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Are people in positions of authority really smarter than the rest of us?

By Shellbot ·
Read this article last week and it really hit a note with me. Are all the people i think are more knowledgable than me really so? Ok granted they've more experience than me, and when it comes to a Dr, fair enough..but lets say teachers right..I recently overheard a guy who does a bit of teaching say he just rips stuff of the net and hands it out in class, thats how he "keeps up with the new stuff". Anyone can do that.

Here's the article, any thoughts?

One of the most terrifying lessons I have learned is that, by and large, grown-ups don't really know what they are doing. As a schoolkid, I mistook my teachers for all-knowing, infallible beings protected by an invisible forcefield of adulthood. Even as I grew older, left school, became a student, left polytechnic and became a fledgling adult myself, I laboured under the delusion that people in positions of authority were inherently more "adult" than I was - that they possessed some kind of on-board mental computer that guided them towards making the right decision, even if I didn't always agree with it.
My overdue epiphany finally arrived in my mid-20s, at a barbecue, when I found myself talking to a girl the same age as me who was a schoolteacher, and she described how, much of the time, she was teaching the kids things she had only read the week before in the textbook. As long as she stayed one chapter ahead, she was fine. At first I was genuinely surprised; I had thought all that knowledge was stored in their heads. Then it got worse.
I met a doctor, not much older than myself, who was a) drunk and b) pretty stupid. I realised that in terms of age, I had caught up with the "adults", and was horrified to learn they were all just as ham-fisted as me. At least the young ones were. The older generation surely had a better handle on things, I reasoned. They had to, or the world would slide into chaos. Then I passed 30 and realised I still didn't have a clue what was going on. Now I'm 36, and if there is one thing I do know, it's that I still don't know that much. No one does. Everybody's winging it. Everything is improvised.
And the world never "slides into chaos" - it's perpetually chaotic because all of us, from beggars to emperors, are crashing around trying to make the best of an unpredictable universe. We are little more than walking mistake generators. Dumb animals, essentially. Things would be just as messy if hens ruled the world. This is true, and it's scary. But also sort of glorious.
Consider that an extended caveat for the following humiliating confession: I don't understand the news. Not entirely. Let me explain: I watch and read the news, not obsessively, but probably often enough to be doing my bit as a concerned citizen. But I can't keep up with it. I follow it, but I don't always truly follow it, if you see what I mean.
Entertainment news aside, every story comes with a complex back story consisting of a million tiny events, of countless shades of right and wrong, of mistake piled upon mistake, successes and failures, injustices and struggles. It's like trying to follow the plot of the most complicated and detailed soap opera ever made, one that was running for centuries before you started tuning in. To truly understand a major news story often requires real effort - more than many people are willing to give - which is why most of us know more about celebrities than, say, the Israel-Palestine situation.
I think people who work in hard news often forget this. They are submerged in it. They know the cast, they have followed the storylines and they can't help assuming their readers or viewers have similar knowledge. In reality, most people probably missed the crucial, earlier episodes, and subsequently can't quite relate to the story. We can see it's important - it's the news! - but we don't always feel its importance. If more of us did, there would probably be open revolt - or at least more revolt, more often.
In my mid-20s I wrote for videogames magazines. I was proud of my work. It was just an excuse to write jokes really, and it was great fun. But while videogame fans seemed to like what I did, it was baffling to the average Joe: peppered with terminology about polygon counts and frame rates, and gags that referenced other, older games. To the casual observer, it was a minefield of unfamiliar acronyms.
This is fine for specialist writing but it alienates the outsider. A lot of news coverage is specialist writing. It's news written for news fans. And the stuff that isn't seems to consist of stories about Sienna Miller's arse, which is easy to follow because, well, there's not much to it. Because she is so thin.
I can't help thinking that what we need now, perhaps more than ever, is a populist and accessible Dummies' Guide to Now. The BBC News website does this brilliantly, with regular bite-sized primers attached to major stories, which attempt to explain the back story to newcomers clearly and concisely, without being patronising or stupid. It has simple titles such as "Who is Scooter Libby?", and is a rare oasis of clarity. I would like to see it launch some kind of 24-hour "news companion" channel, or red-button service, that does the same thing on TV: a rolling fill-in-the-blanks service that helps you get up to speed. A catch-up service for reality, if you like. Not dumbed-down news, but clear information - something that often gets lost in the 24-hour scramble of breaking developments and updated headlines.
Maybe it's just me who craves that. Maybe I'm thick. Maybe the rest of you understand everything and I'm alone in my ignorance. But I doubt it. I think the vast majority of us are winging it, at least 18 chapters behind in the textbook and secretly praying no one else will notice. If we all knew more, we would do more to lend a hand, instead of shrugging and hoping the news might some day go away or submerging ourselves in comforting trivia. Don't just tell us what is important. We might not have paid attention earlier. Toss us a bone. Tell us why.

Charlie Brooker
Monday March 26, 2007
The Guardian <javascript:ol('');>

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Gee. Thanks for the smiley and the advice...

by OnTheRopes In reply to Sensei Replies....

I weren't bright enuff to figger out nuthin' superninja spewed out there without yer he'p.

Sometimes its not "the message" or "the messenger" that offends and sometimes its either or <b>both</b> that do. <br><br>
I don't know what ninjadudes kick really is and I don't care. I do think that he appears to be just another minor-leaguer. It's my opinion that his type of spew is ridiculous and I think it just gives another reason for others to <b>not</b> look for themselves and decide if they can believe the "official story" behind events that happened before, during and after 9/11.<br><br>

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Now wait a second there

by Tig2 In reply to Sensei Replies....

If you haven't been exposed to the Webninja in the past, count yourself among the lucky. He's a seagull poster.

OTR was trying to be funny. Many of us try that. Some of us? Maybe not so much.

I know OTR. He speaks better English than I do. Amazing though it might seem!

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Smilies all around

by jhardy In reply to Now wait a second there

Sometimes it's hard to tell who is ranting and who has their tongue planted in cheek.

We allow everyone a little mania here and there, but I think that we can all agree that WebNinja probably needs a little therapy--being that he resides just outside the first standard deviation of rational stability. Until then, the rest of us can laugh a little bit (at ourselves) and share a beer as we solve the world's problems.

Two smilies to all :-) :-)


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You're good

by Tig2 In reply to Smilies all around

Always nice to see a friendly face.

I re-read your posting and (finally) caught the humour. Remind me to not read in my sleep anymore, okay?

Thanks for the clarification.


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by OnTheRopes In reply to Smilies all around

Mmmmmm... Beeeer goood!<br><br>
<tongue firmly planted in cheek>I'm glad to see that TR has their "Top 100 <u>churn</u>" finally fixed so that seagull posters don't show up there. </tongue firmly planted in cheek><br><br>
Peace y'all.

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Reply to all the Haters

by the_webninja In reply to And now you see why we ha ...

The fact that you can't understand what I am talking about concerns me, because that is partly what I do with most of my time is communicate with people as much as possible.

So this is why I am trying to clarify what I said, because it is important to me that people understand what I say. Because I CARE, that's why.

First of all you should notice that instead of trying to accept what I said you immediately used Hatred against me, as if maybe you hate me simply for Political Reasons instead of what I actually said. This actually means YOU are the ones who are not thinking Rationally. Because IF you evaluate what I say close enough, you might begin to see the Truth. And whether you accept it or not the TRUTH IS IMPORTANT!

Now getting back to my original comments which inspired so much Hatred in all of you.
Paragraph1- "We focus on what we think is important, and that is what we fill our heads up with on a daily basis." THIS IS A FACT.

Paragraph2- Watch Ferenheight **1 Video, and if you review all the Presidential Advisors Reports you will see how often Bush ignores other people to pursue his own Self Interests. THIS IS A FACT.
Bush USES the Office of the Presidency for his own Personal Gain, he is Guilty of War Crimes, and Violation of International Law for Invading a Country without just cause. (There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction Found) which was the Cause of Invading Iraq.
Bush Family Deals in Oil, Yet Gas Prices are the Highest in History? Bush was involved in Securing a Deal with the Iraq Pipeline for Oil, just because YOU are not aware of it, does NOT change THE FACTS.

And there have been more than 20 THOUSAND Casualties of the Gulf War in Iraq. THIS IS ALSO A FACT.


For my Refences related to the **1 Staged Attacks I offer:

That Video also offers FACTS, such as Metal and Chemical Analysis, and Stress Tests, Video Clips from the Hotel Across from the Pentagon which shows a Missles hitting the Pentagon. Recorded Audio from the Fire Chief of NY talking on the Radio while he was LOOKING at the Airplane Burning on the World Trade center Tower, and then you hear Emplosion Bombs going off on every Floor over the Fire Dept Radios. Videos of the Emplosion Bombs Going off. Pictures that Shows Relatives of the Bush Family was in Charge of Security for the World Trade Center. There is SO MUCH Evidence that Proves it was a Staged Event, it is undeniable!

For YOU to even Question it after watching that Video, you would have to be considered an Accessory to the Fact, and be just as Guilty as those who are directly responsible.
Another little tid bit to throw in there is Osama Bin Laden STILL has never been Caught.
But you can see the Bush Family hanging out with Osama Bin Laden's Father in Ferenheight **1 Video. This is also a FACT.

Those who can't understand what I write are usually Hating me because they either don't know the Truth, don't WANT to know the Truth, or would rather use Hatred and Contempt than to consider the Truth. You are not more righteous than me, no matter how you might THINK you are. THAT is also a FACT.

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The Truth about **1

by the_webninja In reply to Reply to all the Haters

Here I got a Better Link for the **1 Video, it contains unseen Footage, and the other video cuts short.
This one is Better.

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I have seen this, and I recommend to others to watch it

by w2ktechman In reply to The Truth about 911

But, as far as hating you, we do not know you enough to hate you.
Also, you flew off the handle very quickly without much reason, and you changed the subject of the thread.
Your webgsite IS funny, regardless of what content is there. I mean just starting
'Do you know why you ae here Yes/No'. I chose 'no', and a page comes up 'You Should'

Tell me that is not funny. Maybe it was not meant to be, but it is.
As for content, I only browsed a short time. There looked to be lots of theories (conspiracy), but in the 1 article I opened, there was NO credible referenses to the FACTS that you keep talking about. In fact, there were no references, just a rant. Your site looks like you are trying to start a cult of webninja followers. Why should we care so much as to worship you?

Here is my conspiracy theory
thewebninja is recruiting for a cult to make him/her rich. Posting on TR and other spots, looking for dumba**es to try to brainwash.

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Haters? Global Warming? **1?

by jhardy In reply to Reply to all the Haters

Rationality escapes us, it seems. The compulsive need to reflect every topic to the points of your obsession is troubling.

It appears that a great deal of your self-assessment is caught up in your being "correct" on these particular issues. A subtle neurosis creeps in so that now everything you see and hear only serves to reinforce your positions. Everything that does not is evil and bad. So much for diversity of thought. I guess this makes the rest of the world an "Accessory after the Fact." Again, the trouble is that you are the only one allowed to state "facts" as you see them and to define "good" and "bad."

The whole mess gets more ironic in that the thread was started by the "older/those in power do not necessarily know more." But remember that just because you are not older or in power doesn't automatically infer that you do know more.

I will rest more comfortably tonight knowing that you are not in any position more powerful than the rest of us.

Be well,

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It isn't HATE. Not even hate. It is just

by daveo2000 In reply to Reply to all the Haters

that you deign to grace us with your holier than thou presence telling us (with no lack of capital letters) what is truth and fact.

You don't try to establish any sort of dialogue, you simply rant and leave. I am actually amazed that you came back to comment this time.

Most of the time you act more like a sacred pigeon, flying in, dropping your droppings all over the place (in the form of LOTS of words and opinions) and then fly away, never to be heard from (on that specific topic) again.

It is like either you are afraid to interact with people that question what you say and might burst your bubble or tarnish your silver armor or you consider yourself so far above the rest of us common scum that you wouldn't want to sully the bottoms of your shoes by stepping on what you think of as the human refuse that ferments here.

Your own presentation has made you look like a joke. Because of the way you post here we aren't laughing with you, we are laughing at you. Lighten up. Be human. At least most of the rest of us here are aware of our own humanity.

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