Have humans become more stupid?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Emelee, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    First I want to clarify that I am not writing this with any SC member in mind. I talked about this topic with a collaegue today.

    Our feeling is that humans have become more stupid than they were 20-30 years ago. We talked social media and school. We see posts online that makes absolutely no sense. People who can't think with logic. People who blame something on for example the government when the government has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    We also see students who completely lack basic knowledge on things we take for granted that they know. It could be quite simple words that they haven't heard before, and can't even pronounce correctly. Or very famous authors or movies they have never heard of. And most important: many can't seem to grasp what they read! They read a page, but then can't summarize it because they did not understand!

    So.... have people in general become more stupid in the last 30 years -- or do we only think so because we were too little & naïve 20-30 years ago, making us never realize that people were equally as "intellectually challenged" back then?
     
  2. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    A lot of people have always been stupid. It stands out more today because we have the Internet and REALITY TV.
     
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  3. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the short answer is "yes". You need only pick up some textbooks from previous times (like...say, the 1940s) to see that schools demand less from students relative to their ages. Things being taught to kids (especially logic, equations, grammar, and the like) in the 16-18 age range today show up in textbooks geared to 10-13 year olds in the pre-WW2 days. History is vastly watered down and oversimplified to a point that many don't identify with it any more than they would a soap opera set in the past. Rather than being expected to comprehend why things occurred as they did and understand how those events impact modern times, they are handed a bunch of dates and names to memorize, then get tested on--then never mention them again.

    I think the availability of technology to solve problems (calculators, etc.) makes many people lose the willingness to keep up their skills to solve the problems themselves, and if you don't use your brain to solve problems often, you will fall out of practice. We're getting "soft," as my grandpa used to say, but unless there's some kind of apocalypse that wipes away all the cellular phones and internet in one fell swoop, most people see no need to keep up the skills taught in those old textbooks.

    We sent men to the moon using 1960s-era computer technology, but 2010s-era tech seems geared more to babysitting the masses with video games, cell phones and special effects-laden movies. Our technology has gotten smarter and more efficient, but the operators of that technology allow it to do a lot of the thinking for them. Just because you can google something doesn't make you smart.
     
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  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes to this.

    And with both media being prevalent, stupid people have become role models for potentially non-stupid people.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    The one thing I find is there seems to be so little common sense nowadays, I see this at work all the time, my line manager simply cannot make a sensible decision.

    Swami
     
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  6. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that Education has dumbed down, TV has dumbed down and reality TV makes me shudder
    The fact that no talent, publicity seeking folk like the Kardashians, or TOWIE crap make it saddens me, nae talent or class
    and I hate how social media has taken over younger generations lives and that they live their life on social media 24/7

    its self obsessed - people in our dept under 25 have difficulty writing in sentences (we have to write formal reports for med notes)
    and have a lack of knowledge about the world in general re geography, history whats gone on before

    My friend put an app on her teenage daughters phone, she spent 7 plus hours on social media sites one day
    the phone was taken off her for the weekend!! She had to talk to her parents and brother, that was new!

    Im glad i grew up when i did in the 70s/80s - i had fun and not the same pressure there is now.
     
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  7. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    I agree. I admit I am very particular about my grammar/spelling, I think the decline in quality of grammar/spelling is especially noticeable.

    If I send a text message I simply refuse to send abbreviated form, I send the full text. Once you get into a habit of falling into shortcuts like that, it becomes very difficult to get out of them.

    Swami
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Really Smart People know how to re-create the famous Dynasty fountain opening credits:)
     
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  9. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Warrior

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    If anything people have got more intelligent it only now that we have more access to information we are more aware of what we don't know. It always annoys me when people say how young people should be schooled more in the 3 Rs when that would prepared them for life in the 1960s not in the 2010s. Young people have far better understanding of how to use modern technology than middle aged people and those are the skills they need to prepare themselves for the 21 century.

    Young people also have far greater knowledge of what is going on in the world and they have a far greater social conscience about their impact on the world than older people. Young people commit fewer crimes than older people did when they were that age, are less likely to have unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and better educated about issues of bigotry and so are less likely to be racist, sexist or homophobic. Young people overwhelmingly didn't vote for Trump and Brexit and time is showing that they were right on that too. Therefore it seems to me that it's my generation (Generation X) and the generations that came before me that are the stupid ones.
     
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  10. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    You've pretty much captured most of it, or at least that I can't think of much else to add.


    I can't speak for the majority, but I can go by my own daughter's education and she's excelled far, far more than I or her mother did. She's also grown up in a world of technology that reaches across the globe and therefore bettered her knowledge of the world's history and the people who inhabit it. She has also lived in an era where acceptance is very much the way things are. We've had some fascinating conversations about racism, sexism, homophobia and Trump. I remember watching a great drama with her called WHEN WE RISE and she was heartbroken by what she saw.

    And from my perspective, I can say I've learned a great deal more in the past 15 years than I did back in school. I've found a wealth of knowledge that's more accessible through the Internet as well as gained a far better understanding of the world today, that just wasn't available when I was younger.

    I've also found Soap Chat to be a great platform for understanding how different cultures are and through the many topics discussed I've often found myself wandering off into the Internet to understand more.






    I was watching I'M A CELEBRITY, GET ME OUT OF HERE and one campmate Amir Khan asked the question "Have we (UK) ever had a female Prime Minister?"


    Like I said earlier, people have always been stupid, it's only more apparent now because of the Internet and Reality TV
     
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  11. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    That's also how we did it in the 80s.
    What I remember from school depends on personal preference (= nothing). I was a good student but I had zero interest in anything they had to say. Except for French class, that was the only thing I didn't hate.
    School and work are time-wasters[​IMG]
     
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  12. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Warrior

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    Well done to your daughter and I agree with your general point that the younger generation on the whole know far more than we did when we were young. I also think that young people today are educated to research for themselves, to think for themselves and to analyse for themselves whereas when I was at school education was often little more than being taught to remember facts. I don't consider education today to be dumbed down, I think it's providing young people with the relevant skills they need to get on in the modern world.
     
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  13. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Yes, absolutely and that's down to the Internet. If I was to do any research I would have to go to the local library and that itself was an added chore. The power young people have today is how they can access anything through the web.

    I also remember having to read a dictionary to understand certain words and that wasn't always practical back then.

    That applied to me too.

    In some cases, we were taught with rhyme. For example Henry's wives, it would be "divorced beheaded died, divorced beheaded survived", but did I know the names of his wives or the story surrounding the Church of England? No, that came later through my own research and interest in the monarchy.
     
  14. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    It's true that today's youngsters are better in certain areas than older generations. But there are also areas where they fail quite bad. Literacy is the most important one. As a teacher, I not only constantly hear it from other teachers, I also see it myself.

    The kids born in year 2000 is apparently on an all-time low. Kids born in 2001 are doing better, so we may have a trend change in sight. I hope!

    Cause hand on heart: I am each week surprised, baffled and terrified by the lack of not only literacy, but also knowledge, grammar and maths skills. Also at how a novel on 100 pages can be way too difficult to get through.

    But then again, I also have some very bright students. I keep them in mind when I start doubting the future of mankind.


    However, as mentioned above; how on earth will people survive if all electricity broke down permanently (and with that, computers, iPads, smartphones, TV, radio). People wouldn't have much surviving skills. We simply can't do all the things our great grandparents could. I know my grandmother would kick my ass in most areas of householding, agriculture and farming.
    We rely a bit too much on the internet today.
     
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  15. Mo Mouse

    Mo Mouse Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    It is impossible not to be logical.
     
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  16. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    According to tests & statistics, humans ARE indeed getting more stupid by the decade.

    I read an article about it in Swedish news today. All Nordic countries have the same on-going trend as the rest of the developed European countries. We are losing IQ points with each decade since the Victorian age, but more rapidly since the 1980s.

    I had to google this topic in English, and I found plenty of articles like these:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2730791/Are-STUPID-Britons-people-IQ-decline.html

    https://www.huffpost.com/us/entry/3293846

    One explanation is that educated people have less children, while uneducated people have more children (it has been established many times that children of educated parents do better in school).

    Another reason suggested is that we eat more junk food and exercise less, which is bad for the brain's functions such as logic, memory and quick thinking.

    Yet another suggested reason is that people in general read less today. By reading they mean books, not messages on social media, blogs or gossip magazines.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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  17. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    One of our main flaws is believing we are smarter than anything and that we're invincible and top of the food chain. Most arrogant species ever.
     
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  18. Mo Mouse

    Mo Mouse Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Well Sar, dead brainy, classy birds like you don't grow on trees. Let everyone else become more stupid if they want.
     
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  19. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    We need more mice, right @Mo Mouse ?
     
  20. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    God gave us access to, and warnings about, the forbidden fruit: the knowledge of right and wrong.

    So Eve, being a restless woman unsatisfied even in Paradise, nudged Adam, a moronic and wimpy male, into biting into that fruit. And that got them deported from the Garden of Eden forever... As the mythology goes.

    Why does learning the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil, so unfortunate?? Because, armed with that knowledge, humans quickly develop egos because they come to associate their own ego-identity with doing precisely the thing they know is wrong and doing it for no other reason than the fact that they know it is wrong.

    So rebelling against their own internal sense of morality becomes how the individual defines himself and his own sense of autonomy, all too often.

    Everything crappy emanates from that. So of course humans are the most arrogant species ever. Because we have that special skill.

    And, no, I'm not talking about sex per se.

    [​IMG]
     
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