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 The Decline of American Creativity

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PostSubject: The Decline of American Creativity   Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:16 pm

Worth a read in entirety...but summarized below for the quick read.

"For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. ... Like intelligence tests, Torrance's test — a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist — has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect — each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling. Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. 'It's very clear, and the decrease is very significant,' Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America — from kindergarten through sixth grade — for whom the decline is 'most serious.'"

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html

If you've got kids...don't let them camp out in front of screens to the degree we do now as adults...they need to work through problems, build things, skin knees, and LEARN. Separate story recently about how Chinese companies are hiring Americans...but they lower the entrance IQ test from 140 to 125...because they want Americans to pass it. A little condescending...but hey, they call it like it is.

J

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PostSubject: Re: The Decline of American Creativity   Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:14 pm

Heh, as if the above wasn't bad enough...the studies are now showing what anyone with half a clue has suspected on a macro- level for years: give a human a computer, and he/she will find the fastest way to waste time with it.

Quote :
"The NY Times reports on economists' efforts to measure a home computer's educational impact on schoolchildren in low-income households. Taking widely varying routes, they are arriving at similar conclusions: little or no educational benefit is found. Worse, computers seem to have further separated children in low-income households, whose test scores often decline after the machine arrives, from their more privileged counterparts. Abroad, researchers found that children in Romanian households who won a $300 voucher to help them buy computers received significantly lower school grades in math, English and Romanian. Stateside, students in a North Carolina study posted significantly lower math test scores after the first broadband provider showed up in their neighborhood, and significantly lower reading scores as well when the number of broadband providers increased. And a Texas study found that 'there was no evidence linking technology immersion with student self-directed learning or their general satisfaction with schoolwork.'"

--The Navy just this year decided to cease teaching General Military Training (GMT) with the use of Computer Based Training (CBTs) from the Navy Knowledge Online website. Apparently, hearing someone drone on for an hour about how drinking and driving is bad, mmmkay...leaves a greater element of retention than clicking through said powerpoint presentation for a certificate...which usually takes about 5% of the time...with even less retained knowledge.

Who'da thunk CHILDREN would do the same?

--And Navy trained an entire generation of technicians using CBTs...
rabbit rabbit rabbit scratch rabbit rabbit rabbit

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PostSubject: Re: The Decline of American Creativity   Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:27 am

Reprinted from the CDR Salamander blog.

Quote :
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Enjoy the view while you can ....

David Brooks nails it - or finally gets it, depending on how charitable you want to be with him.
Why are important projects now unaffordable? Decades ago, when the federal and state governments were much smaller, they had the means to undertake gigantic new projects, like the Interstate Highway System and the space program. But now, when governments are bigger, they don’t.

The answer is what Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal once called demosclerosis. Over the past few decades, governments have become entwined in a series of arrangements that drain money from productive uses and direct it toward unproductive ones.


New Jersey can’t afford to build its tunnel, but benefits packages for the state’s employees are 41 percent more expensive than those offered by the average Fortune 500 company. These benefits costs are rising by 16 percent a year.

New York City has to strain to finance its schools but must support 10,000 former cops who have retired before age 50.

California can’t afford new water projects, but state cops often receive 90 percent of their salaries when they retire at 50. The average corrections officer there makes $70,000 a year in base salary and $100,000 with overtime (California spends more on its prison system than on its schools).

States across the nation will be paralyzed for the rest of our lives because they face unfunded pension obligations that, if counted accurately, amount to $2 trillion — or $87,000 per plan participant.
A couple of years ago, the eldest of the wee Salamanders asked why when I was her age I had grown up watching rockets taking off for the moon. Why the spaceships in 2001: A Space Odyssey never happened even though the technology was there?

In summary, I told her the answer was simple; we started electing and accepting politicians with no vision and no desire to lead and to do what was right. They were more interested in spending the nation's money on things that made them feel good about themselves - not make them feel good about their nation. They decided that they would rather buy votes than expand the knowledge of man (yes, I'm that kind of Dad). The wee Salamander was not happy - I told her it was the Boomer's fault too. Smart girl, she told me "I don't like Hippies, they're embarrassingly stupid." Tears of joy I tell you, tears of joy from a father ...

OK, back to the subject at hand. Now we are at the point where we steal from our grandchildren in order to ... to .... to do what? Fund more GS-13s to approve the work of GS-12s responding to metric calls from he Dept. of Edu? To fund studies to determine who will conduct the study of the impact of government studies on Ethnic Studies departments at major land-grant institutions? Really?

To fix this will take pain. It will take leadership. It will take a people willing to tell the government, "I don't want the money you just took from my children."

To quote Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) - the DOD better come up with better, more efficient plans.
As OMB director, Daniels was on the National Security Council, and as governor he's visited Indiana troops around the world; he says "it's important to support the commander in chief" on Afghanistan. But he's open to cuts in defense spending beyond those Secretary Robert Gates has imposed. "No question that the system is rigged to overspend," he says, "like health care. No question that defense dollars could be spent better."

"But back to not becoming Greece," he says. "Can we continue with every mission we've assigned the military indefinitely? Is every one essential to the safety of Americans?"

"The answer may be yes," he concedes, "but you may have to stop doing some things completely. We are now borrowing the entire defense budget from international investors."
Gov. Daniels - we have ideas here, we've been discussing them for years. Let me give you the opening chapters - shall we review?

Remove all maneuver ground forces from Europe, Japan, and Korea. Maintain only Joint/Combined training and logistics bases with our allies with a minimum footprint focused on flexible surge response capabilities.


Re-evaluate what little air and sea forces are then stationed overseas. FDNF should be the last to go - if then. Remove balance of USMC personnel from Okinawa along the same lines as Europe.

Eliminate 33% of all Flag/General Officer Staffs (GOFO). Count all personnel savings as actual real savings. Full, no N1 tricks. No transfer of personnel; existing Staffs will have to prioritize and economize. Cut personnel assigned to NATO Staff billets by same amount. Accelerate redeployment of forces from the Arabian peninsula and Iraq back to CONUS. Structure bases in the Muslim world as with Europe - if that.

Cut the ranks of GOFO and their personal Staffs by 50% - negotiate down to a 33% cut if needed. Eliminate the entire SES ranks - but negotiate to a 75% cut if needed. Eliminate 50% of GS and Contractor billets. We fought WWII with less. Let Gen. Mattis do it after he sadly retires if you must. I trust him.

Take remaining GOFO billets and reduce one paygrade except for COCOMS (i.e. Lt.Gen to MajGen). Replace the archaic Goldwater-Nichols Act with something new and better. It is a quarter-century old. If you cannot do that - reset to what worked last and adjust.

Move combat pay and allowences to a daily vice monthly basis - ditto combat exclusion tax-free time. No more "go slow to stay another day inside the line" or strange "we landed on the 30th and returned on the 2nd" trips - etc. Implement a 3-year pay-freeze for all DOD military and all DOD and non-DOD Federal civilian positions. For the next 5-year period after that - civilian raises must be at no-greater-than 75% of any military raise (i.e. military gets 2%, civ gets NGT 1.5%).

Eliminate LCS and transfer those displacing water to the USCG "slick" with their baseline equipment. Dump Mission Modules in Vernon, Michael, and Gary's back yard and move forward. Tell them to put it out with the medal recycling if they wish.


Fast track a true multi-mission EuroFrigate design to be license built here for a run of no less than 12 and no more than 24 ships until a domestic design comes on line as the DDG replacement. NANSEN or ABSALOM would be a nice start. Not perfect - but good.


Make a steady decrease to a 9-carrier force and reinvest part of the savings that isn't taken back into the larger budget for strategic lift, replenishment ships and other unsexy, affordable, and needed expeditionary enabling forces that have been neglected by the Transformatinalists over the last decade. Base two carriers in Norfolk, one in Mayport and the balance on the West Coast.


As we consolidate our forces CONUS - we need to rebuild an expeditionary mindset - one that takes strategic airlift and sea lift seriously. Fully back the AirSea Battle Concept.


The Chinese will challenge us at sea sometime in the next century at a time and place of their choosing. We will have to defeat them at sea and in the air with focused and narrow utilization of ground forces as needed (as only a fool would go toe to toe on mainland Asia against the Chinese - and we don't have to; that is why we have allies).

Europe can handle Russia as she slowly dies and demographically becomes a Muslim nation at the end of the century. If not - their problem. You can't help those who won't help themselves.

We must focus on our economic health. In the last two years we have tripled the national debt - this will take awhile to fix, if we can. A military budget will be part of this fixing.


This is the high water mark; start to think small. Start to think smart. Remember who wasted a decade in Transformatinalist dreams that left the Navy flat footed as the Strategic environment shifted - and then don't do like they did or act with such mindless arrogance surrounded with ubiquitous lick-spittals. Some of the worst will retire soon. Hope we see better leadership that can manage this decline - a decline that is coming.


The decline can be done right - but it won't be done right if you don't think it through early enough. Like an orange tree; prune it right in the bad years when it is sick, and when things get better you have a larger and stronger tree. Ignore it - and it will die.

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SNES Fanboi, player of (series) Shadow Hearts, Suikoden, Castlevania, Drakengard (Nier), Dragon Age, and Torchlight.

"It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the bean of java that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains.  The stains become a warning.  It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion."  -Dunecat
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