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[Discuss] [OT] Dumbing down of the population

A couple conversations have touched upon this, tangentially perhaps, but 
I think it is important.

When I was a kid, my dad said to me, as I imagine many working class 
fathers said to their sons of this particular generation, "You have to 
be rich enough to pay someone or smart enough to do it yourself."

This sentiment has been important to me, and maybe has made me a bit of 
a snob, because I know how everything in my house and car work. That 
isn't a brag as I believe everyone should. It is the only way to protect 
yourself against cheats and liars who try to fix or sell you things.

I find it astounding that in 2013 people actively avoid learning things. 
In all of human history we finally have a system where anyone and almost 
everyone have access to information never possible. It's astounding if 
you really think about it. Alas, I have heard engineers say to me "Why 
do I need to know that?" Seriously?!! I think it is a serious problem 
that mega corporations are getting richer and richer off a population 
that wants to take less and less responsibility for understanding the 
world around them. Its NEVER been easier to get information, and yet 
fewer people seem to care. The are so few renaissance men left.

I think as a trend this does not signal great things for civilization. 
History shows that an ignorant population has never led to positive 
outcomes. Take, for instance, global warming. The average citizen is not 
prepared to take on the subject and evaluate the veracity of the various 
arguments. Worse yet, they have no interest in getting to the point 
where they can. I mean, geez, whether you agree or not that global 
warming is real, there is real impact on your life from the subject. The 
same goes for evolution and so on.

Is it true, must it be true, that you can only make money by allowing a 
person to be ignorant?

OK, rant over.

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