Junky TV is actually making people dumber — and more likely to supp...

How often do you watch shallow "fun entertainment" TV, like salacious shows and sports? [I watch at least 3 hours/day] Shallow entertainment doesn't make us more conservative directly, it seems. TV lacking educational value leads kids to develop into less civically engaged adults. It increases seniors’ vulnerability to ideologically right-wing populists. Years of watching shows with “accessible” (i.e. simple) language apparently increases the appeal of “accessible language” politicians, i.e. rich guys shouting insults and lies.

A raft of new research shows that watching junky cable and other lowbrow TV is actually making people dumber — literally lowering their IQs.

[In Italy]... children were “less cognitively sophisticated and civic-minded as adults, ...

“Less civically minded voters may be more vulnerable to populistic rhetoric.”

"For the elderly, the effect was happening through habit formation. They were hooked by the ... — the salacious shows and sports."

[In Norway] They estimate that 10 years of exposure to cable television lowered I.Q. scores by 1.8 points. In related research, ... exposure to cable television reduced voter turnout in local elections.

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But activism is as effective as tits on a bull. Best to accept fate since we can't change it.

Gee, Frankie, I'm saddened to see that you cannot change fate. You have my best wishes for a speedy recovery

Ruth, there's existential danger and there's existentialism.

Existentialism can be described in several ways.

I like best the "There are no excuses" description.

I won't dispute other descriptions, two of which are:

1) We are responsible for the choices we make.

2) Living in a gutter is existentially equivalent to living in the White House.


In the OED’s American “cousin” the NOAD: Treating sexual matters in an indecent way and typically conveying undue interest in or enjoyment of the subject.

Ruth! Please tell us you aren’t going xian.

BTW, I write my own porn, and like women-written porn more than men-written stuff.

Not me, Tom. I'm sex-positive.

I am shocked to learn you think others can.

Am a professional gambler...if i could wager on the end of civilization i'd take 1 to 100.  We'd need a messiah, AI or space woman to alter the inevitability of our end. 

Frankie, choose another wager.

For you, civilization will end when you die. How will you collect?

Less whimsically. when or whether it ends depends on its definition.

Define it well and you can't lose. Define it poorly and you can't win. 

Another wager? But it is the ultimate! I am okay with the inability to collect. 

Less whimsically, how it ends is the puzzle...that it ends is obvious...when it ends is when it lends its rear ends or dives and tries to revive but gets the bends as it ends...gasping and squirming...suffering and affirming the futility 

Gee, a gambler who is not a pragmatist and is a poet.

I’m condemned to learn every day.

Most people aren't as keenly aware of our as you, Frankie, and the Climate Scientists and Extinction Rebellion. It seems not only do we have to contend with inertia in planetary dynamics but in collective awareness of what science tells us.

Absolutely, almost all TV and some computer programming lower intelligent thinking, reduce social interaction, narrow the mind, increase depression and anxiety, and I suspect, increase the rate of suicide in a population that watches it. 

When I was a kid, I observed and participated with my family and neighboring families working hard to create lives for themselves, pulling themselves out of poverty once the laws changed to protect workers and create the middles class. Before WW II, we lived in a feudal society in which wealth owned not only property but the labor of people who create the goods and services for the rich. After FDR and labor laws made it possible for people to work their ways out of subsistence living, the quality of lives improved with the rich not suffering a bit, except they could no longer easily steal the labor of workers. 

We return to the system creating extreme wealth and extreme poverty. A worker can no longer work his or her way into better lifestyles. The work-product not only belongs to the wealthy but so do they own the ones who create the goods and services. We live in a feudal society. 

The younger generation has not observed the benefits of work, they observe their families putting in an eight-hour workday and then sitting in front of a tube. Youngsters don't learn skills and don't want to learn them; they have the benefits of others' labor and don't participate in creating family wealth.

By wealth, I mean food, shelter, education, health care, recreation, retirement, transportation, clothing, and an economic safety net.

Many children work their parents hard to get them to sports, music, or other entertainment distractions, instead of working hard to help the families grow family wealth. They want and expect to have sports, music, and other distraction-expenses paid. They not only ask for transportation to and from events but expect it. They not only ask for fees for lessons and equipment but expect it. They not only ask for the equipment to play they expect it. 

Learning how to create family wealth by doing the task of creating a better lifestyle, is not an option. They don't know how, nor do they want to know how to maintain a lawn, grow and preserve food, learn carpentry and plumbing, they can't repair their equipment, or even buy and care for their own clothing. 

We do our children and the future generations a disservice by focusing on sport-skills instead of craft-skills. 

I confess I am the Grinch who stole christmas!

Yeah, Joan. but for three paragraphs you were not a grinch; you told a truth.

You became a grinch in your fourth paragraph, when you started complaining about the young without describing the mess our generation gave them.




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