Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Public school ignorance

Excerpts: Artificial Stupidity by Thomas Sowell

People are all born ignorant but they are not born stupid. Much of the stupidity we see today is induced by our educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities. In a high-tech age that has seen the creation of artificial intelligence by computers, we are also seeing the creation of artificial stupidity by people who call themselves educators.

Educational institutions created to pass on to the next generation the knowledge, experience and culture of the generations that went before them have instead been turned into indoctrination centers to promote whatever notions, fashions or ideologies happen to be in vogue among today's intelligentsia. . .

It was once the proud declaration of many educators that "We are here to teach you how to think, not what to think." But far too many of our teachers and professors today are teaching their students what to think, about everything from global warming to the new trinity of "race, class and gender." . .

Many of today's "educators" not only supply students with conclusions, they promote the idea that students should spring into action because of these prepackaged conclusions-- in other words, vent their feelings and go galloping off on crusades, without either a knowledge of what is said by those on the other side or the intellectual discipline to know how to analyze opposing arguments.

When we see children in elementary schools out carrying signs in demonstrations, we are seeing the kind of mindless groupthink that causes adults to sign petitions they don't understand or-- worse yet-- follow leaders they don't understand, whether to the White House, the Kremlin or Jonestown.

A philosopher once said that the most important knowledge is knowledge of one's own ignorance. That is the knowledge that too many of our schools and colleges are failing to teach our young people. . .

Will Rogers once said that it was not ignorance that was so bad but "all the things we know that ain't so." But our classroom indoctrinators are getting students to think that they know after hearing only one side of an issue. It is artificial stupidity.

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