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Thread: The Age of Idiocy

  1. #1
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    The Age of Idiocy

    Last night, some friends and I were talking about the high tolerance for idiocy our society has developed. Not just the Trumpers and Orange Man Bad camps, but all over.

    Gender reveal parties. Especially those that kindle major wildfires.

    Racial/gender quotas for the Oscars.

    A sort of historical re-enactment of the Paris Commune; taken seriously by a rage-monetizing media.

    Jane Fonda emerging from the ancient dust of history to announce she can no longer be friends with Jon Voigt due to his unsavory politics. Ho, yes. Che, yes. Jim Jones, most certainly. But not Jon.

    Seattle schools looking at revising its math education program to teach how math is a tool of oppression for racist hegemony. They call it “Mathematx”.

    Designated hitters in the National League.

    I tried to argue that these things are generally the work of noisy but culturally insignificant outliers, but I was shouted down by the cultural declinists, who insisted that the first hard rap by the barbarians will topple the whole rotten structure. Personally, I still think we have good bones underneath and will eventually shake it off.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Maybe it's a function of our slipping status on the Social Progress Index.

    From Nicholas Kristof:
    The newest Social Progress Index, shared with me before its official release Thursday morning, finds that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s.

    The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more — to measure quality of life. Norway comes out on top in the 2020 edition, followed by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. South Sudan is at the bottom, with Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea just behind.

    The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011. The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.


    Maybe what is idiotic is that we can't figure out a way to make healthcare affordable, even though there are over a dozen countries who have provided working models. Or we spend tons of taxpayer money on subsidies that decimate the environment and make people sick, just because corporations like Nestle, Monsanto and General Mills want us to and are willing to pay our leaders off. I'll take the idiocy of a gender reveal party over this kind of idiocy.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I totally agree Catherine!

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    People are supposedly getting more intelligent over time (per IQ, yes I know). Yes, a few people repeating Trump nonsense online and one is like how can this possibly be true? I mean conspiracy theories used to be thoughtful at least, and now they are just Trump "brain" droppings (from his swiss cheese brain) of ranting idiocy (take oleander for covid! masks will kill you!). We are literally being subjected to Steve Bannon's flood the zone with @#$# with the Trump administration and that's probably why it seems people are getting dumber. But much of that may be bots, or not young (and thus the people getting smarter over time isn't applicable).

    Not that a society falling apart like the U.S. is, as Catherine points out, doesn't have some fallout, even despite average intelligence maybe improving.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    When I first saw the movie "Idiocracy" I did not consider it a work of fiction.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    A lot of the ridiculous-on-their-face conspiracy theories are being promulgated and spread by Russian disinformation teams.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    A lot of the ridiculous-on-their-face conspiracy theories are being promulgated and spread by Russian disinformation teams.
    Where do you think I am seeing this information?

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I have no idea; it spreads outward from Russian agents/bots to gullible news agencies (i.e. Fox) and beyond.

    ETA: You can read up on their methods on NPR and other legitimate outlets. They've been at it for years.

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    you mean like not wearing masks or social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID?

  10. #10
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/u...ronavirus.html

    Declassified U.S. intelligence accuses Moscow of pushing propaganda through alternative websites as Russia refines techniques used in 2016.
    Russia has been spreading disinformation and propaganda about the pandemic, according to U.S. intelligence.

    By Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger
    July 28, 2020

    WASHINGTON — Russian intelligence services have been spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to newly declassified intelligence, material that demonstrates how Moscow is continuing to try to influence Americans as the election draws closer.

    Russian military intelligence, known as the G.R.U., has used its ties with a Russian government information center, InfoRos, and other websites to push out English-language disinformation and propaganda about the pandemic, such as amplifying false Chinese arguments that the virus was created by the United States military and articles that said Russia’s medical assistance could bring a new détente with Washington.

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