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commented on Stone Soup
over 7 years ago
dmhulbert: I appreciate your observations and agree with many of your conclusions. I feel that this debate has gone on far too long for a venue of this type, and expect to close my participation now. I look forward to reading your posts in the future, hopefully we may all meet again discussing ‘the lighter side’, in keeping with the nature of the website.
First of all, you base arguments 1, 2, and a footnote in 6 (George Will) using the logical fallacy of the argument ad hominen. A claim may be challenged only by the validity of the conclusion, not because you distrust the author of the argument.
In point 2, even if the argument ad hominen was not sophistic, you may be interested to know that Wikipedia gives references to many sources that rate his employer Syracuse University and its programs among the top fifty in the country. In cites at Wikipedia, Forbes magazine identified Thomas Edison State College as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults and the college was cited as “one of the brighter stars of higher learning” by The New York Times - hardly an accolade that might be given by the Times to “a fifth rate school”.
Your 3rd point involves yet another claim of your own that is devoid of any specific study design criticism, followed by an anecdotal piece of evidence.
4th, your own arguments to back up your claims for the charity debate consisted entirely of the suggestion that I acquire and analyze a book of your own choice, that re: Point 5, was written by Alfie Kohn, who in my preliminary research (not having his work at hand) has been described primarily as a left-wing leader in progressive education to support your claims; hardly a ‘clean-handed’ or unbiased source.
My final point would be this: The reason I posted a cut and paste review from a partisan source was that I despise debate citation wars, as I’ve mentioned above, and to demonstrate to you the folly of that second party technique; i.e., I too would prefer your own writing to a recommendation that I do my own research in Kohn’s book to back up your claims. I have no idea of the validity of the research your man Kohn has done, whether his work was peer reviewed, has used large population samples, were effectively longitudinal, or were free from design flaws.
Re: the cost of entitlements in the nation and generational spiraling, you can check the rises in costs (which as I’ve noted is my primary concern) in The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008, Historical Tables, total outlays for Means Tested Entitlements from 1962 till the 2012 estimate. The tables will show you the costs in billions of dollars per annum, in real dollars, by percentage of total outlays, and as percentage of the gross GDP.
ps; I will check out the Kohn book as I am interested in all pedagogical theory! with best regards, arceedee.
commented on Agnes
over 7 years ago
Out come the slurpee cups; here comes summer for Agnes & Trout! enjoy, ladies….
commented on The Dinette Set
over 7 years ago
The toast will help fill in the empty spots the omelet misses.
It’s nice to see good people doing the right thing for other good people, maybe more people will get involved in volunteering as a result!
Fritzoid, hi! That’s interesting, because it’s very nearly how the children in the USSR were conditioned in latency age classrooms. I wrote a college thesis on it, but cannot remember the education theory book a Russian-American participant observer living in the USSR wrote on the process (over 25 years ago). The other book I used when writing the paper was LeGuin’s ‘The Dispossessed’, because the children in that novel were also being socialized as collectivists. The Young Pioneers were given a group leader to make certain assignments were done and grades kept up for the group, and even a link or class row leader who would work with a child who was slacking.
The concept behind such pedagogy was intended to get the child to learn early to follow his role model/leaders, and sublimate his individual ego to that of the collective/group. I don’t know how that would play in the US or with parents here, and honestly I haven’t followed the research on the outcomes of early childhood education in the former USSR. If I ever recall it, I will pass on to you the book title on the theory if I see you here, in case you are interested in finding it!
MatthewJB: Mine is an apocryphal story as I’ve indicated in that post, but so are yours unless you can provide non-anecdotal backup for any of these claims: “Liberals give a much higher percentage of their income than do conservatives. Even more interesting: Non-churchgoers are more altruistic than are churchgoers.”
“Watch any group project: Those who care about it will do good work, and that lifts up everyone.”
As for your comment that children will work harder when they’re NOT graded, that is a red herring. The dynamic that I’m concerned about is that people will not work harder when they are assured of receiving the same reward as those who do not put in any effort. One child may teach another addition when he learns it, but I doubt if he would be willing to split up an academic reward, scholarship or money prize he has taken a year - or years - to earn amongst those in the class who have done poor or average work, or who have not completed any assignments.
There can be no practical comparison between the result of socially engineered shared wealth in nations with populations of under 10,000,000 (or 1,000,000), and the result of socially engineered shared wealth in a nation of over 300,000,000 with far larger percentages of dependents, and only the naive would think such comparisons could be extrapolated in any valid way.
Even as those far less populated socialized countries have gained larger numbers of dependent immigrants and their extended families, and their populations have become less homogeneous with fewer people from the home country with shared value systems acclimated to working together for common goals, benefits and entitlements have had to be cut and rationed more extensively with each decade of population rise - do the research.
Thanks for your comments Macushlalondra! Stratification of wealth assumes that wealth is a fixed sum which is divvied out by the powerful. In fact it is flexible, where more wealth can be created with a combination of capital and effort. The threat of blood in the streets is extortion. While such scenarios have occurred in starving populations, in the US the poor (with the exception of the mentally ill and addicted) are better nourished and accommodated (cars, A.C.,video games, computers cable TV, etc.) than most of the world’s population. Everyone is not entitled to be wealthy, and failure is also possible as a function of freedom.
commented on One Big Happy
over 7 years ago
RRAmom: that news story reminded me to again tell my adult kids to teach my grandchildren: if your teacher or school asks you to remove your clothing for any reason - say you must call mom or dad at once, no matter what is threatened, before complying. There was one child who soiled himself because his teacher would not allow him to leave the classroom - no kid should be so cowed as to allow that to happen to himself. A child should respect her schoolteachers above all, except her own sense of modesty and self-respect.
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