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Old Feb 8th 2009, 12:08 PM
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Thumbs up Best Post of the Week

This thread is to showcase the one post (that I try to do each week) that I think is well worth reading, either because it is a well reasoned argument or expresses a thoughtful opinion on an interesting topic. I will admit that while I am slightly biased towards the longer posts, shorter posts will also be considered as well as witty retorts or particularly brilliant comments.

That's one of the main purposes of this forum, so I think it is appropriate to draw some attention to some of the best examples - and offer our praise to those who contribute them.

Note#1: I just decided to start doing this and am only considering the posts of the past week. Great posts from past weeks are the inspiration for this new thread.

Note#2: I will NOT be nominating any of my own posts!

Note#3: My apologies for being remiss at keeping up with this thread on a regular basis.

Best Post of the Week Hall of Fame: (this is a running tally of all who have had their posts cited in this thread)

* dilettante (13)
* Greendruid (9)
* Non Sequitur (5)
* Donkey (4)
* The Drunk Guy (4)
* Suibhne (4)
* Dominick (3)
* WFCY (3)
* drgoodtrips (2)
* JHC (2)
* Lily (2)
* pramjockey (2)
* Sucre (2)
* wphelan (2)
* Americano
* Baron von Esslingen
* bug
* Daktoria
* Evangeline
* Korimyr the Rat
* KSigMason
* Margot
* phungus420
* SMadsen
* The Drunk Girl
* Tom Palven
* Zarquon

Last edited by Michael; Dec 30th 2012 at 09:56 AM. Reason: updating
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Old Feb 8th 2009, 12:11 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Best Post of the Week

Here's the first one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgoodtrips in "Michael Phelps Bong Photo" thread
I thought of this thread this morning on my way to work. I often listen to sports talk radio on the way to and from work, and the Michael Phelps had hit there. It was interesting to listen, because the subject inevitably turned to "what do I tell my children?"

It was at this point, as the deejays discussed this subject, I realized the true essence of the cognitive dissonance on the matter that is ingrained into society, and particularly sports. The conclusion that they reached was that the appropriate thing to tell a 13/14 year old who admires Phelps is that he "made a really bad decision". And, I realized the reason for this. There is a basic truth that we as a society, and especially in the sports world, are asked to accept. Marijuana is evil and it will inevitably ruin your life. Ergo, the only way to explain Michael Phelps winning a slew of gold medals and also being photographed smoking pot is that he just did it once. He "made a really bad decision".

Charitably, the deejays agreed that there was no reason to order their children to take down the posters of him, because athletes are human, and they can make really bad decisions just like anyone else. One said his daughter had decided that she really liked him, even if he did something "really, really dumb". Of course, someone who allows himself to be photographed expertly holding a bong is clearly not someone who smoked pot only once. But, never mind that.

In a way, the irony is beautiful. When you parse out the bullshit, the real message here is that the dumb part about this was getting caught, and that the "bad decision" was allowing someone to take a picture. That's the real message here, and the one that anyone with half a brain, including teenagers, will get. It isn't a "bad decision" to smoke pot in any sense of impeding his success - how could it be? The guy's 14 or whatever medals are a testament to that. It's a bad decision in terms of suffering the wrath of society - it's a bad decision because of the clucking done by the various people calling it a bad decision. I doubt those same people would say "boo" if Phelps were photographed sipping a Heineken.

In a way, it sort of reminds me of the claptrap about why homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to adopt children - because other children will make fun of them. In other words, "we're creating a stigma surrounding this and will persecute you, so it's a bad idea for you to do it."
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...5&postcount=10

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Old Feb 15th 2009, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Best Post of the Week

Here's our next entry...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey in "What is Western Culture?" thread
In my experience South American "Latino" culture is decidedly western. Sure, it differs in some way, which is that which makes it "Latino" of course.

I specify Latino culture, because there are other cultures in South America. I would say that the city of Buenos Aires, and probably other parts of Argentina have a culture that is very distinct. It is very European, so that of course falls into the western culture even more so.

The mountains and plains of South America are your standard "Latino" I think, in many ways. Depending on where you are, there can be a lot of indigenous influence, mainly Quechua, such as in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. These peoples self identify as different to a certain extent. I think the mountain cultures are slowly being eroded and mixed with the Spanish Catholic culture, as well as westernized, as globalization sets in. This is a 500 year process though...

It is in the jungle, somewhat on the western side of the Andes, but mostly in the Amazon basin where things get different. There are of course the "sin-contacto" tribes that have essentially nothing of Western culture. Then there are the myriad of tribes and ethnicities (Shuar, Guarani, Quechua, etc. etc.) that inhabit the waterways of the jungle. They hold tightly to their culture and their identity. They are, to a certain extent (at least in Ecuador) brought into the political fold, and it isn't rare to see a "Dale Correa!" sign in a house hours and hours into the jungle. Their own local politics have taken on Western names, and they use western days of the week (which is entertaining because you'll here someone railing along in Shuar and then they'll use Spanish days of the week and and units of time), but I think that to a greater extent they are just nominal applications to a more communitarian political structure which is relatively organic.

They are to a greater extent pacified (though they still proudly talk about one tribe or another's reputation as warriors and whatnot), but I think that for the most part it is safe to say that their culture is relatively intact and not western.

(Lest there be any pretension of the "noble savage," the culture of the jungle can be pretty ugly. It is severly misogynistic and abusive, much beyond the latino "machismo" and I'm not at all sure that the good gets anywhere near outweighing the bad.)
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...1&postcount=30

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Old Mar 1st 2009, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sucre in "US economy dives 6.2%" thread
Yes, fearmongering is what it is but do not forget that psychology is a sound - and badly studied - part of economics.

We have heard both messages : on the one hand the Wall Street arrogant right wingers who bragged American superiority and on the other hand the leftist intellectuals sending warning messages and writing long books on the subject for the last ten years at least.

We knew that the Americans were living on credit, borrowing heavily from the rest of the world but making the rest of the world dependant on their level of comsumption, we knew that the US Trade deficit had already reached not the sky but the deepness of hell, we knew that the financial system was completely disconnected from the real economy, some people might have known that it was under-regulated, we knew that globalisation raises the income of a few while the income of the middle class stagnates at best if not decreases and the poorer become poorer, a few bubbles have burst in the recent past and all serious economists know how Bubbles come to be and what Supercycles and economic waves are (Did you know that Kondratiev got was sentenced to the Russian gulag and excuted because his thesis did not fit the Soviet adminisration ?).

In any case, we knew all this but denied it at a conscious level and went on shopping (at least I did ). And now "The Time has Come" - This is the End of the World we were all waiting for. Not surprising there is an hysteria.
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...7&postcount=14

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Old Mar 8th 2009, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drunk Guy in the "GM at the edge of BK" thread
The problem with GM is that, since the '80s, American car quality has dropped dramatically. Due to safety regulations and "design features," the cost of production has increased dramatically. Cars aren't lasting as long as they used to, but they are becoming increasingly more difficult to afford. You don't see many '90s model American cars on the road (although you can still see plenty '80s or older models).

Meanwhile, Nissan, Honda, Mazda and Toyota are producing good quality vehicles that last 200k+ miles. Not only that, but these brands, until the past few years, were offering "basic" packages on most of their vehicles, making them much cheaper than the "flashier" American products. I think I could skip on the third row monitors and On*Star (which is a fucking evil product anyway) for a reasonably priced vehicle THAT LASTS.

So, no, GM is not going to last in their current format. Does that mean they should close shop? Maybe. Can they alter their vehicle platforms to become more affordable? Can they focus on the motors and chassis that should be the true focus on every automobile? Will the government wake up and see that their innumerable safety regulations are slitting the throats of the automakers? And, ultimately, will Americans buy cars that will get you places without television/media center/GPS/quintuple-side airbags/mp3 player/27 outlets(without one goddamn cigarette lighter)/panoramic windows/massaging seats/retina-scan starters/vibrators?

I would happily pay $10,000 for a new Jeep Wrangler. And they can produce one and profit at that price, but they throw in all the flash and bang which more than doubles the price.

More and more, I feel that the economic collapse is my age group's fault (25-35). We wanted stuff and didn't have the money to buy it, so we financed everything. We wanted the H3s and F150s with all the gadgets they sell with them just as much as we wanted the house next to Mom and Dad's, so we looked for a short cut. And the banks answered with balloon payments and ARMs and tied the noose. It seems that they forgot to tie the other end to the gallows and, instead, tied it around their own neck.

America needs to grow up. My age group needs to realize that we're no longer the kids that watch American Pie and get drunk on the weekends. We're fucking adults with responsibilities and repercussions. Until that happens, we're not going anywhere.

And we all should have a SHTF plan ready for when us assholes have to take control of everything. We may well bounce back from this one, but what happens when our parents aren't around to help us out the next time?
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...95&postcount=5

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Old Mar 15th 2009, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greendruid in "What is Western Culture" thread
My comments were not meant to be a thread-killer but the tide seemed to be stemmed shortly after.

A good chunk of my life has been dedicated to studying Culture in a professional capacity. Ironically for anthropologists, whether they are socio-cultural anthropologists, linguists, physical anthropologists or archaeologists, the one element that ties us together (Culture) is surprisingly the one element that very few of us can agree upon a definition for. This is the major reason I stayed out of this thread in any meaningful way at first because it was honestly a bit of an experiment on my part that presented itself.

There is an old joke that if you get a group of ten of the most brilliant and influential anthropologists in one room they'd emerge with ten different definitions of the word Culture. The same is true of anthropologists regardless of their own origins in Europe or North America or South America or Africa or anywhere it seems. We just can't agree on what it is.

Culture is, to me, an amorphous abstract that is the best means of adaptation that humans have at their disposal. However, I do not believe Culture to be uniquely human. What makes human culture different is that we, as a species, are utterly dependent on it. Not only is it our best tool of adaptation but it is our essential tool of adaptation. Horrifying experiments were done on orphans in the late 19th/early 20th century to see what would happen if children were raised in a zoo-like setting limiting their cultural contact with other humans. The results, in a nutshell, were non-humans. We are the cultural ape and we cannot be anything but. Without Culture, we are not human. Our difference from other animals and their limited but interesting examples of cultural behaviours is one of degree rather than kind.

That being said, what I've defined here is Culture with a capital "C". It is the abstract amorphous thing that defines us as a species. Under the auspices of this word can be gathered such diverse things as shelter, clothing, any object you can point to that is made by people (called material culture), but also lying, economies (sorry, linked those unintentionally), politics, induced states of trance, meditation, music, and so forth. The particular and specific products of each of these tangible and intangible things that make up a group of people's way or flavour of this abstract is a culture (lower case "c"). This is what the OP tries to address but you have all stumbled into the abstract at various points too tedious for me to piece out at this time. This is not a bad thing, I'm just trying to point out that we can't talk about cultures without talking about Culture.

One of the things that makes Culture so annoying to anyone that looks from the outside in at anthropology or sociology is that its amorphousness is both entirely intentional and a functional component of its perpetuation as a tool of adaptation. In order for a behaviour to be classified as cultural it generally has to be transmitted extragenetically from one generation to the next. While this doesn't require language, it is often facilitated greatly through language.


And therein lies one of the two reasons that Culture and cultures are amorphous. Anyone who played the game of “Telephone” as a child knows that transmitting anything through language is an inexact exercise. Remove language and you have an even tougher time replicating the behaviour both as the originator intended it and as the receiver interprets it. The layers of meaning of the behaviour can be grossly misshapen with and without language from one generation to the next, especially when two people don't agree on this. This hints at the second dimension of amorphousness, time.


Over time cultures change. They have to. Investigating the mechanisms of culture change has been the pursuit of every top-notch anthropologist worth their salt since the inception of the discipline. Cultures are built to be changed and when this change is resisted, the culture either changes anyway through the very act of resistance or it dies. The interesting thing about Culture as an abstract is that it provides its own means of change through behaviours. We don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater when we change culture. Just because we no longer execute criminals in Canada for heinous crimes doesn't mean they go wholly unpunished. Just because the Maya no longer practice human sacrifice to their gods doesn't mean they no longer worship their gods or that their gods no longer exist. The very shapelessness of culture, the very fact that it can't ever be totally pinned down, summarised or placed into a box and labelled is both confounding and self-perpetuating at the same time. It is what keeps the abstract … abstract.


So, what then is Western culture? I think this is too broad of a question and that it has to be framed in temporal restrictions. SMadsen made this point very late in the threads and demonstrated that elements that people have identified as belonging to Western culture only apply to certain time periods and even only to certain parts of Western culture. The irony is that many of the things in a list of what elements bear out in Western culture, even if they are long-standing and well-established elements present in a vast majority of the groups included appear elsewhere in one form or another in places you've never heard of amongst groups so small and different in so many other ways it would be pointless to even consider them part of Western culture. What I'm saying is that I don't think many of the things we've identified in this thread are actually unique. What may be argued to be unique is the combination of these elements at a particular time in history.


Let's look at how the experts study culture. Culture is usually broken down into the following broad categories of study:


Religion
Language and Communication
Identity Formation
Family and Kinship
Socialisation
Subsistence Systems
Sexuality and Gender
Politics and Power
Collectivity and Group Cohesion (including legal systems)
Medicine and Perceptions of the Body


These are the most typical ones you will find in any introductory text on the subject. I chose the ones from my own introduction course. In order to proceed on defining what Western culture is I propose that we need to first of all agree on the above list of areas of study about culture and come up with elements that fit into each. We then need to evaluate these based on their merits and applicability to a particular time period, I would propose “the present” as a vague time period that we can debate the usefulness of. I would say that no more than 50 years would be useful to truly categorise a culture. Beyond this you run the risk of including things so vastly out-dated that people at either end of that period would be unrecognisable to each other. This does not mean we have to discard discussion of earlier elements, we simply have to recognise the modern versions or descendants (if any) of earlier elements.


My only warning on this, if some of you are agreed to undertake this course of action, is that we should not get too specific in our language use on some of these. For instance, it suffices to say that a discussion of Christianity's influence in most of these spheres is imminent but that the elements we decide upon should be parsed more vaguely, such as monotheism rather than belief in one God, or religious freedom rather than liberty from the bonds of God's commandments.


Just one more comment that may or may not be helpful. Culture as a tool is probably very old. I would peg it beyond the origin of Homo sapiens and, if we're talking about a hominid reliance on it as I have characterised it in the outset of this post, I would have to say it's at least 2 million years old. In its pre-human form it is probably much older and I would go so far as to say that some of its characteristics date back to the Miocene split of the apes at 20 million years ago. That being said, this long-established tool in our arsenal of adaptations (which is a very limited list for hominids in general and humans in particular) has always had another peculiarity to it that I would cite as the sole reason for every glorious discovery and every horrifying conflict in recorded and unrecorded history. Culture keeps itself intact and has the curious effect of arousing protectionist attitudes in its practitioners at all costs. It is a fundamental tool of our survival and, as such, when it is threatened through the disruption of our particular flavour or brand of it (cultures) we move to protect it. So vehement a reaction, cultural survival is the root cause of every major world conflict you can point to today and I would argue every such conflict before. We are probably hard-wired to create groups of “us versus them” so much so that our versions of cultures are often the winning version of the day in regards to whatever element you're identifying. This does not spell “better” and should never be mistaken for “superior”. I'm making a Darwinian argument in one sense that, for each culture, the elements present often represents what works best in the particular cultural milieu and context that exists for those people at that time. Culture has a way of selecting out things that don't work en masse. The things that are really at the core of popular rejection have laws created against them.


There is the distinct possibility that any of you who have participated up until this point now think I've lost my mind in asking to do this but I think that a proper treatment of the OP requires this. Culture is not only amorphous, it's fucking big! In a strange and wonderful twist of fate, it is the only reason we are here to talk about it.
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...4&postcount=41

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  #7  
Old Mar 22nd 2009, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey in "Metaphysics Model" thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante
I find this intriguing. Can you explain the model farther? Three axes would yield 8 regions, I presume.
Yes, it would yield eight regions. Eight being the regions yielded. It would not yield nine, nor would it yield seven, excepting that you then added an eighth. Ten regions is right out.

Let's see... the idea started with a continuum of "faith" and "doubt" that I conceived of, with the the middle being what I called the "crisis of faith," the point at which doubt overcomes faith, or vice versa.

With the assistance of one of my friends, however, we cleared up some definitions and ambiguities, and added another two axes.

Anyway: The first axis is the continuum of belief and anti belief in the existence of a divine entity. We are not specific as to whether it is a single God, many gods, or whatever. Just the belief in the existence of what my friend (he's a religion major, fwiw) the "wholly other." The farther toward absolute belief you get, the more certainty there is about the existence. The center is lack of belief. The opposite end of the spectrum is absolute certainty that the divine does not exist.

The second axis is faith and doubt. This idea was properly elaborated by my "colleague" and while I understand it, it's a little harder for me to explain again. The best synonym for faith, in this circumstance, is "trust." It doesn't have to refer to a belief in a divine: you can have faith or doubt in god, humanity, political ideology, karma, whatever.

Meaning is a word that I don't particularly like, but I think it is appropriate to use here. This is the third axis. How we defined meaning is "applied implication." If you register high meaning, then "it all means something" and you have a role. Technically the role is not necessarily active, if for you the meaning is inactivity (me telling you to do nothing is not the same as me not telling you to do anything).

I don't know if that makes any sense, so I'll try to throw out some examples (I might be wrong about where I place certain philosophies, so feel free to correct me).

Absurdists, Buddhists, me, and Hitler would fall into the meaning, faith, anti-belief region.

Existentialists and nihilists would fall into the lack of meaning, doubt and anti-belief region.

The pope, my roommate, and a Muslim fanatical extremist would fall into the meaning, faith and belief region.

An extreme compartmentalist would fall into the lack of faith, belief and lack of meaning region.

Is any of this making sense? I hope so. Anyway, I have to run off because I'm getting a free meal. Holler.
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...22&postcount=6

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Old Apr 19th 2009, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bug in "The Morals of Dorian Gray"
Wilde's whole point in writing The Picture of Dorian Gray was aesthetics. The driving motivation for it was art for art's sake, and he advised against trying to make any more out of the book in his preface. However, since humans seem to think that the more harmonious and symmetrical something is, the prettier it is, I can't imagine all the ethical points tackled in the book don't round out to something concrete. All that Lord Henry says, the obvious rewards and punishments, and references to conscience in the book can't be Wilde just spouting flowery words. Trying to make rhyme and reason out of all the contradictions in the book is quite a challenge, but I am bound and determined to see it through.

Lord Henry, seen as the corrupter of Dorian and the catalyst for his downfall, says outrageous things, in Victorian English context. He says that life should lived for pleasure and sensory experience, and morality's only function is to fill us with fear and regret. Dorian decides to make this his life, his unaging beauty making it possible to live out Lord Henry's ideas. He also has the benifit of bodilly disconnecting his conscience from himself, in the form of the painting that bears the physical consequence of his evil. However, the picture torments him in a different way. He can't sleep, paranoid that someone might find it. He checks and checks to make sure no one has been in the room that houses the painting and begins to suspect that everyone around him is trying to see it. So the simple moral of the story could be that you shouldn't live your life in a hedonistic way or you will pay. But that's boring.

I don't think that it's Lord Henry's poisonous words that corrupt an innocent soul. The good Lord H spends his time studying people and questioning the norms that most people just accept. Tapered down and used by a person not prone to extremes, I can't see whats wrong with living for delights of the senses and new experiences. Dorian's faults existed before he adopted this new way of life, and these faults combined with a decadent lifestyle turned him into a montser. As soon as we meet him in the beginning of the novel, he is a brat. He is selfish and whiny. He doesn't like to be told things that make him think or make him uncomfortable. A month later, through the incident with his first love, we see how prone he is to self-deception and justification of his actions. He has a well-developed skill of redirecting blame so neatly that it becomes impossible for him, in his mind, to be in the wrong. Even at the end, where we are finally alone with Dorian and his thoughts (as most of the book has him parroting Lord Henry), we see that he has decieved himself into thinking that, in not doing the absolute worst thing in a scenario that he could have, he was doing something good for the sake of goodness. He can't understand why the picture isn't getting better. I wonder if the whole book is warning against deception.

Even that doesn't work very neatly. Any other book lovers/analysts who've read this gem want to speculate?
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...06&postcount=1

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Old May 3rd 2009, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greendruid in "High IQ - blessing or curse" thread
I spend about 4 lectures in my Humankind class discussing the origins and uses of the IQ tests. They were originally designed by French anthropologist/psychologist/naturalist Alfred Binet in the late 1800s. Binet was a student of Paul Broca, one of the founding French anthropologists. Broca asserted that external cranium size would correlate with intelligence. After gathering some data and leaving out those that didn't prove his theory, he published his data. Binet attempted to expand Broca's data by collecting the same information. Binet didn't lie about what he found though and he trashed his teacher's theory.

Binet went in search of a better measure of intelligence but was never able to find one. In the meantime, he was asked by the French government (I can't remember which branch nor at what level) to design a test that would evaluate children and separate out those who were intellectually less developed for their age than their "normal" counterparts. This performance score was termed the child's "intellectual age" Those whose intellectual ages were significantly below their biological ages were termed "mentally retarded". The purpose of all of this was to be able to put children into two groups. Binet began by assessing the scores by subtracting the biological age from the intellectual age. A negative score would indicate a problem and at a certain level of significance, intervention by the school/teacher would be encouraged to help the student catch up. Binet was corrected in his methodology and a German psychologist (name escapes me) suggested that the intellectual age be divided by the biological age instead. This quotient would then be multiplied by 100 and would better represent the statistical gap in development if there was one. This is why 100 is an average score.

Unfortunately, Binet's warnings about his test, which later came to be called the intelligence quotient test, were rarely heeded. He warned that:

1) This test was designed to assess the intellectual development (not end state) of a child.
2) The scores of children of average scores and above had no bearing on each other - they could not be internally compared because the test questions weren't designed to do this.
3) The questions and answers were greatly influenced by cultural upbringings, so much so that Binet even suggested different questions be developed for children in the different regions of France and even from town to city where an urban and rural setting might represent an influence.

And so, the story continues with several American and European scientists of various stripes doing different things with this test. Most of them to the dismay of poor Binet because none of them took heed of his cautions. Binet recognised that intelligence was such a complex thing that to reify it (and I'm using my 20th century analysis here, not his 19th) into a tangible thing that can be measured, let alone boil it down to a few criteria, was a terrible mistake. It cheapens human intelligence by giving it a single score. It's about like describing a picture by saying, "It's nice".

The most horrifying misuses of the IQ test took place in the United States and Canada - or at least the examples I'm aware of. A psychologist by the name of R.M. Yerkes used a modified version of the test on new army recruits in WWI. He got a huge sample of course once all the bases started to co-operate with administering the test. It was supposed to divide the recruits into the tasks they would be best suited for. The intelligent could be kept back to operate the machinery, the not so intelligent could go to the front lines as cannon fodder. Unfortunately, this ended up dividing the army recruits along very racist lines. White naturalised Americans were the most intelligent, followed by first generation Western and Northern Europeans, followed by Southern and Eastern Europeans, followed by US Blacks. Interestingly, the White naturalised Americans on average ranked at an intellectual age of 13.08, just above moronity!

These test results then leaked into the hands of eugenicists. One in particular, Brigham, a psychology professor at Princeton University, pushed for the restriction of immigrants into the US in the 1920s. This in turn was used by Laughlin in his presentations in congress to support the Immigration Act of 1924. It resulted in as many as 6 million southern, central and eastern Europeans being turned away from immigration into the US.

The amazing thing to me is that those in the US who were in favour of this eugenecist agenda ended up being pretty close to siding with the Nazis in WWII on a cultural level. What a different world it would be if they'd have gotten their way. They had an almost identical build up towards the sort of racism the Nazis were promoting in the 1920s and 1930s. Scary.

The other example is of course of the thousands of Canadians and Americans, specifically those in the state of Virginia, who were sterilised on the grounds that the American population had to be purified and that those performing poorly on an IQ test would water down the nation. This was still going on in both countries up until the 1960s on unwed mothers, prostitutes, children with behavioural problems and petty criminals.

So, at the end of this essay/rant I have to say that IQ ratings are bogus and measure nothing I'm interested in. I have seen the "intelligence" of knowing how to weave a basket and conveying this information from grandmother to grandchild without the use of language - by showing the child what to do with the child in the lap of the grandmother and the grandmother weaving the basket with her grandchild's hands in her own. This was from someone who never learned to read or write. I have heard the "intelligence" of a musician being able to hear a piece of music once and replicate it on their own instrument of choice in perfect pitch without being able to hold a meaningful conversation with other people. Intelligence is almost as amorphous as culture and I shutter to think of the lives that have been lost or irrevocably altered in the name of supposedly being able to measure it. I remain ever skeptical of the efforts by humans to claim to know themselves in this respect. I care not to live in that Brave New World. Intelligence is too big, too varied and too faceted to describe with a single number.
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...79&postcount=7

I doff my cap to a such a fine and thoughtful post!
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Old May 10th 2009, 08:37 AM
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Michael Michael is offline
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Default Re: Best Post of the Week

Quote:
Originally Posted by phungus420 in "Star Trek" thread
I've always been surprised conservatives don't attack Star Trek. I mean you basically have a Humanist Utopian society, without money in what can only be described as a communist economy, going around preaching humanism and fighting or at least resisting the forces of objectivism, nationalism, and religious extremism. The show is pretty much a liberal propaganda piece.
http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...2&postcount=19

A bit lighter topic than our usual selections, but still a thoughtful and interesting post!
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