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What should a well-educated person know? - Page 4 - UniLang

What should a well-educated person know?

This forum is to learn about foreign cultures and habits, because language skills are not everything you need as a world citizen...

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linguoboy
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-11, 2:35

vijayjohn wrote:How am I begging the question if there is no argument in the first place? All that happened was I asked what the point of this thread was, and you gave your response, but I still didn't understand what was so complicated about it.

Your definition of "well-educated" is tautological: a person is well-educated if they've been through the educational system. This simply assumes that whatever the educational system imparts constitutes "education" and ignores all other considerations. That's the very definition of question-begging. How do you determine if the educational system is "flawed" if you don't have some independent standard of what a proper education looks like?

vijayjohn wrote:I can understand asking "what should be taught at school" or even "what constitutes a well-educated person," but to me, asking what someone should know sounds like something that would come dangerously close to saying "so-and-so is not educated because they don't know X," which just seems ridiculous.

Why does that seem ridiculous to you? What's the alternative, to uncritically accept formal credentials? If someone has a high-school diploma, then they have an education, regardless whether they can read and write or solve an equation?

Yes, defining what it means to be educated means that some people will not meet this definition. That doesn't automatically make them inferior, immoral, or otherwise contemptible.

vijayjohn wrote:Okay, but aren't children of immigrants forced to be bicultural, whereas others can choose whether to be bicultural or not? If so, then how is that fair?

Who said it was fair? You have learned, I hope, that life isn't fair. There are all manner of similar inequalities in this world: Gays have to learn straight culture but straights don't have to learn gay culture. Deaf people have to learn about hearing culture but hearing people don't have to learn Deaf culture. And so forth.

I don't think the solution to this is to give up on the idea of having any common culture at all. Rather, we need to broaden mainstream culture so that it embraces and incorporates more subcultures and foreign cultures. We've been moving in that direction for over a century now. There's still a long way to go, but the alternative is balkanisation, which simply isn't sustainable in the long run.
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Lada » 2014-11-11, 18:31

vijayjohn wrote:I sort of agree with Lada here. For the life of me, I can't understand what the point of this thread is in the first place.

I also don't see what's the point. It all turned out that only well-educated people know what other well-educated people should know. It's a good idea for one more dystopian novel. I see the plot already...

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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-11, 18:35

I'd actually be really interested to hear what uneducated people think characterises a "well-educated person". We just don't happen to have many of those here.
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-11, 18:44

vijayjohn wrote:I sort of agree with Lada here. For the life of me, I can't understand what the point of this thread is in the first place. If you're well-educated, shouldn't you know that it doesn't really matter what anybody else thinks you should know? And if you're not well-educated, why not just try to get an education? Why does it have to be any more complicated than that? What is the point of discussing what anyone should know? What happened to the ideas of being yourself or doing what you want to do even if other people disapprove of it? Don't you think deciding what anyone should know runs directly contrary to those ideas? Like, how can you think that people should be themselves and not worry about what other people think they should do but that they should do X, Y, and Z if they're well-educated?


Well, that's not how I've interpreted the point of this thread at all. :hmm: I mean, do we really expect all people to be 'well-educated'? At least I interpreted 'well-educated' as something akin to being 'learned', or something a bit like the expectations were of upper class white people in Britain in the 19th century. That is, a set of culturally defined formal parameters that you kind of need to fill to earn the title 'well-educated'. To give one's idea of those parameters is not the same as dismissing everyone that falls outside of them. (What should be taught to everyone in school is to me a separate subject that doesn't have the same parameters as 'well-educated'.)

I don't count myself as well-educated by my own parameters. I should know more world history and philosophy in my own opinion, and probably more maths, programming and music in many others' opinion. But I get by and I'm not completely ignorant.

Varislintu wrote:Maybe I'm just too eager to blame these things on cultural differences, but still, who is "us," and whose cultural imagery are you talking about?


Okay, I started writing a longer response, but then I felt silly writing at such length about garlic. Do you thinks it's completely possible to just miss the information of how a galic looks like, without being guilty of not paying attention? :) I mean, in our cultural sphere (mainstream Western-Europe & Anglo-Saxon).

Varislintu wrote:
You have to be paying zero attention not to learn to recognise them. They often even come in set pairs/associations: Banana, monkey; carrot, bunny; cheese, mouse; garlic, vampire; etc. Strawberries as an image are so ubiquitous I just cannot comprehend if someone with normal IQ couldn't tell it from cantaloupe. I mean as long as they are exposed to the same images I am.

But does this vary by generation? Could it be that younger people these days aren't exposed to those pairs or images as much as their older counterparts? (I think that's what that article I mentioned was suggesting. But again, my memory of it is really vague, so...).


No, I don't think it varies by generation at all. Unless kids and young adults have stopped watching cartoons, TV-series, and movies, and don't see ads, illustrations, and don't go to fast food restaurants and cafés or eat ice cream anymore, and don't play computer or mobile games, etc, then I really don't see how they could never have seen images of the common fruits and veggies.
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-11-11, 18:55

linguoboy wrote:I'd actually be really interested to hear what uneducated people think characterises a "well-educated person". We just don't happen to have many of those here.


First you'd have to define who they are. My guess is their opinions would vary much more than ours do depending on where they were from.
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-11, 23:08

Varislintu wrote:Well, that's not how I've interpreted the point of this thread at all. :hmm:

This isn't the first time we've interpreted the same thing in different ways, you know. :)
I mean, do we really expect all people to be 'well-educated'?

I thought at least Westerners would expect everyone to have access to a decent education, unlike Indians (for example), who traditionally viewed education (even the most basic education) as a privilege accessible only to people of the highest castes, and even then only in exchange for what was basically slave labor. I mean, I thought Westerners believed everyone should at the very least be allowed to go to school, if not necessarily college.
At least I interpreted 'well-educated' as something akin to being 'learned', or something a bit like the expectations were of upper class white people in Britain in the 19th century. That is, a set of culturally defined formal parameters that you kind of need to fill to earn the title 'well-educated'.

That's even more puzzling to me. :shock: With all due respect, who the hell cares about those things? Why would it matter?
I don't count myself as well-educated by my own parameters. I should know more world history and philosophy in my own opinion, and probably more maths, programming and music in many others' opinion. But I get by and I'm not completely ignorant.

And again, as long as you're not completely ignorant, who cares?
Okay, I started writing a longer response, but then I felt silly writing at such length about garlic. Do you thinks it's completely possible to just miss the information of how a galic looks like, without being guilty of not paying attention? :) I mean, in our cultural sphere (mainstream Western-Europe & Anglo-Saxon).

Sure. You don't even use it that often in cooking, do you? I don't think I would've known what it looked like if my parents hadn't tried to make me watch them cook a hundred freaking times.
No, I don't think it varies by generation at all. Unless kids and young adults have stopped watching cartoons, TV-series, and movies, and don't see ads, illustrations, and don't go to fast food restaurants and cafés or eat ice cream anymore, and don't play computer or mobile games, etc, then I really don't see how they could never have seen images of the common fruits and veggies.

OK.

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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-12, 18:23

vijayjohn wrote:I thought at least Westerners would expect everyone to have access to a decent education, unlike Indians (for example), who traditionally viewed education (even the most basic education) as a privilege accessible only to people of the highest castes, and even then only in exchange for what was basically slave labor. I mean, I thought Westerners believed everyone should at the very least be allowed to go to school, if not necessarily college.


But again, these are, to me, two different things: someone's general/basic knowledge level (yleissivistys), which society strives to instill in everyone through obligatory subjects in school, and then being well-educated, which is something that in my opinion requires personal effort and interest to achieve. Being well-educated, and being perceived by others as being well-educated, is an achievement.

Also, everyone having access to education all throughout university does not mean that that is some kind of minimum requirement of all citizens. :nope: :)

I may have understood this topic completely differently from how Yasna meant it. But since he brought up stuff that requires years of disciplined effort, like knowing how to play an instrument, I immediately thought we are going for 'well-educated' in the sense of an achievement, something that's admired in others. I don't admire people just for having managed to graduate high school, for example --- that's not hard if you're neurotypical.

vijayjohn wrote:
At least I interpreted 'well-educated' as something akin to being 'learned', or something a bit like the expectations were of upper class white people in Britain in the 19th century. That is, a set of culturally defined formal parameters that you kind of need to fill to earn the title 'well-educated'.

That's even more puzzling to me. :shock: With all due respect, who the hell cares about those things? Why would it matter?


Really? I certainly would for example like to see that politicians be well-educated. It just counts as a plus, in my book. Or even if it's a plumber -- if they know three languages, can describe a chemical process and play the violin, of course I'm more likely to admire them as a person. That doesn't mean I don't admire others, for other reasons. :hmm:

vijayjohn wrote:
I don't count myself as well-educated by my own parameters. I should know more world history and philosophy in my own opinion, and probably more maths, programming and music in many others' opinion. But I get by and I'm not completely ignorant.

And again, as long as you're not completely ignorant, who cares?


Well, nobody, it's just a thought experiment. :hmm:

vijayjohn wrote:Sure. You don't even use it that often in cooking, do you?


:shock: Only in every meal! :lol: What is this I don't even... :lol: :D :P Culture-collide or something, I guess. :P
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-12, 19:10

Varislintu wrote:But again, these are, to me, two different things: someone's general/basic knowledge level (yleissivistys), which society strives to instill in everyone through obligatory subjects in school, and then being well-educated, which is something that in my opinion requires personal effort and interest to achieve. Being well-educated, and being perceived by others as being well-educated, is an achievement.

I don't admire people just for having managed to graduate high school, for example --- that's not hard if you're neurotypical.

Well, depending on which society you're in and who you are within that society, even getting a basic education can be quite an achievement, but I think I see your point. :)
Also, everyone having access to education all throughout university does not mean that that is some kind of minimum requirement of all citizens. :nope: :)

Oh, I know. I'd just think it was a good thing to make that option available though. (Not that I think anybody disputes that :)).
Really? I certainly would for example like to see that politicians be well-educated. It just counts as a plus, in my book. Or even if it's a plumber -- if they know three languages, can describe a chemical process and play the violin, of course I'm more likely to admire them as a person. That doesn't mean I don't admire others, for other reasons. :hmm:

Oh OK, I think that makes sense.
Although at first glance, I thought you were saying you expected your plumber to know as much as a 19th-century upper-class Englishman. :lol:
:shock: Only in every meal! :lol: What is this I don't even... :lol: :D :P Culture-collide or something, I guess. :P

Oh my God, this is hilarious. :rotfl: Here, people (well, at least teenagers) seem to be about as scared of garlic as vampires are. :P

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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-12, 20:35

vijayjohn wrote:Here, people (well, at least teenagers) seem to be about as scared of garlic as vampires are. :P


Is this true? :shock: Garlic is somekind of obscure niche thing in the USA?
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-12, 20:40

Varislintu wrote:Is this true? :shock: Garlic is somekind of obscure niche thing in the USA?

No, just among vijayjohn's peers, apparently. In my circle, someone who didn't eat garlic ever would be assumed to have some kind of crazy allergy to it, like my friend Julio's allergy to sesame seeds. The average annual consumption in the USA is 2 lbs per capita (albeit mostly in the form of dried garlic rather than fresh).
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-12, 21:00

Okay. I guess the USA is big place, so hard to speak of it in generalities... but, I would assume that even if many Americans never touch a fresh garlic for various reasons, they must eat it a lot, because you have a lot of foods with various mayo sauces, and pizza and Italian food (or your interpretation of it) seem to be a really big and common thing there, too. So as a flavour/spice, I'd assume you consume it on a weekly basis.

Here I think you'd struggle to find restaurant foods or ready meals completely without garlic. It's one of those ubiqitous additives like cellery powder and soy. :P
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-12, 21:12

Could it just be that Westerners are more likely to be offended by really strong garlicky smells than certain other groups of people? If that's true, then maybe that's what got me so confused about their attitudes towards garlic.

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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-12, 21:14

Yeah, I assume vijayjohn and his peers are eating a fair bit of it, they're just not aware of this because it isn't the dominant taste or in an easily-recognisable form. (Though, of course, if you don't know what garlic looks like, how can you recognise it?) Or maybe my crazy garlic-loving friends are just eating their share?

We eat so much garlic at home that my husband usually buys pre-peeled cloves by the bag. (This offends my sensibilities, but until I'm willing to cook 90% of the meals, I can just shut up about that.)

vijayjohn wrote:Could it just be that Westerners are more likely to be offended by really strong garlicky smells than certain other groups of people?

Well, we are the ones who created odourless garlic when its health properties started becoming widely touted several years ago. (And by "we" I mean "Americans", not "Westerners", since after all the garlic consumption of Southern Europeans was a source of epithets in the past.)
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-12, 21:19

linguoboy wrote:Yeah, I assume vijayjohn and his peers are eating a fair bit of it

Haha, of course I eat it! :D It's other people I'm not so sure about. :)

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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-12, 21:23

Ah, I see what you mean vijayjohn. Sure, people here, too, don't like it if someone smells of garlic. I hate it when my boyfriend has eaten a certain lunch in a certain restaurant --- I can tell immediately from his breath. :lol: :ohwell: But it's still so delicious in smaller quantities, isn't it? Hard to stop using/eating. :)

linguoboy wrote:We eat so much garlic at home that my husband usually buys pre-peeled cloves by the bag. (This offends my sensibilities, but until I'm willing to cook 90% of the meals, I can just shut up about that.)


Wow, you can get them pre-peeled?

linguoboy wrote:Well, we are the ones who created odourless garlic when its health properties started becoming widely touted several years ago. (And by "we" I mean "Americans", not "Westerners", since after all the garlic consumption of Southern Europeans was a source of epithets in the past.)


Wow, it comes in an odourless version over there?

I'm moving to America. :lol: ;)
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-12, 21:27

Varislintu wrote:But it's still so delicious in smaller quantities, isn't it?

Yep. And it's so delicious in larger quantities, too, muwahahaaa. :twisted: ((Some) Indians use lots of garlic, too. Sorry :P).
I'm moving to America. :lol: ;)

Wanna swap houses? :lol: OK, just kidding. I don't think you'd want to move in with my parents, so that would be unfair to you. :P
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2014-11-13, 0:03, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-12, 21:34

Varislintu wrote:Ah, I see what you mean vijayjohn. Sure, people here, too, don't like it if someone smells of garlic.

We joke that either everyone in a group should have garlic for dinner or no one. That goes double for couples.
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-13, 9:02

vijayjohn wrote:Wanna swap houses? :lol: OK, just kidding. I don't think you'd want to move in with my parents, so that would be unfair to you. :P


Me moving in with your parents would probably result in some kind of war. :lol: :silly:

linguoboy wrote:We joke that either everyone in a group should have garlic for dinner or no one. That goes double for couples.


True -- if you've had garlic yourself, you can't smell it anymore. :mrgreen:
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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby TeneReef » 2014-11-13, 12:49

learning:  (ne)  (sv)  (es-ar)  (hi) (Assamese, Gujarati, Hindi, Telugu)

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Re: What should a well-educated person know?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-11-15, 8:03

Yasna wrote:Good point. But is there any better way to teach critical thinking than working through lots of logically rigorous math and science? In my experience people who have studied a good deal of math and science tend to have the best critical thinking facilities.
I think this is just your scientism talking. Critical thinking has to more do with philosophy than anything.


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