Monday, June 2, 2014

reports on the stupidity of Americans are also engineered

As very few of my preferred bloggers have written fresh stuff since last night, my first-cup-of-coffee reading was a link on facebook, about the dumbing-down of America.  (I can't face "real news" until I have a little caffeine under my belt....)

There's no doubt in the world -- my poor country is embracing stupidity.  From right, left and center, unworkable "solutions" that could be picked apart by an intelligent third-grader bounce around the halls of government.  Respected purveyors of news and the opinions thereon are delivering products written by people who can't form a grammatical sentence, or pronounce all the words properly when they get on-camera.  Some of our more conservative and religion-saturated states are passing laws of jaw-dropping idiocy.  Getting rid of extreme bias through presenting only one side of a debatable subject has led to the idea that all sides of every argument deserve representation, no matter how brainless -- in our SCHOOL-BOOKS.

But it comes to my attention, via that article I was reading (and which I couldn't finish, it was such a piece of manipulation), that some of the "facts" about what my countrymen think have been crafted by questionnaire-designers very much like the guy who wrote the joke "so when did you stop beating your wife?"

The article made an example of the question, do people "consider vaccinations to be safe and effective."  Any half-way intelligent person answering such a question can see three major problems with it:  vaccinations?  which ones? ... effective, undoubtedly for SOME of them ... but SAFE?   Safe to give a newborn something that was tested on a much older animal?  Yes, measles vaccinations, given at a reasonable age, can save countless lives, but HPV's record is new and sketchy at this point....  So is it dumb to express a modicum of doubt on the "safety and effectiveness of vaccines"?  Expressed in this kind of terminology, I don't think so.

They also mentioned evolution and the age of the earth.  Again, depending on how the questionnaire framed the queries, "how certain are you that the earth is 4.5 billion years old" could sound like a trick question.  But phrase it, "choose one:  a) the earth is 4.5 thousand years old, or  b) the earth is 4.5 billion years old" and you might get an answer that's more consistent with reason.

Just as it's possible to design a nutrition study that will prove anything you want, it's also possible to get any answer you want to a query into "intelligence."  There used to be literacy tests for voting, in our southern states, which only a rare, canny individual could possibly answer -- certainly not the under-educated crackers (to which they were NOT given) OR the earnestly-trying black people there (who were the intended targets).  If you WANT to make the general population look dumb, it's going to be pretty easy, considering that almost half of them are below average already.  ;-)

You have to remember, people can't know something they haven't been taught (or self-taught).  If all the authorities in a child's life bombard them with UNtruths, half-truths, and unrealistic opinions, there's every reason to believe that the child's thinking-processes will be disabled.  ... APPALLING, but it explains a lot, doesn't it?

14 comments:

  1. :( for the last couple of years (decade) I think there has been a real decline in journalistic integrity. I think people just don't have the time, or really don't care, about good research anymore.

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    1. Almost all TV reporters look like movie stars. The ones who don't were grandfathered in. Someone who's both canny and intellectual might also be stunningly attractive, of course, but how common is that?

      The newspaper business in particular is a dying industry that sharp young people probably avoid.

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  2. journalism certainly isn't what it used to be! part of that, in my opinion, is that 24/7 news on tv has turned it into show-biz rather than fact-finding -- and also that only a handful of corporations are in control of what you see in mainstream newspapers and television programs, and their first desire is not informing us, but in making us think what they want us to!

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  3. Funny, I posted just this morning about brainwashing... ;)

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  4. Is anything what it used to be? No, I think most people would say.

    All over, it would appear 'things' are being 'dumbed down'. What you or I may consider important doesn't even register with some .....HELP !

    I do worry about the legacy we are leaving, what we will pass on to our children. Do I worry un-necessarily?

    I do my best for those around me, what more can I do?

    With positivity !

    All the best Jan

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    1. "our best" is all we can be expected to do! :-)

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  5. A stupidity is everywhere, every country has its share, at least life is easier in US than elsewhere, and many countries all over the world just copy stupid things US does, like nutritional advice, overimmunization and statination of a clueless public...

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    1. I just blush at the bad influence we are....

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  6. Speaking as an MD, I'd say yes, people are being dumbed down and when I explain something to them they look at me with a dazed expression and say,.."How come you're saying something different than the TEEVEE?" Vaccines cause cancer and autism, etc..
    Well, folks there are now measles in these united states and elsewhere in the world. I guess polio will make a big comeback as well.
    Yes, I agree vaccinating a newborn is kind of useless as we know we don't develop our own immunity until 6 months of life on earth. Until then we are supposed to be getting mother's milk and her antibodies. But then we don't breast feed because it is inconvenient and ruins our perfect breasts. SIGH.
    So a graduated vaccine schedule would be helpful. And you can do that.
    Wish us luck.

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    1. the very BEST of luck! [sigh] we ALL need it!

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  7. Hi Tess

    No dumb or stupid people on this blog, other than the few you have banned. Fresh whole foods, minimal factory produced junk. Eat the food your Grandmother ate, learn to cook. It's so simple when you think about it. Trouble is, simple ain't good enough these days for most.

    If you feel good, look good, you probably are good. Keep up your great work.

    Kind regards Eddie

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    1. thanks, Eddie -- you're too kind! :-)

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