Thoughts on Getting Dumber
We’ve been getting dumber for a long time now. It’s not our fault. It started long before most of us were even alive, although our elders remember the beginning if they care to think back.
Long before our time, education used to focus on the 3Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic.
This culminated in an educated person (or at least a very well-educated person) having a large vocabulary, being conversant in the classics and the ideas contained within them, having at least a competent understanding of Latin and/or Greek and the accompanying foundations of critical and philosophical thought, a basic understanding of the sciences, and a functional knowledge of mathematics that encompassed algebra, trigonometry, and single-variate calculus.
In colleges today, because of the failure of our educational system, most of these levels of competence are taught remedially. Few high school graduates arrive for their freshman year knowing these things, and even fewer learn them by the time they graduate with an associate’s degree or baccalaureate.
No, seriously. Why? Why were most of us never taught any Latin? Why did we have to learn these things on our own, either independently or by paying to learn them in higher education, if we ever learned them at all?
The answer lies in another question. Who benefits from a dumb populace?
In a feudalism, that answer is obvious. The rulers benefit from a dumb populace. The educated gentry worked for the rulers. The rulers came from their number. The rest of the stupid masses kept the system going by providing surpluses of food, and taxes, and bodies for their wars.
So what do you do in America, where there was never feudalism? Where the mindset of the populace was independent in a way the world had never seen before, the masses of the people never having learned to bow and scrape to a king or queen, no legacy or tradition of respecting the wealthy because of their titles?
As a ruler, what I would do is this: make sure that the “average person” only has access to the information I want them to have. They need the skills to serve me, and to maintain their own survival independent of me (even though the institutions they rely upon for this survival are entirely dependent upon me — I don’t want to have to babysit them, I just want them to live their lives quietly and teach their children to do the same).
Do you need me to connect the dots from this train of thought to the prevalence of soundbytes, campaign slogans, memes? Nuanced, critical thought is something they don’t want you to have, so they drown us in a sea of pre-formed notions, knowing they will stick.
Do you know that they want you stupid?
Do you realize how dangerous it is to think critically?
Do you have any idea why the image for this post is a picture of gaslights?
Do you know what they learned from the Vietnam protests, when a public education still taught civics and people knew their rights?
Here, have a meme if you don’t believe me. Suck my irony baby, I love it! (You’ll still have to read and think though, sorry! Get your braindead memes on facebook like the rest of us!)
Will you please stop believing what they tell you, and use the massive firepower that even the most average brain contains and just try to peek behind the curtain?