Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Discuss] [OT] Dumbing down of the population

On 01/15/2013 08:35 AM, Mark Woodward wrote:
> 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.
We're getting a bit philosophical, but I don't think that people are
ignorant or don't want to learn. I think it tends to be what interests
us. Recently I've had to earn my PHD in driving a hybrid with all the
electronics. While I recently changed a few washers on a leaking sink
and have fixed some other plumbing related stuff, there are a number of
things that are better left to a plumber or an electrician.
WRT: Computers most people over 40 only want to have the computer skills
to use a computer as an appliance. Most people under 40 have grown up
with ho,e computers and they are less mysterious.

What I am trying to say is that most people do try to learn stuff, but
there are many different things and different interests.

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix
PGP key id:3BC1EB90 
PGP Key fingerprint: 49E2 C52A FC5A A31F 8D66  C0AF 7CEA 30FC 3BC1 EB90

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /