quarta-feira, 30 de maio de 2007

Something to be seriously pondered…

Study: 38 Percent of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion

CHICAGO – In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago's School for Behavioral Science concluded that more than one-third of the U.S. population is neither entitled nor qualified to have opinions.

"On topics from evolution to the environment to gay marriage to immigration reform, we found that many of the opinions expressed were so off-base and ill-informed that they actually hurt society by being voiced," said chief researcher Professor Mark Fultz, who based the findings on hundreds of telephone, office, and dinner-party conversations compiled over a three-year period.

"While people have long asserted that it takes all kinds, our research shows that American society currently has a drastic oversupply of the kinds who don't have any good or worthwhile thoughts whatsoever. We could actually do just fine without them."

In 2002, Fultz's team shook the academic world by conclusively proving the existence of both bad ideas during brainstorming and dumb questions during question-and-answer sessions.

From The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Quite an apprehensive situation!

Depending democracy so much on the making – and, of course, on the makers – of public opinion these days, what will become of our societies if people keep on not wanting to know anything whatsoever about what is happening around them?

In Portugal, should we for instance close down schools once and for all? The question is rather provocative, I know, but so many huge mistakes have been being made – and still go on being – as far as education is concerned for the last say 25-30 years that I honestly see no defensible alternative…

Shut them down altogether for good, and tell parents overtly what they've always believed in: 'Schools are good for nothing!'
They may not say it, but they do think so. Otherwise they'd be so much more committed to making their progeny realise schools are no places 'to have fun'. If you have to have fun at all you go anywhere else, but not to school. At school you work, for crying out loud!

Meritocracy?! Information and knowledge society?! Are they joking?! How only, if no sense of responsibility is involved in the growing up process? It is not fomented, it is not developed, and no one cares anymore whether or not you have principles or act according to a set of values. 'Rubbish from the past', that's what they think, parents and children alike.

Let them sit all day long playing obnoxious videogames.
Maybe they'll eventually learn something after all.
By osmosis.
And – the main thing – they'll be having fun.


16 comentários:

T-Bird disse...

You do know what The Onion is? Sort of a literary Mad Magazine. Or have you understood this and written in this manner -- in which case I should be embarrassed at my not getting it.

In America many kids do sit playing video games all day getting fatter and fatter and fatter and fatter by the hour. You see massive 12 year olds waddling with burgers and shakes in hand looking fo=r the nearest couch to crash on for an evening of TV and Video games. Nothing that a national calamity would not forcibly cure.

I am in one of my apocalyptic moods tonight, if you could not tell.

RIC disse...

Hello dear Will!
Do you mean this info from Chicago about the study is false?! Forged by The Onion?!
In any case, I really couldn't care less, to be honest. It suited me fine to develope my reflexion about what has been happening here in Portugal with younger generations for the last years. And my analysis has nothing to do with falsehood! I can assure you!
This is a rather serious matter to me. I'm not joking nor being ironic. And I don't see what there is in it that is not to get!
As to Kristeva, that's quite enough, thank you!

(As you can see, I'm not in the best mood either...)

Have a day as great as possible! Some times it just cannot be...

kevin disse...

Young people have different pressures nowadays I think. Where young people in the past had a good welfare system to help them and provide for them, we are seeing a movement away from that system to a system where housing is getting to expensive for young people, education is also getting too expensive for them and transportation like petrol is also getting to expensive for them.

I think young people have a new set of pressures which they have to deal with that we never had.

I hope young people survive this phase of civilisation.

Kev in NZ

RIC disse...

Hello dear Kevin!
Young people are nowadays facing terrible pressures indeed, no doubt about that. What my generation may have taken for granted, theirs has to find out how to get it. True.
The problems I've tried to portray in a gretesque way, I admit it, begin at a much younger age, at school, where you're supposed to make the best of it for your own benifit in the future. That's exactly what's not happening around here. Is it because employment is hard to get that you're going to throw your whole school career into the dustbin? With the stupid excuse that learning and studying lead nowhere? Having fun all the time anywhere has turned into a style of life...
That's why we - I mean the Portuguese - have such poor scores as far as anything related to education is concerned... We're at the backdoor of Europe, due in great part to an unbelievable lack of interest for anything whatsoever dealing with education. And, I should add, this is a problem of several generations, not the youngest one alone.

It is Portugal, dear Kevin, I am talking about, not any other country or in general.


Catatau disse...

Este país sentou-se e não há quem o levante, que desde o nascente ao poente, este país sentou-se. Temos um grande problema cultural: a negligência e a desvalorização da cultura!

RIC disse...

Olá João M.!
Alvíssaras! Alguém que NÃO acha que eu tenho a mania dos exgeros!
Que um estrangeiro não entenda o problema, justifica-se. Mas que portugueses com formação e responsabilidades olhem para o lado, encolham os ombros e se resignem, não entendo e não aceito.
São hoje já várias gerações irmanadas no desprezo pela educação e pela cultura.
As escolas em geral não serão boas, mas se não se exigir delas mais e melhor, o descalabro só se acentuará. É assim que uma aluna do 6.º ano crê que «punir» é sinónimo de «matar»... Está muito dito...
Um abraço amigo! :-)

Ricardo disse...

E como está, meu amigo?

Espero que bem... sabe... achei alguns dos seus comentário meio... ácidos, no meu blog...

Em momento algum o que eu escrevi teve a intenção de fazer mal a ninguém...


RIC disse...

Olá Ricardinho!
Peço-te desculpa pela acidez... O tempo por aqui já devia ter melhorado há muito, mas... continua frio.
Não tive a intenção de te atacar a ti - por causa daquela frase -, mas sim o que a própria frase é: discriminação insultuosa, geralmente usada para arrasar alguém.
Também não me senti atingido enquanto leitor, nota bem, apenas pensei que seria o momento oportuno para pôr mais pessoas a pensar sobre uma coisa que, apesar de trivial, não deixa de ser, para uns quantos menos fortes, bastante acabrunhante.
Mais uma vez, se acaso te magoei, as minhas desculpas. :-)
Aliás, todo o texto é muito bom! Mas confesso que aquele final mexeu comigo...
Abração e beijão! :-)

Kapitano disse...

The Onion is a satirical magazine, publishing articles that look plausible at first glance.

Often they make explicit what is implicit in contemporary scientific or political discourse - as in the article you quote.

Here's two articles which show what the homophobic religious right are really saying, behind all their evasions and platitudes:



As for closing down the schools, I think the usual answer to that suggestion is: "If the schools are bad, the answer is better schools, not no schools."

Perhaps America and Europe have created nations of idiots, because idiots are (supposedly) easier to control. And perhaps they're now finding they don't know how to cope with millions of idiots.

Bernardo Moura disse...

Caro Ric,
depois coloco um comentário em condições.

kevin disse...

Hey Ric,
I think the problems are not just restricted to Portugal. Indeed i think it is happening in many western countries around the world. We seem to get a lot of apathy here where teenagers think, the best kids are the rich kids and because they have good parents who know the right people only the rich will get the best jobs. Therefore the normal teenages are not motivated to improve themselves.

I hope the sun is shining for you on this late Wednesday night for you.

Kev in NZ

Shadow disse...

Bem...Este 'post' dava umas horinhas de conversa. Fica agendado (sem data, lol), o «debate». Tal como Cuba ;-)

Fora do contexto do édito: Tenho vindo a reparar na coluna à direita do teu blog. Está, cada vez mais, interessante.



RIC disse...

Hello Captain!
Thank you so much for your enlightening comment. Innuendos don't help or benefit anyone.
The article I quote somehow set off a chain of thoughts I decided to present in a rather grotesque, exaggerated way.
The problems with the school system as I see them right now are of a more complex kind since they were brought about by the whole Portuguese society. It has less to do with better or worse schools, better or worse teachers, or even the youngest generation rather than with a state of mind that pervades society and just doesn't see the point of an education.
Better schools won't solve these problems as long as this mentality is dominant.
Some times you have to say some truthes in a rather false way. It's just a rhetorical device.
Not being able to cope with millions of idiots is another reason for the growing importance of the Pacific...
Thank you so very much once again, dear Captain. I wouldn't ever be for closing schools. And yet, they're being closed in Portugal. And teachers are unemployed...

RIC disse...

Caro Bernardo, farás como melhor entenderes e te aprouver.
Um abraço! :-)

RIC disse...

Hello dear Kevin!
Your words are on the one hand rather comforting; on the other, however, they confirm what I know and all the fears brought about by that very knowledge...
It's a rather poor common-place to say the western world has changed so much more in the last 20 years than we are able to deal with the obvious signs of that change.
As to the sun, I always try to find the sunny side of the street while going through life...
Best wishes, dear friend! :-)

RIC disse...

Olá Carla!
Obrigadinho por me dares folga! Depois de ter feito um valente esforço para passar para Inglês as minhas razões, tenho agora a cabeça a deitar fumo e o moral de rastos...
Faremos como bem dizes: agendaremos uma conversa «sine die».
Ah, a barra lateral!... Um investimento em «coisas» especiais, ou seja, mais um retrato meu... Obrigado!
Beijinhos! :-)