23 AM
Response to Reply #56
65. It's a wonderful world of colonized minds
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #56
71. Well said. nt
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
58. No doubt at all. n/t
:kick: & R

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
59. you might like this:
DISCIPLINED MINDS


Who are you going to be? That is the question.


In this riveting book about the world of professional work, Jeff Schmidt demonstrates that the workplace is a battleground for the very identity of the individual, as is graduate school, where professionals are trained. He shows that professional work is inherently political, and that professionals are hired to subordinate their own vision and maintain strict ideological discipline.

The hidden root of much career dissatisfaction, argues Schmidt, is the professionals lack of control over the political component of his or her creative work. Many professionals set out to make a contribution to society and add meaning to their lives. Yet our system of professional education and employment abusively inculcates an acceptance of politically subordinate roles in which professionals typically do not make a significant difference, undermining the creative potential of individuals, organizations and even democracy.

Schmidt details the battle one must fight to be an independent thinker and to pursue ones own social vision in todays corporate society. He shows how an honest reassessment of what it really means to be a professional employee can be remarkably liberating. After reading this brutally frank book, no one who works for a living will ever think the same way about his or her job.

http://disciplinedminds.tripod.com /



Upon publication of Disciplined Minds, the American Institute of Physics fired author Jeff Schmidt. He had been on the editorial staff of Physics Today magazine for 19 years. Following advice given in the book itself, Schmidt and free-expression advocates mounted a campaign that brought public judgment to bear on Schmidts dismissal. Such justice is available to anyone not afraid to go public.

The public campaign also led to a formal settlement whose terms are highly favorable to Schmidt.



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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #59
62. Thanks, that's interesting..
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #59
66. Thanks for posting. Have you read One-Dimensional Man, by Herbert Marcuse?
Written in 1964, Marcuse outlines the new forms of social control, and how the public mind is shaped and organized by the society's dominant interests. Read in its entirety at:

http://igw.tuwien.ac.at/christian/marcuse/odm.html
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:00 AM
Response to Original message
60. Somewhat,
but 'guts' can be heard, w/o TOO much effort.
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:32 AM
Response to Original message
61. It doesn't just weed out independence. The system is designed to enforce dependence to authority.
The curriculum is dumbed down to deskill the students. If you don't really understand the material, then you have no basis for questioning what you are taught, and to get your grade, you have to suppress any questioning, and take your cues from the teacher for every response.

In the corporate world, jobs are deprofessionalized. A professional is a person who determines how she will perform her job. That is where the "independence" shows up.

In business computer programming, the managers of IT departments usually have business degrees, and have almost no knowledge of good programming practice. Yet most of the ones I worked under would micromanage software development and maintenance. Much of the in-house software that I had to maintain was really bad. However, in most cases, I wasn't allowed to work directly with users to handle issues. In most cases, everything went through the manager or a "senior analyst" (who often didn't have any training or expertise, either), and the results were not often pretty.

In education, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program with its "standardized" tests is designed to deprofessionalize teachers, and ensure that large numbers of students NOT get an education. I taught school for a couple of years and teaching to a test is a sure way to ensure that nothing useful gets learned. Making a teacher's livelihood dependent on how well an entire school does on a bunch of worthless tests is oppression.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
67. I think that mainly applies to people who directly run society
Technical fields are a very different matter.
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D23MIURG23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
68. If it does then where did he come from?
I'll agree with this statement to some extent, but Chomsky was a professor at MIT which means he made it to a high position in the educational system he was talking about. I'd say there are still some ways through our educational and professional training system for those of us who are more independent.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. One person out of how many?
There are very few who share Chomsky's ideas, his voice is all but unique.

And, as posted above, Chomsky attained is position through obedience and then started speaking out.

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D23MIURG23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #69
104. One person out of one unless you have some kind of evidence otherwise.
Undoubtedly some of the more independent thinkers don't make it through the system, but Chomsky isn't the only well educated person I've ever encountered with a well defined and original perspective on things. I don't see any evidence that Chomsky was exceptional in that regard, generally or on this thread.

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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #104
113. Apparently, looking at the number of recs, there are a lot of people who disagree with you..
Of course that doesn't mean that you are wrong, just that a lot of people's perceptions do not align with your own.

I do find it interesting that Chomsky endures an all but total blacklisting in the American M$M, despite the fact that he is well known outside of those circles.

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D23MIURG23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-14-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #113
154. A couple of points...
1) Popularity and cogency are two separate issues. I'm aware that the statement posted above resonates with a lot of DUers, but I think in the form it has been posted it is to general to be considered true, and I haven't seen any evidence of it. Chomsky might have provided some when he said or wrote the above statement, but I haven't seen it.

2) The MSM is quite obviously intolerant and dismissive of any voice outside of the "conventional wisdom" (or conventional stupidity as the case may be) but they are not a force I would conflate with higher education.
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CBR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
72. I have worked at a non-profit, a private consulting firm, in retail, and
I am currently working on my Ph.D. Sure there are some annoying cultural norms but academia offers, by far, the most independence and values critical thinking at a much higher rate. IMHO.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #72
82. Not to be combative, but Chomsky's view specifically speaks to mass denial of the obvious
... Precisely due to the social indoctrination that encourages people to participate in its dominant institutions, and that usually occurs when those involved by and large abide and support the overarching aims of those social systems, and seek to take advantage of the social and profe$$ional inducements.

In other words, he's perfectly aware that many would dismiss his observations, and insist his views are inaccurate, b/c they're personally/emotionally invested in the aims of those social systems, and so are naturally reluctant to acknowledge unfavorable institutional analysis that, as one can expect, makes many participating uncomfortable trying to reconcile a negative view with what they personally believe is a good, 'normal' thing. That's Chomsky's point re obedience and indoctrination.
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CBR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #82
105. Well if you create a theory and in doing so, dismiss potential opposition of that
theory, observation etc... then arguing against the theory/obs. is pointless because they have preemptively dismissed opposition and from the very people who can provide the most personal insight. If I indicate that I find more independence in academia as compared to other sectors in which I have been involved, then I am preemptively accused of upholding the aims of the social institution; when, in reality, I am just providing my personal observation.

Of course social indoctrination occurs, including in academia but it can also be liberating. Heck, in my courses we spend time reading about problems related to cultural pressure, norms in academia including, but not limited to, the dangers of an over reliance on positivism in research.

BTW -- not combative at all! I am in academia, we enjoy dialogue ;)
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #105
111. "upholding the aims of the social institution" is secondary
As where simply not acknowledging the dark side of the personal/professional status quo, which requires a great deal of training, or adopting the popular deflections, justifications, and/or outright dismissals of the system's unsavory elements, need be entrenched within the individuated and collective mind first and foremost. That is how the sickness of power operates, perceiving anything that questions or challenges its chief aims (profits over people) as a threat, and so seeks to shape everyone and everything in its image to lessen those threats.

That's what Chomsky is speaking to; corporate culture indoctrination i.e. a seemingly invisible, day-to-day-over-the-course-of-years conditioning toward perceiving "reality" via a very specific lens that is naturally quite friendly to the society's dominant intere$ts

The notion of perceiving the society's dominant institutions in a basically positive manner is the "personal observation." Without it beginning much earlier on than, say, college education, people would be more likely to observe and accurately identify the numerous moral and pragmatic pitfalls of the dominant ideology that the institutions are in place to solidify and perpetuate.
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
74. It happened to me
"Because you will not get with the program we are not allowing you to come back"

Thats what I was told by the headmaster of a school I went to up until ninth grade.

The school was a private school for the ruling class of the town I grew up in.Many of my classmates there are now the 'movers and shakers' of my hometown.
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
75. Only an academic could make that statement, ironically. He should try working
with the rest of us. The filter is much more effective outside of the education system than within.

I miss academia for its freedom of thought, but little else.

All institutions are filters, btw.
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radhika Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
76. Absolutely - saw it myself
I went to grad school in UCLA in 1998 - waning years of the Clinton era. My plan was to get a Masters in Public Health to transition from healthcare IT(waay sick of it!) into healthcare policy for the underserved. At that time in our social history there was minimal recognition of Single Payer or Public Option. It was all how to tweak corporate reimbursement to kinda, sorta get a few extra bennies to the sick, old and destitute. The litmus test was HOW WILL 'WE' PAY FOR IT. The Bush/911 settled that.

Our cohort of mid-career professionals were all gearing up for major CEO or SVP slots. How does this gel with Chomsky? The entire faculty, visiting profs and touted guest speakers were cut of the same cloth. Minor variations of degree - I admit. But no real diversity of thought or opportunity. The politics favored the plutocrats, and the celebrated alumni were those who could write big check. Period.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
77. Our universities are class replicating machines.
Which is why we have the paradox of the "finest university system in the world" (sic) and yet the lowest class mobility among the leading developed countries.
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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
78. It could be worse: our education system could be under even greater conservative control.
The recent "National Review" (a very conservative magazine) has a cover story about how higher eduction fails students. Although it is true that our educational system fails our students, they point to "problems" such as colleges publishing too many articles on Shakespeare over the past 30 years. I don't see that as a problem since our age of Market economics needs to be interpreted in relation to Shakespeare as does every new age.

My main point is that conservatives have such a narrow view of education, as we've seen with these standardized tests. All Americans need a disciplined and broad education. At present it's not disciplined as shown by grade inflation. It's not broad because we are encouraged to focus only on the "practical."
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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
79. Independant thinkers need to get on the same page...
Form a think tank. Consolidate and cherry pick the information and the message, push and frame the debate and deliver to supporters in a coordinated manner.

Oh....wait...that is what the GOP does.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
80. I don't agree with the generalization, but I think there is truth in this.
Hells, I went through a MFA program in creative writing. I knew students who played the game, and they were lauded and included in important social networks, while others who wanted to do something really different or socially unnerving with their work were marginalized.
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RooseveltTruman Donating Member (92 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
81. I do...
I'm at university right now (NYU, going into a lot of debt for it), and honestly I feel like the whole concept of "higher education" is a bit of a crock.

It's glorified regurgitation and force-feeding. There's no encouragement to think independently. They create the impression that there is, because you're reading the works of notorious independent thinkers. But you're reading it (in most cases) for the sake of just knowing it, not for practical application or for some hands-on reason. It's pseudo-intellectualism and certainly not "higher learning." It sounds almost like a conspiracy: have the media and all the important, smart-sounding folks laud "college" as the place where true intellectual thought is birthed, only to have it be the grandest bastion of assimilation, forced regurgitation, and anti-individualism there is.

There's definitely some good to it, and I feel a richer person for it, don't get me wrong. But outside of business (of course) and perhaps some science majors, most of what you're taught encourages little creativity or independent thought and does little in terms of preparing you in any sort of meaningful, practical way for the rest of your life (or for responsible citizenship).
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
83. Corporate training camps.
Edited on Tue Oct-13-09 12:03 PM by moondust
I think increasingly over the past 30 years or so the "educational and professional systems" have "adapted" their programs to prepare students for corporate culture. That's where the money is. And the future of their endowments. Independent thinkers have limited potential in such a culture and may be marginalized/weeded out.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
84. It depends. That is true of the Ivy League schools but not so true
of some of the small, liberal arts colleges. Of course you have to get through elementary and secondary school before you get to some of the schools that encourage independent thought.

But when it comes to education, the most important instruction is imparted at home. If your parents encourage you to be independent, you will be. Many independent thinkers read lots and widely. So, the local library is the second most important source of knowledge. School is where you meet people and share experiences and ideas. It's not really for learning. You have to learn for yourself and think for yourself then go to school to see what everyone else is learning and thinking.

That was, I think, how universities started -- as places where students listened to a person who had interesting knowledge to share. The students chose their teachers based on what they were interested in.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
85. Interesting how the woo woos have glomed onto this.
Not you, OP. But the moon bombing people. The anti-vaccers.

Seems they don't understand the difference between independent thought, and no thought.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #85
93. I don't pay enough attention to who posts what that I would notice..
There are only a dozen or maybe three posters I really recognize all that well..

A lot of the time I hit reply and start typing without ever noticing who I'm replying to.

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
87. The biggest problem is over-specialization and compartmentalization of knowledge and discourse
In universities and corporations, alike, you have the same accepted "authorities" preaching to cadres of professional syncophants who get ahead by citing Fearless Leader and each other as authorities. It's very incestuous and prone to systemic error because nobody outside of that particular school of thought or corporation knows what the hell the others are talking about. Try reading an Economics paper - even if you have a Ph.D in another discipline, it's practically impossible to follow. That is the definition of Group-Think, and it can be disastrous, particularly in organizations that have to compete to survive.

Chomsky, as usual, is right for the wrong reason.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. I find your comment quite interesting..
How can someone be consistently right.. for the wrong reasons?

That doesn't make a great deal of sense to me, perhaps you could explain your reasoning re: Chomsky a bit more?
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #89
101. I don't entirely agree with his theory of the "propaganda model", either.
However, please allow me to explain. We usually come to similar conclusions by different methods. When I say he's right for the wrong reasons, that's essentially what I mean.

As for who am I to question Chomsky, his conclusions, or his methods, I studied Political Science with Howard Zinn for three years. Noam was often at the same meetings, teach-ins, and seminars. My orientation is different, and I tend to explain repeating patterns in human behavior and communications -- such as domination and submission -- in anthropological terms of archetypes and rituals, rather than in the economic terms employed by Chomsky and Herman.

Here's an outline of Chomsky's model:
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the "Propaganda model" views the private media as businesses interested in the sale of a product readers and audiences to other businesses (advertisers) rather than that of quality news to the people. Describing the media's "societal purpose", Chomsky writes, "... the study of institutions and how they function must be scrupulously ignored, apart from fringe elements or a relatively obscure scholarly literature". The theory postulates five general classes of "filters" that determine the type of news that is presented in news media. These five classes are:

Ownership of the medium
Medium's funding sources
Sourcing
Flak
Anti-communist ideology
The first three are generally regarded by the authors as being the most important.

Although the model was based mainly on the characterization of United States media, Chomsky and Herman believe the theory is equally applicable to any country that shares the basic economic structure and organizing principles which the model postulates as the cause of media biases.


When I watch TV News, I tend to see some very ancient social instincts at work, such as sacrificial ritual, that go back to the dawn of human consciousness and long pre-date the industrial corporation. But, the structural-functionalist in me agrees that economic relationships also order our lives. So, I agree more than disagree with Chomsky's thinking, without finding it disagreeable.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #101
106. I find so many things in life are a matter of perspective..
I can see how your perspective as an anthropologist is somewhat different than that of Chomsky who originally started out as a linguist IIRC.

Of course we all tend to analyze things from the perspective that we know best or is most comfortable to us, that you come to similar conclusions to Chomsky while approaching the questions from a somewhat different perspective only makes those conclusions more likely to be correct, IMO.

Human motivations do tend to be rather obscure and certainly all mixed up to the point they are all but impossible to unravel.

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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #106
116. Plus, consider that all of 'our' views stem from external sources, each with its own agenda..
... that often intertwine w/an overarching ideology of the society's dominant interests. And from there, given that fact (that most of 'our' views aren't strictly our own, per se), it's actually not very difficult to understand why certain views and opinions are supported, while others ignored or attacked, even if they're moral, altruistic, humane, etc.

The dominant interests within the corporate culture establishes very real rewards and punishments attached to either embracing or rejecting certain views and ideas. Many people will abide that, and allow "reality" to pan out within those selective perimeters w/o even realizing the process, while others know better, yet will attempt to justify it to convince themselves they're actually making a 'normal' (good) choice.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #87
136. Have You Ever Visited Mammoth Cave?
They give you a historic tour where you learn about the cave.

Many of its popular passages were discovered and named by Stephen Bishop, a black slave who was illegally educated.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Bishop_%28cave_exp...

On the tour I was struck by the idea that this slave, this illegally-educated slave, understood more about Western civilization than today's children, who know all about Twitter.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
88. indeed it does-once in awhile you can find some
unique teachers/trainers that actually encourage independent observation/thinking.
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #88
120. My husband is one. He stresses critical thinking as THE most important skill you can learn
in college.

However, I have been horrified to see how the college/university system in general values and rewards research and publishing over actual teaching. Obviously research is important, but when many college professors actually HATE teaching, are BAD at it and leave MOST of it to their TAs and yet still get TENURE, it isn't helping our future generations to become critical thinkers. We've allowed universities to become publishing machines funded by the hard-earned dollars of parents who THINK their kids will be a school's #1 priority and who are sadly mistaken.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #120
122. On an upshot, our very young daughter used "metacognition" the other night...
... as we were helping her w/homework. Took me aback. And yes, her teacher, a very liberal woman, taught it to her in class ... at that age, that's a positive sign; helping children to understand thinking about thinking!
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #122
123. Sounds like you have a bright girl on you hands! And a lucky one to have a truly good teacher. n/t
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
92. Noam, meet George.
"They dont want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. Theyre not interested in that . . . that doesnt help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They dont want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly theyre getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin' years ago. They dont want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now theyre coming for your Social Security money."


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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #92
95. And I'll finish that Carlin quote:
"... They want your fuckin' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? Theyll get it . . . theyll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fuckin' place. Its a big club and you ain't in it. You and I are not in The big club. By the way, its the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesnt matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who dont give a fuck about you. They dont give a fuck about you . . . they dont give a fuck about you. They dont care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. Its called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep to believe it..."
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mistertrickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
94. A filter in what respect, do you think? nt
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
96. It's primary purpose is to make HR jobs easier.
If a candidate has The Seal Of Approval, they must be Okay, Fit For Any Purpose.

"HR professionals" are the primary group that Douglas Adams had in mind when he wrote about the useless third of Gulgafrinchams who were shipped off-planet.
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zeos3 Donating Member (912 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
97. I agree
This goes hand in hand with his thoughts on media control. Only those who think the "correct" thoughts are promoted, etc.
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sailor65 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
99. Not in my field
Edited on Tue Oct-13-09 01:00 PM by sailor65
I think Engineering exhibits the opposite.

Edited to add: I'm talking about Engineering education in America. Places like India could be included because their engineers are nothing like ours.

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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
102. By that logic, Chomsky must not be very independent, as he has a PhD
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #102
141. As was pointed out upthread..
Chomsky himself said he got ahead through *obedience*, parroting back what he knew the instructors wanted to hear.

A lot of people do that and end up internalizing what they are parroting, Chomsky is the rare one who could parrot without absorbing the belief himself.



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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
103. The educational and training system also tends to weed out people who don't know how to do things.
Love Chomsky, but this quotation would benefit from some context. I'm not interested in going to a heart surgeon who was "too cool for school."
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-15-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #103
161. Yes, And When I Stopped
being "too cool for school" in graduate school (went later in life) I started to think a lot more independently because I learned more and therefore knew more and therefore was more ABLE to think independently. 'Course, now I'm working in the field and it's "Pretend to think like us or get fired or marginalized."
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WeekendWarrior Donating Member (849 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
107. I love Chomsky, but
I don't think the educational system has an agenda other than to cater to the least intelligent kid in the room.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
109. Or, as H.L. Mencken said.....
And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #109
119. Yes..young, tender, and quite unable to muster up an argument against the mind set being imposed
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
112. Agree. nt
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
114. Who knew?
:crazy: :shrug:
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #114
121. Original thinkers who have been through the system..
Apparently there are quite a few of us on DU. :)
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Pharaoh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
115. Yes!
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
124. Leaving just the "mavericks" ?
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
125. Noam Chomsky and Sarah Palin both agree
All them higher-learnin' folk are just Nazis about things like facts!

Don't believe all that talk about global warmin', earth bein' more than 5000 years old, and math and stuff!

Ya gotta be all mavriky! Independent! Go your own way!!

Especially when it comes ta talkin' about conspiracy theories over established "fact" and in depth "research".

Both Noam and Sarah know it's much easier to just make up what you want to believe.

They just believe different things. So they make up different "facts".

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality based Community

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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
126. Einstein was a bad student...certainly supports Norm's view. n/t
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
127. I've believed this philosophy 30 years ago, before I ever heard of Noam Chomsky
Many years ago I heard someone on the radio discussing education, and how the system has been transformed into nothing more than a classification system for Corporate friendly workers. They are then fed a curricula which is so specialized, thet they perform very well in certain ares, but are totally helpless in others, like Money management, the abilitty to identify and Asset vs a Liability, appreciate Art, or even have the interest in how things work. I call it the "It's Not My Yob" mentality, and this is promoted constantly in todays workplace.

Workers today for the most part have no clue how the business they work for functions, nor do they have any say in the matter. They are trained to show up, do whatever unrewarding robotic task they are told to do, then go home and relax after an exhausting day of doing a very narrow range of unchallenging tasks.

For the most part, the worker is trained to just do what they are told without question. They are expected to do this 100% of the time, and they are threatened with disciplinary action such as replacement, simply because they are the same as an interchangeable cog produced from the educational system.

The true independants are not afraid to act upon ethics and make demands upon their employers when they find problems, even though it may mean losing their jobs. The true independant is not afraid of offering resistance, because they know that they can excel at anything they put their mind to. In my early career, I ran into this problem where the Corporate machine would rather not here any bad news, and would rather just get a Team player that would continue taking a paycheck without questioning the reasons for things. While initially it was disturbing to be let go for asking what I thought were simple questions, I started to understand the system more intimately.

When I gained understanding that Corporations are in a struggle to grab Innovators, yet on the other hand dislikes independent thought, I changed my Philosophy to be driven toward always gaining knowledge at the expense of the Employer. Sure I always studied on my own, but for the most part, I was getting paid for it at the same time. When the time came when the Corporation decided that they had extracted value and started to quash further innovation, I moved on, taking the education with me, only to move to better pastures.

Many people are so tethered to the rat race that they don't have a choice in the matter. They stay because they are forced to, simply due to debt slavery.

I was once fully immersed in Debt Slavery and the Rat Race, but I was fortunate and was able to extract myself from this insidious trap. At this point in my life, I still learn like a sponge, but in many disparate fields, which is what was so valuable to my previous employers.

Some of the most prolific scientists of out times were Polymath's, educated in many fields, languages, and mathematics. Our educational system is afraid of the Polymath, simply because they have such a wide grasp on the Natural world and interdisciplinary skills that they can spot the Bullshit when they read a scientific paper that omits a key observation in hopes that the reader won't put the 2 together.

Additionally, there are mechanisms in place that will ostracise independent minds and ideas, such as the Scientific Journals, the AMA, ACA, and even Government regulatory bodies that suppress new discoveries with many tactics to destroy the researcher.

Just for a tip of the iceberg, check out the film "Heavy Watergate" for an eye opening example of suppression, reputation destruction, big money, Government interference, Wholly Owned Universities, and paid schills that all worked together to destroy Fleischman and Ponz. Forget about "The good of the Earth" especially when it means the loss of Billions of dollars in funding or profit.

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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
128. I think post-secondary it often depends on the field of study
Individual teachers may also play a part. I don't think the education/professional training system can be broad-brushed that way. Home/parents play a role as well.
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kleec Donating Member (117 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
130. Logic?
It has been noted by myself and several of my independent thinking colleagues that for several years, but the last 8 or 9 noticeably, where the educational system in this country seem to actively discourage students who question what is being fed to them. This is inclusive from K-12, with middle and high school being the biggest area. I know that some public schools encourage innovativeness, creativity and independent thought, but they are fast fading from the landscape of education. As I was growing up I was often told by my parents to think for myself, do the research and not just to go along to get along. There were times when this presented problems for me, however I carried that with me through my life.

Because of the purposeful dumbing down of the general population we have a population that is not curious, doesn't question much and goes along with what is "preached" to them on a regular basis. If you are someone who is involved with corporate, and by chance are an independent thinker, it explains the need of all of those prescriptions for depression and anxiety. It's nearly impossible to be both and live with yourself comfortably.

I agree that with Chomsky that our current system, and especially recent past, does weed out people who are too independent. As a mentor for many women who are in a recovery process one of the first things that are discussed is the term "you are too...........". This is the definition of someone else defining who you are to you, and, that you are unacceptable as you are. Of course this is completely unacceptable to hear by an independent, creative and intelligent individual, as it should be.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #130
134. Public Schools can't even teach kids basic algebra or english.
How can we expect children to be independent thinkers if they don't know anything?
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #134
137. We teach our daughter to question EVERYTHING, that TV lies constantly, and to never trust authority
... including us, her parents. Always question everything.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #134
139. I have three grandkids in public school..
The oldest is in the fourth grade and learning some rudiments of algebra already.

So I disagree with you on that level.

What I don't see being taught by the school is a questioning attitude though, I'm working on that one as are my daughter and son in law.
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
132. Agreed
But like a few folks around here, I rarely disagree with Chomsky.
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
142. Not in my classes!
That's what the administrators want us to do: filter and make ditto heads out of our students. No way!

:dem:
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #142
145. Thank you for that
Great teachers are always appreciated, maybe not by everyone but by those whose lives they change for the better.
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happygoluckytoyou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
143. NAH... it is a great thing to sell out your future dreams for the climb-a-ladder drone career
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
146. I've said the very thing on this forum. And had to argue my point.
And that might be because I take it one step further. Why would it be a place to weed out independent thinkers? Because, corporations need workers. They need people who are dependent upon them.

And why else would universities have probation? It's obvious to me that probation is a way of making the teaching process easier. There isn't enough time to actually educate people. I could tell stories. But it's all boring.

We're shooting ourselves in the foot by not paying much more attention to education. What a world/country we could have if we actually helped people learn.

It's almost like health care in that those who need help the most are denied it. The valedictorian in my engineering class was a dummy when it came to actually DOING something. While he was making A's in his classes, I was in my garage building things. He and those like him marveled at what I was doing. And I was terrified I wouldn't be in the classes the next quarter because when I read things like "clearly," in my math book, it was not clear at all. I needed coaching. Not probation. So we get what we ask for. A nation of brilliant dummies. I don't know. Don't listen to me. I just know that personally, learning was way too difficult for me. I don't do Socrates and his stupid method. I needed spoon feeding. The all frowned upon spoon feeding. Which for some people is the best method to get them up and running.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-14-09 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #146
153. The do-ers and makers are given short shrift
as their mechanical skill can be broken down into short steps and taught to unskilled labor for pennies on the dollar. No variation allowed from the steps or it's pink slips for the sweatshop worker, even if it improves the product.

As a result, you have a culture that does not reward the maker so children are geared to either be the sweatshop worker (the puppet), the boss (the whip), or the systems designer (the puppeteer). It is deprofessionalism-- and soul sucking. It started in the Industrial Revolution with factory work and has expanded to interpersonal professions like law, psychiatry, medicine, teaching, customer service, sales as well as engineering and other technical jobs. We are all to be a Universal Turing machine for the corporation. They only use specialization to keep us feeding money into the diploma mills, licensing boards and to accept less money for "less experience." Honestly, I'm a registered nurse and we are taught to think critically when it comes to a patient's health. Most all of us are aware that what we do is largely common sense paired with some technical skills. When Ford first tried the assembly on his auto plant every carriage maker walked off the job. They had to induce the more mediocre skilled to return by offering more money than any other auto company. The very skilled refused to have their work compromised. I'd like to see that happen now.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
149. Yes and no.

There is lots of room for independent thinking in academia, but when your professors says to turn in a report on socialism and you turn one in on dog husbandry you get the F.

One stands on the shoulders of giants by first learning what the giants know.
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-13-09 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
151. Creative fields -- forget it!!
If you are an artist or musician or writer, you are discouraged, or else told it has to be done a certain way. All I heard in college even though I loved music and art, and was quite good at them, was "You can't make a living at that, you need to major in a HARD science. Psychology and sociology are not real science, those are black arts". This was my parents.

Like I could get a job with my degrees. My degrees in stuff I didn't love, didn't get me any jobs anyway (B.A. in pre-med and Juris Doctor (law degree).

I wish I had gotten a B.F.A. in painting, if I wasn't going to be successful anyway.

We don't have any government support of the arts programs and the competition is really tough. I knew that if I majored in violin, I would be competing against thousands of other kids who also practiced four hours a day,and were all trying to get in a symphony orchestra, and be very bored and uncreative playing the same classical music we played in high school and college, only on a symphony program for rich old ladies. I'd be part of a human jukebox, and I could play all that Dvorak and Brahms on autopilot. And that is NOT a creative job, although lay people think it is. Frank Zappa talks about this in his autobiography.


RANT OVER.
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