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Old 11-03-2013, 12:33 PM
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I know that many look at techology [past and present] and think we're getting smarter. I, on the other hand think we're getting dumber. Schools that no longer teach [what used to be] basic skills, and young people becomming reliant on "modern technology" and all, but that drivel aside, check out how fantastically smart this guy was - in the 1700's

http://www.chonday.com/Videos/the-writer-automaton
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:49 PM
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K.I.S.S......
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:00 PM
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I think that technology is getting better and some people are evolving to do great things. However, on balance, I think we are regressing back to a more primitive state. Genetics has a lot to do with this where intellectual "pollution" is evident in the gene pool (especially in big cities). I think many people are actually getting dumber and have lost that drive to improve thanks to our deluxe safety hammock, political correctness, and the liberal goal of taking out competition and to be served by big government.

We invented and built great things because we wanted to make tons of money, to improve our lifestyle and we NEEDED better/convenient stuff. Now, there is so much stuff around, just about everyone has access to it. Even the poor have cars, TVs, air conditioning and things that were once considered luxuries. In summary, people have the potential to do great things as they have done in the past but why kill yourself working hard when there are billions of people around the world to do the heavy lifting and thinking for you.

We now see little league teams not keeping score, schools getting rid of honor rolls because it is not fair to point out achievement in the face of such failure and colleges not giving graduates their honors on garments because not everyone earns honors. Socialism = mediocrity and that apparently is good enough for most voters today. Most know nothing about the people running this country let alone the technology that made it all happen. Welcome to the new stone age --- especially where marijuana is now legal lol.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:11 PM
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I know that many look at techology [past and present] and think we're getting smarter. I, on the other hand think we're getting dumber....
Well after a exhaustive Google search and review of Wikipedia and other sites I am not sure I can agree with you.

On a tangent however, I will say technology is keeping my encroaching senility from shining so intensely. Many things and concepts that I used to know, and now are hard for my mind to retrieve in real conversations, can be researched from the 'net in a flash. This keeps me from sounding like the doddering old gentleman that I am becoming. So while not getting any smarter at least I can fake it better.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:33 PM
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It seems the smarter we get as a species,the more we forget about the simple mundane mechanical things.
I have witnessed people who can program anything computerized...But don't know how to use a simple shovel. People who can research any subject,but can't skin a rabbit.
It's all about their experiences and comfort levels. That works out fine...As long as the lights stay on and society continues to run smooth. After all who needs to read an old map as long as the GPS works...
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:47 PM
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On subject; I would say people are getting dumber regardless of the technology. Or rather the majority of people are getting dumber while a few folks are quite smart. Years back, I noticed that people could not read, than years later I noticed next that basic math was beyond the common person.

Unfortunately today, comprehension and logical reasoning is fast going extinct. So even for many that can read and do math they do not "Grok" what it all means. All surface thinkers and no depth.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:49 PM
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Elementary and high school have dumbed down their curriculums so that 'no child is left behind' and to promote policital correctness, to revise historical fact for political reasons, and to produce a young adult who lacks critical thinking skills and is easily swayed by public opinion.

And then they are told they must attend college, even if it means two years of remedial classes before they even get to their core classes. Why? Because they have to be the leaders of tomorrow, the scientists, the doctors, the researchers, the IT and computer technology people. But, for what? Most of our technology is not manufactured here anymore. Students in third world countries easily outstrip US students in basic, BASIC math, science and even language scores, even among college age students. The politically correct, revisionist curriculum is continued into the college years.

There is a larger agenda that produces kids that are largely uneducated, and then demands they go to college to receive an education while our own technological advances and productions are outsourced to other countries. And upon graduation from college what do we have? Degreed young people who still aren't very educated, and have spent the first 22 to 24 years of their life being indoctrinated in all manner of things that have little to do with acquiring an actual education, skill, and degree.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:04 PM
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Elementary and high school have dumbed down their curriculums so that 'no child is left behind' and to promote policital correctness, to revise historical fact for political reasons, and to produce a young adult who lacks critical thinking skills and is easily swayed by public opinion. .
I'm a high school teacher, and the problem with NCLB isn't that the curriculum is being dumbed down. It's the fact that they push the kid to the next grade level and make them take the next grade level subject with an additional remedial class. For example, in my state we use the FCAT. A level 3 is considered passing. If a child scores a 1 or a 2 in reading or math the following school year they are given a remedial class. At my last school a sample schedule would look like this:
English
Intensive Reading
Algebra I
Intensive Math
HOPE (health/gym)
History
Science

I taught intensive math last year, and it's a system set up to fail because how can a child do algebra when they don't even know their times tables? The students don't get to take skills based electives (agriculture, criminal justice, etc. to earn a certificate) because their schedule is filled with classes trying to help them get a diploma.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:10 PM
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Idiocracy.

It seems plausible to me.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:13 PM
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I don't think people are getting dumber, I just think that people are losing common sense.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB4 View Post
On a tangent however, I will say technology is keeping my encroaching senility from shining so intensely. Many things and concepts that I used to know, and now are hard for my mind to retrieve in real conversations, can be researched from the 'net in a flash. This keeps me from sounding like the doddering old gentleman that I am becoming. So while not getting any smarter at least I can fake it better.
Hey, Albert Einstein said not to memorize andything you can look up, so you're in good company.

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Unfortunately today, comprehension and logical reasoning is fast going extinct. So even for many that can read and do math they do not "Grok" what it all means. All surface thinkers and no depth.
I think the Google mentality feeds that -- although it was around on newsgroups, 15 years before Google. People want a quick answer instead of taking the time to actually understand a subject. That's why everybody with an Internet connection is all of the sudden a doctor AND a lawyer!
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:56 PM
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The smarter phones become, the dumber people become . . .
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:00 PM
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We're becoming so dependent on technologies that we're losing basic skills. We have computerized machinery that is capable of machining to .0001" or less, consistently, while we have fewer skilled artisans that can hold those tolerances manually.

One hobby of mine is antique watch and clock repair. If it don't wind up and tick I don't touch it. When I look at the workmanship on a 150 year old fusee watch I'm amazed, especially when you understand that most of those old masters worked with hand powered lathes, called a 'turns lathe', driving the spindle with a bow in one hand while doing the cutting with the other. There were no dials on these machines either. Envision wood lathe technology, resting a hand-held tool (graver) on a steady rest. Yeah, I've made replacement parts for these watches before, but my lathe has an electric motor.

These watches also used a chain to transfer power from the mainspring to the drivetrain. Imagine a bicycle chain made with .003" plates and .004" link pins, made by hand.

That's just one example of a technology where today we can do great things, but if the rug of available power were pulled out from under us we would be lost. We're standing on the shoulders of giants.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:22 PM
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Talk to the young people of today. They have little imagination because they consume their fantasies from a device rather than imagine them. They have little creativity for the same reason. They have notoriously short attention spans because everything in their world is push button instant grafitication. They have little common sense because they are rarely in a situation that calls for it, so have not really developed that aspect of their thinking. They play video games rather than get outdoors and play, so there are a lot of physical and hand/eye coordination skills that they are not adequately developing. I could go on and on. It's just going to get worse.

I used to be the biggest tech junkie you ever saw. I started with computers in the '80s as a hobby. Was into robotics. Used to build my own MIDI gadgets for the recording studio because what I wanted hadn't been invented yet. I worked daily with technologies 20-25 years ago, that only made it into home electronics in the last few years.

But as soon as I saw what the mass influx of all this I-crap was doing to society, I became an instant neo luddite. I watched it destroy Japanese culture, and hoped Americans would be smarter. But I knew in my heart, we've always been pretty stupid as a culture. And now we proved it.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
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...
I used to be the biggest tech junkie you ever saw. ...
But as soon as I saw what the mass influx of all this I-crap was doing to society, I became an instant neo luddite. ...
I'm right there with you. I'm regretting not learning more from my grandparents, and hanging onto the tools and skills they had.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:12 PM
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When I was a kid we had no toys. We made everything and our imaginations ran wild thinking of stuff to do and things to create. Today, everything is handed to kids and their throw-away "toys" cost as much as my first car! If necessity is the mother of invention, big government is the paternalistic father that stole our will to succeed, our competitiveness, inventiveness and creativity. All we need now is an artificial brain and directions to the voting booth.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:30 PM
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People are absolutely becoming dumber by the day.
In the past, Darwin's theory pretty much insured that only the "best" of the species would survive.
Now though, thanks to political correctness and the nanny government, society no longer "weeds out" the bad apples. In fact, thanks to our corrupt welfare system, we encourage them to procreate.
The movie Idiocracy wasn't a comedy. It was a glimpse into our future.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lashleighxd View Post
I'm a high school teacher, and the problem with NCLB isn't that the curriculum is being dumbed down. It's the fact that they push the kid to the next grade level and make them take the next grade level subject with an additional remedial class. For example, in my state we use the FCAT. A level 3 is considered passing. If a child scores a 1 or a 2 in reading or math the following school year they are given a remedial class. At my last school a sample schedule would look like this:
English
Intensive Reading
Algebra I
Intensive Math
HOPE (health/gym)
History
Science

I taught intensive math last year, and it's a system set up to fail because how can a child do algebra when they don't even know their times tables? The students don't get to take skills based electives (agriculture, criminal justice, etc. to earn a certificate) because their schedule is filled with classes trying to help them get a diploma.
I don't want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers. Quote by John D Rockefeller
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synical1 View Post
People are absolutely becoming dumber by the day.
In the past, Darwin's theory pretty much insured that only the "best" of the species would survive.
Now though, thanks to political correctness and the nanny government, society no longer "weeds out" the bad apples. In fact, thanks to our corrupt welfare system, we encourage them to procreate.
The movie Idiocracy wasn't a comedy. It was a glimpse into our future.
We can blame some of that on people themselves. We've been indescriminately breeding for a long time. Even in discussions of what people want in a mate, when is the last time you saw someone mention genetics? Nah, it's all about looks, income, education, personality, etc. The surface fluff.
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:24 PM
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I believe that in general people are more ignorant and probably dumber but technology allows the smarter people to build devices that helps the majority function at a higher level.

My guess is the number of smart people has increased but as a percentage of the overall population it has probably decreased.

Another interesting thing about critical thinking is that the parts of our brain that lites up during that activity is the same area that lites up when in pain. So now you know thinking hurts.
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