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More Money Than Brains: Why Schools Suck,…
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More Money Than Brains: Why Schools Suck, College is Crap, and Idiots…

by Laura Penny

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I have three university-aged children and an ex-husband who teaches at a university. My youngest son is starting at a liberal arts college this fall, and when I saw the subject of this book, I had to pick it up. I took a "practical" first degree myself, and have all my life wished I was more educated, rather than trained.
Penny's discussion of the dumbing down of academia and the rejection of intelligence reads so true as I hear it from my kids - the total focus on jobs as vs. learning how to think, the disrespect for knowledge. Penny rants merrily onwards, leaving me snorting out loud as I read it in public, encouraging me to drop everything else and read more. Her style is breezy, cheeky, snarky and often filled with four-letter words. It makes me desperate to audit one of her classes. I think she'd be a hoot. She makes her case well, supports it with information, but never lets that make the reading dull or tedious. I like the way she takes both the Americans and we Canadians to task - suffering as we are under a government that thinks not answering questions is the way to run an election (and finding out to my horror that they are probably right), I mourn the loss of intelligent debate.
This book is a must read for anyone with kids going to college, teachers, policy wonks, well, just everybody. Settle in somewhere where your laughter won't bother the inhabitants, and get ready for a wild, fun, and informative ride. ( )
  Dabble58 | Jan 1, 2014 |
Anti-intellectualism examined. Not a bad book, but it's written for the audience it's mocking. ( )
  kaelirenee | Oct 2, 2013 |
More Money than Brains by Laura Penny
A wonderful read for some, but not for those who fail to think. This is a short read at 250 pages but the author fills these pages with an informative and enjoyable style. Although the book deals with recent declines in societies ability to think forward, the pace is never slow. With comments about freedumb, and idiocracy used when describing many of the actions of our political and business leaders, Laura Penny is able to entertain with some humor in what is in some ways a very sad book. Economic factors are tools to help advance society but we are increasingly looking at the economic changes as guiding our civilization. This is occurring as we are inundated with poor information and partial information; stories that are spun to lead us to a conclusion and allowing us to avoid thinking ourselves. Our education system is being altered to produce workers and not individuals able to think critically. Those who do think critically are labeled as being out of touch with the “real world.” This is poignant in light of the recent financial difficulties where anyone who questioned the trend of making money from money, rather than making money through production was marginalized. The author does point out that many of those who had the predictions so very wrong, kept their jobs, positions, and elected seats.
She points out that as people become wealthier as individuals, many fail to recognize why this wealth was gained. The increasing influence of business types and politicians that do not understand how a culture and a civilization function, as well as how economic advantage is obtained, serves to limit our abilities to pass opportunities to our children.
The ideologues may not like this book. People who “think” probably will appreciate what the book says.
Recommended reading.
  77book | Oct 13, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771070489, Hardcover)

One of Canada's funniest and most incisive social critics reveals why in North America, where governments spend so much on schools and colleges, training is valued far more than education and loud-mouth ignoramuses are widely and publicly celebrated.

Public education in the United States is in such pitiful shape, the president wants to replace it. Test results from Canadian public schools indicate that Canadian students are at least better at taking tests than their American cousins. On both sides of the border, education is rapidly giving way to job training, and learning how to think for yourself and for the sake of dipping into the vast ocean of human knowledge is going distinctly out of fashion.

It gets worse, says Laura Penny, university lecturer and scathingly funny writer. Paradoxically, in the two nations that have among the best universities, libraries, and research institutions in the world, intellectuals are largely distrusted and yelping ignoramuses now clog the arenas of public discourse.

A brilliant defence of the humanities and social sciences, More Money Than Brains takes a deadly and extremely funny aim at those who would dumb us down.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:33 -0400)

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