Thursday, January 29, 2009

Norwegian Education System Declares Failure

I really don't know what else to call it.

I guess I can understand that a lot of average joes are idiots. I mean, it feels like such a natural assumption that that's why they are average joes. But our leaders really, strictly speaking, ideally, ought to be the best & brightest among us. Deep down I know that in my country it is to a large extent not so. (One of the reasons why I to be honest would prefer an oligarchy or an absolute monarchy (of the enlightened type ;-) to democracy. But that's another story.)

I just don't see why they have to rub our faces in it. I don't see how we have come to this place where it's actually OK for someone to go public in nationwide media and say, I am a cabinet member and I am an enormous idiot!!! Yes, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, State Secretary of the Health Department, I'm looking at you. And Olav Gunnar Ballo, MP, I'm looking at you!! You are a medical doctor!! Hanssen has, to be honest, never struck me as the sharpest knife in the drawer, as we say round these parts ... but Ballo, isn't he supposed to be, I don't know ... of slightly above average intelligence? I thought people learned stuff in med school. Have I been wrong all these years? o_O

I'm tempted to use the phrase 'deranged by grief' in some connection here, but that would be pretty distasteful, wouldn't it.

It's so sad to see that the general public seems to have so little rational ability, so little interest in reasoning and logic, so little scientific knowledge - and I'm not really talking about facts, either, but just basic and simple methodology. Our educational system must have some fundamental flaw for this sad - I almost want to say tragic - condition that so many Norwegians seem to be in.

I'm talking, of course, about everybody's favorite clairvoyant healer, Joralf Gjerstad, the man from Snåsa. I am SO SICK of hearing about that guy ... !!! To the point that I don't want to get into the issue here. If you read Norwegian, you can go to fellow blogger Gunnar Tjomlid's blog and read his very insightful posts on the subject - this one, or this one, or this one. He's argued the case much better than I ever could. You can take it as read that I agree with what he has to say on this issue. I've had it up to here with stories about how 'there must be something to it' ... I don't want to get into it anymore.

I just want to say a few things that I need to get off my chest or blow a fuse.

Bjarne Håkon Hanssen claims that Gjerstad cured his son's colic. They called him on the phone and he did his voodoo thang and then the kid was cured. WTF??! Did I just get transported to a parallell universe?? Because in the dimension I normally live in, colic is a self-limiting condition.

Olav Gunnar Ballo claims that bleeding can be staunched through prayer. o_O He knows a prayer himself that can do this!! NO, you fucking imbecile, YOU DON'T!!! Show me the money, idiot. Just show everyone the money. It is so sad and so depressing and so basically tragic that a person can go through the school system in this country, through university, med school!! and still not have learned the difference between anecdotal evidence and significant statistics. Say your prayer, man, say your fucking prayer ... and let it be tested in a double blind randomized test. Then we'll see what staunches bleeding. There are so many examples of it [working], so I think there must be some kind of effect. If I wasn't so hopping mad, I think I'd cry.

VG quotes Ballo (who is quoted from Dagbladet in the paragraph above) as having said the following: I think there's more between heaven and earth than we know, and if we as health care personnel deny that, we'll alienate a lot of people.

Someone punch me, please ...

Yes, you may alienate some people. These people are known as idiots. Ignoramuses. Brødhuer. Alienate away!! Maybe if you do, some of them might be inspired to actually learn something. That's not going to happen with your approach, Mr Ballo.

As for there being more between heaven and earth (I am SO SICK of that expression!!) ... that really is a sad, pathetic statement. How did this man become a doctor?? His logical ability seems to be on the level of a grade schooler. YES, there is more between heaven and earth than in most other places. >:-) And no, we don't understand all of it. But that does not mean that there is anything extant that defies the laws of nature!!! Unknown does not equate supernatural. Mr Ballo, your party has lost my vote. I usually vote Labor, but I have been known to cast the occasional vote for the Socialist Left as well. No more of that while Ballo remains on their lists for Parliament.

Joralf Gjerstad now claims that he predicted the war in Gaza. (zomg he must be clairvoyant!! It must be true!! After all, that conflict was so unlikely and so unprecedented that no one could possibly have just guessed that it would occur!! Give me a fucking break.) He claims that he did this during a dinner with (among others, I assume) State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.

Not that I think this will happen, but I just have to say it: If Jonas Gahr Støre goes public with his 'support' and 'understanding' of Joralf Gjerstad, then I will lose all faith in humanity.

In closing, I have to say that it deeply saddens me to hear the voices of reason in this debate labelled as 'skeptics', with all the connotations that carries. It does not bode well for the nation when rationality, which by rights should trump groundless belief ten times out of ten, is dismissed as 'skepticism' by those who ought to be the brightest minds among us. :-(


AudiX78 said...

chill out ;-) they only have too much spare time between them... and let us indeed use the prayer to stop his bleedings insted of medical procedures if he ever gets himself involved in an accident... :-) that should shut him up permanently lol

Paz said...

I know people that have gone to college and have gotten Ph.D's and are still morons. Our Taoiseach(Prime Minister) and our Finance Minister are reported to have the highest IQ's in our government yet come up with rash unthought out plans to stabilize the economy!

Leisha Camden said...

I wish I could chill out - these idiots are legitimizing this con man and people are just eating it up. I'm surrounded by idiots! Good idea though about how to shut Ballo up. ;-)

Paz - if it was only our MPs maybe I wouldn't be so mad. But this guy seems to be tapping into something really scary in our society. Like when they do polls they get what, almost 50% saying they believe in this shit. Clairvoyance and healing over the phone and I don't know what all. Surrounded by idiots ... :-(

KAS said...

Well. At least it made me finally get around to joining SKEPSIS. Something I've been meaning to do for years.

Leisha Camden said...

You and me both.

Anonymous said...

Awww I'm sorry that your leaders are acting like dicks, er, I mean, religious. Wait, aren't those two the same?
No, being educated does not mean that you're smart, and being part of the government doesn't mean that you're smart, either--just look at America, and the unfortunate religiosity and stupidity of so many in the government.
I hope it straightens out soon for you, good luck electing someone with more than a few strands of brain in his/her head.
(Also, I like AudiX78's idea, that if he's ever wounded, we pray for him instead of using medicine to heal him. It works so well, right?!)