(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote: watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.
(06-14-2013 05:34 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote: You don't need to be "undefined" to be able to see things from every angle.
(06-14-2013 05:34 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote: Society has grown more and more in favor of scholars and academia, in a system where doing the homework given, taking the tests given, and doing great on them to further your "education" is seen as being smart. Yet is this truly intelligence?
Exactly. Yet, this is one reason "intellectuals" -- including those who created and perpetuate this system -- have a tarnished name.
(06-14-2013 05:34 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote: Some people say "But why do you want to go through all the hardship in a foreign country when you could be at comfort at home?". My answer, which I don't tell them because they won't listen or understand, is because nobody achieves shit when they're at comfort. Hardship gives me opportunities, hardship reveals skills, hardship strengthens other skills. How can you expect to improve yourself without having some challenge in your life?
Brilliant thinking there -- for real. A lot of people don't get that, including a lot of "intellectuals" -- who prefer comfort to learning outside of their ivory tower. (See Required Reading 101
from Jessica Smock for more on the value of adversity.
As for the term ivory tower, here are two perspectives:
Wikipedia: "ivory tower"
From the 19th century it has been used to designate a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. As such, it usually carries pejorative connotations of a wilful disconnect from the everyday world; esoteric, over-specialized, or even useless research; and academic elitism, if not outright condescension. In American English usage it is a shorthand for academia or the university, particularly departments of the humanities.
Another perspective, from Meg Tufano, an online course designer, defends the ideal of the ivory tower, but laments the way it seems to be headed:
The entire university was set up for JUST THE VERY REASON that "the world" cannot judge what's going on in there. It was intended to be a counter to worldly ambition. The reason it was called an ivory tower.
The university was intended to protect people like me (and Socrates) so we would not be put to death for getting people to think for themselves. It has long forgotten its purpose and the reason we are seeing so much craziness (MOOCs) is because, literally, the center is not holding.
I think that these days, people in general are less concerned about the danger of other people thinking for themselves, and more concerned that they can't even think their way into a way to earn a living and leaving them alone.
(There's a topic branch off and discuss.)
(06-14-2013 05:34 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote: Almost every single successful and intelligent human on this planet, got to that point through not listening to society, by resisting the system and by thinking outside the box. They're the creative sort, the imaginative sort, the type not stuck to one form of thought but rather an experimental outlook. The intellectual is truly intelligent because they don't listen to the mob, they don't care about the arbitrary rules, because through their emphasis on thought and reasoning, they find it to be flawed.
True, although, is it "the intellectual" or is some other term more appropriate? This is really something to reflect on. There's certainly something to being of the mind -- but some take that to a point that they basically ignore real life as well. This doesn't have to be an either-or thing -- as Ken Robinson hits on in his Changing Education Paradigms talk. It's possible to think intelligently about the real world, and possible to act in the real world by thinking intelligently. But a lot of people have learned to see those as two fundamentally different things.
This disconnect can partly be traced to Rene Descartes -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/René_Descartes
-- who made an absolute distinction between mind and the physical world:
Descartes in his Passions of the Soul and The Description of the Human Body suggested that the body works like a machine, that it has material properties. The mind (or soul), on the other hand, was described as a nonmaterial and does not follow the laws of nature.
In my view, and many others as well, there's certainly more to the mind than the mechanical world, but mind and body are fundamentally interconnected. This interconnection exists much more fundamentally than Descartes proposed. The world of mind -- and intellect, and body -- and the practical world -- are all fundamentally interwoven.
Given that perspective, there need not be a fundamental split between "intellectual" and "realist." Anyone with a brain can think, and anyone who thinks can function in the world. There need not be a black-and-white distinction between an "intellectual" and another person who uses their mind.
(06-14-2013 05:34 AM)brainiac3397 Wrote: What pisses me off the most is how the people surrounding me are total idiots. They're the epitome of what's wrong with society. They fail to understand the reason I want to go study overseas has less to do with the education and more to do with the fact I'm fucking tired of how 18 years of my life was "controlled and guided" by everyone except me. I'm tired of not having my decisions respected, of not having my liberty acknowledged. Well, now I'm 18 and now I'm a legal adult and I will now do as I will because nobody can best tell me what to do except for myself.
This is how I felt growing up with "intellectual" parents, including my dad and stepdad being college professors. I absorbed the message again and again that those two were trapped in an unchanging system that controlled their lives. So... did they let me unschool, or anything like that? No! Their only conception of reality was school, or poverty, or string-pullers
who told everyone else what to do. It's hard to explain how much frustration I have from growing up in this context, hearing their complaints about "students who won't learn," and their grumblings about life in academia, while I wanted to learn, and nobody in my life could help me do so beyond the limited world of "shut up and get some grades because string-pullers run the world and let's complain about them."
So, I encourage you to step back from the term intellectual, and dig a little deeper into what it means to you. From the definition you gave, it seems like you believe in your mind, in reason, in applying abstract thinking to everyday decisions.
I agree with all of that, but at least some "intellectuals" consider themselves distinct from the "real world," and prefer the comfort they experience drawing salaries to do... various things. Some, many of those things may be of value, but how many of them are questioning the way education tends to work? I think it's a minority.
The rest are comfortably drawing their salaries, while complaining about string-pullers and "bad-lazy students." Those students who provide a good part of their salaries.
To provide a personal anecdote, when I tried to apply my understanding of *ideas* to questioning how a school was operating based on grades and college-pipelining, my questions were discounted as esoteric
. That is, magically unrelated to real life. But ideas are not magically unrelated to real life -- even though some are -- many are very applicable.
So, to conclude my own rant... what is it you hope to learn and experience in a college environment?