Loss of General Knowledge

Jan Libourel

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One thing I have noticed in recent years is the lack of general knowledge on the part of so many people. I guess people feel they can look up anything they want to know on their SmartPhones and don't need to know much about anything. This is particularly egregious when it occurs on the part of newscasters, journalists and people of that sort. This was just brought home to me looking at a video about a woman who was killed by her two pet dogs. One man tried to intervene, ineffectually, with a tool that was repeatedly called an "axe." The only thing was, it was not an axe, it was a maul, aka "splitting maul" or "splitting axe." With a proper axe, he probably could have killed the dogs rather readily. The maul can serve as an impact weapon of sorts, but it didn't seem to faze the killer dogs. As I have often said in forumland, "All dogs are fighters. All dogs are killers."
 

Pimpernel Smith

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One thing I have noticed in recent years is the lack of general knowledge on the part of so many people. I guess people feel they can look up anything they want to know on their SmartPhones and don't need to know much about anything. This is particularly egregious when it occurs on the part of newscasters, journalists and people of that sort. This was just brought home to me looking at a video about a woman who was killed by her two pet dogs. One man tried to intervene, ineffectually, with a tool that was repeatedly called an "axe." The only thing was, it was not an axe, it was a maul, aka "splitting maul" or "splitting axe." With a proper axe, he probably could have killed the dogs rather readily. The maul can serve as an impact weapon of sorts, but it didn't seem to faze the killer dogs. As I have often said in forumland, "All dogs are fighters. All dogs are killers."
I think rather than general knowledge, it's common culture we are losing.
 

formby

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Lack of knowledge of history amongst the young pisses me off. Hence we have a whole bunch of yoof fetishising/fantasising about communism/socialism again.
 

Rambo

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Lack of knowledge of history amongst the young pisses me off. Hence we have a whole bunch of yoof fetishising/fantasising about communism/socialism again.
first they don't teach these things in school any longer. second they never taught these things properly in the first place. if they did we'd be living in a communist utopia by now. only now are people starting to educate themselves properly.
 

doghouse

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One thing I have noticed in recent years is the lack of general knowledge on the part of so many people. I guess people feel they can look up anything they want to know on their SmartPhones and don't need to know much about anything. This is particularly egregious when it occurs on the part of newscasters, journalists and people of that sort. This was just brought home to me looking at a video about a woman who was killed by her two pet dogs. One man tried to intervene, ineffectually, with a tool that was repeatedly called an "axe." The only thing was, it was not an axe, it was a maul, aka "splitting maul" or "splitting axe." With a proper axe, he probably could have killed the dogs rather readily. The maul can serve as an impact weapon of sorts, but it didn't seem to faze the killer dogs. As I have often said in forumland, "All dogs are fighters. All dogs are killers."
There was never a time where general knowledge was widespread. This is a total revisionist rose colored glasses take.
 

Jan Libourel

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^I disagree with the foregoing. I can see this with my stepson, who is now 34. Recently, he mentioned sampling an extremely expensive whisky called "Rip Van Winkle." He had no idea who Rip Van Winkle was. Most young people know nothing of the Bible, for example. For example, a friend of mine, a college professor told me that many young people didn't know the story of Jonah and the Whale. I found that hard to be believe, so I asked my boy and his best friend if they knew the story of the prophet Jonah. Nope! They know virtually nothing of American or European history, much less of the rest of the world. Ironically, about the only historical figure universally known these days among young people is Hitler!

Most women have little to no general knowledge. The fact that young males don't seem much better these days strikes me as an example of the feminization of our culture.

Getting back to ignorance of the Bible, when my stepson was around 12 or so I bought him a beautifully illustrated book of Bible stories so that he would know at least something about it. "Does it have the story of the winged horse in it?" he queried. When I replied in the negative, he lost all interest.

They do know their Apps and whatnot, I'll concede!
 

doghouse

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Most young people know nothing of the Bible, for example.
This is a good thing.


But to the point, no, all you are listing is topical knowledge, cursory stuff. Could the average person in say the 1980s rebuild a car engine, debate the finer points of the Heglian dialectic, play a musical instrument, have working knowledge of the basics of tailoring and cook well, amongst myriad other basic life skills? No, because they were worthless idiots just like the average person now.
 

formby

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This is a good thing.


But to the point, no, all you are listing is topical knowledge, cursory stuff. Could the average person in say the 1980s rebuild a car engine, debate the finer points of the Heglian dialectic, play a musical instrument, have working knowledge of the basics of tailoring and cook well, amongst myriad other basic life skills? No, because they were worthless idiots just like the average person now.
Mmmm,

Pretty narrow view of general knowledge there dogsta. Tearing down and rebuilding an engine properly is specialised knowledge, whereas discussion of Hegel, if you can fight your way through the miasma of his thought that is, is probably worthless.

Did you know that Schopenhauer used to schedule his lectures at the same time as Hegel, who he hated, hoping to peel some of his students away.

Quite like old Schop, even though he was a gloomy b'stard.
 

doghouse

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Tearing down and rebuilding an engine properly is specialised knowledge
No, it's extremely basic. They shouldn't give out driver's licenses to those who can't perform such a simple task. Similar to how being able to code and solder should be prerequisites to computer ownership.

Edit: Hegel is probably the only worthwhile philosopher outside of ancient Greece.
 

formby

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No, it's extremely basic. They shouldn't give out driver's licenses to those who can't perform such a simple task. Similar to how being able to code and solder should be prerequisites to computer ownership.
Don't agree.

Most people will never have to tear down an engine. Check, and top up fluids and a good look around is about as far as they go and it been like that for quite some time. Now back in Model T time things were a bit diff.

You're biased because you've grown up around heavy plant, and maintenance is generally done in-house so you've been surrounded by this stuff. It second nature.

To properly strip an engine and rebuild, you'll need some specialist tools like pullers for example. You'll also need metrology equipment to measure bores, journals, pins &c
 

Fwiffo

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I have a driver's licence but I just use Uber.

In high school we were asked to disassemble a four stroke(?) Engine. The problem was we reassembled it with a handful of spare nuts and bolts. Then we passed it on to the next set of students and I'm pretty sure at the end of the semester it barely ran.

Using Uber is much easier.
 

doghouse

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Most people will never have to tear down an engine.
Exactly. They should have to in order to qualify to have a motorized vehicle. It's not pushing the laws of thermodynamics to design a cold fusion engine, it's something rednecks with three teeth are able to manage every day. It's general knowledge that any competent adult should be able to handle, yet we give people a pass and hence there is a lack of general knowledge in the world. And my point to Jan is it hasn't changed since the dawn of man. Most people are inept, and that won't change.

I'm not biased, it's my standard for everything. You conveniently skipped over the fact I said you should not have a computer if you can't code. Same thing. Basic shit.
 

formby

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Exactly. They should have to in order to qualify to have a motorized vehicle. It's not pushing the laws of thermodynamics to design a cold fusion engine, it's something rednecks with three teeth are able to manage every day. It's general knowledge that any competent adult should be able to handle, yet we give people a pass and hence there is a lack of general knowledge in the world. And my point to Jan is it hasn't changed since the dawn of man. Most people are inept, and that won't change.

I'm not biased, it's my standard for everything. You conveniently skipped over the fact I said you should not have a computer if you can't code. Same thing. Basic shit.
IMO there are 2 types of knowledge. Those who know it (they've learned it and retained it), and those who know where and how to find it (they don't commit knowledge to memory but have the ability to find it as required). I think the latter type was more prevalent in the past, but the former is more popular now obviously facilitated by the internet.

You see this with the changes to the education curriculum.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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IMO there are 2 types of knowledge. Those who know it (they've learned it and retained it), and those who know where and how to find it (they don't commit knowledge to memory but have the ability to find it as required). I think the latter type was more prevalent in the past, but the former is more popular now obviously facilitated by the internet.

You see this with the changes to the education curriculum.
A lot of engine technology and also marine engineering is now black box, so your average car mechanic or equivalent isn't going to be of much use. The hands on skills are less important as they'll fly in replacement kit without significant mechanical fitting or engineering redesign skills need.

My wife's niece is doing an aerospace engineering degree at TU Delft and that degree is very heavy on theory and being able to retain it. Much more so than what I believe is the vogue, but I still think the hard sciences have retained their credibility in academia more so than the arts and humanities.
 

formby

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A lot of engine technology and also marine engineering is now black box, so your average car mechanic or equivalent isn't going to be of much use. The hands on skills are less important as they'll fly in replacement kit without significant mechanical fitting or engineering redesign skills need.

My wife's niece is doing an aerospace engineering degree at TU Delft and that degree is very heavy on theory and being able to retain it. Much more so than what I believe is the vogue, but I still think the hard sciences have retained their credibility in academia more so than the arts and humanities.
Dogsta is talking about the mechanical aspects of the engine, not the electronics. Modern car electronics are most definitely specialised knowledge.

Engineering degrees are are heavy on theory. Unfortunately you'll never use most of it.
 

prince nez

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Recently, he mentioned sampling an extremely expensive whisky called "Rip Van Winkle." He had no idea who Rip Van Winkle was.
I hope the irony of this was not lost on you.

IMO there are 2 types of knowledge. Those who know it (they've learned it and retained it), and those who know where and how to find it (they don't commit knowledge to memory but have the ability to find it as required).
The only thing one really needs to know is the location of the library.... imagination is more important than knowledge.
 

prince nez

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This is a good thing.


But to the point, no, all you are listing is topical knowledge, cursory stuff. Could the average person in say the 1980s rebuild a car engine, debate the finer points of the Heglian dialectic, play a musical instrument, have working knowledge of the basics of tailoring and cook well, amongst myriad other basic life skills? No, because they were worthless idiots just like the average person now.
I vote we send doghouse doghouse back so he can teach ‘em how to strip an engine down.

 
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