Is modernity bad for practice?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Thrasymachus » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:11 pm

Sorry, that NYTimes article is nonsense. Intelligence tests take as an a priori assumption that one man has a right to deem what other men should know, which anyway encompasses a very small portion of human knowledge, ignoring the greater portion of it. The smartest people are always the ones making such determinations, not the hamsters who do the best on the wheel. John Taylor Gatto, the foremost critic of modern schooling, has shown each generation is dumber than the last, so the tests are just made easier to hide this:
John Taylor Gatto wrote:Intellectual Espionage
...

A third American war began in the mid-1960s. By its end in 1973 the number of men found noninductible by reason of inability to read safety instructions, interpret road signs, decipher orders, and so on—in other words, the number found illiterate—had reached 27 percent of the total pool. Vietnam-era young men had been schooled in the 1950s and the 1960s—much better schooled than either of the two earlier groups—but the 4 percent illiteracy of 1941 which had transmuted into the 19 percent illiteracy of 1952 had now had grown into the 27 percent illiteracy of 1970. Not only had the fraction of competent readers dropped to 73 percent but a substantial chunk of even those were only barely adequate; they could not keep abreast of developments by reading a newspaper, they could not read for pleasure, they could not sustain a thought or an argument, they could not write well enough to manage their own affairs without assistance.

...

The Underground History of American Education


The average person is even further imbecilized today from even more schooling and new media like television and internet. There are lots of people that have critiqued modernity, and almost no one in this whole thread is familiar with them. Why? Everyone choose to invest their time in escapism instead. In the early 1900's people used to read much more frequently and much greater literature. In the early 20th Century, Emma Goldman, an anarchist could her make her living just by giving speeches to those who would pay her. Eugene Debs, a socialist and many others made their living the same way. Today the average Western scum sympathizes with the poor only when it is acceptable: when rich, mostly white, attractive actors portray them on film. When they are not depicted in fantasy, it is always their fault somehow. Schooling and mass media delivered exactly what they were engineered to, it created walking zombies unable to think outside of the framework given to them by their overlords, but who cannot even notice this.
User avatar
Thrasymachus
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:28 am
Location: Dover, NJ

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:33 pm

And what makes you capable of noticing this? What differentiates you from the walking zombies?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7860
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby shel » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:38 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:And what makes you capable of noticing this? What differentiates you from the walking zombies?
:namaste:

Modernity. :twothumbsup:
shel
 
Posts: 1337
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:22 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:Sorry, that NYTimes article is nonsense. Intelligence tests take as an a priori assumption that one man has a right to deem what other men should know, which anyway encompasses a very small portion of human knowledge, ignoring the greater portion of it. The smartest people are always the ones making such determinations, not the hamsters who do the best on the wheel. John Taylor Gatto, the foremost critic of modern schooling, has shown each generation is dumber than the last, so the tests are just made easier to hide this:
John Taylor Gatto wrote:Intellectual Espionage


I am not certain that these arguments are true. What I did find when I taught for 3.5 yrs in the classroom (high school math and computer science) was that kids are not prepared to learn and in general there is a war between educators and administrators with kids and parents in between and sometimes engaging in the war themselves.

In general the kids I taught were interested only in predigested results. I was accused of "not teaching" on numerous occasions because of my general insistence that students write their own programs (however all the in class student programs did the same thing although their projects could all be different) . I was told to deliver a college level programming class and I did. I blew everyone's fuses the first day and gradually learned how not to do that.. I even had one student tell me I couldn't teach after he had just finished successfully writing a loop that had a car move across the screen in a game prototype. He had wanted me to tell him exactly how to do it. I just gave him the basic information (what loops do, how we use them, ect and how we move graphic objects in the framework we were using) and then gave him and his team hints when needed (actually from my perspective I did tell him how to accomplish the task in detail).

I find similar issues in colleges but not all colleges and not all group[s of students. But in general people have not exercised thinking or problem solving skills, are not taught how to do so and when exposed to problem solving sometimes react negatively (and by the way, some other teachers criticized my approach and told me that I wasn't teaching hs kids how to solve problems - but they had no idea how to develop programs and their suggestions reflected this complete lack of context - so I found out that people strongly tend to see what they want to see and do not tend to evaluate alternatives or alternative ideas).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4093
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Queequeg » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:14 am

Thrasymachus wrote:Sorry, that NYTimes article is nonsense....


Oooooooohhhhhh. I see, the foremost critics of modern education and 20th c. French philosophers have pronounced on the subjects... silly me.

Those stats about GIs in the Viet Nam era couldn't possibly be skewed, and are totally reliable. I mean, its not likely the college deferment option to avoid service would have skewed the stats for the population that ended up serving or anything, right?

Seems the folks on this board have it all figured out. The world is doomed. Nothing left to do but find a bunker and :meditate: the days until the end. Too bad, though, it really would help if y'all genius sophists came out of your meditation chambers to help us nitwits. It really would.

:rolling:
Queequeg
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:26 am

viniketa wrote:
floating_abu wrote:I feel that any tradition which is genuine and in the hands of a realised person has the capacity to bring the student to fruition, if the student also has the capacity and the willingness to do so also.


Abu - Just as an FYI, I have become convinced that ChNN is a genuine and realized teacher from reading and watching some of his teachings and particularly after watching the documentary My Reincarnation, in which one can see he is a genuine and humble person.

I would not have come to this conclusion from observing his students here on this forum, where they are almost invariantly rude, arrogant, and prideful. In fact, it was this that drove me to seek-out more information on ChNN. It is also this that contributes to my reluctance to seek-out ChNN as my own teacher. I cannot reconcile the two presentations.


Well, ChNNR is a spiritual doctor for sick people. As Andreas Kretchmar, a long-time student of Tulku Urygen said in "Born to Serve: The Enthronement of Tulku Urgyen Yangsi" ("Geboren om te dienen" - it's a Dutch film) - "Wisdom masters enhance everybody's neurosis." (at least those of their students') - and I think he has a point here. "My Reincarnation" really brought this out I think.

So if you have a connection with ChNNR then please follow it up because time is short and opportunities to practice are lost and wasted.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4093
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby jeeprs » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:44 am

As I was trying to say earlier in this thread, the key point dealing with 'the modern mindset' in all its forms, is to learn to be critically self-aware of it. It isn't all bad. I'm sure there is some merit in that NYT article about the increase in IQ. After all, average height and life expectancy has also increased during the same period, and they are objectively measurable. So why would an increase in IQ be surprising?

Nevertheless I also agree that the modern world is degenerate, in the sense intended by the term 'Kali Yuga', even if that is mythological (which it is). People generally have reduced ability to discriminate truth from falsehood, wisdom from ignorance. Indeed there is no concept of ignorance in the sense of avidya, in modern democratic liberalism. But, at least we are free to say that here. We are free to explore this concept, study Buddhist teachings, learn to discriminate between wisdom and ignorance. It's just that there is this very seductive voice saying 'why bother? Just watch television. Just have a drink. Just relax. Everything is fine just as it is, life is great, just enjoy it'.

Consider the Journey of Faxian. In those ancient times, people went to incredible lengths just to go and learn about the Buddhist teachings and take the scrolls back to China, then they spent decades translating them. It was a monumental effort, involving great hardship and risk to life and limb, just to get access to them. Nowadays we all that information at our fingertips. Diamond Sutra. Click. Tibetan Philosophy. Click. But that ease of access can devalue them. We don't have to make any effort to access these things, so it is easy to loose sight of how rare and precious they actually are. And furthermore, they are simply one click, one choice amongst many. It is very easy to loose any sense of proportion in this environment, and to see everything simply as personal choice and opinion.

I think the key attribute that is needed in any age, ancient or modern, is a sense of the fragility and dangerousness of life, which should give us the motivation to study the teachings seriously. In other words, it requires moral earnestness. I think provided you're serious in that sense, then you can take advantage of the information and leisure that the modern world offers, without being too diverted into meaningless pleasures, although, all that said, it's still a challenge.
He that knows it, knows it not.
User avatar
jeeprs
 
Posts: 1396
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:48 am

Queequeg wrote:
Thrasymachus wrote:Sorry, that NYTimes article is nonsense....


Oooooooohhhhhh. I see, the foremost critics of modern education and 20th c. French philosophers have pronounced on the subjects... silly me.

Those stats about GIs in the Viet Nam era couldn't possibly be skewed, and are totally reliable. I mean, its not likely the college deferment option to avoid service would have skewed the stats for the population that ended up serving or anything, right?

Seems the folks on this board have it all figured out. The world is doomed. Nothing left to do but find a bunker and :meditate: the days until the end. Too bad, though, it really would help if y'all genius sophists came out of your meditation chambers to help us nitwits. It really would.

:rolling:



Some of the most serenely pissed off folks on this board ;)

Rawr I wanna friggin' punch stupid modernity in it's ugly, dumb, oblivious face with a leaden bar made of pure enlightenment.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2128
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:06 am

jeeprs wrote:As I was trying to say earlier in this thread, the key point dealing with 'the modern mindset' in all its forms, is to learn to be critically self-aware of it. It isn't all bad. I'm sure there is some merit in that NYT article about the increase in IQ. After all, average height and life expectancy has also increased during the same period, and they are objectively measurable. So why would an increase in IQ be surprising?


I think such an increase would reflect cultural specific forms of knowledge and people having greater access to them over time.

An IQ test doesn't test how to run a farm, which requires extensive knowledge and problem solving skills, though none of those are suitable for testing. I don't know how well my grandfather would have done on an IQ test, but he knew how to operate a full farm with various crops and livestock in a time before electricity and running water. He could navigate across country with a team of horses and a herd of cattle. He could survive deep in the woods in a tent and spend much of the winter there (he in fact did). He knew how to make moonshine from scratch. He was adept in carpentry.

For all my education, I would be entirely lost in such matters. :rolleye:
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5548
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby jeeprs » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:35 am

well, I do agree in a lot of ways. My very first undergraduate essay, decades ago, was in the school of Psychology, on the question of Intelligence Testing. I wrote what I thought was a spendidly well-reasoned paper on 'why intelligence is something that can't be measured'. The result was a large, red F, along with the single comment 'wrong department' (i.e. I had written a philosophy essay, not an 'empirical study').

I got through psychology, eventually, but never did learn to like it.
He that knows it, knows it not.
User avatar
jeeprs
 
Posts: 1396
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby windsweptliberty » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:07 am

If Avalokiteshvara can descend into hell, I guess I could stay present in the modern world. :woohoo:
User avatar
windsweptliberty
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:36 pm

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:04 am

Huseng brings up a very good point. Masaru, earlier in this thread mentioned the Unabomber manifesto in this thread, here is an interesting part, where he actually contributes something to the critique of modernity:
Ted Kaczynski wrote:SURROGATE ACTIVITIES

38. ... When people do not have to exert themselves to satisfy their physical needs they often set up artificial goals for themselves. In many cases they then pursue these goals with the same energy and emotional involvement that they otherwise would have put into the search for physical necessities. ...

39. We use the term “surrogate activity” to designate an activity that is directed toward an artificial goal that people set up for themselves merely in order to have some goal to work toward, or let us say, merely for the sake of the “fulfillment” that they get from pursuing the goal. Here is a rule of thumb for the identification of surrogate activities. Given a person who devotes much time and energy to the pursuit of goal X, ask yourself this: If he had to devote most of his time and energy to satisfying his biological needs, and if that effort required him to use his physical and mental faculties in a varied and interesting way, would he feel seriously deprived because he did not attain goal X? If the answer is no, then the person’s pursuit of goal X is a surrogate activity. ...


@Kirtu:
If I were given all your old school tests and told you to retake them, you would fail almost all them, except the most elementary ones from the time before you had developed most your adult faculties. Why should anyone sympathize with the goals and purposes of a teacher? The kids knew what they were doing and what was in their interest, they just went along with what you were teaching enough to get to the next dose of curriculum. The whole purpose of school is to bombard the youth with never ending packets of new information and knowledge that they are tested and measured by, not to learn anything. The key to it is the tempo: the new packets of educational material just keep coming and coming and it has no relevance to anything imminently usable or relevant to their lives. Gatto says that the the elites know that if you get people to obey useless orders, knowing that they are useless, that is when you know that you have them. School filters out the people who could change the world for the better, those who don't co-operate with schooling, and sets them up for social marginalization, poverty and a life of truancy and prison. However it puts the obedient suckups in positions of relative power, where it is known that they are safe and will not alter the social structure, it is impossible for them: they are too well schooled. They are safe middle managers for the people who create the rules and those who deem what should or should not be learned in places like school or what is tested or left out from an IQ test.

@Queequeg:
I don't see evidence that you or most the other participants in this thread are familiar with what modernity means and those who have critiqued it. Infact your response consists mainly of emotional histrionics and failed irony. A case in point to what I and Gatto believe, here are the Amazon reviews of the newest book by JK Rowling, the writer widely popular for an immature adolescent book series that even most adults read. Most of her angry adult readers finally discovered she cannot really write after she tried to write explicitly for her age group.
Queequeg wrote:... Too bad, though, it really would help if y'all genius sophists came out of your meditation chambers to help us nitwits. It really would.

I have been writing the opposite on my tenure here, infact I have come the conclusion that for most the Western Buddhists here, dharma is just their escapism of choice. As I wrote elsewhere:
Thrasymachus wrote:...

I have noticed a problem often on this site. In superhero comics, you have Clark Kent who escapes aways to dress up and act as Superman. Alot of people on this site remind me of that, they tend to argue like the supernatural claims of Buddhist canon are true stories -- maybe we can call this the dharma-man phase. But when a topic like orthodox medicine comes up, the Clark Kent aspect comes up and orthodox medicine is inherently real -- which is probably how they act around most their real life acquaintances. ...

I guess to the doctors that allegedly heal backed by their enforced legal monopoly, we can add the teachers who inherently teach people against their own will, or else truancy officers from the police will bring them to school as mandated by law. "We will help or else we will jail you," is the essence of the allegedly beneficial on the surface of propaganda, institutions, which enforce modernity by keeping people proletarianized.

@gregkavarnos:
After reading my posts, could you or anyone conclude, that I look like I spend all or most my time ignoring the reality that belies the allegations of our society?

Where I used to live there were Lenape Indians. Before white imperialist moderners wiped them out, I am sure if you pointed out any cultural object that they used, they could tell you more about it, than the average American or Greek could of the items in their house. They could have said they made it, how they made and maybe even remember the wood it or animal that it came from. Or they would say it was inherited from their ancestor or traded from a local tribe. In our society it is the opposite, great effort is made to hide what it takes to produce the technological goods that modernity depends on. Not long ago I watched a whole documentary called Blood in the Mobile about the rare earth metals mined in the Congo used to produce items like cellphones. The documentary maker tried to get the company he always purchases from, Nokia, to disclose where it sources such material from, and they refused saying it was a legally protected trade secret. He tried to make them commit to avoid sourcing from conflict zones like the Congo, where the money was used to fund warfare, however his efforts failed.

The mostly white privileged people posting on this site, can argue how beneficial modernity is, only due to their extreme luxury of being ensconced in a self contained bubble, enjoying their share of third world surplus labor, while people's lives are being destroyed thousands of miles away from the Imperium's borders. And they don't even care to know, or else how could they sleep so comfortable and argue so smugly?
User avatar
Thrasymachus
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:28 am
Location: Dover, NJ

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:28 am

Thraschymus, Can you turn down your tone a bit? I know I have no say as some random non-mod dude, but most of your responses are couched in vitriol and thinly veiled ad hominems, clean it up IMO. Seriously, are you capable of posting without constant attempts to analyze the motivations and backgrounds of people you've never met on the internet?

Also, it is not only white people in the US enjoying the fruits of imperialism, privilege, or oppression these days, global capitalism has provided plenty of opportunity for Diversity in Oppression (tm). ;)
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2128
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:34 am

Come on folks. Let's all be civil. :smile:
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5548
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:38 am

It seems to me you are bit hypocritical and do not want to realize what modernity actually entails and costs, and that is probably your real gripe. Queequeg, in his response gave pure aspersions, with nothing to back it up, yet that clearly did not bother you.

I am disgusted by modern society and modern people, it is all phoniness and phonies. I don't feel people should have a right to say eat an animal product every day yet be separated by all the suffering that entails. If in our society, at a shopping mall, one merely holds the door open or is polite to others, he imagines that he is good. But that is like a person in a market of goods built on slaved or exploited labor, thinking himself good for smiling or taking a few extra seconds for holding open the door! It is beyond ridiculous to argue such things, but that is the myth permeating our way of life.

If I had the power of a God, honest to God, if you wanted exploited products or raw materials, you would be dropped in by Blackhawk helicopter over the drop zone, given a rifle and told to go get it. If you wanted a pig's flesh to engorge yourself on, you would have to use a knife and actually kill it. That would sort out this world real quick, I would imagine. But that is not the case, as systems of domination insulate people from all that dirty work. That luxury is what allows for people in this forum to argue for modernity, as the suffering is so well hidden from their purview and they don't care to take personal effort to bridge the ignorance gap.
Last edited by Thrasymachus on Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Thrasymachus
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:28 am
Location: Dover, NJ

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:51 am

Thrasymachus wrote:
@Kirtu:
If I were given all your old school tests and told you to retake them, you would fail almost all them, except the most elementary ones from the time before you had developed most your adult faculties.


Yeah, that happens to not be true and furthermore I can prove it. In fact I did not realize that I was an excellent test taker until about the 9th grade because my grades weren't all that good (perhaps due to father-mother crisis and divorce and then definitely because of the poor environment I was forced to live in after 8th grade) but secondly I have been teaching.tutoring since I was a sophomore in college and taught professionally for three years.

I would do much better on any test I was given now. And that is a fact. Now I have heard people say this exact thing and I always wondered what they were talking about, esp. since my retention of information and ability to analyse data and information has only increased over time. I don't know what other people experience, but this attitude may be be root of age discrimination. However it doesn't really matter. It's easily disproved. Another part of the proof of your incorrect statement is that my projected SAT and GRE scores have only increased and increased beyond what the renorming of those tests would indicated as a comparable score to my SAT's taken in hs and my GRE's taken in the late 1980's. A third piece of evidence is walking into the PRAXIS I test of teachers and nearly maxing it with no study - this was now five years ago. I expect to actually get a perfect score when I take it next.

You are making lots of assumptions and I'd urge you to challenge them.

Why should anyone sympathize with the goals and purposes of a teacher?

Because good teachers perpare their student's for the future and of course not just as worker slaves.

The kids knew what they were doing and what was in their interest, they just went along with what you were teaching enough to get to the next dose of curriculum.


No, our kids did not know what was in their best interest and a good proportion of them that I and others were not able to get through to are living poor lives as a result. Several are dead. I taught at an inner city high school in a terrible school system but the school itself was a kind of magnet school for technology. Now the kids who did learn well and took initiative are doing very well.

Unfortunately this attitude is found across the world. People are cynical and want to punch tickets. I have affluent students from the Middle East who I am tutoring and the majority want me to do the work for them. They know what they want but they act contrary to their own best interest just like many of our hs students.

The whole purpose of school is to bombard the youth with never ending packets of new information and knowledge that they are tested and measured by, not to learn anything.The key to it is the tempo: the new packets of educational material just keep coming and coming and it has no relevance to anything imminently usable or relevant to their lives.


No - my purpose was to get our kids to learn about computer programming, a little computer science and a lot of specialized problem solving that would prepare them for their next fifty years (no exageration). How can I make such a claim? Fundamental knowledge, true fundamental knowledge does not change. It is added to. Computer science has a mathematical basis going bask to Hilbert's 23rd Problem in 1901 (or source human computing devices go back 2000-5000 years depending on the artifact). So we know things about the computational phenomena that are true and will always be true. We also know that other forms of computation are possible and that quantum computation *could* upend some of this (although that is also not yet proven). As long as we qualify our statement saying that as long as computation follows the Turing/Church/Markov/Post models, these things are true, no matter how fast our machines become. Then we have another context for quantum computing if it proves capable of breaking out of current limitations.

On a more immediate level I wanted my kids to be able to secure a job as an intern at a web development, app development or technology company during their summer break. Some could have but I was too naive about what it took to get people to even look at applicants from the inner city. Because they had already been labeled and excluded from consideration for the most part.

As for the radical, hardcore utilitarianism (" it has no relevance to anything imminently usable or relevant to their lives.") my kids could write basic web pages and some could begin to write basic programs on their own. If my classes hadn't reacted to me like I was some kind of white enemy then we could have gotten much further (no class was perfect wrt this but my last year was in fact impossible on this point). Our kids just with with their expectations and many lost a tremendous opportunity to really learn programming.

School filters out the people who could change the world for the better, those who don't co-operate with schooling, and sets them up for social marginalization, poverty and a life of truancy and prison.


This is true of some people and some schools. However a more pervasive problem is that deep cynicism has destroyed the US as a functional society.

They are safe middle managers for the people who create the rules and those who deem what should or should not be learned in places like school or what is tested or left out from an IQ test.


This in part is true. However most managers in schools or elsewhere have no idea what they are doing.

The mostly white privileged people posting on this site, can argue how beneficial modernity is, only due to their luxury of being ensconced in a self contained bubble, enjoying their share of third world surplus labor, while people's lives are being destroyed thousands of miles away from the Imperium's borders. And they don't even care to know, or else how could they sleep so comfortable and argue so smugly?


The equation of white with privileged is so overdone as to reduce your argument to a farce (BTW - I just had to move from a very nice place in Alexandria, VA to what many would describe as a sketchy place in Baltimore - I believe I'm the only person who would be taken for white in the neighborhood). In these United States people;s lives are being destroyed well within the borders of this Imperium. As for smugly sleeping at night - sounds like a good deal of judgement to me.

How about educating people rather than making assumptions? And help them to find solutions to problems.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4093
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:08 am

Thrasymachus wrote:I don't see evidence that you or most the other participants in this thread are familiar with what modernity means and those who have critiqued it.


Okay, what does modernity actually mean?

Thrasymachus wrote:I have been writing the opposite on my tenure here, infact I have come the conclusion that for most the Western Buddhists here, dharma is just their escapism of choice.


So loving-kindness and compassion are escapism?

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4093
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:37 am

...nevermind thought better of it.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2128
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby futerko » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:45 am

Thrasymachus wrote:I am disgusted by modern society and modern people, it is all phoniness and phonies.

One often cited characteristic of modernity is the mistaken belief that one can somehow "stand outside" it and critique it effectively. The paradox here is that such acts of rebellion are exactly what fuels modernity by enacting the thoroughly modern illusion that one is somehow independent and free from the previously repressive social relations (such as in feudal times). What you have here is the modern stance par excellence, and your engagement with it on the basis of rebelling against it is precisely what catches you in its web and reproduces it.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Is modernity bad for practice?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:49 am

Thrasymachus wrote:But that is like a person in a market of goods built on slaved or exploited labor, thinking himself good for smiling or taking a few extra seconds for holding open the door! It is beyond ridiculous to argue such things, but that is the myth permeating our way of life.


I agree. The same goes for people who are involved in environmentalism and social activism. They might think themselves better for recycling, but are unaware that their ordinary lifestyle is still using thirty times or more energy than some poor guy in the Third World. They might raise a storm over some perceived injustice against their ethnicity or gender, but nevermind how their comfortable lifestyle is propped up by violence exercised against largely defenseless people on another continent.

Most humans are naturally immoral and cruel owing to their mental afflictions, but when the energy input increases the level of their collective cruelty increases, but then so does their ignorance so they're often unaware of it all. You can feel good about being pro-choice, but nevermind the number of women and children killed by your government to prop up your standard of living.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5548
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: meepmeep, saltspring, smcj, supermaxv, yan kong and 20 guests

>