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Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!!

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Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!!

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:06 pm

I am not sure how I missed this story. But don't you think that the whores to the corporate state are going a bit too far?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/1 ... 83923.html

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/07/18 ... lls-video/
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Mad Howler » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:05 am

It seems that some enlightened thinkers are on this case.

The author, a professor of cognitive psychology, notes, "it's true that knowledge gives students something to think about, but… knowledge does much more than just help students hone their thinking skills, it actually makes learning easier." Factual knowledge enhances cognitive processes like problem solving and reasoning, and once you have some knowledge, the brain finds it easier to get more and more knowledge.


http://www.readingrockets.org/article/12443/
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Sandi » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:16 am

Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them. ~Madeleine L'Engle~
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby peripat » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:18 am

And that is what they believe in Texas, but there are, after all, many truths.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Mad Howler » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:49 pm

Sandi wrote:Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them. ~Madeleine L'Engle~


Ah Sandi,

Search your feelings. Are you sure about your notion of truth?
http://www.npr.org/2012/12/03/166084186 ... nt-of-view

A difficult realization for me was that we (humans) made this stuff up. The more cloying notion for me is that this innovation has given us great gifts.

MH
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Sandi » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:33 am

MH,

Perhaps you misunderstand. The "truth" Ms L'Engle speaks of isn't yours, or mine. We possess is knowledge, that may or may not be flawed.

The truth is "what is" regardless of my kowledge or yours, feelings, politics or any other thing that might possess the mind.

I do not argue with you or Colbert. I think the Colbert's clip was hilarious and well done.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby pjbogart » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:24 am

I remember the Madeleine L'Engle stories from my childhood, perhaps picked up from the church library along with CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters.

I ran across the "A Wrinkle in TIme" trilogy a few years ago at The Frugal Muse and gave it a painful whirl. What terrible writing. What pathetic silliness masquerading as philosophy. Madeleine L'Engle apparently thought that if she wrote "love" enough it would cover up the rotten stench emanating from her bland and boring stories. It wasn't simply bad, I felt dumber for having read it (again).

I'm all for tween fiction, I enjoyed the Potter books immensely, but L'Engle deserves her legacy... largely forgotten.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Mad Howler » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:29 am

Sandi wrote:MH,

Perhaps you misunderstand. The "truth" Ms L'Engle speaks of isn't yours, or mine. We possess is knowledge, that may or may not be flawed.

The truth is "what is" regardless of my kowledge or yours, feelings, politics or any other thing that might possess the mind.


I will have to think this one over a while, and consult my childrens perception of "a wrinkle in time"

I do not argue with you or Colbert. I think the Colbert's clip was hilarious and well done.


Sadly, I cannot share the meaning of this reference as said childeren cut into my comedy central time. Although a link to that bit would be appreciated.

Thanks,
MH
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Sandi » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:31 am

Although a link to that bit would be appreciated.


Image It was top of page in your first link.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Mad Howler » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:44 am

Sandi wrote:
Although a link to that bit would be appreciated.


Image It was top of page in your first link.


I need to get more sleep. Good night.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby kurt_w » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:06 am

pjbogart wrote:I remember the Madeleine L'Engle stories from my childhood, perhaps picked up from the church library along with CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters.

I ran across the "A Wrinkle in TIme" trilogy a few years ago at The Frugal Muse and gave it a painful whirl. What terrible writing. What pathetic silliness masquerading as philosophy. Madeleine L'Engle apparently thought that if she wrote "love" enough it would cover up the rotten stench emanating from her bland and boring stories. It wasn't simply bad, I felt dumber for having read it (again).

I'm all for tween fiction, I enjoyed the Potter books immensely, but L'Engle deserves her legacy... largely forgotten.


That's funny, I had almost the same experience. I had vaguely warm memories of reading some of her books as a kid, so a few months ago I checked out the five books of the "Time" series from the library and ... they really, really suck. The first one is so-so, and they rapidly go downhill from there. I couldn't bring myself to finish the fifth one (An Acceptable Time), which for me is rare indeed.

That said, L'Engle wrote a lot of other books. I vaguely remember thinking that the "Austins" books were better than the "Time" books. But now I'm disinclined to go back and re-read them for fear of discovering that they're awful, too.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby Mad Howler » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:04 pm

Sandi,
I gave some thought to the notion above and rather than reading Ms. l'Engle's works I went to the progeny for an opinion. I gave a vague intonation that I was asking from a political perspective and got some mention of something called "it", and then the discussion ranged to the works of C.S. Lewis then landed on the works of Lewis Carroll with a finger pointing to this passage...

`What I was going to say,' said the Dodo in an offended tone,
`was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.'

`What IS a Caucus-race?' said Alice; not that she wanted much
to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

`Why,' said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.'
(And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the
exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, `But who has won?'

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of
thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, `EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.'

`But who is to give the prizes?' quite a chorus of voices
asked.

`Why, SHE, of course,' said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with
one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way, `Prizes! Prizes!'

Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand
in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round.

`But she must have a prize herself, you know,' said the Mouse.

`Of course,' the Dodo replied very gravely. `What else have
you got in your pocket?' he went on, turning to Alice.

`Only a thimble,' said Alice sadly.

`Hand it over here,' said the Dodo.



I don't get it, but is this the direction you were headed?

MH

p.s.- kurt_w, if you are following this, I am definitely moving Thoreau up their reading list.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby pjbogart » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:45 pm

kurt_w wrote:That's funny, I had almost the same experience. I had vaguely warm memories of reading some of her books as a kid, so a few months ago I checked out the five books of the "Time" series from the library and ... they really, really suck. The first one is so-so, and they rapidly go downhill from there. I couldn't bring myself to finish the fifth one (An Acceptable Time), which for me is rare indeed.


I didn't even know there were five books. I just remembered "A Wrinkle in TIme", "The Wind in the Door", and "A Swiftly Tilting Planet".

When my nephew was growing up I bought him a lot of books, but I think that kids these days don't read much. The only book I really hooked him with was "Where the Red Fern Grows" which I bought him after he got a dog. He really liked that one and imagined that his Eskie was a huntin' dog, even though it couldn't figure out how to hunt a tennis ball.

Barnes and Noble always had a lot of classic literature for pretty cheap, but it has a hell of a time competing with an X-Box or a Wii. Don't buy a kid "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". They hate that one. "Treasure Island" and "The Jungle Books" did pretty well. "Oliver Twist" was too long and he never finished. He liked "The Hobbit" but found "The Lord of the Rings" boring, as he put it, "like reading the Bible".

I still think that Dickens and Twain are probably the best tween literature, but kids generally respond better to things that are more current, like the Potter series. That's really too bad because I have some very fond memories of exploring local wilderness imagining that I was Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. Meh, give him a stick and tell him to cast some spells. It's better than staring at the TV all day.
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby kurt_w » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:19 am

There is actually plenty of great children's literature available now, so the choices aren't just a dusty old Dickens tome, Harry Potter, the TV or the Wii. The neighborhood library here has a fantastic children's room, with a really good librarian. It does a brisk business after school; there's a number of kids whose after-school life basically seems to consist of walking down to the library and staying there until the parents pick them up after work.

To some extent they're just hanging out. To some extent they're just speed-reading through what's basically pablum (I don't mean Harry Potter, I mean the endlessly churned out series of pulpy paperback horse books or mysteries or whatever). (That's OK, I sometimes want to lose myself in grownup versions of low-grade reading matter.) But I also see them checking out plenty of good books, too.

Many of the Madison libraries have really good children's rooms. Not all kids are raised to be excited about reading, but some are, and for those who want to read, there's no shortage of children's books that are worth reading.

As for kids who aren't into books ... that's an interesting question. If we think that they're missing out on something important (I do), is that a problem? (I think it is.) And if so, can we and should we try to do something about it? (I would say yes and yes.)
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Re: Don't mess with (or employ critical thinking in) Texas!!

Postby kurt_w » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:35 am

pjbogart wrote:I didn't even know there were five books. I just remembered "A Wrinkle in TIme", "The Wind in the Door", and "A Swiftly Tilting Planet".


She added a fourth, and then a fifth. The fourth one (Many Waters) doesn't seem to fit well at all with the first three.

Then, as I understand it, there are connections with many of her other children's books. Apparently L'Engle is one of those authors who keeps trying to tie all their books together in some kind of consistent universe. Heinlein had the same problem, too.
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