Re: Douglas quote and comments


Re: Douglas quote and comments


‘D’, I don’t subscribe to the notion that men of the 19th century were any more intelligent than those of the 21st or the 12th or any other century. The difference is the kind of education and experience. I graduated with several scientific/technical degrees and was not long in the world until encountering graduates of the liberal arts course of study. Fully committed with family and work, I embarked upon the University of Chicago’s wonderful GREAT BOOKS self study program and four years later, found myself well equipped with a superior liberal arts education. Liberal in this sense isn’t the polar opposite of conservative but liberal in the sense of being well grounded in the works of the great thinkers, many of which the framers of our Constitution studied. Shortly later, I was engaged in service to this country that eventually took me from Pole to Pole and many of the countries in between. The opportunity to see how various peoples organize (or disorganize) themselves with their societies and governments is an education unto itself and I tried to provide my children with a component of their educations not unlike the Grand Rounds of past millennia European education where by a young man and his tutor would travel to major cities and study government, agriculture, technology, etc. The Liberal Arts, Science and Technology, and Travel, taken together are a wonderful base upon which to build a professional education in the law or medicine or even political science. I continued to learn while teaching my children and decades later when I could resume professional studies; I was at least on par with my younger peers.


I began high school with a slide rule and graduated from college with a HP65 scientific calculator. Big technological changes in our society were touted, and we were somehow, ‘more advanced’ than all other generations. We have computers and fire; the caveman had only fire, so were deemed ‘more advanced’. Our children no longer learned how to do math in their heads and with pencil and paper but on a graphing scientific calculator – and they’re more advanced?? What hooey. If I ran the Department of so called Education, my first action would be to require every teacher to have a substantive degree in the subject manner they teach, not a watered down major in education with minimal substantive knowledge. My next action would probably to abolish the department. Struggling to achieve a measure of self-reliance, I admire previous generations in their general knowledge of what is important and loathe the fact that we have lost that focus.


No, I don’t think we’re any more or less intelligent than our ancestors. I think we simply lost focus on what is really important.



Panhandle Rancher


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  1. Ah, a disagreement where none exists. There has been much made of the 19 century 8th grade tests that could not be passed by today’s college students. Questions answered on a test may measure intelligence but I have known college professors who new much of what isn’t so. I went through High School never learning about credit, how to work a checkbook, how to function in the economy of the time. I was a write-off, a failure, a troublemaker. I resisted Algebra so the system resisted me. I argued that the world functioned in the decimal system, they gave me failing grades. I signed up for Physics classes, both the Physics teachers and Guidance Councelors tried to sway me. To tough they said, to taxing for a mind that couldn’t deal with Algebra. I maintained a B+ over the 2 years I took it.

    20% of High School students drop out. There is no longer an industrial complex for these people to support themselves in and service jobs and government assistance only make poverty barely livable. An unknown number are just shuffled through, what have they been prepared for? The majority of High School graduates need remedial classes just to bring them up to University speed.

    Sure, today’s students get calculus and gender studies, where the 19th century students didn’t, but today’s students are taught to pass tests…. the teachers pay depends on numbers of passed tests. The 19th century students learned what they needed to succeed, and then some.

    Everybody has a story, Panhandler’s and D’s are as impressive as any, partly because they learned that they held the key to their future, they alone were responsible for what came next….. and they dealt with it. Many today learn that, many not only don’t learn it, no attempt is made to teach it. This is of course just an opinion, an opinion from someone “self educated”, an opinion of someone who couldn’t grasp the complexities of Algebra… so I wouldn’t give any of it much weight…

  2. Hey, I just love it that one of my simple comments could inspire such erudite replies. Shows that ya’ll are really paying attention. Regards, D.

  3. I just wonder if” TaxasScoot” just checks for spelling “arrows” or really just wants to “sea” his name in the posts.I think it was a well “ritten” post from John G.

  4. OK, my Grandma and Mother were BOTH English teachers….

    It’s just silly to see a great piece of work spoiled by proofreading errors.

    Remember I said: “An otherwise stellar reply”

  5. Intelligence allows one to come up with solutions to problems they are facing. Whether it is on the job, at home, or dealing with the looming long view of the future.

    You don’t need a degree to see the effects and trajectory of our “leaders” economic or foreign policies. This was called common sense in times past. We don’t need a crystal ball to predict whether or not there will be millions that will take a free handout from the government rather than WORK for their living.

    Sometimes I think my education stems more from understanding the nature of groups of people, more than what my time in school and college taught me.

    What my time studying DID teach me was to read and learn and UNDERSTAND the what I see in the world and how to apply what I know. Then use that to continually prepare for the foreseeable future. That is why I am a prepper.

  6. Sometimes you have something you want to say. You take a chance and say it. Sometimes you fall short, your desire to say it out-paces your ability to say it. At my age I have no one to blame but myself… Who knows, I may improve..

    “Black and white. Shades of gray into the night. I put pen to paper and I write. I sleep it off, I’ll be alright.” -Laura Shay-

  7. Remember I said: “An otherwise stellar reply”

    Yes right before your criticism. Like saying that the dress sure is pretty on you even though your fat.

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