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Dumbing down reality

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posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 03:07 PM

Originally posted by Consequence
It's not a conspiracy.

Life is easier now than it was before.
There is also a point of not making education harder than it needs to be. That way we have more time to do progress, not reinvent everything. However, this requires more discipline from the individuals, which is clearly lacking in many, and only a smaller part can handle it.

Oh, and conspiracy theories are usually good examples of people being too lazy to first learn what they are going to talk about. It's easier to make things up and believe that "science is a lie", or things of that nature.
Slightly humorous, considering the OP.
edit on 6-9-2012 by Consequence because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-9-2012 by Consequence because: (no reason given)

However ;the brain though not actually a "muscle"; seems to respond as one.

In the Military I was afforded many opportunities to attend a number of advanced technical classes. In every case the first few weeks were mental gymnastics shrugging off the lazy thinking. kickstartingthe"old" brain..exercising rusty algebra and trig math skills.

By the last training"block" I was transposing formulas and balancing equations on the fly. I look back through my old books and after years of droning through familiar day to day jobs; it looks absolutely like "greek" to me today. Can't do it anymore.

There is a large something to said( "benefit") for "doing the work".Not cheating or being lazy.
exercising the mind...

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 03:14 PM

Originally posted by The Benevolent Adversary
an interesting ancdote to this: when i was in high school (early 80's) a friend of mine went to south africa for a year of school (i am in so. california); when she came back she could have skipped a grade if whe had wanted because the course material taught there was that much higher level.
in america i think we see a decidedly dropping level of education that is expected of us.

as for awareness; the point made further back in this thread that all of the media/external distraction that is around us is definately making us less aware. the mind can only handle so much stimulation/input at a time that we tend to drop alot of 'non-essential' information in order to process what we consider important.
with driving culture taking over the world (and so. cal. in particular) the ability to walk and chew bubble gum seems to be one of the victims.

On a similar note I know somebody who was doing a degree in sociology in England and she was getting low scores in her exams. She transferred to a course in America and suddenly she was getting good scores. One of two possibility's, either the drop in pressure during the plane journey over to America improved her mental functioning or the standards in the US are even worse then in the UK which is saying something!
edit on 6-9-2012 by LUXUS because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 03:23 PM
Hi guys,

I thought I would argue from a different perspective.

I wonder what people who were taught to use the abacus would have thought of the new learning using logarithm tables or later on calculators.

I believe that we are in a society that doesn't have to know math and so forth in such great detail. We are surrounded by computers everywhere we look - so, it remains important that one understand the methods applied, but not have to do the calculations oneself.

I believe that the education system is effective in delivering only what is necessary - that is, it isn't the people who are most well read in a variety of topics - but the ones who know how to use the fast growing knowledge base most effectively.

To this end, I've noticed that universities are emphasizing Internet based studying and the use of modern tools to achieve one's requirements, rather than to have to try and cram all the technical details of how to do one particular thing. To that end - look at Wikipedia. Back in the day that I did engineering, I never had such a database of knowledge available at my fingertips to do any infinite amount of research on any particular engineering terminology. So, for instance, if I wish to know TCP/IP - I can now look it up quickly on the net.

Before, in order to know such a term - one would have to look it up in a book, or have it most efficiently stored in one's head. Nowadays, engineering covers this knowledge, but the rest of the world doesn't/shouldn't have to know these things in order to effectively use the net.

Neither do I have to go to university to actually get to becoming the world's greatest programmer. There are so many, many programs out there that are being developed in public space. I write this message from an operating system, that is developed entirely online - Linux - and I don't even know all of the tools that are available to do so over the internet. The degree of complexity of something like this software - for eg: git, or bitkeeper is so involved... Even though I graduated engineering, there is a wealth of information available for people who wish to network and join programming Katas - you can become Bill Gates type programmers without school - and in order to keep up with the world of engineering, one cannot avoid being online. I hadn't been taught about all the knowledge and the means of sharing that goes on outside of my engineering classes - which, in retrospect - is so much more important.

Here, on ATS, we are churning out a knowledge base that is so important to people. For those who wish to see the bigger picture - the knowledge is being churned out here. Many of the terms like "Orwellian", are also being eliminated for the purpose of educating people so much more.

The fact that people are not learning as much general knowledge as before should not give way to the idea that people, in order to compete and survive aren't expected to understand a lot more about the world. While, I do lament the age of "So you think you can dance" - still, I believe that people are being forced to learn a lot more per issue than ever before - especially when reality hits them and they enter the workforce, working for a living.

I do believe, however, that there is a huge gap between what people should know about the overall system and its workings, and what they actually know. It is my personal belief that we specialize so much and de-emphasize the bigger picture understanding of the world we live in. I asked my wife some time back - and I was rather upset that she wasn't paying any attention to the financial debacle that was going on in the world - she put it to me straight: "If I paid attention to what was going on, I wouldn't be able to function or work".

That is the bottom line for a lot of people - not just my wife.

All of this isn't to say that books, engineering isn't important - they are still corner stones around which a science presents itself completely (as opposed to trying to take the Internet in it's ADHD and try and make a bigger picture out of that), but, there is still something to be said about knowing the tools more than just the memorized know-how.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 03:26 PM
Our modern lives in the West could be seen as a recipe for disaster. We no longer need to hold as much detail in our heads, memory skills have lapsed as our information tech has grown. Calculators, Computers, the internet, they all act like a second brain and that is all fine...until those tools are taken away from us. By the time we figure out what the brain/tech balance should be it could be too late.

Another aspect of our life is perception blindness. We think we see everything but we don't. Talking on your cel phone in the car? you are nearly driving drunk. I watched a show called "Mind Games" the other day and people talking on their cel phones failed to notice when a clown on a unicycle rode right in front of them. As more and more distractions are presented to us, the less and less we see. Another aspect of this is that our current generation is losing touch with empathy. No longer talking face to face, we are losing our ability to walk in someone elses shoes.

Are we becoming shallow creatures dependant on our tools? Too distracted to notice whats really going on around us and in the end not really caring?

Tough questions...

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 03:33 PM
reply to post by Helmkat

Focus...Focus.... your thoughts are wandering...Keep focused on what I say so my friend can relieve you of your wallet.
Awareness is important.......

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by LUXUS

Whilst generally I agree with your observations, I do not see a nefarious plot behind this dumbing down.

I believe that regardless of how difficult an exam is or how hard a particular subject is at school a persons level of intelligence will remain unaffected. How perceptive and bright an individual is is mostly due to genetics and upbringing.

I also believe that we the people are responsible for this 'dumbing down' ourselves, not some hidden group. Modern western culture(if such a thing exists anymore) is one of capitalism and of convenience. Humans like most animals will conserve energy when they can, another term for this is laziness, and compared to times past, we modern westerners have the lazy option more readily nowadays than our forebears did. Since the industrial revolution western society has been hurdling faster and faster towards making things quicker and easier, and today we see that refinement in almost every aspect of our daily lives. The education system reflects this, as does many other things, who's responsible? We are.

As to awareness and your reference to martial arts. I have studied Japanese martial arts in the past, and I have read books written 400 years ago in Japan that speak of everyday people walking around unaware of their surroundings. This is a matter of 'the human condition', our egos, our gradual separation from nature and the rise of urban living, again who's responsible? We are.

Of course people will say that there is some group behind all this, and again that reflects exactly what this is all about, a quick fix and a refusal of responsibility, the modern western way.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 03:51 PM

Originally posted by LUXUS
reply to post by Consequence

I would not say the young have a wider knowledge actually quite the opposite in my observation unless you ask them trivial questions relating to media or pop culture.

I said "we" have, as in humanity. I also said that it requires greater discipline from each individual because of that. Those who do not have that or do not care, they end up knowing nothing.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:05 PM
That's pretty thorough, OP. Good post.

I've often wondered the same things. And, I wonder if the general ignorance of modern people is planned, or if it happened on accident while society became an easy-going experience instead of a passionate struggle. Good read.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:14 PM
And in an 'entitlement world' it's far easier to float along and do nothing until peril arises, and only then look for and arrive at a solution. If the system meets all your needs............ your not much more than a chicken in a 12'x12'x12' cage laying eggs, eating and craping. But all your needs are met... It truly takes very little to sate people now days beyond stimulating the senses, occasional sex and food consumption. But there are individuals who have broke through that barrier and who thirst for knowledge.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:17 PM
We are at a very critical turning point in human history.
I'm not saying a word about 2012 or evolution, or enlightenment, you can make that call on your own.
But, we ARE closing in on an event horizon. A Zero point in human technology.

Basically, we have two choices before us and time is quickly running out.

1. Grow WITH our technology and allow for our technology serve mankind.
In order to do this we must first abolish money as we currently understand it.
When we do this, we will be free to develop technology that will serve mankind without consideration
of how much it will cost, bottom lines, profitability, etc. We will need to strive to find uses for technology that will uplift and better mankind rather than what we do now which is....

2. Let our technology ENSLAVE US!!
This is what seems to be the road we're headed down. Every New technology is in some way used to make us......"safer" which really means "less free", or is used to kill people.Everything that is invented, every NEW technolgy that appears on the scene, every new discovery made, we find a way to use it to KILL more people MORE efficiently or we find a way to ease our fears. Don't believe me??
Look at all of the cameras everywhere you look. Don't we all feel so safe?
AND VIOLATED??? The internet is a great example. It could be used to connect humanity on a level that couldn't even have been dreamt of 100 years ago. But, as it stands it is also allowing our governments to spy on its citizens and perform MASSIVE data mining operations the results of which are yet to be seen. AND WE LOVE IT!! Make us safe Mr. President.

So, in order to wrap it all up I'll side with the New Agers on this point.

We will either need to choose LOVE which will allow option #1.
Or by default, we are choosing FEAR which will lead us by default to option # 2.

You make this choice everyday by how you respond to these threads, by how you treat your family, by how you treat your fellow man, by the thoughts you hold in your mind,by how you treat yourself, and by allowing yourself to be closed off to humanity as this thread points out.

I choose LOVE.
I REFUSE REFUSE REFUSE to buy into the FEAR!!!
If you're going to die then you're going to die.
No need to go out in fear.

What does this mean?
It means that WHEN you hear of the next terrorist attack, WHEN it ends up being a tactical NUKE that levels an entire city, you REFUSE to be afraid!!! When you REFUSE to be afraid then you refuse to DEMAND something be done about it. When you do this, your government can not accomplish passing new laws that will leave you with even LESS freedom. It can not go to war with yet ANOTHER country all in the name of keeping us safe.
Safe from what exactly?

No one WANTS to be afraid, so we are willing to do ANYTHING to relieve us of that feeling.
They know this.
They use this.
When we choose LOVE instead of fear, their house of cards crumbles and they're left with their dicks in their hands.

This is what you see going on right now.
This is what this thread is about ultimately.
OUr technology is CONTROLLING us.
Our technology is CONSUMING us.
Our technology is ENSLAVING us.

We are a country walking around with our heads up our collective Arses and all we can say is "wow, it sure is dark in here got a match?"
The majority of people in THIS country (USA) are highly functioning retards.
Talk to the random person.
I can't anymore.
If you don't watch football, baseball, or American Idol then what is there left to talk about?
The weather?

We are closing in on a zero point in technology fast.
Technology is doubling at an ever increasing rate.
It will either enslave us or become subserviant to us.

You won't have to wait much longer to see which one we are going to choose.
edit on 6-9-2012 by Screwed because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:21 PM

Originally posted by XxNightAngelusxX
That's pretty thorough, OP. Good post.

I've often wondered the same things. And, I wonder if the general ignorance of modern people is planned, or if it happened on accident while society became an easy-going experience instead of a passionate struggle. Good read.


I look at it like this. Take a look at early European history for example. From nomads, to settlements, to towns, to the arrival of the Roman administrative system, to the arrival of Christianity and on and on. everything has led us to where we are now, a telescoping affect. I really don't think its planned.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:27 PM
reply to post by Consequence

Oh, and conspiracy theories are usually good examples of people being too lazy to first learn what they are going to talk about.

Really? The real theories are given books and almost award deserving threads on this site...Maybe you need to turn off that old T.V and dive into some of them?

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:35 PM
Every thread needs a poster child/mascot;

This one gets me, just happened but this woman walks on to the subway tracks as if she had no idea she was in a subway.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:39 PM
Interesting thread Star and flagged.

One point I'd like to add is that when I was young I had to move quite often do to my parents work, I went
to 5 different Junior schools and 3 secondary/high schools all in the UK..
I got to see first hand how different schools were very different, mainly do to the money each school had available. In my earlier years at secondary schools I was at the richer schools and my grades flourished with skills I still have today, I essentially excelled. Later on in the last 2 years I went to a poorer school, the computers weren't windows PC's which I had been learning on (and later became standard, in fact they were standard then this school sucked)
The teachers were less tolerant at the poor school, if you fell behind it was your fault, if you didn't want to learn you could just leave the lesson.

What I'm getting at here is many students from the poor school left with very little meaningful qualifications no matter how easy or hard it was, many of the people from the richer schools (even the not so bright/thugs who are still thugs) thrived.

I have a high IQ and I'm like a sponge for information, I generally get my teeth into something and look at it from every angle. I was not always like this though as the schools basically didn't teach you, essentially read something Black = black, white = white, no questions repeat after me. I believe that is poor teaching.
I was a sheep like everyone else, I always knew I wasn't the problem the education system was.The poor school bred teenage mothers, criminals in waiting and let them loose.

Once I left school my mind expanded and I was able to learn better and has a second term of education by choice.

The year I left the poor school 15 teachers left also, the following year they recieved millions in funding. Not when I was there though. How many lives did say that one school ruin.

Sorry for the rant.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by ararisq

Exactly what I am talking about, people walking around as if they are brain dead zombies...totally disgraceful!

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:44 PM

I look at it like this. Take a look at early European history for example. From nomads, to settlements, to towns, to the arrival of the Roman administrative system, to the arrival of Christianity and on and on. everything has led us to where we are now, a telescoping affect. I really don't think its planned.

It is planned (as a result of elections and our elected officials). When someone can look you in the face and tell you we added 200,000 jobs last month when we lost 600,000. When they can tell you we have 8% unemployment when nearly everyone around you is unemployed, that debt and deficits don't matter and is a sign of success, on and on. They lower the bar every year. An Atlanta teacher accused of cheating (giving test answers) said she did it because the kids were "dumb as hell".

I've sat in school rooms recently for 6th grade here in the US and I was stunned. They were talking to the kids like they were in preschool (no joke - preschool). The topic didn't change from day one to day two either - it was the same mindless garbage as if it would take a month of repeating 7+4 is 11 to understand. I don't get it. It was almost identical to the Bush 9/11 school teacher. Repeat after me "hit - plane - steel, good, repeat, good". I am definitely worried about our children and their ability to compete on the world stage.

I deal with a lot of completely ignorant people in their 20s though so I should have seen this coming. It seems like now you have to become intelligent despite the school systems best attempts at preventing you from doing so. My child would get in trouble every day for reading because he'd already finished the textbook for the year (in the first week). He didn't need to repeat "plane hit steel" over and over.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:47 PM
1) Exams are definitely easier now, questions that used to appear in O level papers now appear in A level papers.

Whether it's dumbing down, trying to maintain the illusion of good governance, or social engineering one can only guess.

2) I was in Wales on holiday last week near cardigan bay and EVERY single day while driving through the town there were people just randomly stepping out into the road in front of the car.

I actually said to the wife that I believed the people in Wales must be mentally retarded it happened so often.

On the Saturday there had been some kind of charity walk, and I kid you not there must have been 13 or 14 people, all individuals, not from the same group, who just walked right of the pavement in front of the car without looking within 3 minutes.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 05:19 PM
A few weeks ago I told some friends that course passing grade should be lowered to 50 and tests should be much harder. Average test grades should be in the 40-50 range, and overall mark would get padded by homework and participation. That way more intelligence students could be identified and there would be more incentive to go beyond the curriculum. As is now, it takes no special talent to ace tests in high school. The NYS Regents in high school were a joke.

Also, people would get used to being wrong a lot. Which they/we are.

Anyway, my friends thought I was an idiot for suggesting this.

edit on 6-9-2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-9-2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 06:08 PM
Interesting post. It would seem that our minds are kept busy with meaningless distractions, most schools teach us what to think not how to think.

What is education for?

This is an important question to answer. If it is to create young adults that can enter the workplace and start contributing to the system then ok cool, we need a education system to cater for that. Which it currently tries to do.

If the goal of education is to create critical thinkers and life long learners that can contribute to a progressive society then it needs to change.

Watch the below video about the education system we have now and how it originated its really eye opening

If you want to learn more then a long but very interesting interview with John Taylor Gatto on the state of education is a must watch for anyone interested in the topic related to your OP. He was a former teacher, author and activist against compulsory schooling. He has some really interesting views on education.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 06:09 PM
Interesting, but I'm not sure it's not a good idea to take our focus away from an extremely uncreative world. No wonder everyone wants to be entertained, there's not a lot of magic in the everyday living many people do. Get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, play basketball, sleep. Wake up, repeat. That's the fog. That people in whatever way may want to tune out of it could be a good sign. I don't think this place, this reality is all there is. It might be good to start to see the larger matrix it may be part of. Why stay home and meditate when you can do it at the grocery store or waiting for a bus?

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