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People with high degrees who don't know stuff

 
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Vextor




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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: People with high degrees who don't know stuff Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The other day I was speaking with a co-worker (a guy who has a masters in mechanical engineering and an MBA) about various things. The discussion went towards Scientology and how they think humans were placed on the earth by Xenu, etc.

Then the guy told me, "well, them archaeologists believe the world has existed for 2 million years..."

I was then, "the WHO believes the world has existed for 2 million years?"

"Archaeologists, you know, the guys that dig stuff."

I was shocked. Shocked and amazed. This highly educated person thinks that archaeologists (who are scientists, and not a a follower of a religion) "believe" that the world has existed for 2 million years.

For one thing, archeology has nothing to do with the origin of mankind. It's a study of ancient cultures and a way for us to understand past civilizations, and not a field that explores that origins of the world. That's stuff left to the astrophysicists.

I was shocked because I thought it was very common to assume at least the earth has existed for billions of years (from a purely scientific perspective), but this dude seriously thought that's what archaeologists believed. I explained to him how dead wrong he was, but I'm still shocked. Is this kind of perspective common? I mean, I learned this stuff in elementary school-- I was about 7 years old when I learned about this stuff...

Have any of you had similar experiences where people with an impressive education ended up confusing you by not knowing what you thought was common knowledge?

Another episode that shocked me (that I suddenly remember) is when I went to an aquarium with a president of one of the companies my dad did business with (he was also an economics professor). He was looking at seals, and said, "those things must be bag-like creatures without any bones." I told him, "know, seals are vertebrates, so they definitely have bones!" He was pretty adamant though, that no living thing with bones would be able to move so flexibly.
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Ujitsuna

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lots of people have degrees and don't know what end is up outside of the exam they took to get the degree. I remember a girl who I used to be in class with would get top grades on all subjects but was a complete airhead on subjects which weren't in the curriculum, like anything.
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Sailor Sexy

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Vex, sounds like the guy is one of those strict religious types who believes strongly that the world was created some 6000 years ago. I'm all for people believing whatever they want to from a religious standpoint, but let's not go getting silly here. Or maybe he just doesn't have a clue about anything outside his field of study and stupidly thought the earth wasn't some billion years old. Who knows?

I too run into this kind of thing a lot. Working on the boats I've worked with people who are sheer genius when it comes to the operation of the boats, but try to have a discussion with them on something off the water and all they can do is regurgitate whatever crap CNN or Fox News has dumped into their heads. I suppose in some ways I'm a bit similar, although I don't claim to be very highly educated :)
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Seraphblade

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What's worse if someone is horrible at what they specialize in. Last year I was helping my little sister with her math homework and I noticed that she was adding fractions incorrectly. The I looked at here notes and noticed those were wrong too.

What her math teacher taught her was to add denominators AND the numerators. Really, I was shocked. How can someone who teaches math as a profession not know how to do a simple math problem that is taught in early middle school?
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Sage

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

America is very test-oriented, so if it isn't on a test, then it is not worth learning. That's the message that the system is sending, at least. So if someone doesn't come across something in their field that they had to study because it might be on a test, then they won't learn it. And after an exam, they no longer hold onto that knowledge since they will not be tested on it again. It's selective forgetting. In general, anyway. Degrees really do not mean anything because you do not know how they went about getting that degree.

It's no wonder that people remember half of the facts or mix things up.
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Scrooge McDuck

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

That is not something solely isolated to Amrica, then. I believe no nation has yet to solve the problem of test-oriented education systems. However, I do think that general knowledge is not something you should receive through formal education. It is something you would normally get through reading, even if only casually. Formal education is basically just a huge, gauging system, after all.

A similar experience of mine was with my uncle who has an MBA. When my local city was planning to adopt a Bus Rapid Transit system based on the system applied in Colombia, he got angry and said; "why should we mimic something from a backwater country in Africa?"
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AA

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

People are only taught what they need to know to pass tests and be able to write essays, anything else is seen as unimportant or just not important to learn.

Many people seem to think that having some form of higher education means that they know lots of things. Many employers will hire people with degrees over those without just for the fact that they have one, even if the subject it is in has nothing to do with the job.
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Yvl

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I totally understand people forgetting information they learned decades ago. I tend not to forget things I learned in school, even without studying, but I understand that I'm a rare case. What pisses me off, though, is when they then assert their uninformed views and wave their degree or what have you in your face claiming that they must be right because they have a DEGREE, MOTHERFUCKER. Of course, this is more a personality issue than an issue with education - I've encountered people the same way over having been at a site longer than me, having more friends than me, and for having been in the army (because the army is such a powerful education facility.)

Jack Thompson is a perfect example of this. (He's the guy who claims every school shooting in the past 15 years is based on video game violence.) There are plenty of people who can climb to the level of their incompotence and feel they are right in all things because of it.
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Timbo

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I had an English professor who went on tirades about how more Christians died in the Holocaust than Jews. My professor even told a PhD Harvard graduate in history, that specialized in World War 2, that he didn't know what he was talking about when it came to the Holocaust. The only evidence he used was that in the war crime trials of WWII, a single general said one thing about killing Christians.

I had another English who thought that literature was any type of story, not just written stories. She had us read a paper one time about how societies can't make valid points (valid points meaning logical discourse) without literature, to which I said that societies without writing can make valid points, as there is evidence of societies doing so through oral traditions and Anthropologists will study tribes without writing and be able to communicate with them. Not to mention the obvious fact that people can discuss issues and come to conclusions with out writing. She responded that I forgot about 'Oral Literature', but that's a contradiction of terms. I could accept some one saying that who didn't know about literature, but she had a PhD.

Most of my friends who graduated with BAs in Creative Writing, some who are in Grad school, have a hard time doing fractions and can't do Algebra.

A Philosophy professor of mine was having a conversation with a member of MENSA about how the genes of people of different races are drastically different, but that it's okay. When I told them that there's no genetic basis for races and that race is a social construct, they told me I was wrong and need to look up research.

Anyway, I think that main problem of this is that people specialize in one field and don't know much about others. It's funny to see how many people feel they know about everything though, because they have a high degree in one field or hold a high position at a job.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Seraphblade wrote:
What's worse if someone is horrible at what they specialize in. Last year I was helping my little sister with her math homework and I noticed that she was adding fractions incorrectly. The I looked at here notes and noticed those were wrong too.

What her math teacher taught her was to add denominators AND the numerators. Really, I was shocked. How can someone who teaches math as a profession not know how to do a simple math problem that is taught in early middle school?


what is our childs learning!?

wow if that was my teacher and I found they taught me wrong and learnt the truth I'd go and smack them upside the head with an abbacus or something.
Quote:
Most of my friends who graduated with BAs in Creative Writing, some who are in Grad school, have a hard time doing fractions and can't do Algebra.

in my world creative writing and arts that aren't music are differnt brain thing. how is aldgrbra the same as writing stories?


I feel to be worth anything I should have a bit of knowlage everywhere, or if i want to hit it rich on a tv show of trivia.
but i mess up and forget things, then think I do. I hate being right but being told or led to think I'm wrong.
Like when people or movies try to tell me Capuchian monkies are African.

I cannot spell good, or type nice or have math or can do music but I think I know stuff a bit.

I had a health teacher that told us birds are cold blodded mammals or something stupid like that, I asked her if you can get rabies from them and got that answer with a 'no' other students thought it made sence because 'pengiuns being coldblooded helps them (this chick in class didn't rerember the word adapt) live in antartica.
the next day the teacher said she reserched and learnt the're warm blooded reptiles.

what would a teacher to tell us how to give cpr or how to keep a severd limb save know what can give you rabies, just not to get rabies and how to pull splinters out of your ass.
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Timbo

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Most of my friends who graduated with BAs in Creative Writing, some who are in Grad school, have a hard time doing fractions and can't do Algebra.


in my world creative writing and arts that aren't music are differnt brain thing. how is aldgrbra the same as writing stories?


Considering Algebra and fractions are things you learn in elementary school and middle school, I think it's a bit below average for a college graduate to have no clue how to do them.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In answer to Vextor's primary question, i would have to answer no, I can't think of any one i met who had a college degree or higher who seemed ignorant of facts that would be considered common knowledge.

At this moment, i'm trying to think how it would feel to be that idiot that thinks that seals are invertebrates, or that teacher who incorrectly educates students on how to add fractions. Just think how embarassing it would be when you find out the truth and what you've been telling people in the past.

It's to me an issue that would be half ignorance and half self-righteousness. Like how a comedian said about George Bush, "you have to be very committed to remaind that stupid".
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Archy

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nothing beats last Saturday, when a teacher told me that Boyle's Law states that Volume is directly proprtional to Pressure.

It's inversely proportional.
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Ujitsuna

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Archy wrote:
Nothing beats last Saturday, when a teacher told me that Boyle's Law states that Volume is directly proprtional to Pressure.

It's inversely proportional.


What a fool!
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