Textbook publishing ills

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Lucrece
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Lucrece » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:52 pm UTC

Skeptical toward religion.

Parents above all things want to make sure that their preferred narrative is validated and passed down to their children.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

Reasons I don't trust democracies where everyone truly can have a vote: too many idiots.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Lucrece » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:01 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Reasons I don't trust democracies where everyone truly can have a vote: too many idiots.



Thing is, it cuts both ways. Textbooks are political due to the elected nature of the school board.

At the same time, there are positive cases, like where one where a guy's kid was getting bullied in school, and the parent was of good standing and so threatened he was capable of making a campaign out of this even and run for the schoolboard seat. Establishment crapped its pants, guy and his kid received justice.

Democracy may not be perfect, but it's way better than rolling the dice on something as important as your kid's experience in school. It will make or break whether he takes up higher education. If you had guys that were hard to remove, and you ended with a douchebag, you're stuck with that douchebag and at his complete mercy.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:17 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Reasons I don't trust democracies where everyone truly can have a vote: too many idiots.

I heard somewhere that the uneducated majority cancels itself out as far as votes go. I hope that's true.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby lutzj » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:34 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
lutzj wrote:
Mambrino wrote:How many parents are capable to judge whether the book is good or bad, especially above the elementary school level? Both of my parents have their university degrees in Humanities. Even though they had the expertise to applaud my school's choices for History and Philosophy textbooks, I not certain if they could have distinguished a sub-mediocre Physics or Mathematics textbook from a good one. I guess they would have noticed if my Mathematics and Physics textbooks were total crap, but in the other hand, no teacher I've ever met would ask students to buy a textbook that bad.


It only takes one loud parent with a background in a given science to rile up the other parents. Your parents might not deeply understand chemistry, but they talk to the people down the street who do, and they love to whine about incompetent school administrators.
This would be cool if it happened that way. It usually happens that parents get riled up about other stuff though. Evolution is an obvious example, but more insidiously (and successfully) people have worked to eliminate things like the Trail of Tears, the support for slavery from some Founding Fathers, and Thomas Jefferson from American history textbooks.

Why would they want to eliminate Thomas Jefferson?


I think they specifically want to eliminate his moral failings, like slaveholding and Deism and Francophilia, that contradict their view of the Founding Fathers as morally-pure Christian God-Kings.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby ++$_ » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:38 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Why would they want to eliminate Thomas Jefferson?
The whole "cutting bits out of the New Testament to get rid of all the supernatural elements including the resurrection and all references to Jesus' divinity" thing rubs some Christians the wrong way.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Proginoskes » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:16 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:Skeptical toward religion.

Parents above all things want to make sure that their preferred narrative is validated and passed down to their children.


He smoked pot, too.

++$_ wrote:The whole "cutting bits out of the New Testament to get rid of all the supernatural elements including the resurrection and all references to Jesus' divinity" thing rubs some Christians the wrong way.


I've heard that those were actually swiped from a book called The Life of A Ghost, written by a Greek holy man around 300 BC. Supposedly the early church burned every copy of this book they could find, because the "ghost" had walked on water, turned water into wine, produced a huge amount of food, survived his death ... Get the picture?

The "Sibyl Oracles (Mysteries of Osiris and Isis)" was published in 500 BC. A plagiarized version of this became the book of Revelation.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:09 am UTC

Proginoskes wrote:
Lucrece wrote:Skeptical toward religion.

Parents above all things want to make sure that their preferred narrative is validated and passed down to their children.


He smoked pot, too.


From Futurama:

Spoiler:
Hermes: So... you grow hemp?
Jefferson's Head: Yes.
Hermes: And... what did you do with it?
Jefferson's Head: All manner of things. Manufacture paper, fabric, rope...
Hermes: Oh. Well, nice talking to you.
[Hermes begins to walk away]
Jefferson's Head: Why, I used to smoke about four feet of rope a day.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:12 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:This would be cool if it happened that way. It usually happens that parents get riled up about other stuff though. Evolution is an obvious example, but more insidiously (and successfully) people have worked to eliminate things like the Trail of Tears, the support for slavery from some Founding Fathers, and Thomas Jefferson from American history textbooks.
WTF is wrong with your country? Seriously, what is the history of america's anti-intellectual movement? It seems so bizarre.

sourmìlk wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Reasons I don't trust democracies where everyone truly can have a vote: too many idiots.
I heard somewhere that the uneducated majority cancels itself out as far as votes go. I hope that's true.
Bigger problem: The apathetic-through-ignorance who don't vote at all.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:52 pm UTC

There's been an anti intellectual movement since at least the Cold War. They used to equate communists with intellectuals, feminists, gays, and other undesirables. I wonder where its roots are.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby ++$_ » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:38 pm UTC

As Richard Hofstadter pointed out 50 years ago, anti-intellectualism has been prevalent in America ever since Europeans got here. It is not something new that has developed in the last 50 years.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby omgryebread » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:51 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
omgryebread wrote:This would be cool if it happened that way. It usually happens that parents get riled up about other stuff though. Evolution is an obvious example, but more insidiously (and successfully) people have worked to eliminate things like the Trail of Tears, the support for slavery from some Founding Fathers, and Thomas Jefferson from American history textbooks.
WTF is wrong with your country? Seriously, what is the history of america's anti-intellectual movement? It seems so bizarre.
I bet if I studied some, I could find a popular and consistent strain of anti-intellectualism in your country.

The reason America has a virulently strong strain is probably a mixture of very distant leftovers from Tory/Patriot divides, some urban/rural dichotomies as a result of being so huge, and some quirks in Protestant theology among American Christian groups.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby lutzj » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:20 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:The reason America has a virulently strong strain is probably a mixture of very distant leftovers from Tory/Patriot divides, some urban/rural dichotomies as a result of being so huge, and some quirks in Protestant theology among American Christian groups.


Emphasis mine; this one is huge. Even intellectual giants like Thoreau have strong veins of "those city-slickers in their ivory towers are trying to monopolize thinking; who are they to tell me what is and isn't true?" Later it was Christian fundamentalists that took up the banner of the independent country person, but the basic thread has more to do with rural/urban divides than religious ones.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Diadem » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:23 am UTC

All countries have anti-intellectual strains. That is hardly unique to the USA. But the USA seems to have a particularly virulent and popular strain. And it is interesting to ask ourselves why that is.

It's not purely religious extremism for example. We have plenty of religious extremists over here, but they are in fact very pro-intellectual. Which is due to my country's Calvinist roots. Calvinists obsessively study the bible, and fight each other over every single detail in it. So theirs is a tradition of critical, analytical thinking, very pro-intellectual.

Edit; Ninja'd somewhat. Well I guess my narrative fits lutzj's.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Lucrece » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:28 am UTC

Anti-intellectualism is the backlash of classism. In the U.S., particularly because higher education sees huge gaps in econimic representation, those who could not afford to go to university resent the thought that the positions worthy of praise and leadership/consideration are also positions you are most likely to achieve if you happen to have a good sum of money.

Until academia in the U.S. can shake off the image of being culturally elite, they'll be hounded by popular distrust because --surprise-- many people in the U.S. are not upeer middle class and beyond.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:53 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:Anti-intellectualism is the backlash of classism. In the U.S., particularly because higher education sees huge gaps in economic representation, those who could not afford to go to university resent the thought that the positions worthy of praise and leadership/consideration are also positions you are most likely to achieve if you happen to have a good sum of money.

Until academia in the U.S. can shake off the image of being culturally elite, they'll be hounded by popular distrust because --surprise-- many people in the U.S. are not upper middle class and beyond.

Do you have any idea if it is possible for academics to hide their elite status?
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:11 am UTC

Why would they want to? Like, I get why we want to remove elitism from academia, but why would an academic want to not seem elite?
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby sardia » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:21 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Why would they want to? Like, I get why we want to remove elitism from academia, but why would an academic want to not seem elite?

Political power. Being a quintessential outsider and common man is a common way for political elite to connect with the public. The conservative movement is built around the business elite uniting with the commoner desires to hate minorities. The irony of a business elite uniting people to hate the other elites would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Proginoskes » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:16 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Proginoskes wrote:
Lucrece wrote:Skeptical toward religion.

Parents above all things want to make sure that their preferred narrative is validated and passed down to their children.


He smoked pot, too.


From Futurama:

Spoiler:
Hermes: So... you grow hemp?
Jefferson's Head: Yes.
Hermes: And... what did you do with it?
Jefferson's Head: All manner of things. Manufacture paper, fabric, rope...
Hermes: Oh. Well, nice talking to you.
[Hermes begins to walk away]
Jefferson's Head: Why, I used to smoke about four feet of rope a day.


In the real world as well. Washington and Jefferson wrote each other letters, where they talked about "separating the male and female plants" (or something like that). You don't need to do that to make hemp paper.

In fact, right after the Revolution, growing hemp was considered patriotic; it was a way to get a lot of cheap paper without having to import it from (say) England. Bibles were printed on the stuff, and early drafts of the Constitution as well.

It also lasts longer than wood-pulp paper.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Apoapsis » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:54 pm UTC

This thread reminds me of my 6th and 8th grade science textbooks.

In 6th grade, the district got new science books for us. They were written at an 8th grade level, to "add English practice to the science curriculum." :roll: I moved in 7th grade. In 8th grade, the district got us brand new textbooks. I recognized it immediately.

There was the same safety warning inside the cover; aluminium instead of aluminum in the periodic table; a map in which our state was the only one of a solid color; same meteorological maps; the picture of the fat guy with a surgeon's mask in the infectious disease chapter ( :shock: ); the poorly written earthquake section. Everything worth remembering about the book was in there.

Of course, our teacher presented it to us as, "A brand new book written exactly for your level." :|

I didn't learn anything that year...

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Diadem » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:09 am UTC

Apoapsis wrote:aluminium instead of aluminum in the periodic table;

That one is not an error. Just a difference in preference. Most of the world uses Aluminium, the US mostly uses Aluminum, interestingly originally as a mistranslation, but the former is not wrong in the US, just less common. Though more logical.

The rest of your post though... Yeah, I agree, that's pretty bad
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Proginoskes » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:35 am UTC

Apoapsis wrote:There was the same safety warning inside the cover; green fecal matter instead of aluminum in the periodic table;


WTF???

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby aldonius » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:22 am UTC

I call mod madness on element 13. Though I see the international spelling in both cases, except for as quoted by Proginoskes.
Test: aluminum (I wrote the standard US spelling)
aluminium (used everywhere else)

QuickieEdit: Yup, US version -> international version.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby yurell » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:29 am UTC

Hopefully they don't do 'colour' -> 'color' to balance it out in reverse
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby aldonius » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:43 am UTC

Indeed. Though half the time I find myself writing it like that anyway.
For my part, I finished at a smallish independent highschool in Brisbane last year; our textbooks usually seemed pretty good. Occasional numerical error in the answers. Granted, in most subjects we often used ~30pg booklets (for that specific unit) which were developed and refined by our teachers.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:43 am UTC

yurell wrote:Hopefully they don't do 'colour' -> 'color' to balance it out in reverse
I can guarantee there will NEVER be a single step taken to "balance" such a thing.
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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Proginoskes » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:32 am UTC

aldonius wrote:I call Puppetmaster madness on element 13. Though I see the international spelling in both cases, except for as quoted by Proginoskes.


I decided to make my posts more interesting. A moderator closed a thread that I wanted to reply to, because the thread wasn't interesting enough.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby aldonius » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:25 am UTC

Well, much is explained.

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Re: Textbook publishing ills

Postby Bharrata » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:59 pm UTC

lutzj wrote:
omgryebread wrote:The reason America has a virulently strong strain is probably a mixture of very distant leftovers from Tory/Patriot divides, some urban/rural dichotomies as a result of being so huge, and some quirks in Protestant theology among American Christian groups.


Emphasis mine; this one is huge. Even intellectual giants like Thoreau have strong veins of "those city-slickers in their ivory towers are trying to monopolize thinking; who are they to tell me what is and isn't true?" Later it was Christian fundamentalists that took up the banner of the independent country person, but the basic thread has more to do with rural/urban divides than religious ones.


I think that's going a bit far, a closer explanation would probably be the effects of good v. poor education based on the amount of money a district has to invest in it, which probably ends up creating a feedback loop, along with the initial value the community places on education.

It just always bothers me when either "city-slickers" think everyone in the sticks is a dumb yokel, or when rural folks think everyone from the city is a sleazy, cynical bastard who couldn't survive on their own. But again, it's dependent on the type of education one receives...you cite Thoreau, and I'm sure the students he taught in Canton and Concord were better trained than your average city-student. If anything I'd say the type of skepticism you're pointing to in Thoreau is important, though of course that can only be fruitful with proper education in empirical methods, otherwise it turns into anti-intellectualism because there's a failure to even grasp the conversation. Would it be crazy to assume that if the kids being given Creationist text-books were rigorously taught the scientific method and its purpose that they would see through Creationism despite it being taught in a bio class?


I'm kind of rambling at this point but the perspective that there is some huge difference, intellectually speaking, between city-dwellers and rural folks goes back a looong time, even to the Epic of Gilgamesh, that one isn't or can't be civilized if they don't live in the city and the paradoxical, competing idea of the Noble Savage. I don't think it's necessarily a true grasp of the situation, it's all dependent on the emphasis that the community places on education - yes in rural spots idiots can pool together somewhat easier than in the city but it's also a lot easier to keep idiots out if the rural community is aware and involved.

Last point...wasn't the guy, who is considered one of the best U.S. presidents, educated in a log cabin in the woods?


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