Are We Getting Stupider? Or Just More Stupid?

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AgentPete

Capo Famiglia
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May 19, 2014
London UK
Have a look at this.



Now, there could be a lot wrong with this video.

The most glaring omission is – what was the sample size? How many students did they have to interview to find a handful of feeble-minded ones? If, say, they spoke to a thousand, of which this is the pig-ignorant rump... then it’s really not so bad.

Nevertheless, my apocalyptic instincts whisper that this is how the world will end... not with a whimper, but with a gormless shrug.

Tell me I’m wrong, please...
 
I always take this kind of videos with a grain of salt... This one sort of tells all about it:



I never saw one believable, comprehensive study that would show that we are getting more ignorant (as a single nation or as whole). Its always "anecdotal evidence". So, I tend to be an optimist. :)
 
Onya mate! Still, no idea what it's about, the link shows as broken for me, but that could be the problematic net service here?
 
OMG, now that it works I'm seriously wondering.... how the heck do they not know there own history? I bet everyone of us knows the answers - except the Vice-President, I have no clue. Please don't ask them where the English language comes from! o_O
 
Standardised testing has to take a lot of the blame for the ignorance of kids today. The focus of schools has narrowed so much, as teachers' and schools' performance and funding is increasingly dependent on their students' performance on standardised tests that only measure reading and math skills. Kids are taught to perform well on those tests, and that's about it.
 
Standardised testing has to take a lot of the blame for the ignorance of kids today.

Rings true for me. I don't think I've met a teacher in recent years who doesn't complain about that aspect of the job. Might be an interesting topic for a future LAD...
 
Have a look at this.



Now, there could be a lot wrong with this video.

The most glaring omission is – what was the sample size? How many students did they have to interview to find a handful of feeble-minded ones? If, say, they spoke to a thousand, of which this is the pig-ignorant rump... then it’s really not so bad.

Nevertheless, my apocalyptic instincts whisper that this is how the world will end... not with a whimper, but with a gormless shrug.

Tell me I’m wrong, please...

This pisses me off like to the 11th power.

No, this is pretty much a representative sampling. I've heard of much more extensive surveys, circa the early 2000s, and a huge percentage of high school students had no idea who the vice-president was. A chilling percentage didn't even know who the sitting president was.

Survival should be a privilege. Take that Bill of Rights.
 
Is it for real I keep asking myself? All I know is, I'd be very VERY surprised if every Kiwi and Aussie didn't know all about the American civil war and Independence from England. Certainly true in the 1960-70's, but I don't know about now? A survey down under on the same questions could be interesting.
 
Is it for real I keep asking myself? All I know is, I'd be very VERY surprised if every Kiwi and Aussie didn't know all about the American civil war and Independence from England. Certainly true in the 1960-70's, but I don't know about now? A survey down under on the same questions could be interesting.
You'd think so, right? With all the knowledge you've amassed?
Like, ask me about the Prussian War! The fall of Constantinople! You're coming at me with "who is the vice president?"
I like to think I'm only slightly above-average. Apparently we here are qualified to rule the world.
 
In the first decade or two of the C20th, education was a highly-prized thing among many ordinary British people. Yes, as a means of self-advancement - but also in a purer sense, knowledge for its own ennobling sake.

You can get a feeling of this from things like the Association to promote the Higher Education of Working Men... and from books such as the voluminous Harmsworth Self-Educator (“A Golden Key To Success In Life”).

I’m wondering when, where and how education became so devalued that it’s now cool to be dumb. My own theory: young people have been ruthlessly conned by a media apparatus that simply wants to farm them...
 
My mother taught me to read. I started school aged 5 in 1968. Phonics/phonetics was coming in. I think a kind of sloppiness might have come with it. I certainly did not learn to read at school, and my children needed a lot of help, going through school. Not that they were thick, or lazy, but they were in a learning climate that had a kind of inverted snobbery about it, where you got grief for sounding 'posh' or asking questions in class.
 
It's not just the education system that's to blame for people's ignorance. It's the influence of corporations controlling all branches of entertainment and news media that dictates what the public are spoon-fed as being important. These business magnates have their interests to protect, and with politicians in their pocket through funding election campaigns, as well as under the table bribes, then their influence spreads far and wide. Human nature is such that we don't want to look at unpleasant truths about suffering, so if there's a nice flashy story about some celebrity's latest indiscretion then folk will turn to that lapping up the salacious details.

Geography is an influence too, the size of a country. I lived in Atlanta for three years, which is by far the largest city in Georgia with the metropolitan area having more than 5,500,000 inhabitants. It's a world unto itself, and it struck me that many city dwellers I met had no idea what was going on in some small town out in the boondocks 50 miles away. As for what was happening in Iowa, then forget it. But this is partly because of how news is reported on television, which is very much focused on the immediate area. Unless there's some huge disaster, such as an earthquake in California, then Atlanta citizens were ignorant of the state of the union.

Again, some of this is down to their thoughts being manipulated by those controlling the media, moguls like Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch, who won't promote any stories that might harm their business interests. My ex-wife was rabid Republican, who was so right wing that she would have made Genghis Khan look like a social worker! She considered George W Bush to be a big wuss, even as he sent troops into Iraq. Mark Twain's jokey adage that 'God created war so that Americans would learn war' came true again, and at least some Americans learned more about this part of the world while giving the enemy some shock and awe.

Coverage of the issues involved was so over-simplified that I despaired, so I persuaded my ex-wife to at least look at the BBC's world service handling of the same stories. She was amazed at how much CNN and Fox news networks skewed the way they described things, as the BBC showed more sides of a story. 9/11 and the consequent warfare showed another aspect of the media to me, for politicians are largely absent from American news between their election campaigns—giving them a false credibility when they do eventually pop up, such as in the crisis caused by terrorist attacks. In the U.K. it's impossible to get away from politicians in the news, which while boring does at least give we citizens a greater political awareness and a knowledge of the issues that our elected representatives are lying to us about.

Politicians, and billionaires controlling the media, favour the old mushroom management way of influencing the thoughts of the public—keep them in the dark, and feed them with shit. Most people like the taste too, so is it any surprise that the average youngster knows more about Kim Kardashian's choice of makeup, than what's happening with refugees drowning in the Mediterranean?
 
It's cultural; education is just one face, but a hugely influential one, expressing the prevailing culture. Though, re: frivolities such as taking any notice of those boring Kardashians, there is so much anguish in our faces, non stop, not because the world is worse, but we are being told about it, abjured to don the hair shirts 24/7 now, I understand the need for avoidance and escapism. My father rarely watched the news. He had to live with manic depression and the news made him ill. It's human nature to want to solve a problem, and hard when it is not within our immediate power, individually or collectively.
 
Skewed, all right. And the BBC is biased as hell, and I love my homeland deeply, but am bound to agree, even agree with Russia sometimes; that the West can be plain stupid, from either side of any given argument.
 
It's not just the education system that's to blame for people's ignorance. It's the influence of corporations controlling all branches of entertainment and news media that dictates what the public are spoon-fed as being important. These business magnates have their interests to protect, and with politicians in their pocket through funding election campaigns, as well as under the table bribes, any surprise that the average youngster knows more about Kim Kardashian's choice of makeup, than what's happening with refugees drowning in the Mediterranean?
This so very well put, and the argument is correct. I can't help thinking about the proles in Orwell's "1984"; most of them were quite content with the way things were.
 
Have a look at this.



Now, there could be a lot wrong with this video.

The most glaring omission is – what was the sample size? How many students did they have to interview to find a handful of feeble-minded ones? If, say, they spoke to a thousand, of which this is the pig-ignorant rump... then it’s really not so bad.

Nevertheless, my apocalyptic instincts whisper that this is how the world will end... not with a whimper, but with a gormless shrug.

Tell me I’m wrong, please...


Having been a teacher for 10 long years, I have to admit that this is the norm. Is there a dumbing down of America going on? Of course there is! The sixties scared the politicians so much that they decided to drug its youth and then keep them entertained with MTV.
 
So we could go back to the dark ages when most people could NOT write. They'll be able to read (hopefully) and use a keyboard, just not actually write. Hm, the black utopia rises finally!
 
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Having been a teacher for 10 long years, I have to admit that this is the norm. Is there a dumbing down of America going on? Of course there is! The sixties scared the politicians so much that they decided to drug its youth and then keep them entertained with MTV.
Basically, yes! And added to that is the fact that the commercial cartels are also making sure that they are all turning into extreme consumers and that takes energy and attention time. However, I have this hope that when the moment arises, people will still take to the barricades, that the spirit of the sixties is still there, and those youngsters in the video will show a different side.
 
Basically, yes! And added to that is the fact that the commercial cartels are also making sure that they are all turning into extreme consumers and that takes energy and attention time. However, I have this hope that when the moment arises, people will still take to the barricades, that the spirit of the sixties is still there, and those youngsters in the video will show a different side.


Keep dreaming, sister! That will only happen if we teach our children and grandchildren the ways of the past.
 
My kids (ages 12 and 14) are getting a public education here in the USA. I just asked them the questions posed to the Cal Tech students on the first video.

The 14-year-old got all of them right except two. She didn't know the name of vice president or who Brad Pitt married. In fact, she didn't even know who Brad Pitt is. Boy, does that make me feel old! But, she knew Snookie was on Jersey Shore. So did the 12-year-old.

The 12-year-old didn't know the year we gained our independence, who Brad Pitt is and who he married, or the name of the Vice President. But he breezed through the other questions. BTW, he was gaming online with a classmate who is 11-years-old. He knew most of the anwers as well.

This makes me suspicious of the video. I'm imagining that the majority of students knew the answers. The producer chose only the most ignorant ones to highlight . . . because there wouldn't be much of a story if college kids were actually somewhat knowledgable of history.
 
Keep dreaming, sister! That will only happen if we teach our children and grandchildren the ways of the past.
Absolutely right. And if we're to be successful we should try to bring back the extended family contact. Due to our live's little ways (I refuse to use the word "exigencies") I see my boy and his children once every three weeks for a whole day. I do my best. The grandchildren know it's a no-tech but talk day and they seem to enjoy it. A favourite topic (ages 11 and 13) is the existence of the deity. During the last visit I found myself telling both children and parent about James Baldwin. But once every three weeks isn't very much, is it?
 
It isn't very much if you miss them and would like more, there's no arguing with feelings. But a child, fledged, has fledged, and taken on their own baton. You've raised your child, showed and taught what you could. Now it's their turn, to do it their way as best they can, as you did, but with you on hand if they need. They will take from you, what they take, and maybe some of it will take a long time to gather meaning for them. That it's actually so often, suggests to this complete outsider, that the tie is pretty strong. My younger one is 21 one now, still very close to home, and I don't look forward to the empty nest but know I must find myself prepared. It's been much on my mind, trying to support her launch; and I do feel for you, in what you are saying.
 
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