Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Near and Dear

Near and dear to my heart is the dumbing down of the populace I see each day. Little things like simple math skills gone missing. A complete lack of knowledge of the world around us and how it works. Attention spans approximating that of a gnat.

All of these problems I believe are symptomatic of a change of attitude in society as a whole. A few generations ago, education was regarded as the way to a better life. Parents emphasized education as a way to a better life to their offspring. Somewhere along the way the whole process has been ditched in favor of  the many faces of the cult of idol-ism. So now we have a growing group of semi-literate and scientifically uneducated people who follow the dictates of the talking head of the moment without critically examining anything. It scares me for the future.

One of the oft overlooked consequences of the dumbing down of America is the increasingly strident opinions of the populace. One of my favorite quotes puts it succinctly:
People are getting dumber but more opinionated. -- Philip Roth
Can't be much clearer than that. Check out your favorite letters to the editor page for classic examples. (Or listen to a call in radio or TV program since many are no longer capable of writing a coherent letter.)

On the other hand, my rationalist mind demands that I also ponder if the dumbing down is real or just a a figment of my imagination. After all:
Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. -- George Orwell
So what do you think. Is the increasing stridency of modern opinion due to the dumbing down of the populace or ....?


  1. I tell you, another place to see the 'dumbing down' of America is the comments section on any news article. Oh my gosh, do those comments make me fear for the future of our country...

  2. Amen! That was part of the reason I was unemployed for 8 mos. I felt as though I needed to dumb it down when interviewing or reviewing my resume bc they all said I was "too good" and couldn't afford me. I looked at all these idiots dressed like idiots getting jobs while I was actually worth it but "too good"!

  3. What a wonderful post. I couldn't agree more.

  4. I certainly agree that our country is getting dumber by the minute. People don't think about the future; don't plan for success. All they do is want it all 'now'. Never mind little things like getting a good education, working hard and saving for the future.


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