James Giago Davies: Stupidity remains as popular as ever in America

James Giago Davies

Prediction: Someday this country will be run by a moron
And all the science channels will be dumbed down
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Columnist

There’s nothing worse than a know-it-all, well, somebody shooting your dog, or burning down your house, those are worse than a know-it-all, but when it comes to sitting down for a nice conversation, there’s nothing worse than a know-it-all.

Most of us think we know a know-it-all when we meet one, but a lot of us actually have this ugly blind spot when it comes to smart. We meet the city engineer, we say, oh, he’s a genius. We meet Einstein, we say, wow, this guy is an idiot.

How did stupid get so stubbornly popular in this country? Guess we could spend all day trying to nail down the historic markers, so let’s tell a short history of some cable TV programs instead.

In 1985 the Discovery Channel appeared, and it featured, for the first time, hours upon hours of hard science programming, most of it produced by our science literate friends in Canada, England, Japan and Australia. It didn’t take long for ratings to slump. People hate being taught stuff by people they can tell are smarter than they are. The football captain gets the hot chick. The chess club president just gets pimples.

Now you know why.

Science programming soon got sparse, got replaced by Monster Garage and American Chopper, and that left anybody genuinely interested in hard science out in the cold. But, wait! The folks at Discovery Communications had a plan that didn’t leave the science enthusiast hanging. They had acquired the Learning Channel (TLC) through bankruptcy, and promptly chucked the science offerings of Discovery Channel onto TLC. Great programs like Paleoworld had even my learning hostile little brother Christopher lapping up science. Finally, we science geeks had our own channel, but it did not last. The anti-intellectual lunch bucket brigade wouldn’t tune in, until TLC started airing hard science programming like A Wedding Story and Junkyard Wars. Another channel was lost to the lowest common denominator.

Discovery Communications knew we were out there still, and they came back with yet another channel, the Science Channel, and for a number of years, quality science programming had us all thinking about deep space and particle physics and multiverses and time travel, and then reality crashed the party again.

Far less hard science was needed on even the Science Channel, and soon we had great shows like How it’s Made, How Do They Do It?, and Stuff You Should Know.

See, this is why we can’t have nice things, because you people want to dumb everything down to remodeling the kitchen, or changing the oil. That’s science.

At some point there will be a price to pay. This country has plummeted in math and science scores. We are now 25th in reading comprehension. But who needs to read. In a technologically advanced world what matters are math and science rankings. Well, we are ranked 36th in math as a country, but there is some good news. We are better at science. We are ranked 28th in science.

How did we fall so far, that many Second World countries have better educated citizens when it comes to math and science?

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Prediction: Someday this country will be run by a moron

(Contact James Giago Davies at skindiesel@msn.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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