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Old 2010-08-30, 13:10   Link #41
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
@Kaijo: That electricity would be constant and cheaper if it wasn't for "socialism..." specifically the government-spawned utility monopolies that prevent you from having any choice at all in what power company you want to use.

Don't like your power company's environmental record? Too bad, you have no other choice but PG&E.

Don't like their prices? Again, too bad.

No competition is never a good thing, and socialist-style public utility practices are the very epitome of anti-competitive rules.
This is getting a bit off topic, but... currently, your access to the internet is determined by capitalism, not socialism. And in most cases, that means a single company, a monopoly, has control over how you connect. Sometimes you have a second choice, but when you compare what places like Europe have, you realize capitalism has results in slower speeds, crappier service, 200-300 billion in lost money, and a culture where they are seriously considering becoming an RIAA enforcement arm. Oh, and they desperately don't want net neutrality.

So you have a choice between a monopoly like water and electricity, and a monopoly like ISPs. But the real issue is that the infrastructure doesn't support capitalism well. not only is digging and laying yet another set of wires very expensive, but if every company did that, we'd run out of room.

If you want to see pure, unrestrained capitalism, please feel free to move to Somalia. There is no government regulation there.

And that's all I'll say to this to avoid going off topic anymore.

To stay on topic, intellectualism is the willingness to pursue knowledge. Someone who stays in their hole and doesn't look abroad, stays ignorant. Intellectualism is the ability to study what has worked before, seeing first-hand examples, rather than ignorantly declaring "this is the only way to do it!"
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Old 2010-08-30, 13:18   Link #42
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
If you go into a debate without the willingness to change your point of view when given convincing arguments you basically refuse to learn something. Its good for one's own ken to look beyond one's point of view.
I wouldn't count myself as an intellectual since I am way behind alot of things and lack lots of knowledge, however I find that some people use that as an excuse to subliminally convert others to their perspectives, often applying force at moments of doubt and getting pissed off when it doesn't work.

In real life, I have a face of an idiot (or what they call here the "blur" or "deserves to be beaten up" look over here). I tend to face a number of religious bastards and marketers looking for a cheap victim for most part of my teenage days, and they have a tendency to extend conversations with that excuse. It is pretty easy to see who these people are if you read the news on a regular basis - their sentence construction are always lopsided and ignore a number of the smallest scientific facts, or even go all out to debase research data with argumentum ad hominem.

And these people are often branded as intellectuals when it is almost certain that they don't do their homework before starting a conversation. This goes to show that "intellectual" / "anti-intellectual" has become clinches in the context of modern society - a better title for this thread should have been "Value and worth : knowledge versus ignorance".

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The "anti-intellectualism" that some people here are referring to, does to some extent refer to this unconscious bias that many of us carry today. It's not a healthy trend, because it breeds a certain kind of arrogance and snobbery and is, in some cases, a form of neo-colonialism.
The thing about the kind of "anti-intellectualism" basically stems from a reverse effect of arrogance and snobbery, which is still arrogance and snobbery, in fact. It is also a form of lack of awareness, mostly coming from the ignorance of the general population towards a minority.

So I think "neo-colonialism" isn't a good term to use since the British do make extensive efforts to document and discover the routines and culture of the people within their occupied territories, but rather, a better term would be "neo-crusading" as the mentality shown is pretty much "fit in or else".


P.S I am a very lost person right now. I have completely lost track of what I know and what I don't despite reading tons more than my peers. No wonder they said ignorance is bliss - if I am part of the Thoth deck I would be the Fool for assuming that knowledge is the utmost power.
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Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2010-08-30 at 13:34.
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Old 2010-08-30, 14:13   Link #43
synaesthetic
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Oh my god I don't even

That is the point. Competition ensures that the best beats the rest! That the available products and services are the best they can be, the cheapest they can be, and the most awesome they can be.

How is this not good for consumers again?

All biological life is inherently lazy. If it doesn't have to expend energy, it won't. The only reason we're not still dressing in hides and swinging from trees is competition and conflict.
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Old 2010-08-30, 14:44   Link #44
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Imo just don't be a ass when correcting someone.like people who make a big deal about a small grammer error.
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Old 2010-08-30, 14:51   Link #45
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^ Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to not be snarky about that or did you do that on purpose?
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Old 2010-08-30, 15:23   Link #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbitres View Post
Anyways. Intelligent people will ALWAYS be valued more then a average person. Why? They help people, they help people get what they want. They contribute and the such, as a result skilled people and intelligent people are mroe welcomed into society, or most of the time anyways.

Anti-Intellectualism...? eh, don't care. I just really want to point out Intelligent people are valued more. Because they can do things better and more quickly, this 'stigma' goes by another word. 'jealous'. Really, I'd be jealous too if I worked just as hard but only got half of the success the intellectual got.... Eh, actually I'd probably hate the hell out of them. But that is for a different topic.
I would be careful about ascribing value to people solely based on their intelligence. Not everyone is created equal; some are just incapable of knowing more or thinking critically. And some people just want to live happy lives; that's easier to do, when you don't allow your knowledge to progress beyond a certain point. Indeed, the world needs all types.

The world needs Sam the blue-collar garbageman as much as it needs the intellectual scientist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
That is the point. Competition ensures that the best beats the rest! That the available products and services are the best they can be, the cheapest they can be, and the most awesome they can be.

How is this not good for consumers again?
In theory. But it doesn't work that way in practice. The natural endpoint of completely free, unrestrained(by regulations) capitalism is a monopoly... but it's not necessarily because their products were better. See: Microsoft. They used a variety of low-brow tactics to gain their monopoly, and as a result, we have Windows, which is a piece of crap, bug-ridden, security nightmare of a mush pile. IE6 has done more harm to the internet than anything else put together.

If we dealt with electricity the way that Microsoft handled us, we'd be lucky to have 90% uptime, and we'd be paying twice as a much. I don't know about you, but it's been years since my electricity went off. Yet, my internet connection can do down for a few hours at a time every few months. I pay $25 a month for electricity, and $50+ a month for an internet connection.

So, convince me that Microsoft is good for consumers, and you'll have a point. But you better understand exactly why Internet Explorer 6 is bad, and why it's still in use, and why we have tons of botnets sending spam because of it. And before you say "well, there's IE8 now!" you have to realize why major companies are still stuck with IE6.

Also note, with ISPs, they only want to serve cities. They don't want to serve the small towns. With a socialist system, everyone gets covered, no matter where they are.

Do you want another 200 billion taken from you?
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Old 2010-08-30, 15:24   Link #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
about Cordoba

I have to comment about why Cordoba may have been choosen as the name of the mosquee. While it reminds people of the muslim conquest and occupation of Spain, it is also related to the Golden Age of Moorish Spain where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together as far better neighbors than anywhere in europe, and the rest of the mediterranean area. To the point that they brought something new to each other.

Now, as for my opinion about the mosquee, I'll just keep quiet until I have a better understanding of the point of view of both sides.

That's all I have to say, I prefer to stay away from the debate because I feel that it lost its way somewhere. But I sure do know what anti-intellectualism have done to a small country in South-east Asia when it is pushed to its most extreme, because my parents still have nightmares from this time period.
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Old 2010-08-30, 15:35   Link #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
An epic post deserves epic praise. Too bad I can't give you any more cookies. You have phrased the argument exceptionally well.

Essentially, in the example you have raised — and also in many other emotion-laden issues like homosexual marriage and abortion — we have a clash between two or more very different systems of ethics.

A society decides between right and wrong, not just based on a system of logic, but also on an inherited set of values. This is a reality that many people have trouble accepting, because "values" depend too much on subjective judgment, and are therefore seen to be incompatible with "reasonable" argument.

There is an increasing tendency in our world today, as I see it, to frame issues around "intellectual" themes alone. This is a trend that I find somewhat disquieting, because it tends to belittle the importance of our emotions in the decision-making process. We aren't intelligent automatons. We are humans and we have feelings, which are just as important as our intellect.

The "anti-intellectualism" that some people here are referring to, does to some extent refer to this unconscious bias that many of us carry today. It's not a healthy trend, because it breeds a certain kind of arrogance and snobbery and is, in some cases, a form of neo-colonialism.
Another fine line I would say. I'm personally of the belief that emotions should play a minor role in a debate, but only if the emotions can be reasoned out.

When people first react to an issue, it is an emotional response, and any arguments after that is just how they justify that emotion. So yes, it is silly to leave emotions out of the argument completely since without emotions why would we even care about said issue?

However, who is to decide which emotions are more justifiable? Today slavery is looked down upon, but in the past it wasn't. There were intellectuals in the past who would argue for slavery because they emotionally felt it was not a wrong practice. However, people's emotions on the issue have changed dramatically and it is universally considered wrong.

That is why many arguments, I believe, are boiled down to purely emotionless points of view. Because emotions can change, while pure logic does not (For the most part I would hope ), it is hard to incorporate emotions in a major way.

Taking the ground mosque debate for example, lets say the mosque is finally put there. Would people care that much if it was put there in 100 years? Would it honestly change most people's lives for the worst? I personally find that very hard to believe. So when people approach this issue in a very emotional way, it is often a joke. If they remove the mosque, it actually has far reaching consequences, because it sets a precedent in our society (Which I will not debate if it is good or bad here). Just based upon this, it is hard to go for the emotional argument.

But like you guys pointed out, this is perhaps why "anti-intellectualism" prevails, since many intellectuals only respond to intellectual arguments, ignoring emotions for the large part.
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Old 2010-08-30, 15:43   Link #49
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbitres View Post
Need to have your eyes checked, because I didn't see or remember where I disagreed with you Synaesthetic.
You asked for it for repeating what she said without an accompanying point or elaboration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
^ Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to not be snarky about that or did you do that on purpose?
Actually it isn't that hard. Just ignore the post entirely. *sarcastic*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
But like you guys pointed out, this is perhaps why "anti-intellectualism" prevails, since many intellectuals only respond to intellectual arguments, ignoring emotions for the large part.
In communication theory for business, there is one thing that is taught to us about listening : and that is listening not only for facts, but for ideas too.

Arguments are largely based on facts, however ignoring all of that just for the sake of ideas isn't the way to go. Both of them have to go hand-in-hand.
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Old 2010-08-30, 16:16   Link #50
Kyero Fox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
^ Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to not be snarky about that or did you do that on purpose?
Hmm? Grammer? Yes I did that on purpose

reason i posted that was because some guy posted a topic on a forum and must have typed too quickly and switched two letters, and the entire forum ignore the entire topic's meaning and just made fun of that.
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Old 2010-08-30, 18:40   Link #51
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I wouldn't count myself as an intellectual since I am way behind alot of things and lack lots of knowledge, however I find that some people use that as an excuse to subliminally convert others to their perspectives, often applying force at moments of doubt and getting pissed off when it doesn't work.

In real life, I have a face of an idiot (or what they call here the "blur" or "deserves to be beaten up" look over here). I tend to face a number of religious bastards and marketers looking for a cheap victim for most part of my teenage days, and they have a tendency to extend conversations with that excuse. It is pretty easy to see who these people are if you read the news on a regular basis - their sentence construction are always lopsided and ignore a number of the smallest scientific facts, or even go all out to debase research data with argumentum ad hominem.

And these people are often branded as intellectuals when it is almost certain that they don't do their homework before starting a conversation. This goes to show that "intellectual" / "anti-intellectual" has become clinches in the context of modern society - a better title for this thread should have been "Value and worth : knowledge versus ignorance".
In all honesty I did not mean to make this a one sided coin. Everyone should strive to look beyond their point of view. I am not saying, that this point must move in the process. However, understanding can still widen the horizon.
Someone who uses many words does not always have much to say ... or rather to offer when we speak about ideas and theories and a different point of view.
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Old 2010-08-30, 20:27   Link #52
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
In all honesty I did not mean to make this a one sided coin. Everyone should strive to look beyond their point of view. I am not saying, that this point must move in the process. However, understanding can still widen the horizon.
Someone who uses many words does not always have much to say ... or rather to offer when we speak about ideas and theories and a different point of view.
Actually I do recognise that, just pointing from a contrasting perspective. Sorry if it sounds offensive.
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Old 2010-08-30, 20:56   Link #53
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Another fine line I would say. I'm personally of the belief that emotions should play a minor role in a debate, but only if the emotions can be reasoned out.
That is a slight misunderstanding of what I am driving at. I'm not arguing for appeals to emotions in a debate. Rather, I wanted to show that we constantly try in our daily lives to balance many different kinds of ethical systems, some of which are based on subjective "values".

Think for example of "human rights". We all intuitively believe that such "rights" exist, even though we have trouble agreeing on what these rights entail. That's because such "rights" are based on what we believe to be essential to human dignity, which is again another concept rooted in aesthetic judgment — what is dignity and how should we preserve it?

In such debates, it is impossible to separate emotions from intellect. Both faculties need to be engaged in order to come to a satisfactory answer. Trying to force down a purely "intellectual" point of view will not help people with very different value systems — and thus very different perspectives on "human rights" — to accept the argument.

And that is the disconnect which saddens me.
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Old 2010-08-30, 21:14   Link #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That is a slight misunderstanding of what I am driving at. I'm not arguing for appeals to emotions in a debate. Rather, I wanted to show that we constantly try in our daily lives to balance many different kinds of ethical systems, some of which are based on subjective "values".

Think for example of "human rights". We all intuitively believe that such "rights" exist, even though we have trouble agreeing on what these rights entail. That's because such "rights" are based on what we believe to be essential to human dignity, which is again another concept rooted in aesthetic judgment — what is dignity and how should we preserve it?

In such debates, it is impossible to separate emotions from intellect. Both faculties need to be engaged in order to come to a satisfactory answer. Trying to force down a purely "intellectual" point of view will not help people with very different value systems — and thus very different perspectives on "human rights" — to accept the argument.

And that is the disconnect which saddens me.
There is the subjective and then there is the factual. Culture and personal history can help to understand why someone thinks a certain way, but if the matter at hand is objective in nature sticking to the facts is preferable.

I wouldn't really consider a 'debate' about something like human rights to be the same as an 'intellectual debate,' so to speak. Since there is no factual answer, all we can really do is offer our own emotional/moral rationale for how we think. If someone is trying to argue something ridiculous like the holocaust never happened, we can call upon factual evidence to prove them wrong. But if we're talking about something more subjective like whether the death penalty should exist, you can't do that. You can't just prove someone wrong in that sphere, and that's why I think these two discussions are distinct. Intellectualism alone can win in objective debates, whereas emotions are integral to subjective discussions.
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Old 2010-08-30, 21:18   Link #55
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Everyone differs emotionally.

Intellectualism deals with facts, which are true regardless of individual.

Rights can be determined based upon how a society of people wants to conduct themselves.

Emotion isn't bad, but all bad decisions are made via emotion and faulty logic.
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Old 2010-08-30, 21:31   Link #56
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Again, could everyone please slow down and define what do you mean by intellectual in this thread?

For example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo
Intellectualism deals with facts, which are true regardless of individual.
Kaijo employs a very strict definition of intellectualism here to limit it, presumably, to the field of logic and the objective natural sciences -- note that these are actually different fields of understanding -- at most. Not unlike Reckoner's position when he criticized the posts before his arguing for humility to be a trait of a "true" intellectual. To them the pursuit of knowledge and adherence to logical principles are sufficient criterias for an intellectual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
I'm not arguing for appeals to emotions in a debate. Rather, I wanted to show that we constantly try in our daily lives to balance many different kinds of ethical systems, some of which are based on subjective "values".
While TRL seems to be arguing for a more inclusive definition of intellectualism to include the subjective humanities, more in line with the sentiment behind the argument for humility and wisdom that has been expressed by others in this thread. A "human" element, if I may, to the idea of intellectualism.


So which one are we going with, and why?
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Old 2010-08-30, 21:44   Link #57
Ricky Controversy
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
*Snip*
I'm in favor of the strictly academic definition of Reckoner and Kaijo for 'intellectualism' and the combination of intellect and humility as either 'wisdom' or 'sagacity'. I think most people can agree that wisdom carries a range of connotations beyond the academic sphere which are not necessarily pursuits of study, but general observations drawing on raw experience as opposed to data or literature.

Also, criteria is already plural and criterion is the singular. Not meaning to be rude, it's a common enough mistake.
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Old 2010-08-30, 21:53   Link #58
TinyRedLeaf
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I wouldn't really consider a 'debate' about something like human rights to be the same as an 'intellectual debate,' so to speak.
Oh really? There is nothing at all intellectual about trying to decide what measures the value of life? Somehow, that makes me doubt the value of intellectualism you so admire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Since there is no factual answer, all we can really do is offer our own emotional/moral rationale for how we think.
This is a problem, a consequence of too much reliance on reductionist modes of thought. The idea that for every effect there must be a cause, and that if we can identify the cause, we can then manipulate it to create a desired outcome.

As it so happens, in reality, we run into ethical and moral dilemmas all the time, and reductionist logic alone will not help us resolve those quandaries. Given a choice between two awful outcomes, it comes down to our own moral values to decide which is the lesser evil. The quantity of facts alone will not sway the decision — there is also a matter of how much "value" we ascribe to each individual fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Intellectualism alone can win in objective debates, whereas emotions are integral to subjective discussions.
Good luck trying to find debates outside the fields of science and mathematics — cold, hard, emotionless subjects — that are based entirely on "objective" intellect.
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Old 2010-08-30, 21:54   Link #59
james0246
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I can't help but think many here are arguing for rationalism, not intellectualism. Despite the synonymous nature that several here are arguing for, intellectualism need not necessarily be based in pure reasoning. Rather, Intellectualism, as a fundamental dedication to the pursuit of knowledge*, is based in curiosity and consequently can be inherently flawed (inductive) or intrinsically personal (i.e. based on personal experience or entirely sensory)...

*For me at least, intellectualism is simply the pursuit of knowledge, and, to add a sense of the metaphysical, the idealization of either personally or socially defined "truths" or the pursuit of such "truths" (similar to what Tiny mentioned).

That being said, wasn't this thread originally about elitist snobs vs. ignorant hillbillies? What happened .
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Old 2010-08-30, 22:04   Link #60
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That being said, wasn't this thread originally about elitist snobs vs. ignorant hillbillies? What happened.
It remains related. Because there is the assumption that "hill-billies" — being presumably less educated and therefore less "intelligent" and more heavily reliant on values-based decision-making — are not worthy of participating in "intellectual" debate.

This is also related to the issues that Sackett raised earlier. The very fact that we characterise "hill-billies" as "ignorant" is already ad hominem — we are discrediting them based on who they are and not necessarily on what they say or believe.
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