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Thread: Anti-Eugenics

  1. #1 Anti-Eugenics 
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    People's fear of Eugenics scares me just as much as Eugenics. Because, the natural response, or backlash, to an elitist outlook is to actively pursue mediocrity. "No child left behind" gives way to "No child allowed to unfairly excel".

    There's a sense of entitlement in society these days, that hard work = reward, regardless of the quality of results, instead of results = reward, regardless of how little or much effort was required to obtain them.

    The smart kid at school, who can learn everything in a day without doing any homework will be severely penalized unless he/she learns to play the game by its rules, and at least pretend they're working hard, or something.


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  3. #2  
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    Socialism will eventuality lead to some form of practical eugenics because this will be inevitable as times go by. What form this eugenics will take is a question to ask, probably a socialistic one so that no one is left behind. In fact this is the only form of eugenics that makes sense from the social perspective.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    No child left behind is a government program to "help" children in public schools. It may be unwarrented or a complete failure, I don't know. But it is still entirely up to local communities what incentives they provide excellent students; and what help they offer those who, although possess the academic aptitude, do not possess the social aptitude.

    Localities cannot blame the national government for the lack of help, when all the resources necessary are already present. Most school organizations, whether public or private, prefer to focus on their image, which effects funding and benefits the school and community; than their students, whose individual success may or may not benefit the school and/or community, except in the exceptional case of a well to do community with thriving economy, and motivation to stick around. The rule of thumb is that most successful people will not earn their success in the community(s) they went to school in, and many will not benefit their community in any such way.

    So, in my opinion, excellent student's lack of community-ethics is to blame for the schools questionable priorities more-so than government funding. Communities who have loyal pupils who grow up to benefit the community, do not need government funding.
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  5. #4  
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    My point is that smart kids are expected to somehow demonstrate that they're "working" at it, which is absurd. Of course they're not working at it. It's too easy to require any significant work, unless the teacher wants to increase the volume of information.

    For a kid like that, doing 10 worksheets of homework is exactly as dull as writing one's name on the board 100 times, and exactly as productive.

    But... it's seen somehow, in our society, as unfair, if the smart kid isn't required to do the same tasks as the dumb kids.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman scubagirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    My point is that smart kids are expected to somehow demonstrate that they're "working" at it, which is absurd. Of course they're not working at it. It's too easy to require any significant work, unless the teacher wants to increase the volume of information.

    But... it's seen somehow, in our society, as unfair, if the smart kid isn't required to do the same tasks as the dumb kids.
    Yeah... smart kids should be given opportunities to excel, not be held back by being expected/forced to only do as much as everyone else. When I was in middle school there was a sort of "special ed" program for smart kids, and everyone actually had to work hard to keep up with the class (and learned a lot!). I'd be interested to see how these types of programs are faring now.
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  7. #6 Re: Anti-Eugenics 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The smart kid... will be severely penalized
    Perspective please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    doing 10 worksheets of homework is exactly as dull as writing one's name on the board 100 times, and exactly as productive
    Even the genius must grind sometimes. I think laughably pointless exercises do discipline (or numb) children to the kind of drudgery as adults they will have to endure or initiate, to succeed. I'm not saying life is boring, but for sure every single individual regardless of gift must be capable of boring operations. Einstein whined about the grind of mathematics... but he did it didn't he?

    I do think learning potential is stunted by lack of stimulation. But the hungering boredom bright kids feel is not unique. It's a fact of life we all meet, before we're able to pull up level with a coffee table and take steps on our own. How do you cope with it? Is there another potential hidden in the coping and nurtured by it? Use your imagination.

    Elementary school is also social. Of course everybody must be on the same page. We could have girls reading at a more advanced level, since on average they can handle it. But what happens when we put students into seperate groups? The social costs outweigh the advantages to individuals.

    Anyway we seem to have no shortage of kids who rather flit between interesting activities, than wait one through from start to finish.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I exert my earlier stance: intelligent students, and/or their parents, need to take the first step. After all, it is in their best interest, and not necessarily that of the schools, UNLESS the intelligent student, and/or their parents, provide an incentive for the school.

    Things need to change, clearly. Things are changing, and will never cease to. The question is how to change things in such a way that favors the type of world we want to live in. I personally, would rather live in a world where intelligence was measured by what you do with what you have, not merely what you have.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Things need to change, clearly. Things are changing, and will never cease to. The question is how to change things in such a way that favors the type of world we want to live in. I personally, would rather live in a world where intelligence was measured by what you do with what you have, not merely what you have.
    Well, the economic benefit of a person's contribution can never be based on that. It's not fundamentally possible.

    (economic benefit) = (what you have) x (what you do with it)

    The two are multiplied together, and therefore they matter equally. If either one drops to zero, your economic contribution drops to zero. If the "what you have" part is really high, you might be able to make a stronger contribution than someone else by exerting a tiny fraction of their effort. This might be very invalidating on a personal level for some people, but it's not a changeable part of reality.

    All too often, they might vent their frustration on the smart kid, which is sad because then the overall economy suffers when that smart kid starts to lose interest in participating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The smart kid... will be severely penalized
    Perspective please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    doing 10 worksheets of homework is exactly as dull as writing one's name on the board 100 times, and exactly as productive
    Even the genius must grind sometimes. I think laughably pointless exercises do discipline (or numb) children to the kind of drudgery as adults they will have to endure or initiate, to succeed. I'm not saying life is boring, but for sure every single individual regardless of gift must be capable of boring operations. Einstein whined about the grind of mathematics... but he did it didn't he?
    For the smart kid, "sometimes" becomes 90% of the time. How much stamina do you want them to have before they burn out, get tired of it all, and start doing drugs or something?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    intelligent students, and/or their parents, need to take the first step.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    For the smart kid, "sometimes" becomes 90% of the time. How much stamina do you want them to have before they burn out, get tired of it all, and start doing drugs or something?
    Maybe the reason why smart kids find themselves bored by stuff they already know, is they and/or their parents took those particular steps (like early literacy) ahead of normal pace. Let's back up. Say we have a gifted preschool child who might learn curriculum ahead of peers. How impressive that'd be! The proud parents! But is this course wise?

    With my own son, I don't pre-empt the system. When the time comes for class to learn multiplication, he'll learn it along with everybody else. In the meantime he'll be bored... unless we find other subjects to engage the mind. Subjects not taught in elementary: the life cycle of a mosquito, how to safely walk on a house roof, why do adults go to resturaunts, toy repair. In my experience, only the dullest parents resort to schoolwork. They're copying the system, for lack of imagination, and ensuring their kids will have to do that work all over again.

    A child who recieves free lunch at 12:00, should not be fed a sandwich at 11:00.
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  11. #10  
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    Being a child that was fed a sandwich at 11:00, I can honestly say I never redid any of the work. That said, I never did any homework at all unless I found it necessary. I learned on my own, outside of the classroom because I had a desire to do so. I was bored out of my mind in class but I didn't resort to drugs or anything of the sort, I just grinned and beared the torture until class was over, then went home and studied something more advanced. I generally failed in the eyes of the school system, but at least I did what I felt I had to do, I learned what I wanted, when I wanted, and at the pace I wanted. I graduated, but I won't be going to a university any time soon, despite the fact that I will learn everything humanly possible in the fields I'm interested in.

    This idea of promoting mediocrity is true, though, as more credit is given to effort than the actual knowledge, and I am a prime example of that. I never failed a test in school, though I had a 1.8 GPA simply because I didn't do trivial exercises the way I was supposed to, and hence stopped doing them altogether. I scored high on my AP scores, on the SAT, and on the ACT. I managed to nearly perfect every star test I took save for the literature section. I set the curve in my High school Bio, Chem, and Physics classes, as well as every mathematics and physics course I've ever enrolled in. I am a gifted student with a desire to learn, but because I don't play the game, I've been labeled as an idiot due to my low GPA and lack of effort. So be it, I will always be secure in the knowledge that I have a thirst for learning, and I think that's enough and that that attribute should be celebrated. Allow schools to separate the elite few who have not only a desire to learn, but a talent for comprehension as well. I am sad that most of whatI want to learn I have to learn without formal training, but that's the path I've chosen and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

    If a child shows true prowess and a great ability for learning, that ability should be nurtured and cultivated to the extent of allowing the child to enter an accelerated program designed to help the gifted student learn at the pace that they are comfortable with. Feed the children when they're ready, instead of setting a prescribed system dependent on the slowest of the batch. That is just my opinion, but it should stand that creating an elitist system will show through in that more students will not only excel, but the ones like me who hated the game will have a chance at actually becoming what they want without having to dumb themselves down to "keep-up" with the rest of the class.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Being a child that was fed a sandwich at 11:00, I can honestly say I never redid any of the work. That said, I never did any homework at all unless I found it necessary. I learned on my own, outside of the classroom because I had a desire to do so. I was bored out of my mind in class but I didn't resort to drugs or anything of the sort, I just grinned and beared the torture until class was over, then went home and studied something more advanced. I generally failed in the eyes of the school system, but at least I did what I felt I had to do, I learned what I wanted, when I wanted, and at the pace I wanted. I graduated, but I won't be going to a university any time soon, despite the fact that I will learn everything humanly possible in the fields I'm interested in.

    This idea of promoting mediocrity is true, though, as more credit is given to effort than the actual knowledge, and I am a prime example of that. I never failed a test in school, though I had a 1.8 GPA simply because I didn't do trivial exercises the way I was supposed to, and hence stopped doing them altogether. I scored high on my AP scores, on the SAT, and on the ACT. I managed to nearly perfect every star test I took save for the literature section. I set the curve in my High school Bio, Chem, and Physics classes, as well as every mathematics and physics course I've ever enrolled in. I am a gifted student with a desire to learn, but because I don't play the game, I've been labeled as an idiot due to my low GPA and lack of effort. So be it, I will always be secure in the knowledge that I have a thirst for learning, and I think that's enough and that that attribute should be celebrated. Allow schools to separate the elite few who have not only a desire to learn, but a talent for comprehension as well. I am sad that most of whatI want to learn I have to learn without formal training, but that's the path I've chosen and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
    That pretty much perfectly articulates the problem. If a business ran itself in a way that so thoroughly ignored results in favor of process, it would go out of business in a very short time. So, it's total B.S. to say this is preparation for the work place. In the business world, you don't finish a task and then stay at your desk and pretend you're still working at it, not in a workplace that's competitive. (Maybe in a government bureaucracy you would).
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    Pong makes an interesting point. I think it's worth studying the effects of parent "interference" on education.

    I'm an all or nothing kind of guy, if you want to teach your kid something, home school them. If your going to home school them, don't ignore centuries of educational theory, in other words, DO IT WELL: stay in contact with the local schools and keep in mind what students the same age are learning; where your child excels; what your child needs to work on; and what your child is most interested in; as well as, what the preferred learning method is. All you need to do is provide the framework, and the motivate them, the rest comes naturally.


    It is the case that some intelligent people are just bored because it's all so obvious. Maybe they read a few books and now they know about something that will be mentioned in history a few years later, or maybe they've always been good with certain things.

    I think that students should teach students of lower classes, this would provide the incentive to excel. What grade you are in would not be based on how many years you have done what your told, but based on what you can teach. The day you can teach what you are learning is the day you know it well enough to move on. The tests would be "Help this kid with his homework," 'Explain to this kid how to add fractions"

    etc

    Each student teacher would only be responsible for teaching 2 or 3 students each, depending on the generation's fluctuation in population. And the paid teacher can be the overseer, more or less.

    It sounds like slave labor, but I don't think there is anything wrong with it. If the student, is bored and wants to move on, there should be a way to do so, without costing the school any more money, or else schools probably wont adopt the practices.
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    This has little to do with 'socialism' or the lack of it. The two largest experiments in socialism, the ex USSR and China today both ensure (d) that every child received basic health, education etc, and at the same time singled out gifted kids either for music, athletics, science, etc.

    Perhaps it's different in the USA, but the province of Canada I live in encourages kids to learn iat a pace best suited to them. This has been enhanced greatly by on line programs and information. When I went to school decades ago there were two streams in high school...today there are multiple avenues such as international Baccalaureate, etc. and charter schools dedicated to an emphasis in the arts or sports, etc.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman

    I think that students should teach students of lower classes, this would provide the incentive to excel. What grade you are in would not be based on how many years you have done what your told, but based on what you can teach. The day you can teach what you are learning is the day you know it well enough to move on. The tests would be "Help this kid with his homework," 'Explain to this kid how to add fractions"

    etc

    Each student teacher would only be responsible for teaching 2 or 3 students each, depending on the generation's fluctuation in population. And the paid teacher can be the overseer, more or less.

    It sounds like slave labor, but I don't think there is anything wrong with it. If the student, is bored and wants to move on, there should be a way to do so, without costing the school any more money, or else schools probably wont adopt the practices.
    I like this idea, because I think it would benefit both the smart kids, and the not so smart kids both, but I think there's a really ugly reason it won't ever happen. Too many parents invest too much of their own egos in their child's intelligence.

    If being made into a tutor implies that your kid is smarter, then parents will continually pressure the schools put their own (less intelligent) children into that program until it starts to adopt all the same reverse-meritocracy rules as mainstream education.

    In my experience, that's how TAG programs ("Talented and Gifted") play out. Every parent wants their kid to get in, and when you finally look at how the classes are structured, they're just giving the kids more homework to do on the same basic subject matter. In the end, it's a program designed for the exceptionally hard working kids, not the smartest kids. I think society wants to pretend that naturally smarter kids simply don't exist.
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  16. #15  
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    I like the idea too. I've seen it in practice, currently as well as 25 years ago. It's informally arranged, with the largest sub-class comprising maybe six children. School library's the perfect venue. I know elementary teachers structure the day so that fast and slow learners may be parted from mainstream for an hour. No doubt the entire staff collaborates on preferred "shuffling" periods (I don't know their jargon).

    Kojax, these diversions don't grow ugly because staff handles them with discretion.
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    Most democracies such as the US operate under the assumption that, although it is unrealistic to hold that all people are equal (in terms of fitness, intelligence or whatever), it is appropriate to none-the-less provide a reasonable equality of opportunity. Primarily this stems from the fact that the potential of most people is practically impossible to gauge until sufficient opportunity has been provided. A seemingly stupid person may simply have been under stimulated during infancy, or undereducated during childhood. Of course societies disagree on what is a reasonable provision of opportunity. Education is a given in many nations, though to varying points. Healthcare is a divisive issue in the US, though it is a given in most of Europe.

    So I suppose ultimately the issue at hand is where the lines ought to be drawn. At what point we can say with confidence that we are "promoting mediocrity", as Arcane puts it.
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  18. #17  
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    An interesting discussion, but as it has come to center on education I'm going to move it to that forum.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    In the US, the No Child Left Behind Act is definitely a place where mediocrity is being promoted, seeing as how No child can be re-educated for poor behavior, and given low test scores, the Act effectively calls for lower standards of education as opposed to higher standards of teachers (though the opposite was the intent)
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Most democracies such as the US operate under the assumption that, although it is unrealistic to hold that all people are equal (in terms of fitness, intelligence or whatever), it is appropriate to none-the-less provide a reasonable equality of opportunity. Primarily this stems from the fact that the potential of most people is practically impossible to gauge until sufficient opportunity has been provided. A seemingly stupid person may simply have been under stimulated during infancy, or undereducated during childhood. Of course societies disagree on what is a reasonable provision of opportunity. Education is a given in many nations, though to varying points. Healthcare is a divisive issue in the US, though it is a given in most of Europe.

    So I suppose ultimately the issue at hand is where the lines ought to be drawn. At what point we can say with confidence that we are "promoting mediocrity", as Arcane puts it.
    I totally agree with doing this. We should help out the less successful students, especially the ones who may have unseen potential. It's just that some people's desire to level the playing field sometimes takes the opposite direction as well.

    It's like if you're in a foot race or marathon. Imagine if there's an exceptionally fast runner, that nobody else has any chance of ever catching. You can't level that playing field. If leveling the playing field is one of your goals, then there's going to be a very strong temptation to try and take measures to slow that guy down.

    "Level playing field", in this sense, and "equal opportunity" are the same thing. There's no non-destructive way to give the other kids in that class the same opportunities as the smart kid. If our definition of social justice is going to lead to something so absurd as suppressing our most capable students, then it no longer benefits us as a society to pursue it. At least we need to have a better sense of how to balance the concerns.

    The genius kids of today are where we'll get the jobs of tomorrow. The average kids are the people who will work those jobs. Parents who get all fidgety because someone else's kid is flying ahead of theirs are fools. They're tearing the ground out from under their own kids' feet, biting the hand that would have fed their child someday. I wouldn't be surprised if the current recession arises from it. Why were there so many idiots in charge?
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