...Way to go France! Show everyone that you're in the race to be the world's top Idiocracy!
It is "The rape of Reason" indeed, but not in India.
And it is presumably evidence of "intelligence", but not necessarily as we know it.
However, I have ceased to be surprised at such craziness coming from Europe - especially from the French. Together with the Germans, they seem to have been carefully piloting the already-sinking ship of the EU onto the historical rocks of full-bore socialism/communism for some time now.
...Shades of Kurt Vonnegut's story Harrison Bergeron!!! ...
What a coincidence! That is exactly what this all made me think about too! Or maybe not such a coincidence. If you have read that story, then it is likely to spring to mind whenever you see officialdom committing some idiocy or other, so the memory is probably continually being refreshed over the course of each passing year...
Another related SF story could be The Marching Morons
(1950s) by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth.
@IainB - did you ever think of maybe putting your critical thinking course up on a website? Or as a wiki? That would be a valuable resource IMHO.
I could do, I suppose. Though I have seen some already good resources in that regard, one more mightn't hurt.
...Did I break your record?
Well yes, but your attempt was deliberate
, so as an example it does not go into my record book. The ones that I spot - and which cause me so much amazement - are accidental
, being spontaneous working examples of how apparently otherwise intelligent people actually fail to use reasoning on a day-to-day basis
when presenting an argument for something. The one about a logical fallacy being a matter of "opinion" was in my record book for the simple reason that it was an amusing "own goal" - i.e., not only did the speaker use a logical fallacy in making a statement/argument, but they apparently did not comprehend what a logical fallacy was and therefore could not see that they had used one (or two) even when it was pointed out to them - thinking it was a matter of "opinion" (not of fact!), thus demonstrating that very likely they had never been given any training in (or had not learned) the skill of rational thinking or reasoning.
The article "The rape of Reason" discusses a superb and eponymous example.
As De Bono points out (cf. Teaching Thinking
), we are irrational by nature, and thinking is a learned skill
, just like riding a bike or typing. You get two-fingered typing, and you get two-fingered thinking. This is not referring to the person
doing the typing/thinking here, but just the activity
If you can prevent
people from thinking clearly - for example (say), by not teaching them thinking skills, or by keeping their attention diverted from thinking by means of a government-issue radio earpiece (iPod's anyone?) - then you potentially have them more under control.
You can thus give them lots of "education" or indoctrination - e.g., learning just the stuff you want them to learn for productive purposes, by rote - but without giving them the tools and encouraging them to develop their thinking skills
you will have effectively stifled their potential to be able to think things through rationally and in rigorous fashion. Thus, you might be able to create @app103's
"obedient drones". Whether these drones are smart (intelligent) is probably irrelevant to that status quo
, as @app103
seems to suggest. You teach people what
to think, not how
to think. It's like a religio-political ideology.
Then you let them loose to work, pay taxes
, consume, get driving licences and vote for a select few officials to "lead" them who keep repeating some mantra that sounds great but means nothing - e.g., (say) "Hope n'Change!".