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The Anti-intelligence Climate Of Academia And It's Negative Effects


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#35 grijzekak

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:52 PM

[quote name='Kriminal99' timestamp='1295040345' post='303579']

Having read all of your comments, my question is: what motivates you to write such things?
Are you coming up with some ideas of yourself, are you being constructive e.g. starting a new kind of research group? or do you
just want to state your superiority (better than 99.9% or so)?

you say it is better that .1% of the population studies/works in academia than a large number.
if that small a percentage has 'the right' to study or work in academia, there would be even more 'dumb' people.
and there would be even less research, even less technology, less books, less material. people would become more violent, more bored, be unemployed (most of handwork will be automated in the future which would makes it even worse ), not doing the dirty administrative tasks, etc.

I too hate it that there is often useless material to learn. but useless is very SUBJECTIVE. for jobs in research this material is useless, for a job in other areas needing the same diplome it might be very useful.
another thing about subjectivity and dreaming ( as opposed to pure logic): EVERY scientific theory is SUBJECTIVE. it all comes from one or more subjects. we are all biased: either in our methodology, or in which explanation we arrive first, or in what the explanation consists of. if you are claiming to be 'purely logical' or 'purely objective' that's BS. my SUBJECTIVE observations lead me to believe you are not only claiming that you are the rightful inheritor of the chair of Lucasian mathematics, but also that you believe we should dump the rest of humanity which as you say it 'tries to get each others attention'. What's that all about? Aren't we all striving for eachother's attention? what else are you trying to do here? teaching humankind values? such as logic and promoting unemployment for 99.9% of the world?

in your own subjective logic (oh no thats like an oximoron or something), you might be superior. but you don't see things from 99.9 % of the population their perspective, trying to get by in a meaningful way( which seems bloody effective! information is increasing exponentially!). you also don't realize how inequality affects not only YOUR health (hostility is bad for health!, not being able to communicate with 99.9% of the world also sucks), but also the health of the population (violence, stupidity, mental diseases)
so you're going against the very purpose of science: making life more easy.

also suppose: a field of purely logical people, who don't want to study facts. how will they ever arrive at solutions?
it may work for math. it surely doesn't work for all the other sciences. math and physics provide the basis of our understanding, but when they are not made into practical applications, they are of few value. and you know what? MOST of the researchers will be in a not math-category. which is actually pretty important since we can't build a society solely on logic. we need visualization, dreaming, intuition, emotion. we also need work at the lab, social skills.
we need music to entertain. we need all kinds of skills. logic plays a big part in the 'top sciences': math and physics (though not exlusively logic is involved). only a very small percentage of the people actually work at those disciplines. and that is exactly because society creates the people it needs. we need more people engineering and working with stem cells etc. for they provide us with practical applications.

pure logic does not even exist, for all you say comes from a subject that has had a limited number of experiences, differing from each other perspective of the universe. and if you worry that people in the mathematics departements are not good at logic, then I think the problem lies within yourself. not that I already didn't.
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#36 lawcat

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:07 PM

Yawn.



Right on!

#37 Kriminal99

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:34 PM

Having read all of your comments, my question is: what motivates you to write such things?
Are you coming up with some ideas of yourself, are you being constructive e.g. starting a new kind of research group? or do you
just want to state your superiority (better than 99.9% or so)?

you say it is better that .1% of the population studies/works in academia than a large number.
if that small a percentage has 'the right' to study or work in academia, there would be even more 'dumb' people.
and there would be even less research, even less technology, less books, less material. people would become more violent, more bored, be unemployed (most of handwork will be automated in the future which would makes it even worse ), not doing the dirty administrative tasks, etc.

I too hate it that there is often useless material to learn. but useless is very SUBJECTIVE. for jobs in research this material is useless, for a job in other areas needing the same diplome it might be very useful.
another thing about subjectivity and dreaming ( as opposed to pure logic): EVERY scientific theory is SUBJECTIVE. it all comes from one or more subjects. we are all biased: either in our methodology, or in which explanation we arrive first, or in what the explanation consists of. if you are claiming to be 'purely logical' or 'purely objective' that's BS. my SUBJECTIVE observations lead me to believe you are not only claiming that you are the rightful inheritor of the chair of Lucasian mathematics, but also that you believe we should dump the rest of humanity which as you say it 'tries to get each others attention'. What's that all about? Aren't we all striving for eachother's attention? what else are you trying to do here? teaching humankind values? such as logic and promoting unemployment for 99.9% of the world?

in your own subjective logic (oh no thats like an oximoron or something), you might be superior. but you don't see things from 99.9 % of the population their perspective, trying to get by in a meaningful way( which seems bloody effective! information is increasing exponentially!). you also don't realize how inequality affects not only YOUR health (hostility is bad for health!, not being able to communicate with 99.9% of the world also sucks), but also the health of the population (violence, stupidity, mental diseases)
so you're going against the very purpose of science: making life more easy.

also suppose: a field of purely logical people, who don't want to study facts. how will they ever arrive at solutions?
it may work for math. it surely doesn't work for all the other sciences. math and physics provide the basis of our understanding, but when they are not made into practical applications, they are of few value. and you know what? MOST of the researchers will be in a not math-category. which is actually pretty important since we can't build a society solely on logic. we need visualization, dreaming, intuition, emotion. we also need work at the lab, social skills.
we need music to entertain. we need all kinds of skills. logic plays a big part in the 'top sciences': math and physics (though not exlusively logic is involved). only a very small percentage of the people actually work at those disciplines. and that is exactly because society creates the people it needs. we need more people engineering and working with stem cells etc. for they provide us with practical applications.

pure logic does not even exist, for all you say comes from a subject that has had a limited number of experiences, differing from each other perspective of the universe. and if you worry that people in the mathematics departments are not good at logic, then I think the problem lies within yourself. not that I already didn't.


People of relatively lower intelligence do not understand truths that are obvious to people with higher intelligence, and thus behave in ways that are clearly morally wrong and inefficient. Explaining these things to people is a multi-step process, or else they would have figured them out on their own. In some situations (like they have physical needs or security that must be met) people can be persuaded to trust you long enough to let you explain it to them, or just to trust your decisions. When people's physical needs are not in danger however, they tend to do everything in their power to prevent your superior abilities from coming to light because they are trying to gain social recognition for themselves.

As a result people of higher ability are the targets of endless abuse and forced handicapping that people of lower intelligence naively justify by saying things like we are "trying to hard to impress" or that we are "arrogant". All of this for just living life in a completely normal fashion using the things we understand to influence the people and situations around us to the best of our ability.

I am saying that there needs to be an intelligence ranking on which a large amount of governance of, if not everything, at the very least academia needs to be based. Low IQ professors should not be able to punish students of higher intelligence for utilizing their natural abilities. They should not be able to squelch higher intelligence exchange of ideas, even if they are the majority. The whole point of academia is to allow the progression of ideas that could benefit all of humanity. Letting stupid professors take over the venture and block discussion that is over their head defeats this purpose.

Regarding unemployment: Any interaction with people on the extreme low end of the IQ scale (and yet not handicapped) will quickly dispel any notions you may have about the morality of full employment. It is a sad fact that these people need a large amount of assistance from friends and family to deal with life's complications. Employing them will be done at some cost relative to employing a person of higher intelligence. Giving them a job does not alleviate their dependence on other people. Employing less intelligent faculty in academia bears a similar cost. Employed or not, these people are on social welfare.

The issue is not subjectivity but relatively stupid people dictating the way of things. There are implied rules of debate derived from the objective of arriving at the best possible understanding of any given issue. When these are followed two people argue their subjective viewpoints until it is revealed that one person had already accounted for the others argument in their reasoning and an objective truth arises... at least until a new opponent joins the debate. Stupid people bypass this process that they would often lose by violating the implied rules of debate. Straw man, yelling over opponents, appeal to authority/ad hominem, etc etc.

Not all people place getting attention from others at the same level. If you are familiar with the hierarchy of needs things like security come first. If you grow up in a significantly chaotic environment (which would be the norm in nature or a developing society), this need is something you take much more seriously throughout your life. This means you would always place understanding your surroundings above seeking attention from others. For example, you would not try to prevent someone who might be right from speaking because you want to be the one who is right - it is more important that the physical problem is solved.

There is an inordinate amount of facts of all kinds available all around us. The issue is how far can you get with what amount of facts, not what a person could do without any facts. The only way that is possible is to birth someone into a sensory deprivation tank and leave them in it for the duration of their lives.

There is no aspect of life that is isolated from the benefit of good reasoning skills - music and art included. Math also can be used in the vast majority of life. Math is just a proper subset of logic and deductive reasoning. It contains various limitations due to the fact that it is such a subset.

#38 The Polymath

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:49 PM

So you are premoting a technocracy?

#39 dduckwessel

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:48 PM

A bit off topic but has anyone considered that everything is chance, even intelligence.

The problem with humanity is people often presume (usually because of some kind of success) they are special because of some attribute they possess (due to what family they just happened to be born in to) but no one can pick and choose.

It used to be that many really brilliant academics possessed a high degree of humility but lately I've perceived a shift, a caste system is rising its ugly head in Academia.

#40 Kriminal99

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:34 AM

A bit off topic but has anyone considered that everything is chance, even intelligence.

The problem with humanity is people often presume (usually because of some kind of success) they are special because of some attribute they possess (due to what family they just happened to be born in to) but no one can pick and choose.

It used to be that many really brilliant academics possessed a high degree of humility but lately I've perceived a shift, a caste system is rising its ugly head in Academia.


Yes, I agree with everything being chance ESPECIALLY in the case of intelligence. It has much more to do with being efficient and effective than it does being special however. The only reason people like me are forced to talk about it is because people on the relative lower end of the iq scale have begun damaging the system to try and make it conform to their desire to be on equal ground with people far above their intelligence.

I can attribute any such changes you might have noticed to two words: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. Part of what seems to be driving this brazen behavior on the part of the relatively low IQ participants is the belief that members of certain races are entitled to representation in every facet of academic life even if it means sacrificing the search for the truth.

If there is a discussion, and some highly intelligent white male, or asian professor is dominating the discussion and a minority participant pipes up with a irrelevant or mistaken comment they can no longer simply be corrected for the sake of the discussion. Doing so is treated by them and members of their race like insulting their entire race and might be met with volatile behavior.

The volatile behavior I am talking about could be various things - it might simply be that members of that race rally together to try and win the argument - which might be viewed as some kind of beneficial competition. However even in this best case it can be a serious problem when members of this "minority" become the local majority. The race line could drive them to form a "stupid" consensus on something even when they are obviously wrong from the the standpoint of someone with greater knowledge. If they were of the same race there would be nothing pulling them together and causing them to try and lock out any superior reasoning - they would be in competition with each other allowing the person of greatest knowledge to rise to the top. But with the race lines it no longer becomes a fair competition - the racial majority locks out anyone not of their group from being right by talking over them and refusing to consider their argument.

My personal experience seems to stem from just such a situation where a local majority of relatively stupid arab an indian professors take out their frustrations of being unable to influence academia at large on any stray caucasian students that happen to join the program in an extremely atrocious manner. Specifically I mean professors using straw man fallacy on any tasteful comments or questions I have in class then quickly changing the subject as if they know all along I am right... yelling over me to prevent me from saying something correct... Blatantly obvious double standards in grading based on race... Blaming me for their mistakes... Blatantly ignoring any intelligent insights that I have by attributing them to a student of their own race who might have made a similar but less specific insight after I did. And the other caucasian students I have spoke to deal with similar issues.

#41 Rade

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:01 PM

In a 2001 speech to the American Council on Education, Richard C. Atkinson, the president of the University of California, urged dropping the SAT Reasoning Test as a college admissions requirement:

"Anyone involved in education should be concerned about how overemphasis on the SAT is distorting educational priorities and practices, how the test is perceived by many as unfair, and how it can have a devastating impact on the self-esteem and aspirations of young students. There is widespread agreement that overemphasis on the SAT harms American education."

#42 Kriminal99

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:33 AM

In a 2001 speech to the American Council on Education, Richard C. Atkinson, the president of the University of California, urged dropping the SAT Reasoning Test as a college admissions requirement:

"Anyone involved in education should be concerned about how overemphasis on the SAT is distorting educational priorities and practices, how the test is perceived by many as unfair, and how it can have a devastating impact on the self-esteem and aspirations of young students. There is widespread agreement that overemphasis on the SAT harms American education."


This is ironclad proof of what I am saying. The significance of IQ and the g factor has been completely scientifically validated and is beyond dispute. Yet this naive egalitarian attitude persists and is ruining the academic network and apparently civilization in general. There is no way to justify it objectively... no one even tries to. It just feels like the humane thing to do to let stupid people participate in the most intellectually demanding aspects of society.

But in reality the results of this can be disastrous. Doctors killing people due to incompetence but being billed as "factors beyond their control". Lawyers allowing people to go to jail that did not commit crimes. Every attempt made to do this kind of thing brings us one step closer to the march of morons.

And when dealing with any network like the academic network, the effects of it quickly compound. With enough relatively stupid people in any local environment, they are able to create a microcosm where anyone with higher ability is punished and force handicapped for their nature. This is done by simply redefining any displays of such ability as immoral, arrogant, or foolhardy regardless of the method or tact with which it is approached. If a person in a group successfully solves a problem before their group members, it is ok once. However once they have done it once or twice, group members try to force it to be "someone else's turn" by straw manning future attempts by the same person to solve any more problems. Here, group refers to any situation where a group of people interact. In reality though, it is usually the same intelligent person capable of solving the problems that arise.

Therefore, the hope that the ideas of the group will quickly reflect the best ideas of the most intelligent people quickly begins to fade.

#43 dduckwessel

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 08:49 AM

Yes, I agree with everything being chance ESPECIALLY in the case of intelligence. It has much more to do with being efficient and effective than it does being special however. The only reason people like me are forced to talk about it is because people on the relative lower end of the iq scale have begun damaging the system to try and make it conform to their desire to be on equal ground with people far above their intelligence.


It's important to maintain a very high standard in academia. And while true genius is rare I'm not so certain there's such a huge rift in the numbers between higher and lower intelligences but that socio-economic factors play a large part.

Then there's also social/emotional intelligence, which is different from academic smarts but just as valuable. You can't have real intelligence without it. I knew someone who used to work with gifted children and according to him giftedness is not just academic smarts but needs to be balanced with emotional intelligence.

In the 1960's there was a brilliant nuclear physicist who decided he should try out the effects of nuclear radiation and agent orange on Canadian army personnel. Most of those men died from cancer or complications from type2 diabetic conditions or both. The men dubbed him 'the mad scientist'.

In order for science to be really effective it must never become so removed from the general populace so that supposed lesser human beings are considered nothing more than guinea pigs.
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#44 Farming guy

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:14 PM

I too worry about our lower standards in acadamia, but I am reminded some lab parteners of mine who tested much better than I. We were building a circuit on a bread board, and we needed to connect two computer chips that were on opposite corners of the board, but did not have any wires long enough to reach. It did not occur to either of my smarter lab partners to splice two shorter wires together to make one long enough to reach. Being the only one in the class who had mended fences, I was the only one to find the obvious solution. I may be slower than some on paper, but in a pinch, I can still be fairly clever.

#45 Ludwik

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:57 PM

Kriminal, your argument stands in direct contraindication of the social decree that the greatest number of people shall get the opportunity to participate in the system. What you are suggesting implies the selection of an extreme minority with higher priority than the average applicant. Such a proposition suggests discrimination between applicants and the preferential exclusion of a major class of people. Are you genuinely suggesting that people are of different capacity and capability?

What of Changing Paradigms and divergent thinking? What of multiple intelligences?


No one should be excluded from trying. But that does not mean that everyone should be a university professor, a doctor, an engineer, etc. A college diploma should a document worth trusting.

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
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#46 Mark007

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 08:03 PM

The biggest problem in your statement is, "SAT and GRE scores (strong correlates with IQ)". I think these are very cookie-cutter tests to measure intelligence. Lets take the SAT, which in my opinion is laughable, where you are required to pick a circle and color it in. There is no writing or any room for a person's personality and creativity to come into play. IQ tests are also quite silly.

 

Richard Feynman, maybe America's greatest scientific mind scored a very average IQ test.

Albert Einstein was far from being a whiz in school and that includes the stiff standardized tests of his era.

Abraham Lincoln basically didn't even go to school and besides being one of the greatest leaders of any culture he was one of the finest prose writers in the English language.

 

I could go on and on and on with more examples, but I will stop here.

 

These tests are not very accurate measurements of intelligence and a "genius" sometimes makes for a bad teacher.



#47 Buffy

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 08:18 PM

Actually they do correlate pretty closely, but the real point is the one you make about them being cookie cutter tests that are measuring the wrong things. Heck, they even correlate with family income.The College Board specifically disclaims that the SAT is an intelligence test, just an "indicator of potential success in college." OTOH, Mensa lets you in if you have a high-enough SAT score (I qualify, but I'd never belong to any club that would have someone like me as a member).

 

Some of the smartest people I've ever known have been absolutely horrible employees and never accomplished much of anything, so I've always been somewhat skeptical of any such tests.

 

 

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value, :phones:

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