There is a movement in our society pushing us toward a more uneducated union. It's not being directly advocated for by any group in particular. This is more of a side effect of some cultures, religions and celebrities and I want to talk about it.
I created that word to describe this phenomena.* It means a movement of people who want to undo education. If you were to ask any group of people if they wanted to undo education they would give you a resounding no. So I don't think this is the direct intention of any group of people. I say group because there are probably individuals that do think this way. This IS America after all. Enough babbling let's get into specific examples:
The medical field is somewhat of an enigma to most of the population. Primarily because it takes so long to gain the necessary knowledge just to "practice" medicine. The average person does not have enough information about the big picture of medicine to make any educated guesses about what may or may not be a good idea. As a result we will sometimes second guess a recommendation that doesn't sound right. Some have taken it too far and say that doctors are trying to hurt us for their own gain. Here are some of the countereducation that is out there:
AMA - "the AMA has worked diligently to block much in the way of real progress in order to control medicine and shut out competition." -Natural News
I've heard this many times. It's usually in response to the AMA's reluctance to support some new, nontraditional type of medicine. Over the years when I've taken the time to look up the arguments on both sides of these issues I always find that the AMA says "Needs more testing." They never outright ban a medicine or procedure unless it is obvious (like feeling the bumps on your head to determine your personality). So what's wrong with asking or a little more scrutiny? I'm sure the answer has something to do with the offended party's pocketbook. Either way their response is to try to undermine society's trust in doctors and traditional medicine. Doctors trained to heal you = bad. Not doctors with no training and a hunch = good. Brilliant.
Vaccinations - "the escalation of vaccines [means] the escalation of autism." -Jenny McCarthy
Whether it's stopping a STD vaccine or trying to connect vaccinations to autism there are people trying to tell us that vaccinations are bad. There is no direct evidence to prove this. There were some studies that point this direction. Luckily there were further studies that showed there was no link between the measle vaccine and autism. The opponents ignore this information and continue to tell us vaccinations are bad. As a result measles are on the rise and children may die. Yay countereducation!
Faith Healing - "Homeopathy is extremely effective. When the correct remedy is taken, results can be rapid, complete and permanent." - ABC Homeopathy**
We all know that some religious leader putting his hands on you does not mean that you stop seeing the doctor. If there is some miraculous healing then the doctor's confirmation is icing on the cake. I am seeing a new type of faith healing that does not involve religion. It's called Alternative medicine and it includes homeopathy, ancient (insert culture here) remedies and dietary healing. Most of them don't provide any targeted medicine and rely on the regular healing time to show their products effectiveness (ie. cold remedies saying they take 2-4 days to work when it takes 2-4 days to get over a cold anyway).
The problem here is they want you to try these remedies instead of going to the doctor which isn't a problem when you have a cold, but what about if you have cancer (search cancer natural remedies**)? Many cancers are highly treatable if you actually go to get the treatment. The countereducation here is again to distrust the people most highly trained to help.
Science has given us radio, Television, high gloss printing, the Internet and computers which have in-turn delivered all the information necessary to distrust the very system that brought us these things. Discoveries about the world around us have been coming at an increasing rate and, often enough, previous results were found wrong by new findings. We see this all the time on the News and for some reason, instead of saying "cool! We learned more about our universe" the masses seem more likely to say "see, science is wrong again." Here's what I mean:
Physics - "My own calculations have shown that it is quite plausible that these little black holes survive and will grow exponentially and eat the planet from the inside." - Otto Rössler
Yup, the world's gonna end and the CERN is gonna do it. Really? 20 countries spent 4.4 billion on the project and failed to do the math? Greed should tell you that if politicians are gonna set aside that kind of money for anything they're gonna make sure it's not a waste to begin with.
Dating - "radiometric dating has serious problems" -ChristianAnswers**
Sorry, it wasn't the kind of dating you were thinking of. So, radiological scientists are full of crap and are scrambling to justify their funding. If there was one small group that measured the dates of everything and we all had to accept their ruling I would agree with this assessment.
The truth is there are hundreds of labs capable of doing this work and they all double check the work of the others. Also the theories behind the process are tested, retested and confirmed. All these different sources have independently arrived at the same conclusions. If everyone who counted a basket of apples said there was 7 apples, then it is easy to conclude there are 7 apples in the basket. Even if you're not an apple expert.
There is a need to debunk our educational system. When speaking with people who do well despite their lack of education they will often brag about how they didn't need a degree or that they make more than someone else who has a degree or even that a degree is entirely unnecessary in the real world. I don't mind that they think they've done all right without a degree, but there is no need to denounce the whole institution.
I have known the children of these types of people. Many of them think the same way as their parents and have not pursued an education. Sometimes they do well and often they don't. Their situations would have been avoided if they had only pursued a higher education. Unfortunately they tend to behave as their parents further spreading the misinformation. There are further examples.
When I was in Chicago, in the hood, I often observed a culture of failure. They believed they would fail in life either by not receiving opportunities (lotto, inheritance, reparations, etc.) or by having opportunities denied (by the man) or by not being good enough to get an "out" (by being a Rap Star, Athlete etc.). They also believed that success was rare and that they had no control over it.
The Rap Culture, Redneck Culture, Barrio Culture have all filtered their way into the American conciousness for good or for bad. The bad is the celebration of stupidity.
Rap Culture - I worked with a missionary that had good diction and a large vocabulary. He was even tempered and intelligent. He was also black and was shunned by black people as being too white. By the same token, if you don't speak like an uneducated black person you are without street cred. You could never hang with rap crews. In fact, the more stupid things you have done (murder, theft, raketeering, pimping, etc.) the more cool you are in the Rap Community.
Rednecks - Despite the fact we all like to laugh at Redneck jokes there are a lot of similarities to the Rap Culture. The more stupid you are, the more people want to emulate you. Jackass would be a good example of this. Pro wrestling would be another.
Celebrities - What used to be a part of the previous two paragraphs has developed into its own culture. We watch celebrities with too much interest wanting to be just like them. The stupider the better. To such an extreme that the TV Neworks got wise and invented Reality Shows. Now we can be celebrities, just as stupid and without the money.
I don't know. I usually come up with suggestions before I post the blog, but not this time. I could offer that we should all support education and help to educate all those around us. I guess if we did we wouldn't have contestants for Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
* The major root is educ which means to draw out something hidden (similar to deduce). Add -ate (to do or done) and -ion (turns it into a noun) at the end and we get education which means the results of drawing out that which was hidden. Now we arrive at the problem I mentioned above and I add counter- (against, opposite) to mean undoing education. Tack on an -ism and it's a system of belief.
** No link, I don't want to help them out by linking to them.