Why Are Finland’s Schools The World’s Best?

Finland-Kirkkojarvi-School-631The secret seems to be emphasizing art, foreign languages, and physical activity, paying teachers like lawyers and doctors, and doing away with standardized testing. A shame that the United States is trending in the opposite direction regarding all of the above. Yes, it helps that Finland is a small, wealthy country with extremely equal income distribution, but its neighbor Norway follows a more “American” education model and with inferior results. Via Smithsonian Magazine:

Besides Finnish, math and science, first graders take music, art, sports, religion and textile handcrafts. English begins in third grade, Swedish in fourth. By fifth grade the children have added biology, geography, history, physics and chemistry.

Not until sixth grade will kids have the option to sit for a district-wide exam, and then only if the classroom teacher agrees to participate. Most do, out of curiosity. Results are not publicized. Finnish educators have a hard time understanding the United States’ fascination with standardized tests. “Americans like all these bars and graphs and colored charts,” Louhivuori teased, as he rummaged through his closet looking for past years’ results. “Looks like we did better than average two years ago,” he said after he found the reports. “It’s nonsense. We know much more about the children than these tests can tell us.”

The critical decision came in 1979, when reformers required that every teacher earn a fifth-year master’s degree in theory and practice at one of eight state universities—at state expense. From then on, teachers were effectively granted equal status with doctors and lawyers. Applicants began flooding teaching programs, not because the salaries were so high but because autonomy and respect made the job attractive. In 2010, some 6,600 applicants vied for 660 primary school training slots.

Some of the more vocal conservative reformers in America have grown weary of the “We-Love-Finland crowd” or so-called Finnish Envy. They argue that the United States has little to learn from a country of only 5.4 million people—4 percent of them foreign born. Yet the Finns seem to be onto something. Neighboring Norway, a country of similar size, embraces education policies similar to those in the United States. It employs standardized exams and teachers without master’s degrees. And like America, Norway’s PISA scores have been stalled in the middle ranges for the better part of a decade.

Read the rest at Smithsonian Magazine.

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  • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

    I am certain the American education machine will manage to extract only the wrong answers from this.

  • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

    I am certain the American education machine will manage to extract only the wrong answers from this.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Shit…elementary ed teachers in this country would be better off managing a McDonalds on night shift…the parents think school is a day care center where they can dump their unwashed, unprepared, half starved squalling brats off for a few hours and the knowledge will magically flow into them unless the teachers suck…textbooks left over from the Reagan administration with pages missing, leaky roofs, and rusty lockers do not convince kids that they are a priority…it convinces them that they are an inconvenience and get the short straw every time. The public education system has been gutted until religious schools look good by default…not because the education is really better…but because the kids usually get home without losing any blood. Now we have a generation of dumbasses trained to nod their heads in the appropriate fashion while silently accepting their obedient uniformed existence. This is the engine supposed to drive creativity and set up a competitive future for America? Somehow I just don’t think so.

    We could take a few notes from the Finns. 

    • Anarchy Pony

      You should look at some of John Taylor Gatto’s work.

    • StillAtMyMoms

      I can attest to that coming from a low-income district.  But you forgot to mention the insane emphasis on standardized testing (state assessments).  They don’t give a flying rat’s ass about anything else unless your class achieved the advanced bracket on the test results.  That way they can generate all those federal grants.  What a surprise, all about money again.

      • Tuna Ghost

        I came out of a private, upscale christian high school with a ridiculous tuition and the focus there was still primarily on standardized testing.  Test scores can be used to justify the ever-increasing tuition, so that much won’t be changing any time soon in private schools.  Test scores (and subsequent acceptance into universities) are also used to rank schools, so “education” really takes a back seat to making sure the kids fill in the right circle on the SAT or ACT. 

        As a teacher, I’m now privy to things even more shameful.  Class restructuring so that under-performing kids (never mind if they have a learning disability or a shitty home life or anything like that) are placed in what amounts to remedial classes are are then excempt from the standards to which they’re supposed to be subject, blatant adjustment of althlete’s grades, the racism of lowered expectations for minority students–all of it is well known, and nobody gives a shit.  Its goddam ugly, I can tell you that. 

    • Mr Willow

      The public education system has been gutted until religious schools look good by default…not because the education is really better…but because the kids usually get home without losing any blood.

      I can completely vouch for this. 

      I have gone to religious schools my entire life (except the year I spent in college). Not only is the education not better, it is decidedly worse because there is always a vague, theocratic vein running through almost every lesson, one does not learn about evolution—I was actually taught creationism—even as an alternative, there is no comparative religion class, nor is there any sort of philosophy. Even history lessons and political classes are looked at through the lens of ‘Why did God do this, or allow this, etc.’ from time to time. 

      The only true commendations I can offer is that one is almost guaranteed to be in a safe environment (there were still incidents, but tempers always rise), and with all the emphasis on the church there was also a great respect for the arts. Of course, I couldn’t draw or paint whatever I wanted, but I do so love depicting angels. 

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        I had a friend that went to a religious school, and was taught creationism, and told how stupid evolution was.

        When she got to college and actually had someone explain it in the real terms, and she thought it was a perfectly reasonable theory.

        I always imagined her original understanding of it something along the lines of Mr. Garrison’s explanation of evolution

        sorry, Mrs. Garrison at that time
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzF5aQ8X-hA&feature=related

      • Tuna Ghost

        Hmm, my private christian school experience was different from yours, apparently.  I think there are a couple kinds of schools like this–one created with the primary purpose of having children educated in a “proper” religious environment, which means teaching creationism and whatever else, and one created with money as the primary goal.  Mine was the latter.  

        The difference in terms of experience would be that I actually received a good education.  My school’s tuition was outrageous (it was actually more expensive than any of the universities I went to), which meant the school could fund things like ACT/SAT prep courses and have smaller classes with modern, constantly updated teaching materials.  Plus, since its a private school “associated” with the Church of Christ, it could pretty much do as it pleased when it came to keeping the average test score up.  That meant if a girl got pregnant she was immediately kicked out, but the father, in a true sign of Christian compassion, was allowed to stay.  Pregnant teens’ scores might start dropping, or she would end up not going to college right out of high school, which could pull down the school’s local ranking.  Also, as we were constantly reminded, “sluts don’t belong in a christian school”.  We had mandatory Bible classes and no other theology or philosophy courses available, but creationism wasn’t taught in science class or anything stupid like that.  There were private christian schools in the area that received funding from, say, Southern Baptist organizations but ours was only “affiliated” with the Church of Christ.  That meant we had to follow that particular sects stupid rules (for instance, shorts were not allowed to be worn at any school function.  Dancing was forbidden, which meant no proms, only banquets.  Musical instruments during church services were also forbidden.  We weren’t even allowed to clap, because clapping was considered an instrument) but the school could ignore them when it was convenient.  

        I guess that depending on one’s definition of “education”, its debatable whether or not we received our parents’ money’s worth.  I did become very adept at taking tests, which I feel is a valuable skill.

        • Jin The Ninja

          My education was int’l schools and jesuit school on and off throughout my life- jesuit school ain’t got nothing on what you are describing. Damn i feel for you.

        • Mr Willow

          Seems pretty similar to me.

          Our classes were small, but most of our materials were out of date (though not horrendously so).

          The policy regarding pregnant teens was exactly the same.

          We also had mandatory Bible classes, and now that I think back, I do recall a very brief instance of comparative religion (it lasted one day) in which the entire premise was to devalue all the other religions ‘opposed’ to Christianity. The exercise did nothing except further spread misinformation about other religions (for example, we were taught Buddhists worshiped Buddha *laughs*).

          We couldn’t dance at school functions, but my school did have a band (no instruments sounds absolutely terrifying to me, especially no clapping. . . weird).

          Don’t get me wrong. I received a decent education. By that I mean we were given (mostly) accurate information in regard to biology, chemistry, mathematics, history, etc. But all that information was tainted by the idea that God, Jesus, and the Bible needed to be at the center of every bit of everything. I use creationism as a good example. I was taught about cell structure, and different species, and so on and so forth accurately, but when it came time to relate them all or discuss their origin, it just went back to the garden of Eden and that everything was as it is now and nothing ever changes. The real trouble is sifting through all the information and finding what is and isn’t accurate academically (and doing a bit of self-study).

          I do, however, greatly disagree with you that taking tests is a valuable skill. I feel that to be the least beneficial aspect of any and all schooling, and yet it seems to be school administrators focus. All testing does is quantify how much one has memorised. It requires very little thought, per-sé. I would very much like to see tests done away with.

        • Mr Willow

          Seems pretty similar to me.

          Our classes were small, but most of our materials were out of date (though not horrendously so).

          The policy regarding pregnant teens was exactly the same.

          We also had mandatory Bible classes, and now that I think back, I do recall a very brief instance of comparative religion (it lasted one day) in which the entire premise was to devalue all the other religions ‘opposed’ to Christianity. The exercise did nothing except further spread misinformation about other religions (for example, we were taught Buddhists worshiped Buddha *laughs*).

          We couldn’t dance at school functions, but my school did have a band (no instruments sounds absolutely terrifying to me, especially no clapping. . . weird).

          Don’t get me wrong. I received a decent education. By that I mean we were given (mostly) accurate information in regard to biology, chemistry, mathematics, history, etc. But all that information was tainted by the idea that God, Jesus, and the Bible needed to be at the center of every bit of everything. I use creationism as a good example. I was taught about cell structure, and different species, and so on and so forth accurately, but when it came time to relate them all or discuss their origin, it just went back to the garden of Eden and that everything was as it is now and nothing ever changes. The real trouble is sifting through all the information and finding what is and isn’t accurate academically (and doing a bit of self-study).

          I do, however, greatly disagree with you that taking tests is a valuable skill. I feel that to be the least beneficial aspect of any and all schooling, and yet it seems to be school administrators focus. All testing does is quantify how much one has memorised. It requires very little thought, per-sé. I would very much like to see tests done away with.

    • Sdkfjsdkjfs

      unless you take an initiative to learn now days your right, but don’t assume every kid is like that just because that’s all you read on the internet. I’m a senior this year in a small shitty school but I take it upon myself to try and learn everything I can…in and out of class. The teachers can’t stretch out there arms either cause they’re limited to an agenda. There isn’t a social emphasis to learn and be educated other than “attend college and make more money than a guy at mcdonalds”. So it’s really a social problem that our schools are like this, and have been like this since early 1900’s to train factory workers.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Didn’t pick up my cynicism on the web…I went to an underfunded school in the 80s…complete with cancellation of all electives except football, complete closing of bus routes, termination of school lunches and 40 kids to classroom. My firsthand experience with subpar education left a lasting mark. I read because I love to read…my real education was found in the classics my parents bought for me. You and I have that much in common…

        …but I don’t excuse the parents and administrators and politicians who contributed to the disaster. They had the power to prevent that collapse…and didn’t exercise it until after the fact (specifically…when they had to prepare their kids lunches and drive them to school for a semester. That shit motivated a lot of people to vote yes on the next school millage…because it inconvenienced them personally…when they should have given enough of a fuck about their kids to act before things reached crisis level.)

        And I admit…I’m still bitter about it all. 

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Didn’t pick up my cynicism on the web…I went to an underfunded school in the 80s…complete with cancellation of all electives except football, complete closing of bus routes, termination of school lunches and 40 kids to classroom. My firsthand experience with subpar education left a lasting mark. I read because I love to read…my real education was found in the classics my parents bought for me. You and I have that much in common…

        …but I don’t excuse the parents and administrators and politicians who contributed to the disaster. They had the power to prevent that collapse…and didn’t exercise it until after the fact (specifically…when they had to prepare their kids lunches and drive them to school for a semester. That shit motivated a lot of people to vote yes on the next school millage…because it inconvenienced them personally…when they should have given enough of a fuck about their kids to act before things reached crisis level.)

        And I admit…I’m still bitter about it all. 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Shit…elementary ed teachers in this country would be better off managing a McDonalds on night shift…the parents think school is a day care center where they can dump their unwashed, unprepared, half starved squalling brats off for a few hours and the knowledge will magically flow into them unless the teachers suck…textbooks left over from the Reagan administration with pages missing, leaky roofs, and rusty lockers do not convince kids that they are a priority…it convinces them that they are an inconvenience and get the short straw every time. The public education system has been gutted until religious schools look good by default…not because the education is really better…but because the kids usually get home without losing any blood. Now we have a generation of dumbasses trained to nod their heads in the appropriate fashion while silently accepting their obedient uniformed existence. This is the engine supposed to drive creativity and set up a competitive future for America? Somehow I just don’t think so.

    We could take a few notes from the Finns. 

  • Wanooski

    You should look at some of John Taylor Gatto’s work.

  • Wanooski

    You should look at some of John Taylor Gatto’s work.

  • Jin The Ninja

    I thought all post-grad education in finland was free?

  • Anonymous

    I thought all post-grad education in finland was free?

  • Anonymous

    I can attest to that coming from a low-income district.  But you forgot to mention the insane emphasis on standardized testing (state assessments).  They don’t give a flying rat’s ass about anything else unless your class achieved the advanced bracket on the test results.  That way they can generate all those federal grants.  What a surprise, all about money again.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    Devil advocate arguement : What this article failed to mention was the American education system’s teaching of street smarts versus book smarts. Where America falls short in teaching science in math, it makes up for in teaching kids social politics, the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, and pulling yourself up by you own bootstraps. That’s why, though many fall to the wayside, the ones that come out on top of the gauntlet of our school system rise above all others in the world, because they had to fight harder and take a whole lot more crap to be sucessful. Those who make it are the ones who are truely dedicated. Also, the “law of the jungle” aspects of our schools ensure we produce better soldiers, cops, athletes, and physical laborers than any country in the world. We are a country willing to risk letting some of our children with potential be driven into the shadows, so those with similar potential but a deeper competive drive and stronger constitution to become the leaders of the free world in hard work and innovation.   

    • Anarchy Pony

      Please go die, idiot social darwinist. 

      • Devil’s Advocate for America

        Like I said “Devil’s Advocate”, not a personal opinion of mine, but one I have heard and predict will be echoed in some form during the 2012 debates.

        • Anarchy Pony

          Why would you do that? Are you a masochist?

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            No, just trying to think with two brains to make sense of the political situation these days.

          • Anarchy Pony

            I generally keep those thoughts within the special quarantine laboratory inside my head.

          • Earaches

            A** Hat.

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            How does personifying antagonistic viewpoints in order to get a better grasp on the borderline psychotic political discourse in this country make one an A** Hat?

        • Tuna Ghost

          If you think candidates are going to argue that the US’s shitty schools make for smarter, better equipped students, then you are seriously mistaken.  Also, out of touch.  Also, not very bright.   No candidate with a prayer of winning would make any of the arguments you have made because a.) they’re absolutely ridiculous, b.) don’t have a shred of evidence to support them, and c.) it would make them sound like an idiot.  

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            If you don’t hear these arguements from the candidates, you’ll hear them from pundits on Fox News, talk radio, maybe even on the morning news. That will be how they test the waters to see how such messages would be recieved by public. It all starts out with the “Fly the flag up the pole to see who salutes it” approach. If it works for the pundits, then it might work for the candidates.
               Pundits and politicians come up with ridiculous arguements all the time these days with no shred of evidence. I could try to dig for evidence, but why, when these arguements will likey be bought up by at least some sector of the population even when presented without evidence.
               In age where Michelle Bachmann openly says she thinks Hurricane Irene was sent as a message from God,  Rick Perry holds open prayer conventions with no regard for seperation of church and state, and pundits are arguing that welfare recipients and people on disablity need to pay their fair share of taxes, one can only assume ridculous arguements without shreds of evidence are soon to be par for the course.
              

          • Tuna Ghost

            In age where Michelle Bachmann openly says she thinks Hurricane Irene was sent as a message from God,  Rick Perry holds open prayer conventions with no regard for seperation of church and state, and pundits are arguing that welfare recipients and people on disablity need to pay their fair share of taxes, one can only assume ridculous arguements without shreds of evidence are soon to be par for the course.
            Bachmann is pandering to a huge voting block, Perry has every right to attend prayer meetings under the the law, welfare recipients and people on disability do need to pay taxes on any income they receive.  What does any of this have to do with your ridiculous ideas?  Nothing you’ve just listed is strange or controversial.  Some of it is frustrating, yes, but absolutely none of it lends any credence to your ideas or to the notion that anyone else suscribes to them.  

            You still haven’t answered any of the very valid questions I raised earlier.  I suspect this is because you haven’t actually examined your points in any detail.  

    • Arkad

      “…our schools ensure we produce better soldiers, cops, athletes, and physical laborers than any country in the world.”

      Really, we aspire to produce more soldiers in a country that already has a military budget larger than the next 20 countries combined?

      We have the better physical laborers? I don’t see many Americans mowing lawns and working on assembly lines anymore. I think China and Mexico has us beat there.

      Athletes over scientist…what a crazy rationale.

      • Devil’s Advocate for America

        We need to raise our children in a type of environment that will not allow them to grow up soft. America is a hated nation, much of it provoked, but a lot of it out of envy. Therefore we need a system that will ensure enough potential soldiers, with the street smarts developed through the school system, to protect us from our enemies.
          

        • razzlebathbone

          Good. That way we won’t have to kill you; you’ll kill each other for us.

        • smooth_operator

          A lot of it out of envy?  Only from the misinformed in the Third World who want to end up in Hollywood.

        • Tuna Ghost

          Therefore we need a system that will ensure enough potential soldiers, with the street smarts developed through the school system, to protect us from our enemies. 
          If this is true, then why are the armed forces getting most of their numbers from the bottom 10% of society?

    • Runswithstick

      School does not teach this. This happens by accident.

      • Devil’s Advocate for America

        So therefore, the advantage of the American school system over the Finnish system is that we allow the accidental “teaching” of street smarts to happen in our schools, instead of sheltering our children like the Finns. We may not score as well on tests, but we come out tougher, with a better understanding of the underhanded ways of the world, and more knowledge in the art of clawing one’s way to the top. It’s a cruel and merciless world, and American students are more aware of this than the spoiled Europeans, and are therefore better equipped to survive when the s*** really hits the fan.

        • MadHierophant

          So you’re saying there’s no downside to raising generations of materialistic sociopaths? 

          Because it’s certainly worked so far…

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            “Materialistic Sociopaths” have a greater drive for sucess and know how to get what they want. Sometimes determination is more powerful than knowledge.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Yes, but in order to achieve “success” they are willing to very nearly kill other people for it, among other transgressions of a serious nature that civilisation and society generally regard with strong disdain. The success model in education can only be utilised in a deeply totalitarian setting. What you are positing reminds me of “Battle Royale” (novel/film/manga). It is a conception from the darkest recesses of speculative fiction, and needs to stay there. You say you are simply arguing an alternative point of view, but your posts seem laiden with the conviction of truth of ideology.

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            The success model works for totalitarian societies, but even better for capatalism, because in capatalism it’s a dog eat dog world. The sooner our children realize it’s a dog eat dog world, the better. The Finnish style system would not work in America because it would cause children to have unrealistic expectations about the “fairness” of the working world. The workforce is full of slanderers, backstabbers, ballbusters, and haters. It’s the same as high school.  It has been that way since the beginning of time and won’t be changing soon. In the workforce, it’s usually not the hardest working or the smartest that get on top, but the ones who are willing to step on others toes and play dirty. Instead of shelter school children from this reality, we need to put them to the test so they will either figure out how the world works and come out on top, or learn to accept a lower position in life.
              Once again, playing Devil’s Advocate here; if my post seem “laiden with conviction of truth of ideolgy”, it’s because I grew up in the heart of the Bible Belt, and have heard similar arguements made with “conviction of truth of ideology” even before the recession. It is my suspicion, based on the way the political discourse is going in this country, that these ideas are going to be heard in mainstream discussions soon. 

          • Jin The Ninja

            In my mind totalitarianism and capitalism are related, if not brothers then cousins. People have not historically organised in a competitive model.

          • Andrew

             “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” — Abraham LincolnHence, the decline of America.

          • Micho_rizo

            You’re making the assumption that success = being in the top .01 percent. From my perspective, most of the top .01 percent suck at life, but they’re very effective sociopaths. But they’re not happy, they will never be happy. They can never have enough…of anything. Look at how they hoard money. You think being worth, say, $100 million would be enough for these asswipes. But it’s not, for some godawful reason. They can have $100 billion and it still wouldn’t be enough.

            Sounds like a miserable way to live, to me at least.

            In the words of Chuang Tzu, “Leave me. I’d rather roll around in the mud with the pigs!” Freedom of mind is worth more than any amount of power, cash, material possessions.

            One of the arguments I always try to make is they top .01 percent is more dependent on us than we are on them. That is why they do everything in their power to blind us to this fact. We have the power. At any moment we can say that we don’t need whatever it is that they are offering (and, for the most part, we don’t). At any moment we can decide to use a different means of trade than the American dollar. At any moment we can decide to wield the power that the majority has.

            But we won’t, for many complicated reasons, but mostly because the top .01 percent has done a bang up job of blinding us to the fact that they depend on us, not visa-verse.

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            PS, Battle Royale sounds like something I might want to check out.

          • Jin The Ninja

            It is almost to a T the education system you imagine, a totalitarian future japan sends groups of 9th graders to an island, where a televised battle takes place between the students who are forced to wear exploding collars.

            throw in a lunatic military general, an array of weapons, cliques, suicide and a love story and that is pretty much the plot.

          • Tuna Ghost

            I would recommend it because its a fine film, but for the love of god please don’t try to pull any lessons on education out of it, or use it for justification for any of your ideas.  I’m looking out for you when I tell you this.

          • MadHierophant

            All this success is at the expense of the rest of us. What you’re praising is covered not even a couple articles below that explains why that kind of thinking is a *bad* thing. 

            http://www.disinfo.com/2011/08/a-view-from-the-top-one-percent/#disqus_thread

            Unless of course you’re hoping to lord over the rest of us chattel, that’s the only thing I can think of that would make anyone try to justify the status quo. 

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            The top 0.1% got to where they are by playing the game, playing it right, and playing it dirty when they had to. They understand the law of the jungle, accept that this is the way of the world, and structure their ambitions accordingly. Remember, nice guys finish last. Those who complain about the top 0.1% having all the power should reexamine how they ended up at the bottom and learn lessions from those who came out on top. These lessions can be learned by negotioning the social politics in the school system. Remember, it was always the a**hole jocks and backstabbers who were always the most popular. Those not in the “in” clique are marginalized so they either turn into whiny emo kids or focus on ways they can beat the system by being sucessful in their own way; through academics, music, or vocational skills. It’s a harsh system but one must either roll with it or roll out, as is the American way. Those that roll with it will become the future leaders because they have what it takes to beat the odds.

          • MadHierophant

            The world only “is” a certain way because we’re willing to tolerate it, or *unwilling* to find a better way. Money isn’t going to do much to help those greedy fucks when the majority of people realize we outnumber them by BILLIONS. Let’s see how fit to survive they are when they’re overrun by a horde of people screaming for their blood. 

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            Once the elite are overrun by a screaming horde, there will be those amongst the screaming horde who will become the new elite, and so the cycle continues.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            How very Hegelian of you… lawl.

          • Jin The Ninja

            by referring to citizen public as the “screaming horde” you are perpetuating the same anti-democracy myths that are re-enforced by the ruling classes.

          • Tuna Ghost

            The top 0.1% got to where they are by playing the game, playing it right, and playing it dirty when they had to.

            Except for the substantial amount of inherited wealth, of course.  But I’m sure you knew that.  After all, you’ve come across as so…well informed.

            There are many reasons why using high school as a metaphor for the business world doesn’t work, but I think the easiest one to bring up is one word: Teenagers.  High school is full of them, and they’re dumb, full of hormones, and in most cases completely unaware of who they are, who they want to be, or what they want to do.  Acting as if you don’t learn any of those things, or that they’re not a very important difference, shows a staggering ignorance of reality.  Or that you yourself are a teenager, or have the mental capacity of the same.  

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          hehe unfortunately we also raise more kids who are excited for shit to hit the fan, and might even have the desire to egg it on (btw… the generation  of kids with this mindset should be coming out of college right… about…. 3 months ago?)

          • MadHierophant

            Anyone under 30 who’s paying attention should know we’re totally fucked. 

        • Meme Hershberger

          You are a total moron. This is not accidental teaching of anything that needs to be real. This is the creation and support of an artificial environment  (such schools do not spontaneously occur in nature) that operates in the way of the jungle. We’re supposed to be a species evolving to new and better ways of preventing the shit from hitting the fan. Instead, we imprison our young and indoctrinate them in unhealthy dynamics and criticize countries whose schools aim to create educated, constructive, happy citizens.

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            Evolution is the process of adapting to adverse circumstances. We have plenty of fast food and blue collar jobs for those who can’t adapt to the system, and those who do make it are adapted to become the most powerful people in the world, because they proved they can tough it out in the “jungle”. Cultures all over the world have intitiation rituals where they send their children into the wilderness in order to prove their ability to become adults. We do the same when we send our children into the school system, instead of holding their hand along the way like the Finns. Try putting a Finn out on the street, and then see how well they do compared to someone who has sucessfully survived the American school system and see who comes out on top (even though the pale skinned blue eyed “Aryan” Finns’ appearance would probably give them an unfair disadvantage from the get-go).

          • Jin The Ninja

            about 75% of the overweight, sandals and sock wearing, monolingual americans i have ever seen abroad would be the first to fail ANY test in “street smarts” so your entire premise is complete and utter bullsh*t.

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            That’s where the 25% who aren’t “overweight, sandals and sock wearing, monolingual” come in. These are the one’s who went though the school system and “got it”. They are the elite of our society, because they managed to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and take the intiative to learn things on their own and earn enough money to travel abroad. Despite not having a school system that gives them the skills to travel to another country, or living somewhere like Europe where traveling to another country is as easy as making a trip from St Louis to Chicago, they still find a way, through adaptation. So our system doesn’t produce as many people who are good at traveling abroad, but on the other hand if we have to move to a bad neighboorhood in our own country, we have the street smarts to deal with it. America needs to keep it’s tourism dollars inside the country anyway. This is a big enough country with enough to see here that most people never have the need to travel abroad.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Isolationism has never historically proven to be a successful policy. even less so now with the advent of the internet and globalisation.
            The public education in your country is falling apart. Keep telling yourself it works but it does not; some americans may have street smarts but most do not. The ones who have become the ‘elite’ are those that practice the most regressive and sociopathic ideologies in existence. You would be hard pressed to find a more misogyinist, racist, anti equality group (whether dem or repub). If capitalism is your mantra, you have abandoned your soul for green paper, and the technocrats in washington have definetly done so.

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

             “The ones who have become the ‘elite’ are those that practice the most regressive and sociopathic ideologies in existence.”

            So this goes to show that regressive and sociopathic ideologies are a formula for success.

          • Jin The Ninja

            That is dependant on your measure of success. If by success you mean material wealth, then yes. However if you measure success by intellectual or artistic production or community engagement then no.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            not to mention the ultimate yardstick of sustainability (not in the hippie planet sense, but in the eventual economic collapse sense). By that measurement…America’s path to ‘success’ has crashed and burned with only a few survivors.

          • Jin The Ninja

            great point, i should have mentioned;)

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            Example:

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            (…truth be told…our tourists are the nouveau-rich retirees with time and money on their hands because they made their fortunes before our economy collapsed. You’ll be cursed with far fewer of them as the years go by…since fewer and fewer of us have the wherewithal to travel…although many retain the abominable fashion sense and inability to grasp more than one language.)

          • Jin The Ninja

            I don’t have a problem with monolingualism or retirees persay, it is when it is accompanied by the attitude of superiority and lack of even basic politesse in (foreign) social interactions.

            Not to say it is just an american phenemenon but i have seen it most often demonstrated by americans (and canadians as well), and the socks and sandals thing i can’t even pretend to understand…lol;)

            i will admit that because i’m multi racial and raised in several cultures my perceptions may be a bit broader in scope, but i can’t understand when people travel they do not even attempt to discern basic practices indigenous to the area. I have seen americans/cdns bargain for ridiculously insignificant amounts in places where bargain is not really acceptable, and would make nearly no difference to the buyer.

            As for the economic circumstances of people who are not able to travel, I definetly am feeling it myself, more than ever, but i hope people do still travel and expose themselves to the broader world which is still pretty cool minus starbucks, mcdicks, the gap….

          • Tuna Ghost

            What percentage of american society now lives or has ever lived “on the streets”?  What does that even mean?  Are you suggesting that the Finns can’t hack it in the modern business world?  That’s the logical conclusion of your argument, after all.  They couldn’t learn “street smarts” (whatever that is, you haven’t given us any real definitions beyond vague notions of moxie or gumption) in their schools because its not “dog eat dog”, they couldn’t make it on the streets in America because its “dog eat dog”, and those that don’t learn street smarts in schools end up unsuccessful.  Since the Finns don’t learn street smarts, they shouldn’t be successful in the business world, which is similar enough to American high schools that one can be used as a metaphor for the other.  Therefore, Finns are not successful in the business world.  

            I suggest you look up how the country is performing in the business world.  You know, do some actual research.  

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          I understand your taking the devils advocate position for the sake of argument…and I’ll do the same for you here.

          There’s a key flaw in your proposed defense of America’s ‘style’ of teaching. Perhaps our children have to scramble desperately for tidbits of useful knowledge in a defunct and outmoded system…and this in turn prepares them for a very hard world…

          …but the Finns don’t have a very hard world into which children enter…because they’ve been sufficiently endowed in large enough numbers with the creativity, decency and tools to live and sustain a better world and better lives for themselves and others…

          …while America’s style actually only sustains the horror for longer periods…like all of our lifetimes.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Finally.  Fuck.  By this guy’s argument, Finn’s can’t be successful in the business world because its dog eat dog (just like American high schools!  Its a totally apt metaphor, y’all!), which is an idea not borne out of reality.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Wow, I usually like being the devil’s advocate but it didn’t even cross my mind  for this.

      We always need the devils advocate, props to you.

      • Devil’s Advocate for America

        Thanks for “getting it”. Growing up in the heart of the Bible Belt, I have a sense of how people on the far-far- right see the world. With the 2012 elections coming up and things already running off the rails of the proverbial “crazy train”, I predict the debates this election cycle are going to be out there. My vision of the near future is this: Think back to one of the craziest non-internet political discussions you’ve ever heard; at a party, a diner, a bar, on public tranportation, the DMV; then imagine the participants of that conversation wearing suits and standing at a podium on national TV. The debates in this cycle will make the 2008 election look like a discussion between distinguished gentlemen with top hats and monocles drinking Earl Grey. I think it’s safe to say anything one can imagine being said will be said plus more, so it’s good to get a head start on what arguements are going to be thrown around. 

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          I think its better that not everyone “gets it” though, the anger and passion makes the conversations much more interesting. It also causes to think more about what you’re saying seriously, which is exactly what you’re trying to do.

        • Nuggett

          I too was raised in the Bible belt and agree whole-heartedly that the far right believes in the white collar jungle and group-think inspired rat race.  To some degree, they almost despise individualism and raw talent, because it distracts from a good understanding of base communal survival and social warfare.  

          If one is unwilling to forego his honest artistic ambitions for the endless sociopath-laden “la scala” to the apex of wealth and influence, then unfortunately for him, he will not reach those coveted heights.

          But, hypothetically speaking, I’m not so sure that it is unfortunate for him; the artist, the linguist, the musician, the architect, or the creator to be left out of the ranks.  In fact, I don’t believe such worldly prestige to be at all covetable.  

          Fortunately, for those hard-working, brilliant and less ruthless people, their environment is infinitely more conducive to mental, physical, temporal, and spiritual freedom than that of the “determined” hard worker willing to “do whatever it takes” to reach the top 1%.  Because, with a no-holds-barred sentiment, one loses conscience as well as sensitivity to their world.  Red becomes less red.  Good champagne becomes mediocre champagne.  Great champagne becomes good but nothing spectacular.  Friends become team members, and eventually, competitors, and often, enemies.  

          To paraphrase:  In the end, who really is more powerful?  A slave to the mirage of power through the accumulation of paper protected by a cohort of likeminded slaves?  Or, an individual, unmotivated by the fleeting and temporary indulgences of cheap entertainment,carnal sex, or belonging to a publicly esteemed (feared) group, who can delight in the freedom from sadistic, demoralizing ambition to concentrate on other, more noble and fulfilling causes?  

          Money is not power.  That is, this is what I would say to a person who is not playing the “Devil’s Advocate.”

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            but…but…I like carnal sex…can I keep that and still be ever so vaguely rebellious???

          • Nuggett

            Yeah, me too.  Ok, carnal sex is a shared indulgence.  Rebel-status remains intact.   

          • Nuggett

            Yeah, me too.  Ok, carnal sex is a shared indulgence.  Rebel-status remains intact.   

      • Tuna Ghost

        Didn’t you hear?  He’s not playing Devil’s Advocate.  He’s actually personifying the shadow self, the unconscious mind, the crazy right-winger inside all of us!  He’s making ridiculous arguments and providing information that has no basis at all in reality and has come to a conclusion that has been proved wrong!  All that so we could have a discussion!  He’s been pulling the strings all along, don’t you get it?  He’s not talking out his ass, he’s playing Coyote! 

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          the line between the two is so thin as to not be existent. Whether he does or doesn’t believe what he’s talking about, SOMEONE might, and the discussion is still made to the same extent. The conversation is what matters, and this is one of the few situations where intent is moot. (unless of course he DID believe what he was talking about and he ALSO had power to act on said beliefs)

    • Tuna Ghost

      Several points: 

      Aside from the fact that “book smarts v.s. street smarts” is a ridiculously simplistic way to view education and intelligence, why are you under the impression that America’s education system is somehow unique in this regard? 

      Where America falls short in teaching science in math, it makes up for in teaching kids social politics, the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, and pulling yourself up by you own bootstraps.

      How exactly do you see America’s schools teaching these things, and why do you think other countries are not?

      the ones that come out on top of the gauntlet of our school system rise above all others in the world, because they had to fight harder and take a whole lot more crap to be sucessful. Those who make it are the ones who are truely dedicated. Also, the “law of the jungle” aspects of our schools ensure we produce better soldiers, cops, athletes, and physical laborers than any country in the world.

      If you’re drawing a distinction between “book smarts” and “street smarts”, then how do you measure success in the latter?  How can you tell who comes out on top using “street smarts” as the yardstick?   How can you tell who’s “made it”?  Also, it is very obvious that our Armed Forces favor quantity over quality when it comes to recruitment, as does Law Enforcement.  Physical laborers???  How on earth does either street smarts or book smarts make for better physical laborers?  In all countries the educated are the least likely to take these jobs.  Add in the fact that the US has been steadily outsourcing jobs like these to other countries and that most companies hire illegal immigrants for this sort of work.  

      Basically, it sounds like you just made all this shit up and can’t provide a shred of evidence for any of it.  That’s not what “Devil’s Advocate” means, I hope you realize.

      • Devil’s Advocate for America

        “It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster’s body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.”

        -Carl Jung, “On the Psychology of the Unconscious” (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35
         

        • Tuna Ghost

          Well done.  Now explain how this supports any of the claims I’ve taken issue with.  

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            It means maybe I wasn’t playing Devil’s Advocate so much as personifying the “shadow” side of the subconscious; the “other” within; the “crazy right wing nut job” that exist in everyone who claims to be a moderate or liberal who came out of the Bible Belt or other convervative background.”Devil’s Advocate” sounds better than “Arguement through personification of shadow aspects of the subconcious built upon psychic repression of one’s cultural ‘other’ .”
               Also, I wrote a lot of this out of a sort of politcal Rule 34 principle; R 34 being the proposition that any wierd sexual perversion you can imagine exist on the internet; and my addenum to R 34 is that any wierd political ideological perversion that one can concieve is out there. Even if I “made all this shit up without a shred of evidence”, the idea wasn’t so much to prove a point as to present a sort of early warning based upon what I think may be the type of fringe thinking that may soon become mainstream. These ideas may not get any further than the Glen Beck/Rush Limbaugh/Mike Savage sect, but my view these days is to never underestimate how much of the fringe has the potential to become mainstream.
               When I started this thread I assumed everyone would be like “go home troll” but the fact that it actually started a discussion shows how even a someone who’s just off on a rant but has percieved conviction can bring fringe ideas into mainstream discourse these days. So now imagine a pundit going on Fox News during a debate about budget cuts:
               Pundit One: I say everything’s on the table this year, even school funding
                Pundit Two: That’s absurd, how are we going to stay competive as a society if we cut school funding
               Pundit One: How about this. I say when it comes to school funding less is more.
               Pundit Two: That’s insane, look at Finland, they prioritize education, invest in their children, and turn out some of the best and brightest students in the world.
              Pundit One: I beg to differ sir. By best and brightest, you mean the ones that score highest on tests. What our school system will teach is self reliance, self preservation, personal initiative. There’s no test to measure that.  We do not have the money to educate like the Europeans. Big deal, what’s important is that we prepare our children for this new era we live in, the era of lowered expectations. We have to adjust our goals and think about what’s really important these days, and it’s not so much book smarts that’s important these days but street smarts.
               Pundit Two: You can’t be serious, you actually think that making things tougher on our kids will help society?
               Pundit One: I say it’s all a matter of adaptation. We are facing adverse circumsances in the world today, so we must produce students who can adapt to to unfavorable conditions. Instead of coddling students like the socialist Finns, we need to challenge out youth to be prepared to survive the jungle. Instead of providing more for students, we help them help themselves by giving them less.

            And so it begins. Maybe they’ll get a bunch of hate mail and the idea will be shut down. But maybe the blogs will lights up, and people will say, “That Pundit One had a point you know. It may be hard to swallow, but we have to think of the reality of the age we live in”. If that happens and the “survive the jungle” arguement becomes a popular conservative talking point, then it’s a matter of time before someone’s campaign adviser takes notice and says, “you know, this might work.”
               Maybe I’m wrong but we can only wait and see how off the wall things get. It’s anybody’s guess at this point. In a politcal scene with Dominionists and other formerly fringe ideologies pushing into the spotlight, one can only expect the unexpected

          • Tuna Ghost

            Oh for fuck’s sake, we’re already at the “a-ha, my ridiculous ideas weren’t what I claimed them to be, and I have no evidence for them, and they’re completely off-base, but that doesn’t matter because it was part of my plan all along to get a discussion going!  A discussion on how very wrong I was and am about everything I’ve written!” 

            Dude that is a pretty standard strategy of guys who don’t bother to think about the ideas they get while high before sharing them with everyone.  You haven’t blown any minds, you haven’t provided us with a single shred of valid information beyond “I think this is what people will say in the future” with no evidence to back that up either.  Next time do just a bit of research before jumping into a discussion. 

          • Devil’s Advocate for America

            U Mad?

          • Devil’s Advocate For America

            But wait…HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS HIGH? WHO DO YOU WORK FOR???!!!!

            ..gasp!

    • Visitor

      These comments lack a scientific basis. Every country thinks they have the best soldiers and the best workers.
      The Chinese think their workers are best.
      The US military has not been terribly successful lately. The PISA scores indicate that the USA is falling behind in the international comparisons. The US accepts high levels of poverty which are not seen on better performing education systems.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    Devil advocate arguement : What this article failed to mention was the American education system’s teaching of street smarts versus book smarts. Where America falls short in teaching science in math, it makes up for in teaching kids social politics, the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, and pulling yourself up by you own bootstraps. That’s why, though many fall to the wayside, the ones that come out on top of the gauntlet of our school system rise above all others in the world, because they had to fight harder and take a whole lot more crap to be sucessful. Those who make it are the ones who are truely dedicated. Also, the “law of the jungle” aspects of our schools ensure we produce better soldiers, cops, athletes, and physical laborers than any country in the world. We are a country willing to risk letting some of our children with potential be driven into the shadows, so those with similar potential but a deeper competive drive and stronger constitution to become the leaders of the free world in hard work and innovation.   

  • Wanooski

    Please go die, idiot social darwinist. 

  • Wanooski

    Please go die, idiot social darwinist. 

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    Like I said “Devil’s Advocate”, not a personal opinion of mine, but one I have heard and predict will be echoed in some form during the 2012 debates.

  • Wanooski

    Why would you do that? Are you a masochist?

  • Wanooski

    Why would you do that? Are you a masochist?

  • Wanooski

    Why would you do that? Are you a masochist?

  • Arkad

    “…our schools ensure we produce better soldiers, cops, athletes, and physical laborers than any country in the world.”

    Really, we aspire to produce more soldiers in a country that already has a military budget larger than the next 20 countries combined?

    We have the better physical laborers? I don’t see many Americans mowing lawns and working on assembly lines anymore. I think China and Mexico has us beat there.

    Athletes over scientist…what a crazy rationale.

  • Runswithstick

    School does not teach this. This happens by accident.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    So therefore, the advantage of the American school system over the Finnish system is that we allow the accidental “teaching” of street smarts to happen in our schools, instead of sheltering our children like the Finns. We may not score as well on tests, but we come out tougher, with a better understanding of the underhanded ways of the world, and more knowledge in the art of clawing one’s way to the top. It’s a cruel and merciless world, and American students are more aware of this than the spoiled Europeans, and are therefore better equipped to survive when the s*** really hits the fan.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    No, just trying to think with two brains to make sense of the political situation these days.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    We need to raise our children in a type of environment that will not allow them to grow up soft. America is a hated nation, much of it provoked, but a lot of it out of envy. Therefore we need a system that will ensure enough potential soldiers, with the street smarts developed through the school system, to protect us from our enemies.
      

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Wow, I usually like being the devil’s advocate but it didn’t even cross my mind  for this.

    We always need the devils advocate, props to you.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Wow, I usually like being the devil’s advocate but it didn’t even cross my mind  for this.

    We always need the devils advocate, props to you.

  • Anonymous

    Makes sense; by making an education career something to be greatly coveted, the system can choose among the best and brightest to teach the next generation.  

    That next generation is even better prepared to teach the one after them, and before you know it…. the Finns rule the world MUHAHAHAHA!

    *wakes in cold sweat*

  • Anonymous

    Makes sense; by making an education career something to be greatly coveted, the system can choose among the best and brightest to teach the next generation.  

    That next generation is even better prepared to teach the one after them, and before you know it…. the Finns rule the world MUHAHAHAHA!

    *wakes in cold sweat*

  • erikgrad

    Makes sense; by making an education career something to be greatly coveted, the system can choose among the best and brightest to teach the next generation.  

    That next generation is even better prepared to teach the one after them, and before you know it…. the Finns rule the world MUHAHAHAHA!

    *wakes in cold sweat*

  • Anonymous

    So you’re saying there’s no downside to raising generations of materialistic sociopaths? 

    Because it’s certainly worked so far…

  • Wanooski

    I generally keep those thoughts within the special quarantine laboratory inside my head.

  • Earaches

    A** Hat.

  • Earaches

    The public school system in the U.S. is an offshoot of the schools company towns used to have. Their purpose was to create a more obedient, harder working employee who would tow the company line. While the parents went to work, the kids would be taught the values the company owners wanted their next generation of employees to have. This is the system we also currently have – it’s not designed to give anyone an “education.”

  • Earaches

    The public school system in the U.S. is an offshoot of the schools company towns used to have. Their purpose was to create a more obedient, harder working employee who would tow the company line. While the parents went to work, the kids would be taught the values the company owners wanted their next generation of employees to have. This is the system we also currently have – it’s not designed to give anyone an “education.”

    • DeepCough

      Here’s something no one–NO ONE–learns about in school: the difference between “education” and “learning.” When a child learns something, it is an active experience in which the information is accrued by hands-on activities that encourage the child to figure out a problem or concept. To be educated, by its own voice, is a thoroughly passive experience where a child must accept information dogmatically without any explanation to its efficacy and will only be able to remember it long enough for a test. I came from the No Child Left Behind schools of the Bush Administration, and the latter effect has done nothing but discourage the smart ones from further schooling and has helped put the dumb ones in college with cheating, because the test scores of the student have become far more important than the child’s learning ability.

      • Tuna Ghost

        I came from the No Child Left Behind schools of the Bush Administration…
        A.)  I am so very sorry

        B.)  Jesus god how old are you???

        • DeepCough

          That’s right, I’m as old as Jesus :P

          • Tuna Ghost

            Baby Jesus.  No Child Left behind was gearing up when I was in my second or third year of University, and I’m not even middle aged.

  • Anonymous

    Good. That way we won’t have to kill you; you’ll kill each other for us.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    hehe unfortunately we also raise more kids who are excited for shit to hit the fan, and might even have the desire to egg it on (btw… the generation  of kids with this mindset should be coming out of college right… about…. 3 months ago?)

  • Meme Hershberger

    You are a total moron. This is not accidental teaching of anything that needs to be real. This is the creation and support of an artificial environment  (such schools do not spontaneously occur in nature) that operates in the way of the jungle. We’re supposed to be a species evolving to new and better ways of preventing the shit from hitting the fan. Instead, we imprison our young and indoctrinate them in unhealthy dynamics and criticize countries whose schools aim to create educated, constructive, happy citizens.

  • Anonymous

    A lot of it out of envy?  Only from the misinformed in the Third World who want to end up in Hollywood.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    “Materialistic Sociopaths” have a greater drive for sucess and know how to get what they want. Sometimes determination is more powerful than knowledge.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    Evolution is the process of adapting to adverse circumstances. We have plenty of fast food and blue collar jobs for those who can’t adapt to the system, and those who do make it are adapted to become the most powerful people in the world, because they proved they can tough it out in the “jungle”. Cultures all over the world have intitiation rituals where they send their children into the wilderness in order to prove their ability to become adults. We do the same when we send our children into the school system, instead of holding their hand along the way like the Finns. Try putting a Finn out on the street, and then see how well they do compared to someone who has sucessfully survived the American school system and see who comes out on top (even though the pale skinned blue eyed “Aryan” Finns’ appearance would probably give them an unfair disadvantage from the get-go).

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    How does personifying antagonistic viewpoints in order to get a better grasp on the borderline psychotic political discourse in this country make one an A** Hat?

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    Thanks for “getting it”. Growing up in the heart of the Bible Belt, I have a sense of how people on the far-far- right see the world. With the 2012 elections coming up and things already running off the rails of the proverbial “crazy train”, I predict the debates this election cycle are going to be out there. My vision of the near future is this: Think back to one of the craziest non-internet political discussions you’ve ever heard; at a party, a diner, a bar, on public tranportation, the DMV; then imagine the participants of that conversation wearing suits and standing at a podium on national TV. The debates in this cycle will make the 2008 election look like a discussion between distinguished gentlemen with top hats and monocles drinking Earl Grey. I think it’s safe to say anything one can imagine being said will be said plus more, so it’s good to get a head start on what arguements are going to be thrown around. 

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but in order to achieve “success” they are willing to very nearly kill other people for it, among other transgressions of a serious nature that civilisation and society generally regard with strong disdain. The success model in education can only be utilised in a deeply totalitarian setting. What you are positing reminds me of “Battle Royale” (novel/film/manga). It is a conception from the darkest recesses of speculative fiction, and needs to stay there. You say you are simply arguing an alternative point of view, but your posts seem laiden with the conviction of truth of ideology.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but in order to achieve “success” they are willing to very nearly kill other people for it, among other transgressions of a serious nature that civilisation and society generally regard with strong disdain. The success model in education can only be utilised in a deeply totalitarian setting. What you are positing reminds me of “Battle Royale” (novel/film/manga). It is a conception from the darkest recesses of speculative fiction, and needs to stay there. You say you are simply arguing an alternative point of view, but your posts seem laiden with the conviction of truth of ideology.

  • Anonymous

    All this success is at the expense of the rest of us. What you’re praising is covered not even a couple articles below that explains why that kind of thinking is a *bad* thing. 

    http://disinfo.com/2011/08/a-view-from-the-top-one-percent/#disqus_thread

    Unless of course you’re hoping to lord over the rest of us chattel, that’s the only thing I can think of that would make anyone try to justify the status quo. 

  • Anonymous

    All this success is at the expense of the rest of us. What you’re praising is covered not even a couple articles below that explains why that kind of thinking is a *bad* thing. 

    http://disinfo.com/2011/08/a-view-from-the-top-one-percent/#disqus_thread

    Unless of course you’re hoping to lord over the rest of us chattel, that’s the only thing I can think of that would make anyone try to justify the status quo. 

  • Anonymous

    about 75% of the overweight, sandals and sock wearing, monolingual americans i have ever seen abroad would be the first to fail ANY test in “street smarts” so your entire premise is complete and utter bullsh*t.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone under 30 who’s paying attention should know we’re totally fucked. 

  • Anonymous

    Anyone under 30 who’s paying attention should know we’re totally fucked. 

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    The top 0.1% got to where they are by playing the game, playing it right, and playing it dirty when they had to. They understand the law of the jungle, accept that this is the way of the world, and structure their ambitions accordingly. Remember, nice guys finish last. Those who complain about the top 0.1% having all the power should reexamine how they ended up at the bottom and learn lessions from those who came out on top. These lessions can be learned by negotioning the social politics in the school system. Remember, it was always the a**hole jocks and backstabbers who were always the most popular. Those not in the “in” clique are marginalized so they either turn into whiny emo kids or focus on ways they can beat the system by being sucessful in their own way; through academics, music, or vocational skills. It’s a harsh system but one must either roll with it or roll out, as is the American way. Those that roll with it will become the future leaders because they have what it takes to beat the odds.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    The success model works for totalitarian societies, but even better for capatalism, because in capatalism it’s a dog eat dog world. The sooner our children realize it’s a dog eat dog world, the better. The Finnish style system would not work in America because it would cause children to have unrealistic expectations about the “fairness” of the working world. The workforce is full of slanderers, backstabbers, ballbusters, and haters. It’s the same as high school.  It has been that way since the beginning of time and won’t be changing soon. In the workforce, it’s usually not the hardest working or the smartest that get on top, but the ones who are willing to step on others toes and play dirty. Instead of shelter school children from this reality, we need to put them to the test so they will either figure out how the world works and come out on top, or learn to accept a lower position in life.
      Once again, playing Devil’s Advocate here; if my post seem “laiden with conviction of truth of ideolgy”, it’s because I grew up in the heart of the Bible Belt, and have heard similar arguements made with “conviction of truth of ideology” even before the recession. It is my suspicion, based on the way the political discourse is going in this country, that these ideas are going to be heard in mainstream discussions soon. 

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    PS, Battle Royale sounds like something I might want to check out.

  • Anonymous

    The world only “is” a certain way because we’re willing to tolerate it, or *unwilling* to find a better way. Money isn’t going to do much to help those greedy fucks when the majority of people realize we outnumber them by BILLIONS. Let’s see how fit to survive they are when they’re overrun by a horde of people screaming for their blood. 

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    That’s where the 25% who aren’t “overweight, sandals and sock wearing, monolingual” come in. These are the one’s who went though the school system and “got it”. They are the elite of our society, because they managed to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and take the intiative to learn things on their own and earn enough money to travel abroad. Despite not having a school system that gives them the skills to travel to another country, or living somewhere like Europe where traveling to another country is as easy as making a trip from St Louis to Chicago, they still find a way, through adaptation. So our system doesn’t produce as many people who are good at traveling abroad, but on the other hand if we have to move to a bad neighboorhood in our own country, we have the street smarts to deal with it. America needs to keep it’s tourism dollars inside the country anyway. This is a big enough country with enough to see here that most people never have the need to travel abroad.

  • Anonymous

    Isolationism has never historically proven to be a successful policy. even less so now with the advent of the internet and globalisation.
    The public education in your country is falling apart. Keep telling yourself it works but it does not; some americans may have street smarts but most do not. The ones who have become the ‘elite’ are those that practice the most regressive and sociopathic ideologies in existence. You would be hard pressed to find a more misogyinist, racist, anti equality group (whether dem or repub). If capitalism is your mantra, you have abandoned your soul for green paper, and the technocrats in washington have definetly done so.

  • Ironaddict06

    1. In the U.S. you can not teach or mention anything about religion, god, or gods.  Both Right and Left are guilty.  The Right want only Christianity taught, and the Left don’t want any mention of Christianity or any gods.  So you have a large portion of the population that is clueless about the rest of the world and their believes. 2. Their needs to be Vocational path available for students that allows them to graduate. 3. What to do in Urban schools?  I don’t have an answer to How.  The problem is a culture problem.  .

  • Ironaddict06

    1. In the U.S. you can not teach or mention anything about religion, god, or gods.  Both Right and Left are guilty.  The Right want only Christianity taught, and the Left don’t want any mention of Christianity or any gods.  So you have a large portion of the population that is clueless about the rest of the world and their believes. 2. Their needs to be Vocational path available for students that allows them to graduate. 3. What to do in Urban schools?  I don’t have an answer to How.  The problem is a culture problem.  .

    • Jin The Ninja

      You have further problematised the issues with your positions. Oh and your last implication was racist.

      • Tuna Ghost

        Not necessarily.  The claim that urban culture doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on education isn’t racist per se, but the claim that minorities are the authors of their own misfotune because black people simply don’t care about school is pretty ignorant.  Urban culture didn’t arise in a vacuum, there are reasons it developed the emphasese it did and to say “it’s black people’s own fault that test scores are typically lower in inner-city schools” is pretty damn racist.  But I’m not sure that was IronAddict’s claim. 

  • Anonymous

    It is almost to a T the education system you imagine, a totalitarian future japan sends groups of 9th graders to an island, where a televised battle takes place between the students who are forced to wear exploding collars.

  • Anonymous

    In my mind totalitarianism and capitalism are related, if not brothers then cousins. People have not historically organised in a competitive model.

  • Anonymous

    You have further problematised the issues with your positions. Oh and your last implication was racist.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I think its better that not everyone “gets it” though, the anger and passion makes the conversations much more interesting. It also causes to think more about what you’re saying seriously, which is exactly what you’re trying to do.

  • Mr Willow

    The public education system has been gutted until religious schools look good by default…not because the education is really better…but because the kids usually get home without losing any blood.

    I can completely vouch for this. 

    I have gone to religious schools my entire life (except the year I spent in college). Not only is the education not better, it is decidedly worse because there is always a vague, theocratic vein running through almost every lesson, one does not learn about evolution—I was actually taught creationism—even as an alternative, there is no comparative religion class, nor is there any sort of philosophy. Even history lessons and political classes are looked at through the lens of ‘Why did God do this, or allow this, etc.’ from time to time. 

    The only true commendations I can offer is that one is almost guaranteed to be in a safe environment (there were still incidents, but tempers always rise), and with all the emphasis on the church there was also a great respect for the arts. Of course, I couldn’t draw or paint whatever I wanted, but I do so love depicting angels. 

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    Once the elite are overrun by a screaming horde, there will be those amongst the screaming horde who will become the new elite, and so the cycle continues.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

     “The ones who have become the ‘elite’ are those that practice the most regressive and sociopathic ideologies in existence.”

    So this goes to show that regressive and sociopathic ideologies are a formula for success.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I had a friend that went to a religious school, and was taught creationism, and told how stupid evolution was.

    When she got to college and actually had someone explain it in the real terms, and she thought it was a perfectly reasonable theory.

    I always imagined her original understanding of it something along the lines of Mr. Garrison’s explanation of evolution

    sorry, Mrs. Garrison at that time
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzF5aQ8X-hA&feature=related

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    Example:

  • DeepCough

    Here’s something no one–NO ONE–learns about in school: the difference between “education” and “learning.” When a child learns something, it is an active experience in which the information is accrued by hands-on activities that encourage the child to figure out a problem or concept. To be educated, by its own voice, is a thoroughly passive experience where a child must accept information dogmatically without any explanation to its efficacy and will only be able to remember it long enough for a test. I came from the No Child Left Behind schools of the Bush Administration, and the latter effect has done nothing but discourage the smart ones from further schooling and has helped put the dumb ones in college with cheating, because the test scores of the student have become far more important than the child’s learning ability.

  • Anonymous

    That is dependant on your measure of success. If by success you mean material wealth, then yes. However if you measure success by intellectual or artistic production or community engagement then no.

  • Anonymous

    That is dependant on your measure of success. If by success you mean material wealth, then yes. However if you measure success by intellectual or artistic production or community engagement then no.

  • Okarin

    i liked the book lord of the flies, it reminded me of the real life inspired hollywood highschool movies

  • Okarin

    i liked the book lord of the flies, it reminded me of the real life inspired hollywood highschool movies

  • Nuggett

    I too was raised in the Bible belt and agree whole-heartedly that the far right believes in the white collar jungle and group-think inspired rat race.  To some degree, they almost despise individualism and raw talent, because it distracts from a good understanding of base communal survival and social warfare.  

    If one is unwilling to forego his honest artistic ambitions for the endless sociopath-laden “la scala” to the apex of wealth and influence, then unfortunately for him, he will not reach those coveted heights.

    But, hypothetically speaking, I’m not so sure that it is unfortunate for him; the artist, the linguist, the musician, the architect, or the creator to be left out of the ranks.  In fact, I don’t believe such worldly prestige to be at all covetable.  

    Fortunately, for those hard-working, brilliant and less ruthless people, their environment is infinitely more conducive to mental, physical, temporal, and spiritual freedom than that of the “determined” hard worker willing to “do whatever it takes” to reach the top 1%.  Because, with a no-holds-barred sentiment, one loses conscience as well as sensitivity to their world.  Red becomes less red.  Good champagne becomes mediocre champagne.  Great champagne becomes good but nothing spectacular.  Friends become team members, and eventually, competitors, and often, enemies.  

    To paraphrase:  In the end, who really is more powerful?  A slave to the mirage of power through the accumulation of paper protected by a cohort of likeminded slaves?  Or, an individual, unmotivated by the fleeting and temporary indulgences of cheap entertainment,carnal sex, or belonging to a publicly esteemed (feared) group, who can delight in the freedom from sadistic, demoralizing ambition to concentrate on other, more noble and fulfilling causes?  

    Money is not power.  That is, this is what I would say to a person who is not playing the “Devil’s Advocate.”

  • Micho_rizo

    You’re making the assumption that success = being in the top .01 percent. From my perspective, most of the top .01 percent suck at life, but they’re very effective sociopaths. But they’re not happy, they will never be happy. They can never have enough…of anything. Look at how they hoard money. You think being worth, say, $100 million would be enough for these asswipes. But it’s not, for some godawful reason. They can have $100 billion and it still wouldn’t be enough.

    Sounds like a miserable way to live, to me at least.

    In the words of Chuang Tzu, “Leave me. I’d rather roll around in the mud with the pigs!” Freedom of mind is worth more than any amount of power, cash, material possessions.

    One of the arguments I always try to make is they top .01 percent is more dependent on us than we are on them. That is why they do everything in their power to blind us to this fact. We have the power. At any moment we can say that we don’t need whatever it is that they are offering (and, for the most part, we don’t). At any moment we can decide to use a different means of trade than the American dollar. At any moment we can decide to wield the power that the majority has.

    But we won’t, for many complicated reasons, but mostly because the top .01 percent has done a bang up job of blinding us to the fact that they depend on us, not visa-verse.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I came out of a private, upscale christian high school with a ridiculous tuition and the focus there was still primarily on standardized testing.  Test scores can be used to justify the ever-increasing tuition, so that much won’t be changing any time soon in private schools.  Test scores (and subsequent acceptance into universities) are also used to rank schools, so “education” really takes a back seat to making sure the kids fill in the right circle on the SAT or ACT. 

    As a teacher, I’m now privy to things even more shameful.  Class restructuring so that under-performing kids (never mind if they have a learning disability or a shitty home life or anything like that) are placed in what amounts to remedial classes are are then excempt from the standards to which they’re supposed to be subject, blatant adjustment of althlete’s grades, the racism of lowered expectations for minority students–all of it is well known, and nobody gives a shit.  Its goddam ugly, I can tell you that. 

  • Tuna Ghost

    Not necessarily.  The claim that urban culture doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on education isn’t racist per se, but the claim that minorities are the authors of their own misfotune because black people simply don’t care about school is pretty ignorant.  Urban culture didn’t arise in a vacuum, there are reasons it developed the emphasese it did and to say “it’s black people’s own fault that test scores are typically lower in inner-city schools” is pretty damn racist.  But I’m not sure that was IronAddict’s claim. 

  • Tuna Ghost

    Hmm, my private christian school experience was different from yours, apparently.  I think there are a couple kinds of schools like this–one created with the primary purpose of having children educated in a “proper” religious environment, which means teaching creationism and whatever else, and one created with money as the primary goal.  Mine was the latter.  

    The difference in terms of experience would be that I actually received a good education.  My school’s tuition was outrageous (it was actually more expensive than any of the universities I went to), which meant the school could fund things like ACT/SAT prep courses and have smaller classes with modern, constantly updated teaching materials.  Plus, since its a private school “associated” with the Church of Christ, it could pretty much do as it pleased when it came to keeping the average test score up.  That meant if a girl got pregnant she was immediately kicked out, but the father, in a true sign of Christian compassion, was allowed to stay.  Pregnant teens’ scores might start dropping, or she would end up not going to college right out of high school, which could pull down the school’s local ranking.  Also, as we were constantly reminded, “sluts don’t belong in a christian school”.  We had mandatory Bible classes and no other theology or philosophy courses available, but creationism wasn’t taught in science class or anything stupid like that.  There were private christian schools in the area that received funding from, say, Southern Baptist organizations but ours was only “affiliated” with the Church of Christ.  That meant we had to follow that particular sects stupid rules (for instance, shorts were not allowed to be worn at any school function.  Dancing was forbidden, which meant no proms, only banquets.  Musical instruments during church services were also forbidden.  We weren’t even allowed to clap, because clapping was considered an instrument) but the school could ignore them when it was convenient.  

    I guess that depending on one’s definition of “education”, its debatable whether or not we received our parents’ money’s worth.  I did become very adept at taking tests, which I feel is a valuable skill.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I came from the No Child Left Behind schools of the Bush Administration…
    A.)  I am so very sorry

    B.)  Jesus god how old are you???

  • Tuna Ghost

    Therefore we need a system that will ensure enough potential soldiers, with the street smarts developed through the school system, to protect us from our enemies. 
    If this is true, then why are the armed forces getting most of their numbers from the bottom 10% of society?

  • Tuna Ghost

    Several points: 

    Aside from the fact that “book smarts v.s. street smarts” is a ridiculously simplistic way to view education and intelligence, why are you under the impression that America’s education system is somehow unique in this regard? 

    Where America falls short in teaching science in math, it makes up for in teaching kids social politics, the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, and pulling yourself up by you own bootstraps.

    How exactly do you see America’s schools teaching these things, and why do you think other countries are not?

    the ones that come out on top of the gauntlet of our school system rise above all others in the world, because they had to fight harder and take a whole lot more crap to be sucessful. Those who make it are the ones who are truely dedicated. Also, the “law of the jungle” aspects of our schools ensure we produce better soldiers, cops, athletes, and physical laborers than any country in the world.

    If you’re drawing a distinction between “book smarts” and “street smarts”, then how do you measure success in the latter?  How can you tell who comes out on top using “street smarts” as the yardstick?   How can you tell who’s “made it”?  Also, it is very obvious that our Armed Forces favor quantity over quality when it comes to recruitment, as does Law Enforcement.  Physical laborers???  How on earth does either street smarts or book smarts make for better physical laborers?  In all countries the educated are the least likely to take these jobs.  Add in the fact that the US has been steadily outsourcing jobs like these to other countries and that most companies hire illegal immigrants for this sort of work.  

    Basically, it sounds like you just made all this shit up and can’t provide a shred of evidence for any of it.  That’s not what “Devil’s Advocate” means, I hope you realize.

  • Tuna Ghost

    If you think candidates are going to argue that the US’s shitty schools make for smarter, better equipped students, then you are seriously mistaken.  Also, out of touch.  Also, not very bright.   No candidate with a prayer of winning would make any of the arguments you have made because a.) they’re absolutely ridiculous, b.) don’t have a shred of evidence to support them, and c.) it would make them sound like an idiot.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    I would recommend it because its a fine film, but for the love of god please don’t try to pull any lessons on education out of it, or use it for justification for any of your ideas.  I’m looking out for you when I tell you this.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    If you don’t hear these arguements from the candidates, you’ll hear them from pundits on Fox News, talk radio, maybe even on the morning news. That will be how they test the waters to see how such messages would be recieved by public. It all starts out with the “Fly the flag up the pole to see who salutes it” approach. If it works for the pundits, then it might work for the candidates.
       Pundits and politicians come up with ridiculous arguements all the time these days with no shred of evidence. I could try to dig for evidence, but why, when these arguements will likey be bought up by at least some sector of the population even when presented without evidence.
       In age where Michelle Bachmann openly says she thinks Hurricane Irene was sent as a message from God,  Rick Perry holds open prayer conventions with no regard for seperation of church and state, and pundits are arguing that welfare recipients and people on disablity need to pay their fair share of taxes, one can only assume ridculous arguements without shreds of evidence are soon to be par for the course.
      

  • Lbtical

    Actually if you take a sub-population of the United States that is similar to the Finnish cultural and SES make up you will find that our test schools are better than Finlands. America is unique in that we take everyone, from all the backgrounds and cultures. This is why it doesn’t make since to compare us to foreign schools.

  • Lbtical

    Actually if you take a sub-population of the United States that is similar to the Finnish cultural and SES make up you will find that our test schools are better than Finlands. America is unique in that we take everyone, from all the backgrounds and cultures. This is why it doesn’t make since to compare us to foreign schools.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    “It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster’s body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.”

    -Carl Jung, “On the Psychology of the Unconscious” (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35
     

  • Sdkfjsdkjfs

    unless you take an initiative to learn now days your right, but don’t assume every kid is like that just because that’s all you read on the internet. I’m a senior this year in a small shitty school but I take it upon myself to try and learn everything I can…in and out of class. The teachers can’t stretch out there arms either cause they’re limited to an agenda. There isn’t a social emphasis to learn and be educated other than “attend college and make more money than a guy at mcdonalds”. So it’s really a social problem that our schools are like this, and have been like this since early 1900’s to train factory workers.

  • Andrew

     “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” — Abraham LincolnHence, the decline of America.

  • Anonymous

    My education was int’l schools and jesuit school on and off throughout my life- jesuit school ain’t got nothing on what you are describing. Damn i feel for you.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    but…but…I like carnal sex…can I keep that and still be ever so vaguely rebellious???

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    but…but…I like carnal sex…can I keep that and still be ever so vaguely rebellious???

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I understand your taking the devils advocate position for the sake of argument…and I’ll do the same for you here.

    There’s a key flaw in your proposed defense of America’s ‘style’ of teaching. Perhaps our children have to scramble desperately for tidbits of useful knowledge in a defunct and outmoded system…and this in turn prepares them for a very hard world…

    …but the Finns don’t have a very hard world into which children enter…because they’ve been sufficiently endowed in large enough numbers with the creativity, decency and tools to live and sustain a better world and better lives for themselves and others…

    …while America’s style actually only sustains the horror for longer periods…like all of our lifetimes.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    (…truth be told…our tourists are the nouveau-rich retirees with time and money on their hands because they made their fortunes before our economy collapsed. You’ll be cursed with far fewer of them as the years go by…since fewer and fewer of us have the wherewithal to travel…although many retain the abominable fashion sense and inability to grasp more than one language.)

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    not to mention the ultimate yardstick of sustainability (not in the hippie planet sense, but in the eventual economic collapse sense). By that measurement…America’s path to ‘success’ has crashed and burned with only a few survivors.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    How very Hegelian of you… lawl.

  • Anonymous

    by referring to citizen public as the “screaming horde” you are perpetuating the same anti-democracy myths that are re-enforced by the ruling classes.

  • Nuggett

    Yeah, me too.  Ok, carnal sex is a shared indulgence.  Rebel-status remains intact.   

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Didn’t pick up my cynicism on the web…I went to an underfunded school in the 80s…complete with cancellation of all electives except football, complete closing of bus routes, termination of school lunches and 40 kids to classroom. My firsthand experience with subpar education left a lasting mark. I read because I love to read…my real education was found in the classics my parents bought for me. You and I have that much in common…

    …but I don’t excuse the parents and administrators and politicians who contributed to the disaster. They had the power to prevent that collapse…and didn’t exercise it until after the fact (specifically…when they had to prepare their kids lunches and drive them to school for a semester. That shit motivated a lot of people to vote yes on the next school millage…because it inconvenienced them personally…when they should have given enough of a fuck about their kids to act before things reached crisis level.)

    And I admit…I’m still bitter about it all. 

  • Mr Willow

    Seems pretty similar to me.

    Our classes were small, but most of our materials were out of date (though not horrendously so).

    The policy regarding pregnant teens was exactly the same.

    We also had mandatory Bible classes, and now that I think back, I do recall a very brief instance of comparative religion (it lasted one day) in which the entire premise was to devalue all the other religions ‘opposed’ to Christianity. The exercise did nothing except further spread misinformation about other religions (for example, we were taught Buddhists worshiped Buddha *laughs*).

    We couldn’t dance at school functions, but my school did have a band (no instruments sounds absolutely terrifying to me, especially no clapping. . . weird).

    Don’t get me wrong. I received a decent education. By that I mean we were given (mostly) accurate information in regard to biology, chemistry, mathematics, history, etc. But all that information was tainted by the idea that God, Jesus, and the Bible needed to be at the center of every bit of everything. I use creationism as a good example. I was taught about cell structure, and different species, and so on and so forth accurately, but when it came time to relate them all or discuss their origin, it just went back to the garden of Eden and that everything was as it is now and nothing ever changes. The real trouble is sifting through all the information and finding what is and isn’t accurate academically (and doing a bit of self-study).

    I do, however, greatly disagree with you that taking tests is a valuable skill. I feel that to be the least beneficial aspect of any and all schooling, and yet it seems to be school administrators focus. All testing does is quantify how much one has memorised. It requires very little thought, per-sé. I would very much like to see tests done away with.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have a problem with monolingualism or retirees persay, it is when it is accompanied by the attitude of superiority and lack of even basic politesse in (foreign) social interactions.

    Not to say it is just an american phenemenon but i have seen it most often demonstrated by americans (and canadians as well), and the socks and sandals thing i can’t even pretend to understand…lol;)

    i will admit that because i’m multi racial and raised in several cultures my perceptions may be a bit broader in scope, but i can’t understand when people travel they do not even attempt to discern basic practices indigenous to the area. I have seen americans/cdns bargain for ridiculously insignificant amounts in places where bargain is not really acceptable, and would make nearly no difference to the buyer.

    As for the economic circumstances of people who are not able to travel, I definetly am feeling it myself, more than ever, but i hope people do still travel and expose themselves to the broader world which is still pretty cool minus starbucks, mcdicks, the gap….

  • Anonymous

    great point, i should have mentioned;)

  • DeepCough

    That’s right, I’m as old as Jesus :P

  • Tuna Ghost

    Well done.  Now explain how this supports any of the claims I’ve taken issue with.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    In age where Michelle Bachmann openly says she thinks Hurricane Irene was sent as a message from God,  Rick Perry holds open prayer conventions with no regard for seperation of church and state, and pundits are arguing that welfare recipients and people on disablity need to pay their fair share of taxes, one can only assume ridculous arguements without shreds of evidence are soon to be par for the course.
    Bachmann is pandering to a huge voting block, Perry has every right to attend prayer meetings under the the law, welfare recipients and people on disability do need to pay taxes on any income they receive.  What does any of this have to do with your ridiculous ideas?  Nothing you’ve just listed is strange or controversial.  Some of it is frustrating, yes, but absolutely none of it lends any credence to your ideas or to the notion that anyone else suscribes to them.  

    You still haven’t answered any of the very valid questions I raised earlier.  I suspect this is because you haven’t actually examined your points in any detail.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    The top 0.1% got to where they are by playing the game, playing it right, and playing it dirty when they had to.

    Except for the substantial amount of inherited wealth, of course.  But I’m sure you knew that.  After all, you’ve come across as so…well informed.

    There are many reasons why using high school as a metaphor for the business world doesn’t work, but I think the easiest one to bring up is one word: Teenagers.  High school is full of them, and they’re dumb, full of hormones, and in most cases completely unaware of who they are, who they want to be, or what they want to do.  Acting as if you don’t learn any of those things, or that they’re not a very important difference, shows a staggering ignorance of reality.  Or that you yourself are a teenager, or have the mental capacity of the same.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    What percentage of american society now lives or has ever lived “on the streets”?  What does that even mean?  Are you suggesting that the Finns can’t hack it in the modern business world?  That’s the logical conclusion of your argument, after all.  They couldn’t learn “street smarts” (whatever that is, you haven’t given us any real definitions beyond vague notions of moxie or gumption) in their schools because its not “dog eat dog”, they couldn’t make it on the streets in America because its “dog eat dog”, and those that don’t learn street smarts in schools end up unsuccessful.  Since the Finns don’t learn street smarts, they shouldn’t be successful in the business world, which is similar enough to American high schools that one can be used as a metaphor for the other.  Therefore, Finns are not successful in the business world.  

    I suggest you look up how the country is performing in the business world.  You know, do some actual research.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    Finally.  Fuck.  By this guy’s argument, Finn’s can’t be successful in the business world because its dog eat dog (just like American high schools!  Its a totally apt metaphor, y’all!), which is an idea not borne out of reality.

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    It means maybe I wasn’t playing Devil’s Advocate so much as personifying the “shadow” side of the subconscious; the “other” within; the “crazy right wing nut job” that exist in everyone who claims to be a moderate or liberal who came out of the Bible Belt or other convervative background.”Devil’s Advocate” sounds better than “Arguement through personification of shadow aspects of the subconcious built upon psychic repression of one’s cultural ‘other’ .”
       Also, I wrote a lot of this out of a sort of politcal Rule 34 principle; R 34 being the proposition that any wierd sexual perversion you can imagine exist on the internet; and my addenum to R 34 is that any wierd political ideological perversion that one can concieve is out there. Even if I “made all this shit up without a shred of evidence”, the idea wasn’t so much to prove a point as to present a sort of early warning based upon what I think may be the type of fringe thinking that may soon become mainstream. These ideas may not get any further than the Glen Beck/Rush Limbaugh/Mike Savage sect, but my view these days is to never underestimate how much of the fringe has the potential to become mainstream.
       When I started this thread I assumed everyone would be like “go home troll” but the fact that it actually started a discussion shows how even a someone who’s just off on a rant but has percieved conviction can bring fringe ideas into mainstream discourse these days. So now imagine a pundit going on Fox News during a debate about budget cuts:
       Pundit One: I say everything’s on the table this year, even school funding
        Pundit Two: That’s absurd, how are we going to stay competive as a society if we cut school funding
       Pundit One: How about this. I say when it comes to school funding less is more.
       Pundit Two: That’s insane, look at Finland, they prioritize education, invest in their children, and turn out some of the best and brightest students in the world.
      Pundit One: I beg to differ sir. By best and brightest, you mean the ones that score highest on tests. What our school system will teach is self reliance, self preservation, personal initiative. There’s no test to measure that.  We do not have the money to educate like the Europeans. Big deal, what’s important is that we prepare our children for this new era we live in, the era of lowered expectations. We have to adjust our goals and think about what’s really important these days, and it’s not so much book smarts that’s important these days but street smarts.
       Pundit Two: You can’t be serious, you actually think that making things tougher on our kids will help society?
       Pundit One: I say it’s all a matter of adaptation. We are facing adverse circumsances in the world today, so we must produce students who can adapt to to unfavorable conditions. Instead of coddling students like the socialist Finns, we need to challenge out youth to be prepared to survive the jungle. Instead of providing more for students, we help them help themselves by giving them less.

    And so it begins. Maybe they’ll get a bunch of hate mail and the idea will be shut down. But maybe the blogs will lights up, and people will say, “That Pundit One had a point you know. It may be hard to swallow, but we have to think of the reality of the age we live in”. If that happens and the “survive the jungle” arguement becomes a popular conservative talking point, then it’s a matter of time before someone’s campaign adviser takes notice and says, “you know, this might work.”
       Maybe I’m wrong but we can only wait and see how off the wall things get. It’s anybody’s guess at this point. In a politcal scene with Dominionists and other formerly fringe ideologies pushing into the spotlight, one can only expect the unexpected

  • Anonymous

    Obviously  Finland School is the best school in the world.
    http://ertiub.net/foro/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=302580

  • Anonymous

    Obviously  Finland School is the best school in the world.
    http://ertiub.net/foro/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=302580

  • Tuna Ghost

    Baby Jesus.  No Child Left behind was gearing up when I was in my second or third year of University, and I’m not even middle aged.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Oh for fuck’s sake, we’re already at the “a-ha, my ridiculous ideas weren’t what I claimed them to be, and I have no evidence for them, and they’re completely off-base, but that doesn’t matter because it was part of my plan all along to get a discussion going!  A discussion on how very wrong I was and am about everything I’ve written!” 

    Dude that is a pretty standard strategy of guys who don’t bother to think about the ideas they get while high before sharing them with everyone.  You haven’t blown any minds, you haven’t provided us with a single shred of valid information beyond “I think this is what people will say in the future” with no evidence to back that up either.  Next time do just a bit of research before jumping into a discussion. 

  • Tuna Ghost

    Didn’t you hear?  He’s not playing Devil’s Advocate.  He’s actually personifying the shadow self, the unconscious mind, the crazy right-winger inside all of us!  He’s making ridiculous arguments and providing information that has no basis at all in reality and has come to a conclusion that has been proved wrong!  All that so we could have a discussion!  He’s been pulling the strings all along, don’t you get it?  He’s not talking out his ass, he’s playing Coyote! 

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    the line between the two is so thin as to not be existent. Whether he does or doesn’t believe what he’s talking about, SOMEONE might, and the discussion is still made to the same extent. The conversation is what matters, and this is one of the few situations where intent is moot. (unless of course he DID believe what he was talking about and he ALSO had power to act on said beliefs)

  • Devil’s Advocate for America

    U Mad?

  • Devil’s Advocate For America

    But wait…HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS HIGH? WHO DO YOU WORK FOR???!!!!

    ..gasp!

  • Devil’s Advocate For America

    But wait…HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS HIGH? WHO DO YOU WORK FOR???!!!!

    ..gasp!

  • Johnnysmith1

    I think that luxuries facility is the best for the best world school.
    http://saintzwar.com/forum/upload/member.php?u=155847

  • Anonymous

    I think that luxuries facility is the best for the best world school.
    http://saintzwar.com/forum/upload/member.php?u=155847

  • Anonymous

    I think that luxuries facility is the best for the best world school.
    http://saintzwar.com/forum/upload/member.php?u=155847

  • Santa Claus from Funland

    Unfortunately they don´t pay to teachers as much as doctors or lawyers in Finland, not even close.

    And why Finland has the best school system in the world, I would put it this way: Finland has one of the best educational systems in the world if we speak about systems effectiveness of brainwashing people to come obedient part of the society, not questioning anything and believing everything that authorities tell to them. In other words in Finland we have very effective system of manufacturing human beings as well oiled parts of the rat race.

  • Santa Claus from Funland

    Unfortunately they don´t pay to teachers as much as doctors or lawyers in Finland, not even close.

    And why Finland has the best school system in the world, I would put it this way: Finland has one of the best educational systems in the world if we speak about systems effectiveness of brainwashing people to come obedient part of the society, not questioning anything and believing everything that authorities tell to them. In other words in Finland we have very effective system of manufacturing human beings as well oiled parts of the rat race.

  • Anonymous

    Because this school has great and Luxuries facility and good education system.
    http://couponmega.org/prweb-coupon-code/

  • Crystal smith

    It very great and Luxury Facility in the world class air conditioned school.Everystudent is give the response about school is positive.
    http://couponjet.org/wayfair-promo-codes-wayfair-coupons-and-coupon-codes.htm

  • solitary_of_today

    They aren’t afraid of putting the kids who need it in special education. In many countries, social integration is more important than actually learning these days.

  • Anonymous

    They aren’t afraid of putting the kids who need it in special education. In many countries, social integration is more important than actually learning these days.

  • Anonymous

    Because great and Luxury Facility have been Present in the school .every student have raise the benefit of that facility.
     http://couponmega.org/exclusive-wayfair-promotional-codes-wayfair-com-promo-code/

  • http://twitter.com/RalfLippold Ralf Lippold

    Diversely populated countries like the U.S., Canada, or Brazil have the amazing chance to enable the collective, collaborative education – if they adapt their education in (bootstrapped) changes that enable pupils and students to play to their strengths. We experienced this in really small sparks at our coworking experiment here in Dresden, where at http://flickr.com/CoOrpheum (embedded in the larger project http://flavors.me/LockSchuppen) we saw the energy when people are enabled to learn to their own interest and pace.
    If you are interest to learn more – let us know.

  • http://twitter.com/RalfLippold Ralf Lippold

    Diversely populated countries like the U.S., Canada, or Brazil have the amazing chance to enable the collective, collaborative education – if they adapt their education in (bootstrapped) changes that enable pupils and students to play to their strengths. We experienced this in really small sparks at our coworking experiment here in Dresden, where at http://flickr.com/CoOrpheum (embedded in the larger project http://flavors.me/LockSchuppen) we saw the energy when people are enabled to learn to their own interest and pace.
    If you are interest to learn more – let us know.

  • Visitor

    These comments lack a scientific basis. Every country thinks they have the best soldiers and the best workers.
    The Chinese think their workers are best.
    The US military has not been terribly successful lately. The PISA scores indicate that the USA is falling behind in the international comparisons. The US accepts high levels of poverty which are not seen on better performing education systems.

  • Visitor

    These comments lack a scientific basis. Every country thinks they have the best soldiers and the best workers.
    The Chinese think their workers are best.
    The US military has not been terribly successful lately. The PISA scores indicate that the USA is falling behind in the international comparisons. The US accepts high levels of poverty which are not seen on better performing education systems.

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