Originally Posted by library lady
There is a huge difference between being able to take a test and tow the line in school and actually being able to think for yourself.
|Most people that think for themselves tend to stand out in one way or another.
Can you provide an example in real life of when somebody encourages you to read or think about things?
|If you want to look at the value placed on intellectualism, look at the ads that are played on TV. Look at the TV programs themselves.
I have an idea suddenly.
I think we need to distinguish something. We might be talking about two different questions:
Is intellectualism valued? Yes, I think it is, IMO.
Is intellectualism common? That is, are most people intellectuals? No, I don't think so. But does that mean it's not valued? No.
You analogies of the tv commercials, and tv, and sports, and golf, and not reading books, etc, show that the majority of people, or average person, is not an intellectual. That is probably true (I believe that).
But none of that means society or culture doesn't value intellectualism. What smart person isn't valued for being smart? (With no other issues factored in that they're nto being valued for).
Humans can value intellectualism while pursuing with their lives a majority of non-intellectual pursuits because they themselves are not intellectuals.
The average Joe probably has a healthy respect for Albert Einstein or Bill Gates or, I don't know, any number of scientists or authors, but that doesn't mean that they will live their lives like the great intellectuals and cultural creatives.
|I don't see any academic decathlons being widely televised and publicized.
The only one I can think of is the national spelling bee.
|The smart people don't seem to care about the social strata. If that were a large portion of the population, then life wouldn't be as cliquish because people would be intelligent enough to see beyond the cliquishness and not care about it. So, if life is a cliquish and high school is a microcosm of life, then that means high school is just demonstrating the lack of intelligence in society as a whole. Therefore, you are pretty much agreeing that intellectualism is not valued and that the number of intelligent people isn't that great. If there were lots of intelligence floating around in society, that would be reflected more in the school system. (I hope I am making sense. It sounded good in my head when I thought it. ).
I see what you're saying. But I think just because someone is not an intellectual doesn't mean they don't value intellectualism.
Even if they don't pursue things of an intellectual nature in their own lives, doesn't mean that they don't have a healthy respect for it.
The majority of people aren't intellectuals, so it doesn't surprise me that life or high school or whatever are cliquish. Actually, I think cliques make people feel like they belong due to group think which is a hallmark of anti-intellectualism.
|Because, it was prescribed by someone else based on what they thought was best for me. It didn't take into account what I was interested in. It didn't take into account my own personal abilities. It didn't take into account that when I got out of school it would matter if I had memorized sine, cosine, and tangent. If I couldn't remember, I knew I would have the ability to look it up.
Can't kids do both? I always thought, and I think this about my own child, that I could do my homework, listen in class AND still study what I wanted to study.
|The basics are fine but at the same time whether or not you know the basics is usually gauged by how well you can memorize and take a test. It does not take into account the fact that if you forget something in real life, you can go look it up. I am a librarian so I completely get the value of learning how to research and find information. Knowing how to research and find information does not make you intellectual or even intelligent. It means that you have some very valuable life skills. Knowing life skills such as reading, writing, arithmetic, research, etc. is quite a bit different than being intellectual.
All very true. ITA.
But like I said, learning these basic things are stepping stones to learning more advanced topics, challenging your intellect, adding to it.
I was a pretty smart kid. But what I knew as a kid would not have served me well as an adult trying to function in the world. I needed all the stuff school taught me. I needed to be educated as well as intelligent. They are two different issues, separate issues.
Also, it was about progression. An example is this. I didn't like algebra. It took me a while to get it. I am not a linear thinker. I am a spatial person. However, I did what the algebra teacher told me and I struggled to get my B or whatever...because...I needed algebra for geometry.
It turns out I LOVED geometry. I'm a spatial thinker. It clicked for me. I understood it and enjoyed it. But see, I would never have been able to do geometry without algebra.
There are so many examples of this in school. Academic subjects build upon one another...more so math and science and foreign language than other fields, but all fields to some extent.
If I hadn't done algebra, I would have missed out on so much. I would have stifled my intellectualism because I wouldn't have had the basics to get to the next level.