Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Dumbing-Down of Society: Are we Progressing or Regressing ?

Hiking, I sometimes think of previous generations, where boys and girls camped and hiked. Often unsupervised. Eg the novel "swallows and amazons" where 12 yr olds sail and camp on lake Windermere.  We have definitely lost in quality of life since then in terms of carefree activities and lack of supervision for kids.  
And 13 yr olds used to be more educated than most Phds are now... this is not progress.... This is dumbing-down of society A la "Brave New World".  It suits both big corporate and Big government. Makes it easier to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses and get fat checks for running their lives.  

Extract From the book 
Killing Rommel by Steven pressfield

a Historical novel, based on memoirs of an SAS patrol soldier
North africa, 1942
LRDG Long Range Desert Group

Comment of a German captured by a LRDG patrol:
We Germans could never pull of this trick as you do, wandering about on your own, miles from anywhere. We lack the individual initiative. We prefer to run in a pack.

What appeared as unendurable hardship to soldiers of other nationalities produced a species of exhilaration in our lads, raised on a diet of Kipling and institutional porridge

At Winchester when I was 13, (…) in winter, water froze in our drinking pitchers. (..) we read in Greek Xenophon's March of the Ten thousand, and in Latin Livy's History of Rome, not to mention all of Chaucer, Milton and Shakespeare, the main of Coleridge, Hardy, Tennyson, Dickens and Conrad, while participating in all weathers in football, rugby, cricket, rowing, riding and track and field, as well as attending religious services 5 times a week.
Many boys saw their parents at holidays only, some not even then. They raised each other like feral beasts with all the outrages and excesses that such an upbringing implies. For most, it worked.

(...) the system produced the kind of individual who frequently displayed boredom or feckless complacency in times of prosperity, but shone in times of trial.

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