Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gadgets: Keeping Us Dumb

Ray Bradbury wrote his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 in 1950. Most kids were required to read this book when they were seventeen years old. Having just re-read the novel at the age of forty-seven makes you realize how little you knew at seventeen. It is 165 pages of keen insights into today’s American society. Bradbury’s hedonistic dark future has come to pass. His worst fears have been realized. The American public has willingly chosen to be distracted and entertained by electronic gadgets 24 hours per day. Today, reading books is for old fogies. Most people think Bradbury’s novel was a warning about censorship. It was not. It was a warning about TV and radio turning the minds of Americans to mush.

33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57% of new books are not read to completion.
There are over 17,000 radio stations and over 2,000 TV stations in America today.
Each day in the U.S., people spend on average 4.7 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
The projected average number of hours an individual (12 and older) will spend watching television this year is 1,750.
In a 65-year life, the average person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.
Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child – 20,000
Number of videos rented daily in the U.S. – 6 million
Number of public library items checked out daily – 3 million
Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges – 59%
Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court – 17%
More Here..

Award winning astrophysicist Alexia Demetria says our solar system is entering an interstellar energy cloud that will soon bring global catastrophe.


  1. Far as I`m concerned-old bastard talking here-the ruination of society began with those asshole credit cards, then the utter dependancy on computer this, computer that. The fifties was the high point for everything up to about 63 then it was a downhill ride from there-period! Granted, I`ll give ya one perk as far as technology goes-sure do love those video game systems (Xbox 360, Wii, PS3 etc) best thing since sliced bread, by god! (all telephones can die off tomorrow for all I care) Unfortunately, all this electronics wizardry is going to come to a halt when and if the sun decides to dump an EM effect in our laps. This will be a very real concern, not the price of gold or how the racketeer market is doing. More two bits worth from an old geezer.

  2. I didn't finish reading past the first sentence cuz my iphone started going off as I was trying to beat the high score on my PSP and now Gilmore Girls is on so screw it it was probably dumb anyway. The guy who wrote it was probably OLD!

  3. Ha ha! Right on! Sorry, forgot to mention the PSP! Old geez.

  4. Why is reading superior to other forms of information gathering? I read constantly so don't go there. I think it is a legit question. We only watch TV in our house on Sat Morning for a couple hours so we are a family of readers...

  5. Folks, you go ahead and poke fun, make satire.
    This is serious, the vast majority of the "sheeple" out there hasn't got an original thought in their head, not do they have enough sense to formulate one.

    Computers, cell phones, iphones, blackberries, all of this electronic crap, unless used for it's true intention, will crush the very life out of us.

    I was in Barnes and Nobles the other day and overheard two girls, probably 20-25 yrs. old aske for books on tape, both said they did not have time to read.

    To all the mush heads, you got what you have asked for.

  6. 1:07 Reading generally encourages a line of thought not just click and point information gathering. I would suspect that reading is more helpful towards developing critical thinking skills. Not that reading on the Internet is not without benefits. As always it may not be a case of one being better then the other but maybe both used at the same time is good. Of course many are not even reading the books at all.

    I will say that the people that I know who read and generally much better thinkers then the others.

  7. The dumbed down idiotic stupified tv addicted mind controlled sheeple slaves worry about what is on tv tonight or when their sports team will play on their tv. They don't read and most can NOT read, anything.

    The goodoleusofa is finished, thanks to TV, hollywood and monsanto. We are done.

    Now go finish watching dancing with the stars & SHUT-UP!

  8. The link given for the solar storm doesn't work so I copied the entire headline and googled it--got the website in seconds. They will have a survival guide available, but it isn't available yet.

    Also, isn't it fascinating that the date to worry about is 2012?

  9. This article has pretty poor arguments in my opinion. Just because people aren't reading as many paper-based books nowadays doesn't mean they are not reading. How many of you spend hours a day online reading articles (like this one)? Don't confuse a change in medium for a change in practice.

    Also, I would much rather a person spend their time reading insightful online articles than stupid romance/trash paperback novels which exactly ZERO educational value.

    Yes, there are some tv-zombies out there. But I'm getting pretty tired of all the self-righteous people denigrating everyone else as "sheeple" without even knowing who they are talking about. My family reads a ton. My daughter reads approximately 5 books PER DAY (no exaggeration - she is a book reading machine). We don't have cable, and we only watch occasional movies on DVD about 2x per month. But that doesn't make us better educated than anyone else. Get off your high horses.

  10. Hours a day online is a good change of practice 3:38? That would be as lame as watching television for hours a day.

    I was 18 not too long ago, internet was becoming the thing to do for youth as Myspace was being promulgated. At my work the people wouldn't do anything else but sneak onto the internet checking their myspace. They forgot how to communicate in person shortly after that. I used a game forum obsessively, speaking with who the hell knows thinking arguments with them were important and I was "learning" things.

    A year later after detoxing from all internet activity my mind started losing all the crap that had been slammed into it. A sense of reality came back to me. I could see clearly without feeling like the back of my eyes were in smoke. The internet had caused me to get tunnel vision!

    Most people are not reading any articles of substance, most people have lost their minds. The internet like the television is a drug used to escape reality. The average teenager makes over 100 text messages a day. You want to tell me that's not a problem with society and that their developing properly?

    Their mental growth is being stunted. Add that into the equation with the shape of the world now = NO FUTURE!

  11. 3:38 doesn't get it. The kids spend half the day texting shortened misspelt words as they walk down the street, then they get home and hit facebook. The next step is watching a mindless video like this one. Then they turn on the box and text their friends as they watch a soon to be cancelled show.. Rinse and repeat.. the mindless generation.

  12. I read all the time. Just because I don't complete a book means I am a nincompoop or something? My mind is constantly craving information about things. No, I don't finish a book always and so? This article has its points but at the same time, it is not well thought-out.

  13. Dune:
    Art often foreshadows and poses questions for humanity .
    The mass form and content that human art takes is dependent on the economic developement of production and technology in society.
    Before written language and the developement eventualy of the printing press,there was poetry and verbal history and myths as with the greeks and Homer
    Will a Dune style 'Butlerian Jihad" against computerisation of life as entertainment and historical story telling ,the so called "information revolution" be imposed by the poor Third World on the ecologicaly destuctive lifestyles of rich first World happiness now being imposed on Third world peoples?
    The end result of capitalist development for the profit system benifit of the world minority ,has led to the creation of poverty for the majority of the worlds peoples and only promises of developement.
    The majority of the worlds peoples could develop the idea that that unsustainable economic world should be turned upside down in a Butlerian Jihad?

    Considered as 'art' and as suitable aims for organising economic life -What did the phrase "and the pursuit of happiness" mean to people ,at the time the US constitution was written mean ?
    The pursuit of emotional happiness -a -pyschological aim of hedonism , for all society or happiness perceived as the successful pursuit of individual material wealth as property?

  14. 1:21 you hit the nail on the head....there is a place for internet reading, but reading a book is a different medium altogether. Clicking a mouse and scanning phrases and articles is wholly different than preparing the brain to start absorbing a continuous flow of information on a topic, whether it be Harry Potter or quantum physics.
    I just read an article on research into preventing onset of dimentia and Alzheimers. One common factor was keeping the brain active in the second half of life through 1) taking college classes with math 2) studying a foreign language 3) reading books......gotta keep the synapses firing......my $.02 worth...

  15. FANTASTIC! THank you so much for posting this. I have forwarded it to so many people.

  16. 3:38's point is that people need to stop being condescending and judgmental about others they don't know. There are some posters here that talk down to the "sheeple" because it makes them feel good about themselves, and as if it made them smart, yet some of them couldn't find an original thought in a lake of original thought it would seem.

    That said it is fairly worrisome the extent with which we have saturated ourselves with not only electronics, gimmicks, and the internet, but also advertisements, commercials, and ritualistic consumerism (which is slowly coming to an end).

    This is all part and parcel to the fetishism of consumption and obeying to a master.

  17. People read more now and have more information. Books are mostly for vapid women nowadays, most books are geared towards women.

    The few non-fiction books are generally inferior to having an actual mentor in that field, and that's how most people that get good at something learn---by interacting with people that already know it.

    This website is probably a book 100 years ago, but it probably doesn't even get published.

  18. learning is work, slow, has something to do with the future, takes time. fun, now, we want fun-now more fun now right now. typical with undisiplined kids, some will grow out of it, some won't. in today's world more and more are not growing out of it.


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