Welcome to Keenston, the town of enlightened people, educators and artisans!
We’re keen on building a community where every opinion matters. We care deeply about creativity, enlightenment and culture. We use English to connect with people from all over the world.We are always keen on meeting new Keenstonites!
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Educate and learn
If you want to share your educational experiences, learn new practices from like-minded people and foster critical thinking throughout the world.
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If you're a creative person or want to become one - you can get useful tips, find collaborators internationally and promote your creative endeavors.
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If you want to practise conversational English. In Keenston, you can find interesting people to talk to, take tests and help expand our knowledge base.
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Promoted

To be consistent with our goal to promote enlightenment, critical thinking and learning, we have changed all the reactions to comments, posts and other pieces of content. Now we have the the following signs: 

Light bulb: to react to something that enlightened you

Refresh: to react to something that changed your view

Question mark: to react to something that you think needs more evidence

Disagree sign: to react to something you respectfully disagree with

Our users are not pursuing likes, they are trying to challenge their views, enlighten other people and seek wisdom. 

Promoted

My name is Sasha and I’ve sat in a lot of classes in my life! After high school, I spent six years earning my first degree (5 years at a Russian University and 1 year as an exchange student at an American college) then I took a break and worked in Moscow eventually deciding to spend another 2 years to earn my Master’s degree in the US. I’ve spent 18 years on formal education and certainly I’ve learned a ton. However, I’ve also realized that there are many flaws in the conventional educational system. Very often, education is conflated with indoctrination and educators mold a person into another conforming worker rather than into an independent, unique, inquisitive and creative thinker. This is not right. 

I studied at a regular high school and all kinds of students were brought together into groups of 25-30 people. Despite their different mental faculties, everyone was given the same material and there was always a disparity in how quickly students picked up the material: the slower students were not treated differently at all. That made these students hate their life in high school. For those students who were coping with the material, the whole purpose of the school was to turn them into efficient test takers who could then use their test results to enter universities and make their school proud. However, nobody gave a damn about what the individual student was interested in. Most kids were competing for what their parents and teachers thought was the right fit for the students. 

I was a rather efficient test taker and I got a full ride at a university, the university that looked like the right fit for me. Soon I realized that the university experience was merely a continuation of my high school experience with more specialized classes and exams. Perhaps, it was because of my country’s complicated past: the university system was not helping the students become individuals, it seemed like the system was manufacturing new obedient factory workers. Most professors were cowards who did whatever the administrators were telling them to do. There was only one teacher who stood out in the crowd: he was my literature professor. He was not a conformist and he always said what he thought, that’s why he was not liked by lots of his colleagues. I’d say that he was the only professor in all 5 years of my studying at that university who was truly enlightening his students. 

In 2010, I went to the US as an exchange student to study at a liberal arts college in a progressive state for one year. The experience was different from that at my Russian university: it was okay to say controversial things in classes and the professors could have very different perspectives. We had all kinds of guest speakers who could have their own opinions. It didn’t seem like the professors depended on the administrators too much and I didn’t see any particular agenda that was dominating the college. It felt rather free.

Six years later, when I started my Master’s program in the US in another progressive state, to my dismay, things were different. The professors were teaching their materials effectively and the students had really high IQs but there was clearly a problem with excessive administration and 99% of the students (at least verbally) had the same views on most societal topics. On top of that, I found such concepts as safe spaces and trigger warnings appalling and contradictory to the idea of challenging your views and stepping out of your comfort zone while attending a college. Political correctness was through the roof and groupthink was taking the reins. Strangely, the atmosphere was even more suffocating than that in my post-soviet university. Something had changed in the American higher education. People who had views different from the accepted agenda were afraid to even slightly criticize the vociferous ideologues for fear of being branded a bigot, which they were not at all. It felt rather totalitarian. 

We’re building Keenston to change the perception of how people can be educated, connect those who want to enlighten and be enlightened, help people understand their potential, build their critical thinking skills, be heterodox thinkers, become creators but not copiers and understand the complex world by connecting with people from different cultures. We are going to be an English-speaking site (if you’re not a native speaker, it’s also a great place to improve your English) for people who truly care about enlightenment and who want to make education better throughout the world. We will strive to make Keenston as objective as possible; so we will not use echochamber-creating algorithms but give the user as much academic and creative freedom as possible. We want to foster flexible educational approaches, promote courageous educators, cherish diversity of thought and cultivate nuanced thinking!

 

Causal Fallacy is a logical fallacy in which a person presents an incorrect cause. 

Stan: I think one of the reasons why my project is failing is that I started it in the summer. Everytime I start doing something serious in the summer I end up failing.

Mary: I don't think that this fact had any impact on the outcome. There's a number of objective factors that contributed to the outcome.

Full dialogue here: All argumentation fallacies

Video example: 

Tu Quoque Fallacy (Appeal to hypocrisyis a type of Ad Hominem fallacy in which a person tries to discredit the opponent by claiming that the opponent doesn't act according to the argument's conclusion.

Stan: Well, Mary, you were working on your project for two years and it was clear after one year that it wasn't working out. And now you are trying to convince me to quit so early.

Mary: I agree that I made a mistake and quit much later than I could have. But it doesn't mean that you have to follow my example.

Full dialogue here: All argumentation fallacies

Video example: 

Circular Argument is a logical fallacy in which a person basically makes the same point in both sides of the argument.

Stan: Dan's business is awesome and successful, because Dan is such a successful businessman.

Mary: Not sure how this is relevant but you are making the same point twice... 

 

Full dialogue here: All argumentation fallacies

Video example: 

Hasty Generalization is a logical fallacy in which a person draws a conclusion without providing sufficient data to support it.

Stan: My friend Dan was experiencing serious problems with a project similar to mine but he survived so I should also keep on trying with my project.

Mary: Your friend Dan's case is not representative of the whole population who had similar projects. He succeeded but it doesn't mean that all other people have succeeded. 

Full dialogue here: All argumentation fallacies

Video example: 

Sunk Costs Fallacy is a logical fallacy in which someone argues that something has to continue (project, business etc.) despite being fruitless and unpromising only because a lot of resources has already been used to maintain the project. 

Stan: I have spent so much time, resources and money on my project, I just can't give it up.. Even though it's not working out now, I have to try more and the adoption rate will rebound. All these efforts don't have to be in vain.

Mary: I understand that you feel bitter and you don't want to give up your project. But the fact that you have spent much on the project doesn't have to define what you're going to do next. You clearly didn't find a product-market fit, even though you have a nice product. It's time to move on, scrap the project and start something new benefiting from the experience from your previous project.

Full dialogue here: All argumentation fallacies

Video example: 

Equivocation (ambiguity) is a logical fallacy in which someone uses a phrase or a word in multiple senses in an argument. 

Stan: Well, I have the right to work on my project, therefore it's right for me to continue doing what I'm doing. 

Mary: No one disputes your right to do what you want. But I wouldn't agree that continuing your project is a right thing to do. 

Full dialogue here: All argumentation fallacies

Video example: 

 
 
Standardized testing is used universally nowadays in the university and school systems to select people based on how well they performed on the test. While a standardized test could be an efficient way to assess a person's mental abilities/IQ, it could also miss other important aspects of human mind and nature. 
 
 

Slippery Slope Fallacy is a logical fallacy in which somebody suggests an unlikely outcome in an argument without providing enough data.

Adam: I know what happens to people who don't care about college degrees.. They start exploring different options, try this, try that. They think they can succeed by doing something unusual, but the thing it's super hard to do something unique, so when you realize it, it's too late and nobody wants to employ you because you have no degree and you end up on the street.

ET: Not going to college doesn't mean you're doomed for failure. Yes, it's immensely hard to create something new and not copy anyone. But like I said, there are many other alternatives to college nowadays. The prestige of college degrees is overrated. But still it doesn't mean that nobody should pursue college education. For many people it's a viable option. But it also doesn't mean that going to college is the only way to succeed.

Full dialogue here: All argumentation fallacies

Video example: 

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