Of late, I have looked around at people, and what I see is not encouraging. I see college-educated people who may be very smart in one field or another, but what they lack is the ability to think, to reason, to apply logic to a wide variety of situations. I have always thought that the single greatest take-away of my education was the ability to ask the question “why” and find the answers. There is no single fact, date, name, or place that stuck with me long, but the thing that has had the most value was that I learned how to ask the right questions and how to find the answers by combining intellect, logic and knowledge. That skill, seemingly, is no longer being taught in our colleges and universities, which in the long run will have a seriously debilitating effect on our population! My fellow blogger-friend Hugh Curtler, a retired professor of philosophy and the humanities, as well as a writer, has written an excellent post that explains the failure of higher education today to turn out well-rounded students, students prepared for the real world they will be occupying. Please take a few moments to read his post and think about what he says. And as always, leave him a comment to let him know your thoughts!
Some years back my wife and I attended an informational meeting in a nearby town where the plan was to build a new coal-burning plant to generate electricity. There were many questions following the presentation — which was clearly designed to let people think they were a part of the decision-making process (which we all pretty well knew we weren’t). At one point a farmer asked what would happen to the large area where the plant was to be built after it had run its course and was shut down. The representative from the company smiled paternalistically and noted that his models didn’t allow them to predict what would happen more than, perhaps, five years down the line.
At that point the farmer rejoined that he didn’t need models; if they didn’t build the plant he knew exactly what would become of the land, to wit, it would still be…
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