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Old 09-13-2011, 06:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
I'm honestly curious how many people posting in this thread know much about TJ... How many of you are actually familiar with TJ's curriculum or have interacted with more than one or two current or former students or faculty?
On the contrary, I'd never even heard of this Phenomenal Institution before this thread.

 
Old 09-13-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by saganista View Post
There is/was nothing wrong about eugenics. It is merely remembered in a dark light for a gross and distorted misapplication of it by the Nazi regime. The Human Genome Project and all genetic research and counseling today are in fact what eugenics has grown into. We just call it something else.
This reminds me of the neo-Marxist argument -- "communism does work; it was merely grossly distorted in Russia (and China and East Germany and so on). If we just did it right, it would work very well!"

Advocates of scientism frequently display the kind of blind and absolute faith in their views and methods that they ascribe to believers of religion, which they call "superstition." I think psychologists call this "projection."

Tying this back to the original topic of TJ and schools like it, this is precisely why I advocate inculcation and education of pupils at schools like this in ethics and virtue. We desperately need our scientists and technologists to understand more than the mechanics of the world. They need to understand that while the scientific method as such is a powerful and important tool in understanding the world, it is not sufficient.

It would certainly go a long way to making the whole human being if schools like TJ taught future scientific elites how to explore questions like "should we?" not just "can we?"
 
Old 09-13-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
The thought of 15 year old investment banker wannabes loading up their high school schedules with courses in accounting, finance, management, and marketing is too depressing for words.
Indeed! It used to be that a university education was intended to make a young man a gentleman, someone who "knew something about everything and everything about something."

Now, it is bad enough that college graduates are depressingly deficient in all manners of knowledge, some people want this "few faculties of a man highly developed" style of inculcation for secondary education as well!

Charles Hill recounts Henry Kissinger having a conversation with a young State Dept. official a few years ago, which went like this:

Kissinger: France seems to be trying to be Richelieu to our Holy Roman Empire.

Young official: Who's Richelieu?
 
Old 09-13-2011, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
Indeed! It used to be that a university education was intended to make a young man a gentleman, someone who "knew something about everything and everything about something."
Now, it is bad enough that college graduates are depressingly deficient in all manners of knowledge, some people want this "few faculties of a man highly developed" style of inculcation for secondary education as well!

Charles Hill recounts Henry Kissinger having a conversation with a young State Dept. official a few years ago, which went like this:

Kissinger: France seems to be trying to be Richelieu to our Holy Roman Empire.

Young official: Who's Richelieu?
A good example of how the older generation's been whining about this since at least Plato's Day. It's been about 40 years since Kissinger was SoS so this young official would now be the older than we are. I'm sure if Kissinger had stood outside the department and made that analogy to 10 people his own age, he'd have drawn the same response from 9 of them (presumably the ones who didn't go to Cal ;-)
 
Old 09-13-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
A good example of how the older generation's been whining about this since at least Plato's Day. It's been about 40 years since Kissinger was SoS so this young official would now be the older than we are. I'm sure if Kissinger had stood outside the department and made that analogy to 10 people his own age, he'd have drawn the same response from 9 of them (presumably the ones who didn't go to Cal ;-)
Actually, I believe this was during the intense diplomatic acrimony with France leading up to the OIF.

It's not simply whinings of the old Grognards or about age. Allan Bloom once wrote that, years ago, his students knew much more than he did about classical music, but that more recently he seemed to know much more than his students.

Beyond the mere grumblings of the old against the youth, there has been a fundamental shift in the education of the young... as evidenced by the fact that a career State Dept. official (who hail from the class of people often touted as "experts" in matters of diplomacy and generally quite cultured and well-educated) did not know the statesman and diplomat-par-excellence who made France the greatest European power... or for that matter the reference to the Holy Roman Empire in context of the Catholic France's opportunistic antagonism toward the Catholic Habsburgs during the Thirty Years War, which was initially fought over religion (often referred to as "the first modern war" or the war that ended the medieval period -- the end of which led to the Treaties of Wesphalia that ushered in the modern state system).

Although ours has been always the country of the future, it seems that the education, especially the public education, of the young in this country now teaches them to think of it as the country of the present.
 
Old 09-13-2011, 12:06 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,313,751 times
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Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
This reminds me of the neo-Marxist argument -- "communism does work; it was merely grossly distorted in Russia (and China and East Germany and so on). If we just did it right, it would work very well!"
This reminds me of the innumerable times when apologists before you have attempted to trot out the same immaterial argument. As if communism and science were remotely the same thing. As if Stalin, Mao, and Walter Ulbricht were scientists devoted to conscientious practice of the scientific method. Apples-and-oranges would give far too much credit to the notion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
Advocates of scientism frequently display the kind of blind and absolute faith in their views and methods that they ascribe to believers of religion, which they call "superstition." I think psychologists call this "projection."
That shoe certainly fits, but quite on the other foot. As anyone familiar with actual science would know, it is characterized by a hard-core skepticism even of one's own conclusions. Regarding methods, as the so-called Austrian School so regularly yet inadvertently demonstrates, one cannot simply intuit the state of the world and then walk away from an obligation to test and demonstrate the validity of one's conclusions. All the poesy and whimsy whispered by pixies and faeries into one's ear during those most transcendental of all possible moments is not sufficient. Actual evidence is required. And so often lacking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
Tying this back to the original topic of TJ and schools like it, this is precisely why I advocate inculcation and education of pupils at schools like this in ethics and virtue. We desperately need our scientists and technologists to understand more than the mechanics of the world. They need to understand that while the scientific method as such is a powerful and important tool in understanding the world, it is not sufficient.
You would laud as a proper gentleman the one who would open a car door for a lady without first ascertaining whether the lady would care to have the door opened for her or not. Perhaps you are either not familiar with or not appreciative of a woman who would rather be left to fend for herself on such matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
It would certainly go a long way to making the whole human being if schools like TJ taught future scientific elites how to explore questions like "should we?" not just "can we?"
Isn't that also just a little presumptuous? Has it been established that TJ, scientists, or science in general is oblivious or otherwise insufficiently sensitive or responsive to the concerns you wish to raise? I'm not aware that it has.
 
Old 09-13-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by saganista View Post
This reminds me of the innumerable times when apologists before you have attempted to trot out the same immaterial argument. As if communism and science were remotely the same thing. As if Stalin, Mao, and Walter Ulbricht were scientists devoted to conscientious practice of the scientific method. Apples-and-oranges would give far too much credit to the notion.
More accurately, my comparison was one between your justification of eugenics and scientific materialism, rather than science (or scientism) as a whole vs. communism.

Still, would you not acknolwedge that the scientific materialist aspect of communism shares ancestry, metholodgy and terminology with scientism?
Quote:
That shoe certainly fits, but quite on the other foot. As anyone familiar with actual science would know, it is characterized by a hard-core skepticism even of one's own conclusions.
Sadly, this is not simply not so in practice. Scientists are people and they too are subject to the same kinds of hubris and conviction that the less exalted have. Sometimes, the ego of the brightest gets the better of the latter. Far, far too often in fact.

It's not a very well hidden dirty secret that, contrary to the protestations to otherwise, scientists often form a thesis in their minds and "work" the data to prove it. Anybody who has operated in the academia knows this.
Quote:
Regarding methods, as the so-called Austrian School so regularly yet inadvertently demonstrates, one cannot simply intuit the state of the world and then walk away from an obligation to test and demonstrate the validity of one's conclusions. All the poesy and whimsy whispered by pixies and faeries into one's ear during those most transcendental of all possible moments is not sufficient. Actual evidence is required. And so often lacking.
That's rather funny. I remember having a dispute with you on this forum about a certain "urban planner" whose work you seem to embrace so heartily and readily without this "actual evidence."
Quote:
You would laud as a proper gentleman the one who would open a car door for a lady without first ascertaining whether the lady would care to have the door opened for her or not. Perhaps you are either not familiar with or not appreciative of a woman who would rather be left to fend for herself on such matters.
Well, if the woman in question is indeed a lady, she would appreciate a gentlemanly gesture.
Quote:
Isn't that also just a little presumptuous? Has it been established that TJ, scientists, or science in general is oblivious or otherwise insufficiently sensitive or responsive to the concerns you wish to raise? I'm not aware that it has.
If you have any understanding of the state of scientific ethics today, you would not say so. The fact that the "scientific community" as such raises nary an objection to the like of Peter Singer and his views says quite a lot about that particular subject.
 
Old 09-13-2011, 01:07 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,671,884 times
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Originally Posted by Fern435 View Post
One reason I was so relieved to move away from NoVA was the awful manner in which people slammed TJ students. Most of the TJ students are good people who do not brag about where they live or go to school, or how successful they are. My husband and I even stopped telling people we had an older student, so people would not ask what high school our student went to. That's how bad people would respond when I did answer the question truthfully. Some people would immediately disparage the school to my face when they learned our student was there. Yes, I really enjoyed that.

I hear you. While our RL experience was somewhat better than yours on that, its definitely out there. Its so sad that some people have to take their issues out on a bunch of teenagers.
 
Old 09-13-2011, 01:15 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,671,884 times
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Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
At the risk of being immodest, I was pretty much in that cohort in a FCPS high school, and neither I nor my peer group (which consisted of some students who were stronger in math and science than I was) were alienated or adrift because we were deprived the opportunity to take, say, Japanese III or Advanced Robotics as sophomores. Second, while they may be in GT/AAP programs, current TJ students don't attend a dedicated magnet middle school, and they seem to do fine at Frost, Glasgow, Kilmer, Longfellow, Rocky Run, etc. Third, I've heard few reports of TJ graduates being upset because they had to sit in a college lecture hall at U.Va or JMU with students who had potentially taken only Honors classes at, say, Madison or West Potomac. So, while there might be some students who may only flourish in the type of specialized private school that Claremarie described (which sounds a bit like the secondary school equivalent of St. John's in Annapolis), the majority of TJ students, in my opinion, would do well - both academically and socially - at any FCPS high school.

My DD found Frost somewhat frustrating - she certainly did NOT come out of her shell there the way she did at TJ (though of course there were other things going on. Each child is different. And of course each base school is somewhat different as well. There are TJ kids who need the academic stimulus of their peers. There is probably a larger group of TJ students who need the socialization benefits of being surrounded by their intellectual peers. there are are alos many for whom the specialized courses are important. (clearly there are many brilliant kids who dont need any of that)

As for college thats different - for one thing there is a much wider choice of colleges. Second as people become older they have greater skills at finding their niche. The entire social atmosphere at colleges is different from HS. We know kids from TJ who have gone to JMU - I believe they considered carefully if that was a match for them. For those TJ students who still need the social benefits of being surrounded by their peers, but who can't get into the most selective colleges (because of a learning disability, for example) the choice of the right college is not easy.
 
Old 09-13-2011, 01:23 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,671,884 times
Reputation: 2493
"You might be surprised to find that among more traditionally-minded families, schools that inculcate a sense of duty and responsibility (to something greater than oneself), respect for elders, genuine camaraderie with your mates, and gentlemanliness (esp. toward women) are desired rather than considered a dumping ground for troubled children."

Duty and responsibility - DD was able to find and express her sense of social responsibility and idealism at TJ. There are kids who are already "grade grubbing careerists" there, but there was, I thought, a fair amount of idealism and social virtue.

Respect for elders - It was always a joy to spend time on the campus. TJ kids just seemed to enjoy naturally talking to visiting adults - maybe not so much virtue and respect, but just that highly gifted kids often have related better to adults than age peers since early childhood. Anyway I found TJ kids generally to be polite, if not unfailing so.

genuine camaraderie with your mates - TJ I think really shone on this. DD reports none of the cliques or interclass rivalries she'd heard about at FCPS base schools (third hand info wrt the base schools, take it for what you will) TJ kids SUPPORT each other, mostly. Kids on teams, band, etc get even MORE training in this.

gentlemanliness (esp. toward women) - as the father of a daughter, our impression was the TJ boys were generally good on this as well. Certainly better than the horror stories we hear about certain colleges, for example.
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