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Stupidity


Airehead
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10 minutes ago, Airehead said:

Do you remember, before the internet,
that it was thought that the cause of
collective stupidity was the lack of
access to information?
Well…. it wasn't that

that was the terrible assumption. I believed it for myself for awhile. Then as part of several paid jobs over the years, was to give to clients, reliable sources of Internet info. 

The thing is even when one works for a major organization, and later read the news, one's reaction:  "Oh, that happened in our organization? :huh: Belonging doesn't mean one has first dibs on juicy info. before it was released publicly."

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24 minutes ago, Airehead said:

Do you remember, before the internet,
that it was thought that the cause of
collective stupidity was the lack of
access to information?
Well…. it wasn't that

What do you mean? Everyone is now an expert in infectious diseases, immunology, NATO and countless other disciplines.

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8 hours ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

What do you mean? Everyone is now an expert in infectious diseases, immunology, NATO and countless other disciplines.

exactly! 

I don't think that it was the lack of info that made people stupid.  I feel like it's the old Mark Twain saying (and I am paraphrasing here) about not knowing how dumb a man is until he opens his mouth to prove it. 

I think that people have always been fairly stupid regardless of how much information is available to them.  I think that the internet has just given them a platform in which to voice their stupidity. 

 

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18 hours ago, Airehead said:

Do you remember, before the internet,
that it was thought that the cause of
collective stupidity was the lack of
access to information?
Well…. it wasn't that

I've always felt that it was the fact that we could automate a lot of things we had to think about - like when calculators came out in the 60's and, within a decade honors high school students would divide a huge number by a small number, get an answer less than one because the entered the numbers wrong, and write it down without thinking the answer was obviously impossible.

When I taught high school physics classes, we'd end up with a complicated equation on the board with lots of variables and I'd tell the class, "The answer with our results should be around 6.8.  A teenager would do the calculator result and say, "It's 6.779," and when the teenagers asked me how I could do that I said, "I went to high school before calculators were affordable. I had to learn to do some of this stuff in my head."

Books have had an incredible effect on knowledge, but note that before the printing press was invented, bards would listen in bars to another bard sing a song about things newsworthy that lasted and hour, then go out themselves and sing the same hour-long song: having roughly memorized the whole thing in one sitting.

Our brains are capable of doing stuff like that, but we don't exercise them enough!

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4 hours ago, MickinMD said:

I've always felt that it was the fact that we could automate a lot of things we had to think about - like when calculators came out in the 60's and, within a decade honors high school students would divide a huge number by a small number, get an answer less than one because the entered the numbers wrong, and write it down without thinking the answer was obviously impossible.

When I taught high school physics classes, we'd end up with a complicated equation on the board with lots of variables and I'd tell the class, "The answer with our results should be around 6.8.  A teenager would do the calculator result and say, "It's 6.779," and when the teenagers asked me how I could do that I said, "I went to high school before calculators were affordable. I had to learn to do some of this stuff in my head."

Books have had an incredible effect on knowledge, but note that before the printing press was invented, bards would listen in bars to another bard sing a song about things newsworthy that lasted and hour, then go out themselves and sing the same hour-long song: having roughly memorized the whole thing in one sitting.

Our brains are capable of doing stuff like that, but we don't exercise them enough!

You are right about using our brain to memorize certain things and for our brain to learn and remember how to execute certain steps, etc. vs. automation. Obvious one is watching some cashiers make change...they are so much slower figuring out which coin, etc. and counting back customer's change into their hand.

Oral storytelling tradition is a good one..however it sometimes got embellished with each creative twist in the line of bards.

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