[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday waffle...

  • From: Paul Stone <pas@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 13:39:17 -0400

>A.A. Today's kids are coddled and spoiled.  I believe in protecting kids
>but also in expecting them to work, not to earn their keep but to learn to
>function in the world, to learn that just being isn't enough.  Life isn't a
>free ride.  But, coddling a kid and encouraging them to higher education is
>not the same thing.

Encouraging a lame-brain to become a doctor is coddling. Saying "you can do 
it" to guy with one leg who wants to be an NBA basketball player is 
stretching it. There is TOO much "positive" thinking and not enough reality.

>A.A. Briefly toiling is self policing so it shouldn't be a problem.
>Staying too long at anything by anyone causes problems.

Self-policing is over-rated and the more 'selfs' that need policing who get 
into a given profession, the more suspect that profession becomes. Higher 
standards, less policing needed.

>A.A. Of course there is, but IQ per se is not indicative of success.  Most
>people are somewhere in the center of the bell curve.  Society is made up
>of most people.

Yes, but there are certain jobs that MOST people can't do. Those are the 
same 'most' that society is made up of. Therefore, MOST people, i.e. the 
society's average dude, can't do that job.

>A.A. If standards are lessened, intelligence doesn't matter.  Even
>intelligent kids have to have information.  If that information isn't
>demanded and taught, intelligence isn't going to put it there.  I don't
>have a problem with raising standards.

Okay, then we agree... on this point.

>A.A.  There is higher and lower intelligence, but life is about far more
>than intelligence.

Of course it is. Life is about more than what job you hold too. We are not 
having [at least we weren't] having a discussion about 'life'.

> > >The lower the standards, the more feeble-minded people get
> > >through.
> > >
> > >A.A. I don't know.  The feeble minded usually know their limitations.
> >
> > Unfortunately, those prodding them don't.
>A.A. Prod away.  If someone can't do it, they can't do it.

But, the thing is, the lower the standards are, the worse that more and 
more of 'those' professionals are, and therefore the actual profession's 
standards go down and therefore, what is expected FROM that profession goes 
down etc. And it all begins with saying "anyone can be a doctor".  Well, 
unfortunately, you're too right, now.

>A.A. Standards are too low, I agree.  So let's raise them.

No quarrels.

>A.A. Teaching is tough.  There are those who would prefer to work on an
>assembly line than teach.  Plumbers might teach geography to fellow
>plumbers, that's possible.  Your other examples show people working below
>their training/ability, not above it, which is I think your original

No, what it shows is that people eventually go to their avocation and so, 
even though they HAVE a PhD, they were meant for the assembly line and it's 
unfortunate that they HAVE a PhD in the first place. That's why I said that 
it cheapens MY degree to have a load of menial task workers with the 
'equivalent' paper qualifications. It's not that they stepped down, it's 
that they never should have been allowed to step up.

>A.A. This is getting repetitive. Some intelligence of course is necessary.
>Just not the amount that you are positing.  Take out the financial
>incentive and see how desirable these professions will be.

I agree for lawyers, although Lawyering DOES seem to attract argumentative, 
self-righteous know-it-alls in the same ratios that salesmen jobs attract 
full-of-shit, won't-take-no-for-an-answer, false-bravado irritants; but I 
think a lot of people aspire to be a doctor because they truly do want to 
help people. I know that I did not become and Engineer for the money. That 
certainly helps, but I could make a whole lot more money in much less 
palatable disciplines. And most people I know who are engineers really 
really do have intellectual curiosity in much greater amounts than your 
average bear.

>A.A.  You overestimate doctors.  If doctors were so conscientious, they
>would counsel lifestyle changes for most problems.  But they don't.  They
>hand out drugs, drugs sold to them by you know who.  That's incompetent and
>lazy in my book.  All tlhe talk about capping malpractice awards isn't
>because doctors are more competent than other jobs.

Both problems you talk about are because of politicians, not doctors. If 
Drs were free to DO their job, they wouldn't have to hand out as many 
pills. If people CAN'T sue you for telling them to run a few miles a week 
instead of writing beta-blocker scrips, it makes you a whole lot less lazy.

>A.A. Again, a tree stump or a turnip can't memorize.  Some basic
>intelligence is required.  Achieving to one's ability is not overachieving.
>Overachieving is the need to impress others with accomplishments.

And, if you have MORE intellectual ability, which I am holding is true in 
most professions, then you are not overachieving. It's the overachievers 
that we need to look out for. And they are becoming more and more numerous 
as the standards go down. They should never be allowed to 'achieve' such 

> > It used to do a better job, when standards were higher.
>A.A. Otherwise known as the good old days.

In this case, it's true.

>A.A. Okay, intellectual talent (I think Steve Cameron's words which I was
>quoting) and intelligence are the same thing.  It doesn't change my

And those are?

>A.A. The home life, tracking kids from earliest years by the schools, etc.
>Lots of kids from damaging home lives where there's violence, etc. wind up
>as behavior problems and are tracked into the vo techs.  It has nothing to
>do with their intelligence.

Well, I agree that poor environment is a detriment to holding back an 
intelligent person just as having George Bush Sr. [not necessarily a 'good' 
environment] as a father is a help in NOT holding you back when you 
probably be held back. But a lot of people who are from 'bad' homes and 
have ability, DO something with their life, just like a whole pile of poked 
and prodded losers from 'good' homes DON'T, regardless of the prodding. 
Neither of those things proves much except that environment can or cannot 
have a positive or negative effect on your life. Whooppedddoooo!


Paul Stone
Kingsville, ON, Canada 

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