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Old March 28th, 2018, 09:32 AM   #1
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How independent are you?

I have spent my life in a bubble not doing much critical thinking. Oh, I am college educated and have a large personal library and listen to college lectures daily. That keeps me in a happy bubble, but it does not mean having the skills successful people must have. I am numerically illiterate (find math confusing) and avoid critical thinking and problem-solving. When I try to really think I feel confused and give up. I don't think I am alone in this. What I learned today is how to teach people who have also spent a lifetime in a bubble, chasing after pleasure and avoiding pain. Critical thinking, math, and problem-solving will cause many people to feel confused and that is painful, so we give up, and become dependent on others to make all the decisions.

This does not mean we are not loners, but the opposite. Our failure to use our brains means lacking coping skills, so we have a problem getting along with others. This isolates us in our own personal bubbles. We may be able to learn to do somethings automatically like drive a car or work on an assembly line, but that does not lead to success and financial independence unless that assembly line type job pays a lot. In today's high tech world, what I am talking about means poverty and marginalizing people who can not keep up.

Where do you think you fit in a scale of 1 to 10.

Measuring your ability to obtain information.

Measuring your ability to process that information.

Measuring how well you actually understand?

How do you make decisions? Are you going on gut instinct, how you feel about something, what you heard about something or someone, or are you actually thinking things through?
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Old March 28th, 2018, 09:56 AM   #2
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Sounds interesting! And something that can be very useful in an aging society where none of us are getting any younger.

I feel like after being a radical non-conformist in my youth, I had settled into a bubble where I wasn't paying a lot of attention to what was happening and why. And it's really just been in the last 10 years or so that I am exploring topics I hadn't looked at for decades and re-examining my beliefs and theories on a whole range of subjects...like philosophy, especially critical thinking.

I'm hoping to keep on learning about new things as long as I am above ground, and not become too despondent about the state of the world...especially after reading horror stories in environment news like one today regarding marine biologists are concerned that most large whale species have stopped producing offspring...not the first story I wanted to read first thing in the morning...but what can you do!

Last edited by right to left; March 28th, 2018 at 09:58 AM.
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Old March 28th, 2018, 10:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Athena View Post
That keeps me in a happy bubble, but it does not mean having the skills successful people must have. I am numerically illiterate (find math confusing) and avoid critical thinking and problem-solving. When I try to really think I feel confused and give up. I don't think I am alone in this. What I learned today is how to teach people who have also spent a lifetime in a bubble, chasing after pleasure and avoiding pain. Critical thinking, math, and problem-solving will cause many people to feel confused and that is painful, so we give up, and become dependent on others to make all the decisions.
@Athena

Mathematics does not necessitate any real independent thought until one reaches the point of doing legitimate research--which typically does not happen until a couple years into Grad school. Mostly, it necessitates a higher level 'copy-paste' function than average, though that does not indicate that students of Math are more likely to be 'independent thinkers'; and, I can tell you from personal experience, they often/overwhelmingly are not.
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Old March 29th, 2018, 05:05 AM   #4
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@Athena

Mathematics does not necessitate any real independent thought until one reaches the point of doing legitimate research--which typically does not happen until a couple years into Grad school. Mostly, it necessitates a higher level 'copy-paste' function than average, though that does not indicate that students of Math are more likely to be 'independent thinkers'; and, I can tell you from personal experience, they often/overwhelmingly are not.
All right, put on the boxing gloves, I am ready to fight for the idea that math is essential to learning how to think. My grandmother was a first through third-grade teacher and she said so. But that math is not the math that is being taught today. The way math was once taught applied to everyday living. I have an old 6th-grade math book that gives the brain a real work out. It is word problems and they demand an understanding of logic. I have sadly gone through life avoiding that kind of a mental work out.
I did not appreciate the importance of it.

Now I am thinking all my grown grandchildren would be doing a whole lot better in life if they had grown up on that math. Right to left knows how much our brains change as we age and it is awful to wake up old and realize how much better things could have gone if we had realized what we know now when we were young. I now see, all my grandchildren avoid thinking. They get upset and yell at people, and in general make a big ass of themselves because their brains are not fully functional. If they had focused on math and developed those neurons and thinking patterns, they would be much better problem solvers and much better at getting what they want.

We naturally run our lives on emotions. It is unnatural for us to think things through. First, we have to learn the patterns of logic, and second, we have to use them so they become automatic instead of emoting. When you see someone attacking another person for what s/he thinks, you can know this person is emoting, not thinking. Do you see that?
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Last edited by Athena; March 29th, 2018 at 08:30 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2018, 05:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
Sounds interesting! And something that can be very useful in an aging society where none of us are getting any younger.

I feel like after being a radical non-conformist in my youth, I had settled into a bubble where I wasn't paying a lot of attention to what was happening and why. And it's really just been in the last 10 years or so that I am exploring topics I hadn't looked at for decades and re-examining my beliefs and theories on a whole range of subjects...like philosophy, especially critical thinking.

I'm hoping to keep on learning about new things as long as I am above ground, and not become too despondent about the state of the world...especially after reading horror stories in environment news like one today regarding marine biologists are concerned that most large whale species have stopped producing offspring...not the first story I wanted to read first thing in the morning...but what can you do!
I think our cohort was the best because we were so sure we were going to make the world a better place. I feel so sorry for everyone who has come of age later because there is so much negativity and so much negative news, such as the stories about whales and corals, and stories of troubled teenagers committing suicide or shooting up their schoolmates and teachers. We are not listening to the young. We are not thinking of their future. We are not preparing them for life as we once prepared the young for life, but are preparing them for their place in the Borg.

Laugh, someone once said we waste education on the young. I wish every older person felt as you do about becoming informed and participating in the world today. Wouldn't it be great if the young could experience the difference in thinking, so they appreciated that difference, instead of believing their understanding of life is the best it can be and being old is being outdated and useless?

I hope as the population of long-lived people continues to get larger we will return to notions that age 30 is still youth and that there is good reason for respecting elders and striving to be as knowledgeable. Wouldn't it be great if they decided to learn from experienced people, instead of insisting on making their own mistakes? I live in fear of the young in my family dying before I do because they have made bad decisions and there are health consequences to some of those bad decisions, and for sure financial consequences. Yesterday, I learned more about the connection between poverty and bad health and poor thinking skills. That is why I started this thread.
Thanks from imaginethat and right to left

Last edited by Athena; March 29th, 2018 at 05:34 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2018, 05:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
I have spent my life in a bubble not doing much critical thinking. Oh, I am college educated and have a large personal library and listen to college lectures daily. That keeps me in a happy bubble, but it does not mean having the skills successful people must have. I am numerically illiterate (find math confusing) and avoid critical thinking and problem-solving. When I try to really think I feel confused and give up. I don't think I am alone in this. What I learned today is how to teach people who have also spent a lifetime in a bubble, chasing after pleasure and avoiding pain. Critical thinking, math, and problem-solving will cause many people to feel confused and that is painful, so we give up, and become dependent on others to make all the decisions.

This does not mean we are not loners, but the opposite. Our failure to use our brains means lacking coping skills, so we have a problem getting along with others. This isolates us in our own personal bubbles. We may be able to learn to do somethings automatically like drive a car or work on an assembly line, but that does not lead to success and financial independence unless that assembly line type job pays a lot. In today's high tech world, what I am talking about means poverty and marginalizing people who can not keep up.

Where do you think you fit in a scale of 1 to 10.

Measuring your ability to obtain information.

Measuring your ability to process that information.

Measuring how well you actually understand?

How do you make decisions? Are you going on gut instinct, how you feel about something, what you heard about something or someone, or are you actually thinking things through?
I'm self-made multi-millionaire who barely graduated High School and never went to college. That sounds like bragging but I only speak the truth. Lord have Mercy!

edit: Find your niche and exploit is my best advice.
Thanks from TNVolunteer73 and Clara007

Last edited by Twisted Sister; March 29th, 2018 at 05:55 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2018, 08:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Twisted Sister View Post
I'm self-made multi-millionaire who barely graduated High School and never went to college. That sounds like bragging but I only speak the truth. Lord have Mercy!

edit: Find your niche and exploit is my best advice.
Our world is built upon exploitation. Are you telling us your exploitation came at no cost to others? I'll just carry on collecting my paycheque until I can hopefully retire in a couple of years. I can't think of anything I would want to buy that would require becoming a multimillionaire. I just wish the era when average working people could earn a comfortable living wasn't coming to an end now that capitalists all over the world are trying to squeeze more and more from us!
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Old March 29th, 2018, 08:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Twisted Sister View Post
I'm self-made multi-millionaire who barely graduated High School and never went to college. That sounds like bragging but I only speak the truth. Lord have Mercy!

edit: Find your niche and exploit is my best advice.
Please, write a book and I will buy it for the young people in my family. Not that they would read it. You know the young know it all, so they aren't going to read how to succeed in life. But I would dearly love to know how you did it. I used to have several wild business ideas daily but never had to money to invest in them. Also, like many creative people, I just don't have a good business mind. Having a great idea isn't much good if a person doesn't know how to make money with it.
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Old March 29th, 2018, 09:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
I think our cohort was the best because we were so sure we were going to make the world a better place. I feel so sorry for everyone who has come of age later because there is so much negativity and so much negative news, such as the stories about whales and corals, and stories of troubled teenagers committing suicide or shooting up their schoolmates and teachers. We are not listening to the young. We are not thinking of their future. We are not preparing them for life as we once prepared the young for life, but are preparing them for their place in the Borg.

Laugh, someone once said we waste education on the young. I wish every older person felt as you do about becoming informed and participating in the world today. Wouldn't it be great if the young could experience the difference in thinking, so they appreciated that difference, instead of believing their understanding of life is the best it can be and being old is being outdated and useless?
I haven't got into the debates on gun control, and assault weapons, but the kids from Parkland High School in Florida..who have stepped up to speak and try to lead efforts to ban assault weapons..seem to be trying to lead right now....since no one else is stepping forward to do it. And, I already know that there are sinister, manipulative forces behind the scenes trying to control them...namely in the form of Michael Bloomberg...who's non-profit gun control group is behind them, but I was still impressed by how eloquent and informed 17 year old high school seniors are on this subject. Some kids can be future leaders...they'll have to be, because any revolution of any kind, has to come from the youth, not the elderly! I recall that it was said that the average age of the demonstrators in Soweto and the other South African townships that brought down the apartheid regime, were only 16 years old! Many of America's founding fathers, were young men from merchant class families, like Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Paine, were in their early 20's when the American Revolution broke out.
Quote:
I hope as the population of long-lived people continues to get larger we will return to notions that age 30 is still youth and that there is good reason for respecting elders and striving to be as knowledgeable. Wouldn't it be great if they decided to learn from experienced people, instead of insisting on making their own mistakes? I live in fear of the young in my family dying before I do because they have made bad decisions and there are health consequences to some of those bad decisions, and for sure financial consequences.
Yes, being born in the post-war baby boom generation has been like being a surfer and catching the perfect wave! It was an optimistic time..except for the occasional Cold War rumblings; the future looked bright at the beginning of the Space Age...which is grinding to a halt except for the flim flam and big ideas promoted by Elon Musk, Bezos and other grifters, who must think that they can place themselves on another world out there or a large space station as life on this world goes extinct. Back in the 60's, the space age was for everyone who was young....or at least that's what we thought at the time..especially after watching Neil Armstrong become the first man to walk on the Moon.

And so far, I've noticed that life expectancy is no longer on that upward trend we used to take for granted. It might still be going up for the rich..but everyone else is falling behind. It's not strictly a matter of when you were born, there are very high wealth and income correlates with life expectancy also.

Last year I learned that my city here in Southern Ontario reflects an unhealthy trend that is happening all across North America: the districts with the highest average incomes have a 20 year higher life expectancy than the poorest districts! This is apparently because wealthier people are more self-satisfied and confident than poor people running to payday lenders to make ends meet, and less inclined to be abusing drugs, alcohol or other toxic substances and habits than poor people. The poor are also raising their children and living closer to the sources of air, water and other environmental pollution. So, on average someone living in an old house in an older industrial era neighborhood is more likely to die of cancer or heart disease than those who can afford to escape the worst environmental degradation.

Quote:
Yesterday, I learned more about the connection between poverty and bad health and poor thinking skills. That is why I started this thread.
I think it dawned on me the first time about 10 or so years ago, when I was active on an atheist forum and thought that being an atheist was something really important! Anyway, one of the frequent contributors was a woman in her late-50's who was forced into early retirement and trying to survive on a monthly disability cheque. When the subject of organic foods and changing diets away from grains and all the other related crap at the supermarket, she said that she can't afford much fruits and vegetables on her income and there's no Whole Foods Market for miles!

It's not a matter of just being dumb or careless, many older people living in poverty know what's wrong, but are stuck with buying cheap carbs because they can't afford better food, and in many neighborhoods, there's not many safe options for trying to exercise either. I just wish it would sink in with libertarians over the age of 16, that legal freedoms are only theoretical and can't be practiced if people can't afford to exercise those freedoms...which should include the freedom to have the means to live a healthy and productive life!
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Old March 29th, 2018, 09:14 AM   #10
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All right, put on the boxing gloves, I am ready to fight for the idea that math is essential to learning how to think. My grandmother was a first through third-grade teacher and she said so. But that math is not the math that is being taught today. The way math was once taught applied to everyday living. I have an old 6th-grade math book that gives the brain a real work out. It is word problems and they demand an understanding of logic. I have sadly gone through life avoiding that kind of a mental work out.
I did not appreciate the importance of it.

Now I am thinking all my grown grandchildren would be doing a whole lot better in life if they had grown up on that math. Right to left knows how much our brains change as we age and it is awful to wake up old and realize how much better things could have gone if we had realized what we know now when we were young. I now see, all my grandchildren avoid thinking. They get upset and yell at people, and in general make a big ass of themselves because their brains are not fully functional. If they had focused on math and developed those neurons and thinking patterns, they would be much better problem solvers and much better at getting what they want.

We naturally run our lives on emotions. It is unnatural for us to think things through. First, we have to learn the patterns of logic, and second, we have to use them so they become automatic instead of emoting. When you see someone attacking another person for what s/he thinks, you can know this person is emoting, not thinking. Do you see that?
@Athena

I think we may be talking cross-purposes, as I essentially agree with everything you said.

Mathematics is still one of the best ways we know of to train abstract reasoning in that one needs to follow strict/rigorous lines of logical argumentation, identify a pattern, utilize strong mental visualization, assort the pattern into a working model, make swift and accurate computations, ect. ect. It is essentially rigorous training for your brain/mind in a very similar way that lifting weights/jump rope/sprints/jumping exercises/ect. ect is rigorous training for your body. That is, to continue with this analogy, if one's mathematical knowledge is limited to arithmetic, they may or may not have the mental strength to "bench press" 350+lbs (since a person can still be of very high intelligence and not have studied math) however, if a person's knowledge of mathematics extends to through modern Graduate school level, they definitely can "bench press" 350+lbs. since the nature of the material necessitates that level of strength or higher. Thus, one of the surest ways to get to that level (that we currently know of), is to study higher Maths (i.e. even though it is not requisite to know high levels of Math to be highly intelligent, if one does know high level Maths then they definitely are at a higher level of abstract reasoning by necessity--it is "push ups" for your brain/mind).

However, having that 'strength' still in no way guarantees that people will think independently--as these are separate skills/abilities that need to be developed as well (of which are only partially connected to each other).
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