Reading & Writing

Discussion in 'Education' started by Flanders, May 15, 2012.

  1. Flanders
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    Flanders ARCHCONSERVATIVE

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    I cannot recall ever seeing a criticism of libraries anywhere; certainly not in the print press or on television. That’s why I thoroughly enjoyed a WND piece by Dave Tombers who begins with this:

    I’ll begin my comments with funding.

    Federal, state and local governments; i.e., tax dollars, fund libraries. Some private donations are in the mix, but I doubt if any brick & mortar library could survive on private gifts. Aside from the economics involved, libraries glorify the printed word in one of the most self-serving institutions in America while doing nothing for wisdom.

    Bottom line on funding: Tax dollars funding libraries is an indirect subsidy to the publishing industry.

    Are libraries necessary?

    I’d have to answer yes and no. By that I mean fiction, history, biographies, and all non-technical books should be housed in buildings paid for, and maintained, by the publishing industry.

    History deserves special mention

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" George Santayana (1863-1952).

    Santayana’s trite truism just doesn’t standup under scrutiny. Thanks to history books, history teachers, television, radio, movies, and public education everybody knows all about past events, yet I suspect they will continue to relive them anyway.

    It seems to me too much time is spent studying history. To me, reading history so you can predict the future is an awful lot like reading the Daily Racing Form’s “Past Performances” so you can predict the outcome of a race yet to be run by horses of questionable ancestry.

    Knowing all about historical events going back thousands of years hasn’t done much to keep the world from repeating the same old forms of government over and over again. Socialism/communism, which is a relatively new variation of government, is basically no different than every other totalitarian government that ever was. That alone should give good people food for thought concerning the value of learning where the political world has been. Nobody has to read history to know where governments are going; they never change their destination.

    The greatest form of government ever devised given to us by the Founding Fathers is the one exception and it is losing ground. I have a feeling that when America is gone governments will see that limited government is never repeated.

    Resisting tyrants in your own time and place, as this country’s Founding Fathers did in their time, is the point. I doubt very much if the Founders looked in history books in order to find out what they should or should not do. The word ‘history’ appears in the Declaration of Independence, but it only refers to a living King Georges’ conduct. The founders applied commonsense to the political problem at hand. That beats a knowledge of history every time. And you can be sure that those people who abuse power will not stop doing it just because they know how the fate of a few long dead oppressors turned out. The public learns the names of dead dictators, while live dictators learn not to make the same mistakes their role models made.

    Aside from knowledge of our individual fields of endeavor in search of a buck most of us know more about wars, modern and ancient, than we know about any other subject. To me, that says that killing is being taught as if some humans require lessons in the subject.

    It is said that Egyptians living in the time of the pharaohs were overly fascinated with death. If that is true, maybe it’s time for the US to try shutting down the history department in every institution that accepts tax dollars that are then spent teaching about dead events and even deader people. Since the human race seems to be getting less humane with a mountain of treacherous historical facts in their heads there is nothing to lose by shutting down history departments —— nothing to lose except a few bucks should we ever get on Double Jeopardy and history is one of the categories.

    If teaching history is actually shutdown maybe there will come a generation that spends more time looking forward rather than looking back. If the day ever comes when no one, including myself, will have to refer to past events in order to have a shot at more freedom from government everyone except history teachers will be a lot better-off.

    When all is said and done exactly why are historians stumbling all over one another picking up the money if they’re not propagandists with licenses to tell stories?

    Necessary libraries

    Law libraries, medical libraries, scientific, technical books, etc., should be housed in libraries paid for and maintained by tax dollars. Even there, foot traffic should determine how long they stay open. To serve the public as physical structures disappear, tax dollars should be used to setup a website to provide all of the scientific and technical books one finds in brick library.

    Naturally, The Library of Congress would be permitted to stock works of fiction because it is more museum than library.

    Colleges and universities should not get a tax dollar of any kind until every work of fiction is removed from their libraries. Note that history books, biographies, autobiographies, and so on are more fiction than fact.

    Admittedly, a grain of truth can be found in a piece of fiction. The problem is all of the B.S. one has to wade through to find that grain. The fiction section in every library contains 99.9999999 percent B.S. That’s a lot of manure to handle looking for a grain of truth. You’re better off looking in your own life’s experience.

    My suggestion would work out real well should colleges and universities refuse to comply. Nothing would serve the public better than stopping all tax dollars from going to institutions of higher learning.

    Presidential libraries

    Journalists and researchers looking to write a book are the only people who read anything in a presidential library. For all practical purposes, they are libraries where nobody goes to read a book.

    Presidential libraries are built with private funds then donated to the federal government so that taxpayers end up paying for staffing and maintenance. Need I say more?

    Reading & Writing

    The greatest myth surrounding libraries is the one that says libraries are an essential component in literacy. That line of reasoning is so absurd it defies logic. Individuals who read and write well spend very little time in libraries, if any. In the past, professional writers might have used libraries for research purposes, but they certainly have no need for them today.

    Ordinary people who do not read and write well sure as hell won’t learn those skills in a library. Public education cannot teach reading and writing; so how the hell is a library where silence is required going to teach those skills?

    And sure I’d like to see the library that teaches reading comprehension. It would have to be something out of a science fiction movie judging from the liberals I’ve come across on message boards.

    Videos & CDs

    Under no circumstance should a library get a tax dollar if it stocks movie CDs. It is my understanding that libraries everywhere provide the worst, most destructive, fiction of all in the form of CDs. Fiction becomes propaganda in every movie. That brings me back to Dave Tombers’ piece:


    And this:

    Revealed: The evil lurking in libraries
    Association accused of 'prostituting itself out to issue propaganda'
    Published: 15 hours ago
    by DAVE TOMBERS

    Revealed: The evil lurking in libraries

    Not only do tax dollars fund libraries, I’m sure Soros takes a tax deduction for his “large grant.” That means you and I pay for propaganda promoting open borders, global government, and the entire the Socialist agenda.

    Let me close by reminding everyone that The Iron Heel by Jack London was the only book by an American author that Stalin allowed in Soviet libraries. I don’t think it was there for entertainment purposes.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  2. psikeyhackr
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    psikeyhackr VIP Member

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    I disagree in principle and agree in practice.

    The problem is most books are crap and the libraries do nothing to point out the good ones. I even spent 4 months trying to get the manager of a library to stock a certain book. She looked at me like I was crazy.

    Most history books present SOME of the facts but do not give much of an explanation of why they happened. Like lots of info about Pearl Harbor but nothing about the oil embargo that the US had against Japan before that.

    So try some fictionalized history:

    1632 by Eric Flint
    1632 by Eric Flint - Baen Books <-- LINK

    Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprage de Camp

    And some pseudo-future history, The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.

    Asimov considered becoming a historian. But his concept of psycho-history can certainly influence how one looks at history.

    So now with lots of inexpensive tablets and interesting books even being free then the role of libraries is questionable. The problem is the quality of all of the so called information flying around.

    psik
     
  3. Flanders
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    Flanders ARCHCONSERVATIVE

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    To psik: Crap and good are matters of opinion.

    To psik: Her opinion differed from yours.

    To psik: The facts are available in government documents. Using them selectively is the reason history books end up fiction.

    To psik: Instead he wrote fiction. That should tell you something.

    To psik: A philosopher might influence one&#8217;s view of history, but never a fiction writer.

    Psychohistory is a tool of propagandists. Intelligent individuals are neither fooled nor impressed by it.

    Incidentally, psychiatry and psychology are two of the biggest frauds of the last century. There is no objection to weak-minded fools paying their own money to have someone tell them what is wrong with their personalty. It&#8217;s even acceptable for companies to use psychology to help sell merchandise rather than manufacturing the best products, but allowing the frauds to influence punishment in a criminal case is a scam. A murderer who is as nutty as a fruitcake should pay the same penalty as a &#8220;sane&#8221; killer. It also allows judges to commit defendants to mental institutions; one of the Soviet Union's favorite tools for political prisoners.


    To psik: The role of libraries was questionable long before the Internet for the reasons I explored in the OP.

    To psik: Information in non-fiction books is either accurate or it isn&#8217;t. Opinion plays no part in deciding.

    Something might be accepted as truth for centuries until advances in that field prove otherwise. The world is flat is the best-known example. Not so with fiction. Fiction cannot be proved wrong simply because it is labeled fiction. Who tries to prove elephants can&#8217;t fly like Dumbo? And who is cruel enough to tell a child that rats can't talk like Disney&#8217;s rat?

    Every novel is protected by the same poetic license cartoon characters enjoy. Did you every hear anyone challenge the &#8220;facts&#8221; in a work of fiction?

    Finally, political books written by journalists belong in the psychohistory category:


    Bob Woodward exposed
    Published: 12:50 PM 05/16/2012
    By Derek Hunter
    Freelance writer

    Bob Woodward exposed | The Daily Caller

    I wonder if flaming liberals Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman will do a sequel to All the President&#8217;s Men, only this time based on:

     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  4. psikeyhackr
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    psikeyhackr VIP Member

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    ROFL

    Deadline (science fiction story) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Through-Science-Fiction-Coursebook/dp/0415957559[/ame]

    http://www.philosophynow.org/issues/80/Philosophy_Through_Science_Fiction

    So you are one of those people who think accurate information and relevant ideas cannot be presented in a work of fiction. Arthur C. Clarke has Plato's Allegory of the cave in his book A Fall of Moondust. It is about a rescue mission on the Moon long after a colony has been established. It was written before the Moon landing.

    Isaac Asimov wrote plenty of non-fiction. Other science fiction writer consulted with him to get the "science" correct in their books.

    Yeah, idiots can have opinions too and too often we have to pretend to respect them because their are so many idiot. This is the book:

    Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics, by Stan Gibilisco
    teach yourself electricity and electronics

    It is not fiction.

    These fictional stories contain chemistry, geology and archaeology.

    Omnilingual (1957) by H. Beam Piper
    LibriVox » Omnilingual by H Beam Piper
    Omnilingual - Henry Beam Piper | Feedbooks

    All Day September by Roger Kuykendall
    All Day September - Roger Kuykendall | Feedbooks

    This one has economics:

    The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper
    LibriVox » The Cosmic Computer, by H. Beam Piper
    The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper - Project Gutenberg

    So what are you suggesting besides criticising libraries?

    psik
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  5. Flanders
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    Flanders ARCHCONSERVATIVE

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    To psik: I’m one of those people who thinks accurate information and relevant ideas do not need fiction.

    You seem to be hung up on Isaac Asimov. Fine. His nonfiction books would be separated from his fiction in the libraries I suggested in the OP.

    And if fiction is an effective teaching tool it should apply to teaching everything from music to cabinetmaking. In truth, the best educators don’t teach their students fact by mixing it with fiction. Math teachers teach math; chemistry teachers teach chemistry and so on.

    Incidentally, you can stop cluttering up my thread with the books you think are important because you read them. Fact is fact; fiction is fiction, and never the twain shall meet.


    To psik: What I am suggesting is clearly stated in the OP. Perhaps you stop reading science fiction until after you improve your reading comprehension skills.
     
  6. psikeyhackr
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    psikeyhackr VIP Member

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    I didn't say it NEEDS it. I just say it can make them more fun.

    I am not responsible for your assumptions.

    Robert Goddard and Carl Sagan admitted to being inspired by science fiction.

    Science Fiction? | Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | PBS

    I was in a fraternity where I went for electrical engineering. Probably the majority of members were SF readers to some degree.

    psik
     
  7. Flanders
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    Flanders ARCHCONSERVATIVE

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    To psik: True. You didn’t say it, but the ALA cashes in on the misconception.

    A percentage of taxpayers who enjoy reading science fiction is not justification for every taxpayer paying to house fiction because it happens to be in book form. Many of those books are imbued with the propaganda that is found in movies and television shows. Movies that wrap the environmental fraud in science fiction are but one example of the damage being done.

    TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Dark Side were nothing more than dirty little morality plays. And, of course, Star Trek was the most insidious piece of global government propaganda imaginable. Aside from the storylines, the fictional Federation of Planets flag even resembles the UN’s flag.


    Dag Hammarskjold Library - Map Library

    Star Trek United Federation Of Planets Blue Flag - Roddenberry - Star Trek - Prop Replicas at Entertainment Earth

    Just so there is no misunderstanding. I am not suggesting banning anything. I am suggesting that not one tax dollar be used to endorse fiction in any way. I would go so far as to take a close look at the tax breaks publishers and movie producers receive. Tax dollars should not pay to publish works of fiction, nor should tax dollars be used to store them for “posterity.”
     
  8. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Very simply, most of the really good books, fiction or fact, are read by a very small portion of the population. But that portion of the population has far more impact on our lives than the ones that do not read those books.

    Here in Portland, Oregon, we just passed a library levy by over 70%. In economically hard times. The people in the Silicon Forest understand the value of education and access to information.
     
  9. Flanders
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    Flanders ARCHCONSERVATIVE

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    To Old Rocks: Did the pre-vote debate discuss the issue of fiction and non-fiction as I detailed in the OP? The value of education and access to information tells me the folks in Silicon Forest were voting with scientific literature in mind.

    The centuries long myth surrounding libraries and their usefulness must have played a part in the vote. Portland's tax on property that you call a levy was not permanent.

    Few Americans, that is the vast majority who never use a library, ever give a critical thought to libraries and what they are actually getting for their tax dollars. Perhaps a real debate will take place the next time the “levy” is up for renewal.

    I’ll wager that the parasites who force others to pay for their beliefs see nothing wrong in their actions:


    Multnomah County library levy passes easily
    Measure passing by more than a 4 to 1 margin
    By Steve Law
    The Portland Tribune, May 15, 2012, Updated May 15, 2012

    Multnomah County library levy passes easily

    Incidentally, a big deal is made out of Julius Caesar accidentally burning down the Library of Alexandria. Does anyone know how many papyri were works of fiction? My guess is NONE.
     
  10. psikeyhackr
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    psikeyhackr VIP Member

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    Who said anything about TV shows? You just need to bring up shallow drivel to justify your prejudices.

    Scientific Language: H. Beam Piper

    The Project Gutenberg eBook of Omnilingual, by H. Beam Piper

    psik
     

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