Thursday, May 15, 2008

To follow on to Lucid's post...

I came across this article in the Washington Post from Susan Jacoby title "The Dumbing of America". I believe that this is part of the problem with why we, as Americans, do not accept the hard truth about Iraq, Oil, health care, whatever you want to throw into the mix. We don't want to worry about what is happening until it directly affects us. We don't pay attention to the world. We give it a cursory glance and look the the eyes of the internet browser but rarely do people apply their own thought processes to what they are reading.

We are a people who close our eyes to anything outside our immediate viewpoint, or beyond our recent time frame. In the world of instant on, high speed data transfer and instant video we no longer want to wait. We want it all now and don't want to work for it. An old adage of "practice makes perfect" has gone down the wayside. We want a plug in the back of our head like Neo in the Matrix to learn Kung Fu in a few seconds.

Where is our work ethic? What happened to us? We used to be the standard that was looked up to... with hard work anything is possible. Now we want it all done for us. We don't want to make hard decisions. We don't want to change. Why?

I believe Ms. Jacoby is right on throughout her article. We are an arrogant people who have gotten lazy. At the same time we cannot replace arrogance with appeasement for the world. It is a delicate balance. What Ms. Jacoby misses is that we have lost our way and that we have failed to maintain a unique identity as America. We need to get back to our roots... To what made us great... The great melting pot...

-End of Ramble


Beth said...

Lucid Guy mentioned in his previous post about how the oil companies are perceived as "evil" and this is I think partly what could make people shy away from succeeding, coupled with the liberal notion that the government will take care of everything, well then there is hardly an incentive for anyone to take risks, work hard, and feel free to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Ordinary Guy said...

True Beth.

Oil companies are not "Evil"... They are out to make as much profit for their shareholders (you and me if we have a 401k). There has been no impetus until now to look to develop something better. Now with gas prices the way they are there is.

We live in a capitalist society. That is the way it is. Although we are becoming more fascist every day... and the dems want us to be socialist.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

I would argue that most people don't even turn to the internet browser. Instead they accept the answer which is given to them with seeking or embarking on a quest for the truth themselves.

Case in point is my blog about the Polar Bear population and its relation to the extent of the Arctic sea ice.

I think the majority would accept the premise that is given to them without any thought to the contrary.

It goes right back to what Lucid and Beth were saying. The masses at it were, will accept that the Oil companies are "evil" because they're making "record profits". And, for the majority, I think it ends there. There is no incentive or desire for them to look beyond that assessment.

If they did, they would find that while oil company profits are very high, their profit margin is in step with most other industries. It is for the fact that they have alot of outstanding shares and other factors as well.

Philosophy is such an important piece of living for an individual. It is the compass which guides a person. Without it [philosophy] one must simply adopt that which they see and hear from other people.

The problem becomes (and my Lord is the completely evident in today's society) that they don't know which individuals they ought to mimic and which traits are desirable traits to acquire.

This is why we have so much "Dumbing" in America.

Lucid Guy said...

Excellent points All - and Ordinary, good article by Jacoby.

I have two words - Entitlement and Multiculturalism.

The entitlement generation just waits for someone else to provide everything they need, so why work for it. I don't believe the immediate gratification of the internet is the cause, but it certainly has not helped build intellect in general. To Jacoby's point about reading a book in a tree house or playing an X-Box - the book allows for imagination and pondering the "what if", while the X-Box just delivers entertainment. The book provides a catalyst to creative thought and interpretation while the video game is purely reactionary.

Multiculturalism is the loss of the American culture by the over bearing need for us to cater to every other nationality and ethnic group in the name of diversity. Diversity - now that's a pant-load. We have a culture and a national language, and until new citizens start to assimilate and not demand their old culture be catered to, we will continue to fragment. I'm leaving out illegal aliens because that is a whole other passionate debate.

Ever increasing leisure, as stated by the characters of Mark Twain and Ben Franklin at Disney's American Adventure in Epcot, has been and will be the downfall of all great societies. We can either learn from history or be doomed to repeat it.

Beth said...

There are so many things assaulting the American Spirit that I wonder if it will ever be recognizable to future generations.