Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Common sense illiteracy: One EMP burst away from wiping their brains clean.

Received this email from yellowhousejake on the subject of "Hacking and how to cripple America."

Reading your blog concerning hacking and what would or would not be ethical, I was reminded of something I find completely shocking.

My wife works for a major international corporation as a product rep. Her counterparts are all college graduates, which means they always call her when they do not know what to do (This I have noticed is an alarming trend).

Example; A colleague is leaving a store out of state, and her TomTom (GPS) batteries die. She calls my wife and asks how to get back to the interstate. My wife asks her if she knows how she got to the store. The colleague explains her TomTom told her how to get there. After several minutes of frustrating conversation my wife abruptly advises her colleague that she needs to get her butt to the nearest gas station and buy a road atlas. The colleague's reply? "But how will I know which direction I am
going?". My wife's answer? "The sun rises in the East and sets in the West", then she hung up the phone.

Example; A colleague is driving from Chicago to Fort Wayne Indiana. His GPS takes him to Indianapolis first then back north. He cannot understand why it took an extra two hours over what my wife told him it would take. He had no idea he drove almost one hundred miles out of his way.

This is happening everywhere. College graduates cannot navigate an interstate. They cannot use a phone book. If spell check accepts a word then it must be right. They cannot even calculate a tip without their cell phone applications.

If terrorists wanted to cripple America they only need kill all wireless signals and everything would grind to a halt.




Anonymous said...

I've found that in hiring job applicants for technical positions, college degrees (unless they're from an Ivy League-class school, which I don't see very much) are basically useless in predicting the applicants' ability to get work done.

I'm much more likely to hire someone based on military service on their resume. Even if they're an idiot, having gone through the military generally means that they can follow verbal or written instructions. You can't assume that with college grads.

j3maccabee said...

The government propaganda / public education industry has indeed been successful at churning out more and more "teachers" who are grossly incompetent and un-fireable, and who thus churn out incompetent graduates. Here in Alabama, at a teacher's AEA convention, a male teacher with a sense of humor was selling a few T-shirts he'd had made up, from the trunk of his car. The shirts read,
" I Bees A Teechuh"

The other teachers were so offended that they had him 'censured'. I would have just laughed and nodded.

Sean said...

Had a relative who bought a GPS, then almost immediately got it stolen. When I asked them why they bought it in the first place, they said to get around town. Yikes. All that electronic crap is shark bait.

Steve K said...

I'll say that I am a college educated individual. I'll also say that I have worked for and with those who haven't been college educated for several different jobs. One of the main jobs I held during college was working on a farm, for a salty, old Vietnam Vet. That job taught me how little I knew about many practical things. It also taught me that it was just flat-out better to admit ignorance but a willingness to learn, then perform action as shown to standard.

College doesn't do a whole lot of educating outside of the engineering and science fields, instead it socializes those who attend to fit into a culture that easily follows authority and doesn't think for itself.

Anonymous said...

I am currently reading Ayn Rand's "The Return of the Primitive", a collection of essays, many of which deal with the "current" state of liberal education (this was collected and published in 1971, from essays written in the 1960s).
The more I read and look about me, the more prescient Ayn seems. And the more I realize how fortunate I was to get the good education I did, when I did (I graduated HS in 1971).
And then to top it off, I got a PRACTICAL 2 year AAS college degree in electronics.
Which helped me get through 20 years of an Army career (where I also learned a lot).
And the learning never stops, if you have the attitude to want it. My Oma (grandmother) went to college and got a degree when she was in her 60's.
As for today's over-educated fools, I'm almost WISHING that we DO get hit with an EMP. The fools will huddle in the dark and die. Leave more for us survivors. The rest of us will struggle without our luxeries, but will get by, by bartering, trading, and working with our hands.
Another good sci-fi read in a related vein is Robert Heinlein's "Farnham's Freehold".

B Woodman

Anonymous said...

That happens mostly because most of these parasites can't read or think.

Me, I prefer pre'70 Volkswagen beetles. No electronics + a friend and I can change an engine in about 30 minutes at night in a parking lot.

W W Woodward said...

When my children were in school I would occasionally receive a note from one of their teachers. I would correct the teacher's spelling and grammar, assign a grade to the note and return it. I rarely ever received a second note from the same teacher.

I found it rather irritating that a person I had entrusted with my child's education couldn't spell and had no concept of correct sentence structure.

ranamacar said...

Teachers. This is a group that, for the most part, got out of high school, went to college, and immediately got a job in another school. They don't know anything BUT school.
My best teachers in college were all retired from industry and had real-life experience.
The freshly-minted engineers I have to train today are almost totally devoid of common sense, and creative thinking is beyond foreign to them- it's almost heretical. If I can't show them something in a book or on the 'net, they can't understand where I came up with it. Hell, I spent 20 minutes the other day trying to explain to a supervisor (with two kids of her own, God help us- they're breeding) that sometimes grown people just don't get along. Interpersonal relationships aren't always what you see on TV, and she couldn't grasp the concept. It wasn't WHY person A didn't like person B, it was the FACT that person A didn't like person B that she couldn't comprehend.
Time to chlorinate the gene pool.


Anonymous said...

"I found it rather irritating that a person I had entrusted with my child's education couldn't spell and had no concept of correct sentence structure."

Yet you left your kids in that school? Yeah, makes lots of sense. Who's the stupid one?

W W Woodward said...

Yet you left your kids in that school? Yeah, makes lots of sense. Who's the stupid one?

Yeah. It was a crooked game, but it was the only game in town. Population 1,000, total number of kids in the school system approximately 300, nearest alternative schools also public schools 25 miles in another county.

I was required to spend a lot of time deprogramming my kids, supporting their right and obligation to question arbitrary authority, and require the teachers to support their statements of "fact" with logical argument and documentation.

Stupid? Maybe so. But like I said, it was the only game in town.

Anonymous said...

Americans need to wake up, and realize that wether the local gov't produces quality schools or sub-standard schools, it is STILL the responsibility of the parent to supplement a child's education, with REAL-WORLD learning examples. Ultimately that means spending TIME with your child. The problem is that most children these days don't get that time from their parents. It is the PARENTS that are failing the children. My father taught me real-world survival skill, and how to think analytically, and I passed that on to my daughter. When my child moved out into the real world, she was amazed at how many untrained idiots there were 'out there'.