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Old 09-20-2009, 03:06 PM   #46
brecklundin
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Well, there are very very large parts of the world where Socratic thinking doesn't play a big role in education or in development whatsoever. The USA still places a significantly greater emphasis on logical reasoning and questioning than do many other countries, even if it, as you say (and I may agree, though I've no hard numbers available), has atrophied.
yeah, that is the true sad part. And you are right to point out societies other than the US do not place a high value on independent thought or questioning the PTB. Then again one also needs to appreciate the point where constant questioning actually impedes learning or the topic under discussion. It all melds together...

Here in the US it really is sad how few people value knowledge...and for most college (as in University level), for the first 2-yrs or so, has become an extended High School rather than a place of advanced learning. So much time is wasted on teaching freshmen the basics of learning which they should have learned before getting there, that a standard degree should really be a 5-6 yr program or at least an 11-month/3-semester school year.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:31 PM   #47
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Do you want pure titilating entertainment or something that is in some way enlightening (or somewhere in between):

- Reading Dan Brown or Hermann Hesse
- Eating cookies or granola
- Drinking wine or skim milk
- Watching I Love Lucy or The Merchant of Venice
- Posting in The Llounge or creating ebooks to upload
- Listening to a political pundit or to a BBC news analysis
- Laying on the beach or hiking
- Having a sexual relationship or a loving relationship
- Just screwing around or doing something creative
- Listening to ABBA or Haydn

I do some of all of these (well, not listen to ABBA, of course) but I like to think I spend time on the latter ones as much as the former.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:54 PM   #48
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yeah, that is the true sad part. And you are right to point out societies other than the US do not place a high value on independent thought or questioning the PTB. Then again one also needs to appreciate the point where constant questioning actually impedes learning or the topic under discussion. It all melds together...
I'm personally a fan of Socratic Method in education, as one of its benefits is learning independently of direct knowledge transmission. Beneficial for everyone, at the cost of some social stability (perhaps).

Quote:
Here in the US it really is sad how few people value knowledge...and for most college (as in University level), for the first 2-yrs or so, has become an extended High School rather than a place of advanced learning. So much time is wasted on teaching freshmen the basics of learning which they should have learned before getting there, that a standard degree should really be a 5-6 yr program or at least an 11-month/3-semester school year.
If I recall, the university I went to reported a four-year undergraduate graduation rate of well under 30%, with significant numbers staying a fifth or sixth year for their degree. In part, that is due to arbitrary degree requirements not being met and poor communication with advisers on scheduling, but yes also due to general basic education, though many universities offer only 0-credit classes for "university prerequisite" courses. There are many problems with the education systems in North America, though I always laugh when some say "those Asian countries got it right", citing test scores.
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:19 PM   #49
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I'm personally a fan of Socratic Method in education,
Have you seen this before, LDBoblo?

- Ahi
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:38 PM   #50
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Personally... I'm not convinced that Dan Brown--in terms of being "good reading"--is vastly worse than 90% of the books discussed on this board (or elsewhere).
You're right, he's not. He may even be better than many or most of those books. But Brown is still a very simple writer and he's popularized his brand of poor writing. This makes me like him even less.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:36 PM   #51
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Dan Brown is a very "engaging" writer. He gets his readers engaged with his work and they want to keep reading. This is a good thing, because we need best-sellers. One or two big best-selling authors can support a publisher so they have the resources to try new writers in case they strike it big.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:30 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Do you want pure titilating entertainment or something that is in some way enlightening (or somewhere in between):

- Reading Dan Brown or Hermann Hesse
- Eating cookies or granola
- Drinking wine or skim milk
- Watching I Love Lucy or The Merchant of Venice
- Posting in The Llounge or creating ebooks to upload
- Listening to a political pundit or to a BBC news analysis
- Laying on the beach or hiking
- Having a sexual relationship or a loving relationship
- Just screwing around or doing something creative
- Listening to ABBA or Haydn

I do some of all of these (well, not listen to ABBA, of course) but I like to think I spend time on the latter ones as much as the former.
Perhaps your last line is the most important.
That balance of rich and poor, high and low, positive and negative. Without dark we can't know bright. The foundation of Taoist thought. A balance in all things. "And" rather than "or."

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Old 09-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #53
brecklundin
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Perhaps your last line is the most important.
That balance of rich and poor, high and low, positive and negative. Without dark we can't know bright. The foundation of Taoist thought. A balance in all things. "And" rather than "or."

Stitchawl
if only mere mortals could learn this concept. Seriously, I agree...things like success implies failure and such are what people cannot grasp anymore. Last remember that a birth certificate is valid proof of death.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:43 PM   #54
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Free speech

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that way of thinking is, well, scary on the best of days. But I know what you are trying to say. You aren't trying to say that some thoughts or ideas should not be published, right?
I'm not against free speech but just because you can say and do certain things doesn't mean you should. Just like we should think before speaking, we should think before writing and/or publishing. And really, our minds are what we fill them with. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:45 PM   #55
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Even reading a book that is the equivalent of a sitcom is better than watching said sitcom. Watching books or movies is a passive activity that does not require an engaged mind. Even reading an easy book requires an active effort by the reader.

I believe that all reading is good. I am just happy to see someone reading.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:04 PM   #56
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I like ABBA.

I also like Shakespeare, Marlowe, and "Doc" Smith. I keep Michael Chabon with comic books. I read and enjoy all sorts of things; some literary, some extremely pulpy. I give my seven-year-old daughter comic books, because she likes to read them, and I believe the most important thing is to get her to enjoy reading.

I think honest pulp is better than literary fiction that's written out of pure snobbery.

So yes, I think all reading is good. Some reading may be better than other reading, but it's all better than not reading. And different things may be better for different people.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:29 PM   #57
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I'm not against free speech but just because you can say and do certain things doesn't mean you should. Just like we should think before speaking, we should think before writing and/or publishing. And really, our minds are what we fill them with. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.
I am sorry but your (and I think I understand what you are actually saying...common sense should be the rule, right? ) explanation ALMOST smacks of book burning mindset...I know that is blunt but no sense tip-toeing around it. And you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but realize it is the very fact that we have the freedom to say what we will, or write what we want, that allows you to express your POV. Under your explanation if the PTB decided your position was not allowed...off the Gbay with you...bring your boogie board.

I hope that was not too direct or extreme, it sounds that way one re-reading...I just wanted to be sure that is not what you are saying. And add that common sense is relative.

If one does not like something another created then don't read it...I realize that means allowing ideals you may find vile but that is what it means to allow free thought as apposed to Fahrenheit 451.

EDIT: You know, I feel I was too judgemental in my comment here...and that is not right. I left what I wrote but I genuinely do not like the tone of my first paragraph. For some reason I sense we both think the same way but from slightly different directions. It's the old "...even free speech does not give a person the right to yell FIRE in a crowded room..." sorta thing...yes?

Last edited by brecklundin; 09-21-2009 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:51 PM   #58
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Perhaps your last line is the most important.
That balance of rich and poor, high and low, positive and negative. Without dark we can't know bright. The foundation of Taoist thought. A balance in all things. "And" rather than "or."

Stitchawl
Well, I wouldn't call it a foundation of Daoist thought. That would be somewhat like saying taijiquan was developed as a meditative exercise since it involves the taiji or concept of yin-yang polarity. It's something Westerners like to say because they find it novel, and modern Chinese and Japanese have begun to think it so because someone told them, but it's not historically true.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:15 AM   #59
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Have you seen this before, LDBoblo?

- Ahi
Hahaha...I don't work with children, but that was interesting, if a bit of a caricature. Blending the question/reason principles into other styles is advantageous and much less time-consuming. That teacher also looked at it from the perspective of participation and student interest, which is also a somewhat important, but limited perspective and in many places has led to little more than a transformation of the teacher into a clown or entertainer, where job security depends primarily on popularity.

I could write a huge post on the way teaching works in Asia, but I'm trying to avoid it, because I think it will just put me in a bad mood.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:04 AM   #60
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Well, I wouldn't call it a foundation of Daoist thought.
With all due respect, I would and do.

The basis of Taoist writings, the 'Tao Te Ching' (Taoism's most fundamental teaching) states it as its second chapter. As one translations says;

" Judging beauty creates ugliness.
Defining good creates evil.
All and void arise together.
Hard and soft,
long and short,
high and low,
sound and silence,
now and then.
Opposites exist because of each other."

This is repeated once again in Chapter Five;

"The realm of heaven and earth is indifferent to the myriad creatures.
They appear as straw dogs.
The sage is indifferent to the multitudes of men.
They appear as straw dogs.
The realm of heaven and earth is like a bellows,
both empty and full.
Moving, it brings forth, endlessly."

Again, in Chapter Twenty;

"Between yes and no, is there really much difference?
Good and bad, are they so far apart?
Must I think as others think?
Alas, there would be no end to fear.

Sorry, but I must disagree with you. We do need balance. We do need to accept both parts of the 'issue.' We need to see them not as opposites but as compliments to each other. Classic literature and pulp fiction.

This is at the heart of Chuang Tsu's writings, Kwang Dze's writings, early Confucian writing, as well as Lao Tsu's two classics, 'Treatise on Response and Retrobution' and the 'Tao Te Ching.' It's the second fundamental concept of the Tao.


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