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 CharlesEdm
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 28
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind Page 2 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Heh you know what? I could point out all the great things that came out of the 60's, and how other countries have done very well by not abandoning these thoughts, but it really is off topic.

Anyway, back to the subject. One of the largest dumbing down influences and one that is of increasing concern is the home schooling evangelical movement. It exists purely to remove the possibility of outside information from the development of children.

Also, youtube documentaries. Good god you can find a youtube documentary that says virtually anything, no matter how stupid it is. Look up some freaking citations people!
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 29
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The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 5:08:19 AM
I wasn't saying the 60's itself was bad. I know there were a lot of good things that came out of the 60's I can name them to.

I don't trust some evangelicals, and not because their Christian because that would be hypocritical because I’m Christian, but the ones like Huckabee. I was so damn glad that he lost. Those are the types of people you don't want in office, because he is the type that will start influencing his religious ways into his policy and I’m firmly against that from any religion. I mean we see how much of a mess some of these Middle Eastern countries are when religion influences politics. If you allow one in they, all want to come in.
 CharlesEdm
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 30
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 5:32:35 AM
You have no idea how scary the modern evangelical movement is. I suggest reading "American Fascist" it's a christian journalist who is discussing exactly these issues and how it is poisoning the political process. They in many ways resemble and emulate the extremist muslim movements, they've simply been tempered by the secular nature of north american society (people won't put up with their shit... mostly...)

They rely on the dumbing down of their followers. The ellimination of critical thought, and the restricted access to outside sources of information. It's why they have evangelical christian television, radio, dating sites, education, textbooks, ect.

Here is a link, seriously good read, if you lived anywhere near here I'd lend it to you.

http://www.amazon.com/American-Fascists-Christian-Right-America/dp/0743284437
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 31
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The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 5:40:39 AM
Oh I have a very good idea, I live in evangelical USA. Some of their churchs look like damn baskeball arena's. I know exactly what goes on in many of their churchs. A lot of evangelicals are frauds look at Pentecostalism for example. Holy crap talk about a sucker fest. If you can believe that some normal guy can hit you over the head and cure anything in your body then you will believe just about anything. These types of people are almost as bad as the radical islam movement in the same sense of how they pray on the weak and brainwash them into thinking their agenda.
 TheStefano
Joined: 6/15/2008
Msg: 32
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 11:47:02 AM
I was there in the 60's and it was a huge, huge explosion and burst of freedom, creativity, fun and just plain enjoyment of living, and that included breaking out of the very narrow confines of the conformist society that came after Eisenhower's time.......it was the greatest time to be alive that I've known since ...
 slysterling
Joined: 1/9/2007
Msg: 33
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 11:58:52 AM
^^^Doubtfully you'll see anytime soon such a time as the times of the fervent belief Americans had in themselves and their nation as they had then. People like those shot down at Kent State for standing up for themselves, their beliefs, their country, shows how badly the apathy has set in two generations later.

Doubtful that over half the folks under 30 ever even heard of what happened at Kent State.

"""...Do you recall what was revealed the day..."""

=========
...The players tried for a forward pass,
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast.

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

http://www.don-mclean.com/viewsong.asp?id=89

===========

So regards the OP's OP: How did you get here? And how are you planning to turn it around? And can you?

I have my theories on the first question, but I'd have to put on my banned tinfoil hat to give my response, so I'll just have to keep it to myself.
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 34
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The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 3:10:00 PM

So let me see if I have this right. Because you saw this on tv, you think its all true and a fact? This is exactly whats wrong with society today.


Seriously did you even read any of my post or did just skipped through them? Get you facts striaght i said i have known lots of people from the 60's as well.



Embarrassing? You are kidding, right? I was there and I dont remember ever being embarrassed. What's embarrassing is the fact you think this is true. Believe half of what you see and nothing you hear.


So just because you were there makes it a fact and no one else's is view point matters even though they to have lived through the 60's as well and have said the complete opposite that you are saying? LOL. I mean, at least i'm not proclaiming they were fact. Get your head out of you know where. The embrassing part about this is, you trying to make your own opinions into fact.



You might want to go to the library and read a few books on this issue. You will find you dont know all the story. It was the greatest time in the history of time, as far as Im concerned.


Again you are taking more of your own view points and trying to twist them in to facts.



Get the real facts and get back with us, there will be a test on this later.


The real fact is what you think is fact is based on really your opinion.
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 35
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The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 3:51:38 PM
So, was millions of other people like my mother and father so what's your point?.

So you think just because you lived in that decade back then that everyone else living in that decade back then agrees with you?

You don't have to be "there" to know a lot about something. Take the civil war experts for example living today. Were they there at the time the civil war took place? No, but are you going to deny their knowledge, just because they weren't there? Your argument is moot.
 CharlesEdm
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 36
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 3:54:21 PM

And people call the religious fanatic. Christian ideals poisoning the political process? By that you mean created, I guess?


Well politics predates Christianity, never mind north America, so Christianity obviously doesn't apply there.

And common law (the system that the US is based on) is certainly not based on Christianity.

Democracy certainly wasn't invented by a Christian.

Additionally I didn't say Christian ideals are poisoning the political process. I said Christian fundamentalism is poisoning the political process.

So on the face of it, you're entire statement is wrong, it replies to something I didn't say, with a correction that isn't true.

Thanks for the handsome comment though :)
 427cammer
Joined: 3/1/2008
Msg: 37
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The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 4:39:30 PM
I agree with SteelCity, the dumbing down of America did begin in the 60's. And not just in America, our children in Canada have been failed also by an education system where disciplining students is next to impossible.

It was rhetoric from the 60's that started the abandonment of corporal punishment in schools (and homes). Somehow along with corporal punishment, disciplinary action of any type seems to have fallen along the wayside. Angry parents attack teachers when their little angels are scolded in the most minor attempts at discipline. When I grew up nobody would mention to their parents how a teacher had yelled at you that day; for some reason mom and dad knew I was capeable of doing everything that the teacher said I did. Having boundaries seemed to have worked. I knew that mom and dad were capable of making me compliant to the teachers every wish if I didn't behave, so I worked to make sure very few tales ever reached home.

"Young minds should not be restricted (or structured)" and "children should ALWAYS be allowed to speak" and "we can use chemicals to improve peoples behaviour" are all ideas born from the 60's. Maybe it's time to rethink.

Several years ago I read a quote (I believe it was by Socrates) that basically said "the children of this generation are spoilt, dumb and disrespectful." This was said several thousand years ago and I assume that the purpose of this quote in modern times is to show people that kids aren't getting any worse, so we should just quit our belly-achin'. Assuming that there is a consensus among people that we really are getting dumber, maybe NOW this statement is proving truer than at any other time in history.
 ErikSFBay
Joined: 8/2/2004
Msg: 39
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 4:55:46 PM
Bingo Jack!

there were two times in American history when the US had a strong middle class.

One was the during the Revolution and the other was Post WWII when Roosevelt and Johnson's great society was in full swing.

Both resulted in political revolutions that enlightened not only America, but the world by inspiring political inclusion across the world!
 Pickme83
Joined: 6/13/2007
Msg: 40
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 4:56:27 PM
Hey if ignorance is truly bliss this could be a good thing.
 427cammer
Joined: 3/1/2008
Msg: 41
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Posted: 8/28/2008 5:04:51 PM
I never said the 60's were a wasted decade. I think a lot of ideas on parenting and educating born in the 60's have proven to be less than desireable.

The most monumemental achievement from the 60's would be the civil rights movement. It was people like Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks, and even Jackie Robinson or Cassius Clay who deserve credit for that piece of history, NOT the hippies. The longhaired acid-dropping types were mostly just along for the ride.There was some good music though.
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 42
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Posted: 8/28/2008 5:06:11 PM

NOT the hippies. The longhaired acid-dropping types were mostly just along for the ride.There was some good music though.


Two Thumbs UP!
 TheStefano
Joined: 6/15/2008
Msg: 44
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 6:07:41 PM
I'm sorry, did someone say that there was a middle class at the time of the American Revolution?
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 46
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 6:29:31 PM

I'm sorry, did someone say that there was a middle class at the time of the American Revolution?

Give 'em a break there, it's part of the dumbing down process.

The middle class of the time was the "merchant class" (the shopkeeps and such) with the "landed class" (the rich land owners) above and the "peasant class" (tenant farmers and such) below.

Really, you can't expect most people in this day and age to be able to make those kinds of distinctions, it's part of the dumbing down of general knowledge today.
 a bit nomadic
Joined: 6/14/2006
Msg: 47
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 6:30:29 PM
If "dumbing down" in the political arena can be traced to the 1960's, I'd say that the critical catalysts were probably the Vietnam War and the assassinations of JFK, King and RFK, with the immense despair that followed from those things, along with the corruption of the Nixon presidency, following on the tails of the RFK assassination, that truly fostered rampant cynicism--the belief that ideals don't matter when it comes to politics and the political process. Things have simply gone from bad to worse in the way people imagine their "voices" mattering. What's beautiful to see now is the re-emergence of the idea that we CAN hope for something better--I think this is likely a "rock bottom" moment in our history, leading (hopefully) to recovery.

When it comes to education and what we can expect from our students, I see two problems (not JUST two, but two biggies), which are linked: the commodification of education (spoken to in earlier posts) and the modern phenomenon of television culture, which has helped to create a nation of people who believe that they can gain understanding of complex issues via sound-bites and through a filter that means that they never have to read or even think to learn (and learning itself is done grudgingly, by so many, simply for the larger paycheck at the end of the process). When it SEEMS that nothing requires the use of effort or imagination and/or thought--not even FUN--we are easily made to BELIEVE that that nothing requires effort or imagination and/or thought....which makes us too ready to be led in whatever direction, simply because we ARE eager to take the low and easy road.

IMO, Bush's presidency didn't CREATE "dumbing down": it's a RESULT of it.
 slysterling
Joined: 1/9/2007
Msg: 48
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 6:38:53 PM

...the immense despair that followed from those things, along with the corruption of the Nixon presidency, following on the tails of the RFK assassination, that truly fostered rampant cynicism--the belief that ideals don't matter when it comes to politics and the political process...


That's pretty close to where i would pin it down if i were to hazard a guess. I think Watergate was kind of the last straw and people really turned away and a lot less people gave a damn anymore.
Our grade 10 history class at the time involved the teacher, who was also the senior football coach, having a tv in the classroom and we watched the Watergate hearings while he tried to impress upon us what was happenning.

And in the people turning away, it hasn't been pretty since, but it is where it is.
 427cammer
Joined: 3/1/2008
Msg: 49
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Posted: 8/28/2008 6:56:49 PM
The fact that Bush is not great at being articulate or charismatic should not immediately condemn him in peoples minds as being an imbecile (he might be... I can't say, I really know the man). I have known a lot of people who could speak more eloquently than I to be real dullards. Heck... Bush is a lot better at public speaking than I could ever be. To place the blame of dumb voters at Bushes' doorstep seems like a cheap tactic; the majority of voters finished their education long before he took office.

While speaking of dumbing things down, this whole "tow the party line... no matter what" seems to be one of the dumbest philosophies in all of politics. I consider myself to be a consevative (in Canada conservatives would probably be considered slightly left of democrats, but still... I'm conservative) and I feel that the civil rights movement was a good thing. At the same time I feel that mandated hiring policies concerning minorities is a bad thing. I feel that this whole global warming thing might have been blown out of proportion. In my my mind skyrocketing population rates and mass deforestation are more real concerns. And imagine this, if we could take care of that, the pesky greenhouse thing might solve itself.

Are there any democrats who are willing to admit that by instilling libral teaching practices into the education system, we have made kids dumber? Anybody who is voting for Obama (feel free, he might be the next great president) willing to admit that McCain is a true American hero and his actions in Vietnam should be a testament to his integrity?
 Obsidian71
Joined: 6/9/2008
Msg: 50
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 7:00:24 PM
I would say the death of Journalism and the rise of punditry also to be culprits. You would think that as we progress and become more connected the truth would be easier to find but it appears that "a lie makes it round the world before truth hits the door" is somewhat prophetic.

I think in a well balanced and behaved society there can and should be a multiplicity of opinions. Discussion is key to understanding yet today it's very difficult to discuss things with people because of emotional entanglement. People now become so wedded to their ideology that anything beyond their sphere of thought is irrelevant or wrong as Soderstrom mentioned.

"Looking good" becomes the ontological mandate. Nothing else matters as long as I'm saying the right things, driving the right car living the right life. We all erect a facadic (not a word but should be ) shell to obscure the person we really are.

I think intelligence is promoted by constantly seeking new views or ways of thinking. Though if you look at our educational system we aren't exactly bastions of free thought in that arena either.

O
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 51
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 8:03:05 PM
Are there any democrats who are willing to admit that by instilling libral teaching practices into the education system, we have made kids dumber?

No, nor should they. Liberal influences on education have actually increased the breadth and diversity of information kids are taught (stuff that previous generations only encountered in university).

The biggest negative influence has been the trend by conservative gov'ts to tailor education to the needs of whatever the "de rigueur" employment field of the day is. This is the main reason things like tech ed (carpentry, auto, electricity, etc.) has become so rare over the last few decades. Of course the folly of that is a big part of "dumbing down" process.

Kids who simply don't have what it takes to make it academically would previously have entered those streams and come out the other end with skills and abilities which, while not making them 'professors', gave them areas of expertise where their talents shone just as brightly. As it is, they drop out or they leave high school with much more limited levels of knowledge than previously.

At the same time, concrete skills (tab A in slot B, tab C in slot D!) were favoured over critical thinking and analytical skills (what if we put tab C in slot B and tab A in slot D?), basically, the rise of business-oriented education at the expense of liberal arts.

edit:

"Looking good" becomes the ontological mandate. Nothing else matters as long as I'm saying the right things, driving the right car living the right life. We all erect a facadic (not a word but should be ) shell to obscure the person we really are.

Damn, you beat me to it.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 52
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Posted: 8/28/2008 8:04:47 PM

Its not just The US, it has happened all over the world. It also is nothing new, it has been happening for years now.


It seems to be more of a North American thing, actually. I still know some kids in Europe that have to take Latin courses as part of their basic education. Having been on international forums for about seven years now, the level of education of many European teens simply amazes me - compared to North America.

Young people today are addicted to a very potent drug called technology.

Few read (at the levels that used to be the case BEFORE that technology), and the speed and magnitude of that technology gets them used to "instant" gratification. It's also a huge distraction to the learning process. I'd hate to be a kid today, with Nintendo DS's, PSP's , iPhones, iPods, etc....

( The weird thing is that the European kids have all those things, too. For some reason, they manage far better with them. )

I think part of the problem is the basic breakdown in the family unit. Two parents, two jobs, and very little time to really be a part in a kid's life. They say it takes a village to raise a kid, but today it seems only to take a WiFi connection.

In the USA, I see two major problems at play.

One is the corporate media, and the political system, and the crossover of interests there. That's resulted in a media that's far less independent, and one that's polarized society into two warring camps.

The other problem is the influence of religion within the classroom. Time magazine (online) has a fascinating article on a Florida biology teacher and the fight against intelligent design in the classroom.

Kids walk in with lists or books from their church, and refuse to accept to even consider evolution as a valid subject. They fight the teacher every possible way in rejecting even CONTEMPLATING the possible validity of evolution as a theory.

When dogma starts to replace science and logic - the age of enlightenment is dead.
 427cammer
Joined: 3/1/2008
Msg: 53
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Posted: 8/28/2008 8:40:33 PM
Mungojoe, from my vantagepoint you've made it clear that a certain type of liberal "intellects" are incapeable of agreeing with anything that isn't pure liberal doctrine. Instead of conceding that some of the ideas from the 60's could be wrong, you've transferred blame onto conservative governments. In your opening statement you are quite adamnant that no democrat has the right to agree with my views. It's no surprise to me, but it's clear that the "towing the party line" idiocy is just as rampant north of the border.
 Epicenter1
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 54
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 8:44:55 PM

One is the corporate media, and the political system, and the crossover of interests there. That's resulted in a media that's far less independent, and one that's polarized society into two warring camps.


Two waring camps fighting over completely un important differences. At their core both are the same. Bot have much more similarities than differences. I will say I never heard apeep of religeon in school. What I did here in college was creepy ex hippie liberal teacher just shoveling heeps of BS down our throats. One even suggested and this is true, that the federal government should mandate all to study,TRANSEDENTIAL MEDITATION. No BS. This same lady and I got into it when she tried to trell the class Hitler was a right winger. She had drawn a line on the chalk board and said ok, starting from the left to the right we will fit in names. First was I think Lenin, then someone else, then she asked for us to name some left wingers, I said Hitler. She said no no, he was a right winger. I said excuse me, but he was a socialist. She said no he was a right winger in a tone like, let me do the teaching. I said what charachteristics dis he have in common with small or no central government ideology of the right wing? She said, He was a right winger. I looked at her and TOLD her to answer the question. What does Hitler have in common with a small or non existant centeralized government that doesnt tax and redistribute money? She said he was a right winger. I said the fact that you cant or wont answer the question does not do much for your credibility. She said he was a right winger with that air of arrogance only a ex hippie know it all can do. A peaceful sort of indignation! LOL
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 55
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
Posted: 8/28/2008 10:46:56 PM
Mungojoe, from my vantagepoint you've made it clear that a certain type of liberal "intellects" are incapeable of agreeing with anything that isn't pure liberal doctrine. Instead of conceding that some of the ideas from the 60's could be wrong, you've transferred blame onto conservative governments.

I'm sorry, you'll have to refresh me. Where does the line I quoted make any reference to the '60's because I don't see it.

There is a clear reference to "instilling liberal teaching practices into education" and I am disagreeing with that.

The serious and rapid decline in education began in the early '80's under the auspices of conservative gov't education policies.

As MG noted above, the rapid growth in technology played a part in the decline of education and it was one of the driving factors behind those policies.


In your opening statement you are quite adamnant that no democrat has the right to agree with my views.

Further proof of the problem. That statement says nothing about their right, it says everything about there being no reason to agree with that for the reasons outlined in the points that followed it (and repeated here).
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