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To: YHAOS; metmom; Alamo-Girl
I stuck in the bit about humanities being dehumanizing as a bit of a tweak. I think of word-manipulation, including my own, as a fairly low level of human thought. Human, but barely so. We learn to speak as infants and learn to read and write very young. Word manipulations are used by the dominator classes, the lawyers, the politicians, the clergy, the talkshow hosts, the suits, those who would tell us what to do and think. I just find it generally pretty empty and absent of meaning. Math, the sciences, and engineering, OTOH, make more sense to me. They convey meaning to me. They provide me with evidence, by conveying meaning, that there is another human at the other end of the communication, in a way that often the word-centric domains do not. When I hear the word-manipulators croaking out their dominator-class nonsense, I recognize them as human, but just barely, and I sense that they are trying to drag me down, dehumanize me, not uplift me with fresh insights and meaning.

Of course most kids read and write poorly. They're even worse at math, though. The point is, people can think up complete nonsense and package it in words, and need little more than a third-grade education to do so. Further practice at reading and writing makes their words more elegant, but in most cases appears to add little to their cognitive content.

Bennett - he's full of opinions and obvious enthusiams, but I haven't seen any serious thought out of the guy. He does argue well. I just don't put much value on that. He's a suit. He talks like a suit. When I hear him it's just nails on chalkboard for me.

I guess it comes down to a "two cultures" divide (C.P. Snow's term for a problem he identified but expressed badly). I'm constantly astonished that people would privilege word-manipulation over an understanding of natural sciences and math. To me that seems like inverted values. Likewise (or just more specifically) I wonder why anyone would privilege philosophy over them. I don't see philosophy as foundational. To me it's an epiphenomenon that surfs on other, more substantiative fields, almost as a, dare I say, parasite. (First humanities "de-humanizing," now philosophy a "parasite!" I'm in trouble now...)

"...self-evident truths and the consent of the governed ..."

I don't know what it is about these evolution things that cause people to go all nonlinear and start making snide insinuations about one's bona fides as a normal patriotic American. What next? Accuse me of not liking apple pie? Kicking puppies? Liking the French?
195 posted on 06/04/2007 7:00:39 PM PDT by omnivore
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To: omnivore; metmom; Alamo-Girl
You continue to astonish. First, in an earlier message you admit that there is a lot of “leftist politically-motivated drivel” in our schools, and go on to excuse “the science/math/engineering communities” as being the least politically corrupted of the disciplines. But then you acknowledge enough exceptions to take the sting out of your observation. With me, the point is who controls the money in academia? Scientists of impeccable virtue? Not hardly. Marxist/Socialists who intend, with increasing force, to continue to push their “leftist drivel”? I believe so. Don’t you think your passion is misplaced by quite a wide mark? That was my point when I expressed my astonishment at the intense passion Scientists bring to their arguments with Conservative Christians, in contrast to the marked indifference with which they seem to view the Marxist/Socialist garbage which infests our schools and universities. I would think that you would be engaged mightily against those who intend to become your Marxist/Socialist masters. But you’re so focused on your little Evo War with the “Fundies” that apparently you’re blind to anything else. So far, you’ve entirely missed my points. Don’t be so intensely focused on your Evo War when you’re crossing a street. You’ll never see that delivery van.

Now, you confess that most kids read and write poorly (and do math badly as well); a point that departs from your earlier remarks. The point being . . . what? That they really don’t need to read and write better than poorly (although one might wish they would do better in math)?

The astonishment just doesn’t end. In your latest epistle you also confess that you “stuck in” the dehumanizing humanities bit just to be provocative. Word-manipulation, you call it, which you describe, including your own manipulations, as a fairly low level of human thought. Yeah, I think you’re right; spin is about as low as you can get, at least in terms of human communication. Dr Goebbels was its most ardent practitioner, although he has many equally ardent rivals today. Spin might sometimes actually require a fairly high level of thought, but only to produce the same very low product. Then, you recant and again describe the humanities as dehumanizing. More spin? It looks like I wasn’t very far off when I questioned your sincerity. Outside the natural sciences and math, you apparently can conceive of no communication above spin, including your own.

May we take you at your word and assume everything you have to say is essentially spin?

I don't know what it is about these evolution things that cause people to go all nonlinear and start making snide insinuations about one's bona fides as a normal patriotic American.

I don’t know what it is about these discussions with science-types that they seem to think it’s always exclusively about them and evolution. Maybe it’s because they can conceive of nothing else that could possibly be of some degree of importance. Do you have a context? Might it have anything to do with a statement something like, “in the absence of experimental proof science can accept nothing.”? If that is the case, the response had nothing to do with being nonlinear or snide. Try to think of some other possibility. That’s all the help you get.

211 posted on 06/05/2007 3:38:49 PM PDT by YHAOS
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