Are You Being Dumbed Down? Want to Take an 8th Grade Test From 1895 To Find Out?

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posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:00 PM

Originally posted by battlestargalactica
reply to post by sizzle

I understand your point, and wholly agreee we are being dumbed down. However this question doesn't quite pertain, as do several others, due to the time period differences:

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

Bushel of wheat? We would of course NOT be familiar with exactly what a bushel of wheat dimensions are (we of course can look it up online
) something rural 1895 farmers would know off the top of there heads.

[edit on 3-4-2008 by battlestargalactica]

Granted, we don't know the dimensions of a bushel of wheat are. How many could do the problem if something else was used instead. Say a 1 inch cube? Or how about a 1 foot cube?

Now the problem can be worked out. How many would have to go to google to find out how many inches there are in a foot? How many would need help coming up with the mathematical formulas needed to solve the problem?

For those who still think it doesn't pertain to today because you are using the detentions of the wagon in the original problem. Then use the dimensions of a standard 53 foot tractor trailer: 102 inches wide, 13.5 feet high, and 53 feet long.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:19 PM
The sad truth is YES we are being dumbed down. But when you have a US President who stumbles over the english language more than any President, it just goes to show that you dont have to be of high intelligence to be president. I bet if Bush took this test we would get about %20 if that.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:25 PM
We are becoming more stupid but it's not a global conspiricy. I read, but not sure where, that the the families with high IQ's have an average of 1.5 children. On the other hand low IQ families have an average of 5 children. So obviously the dumb people are quickly becoming the majority with the smarter people becoming scarce.
I believe this has happened before, we have no idea where the pyramids came from because the smart people died off and the dumb people after sevreal generations of reproducing lost all sense of history and the ability to do anything that the smart people were doing.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:37 PM
It's not a matter of dumbing down, it's a matter of access to information. I personally don't have to remember the names and term dates of all the U.S. Presidents because I can go on the Internet and find out. Same thing with converting gallons to liters to hogsheads, or whatever. It's not necessary to carry all that information around in your head any more. You can access entire massive libraries of information on the web. That's a good thing.

It's also a matter of the type of information needed to live in one's particular world and time. It would be important for some farm kid in 1895 to know all about bushels of grain. These days, kids are experts memorizing and working their way through all kinds of virtual worlds in video games, dealing with larger industrialized schools filled with more kids than they could imagine in 1895, working with other kids from wildly different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, making choices about drugs and other social activities, navigating the Internet, and other things that would baffle those old-time kids.

So people can decry the dumbness of today's kids if they want. But did all the memorization and hand calculation prevent that earlier generation of 1895 from killing millions of people in three World Wars over the course of the following century? So how smart were they, really?

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:48 PM
After reading some of the questions, I have come to the conclusion that (according to this test) I am indeed dumb.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 03:58 PM
I don't see how not being able to do this test has anything to do with being dumbed down. All it proves is that we aren't an agrarian society where a large part of the population is engaged in agriculture.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 04:11 PM
reply to post by Mystery_Lady

Many would have a hard time with that simple math question without a resource like the internet, not only for the formula for volume, but as you said, for a conversion between feet to inches. And forget about other conversions, like from feet to meters.

But it is also possible that technology in its nature, tends to make us at the same time, both smart and dumb. Take the internet for example, how many people rely on it instead of having to memorize stuff anymore? I think we are all guilty in our own little ways of this occurring. It's just a natural progression of technology-advancement-evolution whatever you want to call it.

Need an equation/conversion (you once had it memorized) goto google..
Does this make us dumber? No (but at the same time yes). We are utilizing technology for our benefit, but at the same time we are forgetting things, letting the conveniences of advancement make us dumber in a way.

Think of the progression. Before writing, stories and history was passed down verbally-generationally. Then came cave walls and simple pictographs, then writing, then clay tablets, books, manuscripts, recordable medium (records-8trax-tapes-cd's/dvd's etc), then finally we are in electronic format, ebooks etc...

We are changing I believe as time passes, constantly changing. Physically, spiritually (possibly), for instance, on a phys level, humans used to be shorter on average, our height vs. time is increasing to a point...why? vitamins and nutrition mainly.

Changing for the better? Well nobody really can say for sure that answer.
What about when we start installing computers to our bodies, computers that interface directly with our brains or visual cortex or both), giving us the same things google and the internet give us, but instantaneously and without typing it, with just a thought? Its already starting. What then, are we smarter for the tech or dumber? Take that computer out of our bodies after a generation uses them-relies on them, now what?

[edit on 3-4-2008 by battlestargalactica]

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 04:24 PM
It's a very interesting exercise, for sure. Shame it is so US-centric so I haven't got a hope at either the empirical measurements nor the history questions.

The thing is it's not as bad as it seems. A lot of the answers may use specific terminology but I am sure many people (at least in Australia) would be able to answer a lot of those questions if they were explained.

Also it is quite hard to go back to school. I was really good at maths and excelled at calculus. Now I can't even tell you the first thing about it. Am I dumb because of it? No, it is a question of your brain keeping what you use currently since I haven't even looked at it in 18 years.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 05:02 PM
reply to post by KingJames56

On that note, I learned in Fine Arts in college that we can't even reproduce things the Romans built 2000 years ago without the aid of computers and heavy construction equipment. Heck we still dont know how they made their Super Duper Roman Cement. You would think since we have Particle accelerators and space shuttles we would be able to figure out how Romans made cement.

[edit on 3/4/08 by MikeboydUS]

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 05:26 PM

Originally posted by ianr5741

Originally posted by sizzle
Here is the math portion: Not sure how we will accomplish #10. Just be inventive.

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

I'll betcha almost no one will get this right.

A check moves money from one account to another.

A promissory note is proof the bank holds that the bank is owed something by a customer.

A receipt is proof of a transaction.

You would have to compare individual schools so this gets even more complex.

Through my Junior Year (I'm 53 now) in High School I attended a school in a town of 7,000. The quality of the Teachers was superior and the community was very education oriented. We took the entrance exams every year, starting in fifth grade (yes I said fifth grade) and we were ranked against the Seniors test scores.

In that town at least, if you did not make good grades you were held back once and if that did not work, they sent you to a trade school so you could learn a skill. Nobody passed unless they learned and when it was over you were either ready for a University or you were started in an apprenticeship for a trade.

My senior year we had to move to Ontario, California. I attended a brand new school where all the teachers were young, new teachers. I was so far ahead of the curve that I only had to attend two classes a day to graduate and was still in textbooks I'd already had in my second year of college.

My first day I watched a teacher sell cross-tops ( the street-name for prescription Mexican Methamphetamine in those days) to a student in the middle of class in clear view of the whole class. In another class the Teacher walked in and said he was on the dating game the day before and had a hangover from the Party. He got a cup of coffee, put his feet on his desk and went to sleep. The next day he gave us a full accounting of experience on the Dating Game. The whole school was like being taught by a bunch of underage party animals.

They gave us a reading and comprehension test in a required Senior course. Only two people in the entire school tested at a level over what they said a 7th grade student should be at. I scored at second year college level.

The reason I quoted your post is that one of the two classes was a required class learning to do things like budgeting home finances, writing checks and dealing with bank accounts. Since I had been taught that in Junior High, I did not bother reading the book and still aced all the tests. I was the only person in the class to get a grade above a "D".

At High School Graduation they passed everybody; even those who could not read or do even basic mathematics. As a child, I thought it was great at the time. Now I know how sad it really was. Schools vary greatly from place to place.

My daughter is now a graduate student at an Ivy League at the ripe old age of 20. She skipped 2 years in Grade School due to her being schooled both at home and in a regular school at the same time. Had it not been for that, yes she would have been dumbed down. I saw the parents as the real culprits, combined with this stupid tendency of schools to just pass everyone to get rid of them to make room for the next class of illiterates.

People reading this thread who have children need to ask themselves:

Am I playing a part in educating my child or am I dumping the responsibility on the system and trusting them to do what I should be doing?

Do I know what my child is being taught and how well they are doing?

Am putting my children's most basic needs first or am I never home or there for them?

Am I spending my free time with my children, helping them with homework or am I always gone or busy while others raise and teach my children for me?

Do I know where my children are at all times and who they are with, what they are doing and what type of people they are running with?

Do I put my children above all other things in my life as I should or have I abandoned them for my career or social life?

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 05:41 PM

Originally posted by Blaine91555
People reading this thread who have children need to ask themselves:

Why did I have children in the first place? Was it because the wife got biologically psychotic about it and you gave in to keep her from going nuts? Were you really convinced that the human population of over 6 billion would be damaged if your DNA wasn't continued? Did you succumb to peer pressure, or pressure from your parents?

Hey, at a certain point, we all choose to either educate ourselves or give up. There are plenty of people in this world who know enough important stuff to keep things running. I personally know a lot of people who are very intelligent and highly educated who work in menial jobs. Most people are just going to be average, so it's no big deal if people are a little less informed than they used to be. When did it ever matter?

I personally think intelligence is bred out of a population. Hot chicks still don't dig nerds unless they become rich. More intelligent people have fewer children because they understand the economic burden involved. Dumber people continue to pump them out, either as a potential requirement plan, or simply because they enjoy the sechs, and don't have anything better to do.

I guess the point is, if you don't want to be dumb, that's up to you. But you can't force other people to be smarter or more educated if they don't want to be.

[edit on 3-4-2008 by Nohup]

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:21 PM
reply to post by sizzle

simple if the same questions were put to say kids from the 1895 era, about education in the 1600' might have questions envolving...
1. how do you properly groom your carriage horse.
2. name the percentage amounts, and metals, needed to forge a sword.
3. how long can you store wheat before grinding, to avoid rot.
4. what proper name do you use when addressing a man of the church.
5. name all twelve apostles.
6. how many slaves does it take to harvest one square mile of cotton
7. which is the best product for a road, cobblestone or clay brick, explain
your answer.
8. how much coal is needed to cook 1 lamb on an iron stove.

you get my drift

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:26 PM
reply to post by jimmyx

Reminds me of an final exam question in my AE495 class:

"Define the universe and give three examples."

It was an extra credit question though

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:29 PM
reply to post by battlestargalactica

Hi there BSG,
I just woke up, so I will ask some patience while I get some Java and clear my head. I pulled an all-niter as usual, in my research.
You stated that knowing standards about the amounts of bushels of wheat in a certain sized wagon, would not pertain today.
I disagree. I believe it is important to our farmers. I believe it is important just as a brain exercise.
We do not know what our future holds. We might end up in a back-to-basics environment.
I will get to all of you as soon as possible. Thank you for your involvement.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:30 PM
reply to post by battlestargalactica

lolololol.....yeah i've had those type of tests...explain the origin of man in a 150 words or wonder we listened to rock music and smoked pot back then

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:40 PM

Originally posted by elevatedone
I like your thought behind this test, but how many people will really try?
I'll bet most just look the answers up on google.

I looked through the questions and have to admit, I don't know the answers to most of them, however I don't feel that makes me dumber than when I was an 8th grader.

To me it's either that I didn't learn some of that to start with or I just don't care enough to try to figure it out.

[edit on 3-4-2008 by elevatedone]

Hi EO,
I have anticipated that there will be cheating. Some will not be able to get past ego. I have to admit, although I have not actually sat down to literally take the test, I know that I will likely fail it.
I would like for everyone to get behind the spirit of this thread. It really isn't about passing, or proving to your fellow ATS'ers how intelligent that we is finding out what the PTB are withholding from our education systems and why. There is an excerpt that I will add later. Thanks.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:40 PM

Originally posted by sizzle
We might end up in a back-to-basics environment.

I've heard this argument before. Gee, what if all the calculators on Earth suddenly vanished, or if you were trapped on a deserted island and you had to figure out how many bushels of wheat would fit in your wagon? Well, I guess I'd be in quite a pickle then, huh?

Fortunately, calculators, particularly the solar powered ones, are going to still be around long after I'm dead and buried. And should I ever find myself on a deserted island, I'm probably going to be more worried about avoiding dehydration and starvation than doing my calculus. And I'm sure not going to be worrying about when and how long Chester A. Arthur was President.

It's sort of the old illustration of the difference between a scientist and a technician in seeing if something will fit through a door. The scientist will take all kinds of precise measurements and determine the thing won't fit. A technician will try jamming the thing through, and if it didn't fit, he'd saw off a piece of either the thing or the door to make it fit.

If things get so bad that I don't have a calculator or a computer or something like the Internet around, then the feces really hit the fan somehow, and there are a lot more serious problems I'm probably going to be concerned about.

[edit on 3-4-2008 by Nohup]

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:45 PM
reply to post by sizzle

No not what I meant. Drink more coffee
I was saying that the question about bushels of wheat would be largely unknown to todays society akin to asking a person living in 1895 "how many bits are in a byte".

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:54 PM
wow, what people think is worth teaching really has changed alot in a pretty short amount of time. I know that I dont know most of that and I also know a good part of that was not taught to me in 8th grade, or even in 6th, 7th, or even as a Sophmore but then its not so important know. Besides who now a days cares how many bushels of wheat can fit in a box (besides farmers of course)

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:56 PM
*tilts head*

Forgive me for pointing this out, but back in the 19th century people didn't exactly rely so much on qualifications when choosing employees - most TRADES in the public domain were pretty basic, and quality of performance really did take a back seat when it came to getting the job done, if someone messed up, at least there'd be someone else willing to try and make the money by doing the job right.

I'm not trying to excuse myself for not being able to answer roughly 65% of the questions (mostly because of the bit on American history), but perhaps this represents something that has changed society in a way that doesn't nessecarily correlate to being 'dumbed down'.

Reasonably, one could consider the massive social reforms of the early 20th century brought in because of the world wars to be a factor in the way we were taught - perhaps the education bodies that were around at the time were more interested in giving students more chances at succeeding in later life instead of becoming the lower-class unemployables that the old system was churning out relentlessly.

With all this said, i feel it's nessecary to note that if there has been a dumbing down, it's taken place within the last two decades.

At least, the last two decades would be the only reasonable theory from me, considering i only have two decades worth of experience on this planet, and therefore my relative knowledge of educational standards should only be considered insofar as my relative experience (the kind of thinking during the 19th century, methinks).

Perhaps it's something to ask my Grandpa.

*starts setting up the necro-gate*

p.s; for those of you who can't be bothered to read through the twoddle that is my thinkings on the issue, i'm saying that education standards dropped, because it was nessecary to increase the general standard of living among the public.

[edit on 3-4-2008 by Throbber]

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