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Old 10-04-2008, 11:45 PM
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:48 PM
Location: Midwest
3,278 posts, read 6,480,321 times
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Originally Posted by JHG722 View Post
And its ancestor, Soul Train.

We took a bad turn when those type shows blew away College Bowl and similar.

A very bad turn, toward an indulgent, ignorant society.
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:08 AM
Location: TwilightZone
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I think fundamentally diet is actually a contributor,as well as the push to get everyone on medications. For ex I've been seeing commercials now for children's Claritin...so now an adult drug for kids. Most I ever had as a kid was candy Bayer aspirin and cherry cough syrup
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:27 AM
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 39,621,692 times
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Originally Posted by Refugee56 View Post
What has caused the dumbing down of the American Culture? Is it just me or do people in general seem less interested in thinking, learning and knowledge than ever before. I also noticed a general movement towards apathy in many Americans. It seems like we are not really all that concerned about anything outside of our own little world.

Sure there is a share of people who complain about things but they do so with so little knowledge or insight. I can not believe much of what I read on Internet Message Boards. So many people have so little knowledge about the topics of the day.

Look at TV and the movies. The shows are getting more insane and mind numbing every year. This has to be a reflexion of our culture.

Is there an increasing level of anti intellectualism in our culture or has it always been that way?
Always been that way. People fear those who are smarter than them...or they envy them, wish that they were able to get through things easily. (I don't know that's the right way to put it...but I never really had to "work" at doing well in my classes).

Fear and envy, take your pick.
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:21 AM
Location: ATL suburb
1,366 posts, read 3,553,674 times
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Originally Posted by JHG722 View Post
And its ancestor, Soul Train.
Well, this gets tricky. Which came first, anti-intellectualism or MTV? The thing about MTV is that it responded to a demand. They play crappy reality TV because that's what's popular for that demographic. The videos are a reflection of popular music, also meeting a demand. The MTV "icons" are who the demographic strive to be like. I can't completely blame MTV, but they do perpetuate the "me" culture.

There was once a time when MTV played music that no one else would. It was also a form of entertainment. No one should have to think and crack open a book during every waking moment. Now when I flip to MTV, I can feel my brain cells dying (yes, I occasionally flip to MTV hoping to hear good music. it has yet to happen).

Now Soul Train was a venue for African American music to get the spotlight and be featured, like American Bandstand was. Remember, when Soul Train started, black music hadn't crossed over like it is now. I saw no difference in the overall content of Soul Train and American Bandstand.

We took a bad turn when those type shows blew away College Bowl and similar.
Eh, I'm pretty smart and watching College Bowl and their ilk bored me to death. This coming from someone who participated in these types of events.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:09 AM
Location: NW Nevada
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Hmmm this one requires some thought. It seems that the way that subjects are taught at grade school level has changed radically since I was in school with the basics having been put aside in an attempt to jump to a finished product...academically speaking. Basic math , reading , language skills and such are being presented in a rather abstract way. Phonics are considered to be obsolete in favor of "word recognition" and it seems that someone is searching for a mathematical formula to make 2 plus 2 equal 5. Hence ,with the basics having been relegated to the bone yard the new generation is ill equipped to enter higher education with sufficient background to understand the subject matter properly. In an attempt to move from a-z in one jump ,so to speak
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:54 AM
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Ironic, don't you think? Society is getting dumber because we are afraid to tell people that they are dumb. I've tried it...nicely, of course. It didn't go over so well. It resulted in something like, "You big, fat, know-it-all, elitist pig!" During political seasons, it really drives me up the wall to think that people are out voting for national leaders based on media spin and street cred. They think a party platform is where the wet t-shirt contest is held. And the deer in the headlights look that I get when I try to explain these things! GRRR! I wish I could turn my brain on and off like that! Anyway, thanks for restoring my faith in a few people.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:07 PM
Location: WA
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I'm not sure if there's a wave of anti-intellectualism as much as bigger divide between the haves and the have-nots, when it comes to education. There's those children who get an excellent education and those who go to schools not much better than daycare. Children who go to better schools are more likely to have a better attitude towards learning. Those who go to terrible schools are not.

There are kids out there who have every education opportunity possible: These kids are going to computer camp in the summer and theater camp over winter break. Their parents read to them every night. They are learning a foreign language at age 5, they're going to advanced science/tech schools, they're participating in all kinds of enrichment programs, and they're doing actual research by age 15. And I think there's more and more schools that are offering better and better opportunities.

Except, most kids don't have access to these schools, either because of cost of the school, or cost of housing in the location the school is in. They go schools are sorely underfunded. They can't afford recent textbooks, much less updated computer equipment, buses for field trips, etc. And they're not attracting the best teachers. The parents are less likely to go to parent-teacher conferences. So these kids are much less likely to have a positive attitude towards school, and not bother to learn anything beyond what is expected of them, if that.

So, maybe, the smart are getting smarter, and the dumb are getting dumber?
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:23 PM
28,906 posts, read 44,310,787 times
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Well, I'm 46, and I really don't want to sound like an old fart. But....

1) Television. The blue-eyed babysitter. We have become an entertainment culture, rather than an education culture. So we skip the school board meeting so we can watch American Idol.

2) Of course, the intellectuals didn't exactly help themselves during the 1960s, when they rejected a lot of traditional thinking and substituted some political and social philosophies that simply didn't pan out the way they had hoped. While the Civil Rights Era was an absolute good, most of the 60s appeared to be nothing more than an attempt to prolong adolescence as long as possible.

3) What's more, intellectuals became victims of their own concepts of egalitarianism. Suddenly, schools had to worry about providing a level playing field. The Social Pass to the next grade became common. It's no coincidence that SAT scores peaked in the early 1960s, before the educational theorists got a hold of the process.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:27 PM
Location: S. New Hampshire
909 posts, read 2,814,647 times
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Originally Posted by Prettygyrl777 View Post
The dumbing-down of America (as I like to call it) has alot to do with the idea that we don't want to exclude or offend anyone so we have to lower standards to ensure that no one feels left out. Great idea (about not leaving anyone out) but we went about it the wrong way. Have you noticed, in the public school system at least, there's seems to be this idea that 'everyone's a winner'? We don't address the fact that if you come in last place, you ought to try harder next time. We give everyone a pat on the back and crown them winners. Sort of ridiculous, you think? So it starts young and spills over into just about every area in life (not just academics but competition in a global marketplace, too).
LOL, this reminds me of two lines from "The Incredibles."

"They keep finding ways to celebrate mediocrity."

"Everybody's special honey." "That means nobody is."
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