Education and Global Warming Non-Believers
Posted: 11 July 2011 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This is to Chris Mooney (it is impossible to get your email address—- and as a newpaper blog writer, I know why)

I was just sent to your Mojo article. I have read much of your stuff and am mostly in synch with you and CFI. Most of this article has been discussed on my 2 ½ year old column/blog site at our internet newspaper in Seattle; http://blog.seattlepi.com/robertbrown/index.asp

One thing still missing from your article is a possible remedy for this current strain of anti-intellectualism in America.  I have been engaged in this topic for decades now:  I received a PhD in geophysics in 1969 at the Univ. of Wash. and proceeded to enter an M.A. English program with Prof. Wayne Burns, where the meaning-of-life philosophy was featured. I was co-author in his book: “The Panzaic Principle”. I went back to science in 1971 and became a writer of atmospheric science math textbooks. But I continued the study of “Sancho Panza’s approach”.  I published a novel (to make the philosophy more palatable by wrapping it in sex & violence, as we learned in English novel writing classes) that dealt with the above sociology;  and suggested one possible remedy:  significant science education (University level), in “The Tree & the Panzaic Plea” at Amazon.com, 2005, shorter 2nd Ed. 2010. This is somewhat of an “intellectual cult” book, enjoyed by University Professor types, but also many others interested in our basic cultural problems. I haven’t pushed it much (enough) as I’m busy with my primary job—- Global Warming study. I think that you would really enjoy this book, and get a lot out of it. If you’d like, I’ll send you a copy.

The most extraordinary event in this American dichotomy was Obama’s election. He certainly can qualify as an intellectual, with great experiences. That he could be elected signaled that there exists a latent appreciation of intellectual thought and accomplishments in this country. I’ve seen other signs—- I was sent the result of a poll for most admired persons, and world famous scientist topped the list, even above rock star or famous actor/actress. The Tea Party is the natural reaction to this victory, and we’re in danger of losing the war. I appreciate your efforts and hope to be of some help.

Best Wishes,
RA Brown

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Posted: 13 July 2011 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Sounds promising. In my stodgy old age, I have come to some conclusions about our education system, and I think that many of the things that I was introduced to properly in college need to be taught agressively in public schools. In particular:

Math and logic should be taught with equal emphasis, for equal amounts of time. These courses should also be taught to 100% comprehension, and grades are thus not dependent on the percent comprehension, but the amount of material covered over a given time period.

Rote history should not be taught per se. In it’s place, historical research should be taught. In essence, in the early years of such a cirriculum, students learn about all of the different kinds of sources and spend a whole lot of time simply looking through them. In high school, the focus changes to evaluating sources for credibility. There really is no need to try to teach an “American History” and a “World History” because the students will become exposed to all of such history anyway through such a process in a way that is more honest and respectful of their own intellectual curiosity.

I think that at least some of the anti-intellectualism in America has roots in how way too many students find their education to be rather horrible experiences that have nothing to do with critical thinking. When that happens, obviously they will not respect it.

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Posted: 05 September 2011 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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ZELDAK - 05 September 2011 07:03 AM

It’s much easier to understand how people get duped into AGW in the first place.

I’m confused. What is AGW? Anti-Global Warming?

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Posted: 05 September 2011 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 05 September 2011 07:20 AM
ZELDAK - 05 September 2011 07:03 AM

It’s much easier to understand how people get duped into AGW in the first place.

I’m confused. What is AGW? Anti-Global Warming?

Spammer. Take no notice. (Though AGW is generally taken to mean “anthropogenic global warming”).

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Doug

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Posted: 05 September 2011 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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dougsmith - 05 September 2011 10:18 AM

Spammer. Take no notice. (Though AGW is generally taken to mean “anthropogenic global warming”).

Ah, thanks.

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