Are Humans Losing their Grip on Complex Thinking?

We are animals that specialize in thinking and knowing—in cognition—and our extraordinary cognitive powers have enabled us to do remarkable things. We have transformed our eating habits with agriculture and cooking, and transformed our habitats with buildings, bridges and roads. Compared with our chimpanzee cousins, we can travel over vast distances, moving our whole bodies in cars, planes and space craft, and moving our minds to yet more remote places with radio telescopes and electron microscopes… We know about time, we understand it to some degree and we can measure it precisely. We communicate with symbols—spoken and written languages—and using these languages, we have developed extensive knowledge of our own history and diversity, and about all aspects of the natural and physical worlds. __ Evolution of Human Cognition

It sounds good. Evolved primates learn complex thinking, get better at it, and eventually travel to the stars . . . But according to a survey of human accomplishment conducted by Charles Murray for his magnum opus, the rate of important mind discoveries is slowing.

The slide below presents Jean Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Typically between the ages of 7 and 15, children acquire the ability to think at a high rational level. At least, that is what is supposed to happen. But over the past several decades, educational systems have come under the control of persons who are more ideologue than educator. Rather than teaching children to think and read boldly and broadly for themselves, schools are indoctrinating kids with politically correct brainwashing.

When the brains of children do not receive the necessary substance and grit for difficult thinking — and are given instead junk food fit for the brains of political drone-minds — they never attain the power of thinking and communicating that will allow them to move strongly and cleanly into an expansive and abundant future. Instead, they are clay in the hands of methodical manipulators who prey on young minds, turning them into automatons.

But it is worse than that. Young kids begin their schooling with enthusiastic minds, full of questions and curiosity. In just a short time — especially for boys — the enthusiasm is beaten out of them, and all hope for meaningful and productive learning quickly fades away.

Perhaps if children were taught to read and think for themselves — and were guided by wise parents toward independent learning and away from social media, video games, and internet addiction — the kids would have a chance in spite of a corrupt school system. But such parents are rare these days, perhaps because they too were taught by the same dumbed down educational swamp as the one that is destroying the minds of their children.

Counter-measures to the destructive effect of schools are needed, to salvage as many of the at-risk young minds as can be saved. Besides being taught to teach themselves using widely available materials, kids need to learn the discipline and satisfaction of working with their hands, and how to start their own businesses.

Schools are turning kids’ minds to mush. We urgently need ways to assist young human minds in their quest to participate meaningfully in the future.

Suggested Reading:

Reader Come Home by Maryanne Wolf

Knowledge Matters

The Shallows

Deep Work

Knowing Things Matters

Shop Class as Soul Craft

Rich Dad, Poor Dad


Interesting thread-lashing of today’s badly educated young, straight from the Alaskan bush —

Some of you have done NOTHING with your life and you’re mad. You have a college degree & a smart phone with access to virtually *anything* and you can barely get out of bed in the morning while you spit on people who built a whole world with nothing but a horse, map, & axe.

You’ve made nothing with access to everything. You’ve conquered nothing. Hell you can’t even conquer yourself. So go tear it all down. Scream into the void how unfair it all is. It’s not that you’ve wasted your short time here. Surely not.

Don’t bother with your own legacy you’re busy shitting on the long dead who aren’t here to care. Go burn down every Starbucks. That’ll show them. Torch the Target. Tear down every monument. Deface every memorial. But what have you built? What do you leave behind?

So take your benzos. Watch your porn. Get Uber to drop off your dinner. Buy an adult coloring book. Have sex with strangers to ease your crippling anxiety. It’s not you. It’s the system really. It isn’t fair. Go cancel someone. Dox someone. They deserve it. You’re the good guy.

Don’t write an epic novel worth building a statue to remember you. Go troll seven year old problematic tweets ever on the hunt for the boogeymen. See now you’ve accomplished something. Cancel everyone. You’re a warrior now. A real hero.

And lastly whatever you do never ever take even a moment to self reflect on your own failures. Never own them. Never take a hint of responsibility. Remember you’re just a helpless victim of circumstances beyond your control. This all means nothing. Its like you weren’t even here. __ Lu from Alaska

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4 Responses to Are Humans Losing their Grip on Complex Thinking?

  1. Anon says:

    I have also noticed the inability to focus for long periods of time and agree that TV/internet/various screens are to blame.

    What is your favorite at home curriculum? We have been eyeing the Robinson course as it appears to be a fairly comprehensive outline. It is heavy on the Saxon math books and vocabulary and is dependent upon self-directed learning by the student.

    How does one change a typical student that has been in the public system into a self-directed learner? I am not sure how, but we are about to find out (it may involve going “Amish” for a period of time by removing all screen electronics in the house for a period of time).

    This is the review that got me started:

    • alfin2101 says:

      How does one change a typical student that has been in the public system into a self-directed learner?

      The transition you describe requires a lot of rapport and respect on the part of parent and child. Shared interests and enthusiasms help a lot and can be built upon. It will be an adventure, and the outcome will depend upon keeping the goal in mind while adapting specific tactical methods to the uniqueness of the child. If the child has been in public school many years, make sure that drugs and alcohol are not in the picture.

      I like the Robinson Curriculum as a flexible approach that has tested well against public school systems in the past. Achieving “self-direction” in a child that is used to other-direction may require some experimentation and a lot of patience. Good luck!

    • alfin2101 says:

      I have to mention the importance of personal example. If you exemplify the type of self-directed learning and action that you want your child to emulate, your job will be somewhat easier, depending upon the age of the child.

      Reading material can also shape a child’s attitude toward hard work and can help motivate self-teaching.

      Letting children understand the potential rewards of succeeding as an independent learner and thinker, is also crucial. Taking them to see people and places that reflect your goals for them and their goals for themselves, is a good idea.

  2. alfin2101 says:

    Lastly, encouraging a hands-on competence for the child in areas where he shows an interest and/or talent. Helping to create habits in the child that lead to independent hard work resulting in personal satisfaction and other forms of reinforcement, will pay dividends.

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