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Source: (consider it) Thread: Will Respect and Trust for Institutions Ever Return?
stonespring
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Respect and trust for institutions such as government, the press, science and medicine, schools and universities, organized religion, the arts, and "experts" of all types has declined over the last several decades in the West and seems to particularly be in a downward spiral today. (Police and the military do still enjoy somewhat more respect and trust, but not among all groups in society.)

There are any number of reasons for this (growing income inequality, disruption in the labor market form globalization/automation/etc., chronic unemployment among certain sectors of the population, a sense of cultural alienation felt by groups opposed to immigration and/or social liberalism and secularism, media and news based more around what will attract eyeballs and less on what is true or of any quality (which in turn is due to the decline of paying for entertainment and information and the need to fund media and journalism with ad dollars), and the weakening due to the aforementioned upheaval of local sources of support and community such as extended family, local businesses/charities/religious congregations/etc. with longstanding ties to the community, and local government). But rather than try to explain even further why respect and trust in institutions continues to decline, what can be done to reverse this decline?

Some skepticism of deference to tradition and power is indeed healthy. And religious and political institutions will always be met with more skepticism than others in a diverse and free society. But when the existence of universal facts, the integrity of the scientific method, the idea that government (we can disagree on how much government) can do good when serving its proper role, the idea that interactions among individuals and groups needn't always be zero-sum, and the idea that might does not make right are all in doubt, then certain institutions such as the scientific community, investigative journalism, academic inquiry, and vibrant communities of artists and writers, in addition to charitable institutions of all kinds (including, in many places, religious ones) and government that promotes justice, peace, and human rights, are needed now more than ever. How can respect, not necessarily in the people currently administering these institutions but in the importance of these institutions themselves, and trust in information coming from those of these institutions entrusted with informing the public (science and the nonpartisan press in particular), be strengthened? My guess is that this is something than cannot and should not be done from the top down (although some government policies and things that could be taught in schools probably are part of the solution) - what else could help?

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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Goodness, that's a lot of questions.

quote:
then certain institutions such as the scientific community...academic inquiry...government
I've snipped from your list because I used to lecture engineering in a university, so I can perhaps add something specific here.

IMV we've imported a market approach over the last 25 years (UK) and withdrawn from something centrally-funded and (to more or less degree) benignly paternalistic. This might have been because it was thought that trust in the institutions' benign paternalism was on the wane anyway - but I think financial motives were much more pressing.

As a result, remaining behaviour in the institution which might inspire trust and respect - disinterested advice based on hard facts and a non-commercial evaluation of the students' / applicants' best interests, for example - are now legacy behaviours which are out of step with institutional culture / 'best practice' [Smile]

I don't see the genie going back into the bottle in any overall sense. It may be that things get so bad in the commercial sector (that is, largely everywhere, including some supposedly governmental sectors like HE) that charitable institutions emerge which can inspire the peoples' trust. But as addicts say, we're some way from hitting bottom.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Golden Key
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stonespring--

{Respectfully, please make your paragraphs *much* shorter. For me, about 1/3 the length would be ideal, FWIW. Not asking you to shorten your posts! Just please hit Enter/Return a little more often. Thanks! [Smile] }

I think respect has to be earned. If the authority, religion, institution, etc., screws up badly enough, of *course* it will lose respect. Religions and other institutions with rampant child abuse that they keep covering up would be a good example. They SHOULD lose respect.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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Marvin the Martian

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The problem is, when you say "respect and trust" other people hear "let them boss us around and tell us what to do".

So you get people saying "I don't care what the 'experts' say, I love cheeseburgers/cigarettes/beers and I'm gonna keep eating/smoking/drinking them".

And then you get people saying "I don't care what science says, I'm going to believe the Bible". While others are saying "I don't care what the Church says, my neighbour's wife is hot and I'm going to cheat with her".

It's not much of a leap from there to "I don't care what economists say will be best for the country, I'm going to vote for what I think is best for me".

Quite simply, people hate being told what to do. Especially when it's something they don't want to do, or something that will leave them financially, spiritually, socially or psychologically worse off.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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SvitlanaV2
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People have access to so many alternative sources of information (or of leisure activities or friendship, etc.) that it's hard to be loyal to any one official narrative.

I think it's also the case that institutions in their turn no longer seem very loyal to their traditional constituencies. It could be argued that the mainstream churches no longer offer either the spiritual certainty or the social status they once did, so what do they have to offer? The Labour Party in Britain can no longer create jobs for traditional working class, so why should the poor vote for them?

There are many other examples. The most obvious is to do with jobs. Who stays with one company for life? Companies themselves don't necessarily value long term staff more than the rest. Sometimes they value them less.

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Arethosemyfeet
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It doesn't help that people have been allowed to ape the tone and manner of genuine experts without challenge, so scientists who are experts in their fields get presented as equivalent to guys with a bachelor's in engineering who've decided they know better. Likewise, all expertise is presented as equivalent, allowing practitioners of the dismal science to pass themselves off as having equivalent levels of certainty to actual scientists and then tarring science with their failures.
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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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quote:
scientists who are experts in their fields get presented as equivalent to guys with a bachelor's in engineering
Wow, you're quite optimistic [Smile] BEng is still at least under a modicum of control / influence from the engineering institutions, and is likely to have some content - unless the guy got it here. Luckily the institution at the heart of this story only offered business degrees, a cohort perhaps even more suited to your example of media malpractice above...

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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simontoad
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I think there is a real question as to whether the supposed decline in trust in institutions is happening to the same extent and for similar reasons in 'the west'.

What do you mean by 'the west'? I suppose it means something like "the USA and its allies." I won't get pedantic about it, but it's a real question. Is Japan in the west now? What about Malaysia?

In the absence of reliable stats, I'm going to say that people in Australia are generally leery of people who are 'successful'. People who boast of their achievements are not popular here. That tends to translate into a general dislike of politics and politicians, but not a dislike of the institutions of Government.

Similarly, the Cops, customs, parking officers, council inspectors, the spooks, the army excetera are generally liked and not shunned at parties. Obviously that doesn't apply if you have got a fine in the last month or so.

Also, Cops have been known to be avoided in social situations by people who you might want to avoid in most situations. There have been and still are problems with Police culture, especially in dealing with Aborigines and young people from recently arrived migrant groups, but that doesn't transfer to the reputation of individual Mr Plods.

There has certainly been a decline in respect for ministers of religion among anglo-celtic Australians. I'm really not sure that applies to ethnicities that arrived here after say 1970. That decline in respect has been a GOOD THING. We were wracked with division between Catholic and Protestant right up until the end of the 1970's.

Australia is very lucky not to have the strongly partisan media that I see in the USA. I think the UK has this partisan tradition too. In my city, there was always a divide between the paper for the toffs and the paper for the workers. My Dad didn't read the Sun, and I only read it if I'm having a coffee at a Macca's. The toffs watch the National Broadcaster and the workers watch the Commercials. The only thing that's got in the way of that is the internet. I don't think people have worked out how to make that class based at the moment. All the media more or less try to be evenhanded in their political coverage, well, sorta. It depends what columns you read.

Anyway, the one judgement for all nature of the OP got me riled up, so I might be stretching things a bit here and there. I like America (let's face it I'm besotted and horrified at the same time) but I hate how some yanks fawn over the wealthy and denigrate their Government at the same time. I also HATE that Donald Trump is President.

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Human

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
It doesn't help that people have been allowed to ape the tone and manner of genuine experts without challenge

The other issue is allowing fringe ideas to pose as being as legitimate as consensus within a field under the pretence of 'balance'. With the ultimate impression given that on any complicated topic, the 'experts' have different views and everything is still up for debate.

See climate change, the MMR vaccine and so on.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
scientists who are experts in their fields get presented as equivalent to guys with a bachelor's in engineering
Wow, you're quite optimistic [Smile] BEng is still at least under a modicum of control / influence from the engineering institutions, and is likely to have some content - unless the guy got it here. Luckily the institution at the heart of this story only offered business degrees, a cohort perhaps even more suited to your example of media malpractice above...
For some reason though engineers seem to be overrepresented among climate change deniers and other cranks on the fringes of science. It seems to happen because they can use the language of science and so convince non-scientists.
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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
So you get people saying "I don't care what the 'experts' say, I love cheeseburgers/cigarettes/beers and I'm gonna keep eating/smoking/drinking them".

And then you get people saying "I don't care what science says, I'm going to believe the Bible".

I think these are different things. Or potentially different things.

If someone says "I don't care what the experts say about the risks of smoking, I like smoking and I'm going to carry on." then I've much more time for that than if they say "no-one really knows if cigarettes are bad for you".

Tell it not in Gath, but I'd say the same about Brexit. If someone says "the experts say legally this is problematic and the economy will tank, but I don't care I think the European Council is undemocratic and I want shot of them" I have much more time for that than if they say "I don't think we'll have any problems leaving, just sign a few forms and get all the cash back for the NHS".

The former examples weigh the information from experts in their domain, but then compares the importance of that with other priorities. The latter examples are untruthful.

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ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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stonespring
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To what extent was the respect that people had for institutions in prior eras based on fear of the power those institutions held which has subsided as those institutions have eroded? I know that's a very Hobbesian view of things.

But in terms of the trust people no longer have in information coming from formerly respected institutions - why did most people use to trust scientific and academic information from authority figures, even while resenting them, but they no longer do?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
It doesn't help that people have been allowed to ape the tone and manner of genuine experts without challenge

The other issue is allowing fringe ideas to pose as being as legitimate as consensus within a field under the pretence of 'balance'. With the ultimate impression given that on any complicated topic, the 'experts' have different views and everything is still up for debate.

See climate change, the MMR vaccine and so on.

Agreed, but what to do about it? Even if all the real news sources aligned, the internet allows one to find however many pseudo-experts one wants.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Agreed, but what to do about it? Even if all the real news sources aligned, the internet allows one to find however many pseudo-experts one wants.

On the one hand that's correct. On the other hand, the internet has been around for years, and at one point such things were more on the fringe - and that did matter materially.

That said, there is probably no turning the clock back, purely because media organisations have embraced the business model of monetising rage, and generating the feeling that ones ideas are being suppressed is a good source of anger.

[ 18. July 2017, 15:16: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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SvitlanaV2
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I can think of two apparently conflicting reasons for the decline of trust in scientists.

One is that people are better educated than ever before. They can read a range of material, and can easily write books promoting their own ideas, orthodox or not. In the past, the great unwashed and unread knew they knew had no learning at all when compared to educated people, and hence were more deferential.

OTOH, people are also less educated than they used to be. My impression is that the level of mathematical and scientific achievement has declined among those who've benefited from a high school and even a university education. Some would argue that the 'snowflake' generation doesn't realise how uneducated it is yet possess an abundant supply of self-confidence.

Above all, I think postmodernism works against both science and religion as grand narratives. Both are treated as fairly subjective entities. You just go with whatever works for you.

It doesn't help that our societies are growing ever more fragmented. We're not bound by common identities or goals, and the gap between the rich and poor is increasing. So who cares about 'experts'?

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
Goodness, that's a lot of questions.

quote:
then certain institutions such as the scientific community...academic inquiry...government
I've snipped from your list because I used to lecture engineering in a university, so I can perhaps add something specific here.

IMV we've imported a market approach over the last 25 years (UK) and withdrawn from something centrally-funded and (to more or less degree) benignly paternalistic. This might have been because it was thought that trust in the institutions' benign paternalism was on the wane anyway - but I think financial motives were much more pressing.

As a result, remaining behaviour in the institution which might inspire trust and respect - disinterested advice based on hard facts and a non-commercial evaluation of the students' / applicants' best interests, for example - are now legacy behaviours which are out of step with institutional culture / 'best practice' [Smile]

I don't see the genie going back into the bottle in any overall sense. It may be that things get so bad in the commercial sector (that is, largely everywhere, including some supposedly governmental sectors like HE) that charitable institutions emerge which can inspire the peoples' trust. But as addicts say, we're some way from hitting bottom.

I think Mark has it right. The market approach, intrusion of business in general, business plans, and the business case study approaches are highly damaging to most areas, but particularly egregious for science. It is better in some places at some times. The anti-science Conservatives in Canada (Stephen Harper) prohibited government scientists from even talking to the public or press at all until run through a a gov't hack. Reversed now after the bum lost the last election, but I understand that trumpy has done this in the USA and also removed content from the web related to climate science and has no-one staffing their White House science department. Business has no place in deciding science. But when business is the gov't, well there you go.

[ 18. July 2017, 16:59: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

Quite simply, people hate being told what to do.

This doesn't fit with human behaviour. Humans like the appearance of choice, not actual choice.

quote:

Especially when it's something they don't want to do,

This is true, to a point.

quote:
or something that will leave them financially, spiritually, socially or psychologically worse off.

Totally incorrect. At least objectively. Subjectively they might believe this.
I guess this could fit under psychologically. People are content to be fucked over if they can justify it with delusion.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I can think of two apparently conflicting reasons for the decline of trust in scientists.

One is that people are better educated than ever before. They can read a range of material, and can easily write books promoting their own ideas, orthodox or not. In the past, the great unwashed and unread knew they knew had no learning at all when compared to educated people, and hence were more deferential.

OTOH, people are also less educated than they used to be. My impression is that the level of mathematical and scientific achievement has declined among those who've benefited from a high school and even a university education. Some would argue that the 'snowflake' generation doesn't realise how uneducated it is yet possess an abundant supply of self-confidence.

Doesn't the rejection of experts largely come from the older, less educated portion of society? That was certainly the case with Brexit. I'd love to know where your impression of deteriorating mathematical and scientific knowledge comes from.
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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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quote:
I'd love to know where your impression of deteriorating mathematical and scientific knowledge comes from.
I can't speak for SV2, but it's certainly true that undergrads I saw got worse, and worse, and worse in this respect over 20-odd years.

It's not just a UK thing. At the moment (in my part-time lab role) I'm dealing with non-EU students, some of whom not only struggle with equations, but (amazingly) basic numeracy, involving a knowledge that some numbers are bigger than others. These are intelligent people, fluent in two languages.

These are B.Eng, M.Eng and PhD (!!) Civil Eng. students. Don't stand under (or, indeed, on) a bridge in the Middle East if you have the choice.

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Lamb Chopped
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[Killing me] [Waterworks] [Eek!]

You are now responsible for me posting the most schizo collection of emojis I have ever used in my life.

[ 18. July 2017, 21:23: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
It doesn't help that people have been allowed to ape the tone and manner of genuine experts without challenge

The other issue is allowing fringe ideas to pose as being as legitimate as consensus within a field under the pretence of 'balance'. With the ultimate impression given that on any complicated topic, the 'experts' have different views and everything is still up for debate.

See climate change, the MMR vaccine and so on.

Plus also a general failure to distinguish between the results of an individual study, and a consensus of opinion among scientists.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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RuthW

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Posting on my phone, so more nuanced reply isn't going to happen right now, but in a nutshell I think these institutions will have more respect and trust when they earn it. They have in various ways failed us. I don't trust institutions in general because they are usually set up to encourage people within them to serve the interests of the institution, which frequently line up with the interests of a small, usually wealthy and powerful, minority. The government, the press, schools and universities, organized religion, medicine - these all exist as systems that to one degree or another we rightly fear because they have the power to screw us. If you haven't been fucked over by an institution, you're either very lucky or somewhere near the top of an in an institution busy fucking others over.
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quetzalcoatl
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Spot on from RuthW. Well, there are institutions and institutions, but quite a few of them strike me as either corrupt or for the privileged, or both. Why would I support them? Better to hurl them into the dustbin of history. Today's a Trotsky illumination day.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
I can't speak for SV2, but it's certainly true that undergrads I saw got worse, and worse, and worse in this respect over 20-odd years.

It's not just a UK thing. At the moment (in my part-time lab role) I'm dealing with non-EU students, some of whom not only struggle with equations, but (amazingly) basic numeracy, involving a knowledge that some numbers are bigger than others. These are intelligent people, fluent in two languages.

These are B.Eng, M.Eng and PhD (!!) Civil Eng. students. Don't stand under (or, indeed, on) a bridge in the Middle East if you have the choice.

And are you told you've got to be nice to them and pass them because the University needs their fees and if they don't think they'll pass, they'll go somewhere else that is more accommodating?

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Ohher
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I've been flat-out told my pay will be cut if I "drop too many students" -- regardless of the reason for dropping them (never showing up to class, handing in no work, violating behavioral norms in class, etc.).

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
If you haven't been fucked over by an institution, you're either very lucky or somewhere near the top of an in an institution busy fucking others over.

I've been fucked over by quite a few people but I still have to regard them as a non-homogeneous group. Your paragraph could be re-written "people" instead of "institution" but we don't regarding people as a grouping that needs to earn our respect again.

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
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For me, the problem is the total eclipse of integrity. All institutions now behave on a "commercial" basis, i.e. they try to screw everyone all the time. What I see around me is this. Churches are now encouraged to see their congregations and all other resources as revenue streams rather than in terms of their real relationship to the church and its purpose. Universities set fire to their academic reputation to keep the cash flowing in from students incapable of comprehensibly ordering a beer in English. The NHS spends so much time chasing money it barely has time to treat patients.

All of this needs to be completely undone, and the relevant institutions reshaped around the purpose for which they were originally created, before respect will be restored. As it is, only corporations which have become at hiding their activities and their scale behind cutesy fluff survive the denaturing of both people and institutions into infantilised consumers and corporations.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 2147 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
Mere Nick
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# 11827

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I think it will be a while.

Roll him, Danno.

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"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
I'd love to know where your impression of deteriorating mathematical and scientific knowledge comes from.
I can't speak for SV2, but it's certainly true that undergrads I saw got worse, and worse, and worse in this respect over 20-odd years.
But what proportion of the population are now undergrads compared with 20 years ago? Is it not likely that you're just seeing a broader segment of the population than you were in the past?
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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
If you haven't been fucked over by an institution, you're either very lucky or somewhere near the top of an in an institution busy fucking others over.

I've been fucked over by quite a few people but I still have to regard them as a non-homogeneous group. Your paragraph could be re-written "people" instead of "institution" but we don't regarding people as a grouping that needs to earn our respect again.
An individual who fucks you over needs to re-earn your respect, and if you see a similar pattern of behavior in another, you may be wary of trusting them. Most institutions named in the OP have betrayed us; it's not just one or two. There's a pattern.
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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Most institutions named in the OP have betrayed us; it's not just one or two. There's a pattern.

They have become institutionalised: They have lost sight of their original purpose and all their resources are put into keeping the institution as it is now.

How can anything self-serving get respect?

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
They have become institutionalised: They have lost sight of their original purpose and all their resources are put into keeping the institution as it is now.

There is a saying that most institutions end up working against the purposes for which they were founded.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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Mudfrog
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# 8116

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From history I think we can say that respect for institutions will indeed return.

When you look at the satire levelled against royalty, the government and the clergy in eighteenth century England - which was much more preferable to having a revolution and proved that the English have a sense of humour but the French don't! - we can see that there was very low respect for said institutions.

In the early to mid nineteenth century the established church was very 'unrespected' - but in the Victorian era things changed.

A small example of change would be the low respect enjoyed by the Royal Famiky in the UK between the years of 1992 and, I would suggest, nearly a decade as we went through the whole Diana-thing and then into the ascendancy of Camilla.

But now look at them! William, Harry and Catherine have confirmed the recovery that the Queen has presided over and the Monarch is good to go for another 3 long generations.

It seems to me that institutions recover respect
1) When people realise that the alternative to those institutions is positively lacking!
2) When the institution proves its worth in the face of criticism..

[ 21. July 2017, 12:37: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 8134 | From: North Yorkshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
But what proportion of the population are now undergrads compared with 20 years ago? Is it not likely that you're just seeing a broader segment of the population than you were in the past?
Yes, that's fair - and it is exacerbated by the way in which if every institution doubles its intake, then the 'able' are taken on by places which previously viewed themselves as for the 'extraordinary', meaning those in the 4th division are left competing for (and retaining at all costs) the 'un-able'.

To get them in and keep them, the institutions have sold them (it's a business) a lie and relied on weak feedback paths to applicants, to protect themselves from the intake-consequences of graduate disillusionment. This is made easier when your applicant pool doesn't read much and comes from families with no prior experience of HE.

And this dissolves trust and respect, as it should.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
I'd love to know where your impression of deteriorating mathematical and scientific knowledge comes from.
I can't speak for SV2, but it's certainly true that undergrads I saw got worse, and worse, and worse in this respect over 20-odd years.
But what proportion of the population are now undergrads compared with 20 years ago? Is it not likely that you're just seeing a broader segment of the population than you were in the past?
The widening of access to higher education probably does have something to do with it. Exams clearly have to be adapted so that more people will be successful.

With reference to your earlier post, I'm not sure that Brexit proves that people don't want to listen to experts. IMO it suggests that many people feel that the experts have ceased to listen to them. It suggests that not everyone has benefited equally from EU membership. The experts need to think about how a lack of investment in education and the economy contributed to Brexit.

High inequality and poverty helped trigger the Brexit protest vote.

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mdijon
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# 8520

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
An individual who fucks you over needs to re-earn your respect, and if you see a similar pattern of behavior in another, you may be wary of trusting them. Most institutions named in the OP have betrayed us; it's not just one or two. There's a pattern.

Taking one example, calling "the press" an institution that needs to re-earn respect seems to me a problem. There are plenty of journalists doing what is right and sacrificing for what they do. Some of them are in the majority for certain organizations. Saying they've failed and need to re-earn our respect seems over cynical to me and unfair on those who haven't.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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That's a good point. Institutions are not monolithic. I had bad experiences with police when I was an adolescent, but I can appreciate that there are some decent ones.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
That's a good point. Institutions are not monolithic. I had bad experiences with police when I was an adolescent, but I can appreciate that there are some decent ones.

Of course they are not all bad. 95% of them give the other 5% a bad name.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
With reference to your earlier post, I'm not sure that Brexit proves that people don't want to listen to experts.
I suspect that it says that "You're too stupid to understand why this is good for you" is not a persuasive argument.
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mdijon
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# 8520

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That wouldn't be my summary of the average remain pitch, although obviously mistakes were made.

Maybe I should conclude that SoF posters are lazy generalizers and demand that they re-earn my respect?

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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The accurate case for remain isn't complicated but does involve more than a bus-side slogan.
The accurate case for brexit is more complicated, but unfortunately, its inaccurate representation easily fit onto the side of a bus.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
With reference to your earlier post, I'm not sure that Brexit proves that people don't want to listen to experts.
I suspect that it says that "You're too stupid to understand why this is good for you" is not a persuasive argument.
Many British people haven't been doing very well in recent years, so claiming that the EU was good for them isn't saying much. At any rate, the experts, being so clever, should have made a much better case at telling such people that they ought to be grateful.

On the whole, though, the EU has probably been of more use to highly intelligent than to 'stupid'(!) people, at least from the British perspective.

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Martin60
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# 368

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For me for institutions read stories. And no, I don't believe in ANY any more. There is no story. Nothing works, that's how it works. Apart from quantum mechanics, evolution, postmodernism, BBC24 80% of the time and Jesus. I don't believe in governmental competence, ecclesiastical wisdom, science prostituted to snake oil. I Respect and Trust helpless privilege. I have seen some decent magistrates at work. Encountered a bloody good cop today.

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Love wins

Posts: 17007 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cod
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# 2643

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I believe our expectations of institutions have gone up, with the decline of deference. In general, said institutions haven't got any worse. It is just that our expectations have gone up, and we were no longer willing to tolerate their shortcomings.

I do detect a change in the air, however. Mudfrog mentioned the Royal Family. I was back in the UK recently, and it struck me how much more pervasive heritage has got; particularly WW2. There doesn't seem to be much trust in Britain for its traditional institutions (parliament, government, churches and so on) but there seems to be an increasing trust in what are perceived to be its folk traditions. I think something similar has been going on for longer in Scotland; leastways it was going great guns when I lived there in the 90s. The Royal Family strike me as being the obvious beneficiaries of this. I really don't want to derail the thread but so, I think, was Brexit.

An example: I went to watch a performance of the Wind in the Willows. I enjoyed it very much, but couldn't miss the way the characters were cast: the Stoats and Weasels looked like Waffen SS led by a chap in a large Napoleonic hat. Toad was a bumbling English country gentleman who Badger forced to face his duty of noblise oblige. Rat, Mole and the other goodies looked like the cast from Hope and Glory.

I find it really interesting that people should choose to identify with an era characterised by extreme deference to institutions and lack of individualism, and I suspect that sooner rather later the pendulum is going to swing back. Quite which institutions benefit is another question, however. I doubt the church will be be one of them.

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"I fart in your general direction."
M Barnier

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
The widening of access to higher education probably does have something to do with it. Exams clearly have to be adapted so that more people will be successful.

You say "adapted", I say "dumbed down". If any jackass can get a degree then the respect that used to be given to degrees will disappear.

You could widen access to Higher Education so much that literally everyone gets awarded a degree. The only problem is that those degrees would be worth about the same as a diploma from kindergarten. Even now degrees are worth about what A-Levels were worth a generation ago.

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29952 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
An individual who fucks you over needs to re-earn your respect, and if you see a similar pattern of behavior in another, you may be wary of trusting them. Most institutions named in the OP have betrayed us; it's not just one or two. There's a pattern.

Taking one example, calling "the press" an institution that needs to re-earn respect seems to me a problem. There are plenty of journalists doing what is right and sacrificing for what they do. Some of them are in the majority for certain organizations. Saying they've failed and need to re-earn our respect seems over cynical to me and unfair on those who haven't.
Of course there are plenty of journalists doing a good job, just as there are politicians doing a good job (the representatives at the city, state and federal level for the place I live range right now from pretty good to awesome), doctors doing a good job, instructors and professors doing a good job ... but that doesn't mean their various institutions aren't seriously flawed and betraying our trust. Institutions are one thing and the individuals working within them are quite another.
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mdijon
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# 8520

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I also think such people are in the majority in some institutions. Which implies that their institutions are not failing.

We need institutions to function as individuals, and a group of individuals can make an institution. Some groups bring out the best in the individuals that make it up.

[ 25. July 2017, 02:19: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

Posts: 12277 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I also think such people are in the majority in some institutions. Which implies that their institutions are not failing.

I said institutions are failing us, not that institutions are failing. It's not the same thing. Moreover, the majority of people in an institution may be good people working very hard and the institution may still be failing the people it's supposed to serve, because an institution is not merely the sum of the individuals who work for it. Institutions are not generally run by a majority working for it but by a much smaller minority, who can screw things up for everyone, despite the efforts of the majority. Moreover, an institution has its own systems which make up its character.

When I was a professor, the people running the university somehow spent too much money in the fall semester, so didn't have enough to put on the spring semester the way they'd planned. They cancelled so many classes (ones taught by adjunct instructors) that hundreds and hundreds of students who had paid their fees and registered were enrolled in zero classes on the first day of the semester; some others had one or two classes despite having registered for a full load. A memo went out to the entire faculty begging us to add as many people to our classes as we possibly could. So we did. All four of my classes were over their cap; in one class that was supposed to have 30 people, I let in an additional 35. The majority of my colleagues did the same. But a lot of people got screwed over. All the students who gave up because they didn't know faculty were going to try to let them in got screwed. All the students who still didn't get into all the classes they needed got screwed; you can't add people to a chemistry lab the way you can add them to an English class. All the people who were supposed to take a small discussion-based class from me who instead got a big lecture-based class got screwed. The faculty got screwed -- it's not like we got paid more to keep track of so many more students and read and mark all their work.

quote:
We need institutions to function as individuals, and a group of individuals can make an institution. Some groups bring out the best in the individuals that make it up.
We do need institutions; I'm not saying they're inherently a bad thing. But badly functioning institutions are horrible, horrible things.
Posts: 24429 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Encountered a bloody good cop today.

Was she over your way today?

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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Gee D
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# 13815

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As Stonespring says in his original post, healthy scepticism is good. What I find disturbing is an assumption that no institution is worthy of respect, and none can earn it.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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