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Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 8:33pmSanction this postReply
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A little sympathy for the devil here...

For my degree in criminal justice, I have to take two sociology classes.  I am taking Sociology 101 this summer.  Reality is a social construct.  2+2=4 is a social construct. What is -2 (negative two)?  It has no reality, but if you are overdrawn on your bank account, then the social reality of negative two becomes your reality.

The great founders of sociology include Auguste Comte and Karl Marx, as well as WEB Dubois, Emile Durkkeim and ibn Khaldun.  We do not learn about ibn Khaldun because sociology is a euro-centric science so Auguste Comte is considered by most authorities to be the father of sociology.  Communism works in theory, but does not work in practice.  WEB Dubois said that America espouses democratic ideals but tolerates racism.  WEB Dubois also said that Afro Americans have a "double consciousness" and that race is a construct of the ruling class.

Success in sociology comes from understanding the relationship between personal troubles and social problems.  Difficulties in this subject come from the "anti-suggestive barrier" also called the "logical barrier" where you will not entertain the impossible. 

Group behavior is the primary focus of human society. 

It gets better... wait for it...

Sociology teaches a unique view of society, which means, not just one view of society.
(Oh, come on... you have to admit that that is a perfect example of socially constructed meaning  "unique" means "more than one.")

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 5/10, 8:42pm)




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Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 9:55pmSanction this postReply
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================
"unique" means "more than one."
================

Wow, for these philosophically-bankrupt, intellectual idiots -- contradictions DO exist!

Ed
[And thanks for publicizing this nonsense, Michael!]




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Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 2:44amSanction this postReply
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Group behavior is the primary focus of human society.


Ah, now you've identified the organizing principle which identifies the method of subjectivist madness!

Think about a bulk solid, a collection of particles, rigidly bound by atomic/molecular forces, with a center of mass and pressure.

Subjectivists are bound one to another by common beliefs, there standard of values requires them to "triangulate" or conform to the (plundering) forces applied at the centers of mass, their common values.

It makes sense. Its about as stable and sane, and natural as a heard of altruistic swine being herded over a cliff by liberal predators, their Hitlers and Stalins and Maos, that despise them because they can't conform to the impossible.

I don't see what the deal is with objective, negative entities. You can have positive and negative ions? A proton isn't an electron with a negative charge.

Scott



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Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 8:48amSanction this postReply
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MEM wrote:

Reality is a social construct.  2+2=4 is a social construct. What is -2 (negative two)?  It has no reality, but if you are overdrawn on your bank account, then the social reality of negative two becomes your reality.

A hole is a concept of method that depends on the surrounding earth, a concept of existence.  This is not a "social construct" but a valid human method of forming concepts based on concrete observations.  If no one else is on your island and you walk over a big hole in the earth, you will still fall to the bottom.  So much for "social constructs."




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Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 9:20amSanction this postReply
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Lets call standing here 0. If I take two steps to the right, I'll call my new position 2. If I take two steps to the left, I'll call my new position -2. Maybe the names are social constructs, but Reality is not a social construct.



Post 5

Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:33amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

Another great founder of sociology was Herbert Spencer... but I get the impression that your instructor would just as soon leave him out :-)

Robert Campbell




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Post 6

Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 2:45pmSanction this postReply
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>>  Herbert Spencer had different ideas than August Comte because Spencer was born in a more prosperous and peaceful age, whereas Comte experienced the French Revolution which shaped his ideas. Spencer siad that society is a like a human body.  He taught sociobiology which is biological determinism within the social order.  The Bell Curve -- Spencer said that women are poor because they are stupid.  Evolution put white men at the top, according to Sir Herbert Spencer.<<

[I've been doing pretty good in this class because I know the answer she needs, I sit close enough for her to hear me, and no one else knows the answer or wants to speak up.  So, if it is not a rhetorical question, I'll answer it, and she can move on.  That works well.  In fact, it is an example of STRUCTURALISM or STRUCTURAL FUNCTIONALISM in understanding social relations.]

However, she shut me up last night. I know from experience at this school that if she gets any more pissed off, she can -- and will -- have me removed from the class, academically dropped. 

What happened last night is that she was talking about Marx.  "My favorite guy. I love Marx." (blah blah blah) and then she said..."But Marx, communism, is perfect in theory, but not in practice, does not take gender and race differences into account."  And I piped up with: "Well, first of all, if the theory does not work, what does that say about the theory?  But Marx did take race and gender into account because according to communism, race and gender differences are used by the ruling class to keep workers separated and in a communist society, race and gender would be irrevelant."  And she said, "First of all, you are being too assertive..."

...  and then she went on to talk about the loss of communal values as rich farmers in an agricultural society would pay people to work for them and then skilled trades declined because people did not want to wait two weeks for a pair of customized handcrafted shoes for $20 when they can go to the village and buy one now for $5. ... Money defines who gets eduction, healthcare, and technology.  And then several other students got to express their opinions about the relative success of communism as a system that almost worked pretty good in Romania where I am from, or in India, which I have read about, or in China, which does not have true communism, but Maoism.

And of course, we learned the first night that success comes from recognizing that there are no rights and wrongs, but only socially derived opinions, so I said  said no more the rest of the class.  From now on, I am sitting in the way back corner.  I need to finish this class and all three professors are of the same stamp in this program.  However...  get this... there is young guy in back, who, on the first night, said that he wants to be a banker, and he is taking this class to see how other people think.  So, there is hope for me -- and the world...




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Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 6:25pmSanction this postReply
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Wow Michael, I don't know how you can handle that.  I know I (as an adult) would not.  Maybe she can get away with that with the youngsters, but yikes what a moron. 

Your points were also brilliant - first, you pointed out the contradiction in her own statement, then you used Marxism itself (what she claims to know) to prove that her second statement was wrong. 

The class should have said Snap!  You just got owned, Bitch!
 
 




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Post 8

Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 7:46pmSanction this postReply
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==============
The class should have said Snap!  You just got owned, Bitch!
==============

But Kurt, if she's truly communist -- then she doesn't believe in private ownership! hehe

;-)

Ed




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Friday, May 12, 2006 - 6:54amSanction this postReply
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Ed, I don't get it?



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Friday, May 12, 2006 - 1:06pmSanction this postReply
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Kurt,

The 'Bitch' CAN'T be privately-owned in a communist society (nothing can).

Get it?

Ed




Post 11

Friday, May 12, 2006 - 1:35pmSanction this postReply
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Now I do.  Don't quit your day job.



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Post 12

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 4:42amSanction this postReply
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Here's a fastball down the strike zone:

Q: Sociologists say that society changes because individuals have "free will."
A:  True
      False

Ok, you know that's false, because we do not have free will. Some people think they do because they were raised in a culture that accepts this or teaches this.  (You knew that...)

Here's one just for this audience:

What is "invention?"
(Give up?)
"Invention" is the process of reshaping existing cultural items into a new form.  Guns, video games, First Amendment rights, and airplanes are examples.
 (I thought you'd like that one...)




Post 13

Friday, May 19, 2006 - 4:55amSanction this postReply
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Ayn Rand said that our problems are not political; they are epistemological. 

My sociology class is supported by an online toolkit called "Blackboard."  The instructor can post messages, assignments, etc.  On Blackboard is a "Practice Test" that we are required to take.  Like the actual tests we take, the Practice Tests are True-False and multiple choice.  However, the Practice Test does not give out the right answers. 

Most Americans feel better about the past than about the future.
True
False

In my class, I and others, have answered both ways and gotten both correct and incorrect scores.  We found that among the 50 questions six to ten worked like that.  I ran the 5-question quiz a dozen times, getting about 30 different questions, and building a file of them, along with the correct and incorrect responses.  We do not have a thorough analysis on this, but I made a point of asking several people who did what I did and got the same kinds of results for these or different questions. 

I predict that when we bring this up on Monday the 22nd, the instructor will blow us off. 

In case you think that Ludwig von Mises excoriated sociology for purely economic reasons, here is a gem of collectivist thinking.  (From the Practice Test -- answer supported by citation from the textbook.)

People in which categories are most likely to make use of the sociological perspective?
The wealthy
People of color
Politicians
The Middle Class

Answer: People of color.  Colored culture raises people to understand that cultural norms are relative, that there is no right and wrong, but only how you are raised to think, that no one culture is better than another, and personal troubles are directly related to social problems. 

Lest you take this wrong way (ahem), please understand that our textbook explains that sociologists do not predict human behavior at the individual level because sociology understands that while there is no such thing as free will, human behavior is complex and spontaneous.  Thus, about 5% of 100 Black Americans identified as "socially succcessful" are Republicans.




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Post 14

Friday, May 19, 2006 - 7:25amSanction this postReply
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 Colored culture raises people to understand that cultural norms are relative, that there is no right and wrong, but only how you are raised to think, that no one culture is better than another, and personal troubles are directly related to social problems. 


NO - the word "UNDERSTAND" is very incorrect..... "BELIEVE" is the proper term...  if one understood, then there would be none of this relativistic crap.....




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Friday, May 19, 2006 - 10:42amSanction this postReply
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People in which categories are most likely to make use of the sociological perspective?
The wealthy
People of color
Politicians
The Middle Class

Answer: People of color.


Doesn't this imply that a sociological perspective is a prescription for failure?  Using their own methods, of course, because as a collective "people of color" are less successful than the other categories.




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Monday, May 22, 2006 - 4:30amSanction this postReply
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Kurt:  Doesn't this imply that a sociological perspective is a prescription for failure?  Using their own methods, of course, because as a collective "people of color" are less successful than the other categories.
One of the founders of sociology was Karl Marx who proposed the "social conflict" model.  (The others are "structural functionalism" and "symbolic interaction.")  Marx said that society consists of groups competing for resources.  This model was followed by other sociologists including W.E.B. Dubois and Jane Addams.  My instructor has expressed her admiration for Marx.  However, she is not alone.  I did not buy the textbook for this class -- most texts in most subjects are greatly overpriced, there being really little new at the undergraduate level -- but I did pick up (free!) another book and workbook from a different author and publisher and it tracks this one very closely, just as calculus or physics books tend to be pretty much the same.  The point is that Marx is widely recognized within sociology as a founder of the study.  That said, you need to understand that while people of color generally are raised to believe (see below) the sociologicial perspective, our capitalist society keeps them from being succcessful.
Robert:  NO - the word "UNDERSTAND" is very incorrect..... "BELIEVE" is the proper term...  if one understood, then there would be none of this relativistic crap.....
Yes, of course, you are right and I was wrong.  I have a hard time with this class.  While I do have some success at sociology as a foreign language, I have been raised to believe that we can "understand" the world, whereas the sociological perspective is that we only believe that the world is what we were raised to believe it is.  Thanks for setting me straight on that; it will help me with this class.




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Monday, May 22, 2006 - 6:33amSanction this postReply
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It does astonish me that anyone ever took Marx seriously, much less still does!  He seems so completely wrong in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. 



Post 18

Monday, May 22, 2006 - 6:44amSanction this postReply
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Context - he speaks within the context of Ricardian economics...



Post 19

Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 2:57pmSanction this postReply
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Parse these.

We have a new instructor.  The college over-assigned classes to fulltime instructors.  So, this week, they unassigned them and brought in part-timers. (Instructors are unionized, full and parttime alike.)  Now, three weeks into a 7.5-week term we have a new instructor.  I don't know how no one saw this coming.  I mean, this school is about forty years old, so they have had some experience... but, okay, we get a new instructor.

However...  The old instructor still has one test assigned.  The old instructor said that at the end of hte term, she would drop our lowest score, a common practice.  But we only had one test and were being assigned the second.  And one girl asked if we could drop the lower of the two scores before being handed off to the new instructor who would average the existing grade into her own scales which are different.  Sure!  Ok!  Problem is, I got 100% on the first test, a perfect score, 47/47.  So, with the lower of two to be dropped, I have zero incentive to even take the next one.  I just shook my head.  I dispair of being able to explain it to them.  After all, this was an instructor who said that she admires Karl Marx, and this is a perfect example of Marxism applied to the classroom: the rules are changed midway to allow those who do not do so well to have a second chance, while inevitably delivering a disincentive to the capable.

The new instructor wants us to read newspaper stories.  Local papers are not good enough because they are written at an eighth grade reading level.  She wants us to pick our stories from the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Christian Science Monitor.  She left out the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily.  Should I ask?




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