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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19161 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-07, 07:41

Cecily Strong, playing Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, and Alex Moffat, playing Glenn Youngkin, on “Saturday Night Live” said:

https://youtu.be/CU-WdnXJabs?t=125

Moffat/Youngkin: My win in Virginia proves that voters are deeply concerned about education.

Strong/Pirro: And who are most of your voters?

Moffat/Youngkin: People who didn't go to college.

Strong/Pirro: Now Critical Race Theory is something you talked about a lot. What is Critical Race Theory?

Moffat/Youngkin: It's simple. It's what got me elected.

Strong/Pirro: Right. But what is it?

Moffat/Youngkin: It's not important you know. What's important is parents. Everyone knows they should run schools.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19162 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-07, 08:44

Matt Yglesias said:

My basic view is that most voters of all ethnic and class backgrounds are somewhat selfish and somewhat inclined toward zero-sum thinking so they want to hear, specifically, that you worry about people like them.

Matt Yglesias is the dude.
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#19163 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-07, 09:24

View Posty66, on 2021-November-07, 08:44, said:

Matt Yglesias is the dude.


I very much agree with the Matt Yglesias comment. It seems so obviously true that it should not need saying but it gets forgotten.

I would add a little more. I am retired and living a comfortable life. Among other things, this means I can give some time and thought to the needs of others. Still, I am more interested n the needs of those who are close to me than to the needs of strangers, but I am willing to listen to grand plans. I can remember portions of my life when I had very little time or energy to think large scale.

Yes, many people, to the extent they have the time and energy to follow politics at all, ask themselves how it affects their own lives. This is about as surprising as saying that if you go for a walk in the rain you will get wet. Gene Kelly didn't mind, but the cop watching him splash around thought he was nuts.
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#19164 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-07, 10:35

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-07, 09:24, said:

I very much agree with the Matt Yglesias comment. It seems so obviously true that it should not need saying but it gets forgotten.

Robert Wright in"Why Buddhism is True" said:

Human beings often fail to see the world clearly. This can lead them to suffer and to make others suffer.

https://www.vox.com/...right-interview

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#19165 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-November-07, 18:59

Quote

Cecily Strong, playing Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, and Alex Moffat, playing Glenn Youngkin, on “Saturday Night Live” said:

LOL! They really need to get Alex Baldwin back on there to preach for gun control and Al Franken to promote sexual harassment.
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#19166 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-07, 19:58

How I Became Extremely Open-Minded -- Part 3 of Ross Douthat's fascinating account of his experience with Lyme disease and the insight he gained into biomedical and political debates.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19167 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 00:21

The famous debate between Baldwin and a white supremacist in 1965.
It appears that very little has changed in the argument about whiteness and voting.
White supremacists believe that only certain well-qualified people should be allowed to vote.
Buckley argues that not only "N___" people, but also many "white" people ought to be prevented from voting.

He believes that as a group, not-white people had not yet reached a level of (insert word here) to be eligible to vote.
He also believes that not all white people (although not as a group) are at an appropriate eligibility level.
The white supremacist seems to think that this is a logical and sustainable position.
What they dislike is the term "white supremacist" because after all, they know who ought to be allowed to vote and who shouldn't.
Incredibly, for people that think that they know what is right and proper in a decent society, the obvious flaws in this position elude their judgement.

Plus ca change.
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#19168 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 07:34

David Leonhardt, on October 11,2016 said:

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a

Think, for a moment, about the stories that your family likes to tell about itself. They are probably miniature versions of the American story, with progress as the central theme.

Maybe your great-grandparents arrived here as striving immigrants, and you now talk about how proud they would be. Maybe you’re the first college graduate or doctor in the family, and your parents brag about you. Maybe your grandparents couldn’t vote because of their skin color — and then had the thrill of voting for a president with the same skin color.

These stories aren’t about only your family. They are also stories of tribal pride — about Italians, Irish, African-Americans, Jews, Asians, Latinos and others — that make people feel part of something larger.

When progress is the norm, it feeds on itself. People can trust that their own sacrifices will usually pay off. They can endure hard times without becoming cynical and can be generous toward others.

Now, imagine a different reality: one in which your family — or whole community — had known scant progress for decades.

You couldn’t tell stories of upward mobility, because they wouldn’t be true. Instead, you would be frustrated, about hard work gone unrewarded, and anxious, for your future and your children.

Such stagnation is the reality for much of the country’s population — roughly one third by many measures, closer to half by others. Some of the statistics are familiar. But as a group, they’re chilling.

The typical household, amazingly, has a net worth 14 percent lower than the typical one did in 1984, according to a forthcoming Russell Sage Foundation publication. The life-expectancy gap between the affluent and everyone else is growing. The number of children living with only one parent or none has doubled since the 1970s (to 30 percent). The obesity rate has nearly tripled (to 38 percent). About eight million people have spent time behind bars at some point in their life, up from 1.5 million 40 years ago. While college enrollment has grown, the norm for middle-class and poor students is to leave without a four-year degree.

This column is my first for the Op-Ed page, which is why I’m devoting it to the great American stagnation. That stagnation is a central challenge of our time.

And we don’t feel nearly enough urgency about it.

One reason is that many Americans don’t have daily contact with it. College graduates who live in a major metro area — those who tend to read a national newspaper, to put it another way — do enjoy a rising standard of living.

Yet even for them, the stagnation looms over life. It breeds political dysfunction, and it helps explain why so many Americans aren’t swayed by facts. When you have been struggling for decades, you tend to lose faith in society’s institutions and their sober-minded experts.

Without that faith, all of our other problems become harder to solve. America’s standing in the world will be diminished. The damage from climate change — one problem that’s even more important than stagnation — will accelerate in the face of inaction.

Obviously, the past year has highlighted the depth and breadth of the frustration. It takes different forms and crosses demographic and political boundaries.

Most productively, the Black Lives Matter movement has focused attention on the persistent ways that discrimination blocks progress. Police shootings are only part of it: The typical white household earns 70 percent more than the typical black household, unchanged from 40 years ago.

Most dangerously, Donald Trump has captured a presidential nomination with one of history’s oldest tricks — using economic frustrations to attract political support by igniting ethnic hatred. Much of the hatred may have been lurking already, but the frustrations let it come out of hiding and flourish.

The country’s immediate task is to reject Trump — for each of us to help ensure that his deeply un-American campaign remains un-American. I’d encourage everyone to find one concrete way over the next four weeks to play a part.

But rejecting Trump isn’t enough. If that is all we do, Trumpism will return, with a savvier frontman.

The real answer has to involve ensuring that a large majority of Americans enjoy a rising quality of life. Doing so means better, more equal schools. It means a tax code less favorable to the rich and, yes, the upper middle class. It means criminal justice reform. It means a bigger emphasis on good-paying jobs.

The moral case for a fairer society is clear. But there is also a self-interested case. If the trends continue, the United States will ultimately become a worse place to live, for all Americans, no matter how insulated they may feel today.

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#19169 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 09:22

I'll get around to any disagreements that I might have with the David Leonhardt piece later. Right now I want to emphasize his closing argument:

"The moral case for a fairer society is clear. But there is also a self-interested case. If the trends continue, the United States will ultimately become a worse place to live, for all Americans, no matter how insulated they may feel today."

I wholeheartedly agree and, more than that, I think it is the key argument to keep in mind while moving forward. I might re-phrase it in a more positive way: This country will be a lot better off when more people look around and can say "I'm glad to be living here".


As to family stories, yes we all have them. A married couple were over for dinner Saturday, she had mentioned something about when she was 18, I asked if she was working or going to school. Both, she said, She was on her own, living in an apartment, attending college, working and paying for it herself. Beats my stories. Paying for college was up to me but I had a scholarship and, at least in the beginning, I lived at home to save having to pay rent. A common theme, I expect, was that we were both choosing a path that appealed to us. First the paths have to be there. Then people have to know the paths are there. They must have faith the paths could work for them. They must choose a path. And follow it, or suitably alter it.
It's all asking a lot. I have always thought that going here, there and everywhere on a bicycle when I was young was a good introduction to this way of thinking. But of course no cop stopped me to ask what I was doing as I rode along.
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#19170 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 09:24

Matt Yglesias said:

And I agree with Adam here, by the way:

“Democrats should be less ‘woke’ by which I mean just pander to people’s simplistic and naive patriotic ideas and selfishness” is an idea that it’s awkward to express in public so people talk around it.

But it’s still true!

Adam Serwer, Staff writer at The Atlantic said:

Part of the utility of this kind of use of “woke” is that it expresses sentiments the people using it would be uncomfortable articulating directly, which is why anyone getting a question like this should simply respond by asking them to explain what they mean.

Dana Bash, Chief Political Correspondent at CNN said:

Are Democrats too woke, Senator?

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): "There is not a school in Virginia that teaches critical race theory, but Governor-elect Youngkin stirred up the cultural pot there."

Pandering is dude level wokeness : https://www.slowbori.../p/obama-pander
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#19171 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 09:33

As much of a mess as politics, journalism and social media are at the moment, it's still easy for me to say I feel fortunate to live in the U.S. and in my part of Virginia. But I understand why many of my fellow Virginian's don't feel this way.
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#19172 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 12:09

It was my thought to never again mention Critical Race Theory but the best-laid plans ....


Some woman in Virginia says that her son got upset reading Beloved. Then someone on the R side mentions CRT. Then the response from the D side is that CRT is not taught in Va. And so that's that? No. It's true (I accept it as true anyway) that CRT is not taught in Va. Butat least in one school, apparently Beloved was assigned, and there was an objection to this. Saying that CRT is not taught in Va schools does not respond to her objection. We could argue in favor of assigning Beloved, we could argue against assigning Beloved, I am sure there will be people on both sides with good arguments on both sides. I am saying that we get off track, we take shortcuts. We jump from an argument about a book that has been assigned to a theory that is not even mentioned and then any hope for rational discussion is on the next flight out.
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#19173 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 12:46

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-08, 12:09, said:

It was my thought to never again mention Critical Race Theory but the best-laid plans ....


Some woman in Virginia says that her son got upset reading Beloved. Then someone on the R side mentions CRT. Then the response from the D side is that CRT is not taught in Va. And so that's that? No. It's true (I accept it as true anyway) that CRT is not taught in Va. Butat least in one school, apparently Beloved was assigned, and there was an objection to this. Saying that CRT is not taught in Va schools does not respond to her objection. We could argue in favor of assigning Beloved, we could argue against assigning Beloved, I am sure there will be people on both sides with good arguments on both sides. I am saying that we get off track, we take shortcuts. We jump from an argument about a book that has been assigned to a theory that is not even mentioned and then any hope for rational discussion is on the next flight out.

When I was at school, one of the books that got studied was The Merchant of Venice. It is Shakespeare and a classic so what could be more natural? Well there is a very good case to be put that MoV is at its heart antisemitic. That is perhaps not surprising given that enmity against Jews was even more prevalent in the late 1500s than it is today but it does open the question as to what is right. Personally I think it is something that should be studied but that part of that teaching should be to point out the fallacy of the Jewish stereotyping behind the Shylock character. But what to say if a school chose at its book list: The Merchant of Venice, Oliver Twist, The Great Gatsby and The Canterbury Tales? Would that be ok? I would suggest not unless it was part of a humanities course on how Jews have been misrepresented in English-speaking literature.

The point here is that you have to look at cases individually. Now I have to admit I am not familiar with Beloved. It appears to be a Pulitzer Prize winning novel based on a true story. That would seem to me to make it worthwhile studying. Against that there are claims of bestiality, infanticide and violent rape, which if true would preclude it from study by children below a certain age. Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be for books, at least for the purposes of school study, to have an age rating attached to them in the same way that films do. I do not have any difficulty in saying that a particularly violent or explicit book should generally not be taught to students below 16 (or 15, or 18). I do have a problem with saying that a book should not be taught at all because it highlights racial issues. The complaint in Virginia that started the whole Beloved debate was about violent and explicit sex. As long as the complaint was adjudged on these grounds and not because of its depiction of slavery, it seems to me to be reasonable for parents to have become involved.
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#19174 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 14:10

Some people are just looking for things to complain about.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; les règles sont le jeu même.
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#19175 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 14:33

View PostGilithin, on 2021-November-08, 12:46, said:

When I was at school, one of the books that got studied was The Merchant of Venice. It is Shakespeare and a classic so what could be more natural? Well there is a very good case to be put that MoV is at its heart antisemitic. That is perhaps not surprising given that enmity against Jews was even more prevalent in the late 1500s than it is today but it does open the question as to what is right. Personally I think it is something that should be studied but that part of that teaching should be to point out the fallacy of the Jewish stereotyping behind the Shylock character. But what to say if a school chose at its book list: The Merchant of Venice, Oliver Twist, The Great Gatsby and The Canterbury Tales? Would that be ok? I would suggest not unless it was part of a humanities course on how Jews have been misrepresented in English-speaking literature.

The point here is that you have to look at cases individually. Now I have to admit I am not familiar with Beloved. It appears to be a Pulitzer Prize winning novel based on a true story. That would seem to me to make it worthwhile studying. Against that there are claims of bestiality, infanticide and violent rape, which if true would preclude it from study by children below a certain age. Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be for books, at least for the purposes of school study, to have an age rating attached to them in the same way that films do. I do not have any difficulty in saying that a particularly violent or explicit book should generally not be taught to students below 16 (or 15, or 18). I do have a problem with saying that a book should not be taught at all because it highlights racial issues. The complaint in Virginia that started the whole Beloved debate was about violent and explicit sex. As long as the complaint was adjudged on these grounds and not because of its depiction of slavery, it seems to me to be reasonable for parents to have become involved.


Very reasonable thoughts. I also read The Merchant of Venice in high school, sort of an assignment. We had read Julius Caesar and Macbeth, and the assignment was to form groups and each group was to select a Shakespeare play, read it and report on it. This was c. 1955. My parents had given me a phonograph, I had learned that the St. Paul Public Library had LPs of various plays, my phonograph played this relatively new technology, so down I went to the library to see what they had. Merchant of Venice it was.
"If you prick us doth a Jew not bleed?". I believe we addressed this, at least some, in our report. But the choice of M of V was strictly by chance.

I was very unsophisticated. I later saw the Lawrence Olivier film of Richard the third and went around telling everyone how great Lawrence Oliver (as in Oliver Twist) was.

We never read The Scarlet Letter, although friends at a different high school did. Branding a woman. Really?

I was a sensitive youngster. In 1953, when I was 14, I saw Rita Hayworth in Salome. I remember a brief part of it. Salome (Hayworth) does a dance for the King, very interesting to a 14-year-old who had just started dating, and toward the end of the dance, the head of John the Baptist was brought in on a platter. That's the beginning and end of what I remember from the movie.

Here is a point, I think an important point. I chose to see Salome and I afterward dealt with it as I chose. I did not have to stand up in class and give my thoughts about it. I did not have to pretend to agree with whatever the teacher said I should think about it. Just, me, one experience with fiction that I could do with as I chose.

Similarly, around that time I read What Makes Sammy Run, a Budd Schulberg novel. Sammy was Sammy Glick, which as I recall was shortened from Sammy Glickstein, and this was part of the story. But again here is what I recall. Sammy was a huckster, not much concerned about anyone. Someone told him he should treat the woman he was seeing better than he was treating her. He explained that he gives her everything she needs two nights a week. Again, I am a young guy who has only recently started dating. I might not have the passage just right, but that was the gist of it as I recall.

Again this was something I had chosen and would do with as I chose. If it had been assigned, then I would have to learn what I was supposed to think of it. And, if I wanted a good grade, I would have to pretend to agree. Well, maybe I would agree with the lesson this was to teach me. But maybe I wouldn't. Much better to read it on my own and form my own conclusions.

I am ok, sort of, with requiring Beloved, although I have not read it myself. But if that is done, I think we must expect a wide range of reactions. We must be prepared for all of these reactions, and we must not tell the reader how they should react. Myself, I think having them read, say, A choice of Weapons would be a much better idea. My older daughter was assigned to read Soul on Ice when she was 13. She was and is a very capable person, she handled it, but maybe a bit young? To put it mildly?

Anyway, we can have a discussion such as this without ever mentioning any theory with three initials. Much better this way.
Ken
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#19176 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 15:09

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-08, 12:09, said:

It was my thought to never again mention Critical Race Theory but the best-laid plans ....


Some woman in Virginia says that her son got upset reading Beloved. Then someone on the R side mentions CRT. Then the response from the D side is that CRT is not taught in Va. And so that's that? No. It's true (I accept it as true anyway) that CRT is not taught in Va. Butat least in one school, apparently Beloved was assigned, and there was an objection to this. Saying that CRT is not taught in Va schools does not respond to her objection. We could argue in favor of assigning Beloved, we could argue against assigning Beloved, I am sure there will be people on both sides with good arguments on both sides. I am saying that we get off track, we take shortcuts. We jump from an argument about a book that has been assigned to a theory that is not even mentioned and then any hope for rational discussion is on the next flight out.


The best argument is to continually say, It's best to teach history truthfully and accurately. Don't repeat the right-wing frame.

Quote

Research in framing was spearheaded by classic experiments by Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman and his collaborator Amos Tversky in the 1980s. Their research upended the assumption that humans behave rationally – an assumption that a number of economic models previously rested on. They instead showed that we are often consistently irrational, relying on a number of mental shortcuts to speed up our reasoning, which can make us remarkably sensitive to how things are framed.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19177 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 15:18

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-08, 14:33, said:

Very reasonable thoughts. I also read The Merchant of Venice in high school, sort of an assignment. We had read Julius Caesar and Macbeth, and the assignment was to form groups and each group was to select a Shakespeare play, read it and report on it. This was c. 1955. My parents had given me a phonograph, I had learned that the St. Paul Public Library had LPs of various plays, my phonograph played this relatively new technology, so down I went to the library to see what they had. Merchant of Venice it was.
"If you prick us doth a Jew not bleed?". I believe we addressed this, at least some, in our report. But the choice of M of V was strictly by chance.

I was very unsophisticated. I later saw the Lawrence Olivier film of Richard the third and went around telling everyone how great Lawrence Oliver (as in Oliver Twist) was.

We never read The Scarlet Letter, although friends at a different high school did. Branding a woman. Really?

I was a sensitive youngster. In 1953, when I was 14, I saw Rita Hayworth in Salome. I remember a brief part of it. Salome (Hayworth) does a dance for the King, very interesting to a 14-year-old who had just started dating, and toward the end of the dance, the head of John the Baptist was brought in on a platter. That's the beginning and end of what I remember from the movie.

Here is a point, I think an important point. I chose to see Salome and I afterward dealt with it as I chose. I did not have to stand up in class and give my thoughts about it. I did not have to pretend to agree with whatever the teacher said I should think about it. Just, me, one experience with fiction that I could do with as I chose.

Similarly, around that time I read What Makes Sammy Run, a Budd Schulberg novel. Sammy was Sammy Glick, which as I recall was shortened from Sammy Glickstein, and this was part of the story. But again here is what I recall. Sammy was a huckster, not much concerned about anyone. Someone told him he should treat the woman he was seeing better than he was treating her. He explained that he gives her everything she needs two nights a week. Again, I am a young guy who has only recently started dating. I might not have the passage just right, but that was the gist of it as I recall.

Again this was something I had chosen and would do with as I chose. If it had been assigned, then I would have to learn what I was supposed to think of it. And, if I wanted a good grade, I would have to pretend to agree. Well, maybe I would agree with the lesson this was to teach me. But maybe I wouldn't. Much better to read it on my own and form my own conclusions.

I am ok, sort of, with requiring Beloved, although I have not read it myself. But if that is done, I think we must expect a wide range of reactions. We must be prepared for all of these reactions, and we must not tell the reader how they should react. Myself, I think having them read, say, A choice of Weapons would be a much better idea. My older daughter was assigned to read Soul on Ice when she was 13. She was and is a very capable person, she handled it, but maybe a bit young? To put it mildly?

Anyway, we can have a discussion such as this without ever mentioning any theory with three initials. Much better this way.


When I was in high school, I took an elective called Great Books. I'm not clear on how you could take a class in Great Books and not read books considered great. I remember The Scarlet Letter was one of those books - I didn't think it all that great. The teacher did a good job of reminding us that the mores of the times written about were not the same as ours. We didn't have to form moral opinions - just had to know the story, characters, and who wrote it.
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#19178 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 18:30

Sorry for losing all the non-mathematicians here, but...

I lectured on abstract vector spaces in my linear algebra class today. I started by pointing out there are lots of situations in mathematics where we solve systems of linear equations, and the concept of abstract vector spaces gives us a common language to describe all of these situations and a common description for how systems of linear equations arise in all of these situations.

If I were a mathematical Platonist of some sort, then I would say that the concept of abstract vector spaces explains why linear systems appear in all these places. But I am not a mathematical (or otherwise) Platonist, and so I cannot authentically use such language; I have to say they give a common description of how linear systems appear in all these places.

It's a subtle difference, but I want to point out that even math can't be taught without inflicting your opinions on your students.

Facts are facts based on a frame of reference, and if there is no common frame of reference, there are no common facts. Like it or not, a notion of truth does depend on some basic assumptions, and people who don't agree with those assumptions are usually considered insane, not wrong. (In a further piece of irony, if you look at Wittgenstein's _On Certainty_, which is basically devoted to making this point in 1946 or so, one of these example assumptions of this sort that he used was "I have not visited the moon.")
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#19179 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 20:19

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They instead showed that we are often consistently irrational


I guess it all boils down to who gets to decide what is "rational". What is "rational" for you may not be "rational" for me. I wish you no ill for your views. I'm content to accept the fact that we don't all see things the same way. I'm not content to accept the "if you're going my way I'll go with you" rationale.
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#19180 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 20:52

If I were all that fond of rationality I would have married a computer.
Of course we are not completely rational.
Ken
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