The debate about whether or not the world has become dumber is a subject that is rarely tackled by politicians or educators, even though these are precisely the people who should be looking into the matter. But then, with world leaders (past and present) saying really stupid things themselves, maybe they are not the ones to consult.
Take George W Bush for example – “I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn’t here” or London Mayor Boris Johnson – “Yes, cannabis is dangerous, but no more than other perfectly legal drugs. It’s time for a rethink, and the Tory party, the funkiest, most jiving party on Earth is where it’s happening.” Are these people that we should look to for advice on how to be smarter?
Then there are the educators. At a Montessori school that one of my kids attended, one of the teachers told the class that red and blue mixed together make yellow. Come on, this is basic shit. Primary colours. And in the USA, a passing grade under the “No Child Left Behind” policy is so incredibly simple in some states, largely because the standards of student proficiency is determined individually by each state. And some have been set VERY low. In The UK, almost two-thirds of young people starting University courses lack the basic mathematical knowledge needed for their studies and consequently many universities have downgraded the mathematical requirements for entry. In fact a recent study by the University College London suggests that the younger generation lacks the analytical skills necessary to process large amounts of information.
So is it our politicians that are getting dumber? (We voted for them.) Are the teachers getting dumber? (They get paid the same Average Wage as receptionists.) Is it all of us? Some staff members at Last Exit to Reality blame the downgrade in intelligence on the proliferation of mediocre music (namely Hip Hop), mundane TV programming and movies, and the 7-second Attention Span created by the internet (admit it, you are speed reading this.)
However, many would argue that considering most kids can use a computer better than some of their parents’ co-workers, the answer would have to be no. But Computer Literacy is no longer a sign of intelligence. They have been dumbed down so that almost anyone can use them, even people who really shouldn’t.
Some studies show that IQ scores have been rising. Not by just a little mind you, but soaring. Rising some 27 points in Britain since 1942, 24 points in the United States since 1918, 22 points in Argentina since 1964, with comparable gains throughout Western Europe, Canada, Japan, China, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. But IQ is only a measure of the ABILITY to learn, not the possession of common sense. And if no one is teaching you properly; and if you cannot discriminate between quality information and internet shite, then what good is a high IQ?
The standards set for teachers in most places are quite low, and they are offered ridiculous rates of pay. In the UK, even a tube driver on his first year will make more then a teacher that has been teaching for ten years. No wonder standards slip. But in some countries, education is pushed hard, and those economies are growing strongly. Consider the 2 diagrams below, one from a UK university, one from China. This is something our politicians should look into when they think about education policies.
Easy, huh? But still, knowing how to prove BD∞8K7J⊕∑÷93 might not mean you have any common sense at all. It could just mean you are a geek. Maybe the world has always been dumb. You can certainly find evidence of such with a simple google search. And people say and do some really dumb shit, but haven’t they always? Like people who point at their wrist while asking for the time. HELLO…I know where my watch is. Or companies that claim something is “new and improved”. Which is it? If it’s new, then there has never been anything before it. If it’s an improvement, then there must have been something before it.
This reporter believes that, yes while the proliferation of mediocrity is causing the dumb trend to spiral, the world has always been a fairly stupid place. In fact, the world may not really be getting dumber; dumb acts are just more likely to get caught on film and sent all over the internet.
Which brings us to your bonus blog , which I offer to all you faithful readers for getting this far;
Petty Crime By The intellectually challenged
So you probably got to this page while looking for the Olga story, and why not? She has helped propel this blog into super-stardom. But since you have gone and read this far I suggest that you take a minute to cast a vote on each article you read (the row of stars at the top) perhaps subscribe as well, so you can get the news before your grimy little co-workers that always seem to have a great story to tell (top left corner – Reality in small doses – click on “must have it”) and if you are so inclined, leave a comment. Good bad or ugly.
So, to get to your bonus story. If you have already been here before, you may already know about the Facebook fools and how stupid they can be. And perhaps you have read how blondes can, inexplicably, go “blonde” at any given moment.
Well, there are plenty of examples out there where people just don’t seem to get that it is the 21st century and doing things like logging into Facebook while robbing a house or doing blatantly illegal things in front of CCTV (which are everywhere) might get you into serious trouble.
British police said recently that a man who spent 4 hours stealing security cameras from a building apparently did not realize the cameras were filming his crime. Duh! Police in Bradford, England, said the man broke into the former Lister Arms pub and spent 4 hours unscrewing four CCTV cameras from the walls. Of course the cops arrested the 22-year old. Hello! They have you on cam stupid.
Then there was this stupid guy – dumb enough to have been in court in the first place – stealing a judge’s gavel right in front of a CCTV. What a way to get yourself back in court.
Is the world getting stupider? Maybe it is after all.
A clever thief in Ohio broke into a potato chip plant, and proceeded to steal a computer disk, vehicle titles, a whole book of payroll checks, and other business papers. He then left a note for the company president demanding that $22,000 be left in a bucket for him, or else he would “expose personal matters of employees” and burn everything he had stolen. The president called the police, of course, who set up a bucket filled with convincingly fake cash, as well as surveillance material. They saw the fool dragging the bucket away with a fishing pole and arrested him in the forest, all tangled up in the fishing line.
Another fool in America tried to steal cash from the Dunkin’ Donuts shop but fled with an adding machine that he apparently mistook for a cash register. Police said the guy walked into the doughnut shop and handed a clerk a note stating that he had a gun and a bomb. The man’s note said he would use both if he didn’t get cash. Dumbass then grabbed an adding machine (which has no cash drawers) from the counter and ran from the shop. Can we say Duhh again?
Lastly, here are some idiots caught on CCTV in elevators. Now, this isn’t exactly a crime (well, not at all) but if there is one thing I have learned from the Olga Story – sex sells.