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Thread: A question about work ethic with self-teaching

  1. #1
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    Default A question about work ethic with self-teaching

    If someone asked you to design a college course based around one debatable issue in politics, and to do it in the most comprehensible way possible, how different would that be than what you actually have researched about that topic?

    Just kind of curious with what kind of shortcuts people are willing to take when it comes to educating themselves about important issues. I know I'd be sort of ashamed in most cases if I had to compare these two lists with complete honesty.

    (This question is bought to you in part by pot)

    Sidenote: Also, one time my friends recommended me this book, http://thepoliticalbrain.com/videos.php. It's called "The Political Brain" and it's about the role of emotion in taking in information in an unbiased way. Apparently, it shows how people have a tendency to reject any information that weakens or disproves their current beliefs. This whole concept is another way that hampers many people's decision making process.
    Last edited by bighead384; 10-17-2012 at 09:42 PM.
    When they said "sit down", I stood up.

  2. #2
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    I almost feel like you are asking two different questions. One is about the access to quality information, and the other one is about the access to reputable sources.

    Also, be forewarned - this will segue into a rant about information, because it seems that's all I do recently.

    While the two sound similar, they aren't. People (the general 'people' as well as the particular 'person) don't have the time to access all of the necessary information required to come to a full understanding of the issues. We have people that we elect and pay to take on those responsibilities for us - they are politicians. And we seem to forget that.

    What we should - and often don't - have are reputable sources which will analyze that wealth of information and provide reliable snapshots. This is difficult both because of the amount of information and because of the way in which partisanships invest in neutral-seeming presentations of 'facts' at the behest of their political leanings.

    For a brutal illustration, look at the third-party candidates in US elections. The last ones I can name are from 2002. I think Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee this year. It illustrates that while the US and its ballot are a multi-party format, the election is a two-choice outcome. There is an outrageous denial of information that is being perpetrated in this situation.

    Information has become a resource in the classical sense of the word - controlling it, selling it and denying it are avenues to profit within a field. Partisan networks (the extremism of Fox News, the rightism of CNN, the pathetic centrism of MSNBC) have caught on to the marketing game - how could they not play it? It has the effect of destroying fruitful avenues for analysis (welcome the death of the investigative journalist) and, as we've seen with the ever-ridiculous Romney, any sort of fact-checking accountability.

    PS - The Democrats and the Obama administration seem to hide from the facts, or to claim that there is a good explanation but we just aren't allowed to know (see drone bombing and no executive branch accountability), but the Other Party just seems to make shit up at this point. It's horrendous, and shameful. And worst of all, it isn't only in the United States. Europe is choking to death on a meal of resurgent ignorance.
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