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The benefits of creative thinking are frequently espoused, but is there actually a shortage of creativity in the world? Would we actually be better off if we were more creative, or are we already creative enough, or perhaps even too creative?
Education entails equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed in life and contribute to society. Pickup artists regard their strategies as "missing education" for men - after all - finding a partner is a prerequisite to creating more young people. Critics have a number of objections, including that the strategies are ineffective, unscientific, and immoral.
Advocates of voting proclaim that voting is the duty of a democratic citizen. Critics say that your vote will almost certainly be inconsequential, since elections are seldom won by a single vote. Furthermore, the critics claim that in the case the parties don't offer significant differences, that the impact of that single vote is reduced.
A common idea in informal social psychology is that fitting into one's peer group doesn't matter. The problem, if it is even a problem at all, is with the cliquishness, snobbery, and meanness of the peers, rather than with the individual. However, the contrary viewpoint is that a difficulty to fit in may indicate a lack of social skills of the individual, and that this difficulty if unaddressed impedes his or her social development.
From art through to advertisements, we see images of attractive people. Are these images chosen simply because they reflect what we already find appealing, or are they reshaping our perceptions?
Whether it's ignorance or a lack of intelligence, the older generation often thinks the younger generation embodies it. With respect to intelligence, at least some empirical studies seem to validate the youthful, showing that the average IQ of the population increases over time at about 3 points per decade (though recently it appears to have stagnated). This has prompted researchers to investigate the underlying causes and whether there is an issue with how intelligence is measured.
Intelligent Design is the theory that God created complex life, as an alternative to the theory of evolution. Critics of teaching it in school claim that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, but a religious one.
Robin Hanson
People care what others think about them. In fact they usually care _a lot_, more than they care to admit. Since caring less is considered admirable ... people often say and signal ... that they care less than others[.] It seems ... that while people do vary ... this variation is ... more about _which_ others they care about. "Conformists" tend to care about ... a usual mix of people weighted by a standard status. "Non-conformists", in contrast ... car[e] about non-standard status audiences.
Albert Einstein
I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
Edward Ingram
Creativity is cheap. All you need do is concoct a stupid idea - that Venusians invented marshmallows, for instance - and you'll be creative. As for self-expression, you express yourself every time you break wind. ... Michelangelo confessed that he never created a statue; he released his statues, he said, from pre-existing forms encased in blocks of marble. ... Bach wasn't original. Einstein wasn't original. ...creativity and self-expression dumb people down. Platonism dumbs people up.
Oprah Winfrey
...right-brained skills such as design and storytelling will become far more crucial than traditionally left-brained skills such as accounting and computer programming. While the latter skills are readily outsourced, transformative abilities such as empathy and creativity are crucial in a new age...
Robin Hanson
...much of the hoopla over creativity is a crock. Why? Because we are already up to our eyeballs in it. Make no mistake: Innovation matters. Nothing is more essential for long-term economic growth. But to get more innovation we may want less, not more, creativity. ... In truth, we don't need more suggestion boxes or more street mimes to fill people with a spirit of creativity. We instead need to better manage the flood of ideas we already have and to reward managers for actually executing them.
Po Bronson
The potential consequences [of dropping creativity levels] are sweeping. The necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed. ... All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
In the end, it all seems to turn (for both PUAs and certain social cons) on a paranoid conviction that, because of some heretofore unseen combination of cultural and biological circumstances, a large subset of marriageable men will be “denied access” to the wives owed them; women will either choose to go the child-rearing route alone, climb from hypergamous match to hypergamous match, or be part of an alpha males’ harem of offspring-producing females...
Elizabeth Haag
But when I heard the advice, to me, it was sort of common sense. It was the sort of thing we women tell each other to do all the time. ... What I came to learn over time was that many men are really clueless about dating, sex and relationships. They genuinely don't realize that they stand too close, or touch your arm in a weird way. They're baffled by the difference between our flirtatious ribbing and straight-up rejection. ... Ninety-nine percent of the curriculum didn't bother me at all.

New Comments

1 Point       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
No, because it isn’t science.

If you want to teach in RE class (for Americans reading this: Religious Education (RE) is a mandatory class in some British schools intended to teach about various types of religion [whether RE should exist is a separate question]) that some people believe it, then fine, but it has no place whatsoever in a science classroom.

1 Point       Radio Gaga       19 Apr 2012     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
"I don't get it."
That's understandable.
Like :-)

I have to debate about this topic in school (in English and not in science) and I don`t find many arguments for Intelligent Science.
My personal belief is that Intelligence Design should not be taught in science class because seperation of Church and State is an achievement made just two centuries ago. There`s no reason to condemn it now.
I don`t think Intelligence Design is a proper scientific theory. Darwin has some arguments which sound more convincing and logical to me.

0 Points       Benja       23 Nov 2011     Are people getting stupider? General Comment
"However, I would say that willful ignorance is more rampant and more abundant than ever before"
See The Good Old Days Pitch.

0 Points       Nashhinton       23 Nov 2011     Are people getting stupider? Mostly Disagree
According to the Flynn effect, people living across the world are dramatically increasing their IQ. The reason for this is possibly because of an increase in online education or better nutrition for people living in 3rd world nations. However, I would say that willful ignorance is more rampant and more abundant than ever before. But of course, ignorance and intelligence are two different things.

By the way "stupider" isn't a word.

1 Point       Nashhinton       21 Nov 2011     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
Intelligent design is mainly a form of religious creationism, and if it were taught in public schools (which are government owned institutions) it would violate the separation of church and state found in the first amendment of the united states constitution.

-1 Point       Al Bikaadi       12 Sep 2011     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Agree
Evolutionary Theory is science, true. What is science? It is based on observation and hypothesis, measurement and analysis. Given that there is no such thing as undiluted immediate objectivity, it is clearly not the only conclusion to be had by these processes. Intelligent Design is a different conclusion from the same processes. It should absolutely be included in the science classroom!

1 Point       J. Ripley       02 Sep 2011     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
"Intelligent Design" is not a THEORY. It isn't even an HYPOTHESIS. It is a religious belief. A theory is a statement that is based on observational data that can be reproduced by any observer in a lab or observational location. An hypothesis is not raised to the level of a theory until it can be demonstrated over and over and over again to be valid in all situations of testing and observation. Religious beliefs should be personal and not be imposed upon others.

1 Point       Keller Scholl       27 May 2011     Is it important to fit in with your peer group? General Comment
At the risk of coming from a personal example that fails to generalize, I will explain how I see and use this principle.

There is a difference between "share the same attitude" and fit in with. Among the friends who share my penchant for discovery and debate, I count a right wing Christian conservative and a pastafarian programmer. I don't, unless I am consciously making an effort to change my behaviour, fit in with my friends. But we have some commonality strong enough to bind us, and that allows us to have different experiences, while getting along. And sadly, yes, many people I am friendly with don't share that attitude.

More generally:
Sharing one attitude does not entirely determine "fit." When all of your friends are upper class protestant kids with liberal/conservative politics similar to your own, you should be terrified. When all of your friends agree with you on a single thing and you have not consciously selected for that thing, you should be worried. The key difference is conscious selection. I know that I select my friends, at least partially, for their tolerance and interest in discussion. I value that trait. If I found that all of my friends were liberal in social issues and mixed on economic ones, despite me not selecting for that, I would be more worried but not unduly terrified, as I have found a correlation among people I have dealt with between inquiry, tolerance, and liberal politics. If I found all my friends were upper class, I would stop, halt, and catch on fire. What you know you will be biased by hurts you less. If you find selecting for a trait to be worth the benefit/induction of bias tradeoff, it is acceptable. What is bad is doing so without considering the tradeoff, or doing so without even realising there is something off about it.

0 Points       Benja       27 May 2011     Is it important to fit in with your peer group? General Comment
"I disagree with my friends frequently, respectfully, and honestly. They come from different places, are in different places, and have different stories from me."

At the risk of coming across as overly facetious, the irony here is that if your friends all shared this admirable attitude that you have, you'd fit in quite nicely with your peer group.

1 Point       Keller Scholl       27 May 2011     Is it important to fit in with your peer group? Disagree
It is important to have a group. They shouldn't be chosen by age, or whom your mother likes, or who your dad, but by who you find yourself enjoying time with and finding common ground with. I agree with the importance of having a group, and having them be your "equals," for whatever you value in life, can be a good thing.

But fitting in with your peer group simply displays a worrisome lack of critical thought, reinforces current biases and stereotypes, and makes it harder for you to learn because the people you are dealing with have little to teach you because they are so like you. I disagree with my friends frequently, respectfully, and honestly. They come from different places, are in different places, and have different stories from me. We are not each other, because a world made of clones would be boring. I try to find unique individuals, who are different from me. Race, class, gender, philosophy, extroversion, intellectualism, ect, all can be important differences that give us a chance to learn. Having a friend who is exactly like me is a waste of both of our times. It is important to have some common ground for effective communication, but no more than what is needed should be looked for.

1 Point       pineconedegg       25 Mar 2011     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
Nonscientific theories should not be taught as science. The gaps in evolution do not imply Intelligent Design any more than the gaps in our understanding of gravity imply Intelligent Falling.

1 Point       Michelle       11 Mar 2011     Does the media distort our perception of beauty? Mostly Agree
Thought you might enjoy this video make about how the media influences our perceptions on beauty. The video was made for a media class.


New Editorial Comments

0 Points       Benja       18 Jul 2010     Is creativity overrated? Editorial Comment
Maybe: it more combines than entangles those questions, with the debate on this issue dependent on there being a difference between the value society puts on creativity and the value one thinks society should put on creativity.

1 Point       JGWeissman       17 Jul 2010     Is creativity overrated? Editorial Comment
This question is hard to answer because it entangles two more basic questions:

How valuable is creativity?
How much, in general, does society value creativity?

Education Question Index

Is it important to fit in with your peer group?
Is creativity overrated?
Should pickup artist strategies be considered good education?
Does the media distort our perception of beauty?
Are people getting stupider?
Is not bothering to vote acceptable?
Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class?
Are Americans on average stupider than non-Americans?
Does the Scared Straight program deter criminal behavior?