Thursday, November 01, 2007

Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history

We are, as far as urban public education is concerned, essentially at rock bottom. We are now at a point where we are essentially churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults and society as a whole will pay dearly, very soon, and if you think the hordes of easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings have been bad for the soul of this country, just wait.

It's gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking -- and nearly hopeless -- dumb-ification of the American brain. It is just that bad.

(Via Reality Carnival.)

I don't especially want to agree with this analysis, but I do. If you find the author's fears unwarranted, visit your local suburb.


Elan said...

I wonder what readers from other countries would say.
Show me a bohemian suburb, in any country, that is a crucible of creative innovation.

TJ said...

I'd be willing to bet that the typical "fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings" at least know which sides fought in World War II.

Christianity is not the problem, despite the secular left's pathological obession with it (this coming from a devout athiest.)

Teachers indocrintating young minds with socialist/communist/anti-capitalistic/pacifist/revisionist crapola is doing more to destroy America than Christianity ever did.

And yes, I agree with the premise of the article as a whole that we getting dumber and more numb every year.

Chris said...

This is one of the few areas where I can say that Canada actually is better off. Our school system is more or less uniformly excellent across the provinces. And here in British Columbia at least, shop and gym classes are still mandatory, which I think is extremely important. You can get by if your population doesn't know algebra, but if they don't know how to cook a simple meal or patch a leaking roof, you're screwed in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Just to chime in on the Canadian front (and not to bash our neighbors to the south) but the USA doesn't really compare in terms of where we currently sit with a generally well educated populace.

The uniformity of our education system pretty much ensures that all students have an equal shot at things. No it's not a perfect system (no system is) but I'm sure we have a higher per capita quotient of students successfully moving on to College and University. That in many ways also explains why we don't cut our media and government as much slack as Americans do. An informed public is a free thinking one.

I really hate to say it but it seems that even our drugged up "street kids" know more about the world than the average American, Idol watching, junk food eating teen. From an external perspective I think it's fair to say that most of the world is terrified to see where America is headed. I'm sure many of you who have traveled abroad have found that out.


Anonymous said...

Not to worry. I think we must've already passed the "peak idiots" point, given the doings of the current administration in Washington....

W.M. Bear

Mac said...

As an aside, one in ten US high-schools has 60% or more dropouts.

michael said...

Parents are the key. When the parent(s) is involved then our childrens can learn. Teachers were not supposed to be parents as a substitute for the real thing. I am an old guy and I can say that has not changed through the years.

Tony F. said...

I have no intention of raising my kids in America. When the time comes, my fiancee and I have both agreed we are moving to England or France, homeschooling them until the age of ten, and then sending them to private boarding schools. We'll jump through whatever hoops we need to, but I do not want my kids indoctrinated with this new American way of life centered around standardized testing, low expectations, and zero emphasis on originality, creativity or individual thought.

mr. intense said...

"...pile of idiots..."

I have this R. Crumb-esque vision of a pile of writhing, uneducated cartoon characters... 8*}

Idiocy relates to lack of intelligence, which is genetically based. Uneducated, which is the denial of a proper framework for learning how to learn effectively is quite different. Lack of knowledge does not make someone dumb, just ignorant, which, while a factor in fulfilling one's intellectual genetic potential, an aspect of intelligence development, is less critical than the inherent genetic capacity for intellectual potential present.

Just wanted to clarify the difference. We're not an increasingly stupid culture, just lacking appropriate education and training for the real world of the near-term future, which makes us less fit in real terms, competitively than other countries and cultures that value good education and discipline more, due to their own less economically satisfactory status.

Perhaps we have been too successful in terms of providing material comfort and relatively elevated standard of living, while the world is changing around us and catching up quickly.

Warning bells have been ringing for awhle now about this, and we really should elevate teaching, and salaries, to a higher status, in order to encourage better and brighter, and more innovative, educators and programs for early learning than we presently do if we are to keep up with not the Joneses across the street but the Hong, Mitsu, and Ali families in China, Japan, and India, etc.

It's a world economy now, and even though the US has recently regained the "most productive per worker" crown, that is not likely to last nor be as critical as "most educated" and toward maintaining as high-tech a society as we would like and is critical to sustainability of our majority middle-class status and innovative requirements.

Anonymous said...

"I do not want my kids indoctrinated with this new American way of life centered around standardized testing, low expectations, and zero emphasis on originality, creativity or individual thought."


"No Child's Behind Left"....

Chris said...

"I think it's fair to say that most of the world is terrified to see where America is headed"

Yes and no. America has nukes, so that's a concern. But on all other fronts, I'm sorry to say that the world is already in the process of adjusting to the new reality of America being out of the picture this century.

wintermuse x9 said...

"Show me a bohemian suburb..."

Bohemian _suburb_? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? For any alt culture (other than virtual or online) to begin, grow, and be sustained, a certain urban density and selected geographic and economically less well off area needs to pre-exist.

That's why most original beats, beatniks, hippies, etc., came from or gravitated to certain domestic urban areas of "opportunity" for their cultures to subsist within the mainstream.

I live in a fairly Republican, neo-conservative suburb, in a county with more registered Republicans than even Orange County. Suburbs are where middle and upper middle class families reside, and most are fairly mainstream, even in fairly liberal counties like Marin to the south of me, where I also lived for about 10 years, so I'm familiar with the political range of interest in suburban living.

Density, colleges, anonymity, etc. constribute to bohemian or alt cultures, as you have to normally have the greater amount of financial long-term stability and employment to either buy, own, or rent a stand-alone house.

So, naturally you don't find nearly as much, many, or variety of alt cultures in suburbs--it's a given.

That does not mean, however, that there are not individual and group elements that create mini-crucibles of free thought and creative innovation.

They are just more select vs. the general population and more under the radar. Here, we have to extend ourselves through events, showings, get-togethers, and coordination of mutual interests to develop that ethic, rather than just going to, for example, certain areas of San Francisco or Silicon Valley to visit or live within pre-existing communities of interest.

It's just different, man.

Can u diggit? 8^}

Dustin said...

I read this and then sent it along to a teacher friend of mine. Both of us agreed that, unfortunately, it's right on. Sad, but that seems to be a theme around these parts lately.