This is an elegant and complete explanation

As President Biden prepares to travel to Europe to meet with the Pope and our NATO allies next week, there remains a huge national security problem for him to grapple with, one that hasn’t been addressed in any meaningful fashion for many years.

It is the root cause of our problems with China. It’s why some people don’t want to get vaccinated. It’s why some people still gleefully follow Donald Trump. It explains why Congress can’t get together in a bipartisan fashion to deal with infrastructure, health care and gun control. It’s why we have problems understanding climate change. It explains voter suppression. It’s why “critical race theory” has become controversial, why elements of our population on the left and right are at war with each other and why some believe the earth is flat and the Holocaust didn’t occur. It’s why some of us believe we’re still the “No. 1” nation in the world when — other than having the largest military — we clearly lag behind other major nations in many critical factors. More than anything else it explains why we fail.

The United States is a nation of militantly ignorant people, arrogant in their beliefs, unable to change their minds and unwilling to try. We lack education.

The reason we don’t already have the progressive paradise is because the proles are ignorant meatheads.

Well done on that as a means of gaining votes in Flyover Country.

So, what’s the solution?

Our lack of education is the single greatest threat to the existence of our nation.

Thought it might be, up the propaganda quotient by insisting more folk go to school for more years.

40 thoughts on “This is an elegant and complete explanation”

  1. The Other Bloke in Italy

    Just to pick a couple of bones out of that mess and put them together:

    When Trump was hyping the coming fake vaccines, they were evil because Trump, even though I am pretty sure they were to be voluntary.

    After Trump had been defrauded of office, the fake vaccines became wonderful, and deserved to be made compulsory.

    Odd how that worked.

  2. No Jonathan, it’s a dangerous minority who have wormed their way into positions of undue power and influence. No not the ones you think. It’s the twats.

  3. The world would probably be a better place if more people were capable of critical thinking. Unfortunately that’s never going to be taught in schools because the kids would then question their other lessons.

  4. Thinking about teaching nonsense in schools – solving quadratic equations. I’ve spent my entire working life in STEM jobs and have never had to solve a quadratic equation and wouldn’t use the school method anyway if I had had to. Has anyone ever used it in practical situations?

  5. Heinlein advocated greater education so that one could counter the wokist threat and see them for the civilisation-destroying morons they are.

  6. I’ve used simultaneous equations when working out wallpapering. I have a nagging memory of using quads for something, but can’t quite remember it. Maybe AC electrics related.

  7. Mixing gases. But because the O2 always comes in 5, 10, 15, 20, 60 or 100% it’s easier to do just by averaging.

  8. “Has anyone ever used it in practical situations?” Several times. Of course, you’ve got to recognise when the problem presents a quadratic; it doesn’t always wave a flag and shout “look at me”. And you’ve got to think how to preserve accuracy in calculating the roots.

    I can’t remember how long quadratics took at school. One period, perhaps. 40 minutes doesn’t seem disproportionate to the usefulness of the business.

    For my purposes the maths that we spent too long over at school was Euclidian geometry. More linear algebra would have been a better use of the time.

  9. “England is perhaps the only great country where intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality,” wrote George Orwell.

    Glad to see the Americans have finally caught up with us.

  10. Arthur, before the All Black’s took on Wales they performed some passing drills without opponents. Yet in the game you never get to pass without opponents. So why do the players not tell the coach that it’s stupid?

    Sometimes you need to work on basic skills in isolation. Despite never doing that in practical situations.

    I did some quantum chemistry at university. Do you honestly think that would be possible without a solid basis in maths?

    I also know understand how exponential curves differ from parabolic. If a few of our journalists did, we might be treated to far more skepticism about modeling (climate, covid, tax, obesity).

    More education might help the USA. But only in practical subjects.

  11. @ Arthur the Cat
    Yes!
    dearieme has already said it better than I.
    Also the rate at which my car slows down when driving uphill on the slip road off a motorway involves a quadratic equation so my subconscious uses one frequently.

  12. @Arthur the Cat
    ” solving quadratic equations … Has anyone ever used it in practical situations?”
    Oh yes. That and many others, in avionics, for instance.

    It also makes for a superb practical for teaching about high-availability fault-tolerant systems and the futility of ‘separate teams writing in different languages”.
    You start with the definition of a quadratic: axx + bx + c = 0 and then show the standard equation for solving it: my html isn’t up to inserting that here, but with this readership, I don’t need to, do I?
    You ask to attendees to write some pseudo-code in whatever syntax they are comfortable with, to implement the solving equation.
    You then show a set of abc where the square root term is negative.
    Whose programs just exceptioned with a SQRT(-ve) ?
    Much of the class. A few smart alecs will claim to be using variables of COMPLEX type, and therefore try and weasel their way out, so you look for any such declaration in their efforts. Hmm.

    But some of the more competent will have thought of this.

    Then you offer a=0, b=1, c=2.
    Whose programs just exceptioned with a division by zero?
    Anyone left?

    a=0, b=0 c=1. Resulting quadratic: 1=0
    Anyone left, whose program handled that nonsensical input?
    (If anyone is still left, hire them.)

    You then go on to cover why so many bugs are common to multiple implementations: ambiguity in specification, etc.
    So the universality of teaching how to solve a quadratic has proved extremely useful!

  13. BlokeBackInTejasDespiteHorrendousTravel

    Suppose for a moment that solving quadratic equations was, in practice, useless. Then, in some sense, teaching the solution of quadratic equations is harmful, in that it uses scarce teaching resource and scarce brainpower and pupil time and attention for a useless (and, for this example, not enjoyable) activity

    Nonetheless, quadratic equations exist, mathematics exists, solving quadratic equations works. The results are true.

    Teaching critical race theory (etc) isn’t the same class of harmful. Its basis is a combination of hatred, bad politics, a greed for power, and a desire to harm. Its class of harmful is grave.

  14. I think a lot of the problems listed in the post can be blamed on “political correctness”. Once we accepted that toxic concept, we self-constrained our ability to mount effective rebuttals to arguments.

    Take our initial response to COVID. The sensible response of closing off flights from China was “politically incorrect” as racist.

    And it is the rejection of political correctness that worked so well for Trump. Past presidents tiptoed around NATO spending obligations. Trump said spend 2%, or no US military aid if you’re attacked, feelings be darned.

    Anyway, I think we’d be better off by rejecting toxic political correctness.

  15. Arthur the Cat,

    It’s worse than that. Ask yourself how much most people learn from say 11-16 or 11-18 or even 11-21. Take away the hours in various indoctrination, assembly, the crappy PC literature, PE,RE, foreign languages you’ll never speak, redundant subjects. Subjects kids hate or are bad at, so just go through the motions.

    Most kids could leave school at 13, go to work or just learn any old thing and it would be more economically valuable. The value of school to them is almost nothing. Most of it after 13 is just random shit. You could replace French with embroidery, history with operatic studies, biology with pastry making. It’s not like any of those subjects is more generally more useful than another. Some people will be biologists but most people who study it won’t be.

  16. BoM4

    And yet it’s very useful in a society which wishes to be successful to have citizens which have at least a passing recollection of a bunch o stuff which is true and works as advertised.

    Biology might not be of value to the majority of folk as the basis for a career. But it’s pretty bloody basic for dealing with the idiocies of the trans groupuscules….

  17. The point of teaching quadratic equations is not so that students learn about quadratic equations.

    It could be quadratic equations or it could be something else, but the point is that it helps to physically develop young brains and teaches logic and problem solving approaches which can be applied more generally.

  18. The important thing in education is to learn how to learn. The subjects are just a tool for doing so. It doesn’t matter what you learn as long as you learn something in the process of learning it. Accomplish learning to learn, you can learn anything.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    Knowing how to solve quadratic equations allowed me to retire comfortably at 60 and maintain my very expensive hobbies.

    Without understanding how to solve quadratic equations I would have struggled even more than he I did with calculus. Without out a good grasp of calculus I’d have had no idea where to start with Fourier Transforms.

    Without Fourier Transforms I wouldn’t be able to understand spread spectrum modulation and its differences to other modulation schemes.

    Without knowing the benefits and limitations of spread spectrum modulation I wouldn’t have been able to explain to clients why we design mobile phone radio networks the way we do and why they cost so much in plain English. Without that ability I wouldn’t have been able to work in a highly paid consultancy.

    Without the highly paid consultancy I wouldn’t have been able to retire at 60.

    QED

    More seriously, learning the basics of anything in school is about whetting the appetite of those find it interesting and want to learn more in later life and preparing more more depth in the subject.

    Arthur, before the All Black’s took on Wales they performed some passing drills without opponents. Yet in the game you never get to pass without opponents. So why do the players not tell the coach that it’s stupid?

    Sometimes you need to work on basic skills in isolation. Despite never doing that in practical situations.

    I never understood the England football team’s attitude to penalty shoot-outs.

    We regularly practiced weapon stoppage drills in the classroom, sometimes with blindfolds on. Of course it wasn’t the same as doing it the battlefield but muscle memory is wonderful thing that has saved many a life.

  20. “The subjects are just a tool for doing so. It doesn’t matter what you learn as long as you learn something in the process of learning it. Accomplish learning to learn, you can learn anything.”

    Correctamundo.

  21. @BiND
    You call it “muscle memory” but it’s not simply that. It’s the ability to do something without consciously thinking about it. Which enables one to think about something else at the same time. So with your weapon stoppage problem. You can clear the stoppage whilst retaining situational awareness. A distinct survival advantage one would presume.

  22. I think it is increasingly true that the more educated you are the less erudite you are likely to be – especially if educated in the public sector in recent decades. What do I mean by ‘erudite’? I like this explanation: The educated know that Frankenstein is not the monster, the erudite realise that actually he is. I know so many Oxbridge Marxist types who can write beautiful but morally empty essays. The ‘mob’ morality of your average British bloke in a van, in the street, at a pub is WAY more likely to be sensible and decent than our disgusting elites. Bob the builder knows who the monsters are.

  23. Although getting someone to do it blindfold is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Anybody doing that will be devoting their entire attention to the task. Which is what you don’t want them to do. Better to get them practising whilst watching an interesting film on TV. They’ll learn it much quicker & better.

  24. There’s a lot in that Patrick. The more formally educated a person is the less opportunity they’ve had for outside experiences. What experience they’ve had is limited to those who are going through the same educational experience that they are. The “bloke down the pub” may have had a much greater range of experiences & paid the price of learning from some of them. He’s much better equipped to deal with things outside of his personal experience because he’s more to draw on.
    I’ve just had a weird message exchange with a bloke thinks Zuckerberg choosing Meta as the group name for Facebook’s acquisitions is somehow significant because meta’s the Hebrew word for death. Obviously some conspiracy theory he’s run across on the interweb. HTF anyone would swallow that beats me. Meta’s also a word for home or goal (in life). And there’s a billion people speak spanish, not a few million. But with previous conversations with the guy, he seems to have limited experience of the world. Home counties, suburban, middle class. Despite having what one would be told was a “good education”. he’s a sucker for anything comes along. A New World Order orchestrated by a mysterious powerful Elite is a favourite.

  25. Although getting someone to do it blindfold is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.

    The blindfold is so the student can learn to do the necessary in the dark, a condition that combatants frequently experience. The military has been around the block a few times.

  26. Back to the point made in Salon, if Yanks are indeed as ignorant as the writer claims, it is because cunts like him infest the education system at every level.

  27. Notice how reluctance to “deal with“ healthcare and gun control, “voter suppression” (i.e., the suppression of fraudulent voting), and criticism of CRT (i.e., objection to racism) are casually thrown in with flat-earthism and holocaust denial.

    But it’s a lack of “education” that’s causing division, tribalism, and hatred.

    “…we have problems understanding climate change.”

    Well, that’s true. For once, the journalistic “we” is actually the mot juste.

  28. Anyone remember CP Snow’s Two Cultures? I had a good science-stream education, some decades ago. I have a basis in physics and maths to A level that still informs to this day. I am also able to read literature and appreciate (or not) art. But when I meet a person who thinks, for instance, that better solar cells will get more power out of a fixed amount of sunshine and that my insistence that there is a physical limit which cannot be exceeded is just a negative attitude, I realise that an education missing that science stuff is crippling. The art and literature you can easily catch up with, but the physics you need to have learnt. Snow put it in terms of knowing the three laws of thermodynamics.

    (I reckon I could still strip and reassemble an L1A1, SMG or L4A1 7.62 Bren. Blindfold if necessary.)

  29. “Thinking about teaching nonsense in schools – solving quadratic equations. I’ve spent my entire working life in STEM jobs and have never had to solve a quadratic equation and wouldn’t use the school method anyway if I had had to. Has anyone ever used it in practical situations?”

    Can I have the time I wasted studying English Literature back, especially that drooling moron Harold Pinter? I’ve never had to write a literary criticism of a piece of gibberish since I left school.

  30. PE is valuable in keeping kids active; good for both their mental and physical wellbeing; sadly, too often it is just a matter of crowd control…

    For me, Jane Austin represents hours and hours I will never get back!

  31. Bloke in Spain,

    “There’s a lot in that Patrick. The more formally educated a person is the less opportunity they’ve had for outside experiences. What experience they’ve had is limited to those who are going through the same educational experience that they are. The “bloke down the pub” may have had a much greater range of experiences & paid the price of learning from some of them. He’s much better equipped to deal with things outside of his personal experience because he’s more to draw on.”

    The more steps people are from reality in their jobs, the more likely they are to not understand the real world.

    Most university lecturers live completely detached from reality. Most people teaching film or computer science or photography never left university. They never had to sell their skills and keep customers happy and suffer pain (and learn from it). The filmmakers have maybe made some short that appeared in the St Austell film festival or something. But they’ve never made a film that got an audience and maybe made some money. So, other than the technical stuff (for which there are endless books at pocket money prices), why pay for them?

  32. “PE is valuable in keeping kids active.”

    Except for the fact that it is so badly taught that it does the precise opposite. Forcing kids to do stuff that they hate is never going to work. At sixty three I’m in excellent shape but this is in spite of school PE lessons not because of them.

  33. Enforced stripping naked in front of dozens of other kids? Is that still allowed? Surely that will have been banned by now. Persychological torture and distress.

  34. 2016: Hillary calls us deplorable, Trump wins

    2020: The Left spent the last 4 years calling us Nazis, Biden has to censor the opposition in order to get a narrow win in swing states

    2021: The Left calls us idiots, Democrat voters start to feel remorse for Biden and Terry McAuliffe

    Trump has been out of office nearly a year, and Salon is still clinging desperately to their Trump caricatures. At a certain point, it’s not us, it’s you. TDS is real.

  35. “It’s why “critical race theory” has become controversial”

    ?? Lack of education?

    He can go forth and multiply. It’s not lack of education: it’s because it is a fundamentally toxic and disgraceful theory that should never be allowed in front of kids.

  36. Never confuse education with indoctrination

    When I went to school I learned the scientific method

    Modern education just teaches ‘theories’ without criticism, or the difference between empirical evidence and stuff just made up or cherry picked to fit the theory

    I think the chickens are coming home to roost

    All these ‘intellectuals’ are being revealed to be obsessed morons shilling for corporate interests

  37. The socialist insolence and arrogance needs to be beaten out of this Kommie Karem turd.The scumbags brass neck enrages. We would see how strongly he clings to his Kommie crap after his eyes have been knocked sideways in their sockets.

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