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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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15 January 2014 22:55
 

Have a good break NicLynn.

I’ll summarize your last post as comparing “choice” to “opportunity”. For discussion purposes, I think we can grant that in most of the U.S. there is sufficient opportunity to learn critical thinking. But it seems to me that in many regions such a pursuit is socially difficult, not abhorred, but maybe mocked?

Hence, back to the OP, how to make the pursuit of learning critical thinking more universally “cool”. Or even, how to chip away at the problem, perhaps making inroads only in specific regions where the idea is only slightly uncool, as opposed to those regions where it’s uncool in a big way.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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16 January 2014 00:59
 
icehorse - 15 January 2014 01:26 AM

What is the goal here?  Are you talking about creating a culture more suitable for the tastes of Icehorse?  Or are you saying that we need more smart people to deal with global warming and other impending crises?  Or is this some sort of utopian vision for the general betterment of mankind?

Not sure what caused the personal attack, I’ll not take umbrage…

I’m just suggesting projects, in the project forum, of Project Reason, whose mission statement includes: “...to encourage critical thinking…”.

This particular thread is meant to explore just that, how to encourage critical thinking. It strikes me that if being smart isn’t cool, then we’re not gonna have a lot of luck with spreading critical thinking.

I’m sorry if I got a little hot.  Of course, critical thinking should be promoted.  However, I see linkages being made between religion and critical thinking and corporal punishment and GMO labeling, for example, that are spurious. 

It seems obvious that people compartmentalize.  Many, many people who believe Jesus will return are superb critical thinkers on other subjects.  They are doctors and lawyers and stock brokers, etc.  The gut feeling that there is a spiritual realm is extremely common, and also probably innate, in humans.  I personally don’t care if someone wants to promote a positive change because he wants to respect God’s creation or for purely secular reasons. 

I also have a quibble with the word “smart.”  It is being used here in the knowledge and reason sense.  But people have different “smarts.”  I refer to “multiple intelligences.”  People can be smart in their musical ability, or their physical abilities (such as dancing or athletics), or interpersonal skills (something I appear to lack at times), or intrapersonal skills (self-reflection) as well as other realms. 

In any case, it is not just good critical thinking and knowledge that will make a better world.  After all, Bernie Madoff did some fancy thinking to reach his high position.  We also need what Sara said—kindness.  If I may hypothesize rationally, I will say that perhaps evolution has preserved all sorts of thinkers because they all contribute to our species’ survival.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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16 January 2014 01:20
 

Thanks Hannah2,

In any case, it is not just good critical thinking and knowledge that will make a better world.

Could not possibly agree more! But it’ll take a LOT of different projects, in different domains, to make a better world. Given the PR mission statement, it seemed this would be a good place to discuss projects to “encourage critical thinking”.

Wanna start other threads to encourage multiple intelligences? To encourage kindness and compassion? Awesome, I’ll be there!

 
 
Mr Wayne
 
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Mr Wayne
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16 January 2014 17:35
 
GAD - 27 June 2013 12:17 AM
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.

I’ve been watching “Chuck” a TV series about nerds recruited by the CIA.  Well in real life we have some hero nerds: think billionaire Gates.
Could a regular “dumb” person ever hope to succeed as a CIA asset or a CEO ? 
Many people have reached high office and while there made us sorry we voted for them.  So high office or celebrity do not equate with real success.

If you ask me, I think of some scientists as very cool: Feynman, Darwin, Pauling.
My wife gave me this list: Obama, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, William Hurt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feynman

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Pauling

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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17 January 2014 07:19
 
Mr Wayne - 16 January 2014 04:35 PM
GAD - 27 June 2013 12:17 AM
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.

I’ve been watching “Chuck” a TV series about nerds recruited by the CIA.  Well in real life we have some hero nerds: think billionaire Gates.
Could a regular “dumb” person ever hope to succeed as a CIA asset or a CEO ? 
Many people have reached high office and while there made us sorry we voted for them.  So high office or celebrity do not equate with real success.

If you ask me, I think of some scientists as very cool: Feynman, Darwin, Pauling.
My wife gave me this list: Obama, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, William Hurt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feynman

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Pauling

Chuck was awesome, Sara was hot and scientists are cool!

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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17 January 2014 20:03
 

I would have been surprised to hear that PRers didn’t think scientists were cool.

It’s the rest of the planet I’m worried about.

 
 
Lance1949
 
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Lance1949
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30 July 2014 10:14
 

quote/ I’ve been watching “Chuck” a TV series about nerds recruited by the CIA.  Well in real life we have some hero nerds: think billionaire Gates.
Could a regular “dumb” person ever hope to succeed as a CIA asset or a CEO ? 
Many people have reached high office and while there made us sorry we voted for them.  So high office or celebrity do not equate with real success.

If you ask me, I think of some scientists as very cool: Feynman, Darwin, Pauling.
My wife gave me this list: Obama, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, William Hurt. /quote

One problem is that we also have a lot of really abrasive intellectuals and Dawkins is a prime example. I agree with his science but I abhor the supercilious way he puts people down who don’t agree with him. Great way to shut off a scared and intellectually untrained mind.

Another problem is, I believe, that a lot of people who shy away from smart people are scared they can’t meet then on an equal fotting because they know they aren’t trained to think clearly or comprehend verbal complexities. Their reaction is to trivialise what they fear they will never understand, taunt those who they believe are their intellectually superiors, react agressively when their values are brought into question - this is a believe a fear response to possible redicule - etc., etc.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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30 July 2014 14:24
 

good points, you’ve inspired me to start a new thread with perhaps a more powerful framing…

A culture of Passion…

 
 
Stagification
 
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Stagification
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22 November 2014 04:46
 
Mr Wayne - 16 January 2014 04:35 PM

Could a regular “dumb” person ever hope to succeed as a CIA asset or a CEO ?


I do want to jump to the other thread icehorse made to extend this idea, but wanted to quickly say that Henry Ford was famously of average intelligence.  Pardon my recollection leaving out specifics:  He tried to sue someone or some periodical that called him dim witted.  He took the stand in the civil case and the defense attorney’s plan was to actually make him look stupid by asking him simple scientific, financial, or business questions, to prove that it’s not libel if it’s true.  After some frustration, Ford said that he doesn’t need to know any of that junk, because with one phone call he could fill his office with subordinates who can answer them for him.

Very, very smart, in a very different way that we’re used to thinking about.

 
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