Yes, we are all dumber, and not just a little bit dumber but excruciatingly dumber. I can prove it…do you remember reading Farenheit 451 in high school. Not many of us do anymore and there is something to that in and of itself. If you haven’t read it then shame on you, it is a wonderful read. I personally read it around the high school time, but not for English class. You see at that time some literature was designated for gifted and talented children in my school, which is to say the kids with the highest grades, the teacher’s favoritism, and the correct political leanings. I only had the first thing. Anyway, 451 is about a society in which books have been outlawed and any book or house containing books get sent up into flame, hence the title of the book, which is the temperature paper burns.
Most believe this book was about censorship…not so said Ray Bradbury, the author. The book is about the destruction of literature and the disinterest in society when literature is gone. For the world of Farenheit 451 is cheerless and introverted while being completely hedonistic. Does that remind you of any society? A place where people are shunned for questioning instead of obeying. Again sound familiar? A place where electronic entertainment trumps all…books, nature, conversation, the art of armpit farting.
Television in the future has replaced all that is good in these people’s lives. Just like here in America where the average person spends a couple of hours in front of the television, and a few hours in front of the computer, along with just a wee few hours on the gaming console, then the smart phone (a misnomer if I’ve ever heard one) for a quick text or status update, and finally picking up the eReader, but not for a book, no, to see the latest copy of vogue or some such thing. Yeah, we’re about dumber than we’ve ever been.
We’re becoming the society of the Idiocracy, a irreverent, yet funny movie done by Mike Judge (of beavis and butthead fame), in which smart people are out bred by dumber people who go on to water down the gene pool to where it is almost non functioning. It seems far fetched but think about it, when thinkers and readers are out bred by those watching Springer or anything on MTV. And lets face it, academics and scientists are having fewer children than the poor working class or even half the welfare class when you come down do it. If you woke up in that future like Luke Wilson’s character, you’d be the smartest person in the world. However, if one of the founding fathers had access to cryogenics and woke up today he’d be wondering where all the troglodytes and neanderthals came from. Yeah, I’m talking about us.
How many of us speak greek, latin, french, or read in any of those languages? Tell you what, raise your hand if you have more than three languages on your tongue. Any three? I would go on, but you get the picture. We don’t read enough, we don’t converse enough, we don’t spend enough time out doing things.
It doesn’t help that political correctness has mandated we can talk about some things and can’t talk about others, or the things we can talk about we must have the proper thoughts on lest we be called monsters by the rest of society. Then you look at all the information we’re fed, people now learn from television, or the cable news, or the internet. Everything you learn has been chopped down into little bits of factoids. You learn all these neat little things that are devoid of context or meaning and you go around spouting them with no constructive thought to back it up. The winner in the smarts game is now the person who can memorize and regurgitate the most factoids regardless of truth, context, applicability, etc. We’ve warped our own society through technological advancement and forgotten that sometimes you can’t improve on something.
So, when you’re done here, pick up a piece of literature, no not a magazine, and not a romance, or a thriller, or…get a history, science, religious, or classic literature book and dig in. Make your brain work, think, revel in the sensation of learning….before we get so stupid we end up renaming Fuddruckers.