South African Skeptics

Deserving a facepalm

Tweefo · 126 · 32978

Offline Mefiante

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I must say I'm excited to hear that Ms Nkonyeni's is in favour of including philosophy in the school curriculum. With some training in basic critical thinking techniques…
Sure, if you take Nkonyeni’s use of the terms “philosophy” and “critical thinking” at face value.  I’m a bit sceptical that one can do so with confidence, though.  Based on her evident naïveté in related matters, I have more than a passing suspicion that she thought those were catchy terms to bandy about, that her conception of “philosophy” would primarily include such precepts as ancestor worship, bone throwing and muti, and that her “critical thinking” is probably centred on the idea of always obeying the tribal chief and elders even if you disagree with them.

Apologies for sounding negative and cynical, and I do await the pleasant surprise of some facts contrary to expectation.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline Brian

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By definition "critical thinking' is anathema  to politicians who want a compliant, unquestioning voter public. Too many questions are not their thing: ask our Public Protector
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Offline brianvds

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I must say I'm excited to hear that Ms Nkonyeni's is in favour of including philosophy in the school curriculum. With some training in basic critical thinking techniques…
Sure, if you take Nkonyeni’s use of the terms “philosophy” and “critical thinking” at face value.  I’m a bit sceptical that one can do so with confidence, though.  Based on her evident naïveté in related matters, I have more than a passing suspicion that she thought those were catchy terms to bandy about, that her conception of “philosophy” would primarily include such precepts as ancestor worship, bone throwing and muti, and that her “critical thinking” is probably centred on the idea of always obeying the tribal chief and elders even if you disagree with them.

And be critical of apartheid. Don't forget to always be critical of apartheid. :-)

One of the teachers at the school where I work has a degree in philosophy, and the stuff he tells the kids makes my hair stand on end. Lucky thing he teaches English rather than science. :-)


Offline Rigil Kent

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Yes, it's hard to know exactly what Nkonyeni’s personal idea of philosophy/ critical thinking  is, but if the subject is introduced, then it's likely that the course content will be set by a group of individuals who know what they're on about.


Rigil
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Offline Mefiante

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Well, she is after all the KZN education MEC, and so she would have significant input into the matter.  Indeed, I think that’s the main reason the incident has caused such a stir.  Had a more junior provincial education functionary made those remarks, it’s unlikely to have provoked such widespread condemnation.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline Rigil Kent

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As far as graphology is concerned as a career aptitude indicator: I've heard that only budding doctors can be spotted in this way.

Rigil
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline Brian

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Yes, it's hard to know exactly what Nkonyeni’s personal idea of philosophy/ critical thinking  is, but if the subject is introduced, then it's likely that the course content will be set by a group of individuals who know what they're on about.


Rigil

Mebbe; no guarantees though. then there's the small matter of who presents it in the school.

I can imagine the response to the questions from Clifford's "The Ethics of Belief" "Is it ever or always morally wrong (or epistemically irrational, or imprudent) to hold a belief on insufficient evidence? Is it ever or always morally right (or epistemically rational, or prudent) to believe on the basis of sufficient evidence, or to withhold belief in the perceived absence of it? Is it ever or always obligatory to seek out all available epistemic evidence for a belief? Are there some ways of obtaining evidence that are themselves immoral or imprudent?"
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Offline Mefiante

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On the topic of education, our government is obviously and staunchly opposed to exceptionalism, presumably because, unlike as we do with athletic ability, the idea that we should differentiate according to academic capability is a heresy that simply cannot be entertained.  (And it’s irrelevant that this rejection brings basic education down to a tick above the lowest common denominator, thereby harming everyone’s schooling.)

It’s like watching a train smash from a distance in slo-mo.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline BoogieMonster

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Hrm, lately it feels like I'm watching a locomotive smash into a brick wall while going around a slight bend from 10 cars back. I can see exactly what's going on. The full brunt hasn't hit me yet, but I know it's coming.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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Hrm, lately it feels like I'm watching a locomotive smash into a brick wall while going around a slight bend from 10 cars back. I can see exactly what's going on. The full brunt hasn't hit me yet, but I know it's coming.

Oh, it's already here. I work in education, and I see the thing from two perspectives. On the one hand, I deal every day with kids broken first by their own parents, and then broken some more by the system. But I can also observe firsthand how difficult it has become in South Africa to find staff capable of doing, well, anything at all. The lost generation we have created over the past two decades has of late begun hitting the streets, and it's not a pretty sight.

And yet, in virtually all schools, we persist in the folly of thinking you can turn brain damaged kids into engineers.


Offline BoogieMonster

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"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Faerie

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Ag FOK!, I loved that clip and now its tainted by these bloody idiots.


Offline BoogieMonster

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I don't recall if I posted this..

They don't teach you THIS shit in physics class!



I guess it's true, the stupid does burn.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Tweefo

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  ::)
If you don't agree with me you are obviously not from this planet.


Offline Mefiante

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Here’s something truly facepalm-worthy:  At its current NGC, the ANC recognises that graft and corruption are a significant problem.  But, it contends (not for the first time), it was inherited from the Apartheid regime.

That makes about as much sense as saying, “If I’m a crook, it’s only because I fought against your father who was a crook.”

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.