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#1 2002-07-13 15:29:19

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

*I've debated for quite some time before posting this.

The first settlers on Mars will be bright, highly educated professionals:  Engineers, scientists, etc.  Supposing they establish a settlement or two on Mars over a span of 20 years, what is the likelihood that they would welcome into their camp someone who is not degreed, who did not complete 4-8 years of formal college education, etc...I mean without expecting their toilets to be scrubbed or their habs cleaned?

White settlers in America weren't exactly paragons of inclusiveness and good will toward non-whites -- it goes without saying [I'm white myself, btw]. 

What prompted me to finally post this was seeing the first female commander to ever be put in charge of Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX, last evening on the news.  She also has the distinction of being the first female graduate of West Point.  As a "fellow" female I congratulate her, and admire her accomplishments.  However, her presence on camera was cold and severe.  I've worked for years amongst the medical professionals crowd; some MDs are friendly and inclusive, most prefer to stay in their medical-related cliques, and some are downright haughty and hostile to those outside their social circles.  I've known some wonderful, warm, and inclusive highly intelligent and well educated people.  I've known many more who are cold, exclusive, and abusive.

Now, lest you all think I'm picking only on these folks, I'll certainly willingly admit that I've known persons with "just" high school diplomas who are arrogant and unfriendly as well.  However, these people usually wield no true power.  No one is impressed with, "I work at the factory 9 hours a day, I want my ____ NOW!"  Get an MD to bark something along the same lines, and people are hopping.

I'm honestly concerned with an Intellectual Elite [they will initially be the ones settling and exploring Mars, right?] easily coming to feel Mars belongs to them, and resenting -- or attempting to exploit, oppress, etc. -- the lesser educated who may wish to live among them.  In my experience, intelligence is like a two-edged sword; it depends on the character of who possesses it and how they wield it.  None of the American CEOs who are floating out of Enron and WorldCom on golden parachutes are stupid flunk-outs from high school...and chances are none of them would give a factory manager the time of day, either.  I consider myself intelligent, very much so; however, I have no degree, I'm not a scientist or engineer, and it'd be the height of irony for me to wish to go to a Mars where I -- or someone like me -- is looked down upon or rejected in the society because of lack of having a degree or being a member of Mensa [I did complete a business college degree, however].

I know this might prove to be a touchy subject, and I might regret posting it.  It's not my intention to "push buttons" or provoke anger.  It's just a concern I've had.  I know there are people participating on this message board who have degrees in various fields; I'm not picking on you, please know that.

I'd hate to see a "class system" develop amongst settlers, and eventually colonists, based upon whether one is degreed or not...or something similar to that.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#2 2002-07-13 15:53:28

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

Cindy, I'm glad you made this post...I would have to agree that intellectual "elitism" could very well be a problem on a future human-inhabited Mars.  In the early going (the first couple of decades, at least), the people that go to Mars will be among the best and brightest of humanity...the cream of the crop, so to speak.  But as more infrastructure is built, there's no reason why so-called "ordinary folk" wouldn't be coming to Mars, if only to perform menial jobs that the "natives" would never think of doing.  Viola, you have your instant, 2-class society... ???

Another problem I foresee...which you've mentioned in a previous post, is the original settler's children...who's to say that their children won't be all ultra-intelligent and ambitious as their parents...so what happens when those kids grow up and they are not cut out to be engineers, geologists, etc?  Hopefully these issues will be well thought-out beforehand, and careful considerations are made to make certain that everyone on Mars is treated with dignity and respect, including those who may not "measure up" to those who have come before them...

B

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#3 2002-07-13 16:17:25

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

Another problem I foresee...which you've mentioned in a previous post, is the original settler's children...who's to say that their children won't be all ultra-intelligent and ambitious as their parents...so what happens when those kids grow up and they are not cut out to be engineers, geologists, etc?  [/quote:post_uid3]
*Indeed.  Besides, even the most intelligent persons can have offspring with Down syndrome [mental retardation], lower IQs than they, etc.

Not every drop-dead-gorgeous Hollywood glamour gal or guy has equally gorgeous children, and not every terrifically smart person has equally bright children.

I like what you said about everyone who will go to Mars being treated with dignity and respect.  There are people from all sorts of backgrounds, levels of education, etc., who have the dream and hope of mankind going to Mars.  This should be kept in mind; I hope it will be. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#4 2002-07-13 17:13:50

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

I'm honestly concerned with an Intellectual Elite [they will initially be the ones settling and exploring Mars, right?] easily coming to feel Mars belongs to them, and resenting -- or attempting to exploit, oppress, etc. -- the lesser educated who may wish to live among them.  In my experience, intelligence is like a two-edged sword; it depends on the character of who possesses it and how they wield it.  None of the American CEOs who are floating out of Enron and WorldCom on golden parachutes are stupid flunk-outs from high school...and chances are none of them would give a factory manager the time of day, either.  I consider myself intelligent, very much so; however, I have no degree, I'm not a scientist or engineer, and it'd be the height of irony for me to wish to go to a Mars where I -- or someone like me -- is looked down upon or rejected in the society because of lack of having a degree or being a member of Mensa [I did complete a business college degree, however].
[/quote:post_uid0]

Good post.  I've seen a lot of this intellectual bigotry myself, particularly from people who feel they have some special right to wield and judge people based on their educational background.  There are plenty of very intelligent people out there who don't have degrees and plenty of small minded idiots who have degrees but couldn't think critically if their lives depended on it.  This is one of the reasons I tend to lean toward the anarchist side of the political spectrum.  We don't need authoritarian bigots deciding that only a certain group of people should be allowed to fly into space.

Another problem I foresee...which you've mentioned in a previous post, is the original settler's children...who's to say that their children won't be all ultra-intelligent and ambitious as their parents...so what happens when those kids grow up and they are not cut out to be engineers, geologists, etc?  Hopefully these issues will be well thought-out beforehand, and careful considerations are made to make certain that everyone on Mars is treated with dignity and respect, including those who may not "measure up" to those who have come before them...
[/quote:post_uid0]

I hope Mars doesn't become some bizarre re-enactment of Nazi eugenics policies.  I can see the potential for that kind of thing to happen though in an environment like Mars if people are quick to completely surrender all individual rights to the government.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#5 2002-07-13 19:51:00

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

*What has particularly drawn me to 18th-century Enlightenment studies is the following attitude which it contained, and which permeated it [the quote does relate to the topic at hand -- and no, I'm not simply "plugging" for the Enlightenment era here]:

"The French philosophers were a new breed.  First of all, they were clear.  They were not solemn recluses, talking to themselves or their like in esoteric gibberish.  They were men of letters, who knew how to make thoughts shine through words...Gutenberg was having his effect:  print was spreading science, history, biblical criticism, and the pagan classics; the philosophers could now speak to a larger and better-prepared audience than ever before.  They did not disdain to come down from their towers and 'popularize' knowledge...they were confident that the dissemination of 'truth' would improve the conduct and happiness of mankind.  D'Alembert regarded 'the art of instructing and enlightening mankind' as 'the noblest portion and gift within human reach.'"  -- Age of Voltaire by W & G Durant

That's the kind of attitude I'm sincerely hoping Marsian intellectuals will espouse, take with them, and put into practice.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#6 2004-07-22 19:03:56

Morris
Banned
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 218

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]

I'd hate to see a "class system" develop amongst settlers, and eventually colonists, based upon whether one is degreed or not...or something similar to that.
[/quote:post_uid0]

What a powerful question! Before proceeding let me ask one. Would you hate to see any "class system" at all or would you just hate to see one based on degrees or other educational criteria?[/color:post_uid0]

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#7 2004-07-22 19:21:23

Morris
Banned
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 218

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Another problem I foresee...which you've mentioned in a previous post, is the original settler's children...who's to say that their children won't be all ultra-intelligent and ambitious as their parents...so what happens when those kids grow up and they are not cut out to be engineers, geologists, etc?  Hopefully these issues will be well thought-out beforehand, and careful considerations are made to make certain that everyone on Mars is treated with dignity and respect, including those who may not "measure up" to those who have come before them...
[/quote:post_uid0]

Yes, this is one of the most agonizing issues I can think of, especially when the children, as Cindy mentions, have extremely debilitating conditions such as Down's syndrome which make them essentially unemployable in a society where almost all jobs require considerable technical training. How many of these will the settlement be willing to handle, especially through the long lifetime that, hopefully, the most advanced medical techniques would make potentially available.

Should they all be sent back to Earth? Will there be a community vote on each one to see whether they stay or go? Should the colonists adopt a modified Spartan strategy and subject them to euthanasia? Should some of the tremendous talent of the settlers be used to invent a job which would be worthwhile for them to do (possible if the numbers are small)? Or will one of the Martian colonies be the most advanced developmental biology lab in the known universe?

There would sure be a stronger impetus to solve these problems on Mars than on Earth.[/color:post_uid0]

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#8 2004-07-22 19:27:40

Morris
Banned
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 218

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]

I hope Mars doesn't become some bizarre re-enactment of Nazi eugenics policies.  I can see the potential for that kind of thing to happen though in an environment like Mars if people are quick to completely surrender all individual rights to the government.[/quote:post_uid0]

Well, no. But would you have ANY immigration restrictions for Mars? If so, who would you exclude?[/color:post_uid0]

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#9 2004-07-22 19:49:07

Morris
Banned
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 218

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]*What has particularly drawn me to 18th-century Enlightenment studies is the following attitude which it contained, and which permeated it [the quote does relate to the topic at hand -- and no, I'm not simply "plugging" for the Enlightenment era here]:

"The French philosophers were a new breed.  First of all, they were clear.  They were not solemn recluses, talking to themselves or their like in esoteric gibberish.  They were men of letters, who knew how to make thoughts shine through words...Gutenberg was having his effect:  print was spreading science, history, biblical criticism, and the pagan classics; the philosophers could now speak to a larger and better-prepared audience than ever before.  They did not disdain to come down from their towers and 'popularize' knowledge...they were confident that the dissemination of 'truth' would improve the conduct and happiness of mankind.  D'Alembert regarded 'the art of instructing and enlightening mankind' as 'the noblest portion and gift within human reach.'"  -- Age of Voltaire by W & G Durant

That's the kind of attitude I'm sincerely hoping Marsian intellectuals will espouse, take with them, and put into practice.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Cindy, you must be some kind of karmic sister. I have always thought that the ideals of the enlightenment, best expressed in action by Revolutionary America, represent the highest cultural level mankind has ever reached. With a few subsequent improvements <g>.

Yet in very recent times, there has been a systematic effort to redirect our country away from these ideals and back towards the night of human "culture as usual". When I try to express them, people act as if I am some kind of radical despite the fact that these ideas actually represent a high degree of conservatism with respect to American exceptionalism. One doesn't have to go far to find them. The  [u:post_uid0]Declaration of Independence[/u:post_uid0], the [u:post_uid0]Constitution[/u:post_uid0] of the USA, Paine's [u:post_uid0]The Rights of Man[/u:post_uid0] which you mentioned on another forum and a number of others.

Mars will be truly blessed if the essence of these documents represents the philosophical foundation for the Mars settlements. The big issue is how to keep them from being corrupted, especially in the very earliest settlements where there will likely be a great premium on highly coordinated action and relatively little scope for individualism.[/color:post_uid0]

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#10 2004-07-22 20:35:19

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid5]

[/quote:post_uid5]

I'd hate to see a "class system" develop amongst settlers, and eventually colonists, based upon whether one is degreed or not...or something similar to that.
[/quote:post_uid5]

What a powerful question! Before proceeding let me ask one. Would you hate to see any "class system" at all or would you just hate to see one based on degrees or other educational criteria?[/quote:post_uid5]
*Hi Morris.  Wow -- this thread is 2 years old already.  You've been digging.  wink  We had lots of great discussions especially in summer and autumn of 2002, IMO.

I should mention that Phobos hasn't been with us since approximately 15 months ago and Byron hasn't posted since mid-May, so I'm not sure either will reply to your posts in response to them.

I re-read the thread, to refresh my memory. 

To answer your question:  It seems humans have a tendency to divide into groups and subgroups naturally.  It seems unavoidable.  I was referring more to rigid, deliberate class systems based on academic achievement or lack thereof.  (However, I dislike class distinctions generally -- but again, they seem somewhat avoidable given human nature as it currently exists.  :-\ )

Phobos hit the nail on the head when he said, "There are plenty of very intelligent people out there who don't have degrees and plenty of small minded idiots who have degrees but couldn't think critically if their lives depended on it."

Individual merit should be rewarded -- across the spectrum, whether it's the "lowly" colony cafeteria worker who is attentive to detail, goes the extra mile to ensure hygiene and food quality to the colony's best physician.  And hopefully both would keep in mind that they are part of a greater working whole.

Too often I've seen "you don't have a degree" equate to "you are stupid and worthless."  And vice versa ("I have a degree, therefore I know everything and am perfect.").  That's bigotry, IMO.

Hopefully I've answered your question (it's the end of a very long day and the ol' synapses are firing a bit more slowly right now).  :-\  :laugh:

--Cindy[/color:post_uid5]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#11 2004-07-23 03:13:31

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Kudos to you, Morris, for bringing this back up.
Cindy, that's a *very* good question you brought up.

I, personally love to study, but hate schools (hence my late 're-enlistment' into formal education... Sometimes you only get so far going the auto-didactic way...)

Indeed, you have idiots with reams of diploma's, and vice-versa. But i gues today the only way of being acknowledged is by your diploma's, no matter how bright you are. And in many cases that's good: if you turn out to be not an idiot, your diploma's are an easy way to prove you have certain capabilities, certain knowledge.
But will 'they' only allow civil engineers to do the dishes? Certainly, in the beginning, being multi-capable (say biology and computer degree) is a must, you need less people to get a job done, but once there are more people 'up there' i guess they'll also enlist the 'normal' people. Wich will still be above average... Or 'special' like people used to work on oil-rigs, etc.

Bigotery can also happen amongst the 'highly educated' Like that Bell guy: the scientist, who looks down on engineers, seeing them as glorified plumbers...[/color:post_uid0]

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#12 2004-07-23 05:30:21

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=000066:post_uid0]A big problem in this area is that too many people confuse "intelligence" and "knowledge." Degrees mean that you have been exposed to and absorbed certain information, not necessarily that you have any clue what to do with it or what it means. I've run into this countless times, history professors that see only names and dates, engineers that can't think outside of the box of orthodox design etc. I've known brillaint people who lacked the basic knowledge to make an idea work due to lack of education, and conversely some of the most asinine ideas I've ever heard have come from people with "Dr." in front of their names.

But then as one with moderate and widely varied education, I probably have a form of intellectual bigotry of my own. Namely, I tend to look down on specialists when they stray off their reservation into other matters.

Which I suppose illustrates the real point. Advanced societies need highly educated specialised people, but precisely because they have focused so much on a given field means they are no different from any other skilled worker. Switch an MD and a machinst and you'll have two people that haven't a damn clue what they're doing.

Just following this stream-of-consciousness, I can actually see a trend towards more "well rounded" people being in demand on Mars than specialised degree holders. You'll need a few, but you'll also need people who can fix or maintain a wide range of machinery, understand the basics of issues outside their area of 'expertise', do some manual labor, and all while knowing enough to identify anything of practical or scientific interest they may run across.

We don't need an egghead with a PhD so much as we need a 'Daniel Boone' in a space suit! Why send a highly-trained nuclear engineer for example when all we need is someone who can maintain or replace reactor compnents? We're not going to be [i:post_uid0]building[/i:post_uid0] new ones for a while. Send a few MDs, a contingent of scientists, and a whole mess of wrench-toting above-average-IQ Mr. Fixit types who can listen to those scientists and have some idea what the hell they're yammerin' about.  big_smile Mars isn't going to a labcoat, white-collar sort of place.[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#13 2004-07-23 08:24:24

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Eggs- actly my point.

Sometimes it's frustrating, being non-English. Other people are always saying it more clearly...

Great soundbite about the switching of the MD and machinist, C.C.![/color:post_uid14]

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#14 2004-07-23 09:41:35

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Mars, a world full of dilettant's.  roll  :laugh:[/color:post_uid0]

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#15 2004-07-23 09:51:01

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]:D  Oh boy, imagine the discussionboards...

yesnoyesno- YES-NO!!!![/color:post_uid0]

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#16 2004-07-23 11:48:58

Morris
Banned
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 218

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]

To answer your question:  It seems humans have a tendency to divide into groups and subgroups naturally.  It seems unavoidable.  I was referring more to rigid, deliberate class systems based on academic achievement or lack thereof.  (However, I dislike class distinctions generally -- but again, they seem somewhat avoidable given human nature as it currently exists.  :-\ )
[/quote:post_uid0]

Thanks for the info. Yes, a class system based on education would seem very unsatisfactory. Much better is one based on achievement, perhaps reflected through the evidence of achievement, money. I really don't think that Bill Gates is worried too much about being a Harvard drop-out. I haven't seen recent data, but a few decades ago there was a major exception to the rule that persons with a baccalaureate degree make more than those with a high school diploma, i.e. persons with ADD or ADHD who had problems enduring a school environment but had good basic intelligence, human interaction skills, and energy often became the CEOs of small to medium-size businesses.

Even today, persons in skilled or semi-skilled trades can make more, often much more, on an hourly basis than many "professionals". Have you looked at the labor bill for car repairs recently? Or the bill for an electrician or a plumber? All of them easily make more that your local school teacher, who typically gets a master's degree after a few years in order to make it into the top pay bracket.

One of the best educational deals available today is becoming an LPN nurse (typical 2-year program). There is a never-ending demand, they can often work their own hours, getting 40 hours over a three-day weekend, for example. This allows them to work while continuing their education for an R.N. degree and even more money. Once they become a nurse practitioner they can easily get into management and start making the real bucks. These people are working when the BA level computer engineers are getting jobs as taxi drivers due to layoffs from an overstimulated economy or from the "export" of IT jobs to India.

Top cosmetologists, having completed perhaps a 25-40 week program and gained some experience, can get up to several hundred dollars per cut. Yep, money is the great equalizer and if more educated people sneer those with the money can laugh all the way to the bank.

Of course, there are some circumstances where things go beyond a sneer and the arrogance of the better educated actually causes damage. Some years ago, I talked with a Certified Nursing Assistant who worked in a nursing home. This is very nearly at the bottom of the job scale, with the required certification training being a few hours each week for perhaps 6 weeks. They don't even have to have graduated from high school, and, indeed, exams are often given with accommodations for those with reading handicaps (even to the extent of having the exam read to them). This CNA was an older black lady who had a lot of experience and was very conscientious about her job. She was very frustrated when young managers, barely out of their teens, constantly gave her orders to cease caring for one resident who, from experience she knew needed the extra care, and go to assist another, much less needy, resident. In some cases the differences in need (I don't remember the details all these years later) were so obvious that one could only conclude that the manager was giving the order only for the explicit purpose of emphasizing her own position of power. I might add that, as of the late '90s, this position and similar ones in facilities for the developmentally disabled, represented the most dangerous occupation in the United States (in terms of the risk of being injured on the job), substantially exceeding the risk of being a fireman or a police officer. And, it's an interesting thing, being on the receiving end of status-oriented slights, often generates a status sensitivity in low status workers which is even greater than that of most high-status individuals, often with deadly consequences. In my state, we recently convicted a nursing home worker, who with the assistance of a new employee, beat to death a nursing home resident who didn't show her the proper respect.

Individual merit should be rewarded -- across the spectrum, whether it's the "lowly" colony cafeteria worker who is attentive to detail, goes the extra mile to ensure hygiene and food quality to the colony's best physician.  And hopefully both would keep in mind that they are part of a greater working whole.[/quote:post_uid0]

Yes, the quality of life is so much better that way. And, unless some very unexpected arrangement for a Mars habitat emerges, the early settlers will probably generally take this attitude. First, because everyone's survival will be so closely entertwined with everyone else's and also because it is hard for a community not to recognize someone's good qualities when the leaders not only work with them, but see them in church, and at school, and on some occasions even at play. As in "small town" USA.[/color:post_uid0]

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#17 2004-07-23 12:01:01

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid11]In my state, we recently convicted a nursing home worker, who with the assistance of a new employee, beat to death a nursing home resident who didn't show her the proper respect.[/color:post_uid11][/quote:post_uid11]
[color=#8D38C9:post_uid11]*Reminds me of that old saying to the effect of "they who demand respect the most usually deserve it the least."

--Cindy[/color:post_uid11]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#18 2004-07-23 13:47:59

Morris
Banned
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 218

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Just following this stream-of-consciousness, I can actually see a trend towards more "well rounded" people being in demand on Mars than specialised degree holders. You'll need a few, but you'll also need people who can fix or maintain a wide range of machinery, understand the basics of issues outside their area of 'expertise', do some manual labor, and all while knowing enough to identify anything of practical or scientific interest they may run across.[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Yes. And, to a large extent, astronauts have been just that. Your comments remind me of one of my favorite "Lazarus Long" quotes from Robert Heinlein.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.[/quote:post_uid0]

While this might be [i:post_uid0]something[/i:post_uid0] of an understatement, it contains an important point. While a highly complex society makes specialization necessary, one has two lives: specialist and citizen. The citizen has to be a generalist in her role as citizen. The big problem comes when people confuse the two roles and think that expertise acquired in one transfers easily to the other.[/color:post_uid0]

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#19 2004-07-24 12:20:37

Morris
Banned
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 218

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Mars, a world full of dilettant's.  roll  :laugh:[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Yes, being a citizen necessarily entails this to some extent since no one can be a specialist in everything. Yet you can't let specialists decide except within highly defined parameters because they are not properly prepared to evaluate things outside their field.[/color:post_uid0]

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#20 2004-07-26 09:02:50

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Yet you can't let specialists decide except within highly defined parameters because they are not properly prepared to evaluate things outside their field.[/quote:post_uid0]

You mean you can't let specialists evaluate outside their field with the same expectation that they might know what they are talking about. A smart doctor is still a smart person who can evaluate things, it's just that we should weight their opinion on their given field, not on subject matter outside of it.[/color:post_uid0]

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#21 2006-04-10 15:57:14

Kahless316
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Registered: 2006-04-09
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Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

I think most of the "elitist" tendencies will go pretty quickly.  The "brains" are going to need the "average joe repairmen" to survive.  Either that or they're gonna have to do it all themselves.  Mars is going to be radically different then anything we can possibly expect, and it will probably turn out that the practical doer types are more needed than eggheads.

I actaully expect quite a few "deadbeats" to end up on mars.  People are going to come as settlers expecting a much easier life, and then not be willing to work.  It happened in the American colonies, and I expect the same here.

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#22 2007-04-13 14:55:06

Joseph_Dunphy
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 6
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Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

I think most of the "elitist" tendencies will go pretty quickly.  The "brains" are going to need the "average joe repairmen" to survive.  Either that or they're gonna have to do it all themselves.  Mars is going to be radically different then anything we can possibly expect, and it will probably turn out that the practical doer types are more needed than eggheads.


Eggheads, huh? Nice mouth on you. Let me drop a little reality on you, friend. An education isn't something that just gets poured into somebody's head. It represents long years of hard work, harder than you can probably imagine, and when some of us find that we're being looked down on for having done that work, we resent that pretty damned deeply - and rightly so. I didn't think that this was that kind of forum, but that's useful information and I'm getting it before getting too deeply invested in a place where I would just inevitably get spat upon, so in a weird kind of way, I guess I should thank some of you for being so open about being the hate-filled individuals that you are. Most bigots aren't so forthcoming.

Time to edit my bookmark file. It's been nice knowing you.

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#23 2007-07-05 17:31:40

dryson
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From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-16
Posts: 104

Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

If I were one of  the first degreed settlers to colonize Mars and non-degreed people come to the planet, It wouldn't matter to me if they were degreed or not, I would be anxious to show them what was found, what has been built. Seeing that they were non-degreed it would also be a prime oppurtunity to teach them first hand knowledge of what was taken to Mars. They would learn first hand from the old knowledge and then put their knowledge into the process, thus bringing about new methods of going about things on Mars, when new people arrived the knowledge from the second generation of settlers would then be passed on to the thrid generation and so forth. Each generation of settlers would learn from the latter and continue to build, just as it has been done on Earth for thousands of years, from cave dwellings to Martian habitats on beyond.

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#24 2007-08-09 18:21:58

Ancalagon
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From: San Diego, California
Registered: 2006-12-07
Posts: 35
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Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

This thread appears to have died and been resurrected several times. But I noticed something.

Kahless and Joseph's little back and forth kind of illustrated the basis of this "intellectual class struggle." Intellectuals tend to equate education with intelligence and label every un-educated person "ignorant." At the same time,  the un-educated worker sees the educated as out of touch and gives them labels like "egghead" and "elitist." It is only a minority of each side that thinks this way, but they're the ones that tend to be the loudest. (Like any other devision of people. Be it: religious, racial, political, sexual, or national.)

Another problem that arises is when you have a group who thinks they are not acting with bigotry when in fact they are. An example of this would be the challenging argument to the women's right to vote here in the U.S. The popular con argument was that a woman had enough troubles raising children and keeping a home so why burden them further with the responsibility of democracy? (What with they being the "weaker sex" and all.) As any modern woman would tell you, even though these people may have had good intentions and considered themselves sensitive to women's issues, they were actually greatly offending to women. A similar thing happens when an educated person will speak condescendingly to an uneducated person. They think they are benefiting the un-educated person, but fail to realize that no person wants to be treated like an idiot.

Many people are uneducated, yet very intelligent. All the same; many people are educated, and unintelligent. Hopefully, a factor in the selection of Mars researchers/"colonists" will be wisdom.


Artist for Red Oasis

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#25 2007-08-10 00:12:55

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
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Re: Intellectual Bigotry? - The chances of it effecting plans?

Hopefully, a factor in the selection of Mars researchers/"colonists" will be wisdom.

Tough job for the selectors.  How will they discern the applicant's wisdom?  200 question Blade Runner-style voidcomp?

"Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about: your mother."


Fan of Red Oasis

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