Monday, 1 September 2014

A short quiz

I would like to describe to you a discourse that I sometimes hear on the interweb. It has the following features.

1) It is dominated by people without training or expertise in the matter under discussion.
2) When people with training or expertise in the matter under discussion observe that what is being said is highly problematic those without training or expertise in the matter under discussion invariably act as if they have better knowledge on the matter under discussion.
3) Every statement made by those without training or expertise on the matter merely confirms to those with such training and expertise that in point of fact these persons without training or expertise on the matter are ignorant and clueless of the matter.
4) The conviction that their untrained ignorant exceeds trained knowledge is a sure sign of hubris, and has potential to contribute to disastrous policy decisions when it comes to what should be taught in schools. As such all who care about quality of education should be concerned with this discourse.

Now, I am going to list a number of discourses, and will ask you to identify which is the one of which I speak.

A) Young-earth creationism.
B) Jesus-mythicism.
C) 9/11 Trutherism.
D) Holocaust denialism.
E) All of the above.

If you answered "E," you pass!

7 comments:

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    I'm a 9/11 Truther, so I was wondering if you were referring to people like me, or to people who oppose people like me.

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    Replies
    1. Presumably "9/11 Trutherism" would be something held by 9/11 Truthers. I have observed that as a discourse it has the following characteristics:

      1) It is dominated by people without training or expertise in the matter under discussion.
      2) When people with training or expertise in the matter under discussion observe that what is being said is highly problematic those without training or expertise in the matter under discussion invariably act as if they have better knowledge on the matter under discussion.
      3) Every statement made by those without training or expertise on the matter merely confirms to those with such training and expertise that in point of fact these persons without training or expertise on the matter are ignorant and clueless of the matter.
      4) The conviction that their untrained ignorant exceeds trained knowledge is a sure sign of hubris, and has potential to contribute to disastrous policy decisions when it comes to what should be taught in schools. As such all who care about quality of education should be concerned with this discourse.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jonathan,

      Actually discussion on both sides of the 9/11 Truther debate is dominated by people who are unqualified to talk about it. However, there are now peer reviewed papers challenging the official accounts of the WTC collapses; there are over 2,200 architects and engineers demanding a new 9/11 investigation; and we have Dutch controlled demolition expert Danny Jowenko claiming that WTC 7's collapse was a controlled demolition: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc

      In light of these facts, i think you should reconsider your statement.

      Delete
  2. So you haven't posted my reply because...?

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    Replies
    1. Because I'm not actually in front of my computer 24/7.

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    2. Because you're wrong, since folks like the NIST have PLENTY of experience. I still recommend to every 9/11 Truther the Popular Mechanics summary. I'm sure you're Truther-grounded enough you reject it, though.

      Delete
  3. Thank you, I'm one of those who is confronting the Jesus question (for myself) After forty years of teaching I have just about given up trying to educate those who know much more than I do, on just about every subject under the sun.

    ReplyDelete