Were we more literate 50 years ago ?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by johnny k, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    The average person has more education than they did 50 years ago. My guess based on what little I've seen... coming out of school, kids are more advanced in all subjects including English. At the college level though, probably less advanced than 50 years ago –because back then the average person didn't go to college, so the standards were higher. So the average person is more literate than 50 years ago, but someone with a higher education less literate. That's just my guess.
     
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  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Is anyone interested in data for this, or is all guesses and feelings?
     
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  3. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    if the data does not fit the narrative it is 'fake' news.
    if the data comes from a reputable source but does not fit the narrative, an instance of malfeasance will be referenced, dismissing the reference.
    if the data has 95% of the experts in the field on board and in agreement, a source from the 5% will be quoted refuting what the overwhelming field has found and it will be implied 'we cannot tell the difference'.
    if the data comes from a study where the scientists were paid for their work... yup, they did it for the money so the results are suspect.

    I'm barely scratching the surface, but, rest assured, it is all feelers and intuition.... data simply fuels the two.
     
  4. mystichands

    mystichands TDPRI Member

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    I’m an older guy, and I can say for sure that we used to be more literate. I learned to read and write from women teachers writing on a chalkboard. Way before computers were everywhere. You had to apply yourself, same thing for learning to play guitar. There was no YouTube or online, or digital. So don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking anything. I’m just from a time when it was more effort to learn the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. And once I learned that stuff, I’ve never forgotten it.
     
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  5. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Is it warm in here or is this not limited to the thread's subject? Hmmm....
     
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  6. mystichands

    mystichands TDPRI Member

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    I don’t know the data for this idea. But as a former teacher, and reader of student writing samples for the last twenty years, I can say, honestly, that kids were more literate back then, than they are now. Just my opinion, but I have a little experience in this field. And you know what? I’m pretty sure the available data, if you can find it, will validate my opinion.
     
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  7. Believer

    Believer Tele-Meister

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    I know this is anecdotal, but five or six years ago, I read a study that claimed to have compared 2010 American high school seniors' vocabularies with their 1960 predecessors'. According to the study, the 2010 seniors had an average vocabulary of about 14,000 words. The 1960 graduates had an average vocabulary of about 30,000 words.

    As a high school teacher, I can confirm that when using primary source material in my history, political science, and economics classes, I often have to pause and define words and terms for my students. I am often sadly surprised by their inability to write proper sentences, spell, and even use the proper word to express their idea. I fear that I received a much better education in the 1970s than we are providing our students today.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So I've looked at data on this and other subjects, data collected and analyzed by a system attempting to self critique.

    Medical stats created by medical professionals.
    Crime stats created by crime professionals.
    Education stats created by education professionals.

    My I suppose: "guesses and feelings" lead me to question, rather than simply accept and assimilate.

    My first observation is to examine to origins of that data.

    The establishment, orientation, valuation, measurement, and rewarding of intelligence is based around institutions that cultivate intelligence of students, in order for those students to fit into a business model, whether financial, engineering, medical, or legal.

    Stepping back and looking at the track record of those models, I see intelligent people made intelligent decisions that I question the intelligence of, and i see it as chronic over decades.

    Stuff like Monsanto with agent orange through concluding that teams of lawyers were more profitable than safe engineering.
    Stuff like improved pain meds that don't kill pain better but generate more addicts consuming product, and again that team of lawyers.
    Stuff like the oil industry promoting short term waste and covering up petroleum saving tech.
    Or fracking leading to poisoned ground water, which was known but ignored.
    These are all products of a system that defines and rewards intelligence for the sake of fitting a business model.

    Many will argue that those were mistakes, or those we bad people.

    But history shows this to be so systematic that it's actually built in to the system.
    Myopia is designed in by business modeled requirements for education to cultivate applicants that are well practiced in depravity, and poorly versed in morals and ethics.

    Part of how that system of brainwash style intelligence cultivation includes demonizing intelligent people who find ways to question the intelligence of fracking, or of prescribing highly addictive meds, or of spraying public streets with left over agent orange.

    Again, that is part of the system that judges intelligence in line with education, jobs and wall street investors.
    Some of this stuff has been demonized enough in big money smear campaigns that few even know the details of the repeated history, where finally a company like Monsanto had to change its name because the number of coverups of intelligent business by intelligent lawyers just got too big to manage.

    I suppose the oil industry is running out of stories too.

    We might look at California choosing a different set of standards for hazards, which many in the rest of the US think is dumb.

    Is it intelligent of California to demand harsher restrictions?
    Or is it more intelligent of the rest of the country to ridicule those restrictions?

    When you take an intelligence test, your right and wrong is based on one or another viewpoint, and generally it can be traced back to wall street investors for the reasons behind how an intelligent business person decides between right and left.
     
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Positive intelligent advances include some winners in my life time:

    In the 1960s, men in a laboratory setting discovered the clitoris.
    In the 1990s, men also in a lab setting noticed that Docs were taught heart attack symptoms in men only, while they failed to notice that women have entirely different heart attack symptoms.
    Also in the 1990s, medical researchers discovered that the mind affected the body.

    Too hot here to remember much, but I still laugh at some of the most educated intelligent thinkers ability to not even bother to look at what's right in front of them, because they are too indoctrinated into assumption based intelligence.
    By assumption based, I mean that once educated and certified, we needn't question doctrine if we want to get promoted and make more money.

    Men exclaiming: "Look what I discovered!", never having read those same facts in texts written 1000 years ago, because those texts fail to fit the business model we orient modern intelligence by.
     
  10. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Just an aside,
    when I worked at a major cancer hospital in Houston I was possibly the only person in the epidemiology dept. with less than a masters degree. (I have a business degree which didn't apply specifically to what I did. I did a LOT of on the job learning at that job.)
    It was not uncommon for co-workers to ask me to define a word I had used. (I kept a copy of the full OED on my computer for handy reference.) We are talking some pretty smart people but none of them seemed to have wide vocabularies.
    Most of my co-workers were in their 20s and 30s, I was in my 50s at the time.
    I was slightly surprised at the time that well educated people didn't know words that I sort of assumed everyone knew.
    Of course I had to do a lot of catch up on the epi.
    I was offered a full scholarship for a masters in epi at UT-Health Science but had health problems and ended up leaving the job.
    Too bad - I love epidemiology.

    Mark
     
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  11. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

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    I was only 6, 50 years ago...so not in my case.
     
  12. Hamstein

    Hamstein Tele-Meister

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    You young whippersnappers don't know the half of it, - back in the dark ages, when the internet was in black and white, we had to inscribe our messages onto a stone slab using our teeth.

    This was a particularly difficult thing to do, especially as back then all words had at least six syllables, not like these fancy short words they use now.
    After taking a photo of the slab with a box brownie, we could then upload the message using the state of the art 'browntooth' system to the local semaphore operator, who would then transmit it to the desired address, this could take upwards of seven weeks.

    A reply would be forthcoming, but would usually consist of inane gibberish, or in the worst case, a criticism of spelling and grammar in your message, which you would then have to correct

    Hang on, I've lost my train of thought, what was I on about again?
     
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  13. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Afflicted

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    Kids are different, just like older people. I expect that effective forms of discipline are different for each kid, just as the way kids learn best are different. The one-size-fits-all psychology of child rearing and education doesn't seem to work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
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  14. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Afflicted

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    No one uses encyclopaedias anymore. Just Google.
     
  15. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    It is to laugh.
    I sold my last set of encyclopedias in 1996.
    $5 for a complete set of Britannica Encyclopedias at a yard sale.
    They served me well back in the day but I resolved
    I would never move them again.

    Mark
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    "lol"
     
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I really miss bookstores.

    Can't blame kids today for their demise though, that was Amazon.
    I have to wonder if the shift to google for all our info needs may change in the future?
    Because the info pool gets pooped in so much?

    Similarly at least some of society has decided that zoom will replace going to an office, so many chose to buy homes far from any office buildings.
    Not sure how that will pan out, and I still value actual books or better still several from alternate sources, on some subjects.

    We already see mountains of repeated misinformation that stinks up the top pages of a google search, and not many have the energy to police and correct repeated pop misinfo.
     
  18. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Sigh... Back in my college days I had a couple of part-time jobs in really good book stores, both sadly long gone.
    The pay wasn't great but I could borrow any book from the store. Yousa.
    Like all kids everywhere, I loved reading the encyclopedia. I can't imagine not enjoying exploring that way.
    When I was in elementary school, we had a Word Book set of encyclopedias.
    My folks got the Britannica set when I got a little older.
    I have no book stores within a reasonable driving distance and the local library is pretty sad. Tom Clancy and romance novels. (BTW, I like TC but have read enough of his work to last me...)
    No matter, as my eyes are not up to any extensive reading anyway.

    Mark
     
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  19. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm always amazed at the elegance of the founding fathers era. A lot of the people responsible for our early history were very young..... Like in their 20s. Read the corps of discovery letters of Lewis and Clark. Spelling was phonetic but the elegance comes thru strong. It's as if language had a certain poetry to it, for the literate..... Now we communicate a lot with symbols and language is changing.
     
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  20. HotRodSteve

    HotRodSteve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Budgie recorded this 48 years ago.

     
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