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Rational_Thought
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9/17/2014 1:25:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Making this to continue a conversation with Blackkid but anyone can chime in if they want.

So i took the time to think this over for a few days because there is a lot we agree on here.

However I must address education first because this is something I'm very passionate about.

(A) While it is true only 7% of the job market is STEM fields, but did you know that fifty percent of the jobs in America today didn't exist 25 years ago? And that eighty percent of the jobs students will fill in the future don"t exist today(1)? So when 7% of the job market is responsible for the innovation that will be the foundation for 80% of future jobs, yeah it is pretty damn important. The computer you're typing on, and the cellphone in your pocket were only possible because of innovations made during the Space Race. There are entire fields that are still riding the wave of innovation that came from the time period when the entire nation supported the STEM fields(2). The US Department of Commerce said, "Innovation is the key driver of competitiveness, wage and job growth, and longR08;term economic growth" (3, pg9)
Also your edweek opinion piece said that all the other successful industrialized nations don't have STEM programs and they succeed based on core educations. I must say edweek doesn't read its own posts since Finland (which is the country with highest education scores in the world) is partnered with the US to develop more prioritized STEM programs, and that was from Edweek. http://blogs.edweek.org...
Further more the European Schoolnet partnered with the European Commission"s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and European Round Table of Industrialists are working to make a standard for all EU nations to emphasize STEM programs(4). This is because the European Union commission said,"To keep Europe growing, we will need one million additional researchers by 2020."(4). Also even those who don't go into STEM field will have positive impacts on society because only science-aware citizens can make informed decisions and engage in dialogue on science-driven societal issues. The lack of scientific literacy in the US has been a huge problem in recent years. Bottom line I will no concede anything when it comes to STEM, it is the single most important aspect to a non-resource based economy.

(B) I think I need to clarify myself here now that I've read your meta-analysis and have a better understanding of what you meant when you said parent involvement. I agree that parents should have expectations for their child and that they should pay attention to how their child is preforming in school. "The largest effect sizes emerged for parental expectations....Parent involvement programs also influenced educational outcomes, although to a lesser degree than preexisting expressions of parental support." What I meant when I said parents should not be involved in the school system, is that parents shouldn't have a say over the schools curriculum or a say in the classroom. I recognize the downsides to this opinion, that a school district could have a biased curriculum (ex. teaching that the civil war wasn't about slavery) and a parent would be able to do anything without suing. However the opposite is true as well, where parents and communities have pressured local governments to restrict the teaching of higher level physics, and biology. This is honestly my preference, since I trust the schools more than I trust the people in communities.

(C) I have already agreed with you that NCLB is a terrible thing, having looked up OBE I have always been opposed to assessment based education. I am a supporter of education based on alternative learning methods that are tailored to students.
I am only defending the teaching of critical thinking, and that the government doesn't have some sinister plan that uses education to indoctrination the public. There is a great book why people don't care called "Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter"In it the author outlines that most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless willing to accept government positions and policies even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping, simplistic solutions, irrational fears, and public relations babble.
Simply put he concluded that the majority of any population will pay little or no attention to news stories or government actions that do not appear to impact their lives or the lives of close associates. That is a world issue not exclusive to the US, but more prominent here. People simply don't care, and education reform would help if any one supported it. It is a complicated issue and i'll do a monologue at the end examine this on a larger scale.

(D) How can I blame the voters for something they were never taught? Its a very logical question but it is based on your statement that this information, "isn't actually readily accessible to them". Every HS student that has taken Speech and Debate is living proof that this information is accessible, every person who has ever taken a Politics class in college (of any level) is proof of this. This information is online, in textbooks, and in librarys. Jon Stewart has never been trained as a lawyer, or in politics. He studied undergraduate chemistry and philosophy yet he is the most trusted person in America and that's mostly because of his political commentaries (5). And he's a comedian, not even a political news anchor. Reading the Economist magazine, Time magazine, going on BBC.com, even just watching your basic political commentary show can give you an understanding of the political system and why it needs election reform, campaign contribution reform, restriction on porkbarreling, bill riders, and reform on who from certain industries can then serve in the government bodies that regulate that industry. I'm the second youngest of nine and i'm more politically, and economically knowledgeable than my entire family including my parents. You said yourself, " I do think that most of the things people swallow are handed to them....and they have no choice". They do have a choice, I'm living proof that anyone who is motivated can be politically knowledgeable. Everyone expects the school system will spoon feed them all the information they will need with no effort from them, and that's not something we should encourage. Especially in the age of information when it is literally a few channel clicks for the uber lazy, and for understanding rather than commentary a few mouse clicks for the more intuitive.

(1)https://www.linkedin.com...
(2)http://er.jsc.nasa.gov...
(3)http://www.commerce.gov...
(4)http://www.eun.org...
(5)http://www.psychologytoday.com...
Rational_Thought
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9/17/2014 3:13:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Monologue:
A lot of the problems in government come from the political parties/representatives putting their position of power before the well being of the country, and a lot of the reasons they get away with it is because of the voters. The government shutdown, was like we both agreed, was due to a few individuals that were very loud. The problem was that the political parties of these individuals got behind them as it got to the national news level. Generally the parties will keep individuals from making outburst and disrupting the government but what was different is the midterms were coming up. Neither of the parties can afford to look like they're backing down and being weak. Like I said before, if any of the Republicans that were coming up for re-election this midterm had spoken against the few individuals yelling to defund Obama Care (which they kind of dropped and morphed into basic budget fight of taxes vs. spending) they knew that candidates from their own party challenging them for the Republican nomination would use it against them. This did for the most part look like a game from the out side though, and I would say that a lot of the new politicians coming onto the scene and causing the antics that have been going on for the last few years are doing it for attention. The problem is the voters are allowing them to, and supporting/encouraging them to filibuster and not compromise. The Republicans are so against working with the democrats right now that rep. Pete Sessions said he can't stand to even look at the president and conservatives (outside and inside the government) even attacked Michele Obama's drinking water campaign!? It is only politically popular not to cooperate or fail to pass laws in government when the voters either don't pay attention or are supporting it. This is also why when the population does get involved in politics it is primarily motivated by gut feelings and belief systems which we agree on. I would extend this further and say many people of have made their political views a belief system. Where they were raised with certain views and were never educated to understand the reasons they have those views so they support that political stance with blind ignorance. How else do you explain people supporting non-compromise when compromise is what made much of our political system's foundation. This again comes back to the complicated issue of education, yes we need to better educate the public to care about political issues beyond the ones that effect them. However even this wouldn't solve it completely the book I quoted early commentated that, "The strong adherence to ideology and work within a bureaucratic setting can also greatly narrow one"s worldview and cripple one"s critical abilities. Furthermore, it does not matter if the ideology is politically left or right, or for that matter, whether it is secular or religious. One"s critical abilities will be suppressed in favor of standardized, formulaic answers provided by the ideology. Just so work done within a bureaucratic setting. Bureaucracies position the worker within closely supervised departments where success equates with doing a specific job according to specific rules. Within this limited world one learns not to think outside the box, and so, except as applied to one"s task, critical thinking is discouraged and one"s worldview comes to conform to that of the bureaucracy."(1)
I only disagree that the government is deliberately not teaching the public to be politically aware. This did not just happen, it has been gradual and no one has yet to react to it. Careers (bureaucratic environments) that don't require innovation as stated in the quote suppress critical thinking however this has been a natural progression of the economy not deliberate. The school system also teaches kids to be afraid of failure, and I wish I had enough space to take about all the reasons innovation is stifled by a fear of failure, but the main point is that tests trains students to think that getting things wrong is bad (in the form of grades). This creates of fear of being wrong which is why students don't raise their hand even when they think they know the answer to a question. This goes on into adulthood, and one of the biggest issues companies are having is trying to get employees to be assertive about ideas. This however was no deliberate, it was just a side effect of a policy that was supposed to give better measures on how well students were doing. Also we have a cultural precedent of this idea called the American Dream of a house and family, once people have a house and a career they're much less likely to be politically active. They have their life why should they care, everything is obviously going great. The reason there hasn't been talk at a national level for this is the public obviously doesn't care. The very problem of voter awareness is why there isn't support for education reform that would make voters more critical and observant. They don't know that they don't know, and the ones that do know suppress it for ideology. An example of this would be Lou Dobbs (who graduated from Harvard University) is host of the Fox Business Network talk show Lou Dobbs Tonight. Speaking on 23 March 2013 about gun control, he and Fox political analyst Angela McGlowan (a graduate of the University of Mississippi) had the following exchange:

McGlowan: "What scares the hell out of me is that we have a president . . . that wants to take our guns, but yet he wants to attack Iran and Syria. So if they come and attack us here, we don"t have the right to bear arms under this Obama administration."

Dobbs: "We"re told by Homeland Security that there are already agents of Al Qaeda here working in this country. Why in the world would you not want to make certain that all American citizens were armed and prepared?"

Despite the fact that no evidence supports 90% of this these intelligent educated individuals spout dogma, and it probably doesn't matter to the people watching who are no doubt less educated than the people talking. The news is made up of people too, who are just as susceptible to ideology overruling critical thought, especially when it is encouraged to biasly support one point of view (fox news/ msnbc). Like I said it is complicated, there are political and monetary motivations that push certain decisions made by news networks,news anchors, politicians, political parties, companies, bureaucrats, and so fourth. Though the people, both in the system and the population are all susceptible to this social mindset of ideology over critical thinking. They are also people like you can me, a few are power mongers that want to make the country see everything their way but the majority are normal people who just want to make the country a better place. Both sides say all the time that both parties want to help people, create jobs, improve the economy, education ect. they just disagree on how it should be done. The problem these days is people want to be helped but if their political party isn't the one to provide it they don't want it. Or if the policy passed isn't one they agree with even if it has the same result as the policy they want , they will oppose it.

(1) http://www.counterpunch.org...
Rational_Thought
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9/17/2014 3:22:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
One of the biggest problems in state and to a lesser extent national government, that the fault of the voters is the conflict of interest. Voters vote for the person that decides what the government provides and we've become so used to having many of these programs and projects funded by tax money that when a politician comes up and says we can't pay for this he is either not re-elected or not elected as a candidate. The US population needs to learn that we can't have all these things from the government, it costs money and to pay back all the things we borrowed money to pay for the public is going to have to expect less and pay more for it. The voters still don't get that yet, and the politicians keep feeding the obese kid that is their voter base or they get kicked out. I agree there is a lot of problems and shady stuff that goes on at a national level, but you can't blame it all on the government. There is way too much that has influence on government, voters, and businesses to say it is all one things fault.
blackkid
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9/17/2014 8:00:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
"(A) While it is true only 7% of the job market is STEM fields, but did you know that fifty percent of the jobs in America today didn't exist 25 years ago? And that eighty percent of the jobs students will fill in the future don"t exist today(1)? So when 7% of the job market is responsible for the innovation that will be the foundation for 80% of future jobs, yeah it is pretty damn important."

=> This is unsupported though. In many fields including law and medicine jobs that didn't exist (such as internet litigation because the internet wasn't "a thing" or regenerative medicine because that too wasn't a "thing") exist today and while there is no doubt some element of the changing world that is responsible they are not STEMs. Not all of these things are driven by mathematics, engineering, or science and using the word "technology" loosely will get you nowhere fast. You need to either put a figure to the claim or just let the claim go because the amount of jobs that will be present solely based on STEM is probably not as high as 80%. I'd be surprised if it were 20% since there are fields I'm not even thinking of that introduce new fields (such as formal bioethics, very young).

"The computer you're typing on, and the cellphone in your pocket were only possible because of innovations made during the Space Race. There are entire fields that are still riding the wave of innovation that came from the time period when the entire nation supported the STEM fields(2)."

=> Correlation and Causation. NASA came to life in the 50's (30 years before the earliest citation in this source). The economic flow for technology however isn't particularly evidence of STEM based education paying off but instead a tech bubble particularly because wealth flowed in the US during the nineties but was technological advance was not at it's height (and the source states that there were a lot of factors as well). Following the money has it's advantages but a COMPETE report doesn't seem to encapsulate the true value of the concept. It was the 80's where the engineering initiative simply came to fruition from the 1950's however STEM didn't exist.

"The US Department of Commerce said, "Innovation is the key driver of competitiveness, wage and job growth, and longR08;term economic growth" (3, pg9)",

=> To reiterate: Stem didn't exist. (http://www.us-satellite.net...), "Yet, after years of education reform and countless standards, the U.S. struggles to maintain an edge. In the 1990"s the National Science Foundation married science, technology, engineering, and math with the acronym "STEM".", so while the initiatives did it was actually NASA engineering and really JUST engineering. I want to point that out because the DoC and all of your sources really don't support your ideas about STEM. You misappropriate it's existence, it's timeline, it's foundations, etc.

"Also your edweek opinion piece said that all the other successful industrialized nations don't have STEM programs and they succeed based on core educations. I must say edweek doesn't read its own posts since Finland (which is the country with highest education scores in the world) is partnered with the US to develop more prioritized STEM programs, and that was from Edweek. http://blogs.edweek.org...;,

=> The Dates. Your announcement with no editorial comes out a year after the editorial. A full year. Finland teamed up with America (though there's no evidence of gain to Finland or who is particularly the beneficiary) in 2013. You said you were tired when you typed this so I'll presume that is to blame. :p

"Further more the European Schoolnet partnered with the European Commission"s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and European Round Table of Industrialists are working to make a standard for all EU nations to emphasize STEM programs(4). This is because the European Union commission said,"To keep Europe growing, we will need one million additional researchers by 2020.(4)."

=> This source (short as it is) sounds like it wants to keep their economy stable versus pushing hard against innovation. It seems to speak of a lack of universal technological literacy in Europe being the main concern instead of being at the forefront of technological innovation. Not to say this is a bad thing but it's not what you were shooting for.

"Also even those who don't go into STEM field will have positive impacts on society because only science-aware citizens can make informed decisions and engage in dialogue on science-driven societal issues. The lack of scientific literacy in the US has been a huge problem in recent years. Bottom line I will no concede anything when it comes to STEM, it is the single most important aspect to a non-resource based economy."

=> These are unsupported claims now. STEM basically died in the 1990s and came back (thus your report) in 2009 and has been upheld for all of what, 5 years, with a COMPETE report being instated a mere 2 years ago? The EU is acting in what I'll just state is "fear" of a standard that's been around for over 40 years; most of us are not STEM educated and while I support Engineering and Innovation most of the people who actually were the movers and shakers at the time weren't either. All the big tech names weren't engineers. Most of the engineers (such as the man who created C) no one knows the name of. Is this a coincidence? No.

(B) A preference is fine. An unsupported preference is dangerous. Just saying.

(C) The reason I pointed out the source specifically is because of the high amount of bias contained within. If a person really reads it and the entire proposal it's actually a really good idea. They are against OBE. At some point there was a typo and that whole typo is what people built an entire foundation on! The entire thing! This is what I mean; you got a source that basically posed an excellent idea but even within the source where they admitted there was an error it still stood and probably got the program shutdown because of simple manipulations which keeps OBE (which sucks) in place. No one saw through that, or maybe a few like myself, but that's about it. As for the issue being complex I disagree; poor education > poor citizens. It's that simple. It's cyclic because poor citizens > poor education. You'd be surprised how much you can just tell people what to do and they will comply.

"Every HS student that has taken Speech and Debate is living proof that this information is accessible, every person who has ever taken a Politics class in college (of any level) is proof of this. This information is online, in textbooks, and in librarys. Jon Stewart has never been trained as a lawyer, or in politics. He studied undergraduate chemistry and philosophy yet he is the most trusted person in America and that's mostly because of his political commentaries (5)."

=> 2 things: 1. Jon Stewart studied philosophy. Are you aware that philosophy (the art of thinking) is the key to ... everything? Once you study philosophy, or the art of how to think, how to learn, and how to apply, you can study anything under the sun and become an expert because you don't just know the information you question, discern, and research properly. Having a love of philosophy myself I can study most anything and do very well relating to thinking; I'm not a philosopher but my goodness does it help you do anything under the sun!

2. There is a difference (a critical difference) between opportunity and availability. Not every HS offers Logic, Ethics, Debate, etc. and not everyone can afford to take a side-class in political discourse. That's not something that's actually available to them. You say "Libraries!" to which I say "They've no critical thinking skills!" which basically means what good is the information? If I throw a book at you that explains the mysteries of the universe but is written in Tungu what did you learn? Oh, right, nothing. Same thi
blackkid
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9/17/2014 8:31:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
... It is without shadow of a doubt the most important ability a man can have to be able to decipher and apply what he actually sees. We call this "Reading". I know, it sounds like I'm being pedantic, but I'm not! Many men can decipher words, they can pronounce them, they can use them properly in a sentence, and they can have a very light conversation relating to them, but few men can read words which incorporates understanding, critical application, and utilization. The best example is "Jargon". The word "seed" is perfect, most everyone knows that "seed" represents a starting point so if it were a programming language someone could easily say "the seed is where the code begins", sure, and are they wrong? No. Now, what is a seed in actuality? It is the core of a very specific system (http://kernel-seeds.org...) the Linux kernel. Now could these people talk about Linux kernels? Nope. Now apply this everywhere; you can grab a book, decipher the book, and give your brows a good furrowing as you try to understand and take away a little something but does that mean you actually understand, encompass, and can apply what you deciphered? No. Why not? Because you've not been how to read it!

The biggest problem anyone faces isn't a lack of resources but a lack of knowledge on how to use those resources. Like the example above anyone can download a Linux seed. Not everyone can build something from it. Most people can't. Apply this to something more common like money management and you can understand why the highly paid can still be dirt poor, apply this to public relations and you can understand why the voter seems to be an idiot, and apply this to really anything else, any other subject, and without help or guidance you can see why people never achieve that fullness of potential. To that end it's important to understand Mr. Stewart was given an education in how to give himself an education. Philosophy opens doors, STEM closes them, you don't see the #1 non-field related expert being STEM because STEM poses the same deciphering/reading dilemma. You know how to do one thing really, really well. That's it though. You aren't taught how to break the bonds of that one thing. Many of histories greatest thinkers were philosophers, and most of them did many other things, inventors for instance saw problems, knew how to solve them through critical thinking, and then did so but the opposite isn't and cannot be true where a person is taught how to solve a specific problem and then invents outside of that problem.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that people are not at fault for not caring, but for those that do care they are at an immediate disadvantage when it comes to study. They have already lost at least some percentage of their full capacity simply by not knowing how to learn and how to think.

"And he's a comedian, not even a political news anchor. Reading the Economist magazine, Time magazine, going on BBC.com, even just watching your basic political commentary show can give you an understanding of the political system and why it needs election reform, campaign contribution reform, restriction on porkbarreling, bill riders, and reform on who from certain industries can then serve in the government bodies that regulate that industry"

=> No, it can't. You suffer the same problem as above, instead of being able to Listen you can only Hear and Decipher, so when someone says "porkbarreling" and then shows you a basic definition but doesn't tell you how it really applies then you have to take their for it. Using the above example lets say that I said "Seeds are used in Linux and Unix", that's not true, but if I'm the Technologist and you're the idiot who doesn't know are you going to get curious and question me? Esp. if I say it non-chalantly? How often does that happen via media where someone just calmly states a complete falsehood or even a person opinion? The perfect example is you! Point B, right? You just stated it as your outlook, is it supported? Not really, it's just what you think. Now what if someone who respected you read that and you didn't say "This is my opinion" but instead just left it as a claim / statement of fact. Congratulations, you just lied through omission, and you convinced someone of a falsehood and unsupported opinion.

Now how often do we really do that daily? I mean we both have done this at least 5 times each in just this discussion alone. You can't be a critically thinking entity and educated by basic notions and skirting sources. It's not going to work. You won't see bias. You won't see basic accusations. You won't be driven to "investigate". If someone says "STEM IS THE FUTURE! WE NEED SCIENTISTS!" yet there's no evidence of any alarms required are you just going to believe them? Hell yeah you will when it's Bill Nye. :p And I did. Then I said to myself "Come on blackkid, let's put that old noggin and training to use" and I looked it up and Nye is not correct or is selling a partial idea, we need specific types of scientists but the whole "science shortage" is a myth. It's the same as the EU source you got actually where they claimed to need 1m more researches in 7 years or so? What kind of researcher? Oh. That's conveniently left out. So then being a critical thinker what good is that information? It's junk. Ambiguity abounding you've got this all over politics including job related politics (SCIENCE SHORTAGE!) where you're being sold BS. It's complete BS.

I mean if I think critically about the matter between Finland and the US forming that STEM alliance there's been a mere 4m$ attributed to it. On national scales and levels that's nothing. Absolutely nothing. It's not a major collaboration, it didn't hit any real news source, it has a tiny mention, and why? Because it's immaterial! To us 4m$ is extreme, it's a ton, that's an astounding amount of money, but to governments that's like throwing someone a $20 and saying "go get 'em kid!" in a cute voice. So why think critically about this? Because it makes you realize that Finland isn't insane with the whole STEM thing ( http://www.edutopia.org... ) because looking at their system it seems that there's probably a lot more than "STEM" that really fuels their success. They don't care about STEM! They don't need it. They take excellent care of their students. It produces excellent results. They don't have a "focus" problem because that's not how their system even works. Now why do I have to question this?

1. I'm forced to. It's how I was taught.

2. It sounds a tad suspicious!

So this vague collaboration between these two nations. What is it? That's missing. The validity of STEM being important in Finland's education system as a driving force doesn't seem to be present meanwhile the US is making that initiative since the report you produced from the US seems to coincide datewise with the collation. Patterns are everywhere! I'm crazy!

Or I'm just able to see them. Have I drifted off topic? No. This is the point; the fact that we don't think like this is dangerous to us. When you say "You can get information anywhere!" you're right, but did you really apply this thought to it? No. Would you have if you were fully rested? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not, but regardless of that it provides the point that without critical thinking it's frivolous information; the materiality of the initiative and the validity of the STEM scare and the EUs ambiguity and so forth and so on all lead into the same empty hold of "Doing as you're told. Accepting what you're given". Instead of "Is it real? Is it tangible? Is it well planned?" it's "Okay, I'll go with it because it sounds like something I would support."

No Questions.
blackkid
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9/17/2014 8:40:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
"I'm the second youngest of nine and i'm more politically, and economically knowledgeable than my entire family including my parents. You said yourself, " I do think that most of the things people swallow are handed to them....and they have no choice". They do have a choice, I'm living proof that anyone who is motivated can be politically knowledgeable. Everyone expects the school system will spoon feed them all the information they will need with no effort from them, and that's not something we should encourage. Especially in the age of information when it is literally a few channel clicks for the uber lazy, and for understanding rather than commentary a few mouse clicks for the more intuitive."

=> I want to finalize here. You're not living proof. You have sources but they don't back you directly. You have explanations but they are not concrete and can easily be unraveled. You are, to some degree, simply believing what you are told and grasping at really unrelated points to provide for it. For instance did you know that STEM was not a thing until 1990? No. Is that your fault? Technically, according to you, yes, but socially no, because you were told that STEM goes "way back" and applies to "modern tech" which it's completely sensible to assume that it goes back to 1950 and so forth and so on but it's just not true at all. STEM is young. At least American STEM as a program. The Space Race has more to do with certain other factors (such as the huge number of people who left military training with skills being hired elsewhere in society and the whole political deluge of engineering initiatives specifically to play in the Cold War) then this "STEM" fear. From this came specialized schools and a mere single generation that went through them (remember it was 80,000 in 1980 according to your resource however Engineering has continued to grow (http://www.asee.org...) with 88,176 being tracked alone in 2012 with an all-time high of 49,372 Master's Degrees in Engineering. So wait, you are the example, the living proof, but did you look hard enough? Are you so certain of yourself and what you really know?

They say "Pride leads to The Fall" and I would like to assert that "Certainty leads to Doom". When you stop questioning, and stop questing, you are everyone else. The moment you just look up how many people have actually graduated with Engineering degrees (despite the scare) you realize it's more than ever!
Rational_Thought
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9/20/2014 7:49:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I was talking more from the stance of STEM as fields rather than how effective STEM school programs are. Give me a week to research STEM programs and i'll get back to you, also I start class tomorrow so i'll have less time.