Thomas Sowell: “Artificial stupidity” and the destruction of civilization

Thomas Sowell has a lot of good things to say. This is one of them:

Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity. - Thomas Sowell

A Facebook friend adds – accurately, in my opinion:

“If you are a teacher, this is on you. You may protest you are a great teacher, most do, but in fact, if you teach the drivel that public school systems dictate, then you are no more than a parrot for an evil scheme to make our children stupid enough to want to be subjects when you could be teaching them to be citizens.”

Yep. That’s one of the reasons I am not a public school teacher, despite the economic security that would give me (so long, of course, as I kept a low profile and watched what I said). But unfortunately, despite many excellent teachers – and not a few fine schools – contemporary public education is a big part of the problem.

It may be very good (usually, with some notable exceptions) at delivering its content in an effective and engaging manner. It is the content itself that is the difficulty!

Time’s “Person of the Year”: teenage activist Greta Thunberg

Climate activist Greta Thunberg photographed on the shore in Lisbon, Portugal December 4, 2019

Resisting the temptation to shout at Time Magazine, “How dare you?” (wry smile)

So, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s 2019 “Person of the Year.” The cover has a dreamy-eyed Greta standing on the edge of the rising sea level ocean, gazing mystically into what one supposes is meant to represent the future. Well, on one level, I suppose she deserves it, in the sense that – for better or for worse – she’s become a household name, and the face of climate change activism. But, leaving sheer publicity aside:

Who better for person of the year than a petulant, hysterical adolescent, angrily chastising adults of many decades more life experience and vastly greater education and knowledge of the world, after generating more carbon pollution by crossing the ocean in a high-tech sailing yacht as part of a publicity stunt than she would have if she’d simply taken a seat on a jetliner like anyone else?

(We’ll leave aside a growing body of evidence suggesting that, a) climate change is primarily natural, as it has always been, not anthropogenic, and b) the cycle seems to be swinging back in the direction of cooling, not warming.)

And of course, she’s being lionized in the same year in which Left-wingers excoriated – and in some cases made death threats against – another adolescent, a boy who exhibited remarkable coolness and composure in the incident in question, for “smirking” at a Native American activist who had invaded his personal space and was drumming in his face.

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Welcome to 21st century America… 🙄

 

“After climate change apocalypse, kindness will be most important survival skill” | Lexington Herald Leader

A survival skills teacher says that in order to survive in post climate-change apocalypse, we’ll need empathy, generosity, and courage to survive. Kindness and fairness will be more valuable than any survival skill.

Source: After climate change apocalypse, kindness will be most important survival skill | Lexington Herald Leader

While I do not believe in “climate-change apocalypse,” per se (that’s a discussion I don’t have time or space to get into, here), what archaeologist and wilderness survival instructor Chris Begley describes here applies, as he points out, just about any imaginable apocalyptic scenario: “climate change, neoliberalism, authoritarianism, zombies, or a meteor.” He left out X-class solar flares, but yes!

Surviving in a post-apocalyptic world “will be harder than we think, and we will need different talents than the survival skills I teach,” Begley reminds us, and continues,

“I study how people live and how societies change, in the past and present. I cannot predict the future, obviously, but no likely disaster scenario fits our fantasies. No tragic yet convenient event will allow us to discard our complex, messy, and ever-changing social reality and live out our rugged individualistic fantasy. We will not be by ourselves, with only the people we choose, avoiding those we do not understand or trust. We will not be free from the need to cooperate and compromise…

“While the wilderness survival skills certainly can’t hurt, it will be empathy, generosity, and courage that we need to survive. Kindness and fairness will be more valuable than any survival skill. Then as now, social and leadership skills will be valued. We will have to work together. We will have to grow food, educate ourselves, and give people a reason to persevere. The needs will be enormous, and we cannot run away from that. Humans evolved attributes such as generosity, altruism, and cooperation because we need them to survive. Armed with those skills, we will turn towards the problem, not away from it. We will face the need, and we will have to solve it together. That is the only option. That’s what survival looks like.”

Yep.

That said, we may have to draw firmer boundaries than our present culture gives us the luxury of avoiding. Resources will be limited, and no one can save everyone. Deciding who to let into our circle and who to exclude, and why, will be one of the tougher, but also most essential, decisions which post-apocalyptic survivors will (if the worst happens, from which, God defend us!) have to make.

 

“When men stop seeing women as mothers…” | Holy Motherhood

“When men stop seeing women as mothers, sex loses its sacredness.”

— Mary Pride

To which I can only say… Amen!