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Author Topic: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread  (Read 3523 times)

Hanslanda

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2018, 10:23:54 am »

PTW
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WealthyRadish

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2018, 07:10:07 pm »

This thread seems a bit all over the place and maybe got off on the wrong foot with all the apocalyptic gloom and so on, but I think what is critically important (which the opening post says well) is the need to gain a firsthand understanding of these sorts of issues to a degree that goes deeper than the general circulation and exposure. If looking to form an informed opinion, it really isn't enough to passively absorb all the ambient analysis of information we're swimming in without being able to put it in context with the original material and history of the debate. For any politically or economically important topic there is bound to be a mass of misinformation and unscrupulous motives to sift through before even arriving at the right questions to ask, and reading the relevant literature is essentially the only way to build that basis for critical thinking (and the critical thinking and wide range of prior reading is particularly important, if one wants to avoid becoming a crank or conspiracy nut).

So if this does take up the form of a more in-depth "book club" format, I'm all for it. And if it's just a place to swap and refine our eco-marxist insurgency polemics and recruitment propaganda, that's fine too, but the reading is what's important.
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hector13

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2018, 07:40:04 pm »

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MrRoboto75

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2018, 08:58:57 pm »

And if it's just a place to swap and refine our eco-marxist insurgency polemics and recruitment propaganda, that's fine too

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ChairmanPoo

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2018, 02:21:33 am »

And if it's just a place to swap and refine our eco-marxist insurgency polemics and recruitment propaganda, that's fine too

"We need a slogan!"
How about...

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« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 02:23:18 am by ChairmanPoo »
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martinuzz

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2018, 02:37:44 am »

I'm not a pessimist, I am just wary of optimists.
If not for optimists, telling us for a few decades the climate will be fine next generation because surely we will invent new technology to clean up our mess, we might have seen much more action taken to combat global warming years ago.
Let's just say pessimists are better equipped for long term thinking than optimists.
Hence my sig.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 02:39:16 am by martinuzz »
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Optimists have just used up the last bit of hope. Run for your lives!

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Teneb

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2018, 07:03:59 am »

I'm not a pessimist, I am just wary of optimists.
If not for optimists, telling us for a few decades the climate will be fine next generation because surely we will invent new technology to clean up our mess, we might have seen much more action taken to combat global warming years ago.
Let's just say pessimists are better equipped for long term thinking than optimists.
Hence my sig.
That's not optimism. Just lazy.
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martinuzz

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2018, 12:59:02 pm »

Same. Optimists are just insufficiently informed pessimists. Most likely indeed, because they are lazy.
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Optimists have just used up the last bit of hope. Run for your lives!

Enjoy the freedom to explore the limits of your constraints

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Glowcat

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2018, 02:57:07 pm »

Theoretically our social structures could start re-orienting our collective functions towards sustainability through radical changes that would limit needless excess, such as capitalistic models of growth and demands such as a daily commute, and focus support for technology development not on "market forces" but rather on impending needs such as finding ways to be more efficient with phosphate (rock) and reduce the need for lingering & destructive imperialist methods by a US/"Western"-centric global hegemony whose only major rival is China...

But good luck with that before the planet-wide societal collapse due to the problems which aren't being dealt with.

Optimistic about the possibilities, pessimistic about the practicalities.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 03:01:17 pm by Glowcat »
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ggamer

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2018, 10:17:10 pm »

I'll try and get some of my thoughts down, then expand on them later if I need to.

Intellectual stagnation: requires complete education reform, on all levels except perhaps higher education (and it's on thin fucking ice). NCLB completely fucking brutalized our nation's education system by shifting focus from teaching students methods to acquire knowledge to teaching them to retain what knowledge is given. It makes them reliant on easy info libraries like wikipedia or twitter, while making them less likely to question information and more likely to insert themselves into echo chambers (this is a long running problem, but it's worse now). GWB fucked our generation and we all knew it, now we're just reaping our due rewards.

Political stagnation: I'm sure most of you veterans around here remember I used to be a diehard conservative, but recent political shifts over the past five years or so have made me sick to fucking death of the republican party (it doesn't help that i'm pretty gay). I've actually started to entertain those conspiracy theories; that 90% of top level politicians are pedophilic hedonists acting as corporate sockpuppets and the rest are scrambling for whatever short term gains they can get.

(As a sidenote: 8 FUCKING YEARS BOYS. You had 8 YEARS of bitching and fucking moaning about every Obama-era policy decision made and you haven't done a single fucking thing! the proposals brought forward for a ACA replacement were so rushed it bordered on the fucking asinine. The sheer amount of stupidity and limp dick-ed bravado it takes to trumpet the return of conservative politics and then bungle a healthcare policy proposal when you had 8 FUCKING YEARS to draft it simply boggles the fucking mind.

AND THEN, you had the sheer utter fucking balls to start clearing house of anybody who saw this shit coming! Replacing competence for blind stupid loyalty and having the absolute fucking audacity to act smug about it! If I have to watch one more fucking stupid "hur dur explosions lets trigger the libs" gop ad for the fucking candidate i've been working for this campaign season i'm going to FUCKING LOSE MY MIND.)

Of course, the democrats are hardly any better, because there absolutely brilliant plan to subsidize the healthcare market is leading to another fucking bubble that's gonna pop and lose all of us a shit zillion dollars. Fantastic.

The cause of this is twofold: draconian laws on the feasability of third parties and aggressive redistricting to favour extremist politics. Dodge a jab to the face to take a bullet to the leg. While in theory i'm sure this was meant to reduce the amount of time spent campaigning to allow for more policy work, in practice it's led to the bloating carcass of a legislative we have right now.

I don't really think i'm qualified to talk about societal ills, beyond the effect our horrid education system has had on them. All I can say is that I don't think you can keep something like this going for so long without the whole shitshow turning into a powder keg.

Ecological collapse? Energy and Resource shortage? There's nothing to say there that hasn't been said. we've seen this coming from miles away and we know exactly what needs to be done to fix it.

Consequences of the great game? Not the Great Game, of course. No, that romanticized period had so much more... style, class, intelligence, competence, dilligence, etc. I'd hardly call the blatant economic imperialism of the PRC, the piss poor attempts at regional policing of the USA, and the, well, just normal imperialism by the RF could be worthy of sharing the name of the capital Great capital Game. It's not a geopolitical battle of wills across multiple continents if one is planning on economically slaving Africa, one is planning on just normally slaving as much as it can, and the last is, just, not really doing much planning at all. It's entirely surface play, because the idiots aren't trying to play each other. There's no game to speak of.

ugh.

Reelya

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2018, 10:50:58 pm »

Quote
Intellectual stagnation: requires complete education reform, on all levels except perhaps higher education (and it's on thin fucking ice). NCLB completely fucking brutalized our nation's education system by shifting focus from teaching students methods to acquire knowledge to teaching them to retain what knowledge is given.

I'd say that's a rosy picture of how things actually worked before NCLB. I'm not sure such an educational utopia ever really existed. Sure, it's not wrong that NCLB is a horrid piece of crap but that's a bit too sweeping of a statement all the same.

Though, I'll making my own sweeping statement, the two big problems with NLCB though are the whole thing - the metric is broken and the feedback is broken. e.g. not all metrics and not all feedback are bad, and there's going to be a scale of best-to-worst in terms of the things you could put in there.

NCLB's core metric is "% of students, who score above 50%". Let me explain how this choice of metric (like any choice of metric) can create perverse and distorted incentives. What if you have a student who routinely scores 60% or greater? How much of your resources should you allocated to them? The answer is "0% of resources". You want to spend your resources on kids getting 40% - 60% only, to make sure they hit or exceed 50%. So all of both encouragement and punishment is aimed at those kids, since that's where the reward is. As long as there's a kid in the 40%-60% percentile they get all your resources, because the < 40% kids are too costly to worry about, and so are the 60%+ kids. Therefore NCLB really ensures that the mediocre 20% of kids in the middle get almost 100% of the teacher's attention, with both smart and stupid kids brushed aside so as to not waste time.

The feedback is also broken, e.g. giving less money to schools that have more low-scoring students, who tend to be from poor backgrounds and have worse nutrition. So you cut their school funding, yay. which is really dumb, because schools with more poor students have their funding cut, and that incentivizes parents to move their better-fed smarter kids to schools with the higher remaining funding, which leads to stratification between schools based on wealth.

e.g. the metric is broken because it doesn't reward overall better teaching methods which raise the entire class average. So that's partly why you're seeing short-sighted teaching methods. It's only those 40-50% scoring kids that they need to "push" over the line here, so they're using the minimal method necessary to do that - rote learning. Those kids who are targeted aren't actually talented enough that they're going to ace the test based on improving their abstract reasoning skills. And the feedback is broken, because the thing they're rewarding them form isn't a good measure of "teacher ability", it's a much better measure of the poverty of the child's background.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 11:00:34 pm by Reelya »
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ggamer

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2018, 10:57:11 pm »


you're right, of course. I meant more to say that's how it should be, rather than how it operated before NCLB

Trekkin

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2018, 11:46:15 pm »

Regarding education, I have to wonder how much people have examined the assumption that the way to make it work better is to have it teach more students more things, or more relevant things, when the kids don't care about them and wouldn't be any more useful to anyone for knowing them. We don't get more biologists by teaching all the kids about cellular biology; instead, we get vapid snark about the mitochondrion being the powerhouse of the cell. Those who do not know their history, but are merely taught it, are doomed to find historical justification for doing anything they like and probably more likely overall to repeat it. Even assuming arguendo that we need more STEM graduates (and we do not, except to drive down salaries), no education system can teach the enthusiasm necessary to produce scientists rather than smartasses, and we will always have more than enough of those.

Children aren't stupid, however convincingly they may pretend to be; they know compulsory education is daycare with more tests and most of them won't ever need anything they're learning because most jobs are make-work intended to put a human face on an effectively robotic operation. That's only going to become more universally true as time goes on. There always have been and always will be a tiny minority of people with the particular sort of mania required to acquire an actually useful education; everyone else will always regard their education and that of their progeny as a waste of time, and I say we take them at their word. If nothing else, it will make the prospect of being educated more appealing by virtue of having to be deliberately sought.

Or, put another way: we already do not, and arguably cannot fairly, require that the students put in more than a token show of effort, let alone get anything out of their education. Why force them to waste their time sitting at a desk texting each other when they could be doing something equally unproductive but far less expensive?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 11:52:28 pm by Trekkin »
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Reelya

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2018, 12:10:50 am »

The forced-learning thing is a current issue in Australia. e.g. it's optional to choose Maths in your two senior highschool years here, and at the end of those two years we have our equivalent of the SATS, which are used for university placement. The current version is called ATAR which is used by most states (it's new because we don't yet have a fully national system: each of the 6 states had their own). The point is, you're graded as a percentile ranking in whichever subjects you choose, so people tend to choose subjects where they have relative advantage. This is actually a pretty good system. If less people do English, then it will be easier to get a high score in English, so more people will be attracted to English, thus the standards required to do well in the English component will rise. e.g. it ensures that people are spread out in the different fields rather than clustering too much, but it also ensures that people play to their strengths, too.

Note, many more girls than boys drop math in their senior years, so some now want to force everyone to do math and the rationale (or "justification" I suspect) is "more women in STEM". And this of course is being pushed by companies who want more graduates, cheaper labor as you said. However, this has serious ideological implication and unforseen consequences.

e.g. consider that the girls who didn't take math are almost certainly the worst girls at math, and that they're choosing other subjects that they are better at. By making the "everyone must do math" rule, it's impinging on the freedom of mostly girls to choose subjects strategically to play to their own strengths. And recently, they've made a big deal that girls are out-performing boys on the ATAR in general, thus they make up greater than 50% of college admissions. e.g. if girls are doing better than boys overall, and they're also the ones most likely to be dropping math, then perhaps forcing girls to use up one of their subject slots on math is only go to impeded girl's overall scores on the ATAR. e.g. that > 50% advantage girls have for college admissions is likely to actually be eroded by the change. Of course, you can't really bring this stuff up, logical as it is because someone who wants the change will loudly say "what? are you saying girls can't do math". nope, i'm saying that girls who dropped math are almost certainly worse at math than girls who didn't drop math, so forcing them to take math will drag girl's ATAR scores down, both individually and as a group.

e.g. it's sort of weird: "girls can totally do math. Well force all girls to do math, then you'll see" seems like it's throwing actual girls and what they want under the bus to prove a point.

https://theconversation.com/study-finds-more-girls-opting-out-of-maths-and-science-12221
Quote
Dr Wilson said education choice was a major contributor to the decline in maths and science participation, with 13.5% of girls choosing to study family and community studies in 2011, a subject that was not on offer in 2001.

“Something’s gone wrong there that you have nearly as much educational value put on community and family studies as you do on maths.”

"... educational choice and quite possibly having too much of it.”

... Holy shit man, "something's gone wrong" in your head when you're valuing everyone doing shittily at maths rather than valuing community and family. Maybe "community and family studies" is relevant to what those girls plan to do with their lives? Being bottom of the class in algebra obviously wasn't doing it for those girls, despite how warm and fuzzy that would make academics feel because of the "participation" numbers.

e.g. girls forced to do math will, as another academic pointed out in the article, just take Basic Maths, aka "maths for dummies" which: doesn't score highly on the ATAR, obviously isn't relevant to what they plan to do, and is of no interest to universities or employers. About 20% of all girls would be forced to take that class, instead of "gone wrong" things like studying to work in childcare or community services.

~~~

e.g. another The Australian (a newspaper, but it's paywalled with no free articles) points out in a headline "Girls outsmart boys in maths and science but are shunning the money spinning subjects" so we should get more girls to do that so that they can outsmart the boys even more, right? Did they ever stop to think that these facts could be related. Maybe the girls who are shunning math and science just happen to be people who are terrible at math and science, thus the remaining girls are above-average, and neither gender is in fact any better? e.g. "Girls outsmart boys in maths and science because so many are shunning the money spinning subjects". Forcing more girls to study that would just erode the apparent advantage while impeding them from doing what they are good at, so it would remove that "girls outsmart boys in maths and science" thing while also eroding the thing where girls outnumber boys in college admissions.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-06/girls-opt-out-of-science-and-maths-studies,-report-finds/6286362
Quote
Dr Cathy Foley is the science director of the CSIRO's manufacturing arm and said, while results between boys and girls in maths and science were very similar, young women were opting in greater numbers not to study the subjects. "The report shows that if you look at the testing of girls and boys in maths and science, that there's a small difference, about 3 per cent difference, so let's say they're about equal," she said.

One gender did 3% better than the other on national testing, so lets say they're "about equal"? It's completely obvious that it means boys did 3% better here, because if girls were 3% ahead on anything, that would be a major headline, used as clear evidence that girls are the innately superior gender, not hand-waved away as "about equal". I'm not drawing any conclusions here about who is or is not equal/better/worse, since there are conflicting reports and measures, but the level of blatant confirmation bias on this sort of stuff by the press is staggering.

e.g. from that CSIRO data we can conclude that, overall, boys are doing slightly better than girls on national STEM studies. But it's also clear the girls who drop STEM are the ones who aren't good at it, in comparison to others of their same gender. e.g. "mantadory STEM classes" would mainly act to force girls who are especially shitty at STEM, and don't want to do it, into the STEM classes, which would bring in more low-scoring female students. On a percentile-ranking basis, more low-scoring students would boost everyone else up a notch in the rankings, but overall, male scores would rise the most in relation to the ATAR college admission rankings, since boys are about ~3% ahead in STEM classes already.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 04:22:15 am by Reelya »
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Kagus

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Re: MSH Mantles Karl Marx -OR- The Crisis Discussion And Essay Thread
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2018, 04:16:12 am »

Even assuming arguendo that we need more STEM graduates (and we do not, except to drive down salaries), no education system can teach the enthusiasm necessary to produce scientists rather than smartasses, and we will always have more than enough of those.
I'd actually kind of disagree. While it certainly won't work on everyone, I do believe that there are systems of education that stimulate and strengthen a child's innate curiosity and desire to learn. Things like the Montessori and Rudolph Steiner schools attempt to do this, with varying results. While each specific program (or interpretation/application of that program) may have their faults, I'm very much of the opinion that early education aimed at developing and expanding a child's capacity for interest is the right course of action.

"Anything is possible, if you put your mind to it", but unless we're lucky on the home front, we're never taught how to put our minds to something. Or even to really want to.

There may not be an exemplary system currently in use that properly teaches enthusiasm (I really wouldn't know), but I do believe it's well within the realm of possibility.
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