limbo wrote:The other big problem is that educational institutions have become mass indoctrination camps creating the exact opposite of free-thinking skilled individuals. And yes, there are definitely exceptions to this, but even some of the most stern STEM-based programs are susceptible to this, because they're expected to follow suit.
So, I really am not sure how much to go into this given our No Politics rule, but something I'll say is that while I'm older than some, the notion of colleges being mass indoctrination camps is not that new.
I grew up in a small town as "the smart one" and thus folks in my church would pull me aside would warn me about going off to college and the "hubris" of scientists thinking they know better than God.
I showed up to college, got involved in tons of conversations with people who disagreed with me, and saw my worldviews change drastically, admittedly in some of the precise ways the town church elders feared, but certainly not because I was afraid to challenge my profs or anyone else. On multiple occasions, I responded in the middle of class rebutting my profs, and never once felt that any kind of retribution was a danger.
I will say, I wonder if things are becoming different because people are showing up to college already more set in what they believe due to social media, but that's not a professor thing so much as a peer thing.
My impression having gone through college having previously been warned against indoctrination was simply that to the people in my town "indoctrination" meant coming to believe something different from what the people in the town espoused.
Re: STEM being better. What I'll say there is that my STEM education would generally be seen as "solid", but I thought they were terrible at actually teaching us to think...which I actually think they're inclined to see as a feature rather than a bug. STEM is riding a wave of a terrified populace who thinks that the only way to ensure livelihood is to do STEM, and rather than risk the golden goose by focusing on more on ethics and epistemology, it's variations of plugging and chugging.
While in high school the classes that made me think came from STEM, in college in my STEM majors, it was largely the Humanities classes that actually made me a better thinker (with my Cognitive Science classes being a glaring exception).
limbo wrote:Finally, if we're talking about depression, i think we can not skip over the fact that there seems to be an obviois correlation between depression and Maslow's hierarchy, and not in a way one would expect. People who live in countries with objectively better conditions and have more of their basic/fundamental needs met (food, money, shelter, safety etc.) tend to experience a higher/more frequent rate of depression. And this ties back to the idea of purpose like somebody mentioned a couple of posts ago... If you're living in tougher/harder conditions, you simply can't afford to stew and wallow in your feelings because if you don't get up and go address your problems, you will simply lose everything and die.
I wanted to speak to this specifically. So as you might have seen me say before, I'm a teacher.
People often ask what's wrong with K-12 Education, and I always say that if you want one word, it's Demoralization.
They same is true for my whole damn country, and many other countries. We are Demoralized. We no longer seem to believe we can build big things together. We've become cynical, and while this gives us a certain type of confidence, it leaves us largely disempowered as do-ers.
I try to imagine how current Americans would respond to WWI and WWII and I just fine myself thinking "We'd have done nothing." We quite possibly wouldn't have entered into either war, and if we did enter in, we'd fail to achieve the kind of rapid development of manufacturing and trained that turned us from a backwater to a superpower in a remarkably brief window.
If this seems like I'm attacking one side of the aisle, know that while certain related phenomena are spread asymmetrically across the proverbial political spectrum, I am talking about a general phenomenon where we're getting lost in certain types of abstractions.
When the task was as concrete as building factories and tanks, we believed that we were in this together.
We've lost a lot of that now, and if we don't find a way to get it back, we should expect to be outperformed by other nations that actually have their ducks in a row.
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.