People are getting Dumber because....realtiy TV?

take a look at the comments..or even the article
http://io9.com/5960176/are-humans-getting-dumber

You know the one

"people are getting dumber!" cue list of shitty TV shows

aside form it being one of those really really annoying things you hear ALL THE FUCKING TIME...I take issue with the Idea that we as a species are getting progressively dumber, I also take issue (like alot more of an issue) when our pop culture is used for evidence of this

now I can;t say if we are or we are not, I'm no expert. But if people say "the masses" of people are stupid, how does that compare to the past? granted intelligence is hard to measure (and not always in sync with education level) but were people really "smarter" back then education was harder to get and a good majority of people were illiterate? the luxery of an education (higher levels that is) being reserved for the elite.Did crappy pulp entertainment not exist in the past? was the shallow pop music of yester year the folk music amongst peasants while the rich went to symphonies?

well anyway thats not actually my main point...just a throught

no my really point is "honey boo boo" is evidence (or cause) of all of us becoming dumber

the thing is though when people cite these shows they seem to imply the image of some drooling dumbass who lords over these "people" on screen with every bit of sincerity and without a hint of self awareness

and I get the impression this isnt always the case...hell it may not even be the majority of cases

does it not occur to people that shows like jersy shore, honey boo boo, toddlers and tiaras hold a certain apeal similar to an old stlye freak show? sure you may be "above" such forms of entertainment, but you could understand the fascination with watching these crazy people on screen, the same kind of fascination you get from watching a nature documentary...or a fail video? we love dysfunction..we can;t get enough of it. Isn't the Idea behind these shows for us to sit back and think "thank god I'm not like THEM" don;t you think there's even a small chance Snooki might be in on the joke?

my point is if Toddlers and Tiaras is not then damn straight I'm going to watch it...because its so awful but I just can't look away...

also the fact is I hear people from work and other places talking about apparent "mainstream trash" shows...and none of them are dumb

If you surround yourself with stupidity then first you will start to find stupidity acceptable, then you will start to become stupid. Even if you surrounded yourself with stupidity to begin with, with the intent of looking down on it.

I refuse to believe that your average viewer of Jersey Shore is just as intelligent as your average viewer of David Attenborough documentaries.

Vault101:
when our pop culture is used for evidence of this

Because taste in music (for example) is clearly directly linked to your brain capacity, duh.

Vault101:
but were people really "smarter" back then education was harder to get and a good majority of people were illiterate?

No, not really. In fact, IQ tests (for what they are worth) have been progressively adjusted over the past few decades, since the average IQ is rising. What was, say, 150 back in the day, may be 110 today. Or something along those lines.

Vault101:
the thing is though when people cite these shows they seem to imply the image of some drooling dumbass who lords over these "people" on screen with every bit of sincerity and without a hint of self awareness

I certainly consider wrestling (as in WWE and such) as pretty dumb an entertainment. Never really held my interest. Then again, I know lots of people, smart people who watch it. I suspect, that other forms of entertainment flaunted as intellectually inferior *gasp* have audience from all over the spectrum.

Vault101:
does it not occur to people that shows like jersy shore, honey boo boo, toddlers and tiaras hold a certain apeal similar to an old stlye freak show? sure you may be "above" such forms of entertainment, but you could understand the fascination with watching these crazy people on screen, the same kind of fascination you get from watching a nature documentary...or a fail video? we love dysfunction..we can;t get enough of it. Isn't the Idea behind these shows for us to sit back and think "thank god I'm not like THEM" don;t you think there's even a small chance Snooki might be in on the joke?

Maybe, maybe not. But I do know people actually enjoy dumb stuff. Case in point, I've revisited some of the stuff I watched as a kid. It was so bad! And yet, I even started watching some of the stuff again, just out of morbid fascination. Helps if you bring a friend so you can joke about it and stuff.

I wouldn't say we are getting dumber . But i would say the the average person mind is less sharp that it was before due to not having to work it so hard to achieve something . We have so many gadgets to do things for us , that our mind are becoming less on the ball . Sure we know more things but our mind is lazier .

That's my two cents , i'm not an expert and i have no sources , so don't hate quote me please guys.

I don't believe that humans are getting dumber. The expectations and standards of the general population have been lowering substantially over the years to the point that nothing seems like a challenge and everyone is just comfortable with people telling them the answers or just ignoring anything that they find to difficult to do on their own.

This is true in high school: there are normal courses and Honors/AP courses. The latter are obviously more challenging and difficult so most try to avoid them; However, the rewards for taking such courses are staggeringly higher than if you only take the former. Also, if you go from taking Honors/AP courses to regular courses, you can note the difference almost instantaneously. The work is ridiculously easy and routine, to the point where you can't be bothered to think outside the box, be challenged, or inject your own thoughts into your own work. All these courses do is confirm that you can stick to a task and complete it, something that many kids in these course lack for some odd reason.

A good majority of my high school courses consisted of Honors/AP courses and regular courses with good teachers that provided challenging work. In my senior year, I took a regular Psychology/Sociology as an elective because I was genuinely interested in the subject matter and I wanted to kick back a little in my senior year. The teacher was great and he genuinely seemed interested in teaching us the subject material; the problem? It was a regular course, full of students that had no interest in the subject matter and were just there for a grade. What's worse is that the work was so easy I could get it done in a matter of minutes, and the other students would never be able to get around to it. It was so easy, on the final, all I had to do was show up for the final, and I would get and A, due to the enormous amounts of extra credit the teacher assigned us in order to "help" the other students.

Sure it was a fun course and got a few girl's numbers in the process, but if you don't challenge yourself and continue to broaden your horizon, you will be left behind, expendable, and at the mercy of others who took the time to care and want something better for themselves.

krazykidd:
I wouldn't say we are getting dumber . But i would say the the average person mind is less sharp that it was before due to not having to work it so hard to achieve something . We have so many gadgets to do things for us , that our mind are becoming less on the ball . Sure we know more things but our mind is lazier .

That's my two cents , i'm not an expert and i have no sources , so don't hate quote me please guys.

I'd say this is a reasonable assumption. It's not our raw intelligence that is failing, we just do not (on average) apply it as much as we can and probably should.

How many people outside of education have the same level of ability when it comes to mathematics as they used to for example? I know I am much worse because in day to day life I do not need to do it without the use of a calculator. I haven't become less intelligent, I have just become less sharp, as krazykidd put it.

This would be linked to creativity, which is certainly lacking in pop music, and is incredibly important to intelligence and a necessity for any inventor( except for Alexander Graham Bell, that thieving arse).

This really is a question for the sociologists, and yes they do debate it all the time.

Really, there are always going to be songs, or television programs, or pastimes that some people find 'stupid'. 3000 years ago Plato said it was the written word that was dumbing down society. 500 years ago it was folk music and dancing. 100 years ago it was drinking. 50 years ago it was comic books, and 20 years ago it was video games, and now today there are people that think that the internet will make you stupid (the argument is that information is provided in short articles and out of context).

Hehehe, you spelt reality wrong in the thread title, but that's ok, because I just noticed I did the same thing in my IQ test thread. Bravado should have another a in it.

Anyway, I think the sort of entertainment you like has nothing to do with your I.Q., the people that actually take part in those freakshow reality TV shows on the other hand...

When I read Romantic-era literature in which scholarly writers talk about poor people as an inferior species, I think of internet forums.

I think the problem is that when anyone refers to "people" or "the masses" it makes it quite clear that they think the sun shines out of their urethra.

While I don't think people are getting dumber, they certainly got lazier with their resources and information gathering. I mean, most kids these days can operate smartphone, computer, gaming console, TVs, other various electrical appliances, yet tell them to do something for research and they will fail horribly without internet for example.

But, on the other hand, you have those weird reality shows that make you feel your brain cells committing painful suicide, that really don't give you anything positive. You get your enjoyment, and that's about it. Add to this that most people are content watching it, because it's not intellectually challenging and you can see a point there.
Now, I'm not saying that dumb fun is not good sometimes (because it is, and that's the reason why Danger 5 exists- go check it out), but everything in moderation, I guess.

Mordekaien:
While I don't think people are getting dumber, they certainly got lazier with their resources and information gathering. I mean, most kids these days can operate smartphone, computer, gaming console, TVs, other various electrical appliances, yet tell them to do something for research and they will fail horribly without internet for example.

To be fair, that's like saying "builders are getting lazier, if you took away all of their electronic tools they'd fail horribly!"

We rely on the technology of the present and that's how it'll always be. If we spent just as much of our lives learning how to get things done in the way of a previous generation, we'd spend half as much time developing the current generation. It's a weakness, sure, but so long as that technology doesn't disappear it's not a problem.

Sure, my writing has gotten worse since I left school, but I can't think of a time I've had to write anything longer than "GONE TO SHOPS - BE RIGHT BACK" without using a keyboard.

I think out type of intelligence is changing. My teacher asked a question about this when I was in high school and a friend of mine who wanted to be a suck-up at that point said that if we sent an average youth back 100 years he wouldn't know how to survive.
She replied with "But if we exchanged that youth with a youth from that time, would he be able to understand a computer as quickly as a youth of today?"

Intelligence is hard to measure, we know more now, but some of our skills are dulled, why some skills are brand new. Our entire world is different and we have adapted to that, it keeps changing and we keep adapting. There's no sure way we can compare the intelligence of the past to the one of today, but more and more are able to take higher education. Does education lead to intelligence or just knowledge?

If we are getting dumber it's probably because the smart people wait for too long to reproduce while the dumb people fuck without protection and manage to create a stupid kid, not because we watch stupid TV shows. I watch stupid TV shows (not reality shows, not ever, I swear to god that shit is awful), but I have scored quite well on Mensa certified IQ tests. If we are to consider those to be a measure of intelligence then I am more intelligent than average.

I would say that we are more book smart, but when it comes to applying what we know in real world applications we are worse off. The males in my parent's generation all seem to know how to wire, plumbing, and various other knowledge necessary to maintaining a house or car whereas I know bugger all about any of that.

But I know a lot more about history (in particular the history THEY LIVED THROUGH) than they do for example.

So book smarts up, common sense down.

I'm glad the opinion in forums like this is beginning to shift toward a more reasonable and scientifically sound direction. Used to be if you did thread like this, you would get 5 Idiocracy gifs/memes, a list of reality TV shows in order of "offensiveness", some abhorrent eugenicist argument or another, and maybe one person that still thought that Carlos Mencia was funny. It's good to see that cooler heads are prevailing, and that we can move past all the name calling, stereotyping, and bitter, misinformed cynicism...

As soon as I post this, someone will put up the Futurama "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" macro...

(Side note: I really don't like Idiocracy. It's a flimsy, three joke movie that thinks it's saying more than it really is. Sadly, that describes a lot of Mike Judge's filmography. And most of the later seasons of King of the Hill. Idiocracy also has some REALLY annoying fans.)

Well thinking there is anything "realistic" about "Reality TV" is rather dumb if you ask me. Another one on my "to do" list for after I take over the world, right after marketing. And by "do", I of course mean, "do in".

AngloDoom:

Mordekaien:
While I don't think people are getting dumber, they certainly got lazier with their resources and information gathering. I mean, most kids these days can operate smartphone, computer, gaming console, TVs, other various electrical appliances, yet tell them to do something for research and they will fail horribly without internet for example.

To be fair, that's like saying "builders are getting lazier, if you took away all of their electronic tools they'd fail horribly!"

We rely on the technology of the present and that's how it'll always be. If we spent just as much of our lives learning how to get things done in the way of a previous generation, we'd spend half as much time developing the current generation. It's a weakness, sure, but so long as that technology doesn't disappear it's not a problem.

Sure, my writing has gotten worse since I left school, but I can't think of a time I've had to write anything longer than "GONE TO SHOPS - BE RIGHT BACK" without using a keyboard.

But we rely on technology a little too much, since it can accomplish tasks that were previously done manually. I work with children as my part time job, and there are kids, about 9-11 years old that can't tie their shoelaces, yet can make you an account on facebook, show you stuff on your smartphone etc. We became adept at task that can be done via technology, while our practical side has suffered somewhat. (again, I'm not against technology, I get what the benefits are)

The reason that TV is one of the only forms of media I'll admit to hating with a passion (okay, only for America; good anime does exist) because it's the only one that HAS to pander to such a wide crowd. I can't find good TV anymore (not can't find, more like it's getting difficult to) as studio executives think that the best way to get people to watch their show is to appeal to the lowest demographic. It beats out video games as video games have the saving grace called indie/Japanese/ectera developers who care.

I'm not against TV. I just think that we need some more intelligent shows.

I saw an article a while ago that stated that watching Jersey Shore had in fact made people dumb. I don't know if it is actually true but, it seems like it make sense to me.

Nah I don't think we're getting dumber but we sure are more accepting of low quality television nowadays. Reality TV is all the same formula over and over and over again yet people eat it up like candy.

Reality Singing Competition: Gay guy, black guy, pretty girl with pretty voice, softspoken guy (usually fat) with an amazingly loud voice and chubby woman who sings like an angel.

Reality shows that follow people around: A bunch of uninteresting people living in a house for free and sleeping with each other to cause drama.

Those are the two types of reality TV I'm aware of and after years and years of picking up bits and pieces it all just seems the same to me.

Worse part is my father eats this crap up. My dad was one of those "manly men" that watched football and car shows all the time and seeing him watch American Idol is quite weird.

Mordekaien:

AngloDoom:

Mordekaien:
While I don't think people are getting dumber, they certainly got lazier with their resources and information gathering. I mean, most kids these days can operate smartphone, computer, gaming console, TVs, other various electrical appliances, yet tell them to do something for research and they will fail horribly without internet for example.

To be fair, that's like saying "builders are getting lazier, if you took away all of their electronic tools they'd fail horribly!"

We rely on the technology of the present and that's how it'll always be. If we spent just as much of our lives learning how to get things done in the way of a previous generation, we'd spend half as much time developing the current generation. It's a weakness, sure, but so long as that technology doesn't disappear it's not a problem.

Sure, my writing has gotten worse since I left school, but I can't think of a time I've had to write anything longer than "GONE TO SHOPS - BE RIGHT BACK" without using a keyboard.

But we rely on technology a little too much, since it can accomplish tasks that were previously done manually. I work with children as my part time job, and there are kids, about 9-11 years old that can't tie their shoelaces, yet can make you an account on facebook, show you stuff on your smartphone etc. We became adept at task that can be done via technology, while our practical side has suffered somewhat. (again, I'm not against technology, I get what the benefits are)

I'd say that example is a little sketchy at best. No one has ever instinctively known how to tie shoes, it's something you either pick up over time or are taught. I doubt the kids can't tie their shoes through what you might call stupidity, more that their parents never sat them down and showed them how to do it, or they never paid close attention to others doing it. It doesn't matter how much or little tech you have, if you aren't willing to learn and no one is willing to teach you then you aren't going to be able to do it, and that applies to using computers, tying shoes, building something.

I don't really care to be honest. I've tasked myself with constantly increasing my own knowledge, learning all I can whilst I can. That's all that matters to me, so I could not care less whether little Timmy likes his reality TV.

It's not that people are getting dumber. The problem is that people were never very smart to begin with, and now TV networks are realizing how to exploit that to make shows on a minimum budget (i.e. reality TV where they don't have to pay professional actors or writers, just put a bunch of conflicting personalities together and film the result) with more product placement and stuff to increase revenue, and still millions of people watch it because "there's nothing else on". Until consumers demand better, we're going to get mostly lowest common denominator programming because it's cheap and easy to produce.

It's not just reality TV either. The same could be said for boiler-plate sitcoms, endless procedural cop dramas, etc. Things with mediocre production value, terrible writing and cliche characters...doing just enough to get by.

I'd say it's all a giant heap of horse shite. People are always bitching that everything's going to the dogs, intelligence is no different. People were probably saying pretty much the same shit 100 years ago.

We aren't getting dumber, we were always this dumb and the age of television and social networking just gives you new ways to see just how dumb.

I find the old South Park saying to be true. At least 1/4th of all people are retarded. Yeah dude, at LEAST 1/4th.

Avaholic03:
Things with mediocre production value, terrible writing and cliche characters...doing just enough to get by.

... say what now? I don't think I like your tone....

Vault101:
take a look at the comments..

You'll have to forgive me, but the transposition in the title has me in a giggle fit.

Intentional or not that's made my day.

So much irony in the title... and the text... Grammar.

Dumbness is a measure of intelligence. You can't become dumber because of reality TV, rather the target audience are those who are inherently stupid.

Vault101:
does it not occur to people that shows like jersy shore, honey boo boo, toddlers and tiaras hold a certain apeal similar to an old stlye freak show? sure you may be "above" such forms of entertainment, but you could understand the fascination with watching these crazy people on screen, the same kind of fascination you get from watching a nature documentary...or a fail video? we love dysfunction..we can;t get enough of it. Isn't the Idea behind these shows for us to sit back and think "thank god I'm not like THEM" don;t you think there's even a small chance Snooki might be in on the joke?

Exactly...Honey Boo Boo is just slum tourism, and that's been around for decades. In the old days, you had to go out of your house to where the poor people lived to see what people do when they've go no money, nowdays you don't have to leave your living room.

 

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