"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

April 20, 2005

Is America Getting Dumber?

John C. Dvorak, a computer guru, has noticed that, increasingly, people with computers don't even know how to look for simple, basic information online, and that trend is a manifestation of an increasingly ignorant population (snippet):

....It seems as if nobody knows anything except the names of a few popular songs and perhaps the names of some popular bands. To see this sort of mass ignorance you can catch Jay Leno's once-every-week-or-so Jaywalking segment, where the late-night entertainer goes on the street to ask people who are out and about the simplest of questions. The answers are absurd and jaw-dropping. He'll ask someone who says he or she is a college student, "Can you name one state that borders California?" The person will look puzzled and respond, "Chicago?" Over the years I have to assume that this segment has been subverted by its own popularity and some people just goof on the answers to get on the show, but to act like a brain-dead dingbat just to be on TV is pathetic in itself.

Other TV shows have been done with a similar theme, focusing on students at Harvard and elsewhere. Few knew that the earth goes around the sun. Fewer still know even rudimentary geography, and nobody knows history or current events, although kids do know the names of band members....

Based on my expereinces, I cannot disagree with his assessment.

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