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Deliberately teach complete nonsense

Because nobody listens or remembers
  [vote for,

Adults often seem to remember very little of their formal school education and are often unconvinced of its utility to their lives. It's sometimes difficult for teachers to maintain respect from children when they make mistakes or reveal their ignorance. On the other hand, it would be useful to be able to detect bogosity and total rubbish for the kind of stuff which the media, politicians, advertising and various other bullshit merchants hawk.

So, why not put these two together and teach complete rubbish? It wouldn't be necessary for any teachers to know their subjects well and we could all just spout the first thing which comes into our heads. Dolphins are made of cardboard, the chief export of Albania is meringue and in the fourteenth century England was run by traction engines for eight days of every month by order of the Caliph of Baghdad. That way, there would be less need for lesson plans, children wouldn't have to attempt to remember any information and teachers would be able to maintain their charisma because everyone would know they were not showing their ignorance. Children could also learn to pick arguments apart better because in fact flaws would either exist in them or they'd simply be true. There would be less need for exams, no need for a curriculum and qualifications for teaching would be less important and barriers to entry would be lower. It's a win-win situation.

And this would also apply to home education.

nineteenthly, Aug 05 2010

1066 And All That http://en.wikipedia...i/1066_and_All_That
by W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman [pocmloc, Aug 05 2010]

Incomplete Ideas, Ramblings and Miscellaneous Minutia http://tinyurl.com/54w94
[Cedar Park, Aug 05 2010]

Creativity chemical http://www.google.c...PCFBgAAAKoEBU_Qi65C
[mouseposture, Aug 07 2010]


       ... nobody remembers remembering. But your actions are shaped by what you were taught. You probably don't remember getting a spelling lesson, and yet you did a pretty good job of it in your post. Why? You didn't remember learning it ... so where did you pick that up? Or where did you learn that Dolphins are NOT made out of cardboard? No one taught you that directly either.   

       School is like a shower. You get showered with bunch of information, most of it goes into the drain, but some of it gets the job done.
ixnaum, Aug 05 2010

       Baked by Bob Jones University.
RayfordSteele, Aug 05 2010

       Baked. religion. Unfortunately, a proportion of the population fail to call bullshit.
Loris, Aug 05 2010

       I didn't learn spelling from school, [ixnaum]. I clearly remember one teacher being unable to spell and she used to send me home to look words up in the dictionary. Which implies that the school had no good dictionaries, now i come to think of it.
nineteenthly, Aug 05 2010

       That's the kind of material we need.
nineteenthly, Aug 05 2010

       This is complete nonsense.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 05 2010

       Thank you, i do try.
nineteenthly, Aug 05 2010

       I had a similar idea, but with exceptions, of course, or else it would have been the same idea. Some courses I have taken at university have had such questionable content that I've wondered why they title the courses by subject name, and not by the mental faculties that are being exercised and examined. For instance, a course could be instead called Recalling Things 101, which would teach utter nonsense as you suggest, but test powers of recall. Another course could be Synthesizing Theories 101. In that course students would fit different ideas together in coherent ways. Yet another would be Writing Endlessly 101 which would require students to write down all of the spurious nonsense therein. And another would be Deference to Authority 101 in which students would listen intently, pretty much give the lecturer an easy time of it. Anther may be Answering Questions Within Provided Constraints 101, in which students would offer responses to a lecturer based on a certain framework for answering which the lecturer previously provided, and if one fails to comply and conform to those definitions they are deemed stupid.
rcarty, Aug 05 2010

       "Deliberately teach complete nonsense": doesn't posting that on the HB create some sort of excessively complete tautology?
lurch, Aug 05 2010

       [Rcarty], clearly that would be the next stage. Incidentally, there was some bloke once at i think the School Of Oriental And African Studies who lectured in Formosan, and it eventually emerged that he was making it up as he went along. You could do the same with the alphabet - take the letters and pretend they stand for completely different sounds or even words, or make up a script and teach that.   

       [Lurch], could end up creating some kind of super-dense idea which sucks everything in with it.   

       Thanks [Ian], i'll take a look.
nineteenthly, Aug 05 2010

       History is already wrong by nature why does it need your help?
daseva, Aug 05 2010

       [+] including the [rcarty] expansion pack.
FlyingToaster, Aug 06 2010

       Hey, wait a minute -- isn't that what they're teaching NOW?
Grogster, Aug 06 2010

       [scuttles off to try and find facts proving that Albania's chief export really is meringue]

......[Comes back disappointed]
DrBob, Aug 06 2010

       [Grogster], i don't think they're teaching it on purpose. That's the crucial difference.   

       [DrBob], you should've gone for the traction engine thing since as far as i know that's definitely true.
nineteenthly, Aug 06 2010

       Well, [nineteenthly] old sweat sock, complete rubbish it is, then! It might actually be the next inevitable step in education anyway; history books are being rewritten by lunatics and nit-wits as we speak. Bun [+].
Grogster, Aug 06 2010

       //the traction engine thing...that's definitely true//

Nah, can't be. In the fourteenth century there were only 4 days in every month.
DrBob, Aug 06 2010

       It shouldn't matter what you learn, as long as it's self-consistent. Some people already devote their academic lives studying fiction, for example. A question, is 'Complete' nonsense self-consistent, or not? If it is, then I don't think it matters as education should be about being able to identify and absorb a 'universe' of information, and being able to critically appraise, predict and create morsels of self-consistent information within that 'universe'. It doesn't matter what the universe is, be it real history, made-up history, particle physics or vogon poetry - as long as it holds together using some internal, consistent logic - learning about it will be useful at some level through experiencing the path of exploring a topic, through to forging new paths to hitherto unexplored areas within that topic. Going on a journey like that requires equipment - a hiking pair of stout logic boots, a memory/note taking backpack with categorised retrieval pockets in which interesting facts can be stored for later, thick breathable numeric socks and other such items to ward off silly blisters and keep clear of the pates merdes littering the fields.
zen_tom, Aug 06 2010

       I think there's sense, nonsense and antisense. Also, we may all be talking nonsense unwittingly.   

       [Zen_tom], you've founded a new discipline.
nineteenthly, Aug 06 2010

       I think there is sense, nonsense and insense.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 06 2010

       Inasense and experience.
nineteenthly, Aug 06 2010

       [bigsleep] //I wonder if there is a chemical that can get the brain out of its consistent mode into a more creative one.// This will interest you, I think: <link>
mouseposture, Aug 07 2010

       [bigsleep] I beg your pardon; I must have had a cookie lingering in my browser. Link replaced with something more public-access.
mouseposture, Aug 07 2010

       I was going to bone this as I have a great belief in the power of good education.   

       But then I remembered all the total crap I have fed my son over the years, like the fact that Canadians come from Canadia, which is a land covered in cheese trees and the world's largest cheese exporter.   


       I haven't been able to get anything past him for a couple of years, but luckily his brother is starting to talk, so I have another chance.
wagster, Aug 07 2010

       Bizarrely, there is such a thing as a cheese-tree. It's a tropical climber (so, not really a "tree" then; it's in the Scindapsus family), and it produces fruits which (allegedly) have the texture of a firm avocado and the flavour of a mild rubbery cheese.   

       According to Ray Mears, "one large fruit contains enough complex carbohydrates and fats to see you through a full day". The fruit also contains a high concentration of salt (which is weird - plants seldom concentrate salt), which is another reason why it is prized as a food in the jungular jungle, where salt to replace that lost by perspiration is hard to find.   

       They don't grow in Canadia, alas, but perhaps they could be introduced there, at least in the southern areas.   

       [NB - Mr. Wikipedia also tells me there's an Australian "cheese tree", but it's a euphorbia and hence probably very unpleasant to eat.]
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 07 2010

       //cheese tree// On the Prairies we used to have a couple "cracker bushes" in the backyard: small thick oval leaves to help retain water in the dry summer; very spongey and porous inside.   

       When green they tasted rather nondescript, but when they dried in the fall prior to falling off for the winter, not only did they crunch when eaten (like Melba toast) but had a not unpleasant woody taste.   

       Would be a nice complement to the cheese tree.
FlyingToaster, Aug 07 2010

       In fact, a single bilberry contains enough energy to - hmm, wait a minute - to power Scandinavia for a year, and that's not nonsense. Not sure about the digestive system doing that unless it secretes enzymes made of antimatter, which i think might cause a little gastrointestinal discomfort and something like the sun shining out of one's anus.
nineteenthly, Aug 07 2010

       Right, because that's the place where "the sun doesn't shine".
rcarty, Aug 07 2010

       [MB], that creeper grows wild in some areas of Scotland, where it escaped from gardens in the early 19th century. It is pollinated by midges.
pocmloc, Aug 07 2010

       //they grow wild in some areas of Scotland//   

       [poc], I can't help feeling that you're not taking this serially, or at least have sadly misunderhended. The chances of a cheese-tree surviving the attention of badgers for long enough to reproduce in Scotland are, frankly, thousands to minimal.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 07 2010

       //It wouldn't be necessary for any teachers to know their subjects well and we could all just spout the first thing which comes into our heads. //   

       I had a couple of those.   

       But I also had a couple of really, really, really good teachers, and I remember most of what they taught me.   

       //Children could also learn to pick arguments apart better because in fact flaws would either exist in them or they'd simply be true.//   

       A good way to teach syllogistic logic is to do just that. Stupid premises and conclusions in proper logical form are always fun.
nomocrow, Aug 08 2010

       Scotland was in fact an island in the late Plasticine, but became joined to the rest of Boreonesia when the Morphic age was succeeded by the Steamrolleric in the fourteenth century.   

       [Nomocrow], i've also had good teachers. Lemmon's primer on formal logic does what you suggest.
nineteenthly, Aug 08 2010

       // I wonder if there is a chemical that can get the brain out of its consistent mode into a more creative one. //   


       // luckily his brother is starting to talk //   

       We get the impression that speech is a rare ability in your family. Are you going to try him on fire and the use of edged tools, or would that be too advanced ?   

       // a single bilberry contains enough energy to - hmm, wait a minute - to power Scandinavia for a year //   

       E=MC^2; this is in fact entirely correct.   

       // Stupid premises and conclusions in proper logical form are always fun. //   

       We understand that your species calls this "politics".
8th of 7, Aug 08 2010

       //E=MC^2// E= eating M=mastication C=number of teeth
pocmloc, Aug 08 2010

       //We understand that your species calls this "politics."// You still have much to learn about the species, if you think politics has anything to do with formal logic.
mouseposture, Aug 08 2010

       An utterly daft idea - well done. Tick , star, VG and +1
nononoyes, Aug 09 2010


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