Alright, Hopefully I won’t offend anyone here, but really, as a whole, we’re really letting ourselves go guys, both physically and intellectually. For a while now i’ve had a pretty busy schedule and that left most of my social interactions to be with my friends, or at work with people usually… “qualified” for the role or position they represent. But I went to Walmart with my Fiance on Saturday day because i needed to purchase a somewhat diverse array of things. Talk about culture shock, overhearing bits and pieces of people’s conversations i could TASTE the incompetence coming off these people. It was rather awful, i just kept my head down weaving my through isles of people wider than carts trying to get out of there as fast as i could. Probably the most cringe-worthy thing was when I was grabbing Butter for the meatloaf i planned to make, I overheard a girl i estimated to be between the ages of 15 and 20, What she was wearing was irrelevant to my point, but lets just drop it at saying it does nothing to suggest she was in any way scholarly, but i digress. I witnessed this Girl look at a tub of butter that had one of those big “great source of calcium” graphics on it, i think it was country crock if memory serves.
This girl looks at the tub for a second and turns to her mother, “Mom? What’s ‘kalk-e-yum’ ?”
my reality was shaken when i heard the response she was given, “I don’t know, just put it in the cart.” Without even thinking about it i responded saying “It’s actually pronounced calcium, and it’s a mineral your body uses for everything from increasing the platelet count in your blood to strengthening bones and teeth.”
The tone this woman took when responding embodied everything that i think is wrong with society today. “It’s rude to correct people, and nobody asked you.” Now i usually like to leave the color of people’s skin out of these situations, but this bitch was orange. Slightly carried away in my anger I responded by speaking directly to the girl. “Incredible… Please make it a life goal to be smarter than this woman when you’re her age, though judging from what i’ve witnessed, you should be able to have that accomplished by next week.” and walked away with an expression that brought the image of that scene from CARRIE where they dump the blood on her in front of everyone.
We live in an age where perceivably infinite information is available to anyone that seeks it. We sit at a turning point, the opportunity to create an entire generation of minds to parallel and even exceed the greatest thinker’s this world has ever seen, and we as a people are shitting all over it. Could you imagine where we’d be right now if great minds like Robert Oppenheimer and James Watson had had access to the internet? like at all!?. They spent their lives in libraries, and laboratories doing experiments that unbeknownst to them, had already been done, YEARS were spent replicating research and experiments that had already been conducted. If they could have just googled and found everything humanity already knows, it’s incomprehensible what could have been accomplished. Since the 80’s science and technology have accelerated forward at unbelievable pace, not because the people were smarter, but because it was easier to pick up where their predecessors left off. It surged ahead with the creation of instantaneous collaboration around the world, where work could be shared and received in real time. Thanks to this benefit, incredible devices like that smartphone in your hand that is thousands of times more capable than the combined processing power of the vehicle that first put man on the moon.
Sorry, i got caught up in the majesty that is daily life for us just now. I’ve also majorly digressed from my point. To pick up where i left off, articles and studies have determined that we have been on a steady intellectual decline since the Victorian era, and though literacy rates are scads above what they were back then, it is incredibly evident that the willingness to learn has plummeted. In today’s world of instant gratification and the readiness of information at your fingertips, it seems the attitude has changed to “I’ll never use this in life, why should i learn it?” This thought is POISON to society. The willingness in students has never been lower either. Students don’t WANT to learn, and yes, in elementary school most children don’t want to learn, they’d rather be playing outside, but in high school and even college, students are less willing than ever to learn.
College campuses used to be esteemed places, you went to college because you wanted to learn. You went off to college to expand your mind, and classes made it quite evident that you WANTED to be there. Today though is an entirely different story. Young adults go off to college to get some piece of paper, which in the process they are making meaningless. How is it that the most educated nation is also the least intelligent nation then? Doesn’t make sense at all does it. As of 2012 33.5 percent of the US population had a bachelors degree or higher and 42% at least have associate’s degrees. 92% have graduated High school! those are some incredible numbers, but what has it gotten us?
well if you ask me, the attendance and graduation rates don’t mean a thing to me, graduating from college is something anyone can do given proper time, but with an unwillingness to learn, you don’t RETAIN anything. Students are taught, retain the information for the test, and then wipe it all out until exam time when they realize they don’t remember anything they’d been taught more than 2 weeks prior.
I hypothesize that the reason for the bar being lowered so far, is because we let it. Children in high school are told that if they don’t get a college education, they won’t get a good job, so they go to college to get a piece of paper and drift their way though classes not actually learning anything in the long run. They come out of college with a degree that is made worthless by thousands of others like them, who got degrees in random things because they didn’t know what they wanted to do. Now that piece of paper you got, that hundred thousand dollar piece of paper that essentially says you finished the same work these thousand of others did.
So that separation a degree holder had over a non-degree holder is no longer present, and you’re back to being compared by your resume skills and interviews. Employers have known this since the turn of the millennium, a degree from a university doesn’t necessarily guarantee you REMEMBER anything you were taught, or even if you showed up to BE taught. So unless you are shelling out to very exclusive schools, ones graded by the toughest curriculum’s and showing merit in students achievements, rather than letting anyone in with the proper “donations”, will carry the same value they once did. Prestigious schools such as Harvard, Princeton, MIT, GIT, and CalTech will be the only ones to really set you above those with degrees from local colleges who will pass anyone given enough tuition money and time. You are representing that school’s reputation, and the school is endorsing your skills.
with all that being said the biggest problem of all is “this’ll never benefit me later in life.” which i have to admit i take part in a bit myself, mainly regarding topics such as art or history, there are people out there who do know that so why should I?
the desire to learn as a whole is unbelievably down, and as a person who seeks to know and learn EVERYTHING, it is depressing to see, especially when it reaches a point where differences in vocabulary and basic understanding of principles make communications strained.
the image is a clickable link to a free IQ test, it asks for a little info, but nothing too personal, and nothing authenticated, so just lie about your name, zipcode hair color and salary. as an additional experiment, if you’d like to share your score along with what faith you follow to help me gather some data, i’d appreciate it, if you’d prefer not to, please do not feel obligated.