A dumbed-down populace.

June 2024 Forums General discussion A dumbed-down populace.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 37 total)
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  • #251529
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    And it’s because people are unlettered and ahistorical that they fall prey to conspiracy theories and and other absurdities, and have short memories (“That’s before my time” – the commonly heard wail that negates history).

    #251530
    DJP
    Participant

    If only everyone was as intelligent, cultured and brave (and possibly as good looking) as TM, we’d have socialism tomorrow!

    #251531
    Thomas_More
    Participant
    #251534
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Sagan on books.

    #251538
    Ozymandias
    Participant

    For an illustration of how utterly dim & docile the UK “Working Class” are, just watch any episode of “Gogglebox”. When Channel 4 started up in 1982 the Bill of Fare included stuff like Michael Tippett’s The Knot Garden, Sir Peter Hall’s The Oresteia (from the National Theatre) plus the News in Swahili etc…
    Now we’ve got guff like “Naked Attraction” with workers getting their Willie’s & Fannies out for all the world to see. I just wonder if it’s all a concerted effort by the Owning Class to dumb us all down. After all they own & control the global entertainment behemoth.
    With the youth of today it’s actually “Cool” to be stupid. Look at Joey Essex. He’s made millions pretending to daft. The right way. This 50 year campaign of engineering mass stupidity has triumphed because workers are dumber than ever now. They carry a galaxy of information at their fingertips with Mobile tech yet they know even less. Their phones are smarter than they are. It just seems really hopeless and terrifying.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Ozymandias.
    #251543
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    It is a mistake to think that the goggle box watchers of the world or the answers from (some) quiz contestants are reflective of the general nature of people’s level of understanding of the world. On an anecdotal level I am often taken aback by the level of knowledge and understanding that people I encounter in the real world (not TV/social media influences).

    I sometimes attend a local pub quiz, for example, and the large numbers of people, the wealth of knowledge they possess (shown by the scores attained) is just one example. I travel around the country for work (although not as much as I used to) and often engage in conversation with taxi drivers, hotel workers, fellow guests in hotels, as well as the people I meet through work and although I do encounter the odd balm pot, the vast majority of people I meet are well informed about what is going on in the world, current affairs, etc. etc.

    As to those quiz shows TM refers to, I have a little experience of quiz shows. I was talking to a production assistant on a quiz programme some years ago and he told me that quite naturally the way the quiz programmes are set up are based on the audience they intend to attract and the responses of the audience to the contestants. The people who they recruit for the quiz are either people they think the audience will associate with or feel some form of sympathy with, which they will then invest in wanting them to win, or people that the audience will dislike and therefore wish the contestant to lose.

    They also select the contestants on their level of ability; they regularly select contestants that have a lower level of quiz ability than those who watch the show. This allows the audience member to develop a feeling of superiority over these contestants. (That bit seems to have worked for you, anyway). They also occasionally select contestants who have a much higher ability than the general audience, which also varies the show and keeps the audience on their toes (modesty forbids). I was also told that the questions chosen for each quiz reflects the audience that are attracted to that quiz. They try to make the questions at a level where the audience would probably be at about the midpoint of the level that the contestants would achieve.

    It might be that you’re just watching the wrong quiz programmes (perhaps Only Connect, Mastermind and University Challenge might be more your bag, or even Round Britain Quiz and Brain of Britain on the radio). Similarly there are lots of challenging TV shows, some of BBC 4, Sky Arts, etc as examples.
    P.S, TM, I haven’t forgotten about posting my take on Cde Fleischman’s article and the ongoing Freud debate, just I have been up to my neck in work, etc. I will try and get that done sometime this week.

    #251544
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Thanks, Bijou.

    What about the people asked to point to regions of the world?

    When i started school (after Kindergarten) every boy was given an atlas. One seldom hears of atlases any more and i doubt they are handed out in school any more.

    The advantages of printed books, including atlases, is that the child is free to peruse them in comfort, unlike skimming things on a screen.

    We also had regular geography class, in which there was a wealth of books to delve into, and where boys could pick what they liked for personal projects, including drawing. Thus, by the time i was 12, i could draw a map of China and its principal cities and its provinces by memory. I could also write its 19th & 20th century history from memory of my juvenile reading. My town, like most, had a wealth of secondhand bookshops where worlds could be encountered. And for 2/6 a hardback classic could be had every Saturday, as well as library and school library books.
    Toys and games, too, were often history and geography based.

    #251547
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Real conversation. Hungarian waitress i knew decided to treat ignorance as it deserved.

    Customer: “You’re foreign, aint ya?”
    Waitress: “Yes, from Hungary.”
    C: “Not erd o that. Wherezat then?”
    W: “It’s an island near Japan ”
    C: “Blimey. Far away then?”

    #251549
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Going back to the 60’s my aunt organised a delivery from a well known department store in London for a member of the family back in the North East, when the woman behind the counter heard that the delivery address ended in “County Durham” she replied “Oh no Dearie, we don’t deliver to Ireland!”

    Somethings never change.

    The one that always winds me up is when Southern commentator refers to Scotland as being “On the other side of Hadrian’s Wall”

    #251550
    Ozymandias
    Participant

    Have you noticed how newscasters now double as gameshow hosts? This is the Info-tainment society we now inhabit.

    #251551
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    In Carlisle my mother and i asked several people about Hadrian’s Wall. They had never heard of it, including a policeman.

    #251553
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    TM – “In Carlisle my mother and i asked several people about Hadrian’s Wall. They had never heard of it, including a policeman.”

    It’s probably because there is so much to do and enjoy in Carlise that the locals didn’t have time to stop and find out about Hadrian’s Wall.

    Carlise is up their with Slough, Aldershot and Newport Pagnell, in terms of the highlights of this sceptered isle.

    It is rumoured that some people have even turned down the chance of spending a wet Wednesday in Hartlepool, just to have the option of a day in Carlise

    #251558
    DJP
    Participant

    What about the people asked to point to regions of the world?

    If only to put TM’s mind to rest it’s worth pointing out that one of the most popular online games during the pandemic was one called “Geoguessr”. Players are presented at random with Google Maps photographs from all over the world and then have to pinpoint them on a map.

    There are 50 million people registered on this game.

    #251559
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Well, who would want books when you can have video games?

    #251563
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    You’re being asked to vote in the London elections for an Assembly that will watch a Mayor ask a government to ask the people who own the country for the money to run the region

    So says the opening paragraph of the SPGB’s GLA Election leaflet!

    English may not be my first language but I think I have more than a sufficient understanding of it to conclude that the above convoluted text is enough to confuse even the least dumbed-down member of the populace.

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