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The PR bubble, the “culture of stupid”, and “Smart is the new Cool”

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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26 June 2013 22:20
 

Odds are we can make some really good guesses about the people who visit this forum…

- Most probably own a lot of books
- Probably a higher than average percentage of college graduates
- Probably a low percentage of strict creationists

This forum exists in a self-selecting bubble. When we have discussions here we’re all - to some degree - “preaching to the choir” (sorry).

Stepping back (for those of us who live in the U.S.), we live in a culture that has basically glorified being stupid:

- Saying you’re a person of faith is seen as a virtue
- Our education system is failing [Khan academy is seen as awesome rolleyes  ]
- Creationism is gaining ground
- Evolution is widely doubted

You know the story. Dumb is cool. What? Strange but true.

There are some exceptions - many box office hits do have smart heroes (Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes…). But that’s the exception.

So the question is, how can we start a cultural shift so that: “Smart is the new cool” ?

[ Edited: 26 June 2013 22:23 by icehorse]
 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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27 June 2013 02:17
 
icehorse - 26 June 2013 08:20 PM

So the question is, how can we start a cultural shift so that: “Smart is the new cool” ?

Get rid of the dumb people.

 
 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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27 June 2013 11:24
 

I think I’d prefer a ‘culture of kindness” than a “culture of smarties”. 

I don’t know how to accomplish that, either.

 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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27 June 2013 12:26
 

Most people who are smart, or at least enlightened, are also kind.

I think an enlightened world is better than a smart world. We do have many smart idiots. The American GOP for example.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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27 June 2013 12:47
 

“Enlightened is the new Cool”

I like it! (And I think kindness comes with enlightenment)

How would you define it, does enlightened mean open and rational, i.e. the opposite of dogmatic?

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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27 June 2013 14:41
 

Sure. Rational, skeptical and compassionate.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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27 June 2013 21:58
 

I’m not going to attempt to be politically correct here. There is a high correlation between “the Bible belt”, and “red states” and “states where corporal punishment is legal”. This is where “enlightened” is a rarely used term. So for now perhaps the bible belt could be a target?

How to do gentle, indirect, psychological Jui-Jitsu on Bible belters? I was thinking about comedians like Jeff Foxworthy. He’s got an “in”.

 
 
nv
 
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nv
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27 June 2013 22:54
 
icehorse - 27 June 2013 07:58 PM

I’m not going to attempt to be politically correct here. There is a high correlation between “the Bible belt”, and “red states” and “states where corporal punishment is legal”. This is where “enlightened” is a rarely used term. So for now perhaps the bible belt could be a target?

How to do gentle, indirect, psychological Jui-Jitsu on Bible belters? I was thinking about comedians like Jeff Foxworthy. He’s got an “in”.

The Dixie Chicks remain unforgiven by their former redneck fans, according to Natalie Maines. (Not her exact words.) Some people don’t take well to instruction or positive modeling.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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28 June 2013 00:00
 
nonverbal - 27 June 2013 08:54 PM
icehorse - 27 June 2013 07:58 PM

I’m not going to attempt to be politically correct here. There is a high correlation between “the Bible belt”, and “red states” and “states where corporal punishment is legal”. This is where “enlightened” is a rarely used term. So for now perhaps the bible belt could be a target?

How to do gentle, indirect, psychological Jui-Jitsu on Bible belters? I was thinking about comedians like Jeff Foxworthy. He’s got an “in”.

The Dixie Chicks remain unforgiven by their former redneck fans, according to Natalie Maines. (Not her exact words.) Some people don’t take well to instruction or positive modeling.

It’s why she wrote this…I think it pretty much says everything:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHH8bfPhusM

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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28 June 2013 01:50
 

Dixie Chicks: interesting case study!

What was the final outcome? Some mad fans, ok. Long term issues for the band? And who knows how many minds they opened up?

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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29 June 2013 01:49
 

Ok, that was a dumb post - my bad.

Apparently the Dixie Chicks continue to suffer long term consequences.

But, they were hardly stealthful or subtle in their approach.

 
 
Sailwa
 
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Sailwa
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01 July 2013 11:17
 

I’m by no means anywhere near an intellectual, and i am probably out of the Project Reason bubble as defined in the first post, but even i find myself consciously simplyfying my posts on facebook and ‘dumbing down’ my opinions in front of certain friends.

I think a major problem -and something i think Dennet has mentioned before- is that intelligence can sometimes go hand in hand with egotism , which i think might be the basis for the anti-intellectualism that currently abounds, as most people associate shows of intelligence with pretentiousness. It possibly stems from the nature of the education system: emphasis on simply memorising facts rather than critical and creative thinking, and the alienation of people with more practical skills who aren’t as suited to academic work.

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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01 July 2013 18:44
 
Sailwa - 01 July 2013 09:17 AM

I’m by no means anywhere near an intellectual, and i am probably out of the Project Reason bubble as defined in the first post, but even i find myself consciously simplyfying my posts on facebook and ‘dumbing down’ my opinions in front of certain friends.

I think a major problem -and something i think Dennet has mentioned before- is that intelligence can sometimes go hand in hand with egotism , which i think might be the basis for the anti-intellectualism that currently abounds, as most people associate shows of intelligence with pretentiousness. It possibly stems from the nature of the education system: emphasis on simply memorising facts rather than critical and creative thinking, and the alienation of people with more practical skills who aren’t as suited to academic work.

Arrogance and self-awareness are non-conducive personality traits. In most modern societies people can be “intelligent” enough to be successful while remaining relatively shallow RE: self awareness. I posit social awareness will bridge the gap between its trending proclivity for growing insulted with blind ignorant money and the necessary value it places on success.

[ Edited: 01 July 2013 19:25 by Jb8989]
 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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10 July 2013 00:33
 

Sailwa:

I don’t consider myself an intellectual either - more of an engineer type.

It seems to me from your posts you’re clearly in the PR bubble, you’ll just have to get used to it smile

 
 
bardoXV
 
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bardoXV
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10 July 2013 00:56
 
Sailwa - 01 July 2013 09:17 AM

I’m by no means anywhere near an intellectual, and i am probably out of the Project Reason bubble as defined in the first post, but even i find myself consciously simplyfying my posts on facebook and ‘dumbing down’ my opinions in front of certain friends.

I think a major problem -and something i think Dennet has mentioned before- is that intelligence can sometimes go hand in hand with egotism , which i think might be the basis for the anti-intellectualism that currently abounds, as most people associate shows of intelligence with pretentiousness. It possibly stems from the nature of the education system: emphasis on simply memorising facts rather than critical and creative thinking, and the alienation of people with more practical skills who aren’t as suited to academic work.

In college I majored in Industrial Arts but was required to take English Comp.  My first professor for this course viewed all I. A. majors as Cretins with stone hammers and was determined to not pass any of them if she could help it.  That attitude seemed to be common in the English dept.  But at that time they didn’t really ‘teach’ english comp. they just red marked the papers to prove how bad you were at it.

 
 
Sailwa
 
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Sailwa
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05 September 2013 22:56
 
icehorse - 09 July 2013 10:33 PM

Sailwa:

I don’t consider myself an intellectual either - more of an engineer type.

It seems to me from your posts you’re clearly in the PR bubble, you’ll just have to get used to it smile

Cheers Icehorse, nice to be involved in discussions insofar as i can be. I’m sure i can learn a lot here.

 
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