According to Jacoby, more than 40 percent of Americans under 44 never read a single book in the course of an entire year. Americans of all ages are losing their ability to concentrate and analyze what they hear. In fact, the rule of thumb for a political candidate was that they needed to deliver their political message in around 40 seconds; today that political sound bite needs to be delivered in eight seconds to match our ability to concentrate.
Today in American schools, teachers who used to be able teach civics, humanities, and classic literature are now forced and ordered to stuff students’ brains with just enough information to pass standardized tests that are required by short-sighted politicians. Those politicians cajole school administrators, teachers, and students into perpetuating a system that lacks the design to help children learn and think critically. Instead, they are taught to simply regurgitate numbers and words.
If you want to gain a little perspective on how dumbed-down we have become, take a map of the Middle East to work and ask one of your coworkers to point out Iraq. Ask them to find that place where 5,000 Americans have died for a war based on lies, that place where we will spend $3 trillion on an endless war—a war motivated by nothing less than empire building.
So the question is are we really preparing Americans to listen to the inane fraud-talk that flows out of the mouths of shallow demagogues that overwhelm both politics and the media? Or are we content with a culture that is morphing into a mass of people incapable of critical analysis?
Read more of this story at Ring of Fire.
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