Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    97
  • comments
    98
  • views
    50496

Untitled

Sign in to follow this  
caffeineaddict

212 views

I've become increasingly frustrated recently about the state of education that I notice around me.

Technology, math, science, and computing are, and probably will remain to be, topics of discussion among a small(ish) group of people, typically referred to as 'geeks' or 'nerds'. I tend to consider myself to be in this category, as would probably many of you here. I don't claim to be the best at any of this stuff, but I do enjoy learning about it. The majority, however, do not seem to.

Reading, or the lack thereof, is another thing that i've noticed. People just don't do it! I read constantly, be it novels or otherwise. Right now, for example, i'm reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, a very good introductory book to string theory!

I read an article recently about an author that went into a bookstore and asked young people that passed by who their favorite authors were. Many of them said that they either "Didn't read anymore", or that they didn't like to read. Again, very unfortunate.

Tonight, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, I saw a clip from a segment that they called "Point, what's your point?" Now, I realize that the show is pretty scripted, and the main purpose of it is entertainment, but the responses of the 2 young people that they had seem to represent the vast majority of young people today.

Asked how many books they thought people should read in a year, one responded "I don't read." The other responded by saying that reading was too much work because you "have to move your eyes and stuff." The clip went on to have other questions with equally uninformed or pathetic answers.

Again, probably very scripted, but others out there would probably have very similar responses to these, which I think is, again, very unfortunate. From those that I experience around me, many have no concept of current events, reading for pleasure, or the general pursuit of knowledge.

I know that many have tried over the years, but I wish that there was a way to get people more interested in the sciences, reading, and everything in general, rather than just being absorbed in the frivolous things in life when they could devote attention to more imporant things.

Sorry for the rant, but the segment on TV just struck a chord with me!
Sign in to follow this  


8 Comments


Recommended Comments

I wouldn't worry too much about the people here. I can almost guarantee we all read something or are willing to learn. Intelligence is a funny thing that's difficult to measure. Some are talented in other ways we may think frivolous. I watch David Letterman hehe.

Actually, on a related note, it's really hard to get interesting news these days. Have you read cnn.com lately? All of it is pretty much trash--freak occurence of the day story. Are we turning into a tabloid society?

Share this comment


Link to comment
I watched that as well, and I thought it was a sad bearing on the state of public education. Granted, that segment was the "Best Of" members from his Jaywalking skit, wherein he finds stupid people in Burbank and asks them questions they have no hope of answering.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Hey NickGeorgia, i'm just down the road in Augusta [smile]. I have read CNN and, yes, it is pretty much trash or the "freak occurence of the day."

The tabloid society thing seems pretty accurate to me. There's so much trash on TV. I do watch the news, but more often than not there's very little substance to it.

There seems to be a woman missing every month, just something to fill the airwaves. This is not meant to detract from their murder or what have you, that's certainly bad, I just think that better things could be covered.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Quote:

Technology, math, science, and computing are, and probably will remain to be, topics of discussion among a small(ish) group of people, typically referred to as 'geeks' or 'nerds'. I tend to consider myself to be in this category, as would probably many of you here. I don't claim to be the best at any of this stuff, but I do enjoy learning about it. The majority, however, do not seem to.

Reading, or the lack thereof, is another thing that i've noticed. People just don't do it! I read constantly, be it novels or otherwise. Right now, for example, i'm reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, a very good introductory book to string theory!


There's really nothing new about any of this. It's not exactly a recent development. When was the last time you picked up a skein of yarn and knitted a baby's blanket? When was the last time you reloaded a case of shells for a rifle? When was the last time you rebuilt the transmission in your car/truck/whatever? When was the last time you went rock climbing or spelunking? When was the last time you grew a garden?

Not everyone on the planet has the same interests as you. Don't expect them to. Just because you happen to find things such as string theory interesting, does not mean everybody else should; it would be quite the terribly boring world if it were so. There are other ways of learning and growing that don't actually involve reading books, so climb down off your high horse for a little bit and try to accept that. I'm not saying reading is bad (quite the opposite, I read a lot myself). But expecting everybody around you to hold the same interests and values is silly, and this contempt that you have for people who don't share your interests is unhealthy.

Share this comment


Link to comment
No, this isn't a recent development, just something I decided to rant about. I never said that having different interests than myself was a bad thing. Of course it would be a boring world if everyone had the same interests.

My point was based on the education system that i've seen around me. Perhaps it's the way that material is presented to students, but many of them shy away from reading, the sciences, and what have you. It's quite a privilege to be able to read, and when I see people say things like "Oh, I don't read because it's too much work, i'd rather watch a movie." That sort of thing bothers me. Even though the people may be able to read, they don't.

No, I don't expect people to have the same interests as myself, and I have no idea where you got the idea that I have contempt for people that don't share my interests. My rant was really towards young people and the educational system, perhaps that didn't come across clearly enough, but it was.

This is, in my mind, akin to the lack of many women in computer science and math. It's not some genetic predisposition of women to not want to be in math and science, it's how the materials are , or have been (this sort of thing could be changing), presented to girls. I've read papers that said girls were generally given less attention in math and science classes, and were steered, though unconsciously, by their parents and teachers towards more nurturing careers such as teachers or nurses.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Sorry for coming down so hard on you, man. I just get tired of hearing all sorts of extremist views about how the world is in a downward spiral, people are getting dumber, etc... I've been hearing a lot of it lately (much of it with an anti-American slant, hence the elevated level of my irritation) and so it's starting to irk me a bit. People are people, the same now as they ever have been. Some are willfully ignorant, some aren't.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Yeah, no hard feelings.

Quote:

Some are willfully ignorant, some aren't.


That's something worth thinking about. I hadn't really thought of it in that way, but it is very true. Thanks for the input on the topic either way though [smile].

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now