Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our Devolving Language - a means of manipulation.

Tom Hoefling shared this quote from Webster: "Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country." --Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788

I add: 

Every child should be familiar with the language upon which his Liberty rests. Every child should have a copy of Webster's 1828 Dictionary, so they can see the modern destruction of language and the enslavement to false ideas made possible by that destruction. For instance here was Webster's definition of Education:
"The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties."

A hundred years later the definition had devolved to this: The drawing out of a person's innate talents and abilities by imparting the knowledge of languages, scientific reasoning, history, literature, rhetoric, etc., the CHANNELS through which those abilities would flourish and SERVE. - The New Century Dictionary of the English Language 1927 

Fifty years later the definition had devolved to this: ."learning is the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanations of even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones only growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection - system of man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the really influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurones, sequence in time, belongingness, and satisfying consequences." - "An Outline of Educational Psychology (Barnes and Nobel 1934) It was the model being adopted in the 1960 and became the basis of the curricula for the Department of Education under Jimmy Carter.

We have two generations of people whose education was rather "behaviorist conditioning." Many if not most of these people are massively vulnerable to manipulation. This last election cycle demonstrated that reality with myriad examples. Critical Thinking is all but a lost art. We have to engender it and nurture it to survive.

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