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    #123543 - 02/20/12 09:34 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: Austin]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Wow.

    Rather than respond to various claims made in this thread which I find ignorant, offensive, and/or laughable, I'll merely suggest that this thread has wandered into political/philosophical ground that is considered inappropriate to this particular forum.

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    #123544 - 02/20/12 09:39 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: Austin]
    islandofapples Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/11
    Posts: 332
    Originally Posted By: Austin
    My comments below are my observations from knowing people from all walks of life and political persuasion. Please do not assume that I have a dog in the fight one way or the other.

    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    He just made the point that maybe we are sending too many kids to college


    One of my first tasks when I started managing people was to drop college degree from the job description and from the corresponding job reqs. I don't need an Einstein to reboot servers.

    I do need a couple of super smart people, but everyone else just needs to be articulate, disciplined and honest. I could care less if they even finished HS.

    Originally Posted By: islandofapples

    Now I hope someone engages in a juicy conversation with me about this because there is NO way I have anyone in real life to talk with about this stuff at the moment! (And my husband and I agree on this stuff, so the convo ends quickly.)


    But you are married. You live the base values. Same for my wife and I. Even if though we appear to be on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Day to day our lives are very similar. People with very varied views and from all walks of life and all nationalities provide a stable home for kids.

    IMHO, for men, work is the way they get "civilized." I saw it when I farmed, I saw it in the Army, and I see it at my job now. It teaches people how to interact rationally to further the goals of the company. It binds people to a community and gives their lives purpose. So does family. And Church. And clubs. And other organizations.

    I know quite a few people who are in the bottom 10%. Their lives are chaos. Much of their problems have to do with immediate gratification and emotional immaturity. And a lot has to do with drugs or the heavy media culture (TV) that promotes immediate gratification.

    And men are not held accountable for leaving their families and women are not held accountable for stealing a husband.
    Our society is highly mobile and people can easily cut and run.

    I know of two cases where women have able bodied husbands with jobs and 2 and 4 kids where the man left. That is unnacceptable. These men would take a bullet for their kids, so what is a little pain each day to be there for them? Again, immediate reward vs long term success.

    Another problem is that our current social safety net rewards women who leave their husbands while the kids are not of age. In the past, the families were held together by economic necessity. There are a number of "single mom success stories" that gloss over the hundreds of others who struggle and whose kids are wrecks. Its up to the school, sports coaches, scouting coaches, and others to be their dads and its not enough. Its very painful to watch.

    And our tax policy punishes marriage. If my wife and I divorced, we'd bring home a lot more after taxes. What kind of message does that send? If we'd lived in sin from the beginning, we'd have 50K more in the bank. That's not chump change.

    Originally Posted By: islandofapples

    So are we supposed to broach the topic of marriage? Or at least admit to ourselves the truth about the class divide, as Murray sees it?...

    Yet, they do have a true responsibility to set some sort of example and to try and understand the rest of the people in America who are affected by their choices.


    The "white man's burden" comes up for discussion again.

    A hard discussion about delayed gratification and doing one's duty is the most important one to have and the most important example to set. But it is not.

    Show me one TV show or movie that discusses this that is not Christian in its source. And show me a "secular" show that does not make fun of this. Modern Family is fun to watch. But its not reality.

    At its root, the Church is about moral education. That is why it so successful at creating social stability. What passes for moral education in society today is "eating green" or "saving the whales" not "staying married for your kids" or "do not steal a spouse." or "do not get pregnant until you are ready."

    But these are "old fashioned" values that are seen as tied to religion, rather than facts of the human condition regardless of the time or place.

    Some more reading:

    The rise of a large group of rootless people is nothing new.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots

    Some other ideas on decline and rebirth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss-Howe_generational_theory

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratiev_wave

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/12/summary-of-dr-bruce-cordells.html



    Well, I agree with you about all of that, ha.

    I know quite a few families that are in that lower bracket and I've seen many many instances where the mom and dad don't get married (but sometimes do cohabitate), because if they got married, the mom would lose the government health benefits, food stamps, etc. My best friend from high school actually did this.

    I don't really negatively judge her too much for her choices, but if I'm honest, I'd say that the culture she is living in (the depressed town where I grew up) really supports that sort of lifestyle. All her friends are doing the same, so it is the new normal.

    But I do see laziness. Her boyfriend does work and provide, but isn't as mature as I expect a man with two kids to be. She could have taken online classes at a community college - completely for free, on the government's dime, but kept putting it off and then decided to have a second baby.

    I want to say "It is her life, she can do what she wants."... but I'm falling into the trap of political correctness, then.

    Some things are harder for her.. She didn't have an education and probably isn't right for a 4 year college, but I think could certainly do fine in a 2 year program.

    If she went back to work at her crappy job, it barely paid for the day care and didn't have health insurance.

    If she married her boyfriend (he has a manual labor job that pays about double minimum wage), his income was high enough that it would disqualify her for medicaid and food stamps... but it wasn't high enough for them to actually pay for health care! And the employer didn't offer any sort of affordable option for them to pay into.

    Diapers, formula and baby food are fairly expensive for someone on a low income, but breastfeeding and cloth diapers aren't really supported or very well-known. Everyone also feeds their kids really processed unhealthy junk food-- because it is cheap and it is the "norm".

    So they are spending all their money on this stuff and don't have the support or knowledge about how to buy and make healthy home made food (or why they should do that)... and money saving things like cloth diapers (which can work for a low income mom who stays home and has access to a washer and dryer) or breastfeeding (instead of costly formula and the reason these moms like wic and food stamps...)

    She could have made much better choices, but the culture permeating her area supports the choices she ended up making. So that is the first problem and is the reason Murrary thinks we need to bring back his favored "virtues".

    Plenty of educated people would say that I'm imposing my own values about healthy eating and saving money onto another group of people and that that is unfair / offensive / etc... but that is the whole point Murray was trying to make. We aren't willing to impose anything on anyone or say one way is better than another even if it is or might be.


    But the second issue he doesn't address is how to bring us out of it. His solution is to just get rid of the social programs. In the short run this would mess up a lot of people's lives... But he might be right in the long run. Because if that safety net wasn't there, more men would have to take care of their families and you wouldn't have the catch 22 I mentioned above.

    He also pointed out that men used to take pride in taking care of their family, but now the government covers the basics for this group and the incentive to "step up" and do whatever it takes is somewhat gone.

    But something HAS to be done about the cost of health care. Seriously. It is way out of line with what at least 1/3 of Americans can even afford.


    Edited by islandofapples (02/20/12 09:49 AM)

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    #123545 - 02/20/12 09:41 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: Dude]
    islandofapples Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/11
    Posts: 332
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Wow.

    Rather than respond to various claims made in this thread which I find ignorant, offensive, and/or laughable, I'll merely suggest that this thread has wandered into political/philosophical ground that is considered inappropriate to this particular forum.


    I just want to say that all the inflammatory examples I made in one of my posts... I made them simply to illustrate my point... about how asking certain questions or getting answers we may not like might make us very uncomfortable (and yes, offended or whatever)

    I do think we can discuss this book in this forum, though, and aside from a few light-hearted BSG references, do it with maturity...


    Edited by islandofapples (02/20/12 09:47 AM)

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    #123547 - 02/20/12 09:49 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: Dude]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Wow.

    Rather than respond to various claims made in this thread which I find ignorant, offensive, and/or laughable, I'll merely suggest that this thread has wandered into political/philosophical ground that is considered inappropriate to this particular forum.


    I agree.

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    #123549 - 02/20/12 09:52 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: Val]
    islandofapples Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/11
    Posts: 332
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Wow.

    Rather than respond to various claims made in this thread which I find ignorant, offensive, and/or laughable, I'll merely suggest that this thread has wandered into political/philosophical ground that is considered inappropriate to this particular forum.


    I agree.


    ;( Can you suggest a better forum for this particular topic? Do you know of one? And I mean that sincerely.

    We have a very long thread about Tiger Mom -- and the Bell Curve - and they went some interesting places as well.

    You know, we grapple every day with questions about whether or not gifted education deserves more money and how our culture should view giftedness and I think that is very related to the stuff this book talks about.


    Edited by islandofapples (02/20/12 09:55 AM)

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    #123551 - 02/20/12 09:55 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: islandofapples]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    A lot of the Tiger Mom stuff was about education.

    I'm sure you can find a forum out there that's about politics or libertarianism.

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    #123555 - 02/20/12 10:08 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: islandofapples]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    You can find lots of infotainment over at the Fourth Turning Forums.

    http://www.fourthturning.com/forum/

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    #123558 - 02/20/12 10:16 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: islandofapples]
    islandofapples Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/11
    Posts: 332
    How do you guys like to debate?

    Because I tend to state my opinions but also play devil's advocate a bit. Then I hope and pray for someone to come back at me (calmly, not angrily, of course) with opinions and facts completely different from what I'm saying so I can see things in a different way. Then I sometimes completely change my mind and go over to the other person's way of thinking if they've made a lot of good points.

    Am I the only one who does this? To me, that's the best part of an intelligent debate. But I've only had one friend in the last like 5 years who enjoyed playing with ideas as much as I did irl.

    It doesn't work if people feel too offended right away and don't want to share their side. I lost a friend (not a "real" friend, an online acquaintance) on fb the other day because she took something I was debating about personally, even though it barely related to her or her life.

    Maybe this thread really is too offensive, like the others I've been apart of recently, but they don't seem that way to me.

    I learned a long time ago to just be quiet most of the time and I've barely had any interesting conversations in that past few years with anybody besides a small number of friends and my family, since my immediate family always talks about important things this way.


    Edited by islandofapples (02/20/12 10:23 AM)

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    #123560 - 02/20/12 10:28 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: islandofapples]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: islandofapples
    How do you guys like to debate?

    Because I tend to state my opinions but also play devil's advocate a bit.


    I like to debate by presenting information that's supported by evidence. Interpretations may differ, but the evidence has to be there.

    This is just my opinion, but sometimes playing "devil's advocate" as I've seen you practice it here can come across as being deliberately inflammatory. As Iucounu said, continuing on a course of action with known consequences = intent to cause those consequences.

    You may think you're being clever/just trying to have a bit of fun/probing, but you may come across very differently to many or most others. Maybe this is why you've only found one person in five years who likes your style of "debating." To me, some of your stuff the last few days isn't debating. It's poking people in the eye, wondering why they get wound up, and then blaming them for a natural reaction.

    I mentioned in an earlier thread that we all have strong opinions here, and that I like that. But I should have qualified my statement with, "and we're mostly really good at backing up our statements with evidence. We don't just toss them out to inflame others with nothing to back them up."

    If you poke someone in the eye, don't act surprised if he gets angry.


    Edited by Val (02/20/12 10:41 AM)
    Edit Reason: Clarity

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    #123566 - 02/20/12 10:57 AM Re: Coming Apart by Charles Murray [Re: islandofapples]
    La Texican Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/10/10
    Posts: 1777
    Loc: South Texas
    Social reform is way different than the politics of gifted education. Maybe there's not another forum to have an intelligent conversation about it, but this isn't either. This is a forum about gifted education. Bostonian is the only one who has repeatedly brought up social class, race, and gender here since this is a gifted education forum, he managed to successfully tie it in to gifted identification, gifted statistics, and heredity (according to his sources). But he had an uphill battle to pull that one off as relevant to gifted issues. Good luck defining the armchair social science your practicing as somehow being a Gifted issue. I'm not telling you to shut up or go away. I'm saying you've got a tough crowd here. Ain't it beautiful?

    It reminds me of an observation someone made about naieve teachers thinking teaching a classroom of gifted students would be less work.
    _________________________
    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar

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