Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

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Post by Lurker on Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:20 pm

http://www.sott.net/article/313177-The-cult-of-ignorance-in-the-United-States-Anti-intellectualism-and-the-dumbing-down-of-America

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.

Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in theWashington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."

There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason and anti-science have been infused into America's political and social fabric. Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said:

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

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Post by Ben Reilly on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:17 pm

I do encounter people on a near daily basis who I just want to slap and tell them to wake up -- they literally seem to be sleepwalking through life.

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Post by Guest on Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:29 pm

You think this is just an American problem?   Jeez, you have examples of some of ours that have been dumbed down on here every day!

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Post by 'Wolfie on Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:05 am

Cool

WE don't have to look any further than this site, to realise how widespread such anti-intellectual anti-academic, anti-science/maths/technology positions can be...

YOU only need to look at the outright garbage and blatant lies easily found in pseudo scientific/health/nutrition articles ==
"Proof that meat is killing you !"
"Veganism will save the world !"
"Sugar (sic) causes 40% of all cancers in the world !".

NEED I say more ?

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Post by Lurker on Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:09 pm

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:Cool

WE don't have to look any further than this site, to realise how widespread such anti-intellectual anti-academic, anti-science/maths/technology positions can be...

YOU only need to look at the outright garbage and blatant lies easily found in pseudo scientific/health/nutrition articles ==
"Proof that meat is killing you !"
"Veganism will save the world !"
"Sugar (sic) causes 40% of all cancers in the world !".

NEED I say more ?

alien

Yeah, we have a politician who believes that cancer is caused by a fungus, among other stupid shit she believes.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/02/26/the-people-who-believe-salt-water-and-baking-soda-can-cure-cancer/

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Post by eddie on Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:34 pm

Nobody really knows what causes alot of cancers because, like the common cold (still not cured) no two cancers are the same.

Nobody really knows what cures cancer either.
Otherwise it'd be done and dusted by now.

As for "science" - that changes its mind rapidly, as nobody really knows.....

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Post by Ben Reilly on Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:47 pm

eddie wrote:Nobody really knows what causes alot of cancers because, like the common cold (still not cured) no two cancers are the same.

Nobody really knows what cures cancer either.
Otherwise it'd be done and dusted by now.

As for "science" - that changes its mind rapidly, as nobody really knows.....

Come on, edds, that's a little off the mark. People have been cured of cancer, so we know what worked for them. I would say what we don't fully understand yet is why it worked.

As far as science changing its mind rapidly goes, well, that to me is preferable to science which says one thing and then can never revise its position even if proven wrong.

Medicine is a very young science with a long way to go. 250 years ago, most doctors treated both humans and animals. We've known bacteria causes infections for less than 150 years, and had drugs specifically intended for clearing bacterial infections for a little over 100. Ten years ago, we didn't even have the complete sequence of a single human being's genome. (Today we have about 1,100.)

Just for the sake of comparison, electrical engineering has been around for over four centuries. Modern (scientific) medicine has really only been around about half that amount of time.

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Post by Raggamuffin on Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:53 pm

They do know why cancer treatment works.

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Post by eddie on Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:00 pm

They don't know why it works really.....The doctors are just as shocked as everyone else mostly!

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Post by Raggamuffin on Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:06 pm

eddie wrote:They don't know why it works really.....The doctors are just as shocked as everyone else mostly!

Chemo kills fast-dividing cells - ie cancer cells. Radiation therapy blasts the tumour. It's not that complicated. The difficulty is in targeting all the cancerous cells so they don't spread to other places.

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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:22 pm

Rags, I'm really glad you aren't in charge of my treatment, cancer isn't just tumours.

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Post by Raggamuffin on Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:34 pm

sassy wrote:Rags, I'm really glad you aren't in charge of my treatment, cancer isn't just tumours.

I didn't say it was. I said radiotherapy blasts tumours. Obviously, one wouldn't use it on all types of cancer.

Don't start on me - you've been a pain in the arse for the past few days as it is.

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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:12 pm

Raggamuffin wrote:
sassy wrote:Rags, I'm really glad you aren't in charge of my treatment, cancer isn't just tumours.

I didn't say it was. I said radiotherapy blasts tumours. Obviously, one wouldn't use it on all types of cancer.

Don't start on me - you've been a pain in the arse for the past few days as it is.


lol! lol! lol!  Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America 1716015268

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Post by Raggamuffin on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:15 pm

sassy wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

I didn't say it was. I said radiotherapy blasts tumours. Obviously, one wouldn't use it on all types of cancer.

Don't start on me - you've been a pain in the arse for the past few days as it is.


lol! lol! lol!  Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America 1716015268

It's good that you realise that you didn't read my post properly. You get a lot of things wrong, but go very quiet when you know you've got something wrong.

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Post by HoratioTarr on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:20 pm

eddie wrote:Nobody really knows what causes alot of cancers because, like the common cold (still not cured) no two cancers are the same.

Nobody really knows what cures cancer either.
Otherwise it'd be done and dusted by now.

As for "science" - that changes its mind rapidly, as nobody really knows.....

Research is now pointing more towards helping the body heal itself rather than bombarding it with poison, which is basically what chemo is.  The immune system is what decides whether someone survives cancer or not, I believe, and our immune systems are undermined by a variety of lifestyle choices.
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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:22 pm

HoratioTarr wrote:
eddie wrote:Nobody really knows what causes alot of cancers because, like the common cold (still not cured) no two cancers are the same.

Nobody really knows what cures cancer either.
Otherwise it'd be done and dusted by now.

As for "science" - that changes its mind rapidly, as nobody really knows.....

Research is now pointing more towards helping the body heal itself rather than bombarding it with poison, which is basically what chemo is.  The immune system is what decides whether someone survives cancer or not, I believe, and our immune systems are undermined by a variety of lifestyle choices.


Or in my case the leukeamia destroys my immune system, which is why they won't be able to use my immune system to help.

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Post by Raggamuffin on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:24 pm

HoratioTarr wrote:
eddie wrote:Nobody really knows what causes alot of cancers because, like the common cold (still not cured) no two cancers are the same.

Nobody really knows what cures cancer either.
Otherwise it'd be done and dusted by now.

As for "science" - that changes its mind rapidly, as nobody really knows.....

Research is now pointing more towards helping the body heal itself rather than bombarding it with poison, which is basically what chemo is.  The immune system is what decides whether someone survives cancer or not, I believe, and our immune systems are undermined by a variety of lifestyle choices.

Cancer cells can actually recruit part of the immune system though, and fool it into actually aiding the spread of cancer.

Immunotherapy is an emerging field which is quite exciting.

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Post by HoratioTarr on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:26 pm

Raggamuffin wrote:
HoratioTarr wrote:

Research is now pointing more towards helping the body heal itself rather than bombarding it with poison, which is basically what chemo is.  The immune system is what decides whether someone survives cancer or not, I believe, and our immune systems are undermined by a variety of lifestyle choices.

Cancer cells can actually recruit part of the immune system though, and fool it into actually aiding the spread of cancer.

Immunotherapy is an emerging field which is quite exciting.

Yes, it  is!    Let's hope it becomes a reality.
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Post by HoratioTarr on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:27 pm

sassy wrote:
HoratioTarr wrote:

Research is now pointing more towards helping the body heal itself rather than bombarding it with poison, which is basically what chemo is.  The immune system is what decides whether someone survives cancer or not, I believe, and our immune systems are undermined by a variety of lifestyle choices.


Or in my case the leukeamia destroys my immune system, which is why they won't be able to use my immune system to help.

What treatment are you on?
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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:39 pm

HoratioTarr wrote:
sassy wrote:


Or in my case the leukeamia destroys my immune system, which is why they won't be able to use my immune system to help.

What treatment are you on?


Chronic Leukeamia cannot be cured.  When you reach stage 4, or in my case when you have had a lower stage for a long time and you are getting infection after infection, there are different chemo's to try followed by stem cell or bone marrow transplant.  There are a few more choices now than there were a few years ago.  I had a few rounds of chemo year before last, but opted to stop as it had stablised my blood counts.  However, with CLL, unless you have the 17q deletion, which is the worst, a lot of the time you don't die from CLL, you die from an infection that your body can't fight.  I get a load of bugs and tend to limit my life a little to stear clear of places where there are a lot of people.  I ran for the Council last year, and thinking back, I must have been nuts, as I am back to having lots of infections and could not have coped with it.  I have blood tests every 3 months and see the specialist then and they take very careful note about what is happening.  It's called Watch & Wait and that is exactly what it is.  They tell you it's the best cancer to have, then they tell you they can't cure it, then they tell you that the rate of depression etc because of the length of time it impacts on your life is very high,  they're kind like that lol

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