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Friday, December 6, 2019

China v. The U.S.: The Battle Of Strategic Thinking

America is in a dreadful state. Has been for awhile. One of the reasons for that was and is the awful state of public education.
Note: this post is a part of the series:

Albert Einstein said that the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
So, let’s use our imagination.

Let us imagine an economy where almost all jobs require physical strength (digging trenches, lifting heavy things, etc.). What will happen to this economy if due to whatever reasons eventually 90 % of all people become dystrophic with some kind of muscular atrophies? The best-case scenario, they all will be so smart and will build robots that can build other robots and will do all the physical work. The worst-case scenario – that economy will decline, that society will degrade.

Our current and future economy is said to be based on extensive use of high-level knowledge. In 2016, two-thirds of the labor force had at least some college experience. Another report says that in 2018 nine out of ten jobs went to people with college a degree. And another report says that in 2020 out of 55 million job openings only 36 % can be filled by high-school graduates, and the rest will require some college education.

There is no doubt that in the future, the majority of jobs will require people with advanced abilities to think. As I wrote in The Road To World Domination Lies Through Mass Education; Part II, the knowledge economy has not reached yet its full capacity, but it has already become outdated, because the future economy will not be based on the ability to quickly retrieve some facts from a memory, but will be based on the ability for designing solutions to new problems.

And that ability is based on a highly developed brain.

What will happen to an economy if the majority of people will have an underdeveloped atrophic brain?

=>  That economy will become stagnant; that society will become the loser of the economic world.

It will not happen tomorrow, or even in a decade. But it will inevitably happen if the education of the masses will lag the demand for smart people – not just knowledgeable, but also smart!

And the education of the masses will lag the demand for smart people when the government does not state such a goal (i.e. producing smart people) – as a specific goal for the full educational system.

There is another famous saying that is attributed to Albert Einstein: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.”
I’m pretty sure that Einstein meant a different word, like “idiocy” or “stupidity”, but he was just too polite to use it.

However, according to the Einstein’s definition, all administrators on all levels of American system of education, and all people running various educational programs in the government (including NSF) and philanthropy (including Gates Foundation) are insane. For decades (!) those people have been doing the same things over and over again, without making any significant difference.

“Design economy” may seem like in a distant future. But it will never be achieved if someone – an individual, or an institution, or an agency – will not start a deliberate research on how to make all students to be (1) knowledgeable and (2) smart.

Before it’s too late.

Evidently, China becomes the front-runner in the race toward the development of the mass education system that will be required for the economic domination in the future world.

15-year-old students in China are almost four full grade levels ahead of
15-year-old students in the United States in mathematics.

When formally a nine-grader has an actual math skill of a fifth-grader, that person will never be able to reach any sufficient level of thinking. Never. Too late. Period. And there are many colleges where college-level education is not much better (I have evidence!).

The question remains – who, and more importantly – when – will some person with a developed brain (hence – imagination), or an institution/organization ran by a person with a developed brain (hence – imagination) take this issue as serious as it must be taken and starts doing something about it?

Appendix I
What if even though 90 % of the population has underdeveloped brain, the other 10 invent advanced AI that builds robots enough to take care of the economy? Possible?

Well, theoretically - yes. Practically, (a) the human-level AI is not coming any soon (decades!); (b) what a society that would be?

Appendix II
About ten years ago I read some piece on China. The author was ensuring people that China would need decades to catch up with the U.S.. I wrote a short comment: there is "no" China, there are two "Chinas" - "Poor China" that is a constant supply of a cheep labor for "Rich China", that already has the size of America. In America there are 300 million people. "Rich China" already has 300 million RICH people, rich by American standards. This is how economists and politicians have to analyse China.
In ten years this comment has become only stronger.

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