Friday, May 16, 2008

Successfully dumbing down everything

I've been wondering what it will take for me to gain more readers and/or interest in the topics that I explore in B.L.O.G. The person I was talking with today reminded me that we Americans can handle little more than soundbites and in reality have little time or energy to educate ourselves about the world. Even worse, the more educated we become, the worse it all seems to get... so it can be quite depressing. Therefore, people seek out distractions such as sports, mind numbing reality shows or the latest celebrity rehab or drunk driving accident.

To present this skewed reality and its effects, I found two pieces I want to share with you that illustrate this situation perfectly...

1/ A very brief talk given at TED by Alisa Miller, CEO of Public Radio International where she visually demonstrates the inequities and inanities of International News Coverage, and

2/ Findings published by the National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study on young Americans knowledge of the global map. The findings are alarming... (60% could not find Iraq on a map of the MIDDLE EAST) and demonstrate that as this audience gets their International news, they clearly have no clue as to where the places that are being reported are, and almost nothing about those places... and worst of all, don't really care that they don't know.

Alisa points out in her talk that the lack of international coverage is perhaps due to its cost and cost cutting by the major news networks. I don't disagree, but I have a different take on WHY... I believe that there is a conscious effort afoot (over time) to de-educated us in order that we as a society know nearly nothing about the world that we are not told in the MSM... AND, that the less we know, the more we can be manipulated.

This has been demonstrated time and again that the less people know, the more apt they are to believe what they are told without questioning... as of course they have no knowledge about anything in order to form real questions or challenge the "facts".

I'll shut up here and let you watch Alissa's talk... its actually quite entertaining and SHORT enough to watch and enjoy (its kind of funny).

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