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Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« on: February 26, 2019, 01:52:44 pm »
Yeah, and people before knew more than now. This is the first generation that's dumber than the previous. Perhaps there's a link.

Omg. I should not reply but really, you have a quality about you that's just disagreeable with my morning Earl grey. ;D

Stop regurgitating tabloid headlines without having read the data. You are a teacher for crying out loud! The Ed. office literally states that we should teach our students how to discern real data from fake news. We are not getting dumber, instead we are 30 pnts. smarter than our grandparents (1950) the slowing down of the increase has to do with new measurements and health.

It's called the Flynn effect.
[These results supported previous estimates of the Flynn effect and its robustness...]
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152423/

He's probably not talking about IQs but about what people know. There has definitely been a shift in education away from fact retention towards critical thinking, psychological skills etc...which might mean people have less general knowledge nowadays compared to the past.

Have at it, folks. I think I agree with eggie, but I don't think fact retention is sufficient for intelligence, so I'm on the "no" side.


  • oglop
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Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 02:31:23 pm »
yeah, we are smarter, there dumber


  • NorthStar
  • Super Waygook

    • 252

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 02:44:01 pm »
Well...this depends on where you are from, in the world. 

In my country, I will say, that a generation of people that support abortion up to birth, think Socialism/Communism are good yet being national borders, sovereignty and identity are bad...whilst not even knowing its/their own history (or even caring), cannot say whom their local state representatives are and most likely think that film/music/sports celebrities are smart and should be taken seriously ..yep...rather dumb..AND worthless. 




Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 02:53:08 pm »
the 48-hour challenge? 

r/KidsAreFuckingStupid
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 02:57:18 pm by Ronnie Omelettes »


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 03:11:38 pm »
How are they dumber?

Base of knowledge. In my senior year, I took my high school's Humanities program. This was a college-prepartory course that everyone who graduated it said was more challenging than almost anything they ever took in undergrad, and this included students who went to Ivies, both public and private. The class actually had such a reputation that professors at the local universities said they could identify which students took that class based on their level of knowledge and understanding relative to other students. And you know what it had? Basically the entire canon of Western political theory and philosophy, literature, art, and music. The classes were lectures and there was a heavy emphasis on memorization AND critical analysis. There was no "Let's build a Cathedral with popsicle sticks." No going outside to sit around outside in a drum circle and discussing our feelings and whatever dumb teenage insights we had on "life maaannn". This class was brutal. It was also the most enlightening and insightful class I have ever taken in my life. In spite of the massive amount of study and high demands and dry lectures, students LOVED it. And yes we did have "fun lessons" with learning about film. You know when those took place? Outside of normal class time and were supplementary.

Contrast this with my MidEast-Asian history class which was generic high school crap with feel good stuff and tons of movies and us doing crap like picking up single grains of rice with chopsticks and stuff. In high school. I would have loved to have taken the equivalent of Humanities only from an East/South Asian/Middle Eastern perspective. Instead I sat through 'The Joy Luck Club'- A movie about Asians for everyone but Asians.

But rote memorization and dry lectures and loads of homework and reading and two hour exams and the Classics are out of fashion.

Now we get teachers wanting to make sure everyone is "engaged" and "active". We dumb down our classes. Instead of the classics and a focused curriculum that plots a course, we get haphazard material delivered by people more concerned with political agendas and shaping hearts and opinions than delivering making sure students learn and know what they need to learn and know.

The other big factor? Experience. People say it's common sense, but that's not really it. Common sense only usually comes through experience. Today's kids have no experience. You know what kid's used to do? Ride bicycles everywhere. Take the bus across town. Get in fights. Roam through the woods. Fall into rivers and nearly drown. Break bones. Play games with elaborate rules that they'd create and have to live by. And who was there to watch them? No one. If some kid was bullying, it was up to the kids themselves to sort it out. Jonathan Haidt has talked about this. Essentially, childhood is similar to your immune system. You need to have it put under some stress in order to make it strong. Sanitizing it and eliminating any vectors doesn't make your childhood strong, it makes it weak. This is also part of treating kids like infants, teenagers like kids, and young and middle-aged adults like teenagers. Like "Adulting" 30 year olds are using this. It used to be 13 year olds were the ones "Adulting" by going out to feed the livestock, take care of the house, bus tables, serve customers and so on.

Now, I know this is what every generation says and that this is just "Old Man Yells At Cloud" stuff. But there appears to be some science to back it up. Depression and suicide rates in young people have spiked. Whether it was the 1740s or 1840s or 1940s, there were no "Safe spaces" and "trigger warning"s and the like. 13 year old boys were still expected to be closer to men than boys in how they comported themselves. That's all changed. 


  • debbiem89
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    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
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Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 03:12:21 pm »
Every past generation thinks this about the younger generation. It's so boring.
 
Definitely agree about the fact retention. The drilling of dates...doesn't give you a wide understanding of history. The drilling of capital cities...doesn't give you a wide understanding of geography. So maybe this generation know less facts...but aside from being able to win a pub quiz...is that kind of stuff helpful by itself? Does that alone make you "intelligent"?

What is considered "general knowledge" can change too, for example this generation are growing up using computers and smart phones daily. I'm always shocked when my young niece and nephew use technology so well, it's no longer a specialist subject like it used to be.


I like that there doesn't seem to be such a focus on pure academia these days (test scores blah blah), we seem to acknowledge other kinds of intelligence and talent better. It's not like "oh you didn't do well in high school? You didn't go to Uni? You must be stupid." A university degree is not the be all and end all anymore.

Every generation that's gone before puts on their rose tinted glasses and blames the next generation for being stupid and messing things up. It's the cycle.


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 03:23:31 pm »
And you know what it had? Basically the entire canon of Western political theory and philosophy, literature, art, and music. The classes were lectures and there was a heavy emphasis on memorization AND critical analysis.

...

But rote memorization and dry lectures and loads of homework and reading and two hour exams and the Classics are out of fashion.

I think it's weird you chose these topics (political theory, philosophy, literature, art, and music) to talk about the use of rote memorization and dry lectures. These are, by far, the worst topics for rote memorization. There's little value in simply memorizing something like the Aristotelian virtues. There's much more value in discussing them. I'm not sure why you'd disparage discussion or other "engaged" or "active" activities. The Socratic method is a perfect example of something engaged and active. It's not at all about rote memorization.

As for the sciences, you should probably know that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell (and other things like that if you want to pass the exam).


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2019, 03:27:35 pm »
Every past generation thinks this about the younger generation. It's so boring.
 Definitely agree about the fact retention. The drilling of dates...doesn't give you a wide understanding of history. The drilling of capital cities...doesn't give you a wide understanding of geography. So maybe this generation know less facts...but aside from being able to win a pub quiz...is that kind of stuff helpful by itself? Does that alone make you "intelligent"?
There's more to it than just those kinds of drills.

When you have that base of knowledge, you can follow along with discussions that may reference events or works without having to look it up. And on a personal level, knowing those kinds of things can help make connections with people. Just knowing a bit about a place, its history, its language, the religions, the people can help you connect with people you have just met and things like that.


I think it's weird you chose these topics (political theory, philosophy, literature, art, and music) to talk about the use of rote memorization and dry lectures. These are, by far, the worst topics for rote memorization. There's little value in simply memorizing something like the Aristotelian virtues. There's much more value in discussing them. I'm not sure why you'd disparage discussion or other "engaged" or "active" activities. The Socratic method is a perfect example of something engaged and active. It's not at all about rote memorization.

As for the sciences, you should probably know that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell (and other things like that if you want to pass the exam).
Well as I said, rote was part AND critical analysis was also part. The fact was that if you didn't KNOW the material, you couldn't analyze it. Now of course, things will fade over time and people go on to specialize in unrelated fields, but there is still that seed of knowledge which enables recall and a return to familiarity.


  • debbiem89
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    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
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Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 03:57:06 pm »
Every past generation thinks this about the younger generation. It's so boring.
 Definitely agree about the fact retention. The drilling of dates...doesn't give you a wide understanding of history. The drilling of capital cities...doesn't give you a wide understanding of geography. So maybe this generation know less facts...but aside from being able to win a pub quiz...is that kind of stuff helpful by itself? Does that alone make you "intelligent"?
There's more to it than just those kinds of drills.

When you have that base of knowledge, you can follow along with discussions that may reference events or works without having to look it up. And on a personal level, knowing those kinds of things can help make connections with people. Just knowing a bit about a place, its history, its language, the religions, the people can help you connect with people you have just met and things like that.

Ideally that's how it would work...but I don't find it does usually. It's much better to be equipped with skills to think critically, listen to other peoples' opinions and analyse them. We can't know everything...there's absolutely NO shame in looking things up and educating yourself. The interest in listening to people and learning new things is way more important that proving your supposed intellgence peppering the odd fact about here and there.

I find older generations are more close minded. I find that they were taught this happened then, at this place and this is how we should feel about it. They are less willing to listen to different opinins about a topic. Maybe that's just my experience. Granted, this is certainly not always the case.

If we disagree? Well we're just stupid snowflakes aren't we? 


  • NorthStar
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    • Seoul
Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2019, 04:19:49 pm »
Every past generation thinks this about the younger generation. It's so boring.
 Definitely agree about the fact retention. The drilling of dates...doesn't give you a wide understanding of history. The drilling of capital cities...doesn't give you a wide understanding of geography. So maybe this generation know less facts...but aside from being able to win a pub quiz...is that kind of stuff helpful by itself? Does that alone make you "intelligent"?
There's more to it than just those kinds of drills.

When you have that base of knowledge, you can follow along with discussions that may reference events or works without having to look it up. And on a personal level, knowing those kinds of things can help make connections with people. Just knowing a bit about a place, its history, its language, the religions, the people can help you connect with people you have just met and things like that.

Ideally that's how it would work...but I don't find it does usually. It's much better to be equipped with skills to think critically, listen to other peoples' opinions and analyse them. We can't know everything...there's absolutely NO shame in looking things up and educating yourself. The interest in listening to people and learning new things is way more important that proving your supposed intellgence peppering the odd fact about here and there.

I find older generations are more close minded.
I find that they were taught this happened then, at this place and this is how we should feel about it. They are less willing to listen to different opinins about a topic. Maybe that's just my experience. Granted, this is certainly not always the case.

If we disagree? Well we're just stupid snowflakes aren't we?

Perhaps they are just smart enough to sidestep the bulls**t...

Besides, "close minded" to the snowflakes equates to simply not agreeing with them. 



  • SanderB
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    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
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Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2019, 06:26:46 pm »
Now we get teachers wanting to make sure everyone is "engaged" and "active". We dumb down our classes. Instead of the classics and a focused curriculum that plots a course.

Your ignorance about educational reform is shocking.
I dislike dumb students but thank you for showing me that there is one thing I more dislike and that is dumb teachers. I have the greatest respect for all of my collegae and I did not realise that I could ever dislike a colleague in the field of education but you sir, are a dinosaur.

Holland has the happiest teenagers in the world, compare that to Korean teens, will you.
Pisa world ranking

8.    Finland            522.7
9.    South Korea    519.0

14.    Netherlands    508.0

----
As you should know only my type of school focuses on Greek and Latin classical education, your callous remark shows how ignorant you are. My students take part in the PISA testing and I have the greatest trust in my colleagues that teach in the ways you seem to despise so much. Furthermore, just to infuriate you a bit further, I will tell you the future of European education:

We will most definitely sit in groups or circles, following the Finnish model.
We will stop teaching subjects like we do now, instead we will have modules which students can join.
We will have students create their own tests.
We will have students grade themselves.
We will have mostly formative testing (good, average) instead of actual grades.
No students will be held back a year anymore, students cannot fail a class.

And this all based on Confucius' quote:
Tell me and I will forget
Show me and I might remember
Let me do it and I will know it.


--- I think I hit all my previous points here again. This IS slightly getting boring, sir.

post no.90 and most of them 90% was to react to deMartino... I'm so stupid... ;D
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 06:37:51 pm by SanderB »
Fiat voluntas tua- All that you want is allowed


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2019, 06:33:15 pm »
Quote
I find older generations are more close minded. I find that they were taught this happened then, at this place and this is how we should feel about it.

This sounds a lot more like the way young people are taught these days. After all, there are entire university courses which didn't exist in the past, set up to indoctrinate people into a certain ideology. If you go to a women's studies seminar and tell everyone you don't believe in the patriarchy, or a Black studies one and say you think Black lives Matter are misguided, you will be ostracized, told your viewpoint is less valuable because of your identity and basically shut down, simple as. That wouldn't have happened in the past. Even in non-activist courses, views like that can get you into trouble. Conversely, as an older person, I can't remember ever being told about how I should feel about something at school or university.  The whole point was, anything goes.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 06:35:41 pm by eggieguffer »


  • NorthStar
  • Super Waygook

    • 252

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2019, 06:34:33 pm »
Now we get teachers wanting to make sure everyone is "engaged" and "active". We dumb down our classes. Instead of the classics and a focused curriculum that plots a course.

Your ignorance about educational reform is shocking.
I dislike dumb students but thank you for showing me that there is one thing I more dislike and that is dumb teachers. I have the greatest respect for all of my collegae and I did not realise that I could ever dislike a colleague in the field of education but you sir, are a dinosaur.

Holland has the happiest teenagers in the world, compare that to Korean teens, will you.
Pisa world ranking

8.    Finland            522.7
9.    South Korea    519.0

14.    Netherlands    508.0

----
As you should know only my type of school focuses on Greek and Latin classical education, your callous remark shows how ignorant you are. My students take part in the PISA testing and I have the greatest trust in my colleagues that teach in the ways you seem to despise so much. Furthermore, just to infuriate you a bit further, I will tell you the future of European education:

We will most definitely sit in groups or circles, following the Finnish model.
We will stop teaching subjects like we do now, instead we will have modules which students can join.
We will have students create their own tests.
We will have students grade themselves.
We will have mostly formative testing (good, average) instead of actual grades.
No students will be held back a year anymore, students cannot fail a class.

And this all based on Confucius' quote:
Tell me and I will forget
Show me and I might remember
Let me do it and I will know it.


--- I think I hit all my previous points here again. This IS slightly getting boring, sir.

Ohhhhh....well played.



Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2019, 08:52:26 pm »
How are they dumber?

Base of knowledge. In my senior year, I took my high school's Humanities program. This was a college-prepartory course that everyone who graduated it said was more challenging than almost anything they ever took in undergrad, and this included students who went to Ivies, both public and private. The class actually had such a reputation that professors at the local universities said they could identify which students took that class based on their level of knowledge and understanding relative to other students. And you know what it had? Basically the entire canon of Western political theory and philosophy, literature, art, and music. The classes were lectures and there was a heavy emphasis on memorization AND critical analysis. There was no "Let's build a Cathedral with popsicle sticks." No going outside to sit around outside in a drum circle and discussing our feelings and whatever dumb teenage insights we had on "life maaannn". This class was brutal. It was also the most enlightening and insightful class I have ever taken in my life. In spite of the massive amount of study and high demands and dry lectures, students LOVED it. And yes we did have "fun lessons" with learning about film. You know when those took place? Outside of normal class time and were supplementary.

Contrast this with my MidEast-Asian history class which was generic high school crap with feel good stuff and tons of movies and us doing crap like picking up single grains of rice with chopsticks and stuff. In high school. I would have loved to have taken the equivalent of Humanities only from an East/South Asian/Middle Eastern perspective. Instead I sat through 'The Joy Luck Club'- A movie about Asians for everyone but Asians.

But rote memorization and dry lectures and loads of homework and reading and two hour exams and the Classics are out of fashion.

Now we get teachers wanting to make sure everyone is "engaged" and "active". We dumb down our classes. Instead of the classics and a focused curriculum that plots a course, we get haphazard material delivered by people more concerned with political agendas and shaping hearts and opinions than delivering making sure students learn and know what they need to learn and know.

The other big factor? Experience. People say it's common sense, but that's not really it. Common sense only usually comes through experience. Today's kids have no experience. You know what kid's used to do? Ride bicycles everywhere. Take the bus across town. Get in fights. Roam through the woods. Fall into rivers and nearly drown. Break bones. Play games with elaborate rules that they'd create and have to live by. And who was there to watch them? No one. If some kid was bullying, it was up to the kids themselves to sort it out. Jonathan Haidt has talked about this. Essentially, childhood is similar to your immune system. You need to have it put under some stress in order to make it strong. Sanitizing it and eliminating any vectors doesn't make your childhood strong, it makes it weak. This is also part of treating kids like infants, teenagers like kids, and young and middle-aged adults like teenagers. Like "Adulting" 30 year olds are using this. It used to be 13 year olds were the ones "Adulting" by going out to feed the livestock, take care of the house, bus tables, serve customers and so on.

Now, I know this is what every generation says and that this is just "Old Man Yells At Cloud" stuff. But there appears to be some science to back it up. Depression and suicide rates in young people have spiked. Whether it was the 1740s or 1840s or 1940s, there were no "Safe spaces" and "trigger warning"s and the like. 13 year old boys were still expected to be closer to men than boys in how they comported themselves. That's all changed.

I think your analysis of the situation we currently find ourselves in today is remarkable. There is a lot of thought and actual scientific data packed into such a short amount of writing, though you referenced it indirectly (that base of knowledge does come in handy in these instances ;D), I am familiar with the literature and data you are probably referring to. I think you hit the nail on the head. This was a fantastically succinct diagnoses of what is wrong with today's generation.


  • VanIslander
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Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2019, 09:59:49 pm »
No. I don't think so. At least, I had an impression based on what a professor told me a long time ago.

I was a grad student in 1994 and assistant teaching undergrad courses (taught small seminars of prof's lecture hall classes, graded papers, held office hours) and Dr. P, an older Philosophy prof whose Reasoning Skills and Logic courses I T.A.'d, told me in a long one-on-one rant in his office one day that students those days "have no ******* clue how to think or reason" and couldn't even assemble a half-decent essay. He spent a good 20 minutes telling me details, which of course a quarter century later I can't recall. But I'll always remember how EMPHATIC he was that the '90s generation were a bunch of dumb, dumbs (I was a full scholarship grad student whom he liked to play chess with because he heard I was a six-time champion and so he respected me - but most students he was fed up with).

I grew up with books, classical music, jazz, afternoon newspapers, a smalltown relaxed lifestyle with lots of free time and hobbies. We had just two channels on our TV because my dad was older and thought that was enough. This was pre-cable.

My generation though, of the 80s and the next, of the 90s grew up on a lot of mind-numbing TV.

On the face of it, the interactive nature of the Internet generations would engage the average (median or mode, at least) person much more than the pre-internet cable tv era (1982-1997) household if it embraced the media of the times.


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2019, 07:49:41 am »
Quote
I find older generations are more close minded. I find that they were taught this happened then, at this place and this is how we should feel about it.

This sounds a lot more like the way young people are taught these days. After all, there are entire university courses which didn't exist in the past,


Yeah, like computer science or biomedical engineering.  :laugh:

Quote
If you go to a women's studies seminar and tell everyone you don't believe in the patriarchy, or a Black studies one and say you think Black lives Matter are misguided, you will be ostracized, told your viewpoint is less valuable because of your identity and basically shut down, simple as.


If you go to a select group of old people and tell them you don't think Christopher Columbus was a genius who deserves a national holiday, you will also be ostracized or shut down. As someone who has actually taken a few of these classes, I think you'd be surprised about how much conversation is allowed (even by whites! even in a "black politics" course! wow~).

Quote
That wouldn't have happened in the past. Even in non-activist courses, views like that can get you into trouble. Conversely, as an older person, I can't remember ever being told about how I should feel about something at school or university.  The whole point was, anything goes.

I'm sure many non-conforming views were shut down in many classes, just as they are today.

For example, in America, history books do not say, "you should be proud of and worship George Washington/(insert other national hero here)." However, they present these people in a way that strongly encourages us to feel a certain way about them. Sometimes, they make up random parts of the "story" to make it seem better (the way they describe the weather on Columbus' voyage as an example). This is true of history books 30 years ago and today.


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2019, 08:12:33 am »
Quote
This sounds a lot more like the way young people are taught these days. After all, there are entire university courses which didn't exist in the past,


Yeah, like computer science or biomedical engineering.  :laugh:

You're trying to sidetrack my main point, which was that courses designed to create activists in certain areas didn't exist in the past. These are very unlikely to produce free thinkers.


Quote
If you go to a women's studies seminar and tell everyone you don't believe in the patriarchy, or a Black studies one and say you think Black lives Matter are misguided, you will be ostracized, told your viewpoint is less valuable because of your identity and basically shut down, simple as.


If you go to a select group of old people and tell them you don't think Christopher Columbus was a genius who deserves a national holiday, you will also be ostracized or shut down. As someone who has actually taken a few of these classes, I think you'd be surprised about how much conversation is allowed (even by whites! even in a "black politics" course! wow~).

That may be true but I wasn't actually comparing old people with young people, I was comparing young people in the past with young people today.

Quote
That wouldn't have happened in the past. Even in non-activist courses, views like that can get you into trouble. Conversely, as an older person, I can't remember ever being told about how I should feel about something at school or university.  The whole point was, anything goes.

I'm sure many non-conforming views were shut down in many classes, just as they are today.

For example, in America, history books do not say, "you should be proud of and worship George Washington/(insert other national hero here)." However, they present these people in a way that strongly encourages us to feel a certain way about them. Sometimes, they make up random parts of the "story" to make it seem better (the way they describe the weather on Columbus' voyage as an example). This is true of history books 30 years ago and today.

Possibly, though I think there was a period maybe from thirty to twenty years ago when thought was freer than it was in the past and than it is today.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 08:27:51 am by eggieguffer »


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2019, 08:12:57 am »
How are they dumber?

Base of knowledge. In my senior year, I took my high school's Humanities program. This was a college-prepartory course that everyone who graduated it said was more challenging than almost anything they ever took in undergrad, and this included students who went to Ivies, both public and private. The class actually had such a reputation that professors at the local universities said they could identify which students took that class based on their level of knowledge and understanding relative to other students. And you know what it had? Basically the entire canon of Western political theory and philosophy, literature, art, and music. The classes were lectures and there was a heavy emphasis on memorization AND critical analysis. There was no "Let's build a Cathedral with popsicle sticks." No going outside to sit around outside in a drum circle and discussing our feelings and whatever dumb teenage insights we had on "life maaannn". This class was brutal. It was also the most enlightening and insightful class I have ever taken in my life. In spite of the massive amount of study and high demands and dry lectures, students LOVED it. And yes we did have "fun lessons" with learning about film. You know when those took place? Outside of normal class time and were supplementary.

Contrast this with my MidEast-Asian history class which was generic high school crap with feel good stuff and tons of movies and us doing crap like picking up single grains of rice with chopsticks and stuff. In high school. I would have loved to have taken the equivalent of Humanities only from an East/South Asian/Middle Eastern perspective. Instead I sat through 'The Joy Luck Club'- A movie about Asians for everyone but Asians.

But rote memorization and dry lectures and loads of homework and reading and two hour exams and the Classics are out of fashion.

Now we get teachers wanting to make sure everyone is "engaged" and "active". We dumb down our classes. Instead of the classics and a focused curriculum that plots a course, we get haphazard material delivered by people more concerned with political agendas and shaping hearts and opinions than delivering making sure students learn and know what they need to learn and know.

The other big factor? Experience. People say it's common sense, but that's not really it. Common sense only usually comes through experience. Today's kids have no experience. You know what kid's used to do? Ride bicycles everywhere. Take the bus across town. Get in fights. Roam through the woods. Fall into rivers and nearly drown. Break bones. Play games with elaborate rules that they'd create and have to live by. And who was there to watch them? No one. If some kid was bullying, it was up to the kids themselves to sort it out. Jonathan Haidt has talked about this. Essentially, childhood is similar to your immune system. You need to have it put under some stress in order to make it strong. Sanitizing it and eliminating any vectors doesn't make your childhood strong, it makes it weak. This is also part of treating kids like infants, teenagers like kids, and young and middle-aged adults like teenagers. Like "Adulting" 30 year olds are using this. It used to be 13 year olds were the ones "Adulting" by going out to feed the livestock, take care of the house, bus tables, serve customers and so on.

Now, I know this is what every generation says and that this is just "Old Man Yells At Cloud" stuff. But there appears to be some science to back it up. Depression and suicide rates in young people have spiked. Whether it was the 1740s or 1840s or 1940s, there were no "Safe spaces" and "trigger warning"s and the like. 13 year old boys were still expected to be closer to men than boys in how they comported themselves. That's all changed.

I think your analysis of the situation we currently find ourselves in today is remarkable. There is a lot of thought and actual scientific data packed into such a short amount of writing, though you referenced it indirectly (that base of knowledge does come in handy in these instances ;D), I am familiar with the literature and data you are probably referring to. I think you hit the nail on the head. This was a fantastically succinct diagnoses of what is wrong with today's generation.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 08:45:32 am by Ronnie Omelettes »


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2019, 08:40:13 am »
You're trying to sidetrack my main point, which was that courses designed to create activists in certain areas didn't exist in the past. These are very unlikely to produce free thinkers.
I think these were specifically designed to produce free thinkers. We can argue about whether we've come too far, in that these classes are less and less counter-cultural, but certainly when they first came about they were specifically for the purpose of criticizing the status-quo (if that's not free thought, then I don't know what is).

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If you go to a select group of old people and tell them you don't think Christopher Columbus was a genius who deserves a national holiday, you will also be ostracized or shut down. As someone who has actually taken a few of these classes, I think you'd be surprised about how much conversation is allowed (even by whites! even in a "black politics" course! wow~).

That may be true but I wasn't actually comparing old people with young people, I was comparing young people in the past with young people today.

Fair point. I wasn't alive so I can't possibly compare young people today to young people of that time. That said, I don't have much reason to assume these people have gotten dumber or more stubborn as they've aged. Perhaps we should wait until this generation grows up and then compare old people to old people?

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That wouldn't have happened in the past. Even in non-activist courses, views like that can get you into trouble. Conversely, as an older person, I can't remember ever being told about how I should feel about something at school or university.  The whole point was, anything goes.

I'm sure many non-conforming views were shut down in many classes, just as they are today.

For example, in America, history books do not say, "you should be proud of and worship George Washington/(insert other national hero here)." However, they present these people in a way that strongly encourages us to feel a certain way about them. Sometimes, they make up random parts of the "story" to make it seem better (the way they describe the weather on Columbus' voyage as an example). This is true of history books 30 years ago and today.

Possibly, though I think there was a period maybe from thirty to twenty years ago when thought was freer than it was in the past and than it is today.

If there is a metric that measures this (the degree of freedom of thought), I'd be interested to see how it has changed over time. Considering my take on older people, I'm inclined to disagree with you.


Re: Is this the first generation that's dumber than the previous?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2019, 08:47:57 am »
I read this book recently on the subject. I don't think it was particularly well written but he was pretty young at the time (he was actually at College while writing it, I think). Yes I know it was written by a Republican and he would say this, etc... but there are a lot of facts in it compared to anecdotes. 

https://www.amazon.com/Brainwashed-Universities-Indoctrinate-Americas-Youth/dp/1595559795