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Leave your politics OUT of my textbooks

CrimsonCavalier

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I'm days away from getting my bachelor's degree in psychology (I'm very excited!), and I decided to take some really easy classes this session, because I wanted my last semester to be fun and relaxing.

One of the classes I'm taking is intro to sociology. Now, I'm not a huge sociology fan, but it's easy. I consider sociology to be psychology's dumber younger sibling. It wants to be treated with the same respect psychology does, but no one takes it seriously.

There are some aspects to it that I think are important, and some that are true, but otherwise, it's a lot of observation with observational biases, and overall, I don't find it to be very legitimate. That's all well and good, except this text book is rife with little tidbits of agenda-spreading.

Something like "Research shows that there was a cursed well in the middle of Kakariko Village (Beauts, 2015). It was also racist because no black people lived there."

So the book will give you a fact, or something, and give a reference, but then also throw in a little something extra, with NO reference, of course, because it's a lie and not true.

It got to the point where even on my final exam, there were loaded questions with a political lean to them. For example:

"Why were the people of Kakariko Village racist?"

First of all, they weren't. Second of all, wouldn't a better question for a college level class be "Were the people of Kakariko Village racist? Why or why not? Provide plenty of evidence to back your claim." You know, critical thinking? I was furious at my teacher. I really let her have it on my essay questions.

I'm fed up with this filth being forced on us in the news, online, and now, being taught in our high schools and colleges. There should be no agenda. For anyone, liberal, conservative, ostrich, NO ONE. A textbook should be about facts, not thoughts or ideals. I'm fed up.
 

CrimsonCavalier

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Sounds like that book is just full of red herrings.
Totally. The issue is that those opinions are being presented as fact. Additionally, we're being tested on them. As in, this is what we are expected to learn/believe. It would one thing if the book was full of those things, but they were just subliminal, in a sense. But the fact that we're being tested on them is what makes me very angry.
 

octorok74

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Yeah, I had a lot of those questions on my exams when I was in college. I let my teachers have it with each one. Turns out they don't like that, probably why I failed practically all my classes for the last year. Teachers? Yeah, teaching me crap.
 

CrimsonCavalier

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Yeah, I had a lot of those questions on my exams when I was in college. I let my teachers have it with each one. Turns out they don't like that, probably why I failed practically all my classes for the last year. Teachers? Yeah, teaching me crap.
Well, as much as my teacher may be angry with what I said, the facts I presented are irrefutable. I gave about 12 references to studies and articles that prove my point, and that the book (and therefore the questions she was asking) were complete hogwash.

I mean, she can't take points away because she doesn't like what I said. As long as my answer is based on evidence. And if points are taken away, I'm filing a complaint.

My advice would be to learn it, try your best on the tests, but just secretly never believe any of it (but keep that on the down-low).
NO! I will not even pretend to learn it. Instead, I'm going to be combative and point out all the things that are wrong with it! Why? Because it's my last day of class before I graduate and I don't care! :)

Also, I just can't stand idly by while lies are being taught.
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

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NO! I will not even pretend to learn it. Instead, I'm going to be combative and point out all the things that are wrong with it! Why? Because it's my last day of class before I graduate and I don't care! :)

Also, I just can't stand idly by while lies are being taught.
Then go forth with the blessing of ZD's Scribe of Spirit (Me). Channel my spiritual energy to contradict the very essence of the test, the textbook, and all the lies! Henceforth you will be Spirit Cavalier for as long as you must be!
 

Emma

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It's a bit unavoidable. And much more common than we tend to think. Opinion being presented as fact is something that has been infecting the sciences a lot in the last few decades. There's always been this kind of problem, but it's been getting a lot worse since the 1970s. Climate science is a big one where people's conjectures and opinions constantly get presented, and taught, as fact. It's also incredibly common in psychology and other non-sciences that pretend they're psychology-related science, but you seem to know that already.

Another notable one is anthropology and archaeology. There is quite a bit of this issue in those two disciplines. An example, that you can still see plastered all over certain "notable" and "professional" references on the subject, is cannibalism. Given how much our own culture abhors the practice of cannibalism, many, many people are unable to accept that other cultures have done it. In response they try to teach that saying certain groups practiced cannibalism is just a shaming tactic to belittle and show superiority over primitive cultures. Their own beliefs interfere with their ability to analyze other cultures objectively. And ironically they do exactly what they are accusing the people suggesting that these cultures practice cannibalism that they are accusing them of doing to those cultures: demonizing, shaming, and belittling to show superiority. Despite them being demonstrably wrong, and that there is absolutely no doubt that the cultures in question do practice it, their personal beliefs won't allow it and they instead insist on teaching that they don't and that they're victims of shaming tactics, as fact instead of the truth.

You'll see that a lot in people who try to push their own personal beliefs as "fact". When they lash out at other people who don't believe them, they'll accuse them of doing exactly what they're actually doing themselves. It happens nearly every time.
 

CrimsonCavalier

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It's a bit unavoidable. And much more common than we tend to think. Opinion being presented as fact is something that has been infecting the sciences a lot in the last few decades. There's always been this kind of problem, but it's been getting a lot worse since the 1970s. Climate science is a big one where people's conjectures and opinions constantly get presented, and taught, as fact. It's also incredibly common in psychology and other non-sciences that pretend they're psychology-related science, but you seem to know that already.
Are you saying there global warming issue is overstated?


In response they try to teach that saying certain groups practiced cannibalism is just a shaming tactic to belittle and show superiority over primitive cultures.
Ah yes, the venerable tactic of shaming. I find that this is done when one has no arguments or points to make. I see this a lot in certain ... *ahem* social issues and topics.

I really feel we have a duty to teach facts, not propaganda, in schools, because I see school and education as the removal of ignorance from our society, not a means to get a good job later in life.
 

Emma

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Are you saying there global warming issue is overstated?
Absolutely. But please, let's not get into it here. I don't want it taking over this topic. Another thread would be more appropriate. I will say here though that there's a rather controversial book called State of Fear, written by Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park), that is immensely critical of politics corrupting science. Notably it discusses global warming and the naive belief that cannibalism is merely a shaming tactic against primitive cultures. No matter what side of the line of global warming you're on, it's a book I highly suggest you read. If not changing your mind, it'll at least make you doubt what you're being told.

Ah yes, the venerable tactic of shaming. I find that this is done when one has no arguments or points to make. I see this a lot in certain ... *ahem* social issues and topics.

I really feel we have a duty to teach facts, not propaganda, in schools, because I see school and education as the removal of ignorance from our society, not a means to get a good job later in life.
Everything is politicized now. A very prominent example is the mainstream news. What is the news supposed to do? Tell you what happens. What does it actually do? Tell you how what they say happened relates to their own political agenda. Absolutely everything in it is politicized and cold, hard facts are difficult to come by. You can't know what is actually true. And you absolutely shouldn't just take their word for anything they say. On global warming yes, but on absolutely everything else too. Anything that is said on the media absolutely going to have a political bias on it. That bias is going to warp what you're being told and it's going to make it nearly impossible to tell what's real.

Edward Snowden is a big example. In reality he was a heroic whistle blower who exposed illegal government surveillance. But the media continues to insist he's a criminal that should "come home and face justice" even though that'll mean he'll get a closed door military trial operated by a kangaroo court that'll quickly give him the death penalty without hesitation or a second thought. Or life without parole, to which they'll say "are we not merciful?" Despite the recent court decision that the spying was indeed illegal.
 

CrimsonCavalier

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Absolutely.
I actually absolutely agree with you. I was just making sure I understood what you meant. Fear-mongering, is all it is.

Everything is politicized now. A very prominent example is the mainstream news.
I actually wrote a paper on this very thing. There are no more news; it's all story-telling. Even the most neutral of news sources are extremely biased. The issue is that people want to hear what they want. So, if you're a social conservative, you watch Fox News. If you're uber liberal, you watch MSNBC. And they're both equally guilty.

But to me the biggest culprits are politicians themselves. Like a while back Obama quoted the ¢77 to every $1 woman:man pay gap. I mean, that has been debunked hundreds of times, and the President of the United States of America is still using it? I mean, I know he doesn't write his own speeches and doesn't do his own research, but that is such a lie, such a blatant lie, that I'm disappointed that he would even use it.

But now that he has said it, it has gained even more traction. Even though it's a quantifiable lie.
 

Emma

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I actually wrote a paper on this very thing. There are no more news; it's all story-telling. Even the most neutral of news sources are extremely biased. The issue is that people want to hear what they want. So, if you're a social conservative, you watch Fox News. If you're uber liberal, you watch MSNBC. And they're both equally guilty.
There is The Young Turks as an even more liberal alternative than MSNBC. But they have their bias too. They're strongly biased towards radical feminism, with an occasional exception, they're outragously biased towards global warming alarmists (constantly using shaming tactics against "deniers"). And they are very biased towards Islamic extremism apologists. Like in the recent shootings in Texas at a Draw Muhammad event. They kept saying how they basically "had it coming" because they were "hating on" and "disrespecting" Muslims. Even though they do the same thing to other religions all the time. They didn't go as far as to say they deserved to be shot at, but they did say that they should have known better than to do it. Despite contradictory praising the courage of the people at Charlie Hebdo (the difference being this group just focused on muslims while the other mocked everyone) An uber liberal shouldn't be pro-censorship even of groups you don't like. But they're biased in those three areas in that regard big time, strongly advocating censorship of anyone that disagrees with them on those subjects.

But to me the biggest culprits are politicians themselves. Like a while back Obama quoted the ¢77 to every $1 woman:man pay gap. I mean, that has been debunked hundreds of times, and the President of the United States of America is still using it? I mean, I know he doesn't write his own speeches and doesn't do his own research, but that is such a lie, such a blatant lie, that I'm disappointed that he would even use it.

But now that he has said it, it has gained even more traction. Even though it's a quantifiable lie.
That's where the censorship comes in. You don't believe the lies and misinformation they're pushing out to forward their agenda, then out come the shaming tactics. When shaming tactics come into play, that tells you that, on some level, they're entirely aware that their position is untrue and can't stand against any kind of scrutiny so instead it has to be protected against any kind of criticism. And when any group holds something as more true if someone in authority says it, that's your signal that it's a faith-based belief system rather than an evidence-based one.
 

Jamie

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There is The Young Turks as an even more liberal alternative than MSNBC. But they have their bias too. They're strongly biased towards radical feminism, with an occasional exception, they're outragously biased towards global warming alarmists (constantly using shaming tactics against "deniers"). And they are very biased towards Islamic extremism apologists. Like in the recent shootings in Texas at a Draw Muhammad event. They kept saying how they basically "had it coming" because they were "hating on" and "disrespecting" Muslims.
Interesting that they are biased on everything you disagree with but likely unbiased on everything you agree with, right? Listen, I'm not going to get into a debate about global warming, but there is evidence behind it. I know you think you are more intelligent than millions of scientists, and you are entitled to believe that, but you can't get up everyone's ass for disagreeing with your conspiracy theories.

But I do agree that both TYT and MSNBC are extremely biased. More than that, neither of them are real news. It's basically them ****ting on Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly for an hour. Especially good ol Keith Olbermann (although he's not on MSNBC anymore). Honestly, they should both change their network names to "The '**** on Fox News' Hour".

Let's be honest, all major news stations are full of ****.

Anyways, for the most part, textbooks are chosen by the professors or the department; anyone can write a textbook. It's hard to leave politics out of it, because literally everyone would have to subscribe to this. I think you should talk to your professor about that.
 

Emma

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Interesting that they are biased on everything you disagree with but likely unbiased on everything you agree with, right? Listen, I'm not going to get into a debate about global warming, but there is evidence behind it. I know you think you are more intelligent than millions of scientists, and you are entitled to believe that, but you can't get up everyone's ass for disagreeing with your conspiracy theories.
Yes, because personal attacks, belittling statements, and shaming tactics always makes people believe your side more and discredits the other side and in no way makes you look lacking in confidence about the veracity of your own side.

But I do agree that both TYT and MSNBC are extremely biased. More than that, neither of them are real news. It's basically them ****ting on Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly for an hour. Especially good ol Keith Olbermann (although he's not on MSNBC anymore). Honestly, they should both change their network names to "The '**** on Fox News' Hour".

Let's be honest, all major news stations are full of ****.
In general I'd still trust MSNBC or TYT more than any of the conservative networks. But still they are no where near perfect. There are many cases where TYT clearly did not do the research. At best it just points out something is going on, you have to go around to several different sources on all sides of politics to piece together what's real. If you see both conflicting points of view, that should filter out the unpoliticized parts that you can take. Then you just have to use your best judgement on what is actually going on in the politicized parts. Sometimes it's extremely polarized, sometimes it only is on a few key points. A bit of research can give you a clearer image of what the current situation is.

Anyways, for the most part, textbooks are chosen by the professors or the department; anyone can write a textbook. It's hard to leave politics out of it, because literally everyone would have to subscribe to this. I think you should talk to your professor about that.
Talking to them won't help. Professors will pick books that fit their political ideals. It'll be even more solidified if they wrote it themselves. Questioning them on it will likely just cause them to dock your grade, or at least grade you more harshly even if on a subconcious level. Like news networks, I don't think we're going to find an unpoliticized textbook. Personal bias will be in all of them. It's a big reason why I strongly advocate everyone supplement what they learn in school and college with their own research of multiple different sources. The more you read, after seeing the various conflicting points of view, the better understanding of the overall concepts and what's really going on you are going to have.
 

CrimsonCavalier

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There is The Young Turks as an even more liberal alternative than MSNBC. But they have their bias too. They're strongly biased towards radical feminism, with an occasional exception, they're outragously biased towards global warming alarmists (constantly using shaming tactics against "deniers"). And they are very biased towards Islamic extremism apologists. Like in the recent shootings in Texas at a Draw Muhammad event. They kept saying how they basically "had it coming" because they were "hating on" and "disrespecting" Muslims. Even though they do the same thing to other religions all the time. They didn't go as far as to say they deserved to be shot at, but they did say that they should have known better than to do it. Despite contradictory praising the courage of the people at Charlie Hebdo (the difference being this group just focused on muslims while the other mocked everyone) An uber liberal shouldn't be pro-censorship even of groups you don't like. But they're biased in those three areas in that regard big time, strongly advocating censorship of anyone that disagrees with them on those subjects.
I hate the Young Turks. I find them incredibly offensive and disingenuous. I also hate MSNBC. I hated Keith Olbermann. I thought, back when I was a hardcore liberal, that he was giving liberals a bad name by using the same tactics that trash like Hannity, O'Reiley and Glenn Beck use. I was right and I was wrong. He wasn't giving liberalism a bad name. It has a bad name all on its own, just like conservatism does. TYT are no different from Fox News. The only difference is the spin.

And in regards to TYT telling people they "had it coming", that's no different than someone telling a scantily-clad woman she "had it coming" for dressing that way. I find it funny, then, than they would use that when they've been so adamantly against "victim blaming" in the past. The hypocrisy is never-ending.


That's where the censorship comes in. You don't believe the lies and misinformation they're pushing out to forward their agenda, then out come the shaming tactics. When shaming tactics come into play, that tells you that, on some level, they're entirely aware that their position is untrue and can't stand against any kind of scrutiny so instead it has to be protected against any kind of criticism. And when any group holds something as more true if someone in authority says it, that's your signal that it's a faith-based belief system rather than an evidence-based one.
This is exactly true. Once a n argument strays away from the issue at hand, once you start being insulted, you know you've won.

Anyways, for the most part, textbooks are chosen by the professors or the department; anyone can write a textbook. It's hard to leave politics out of it, because literally everyone would have to subscribe to this. I think you should talk to your professor about that.
Like Matt said, I think coming out and saying something to the teacher will only get her against me. That said, I really tore her a new one in my final's essay question. However, she can't dock me points because I provided about 12 sources to back up my claim. If she docks me points, I'll file a complaint.

That said, I'm sure there are some textbooks that do not push agendas. However, on a subject like sociology which is nothing but agenda, it would be extremely hard to find. Though I find it sad that textbooks on "hard science" also have to be biased, because you'd think you couldn't fluff science.
 

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