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pantodragon

What current trends have you spotted?

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Posted (edited)

Two current trends were exemplified on radio this morning: (a) the worship of youth and ( B) the wonders of the internet.

A boy who, when he was only 14 years old, invented an early test for pancreatic cancer was hailed as a genius. This is ridiculous. All this tells me is that what the boy was doing was child’s play; that the science that the boy was doing was child’s play; that science is child’s play. In fact, reading scientific papers (which the boy did instead of attending to his biology lessons --- I mean, read scientific papers for fun??!!!) is, in fact, far less sophisticated than child’s play. It is trivial. Actually, it’s worse. Training the mind is damaging to the mind, and damaging and brain-washing the mind are what schools are for. So any boy who prefers to damage his mind even more by reading scientific papers needs his head looked.

Of course, people are going to throw their hands up in horror at this. The boy did, after all, invent a test for a difficult-to-diagnose-early cancer. Well, perhaps if we didn’t spend 14 years of early life abusing our minds, or allowing them to be abused, by schools (and by compounding the damage by reading scientific papers) then cancer wouldn’t be the killer it is today.

Then there is the method by which this “genius” obtained his information. He used the internet. And who was on the same show last week telling us that the internet is a godsend because it is crucial in providing cures for disease? Bill Gates, that’s who! Do you think that his opinion was impartial, then? Or do you think he was doing a bit of advertising to earn himself a few extra $billion for his retirement fund?

The boy “genius” gave the credit to google and wikipedia for letting him find the information he required so easily. Well, if it was an encyclopaedia that contained the vital information, why especially should it be the internet that gets all the credit? Why do not local libraries get the credit for finding cures for disease? They stock encyclopaedias, don’t they? Or why not give the credit directly to Miriam Webster or the Encyclopaedia Britannica? Why should the internet get all the credit?

But this worship of youth isn’t the trend I had spotted this morning. When the programme presenters agreed knowingly about the wonders of the internet, they used that term that I hear increasingly: democratisation. The internet is a modern wonder because it “democratises”. I’m not entirely sure what that means. I think it means that information is available to more people than ever before. Well, that’s if you can afford a computer and internet access and have a reliable supply of electricity. When I was in West Africa, my travels took me “up country” to a small village/town which, much to my surprise, had a well-stocked library, which included encyclopaedias. After staying for a few days, I discovered that the electricity supply was extremely temperamental and only on for an hour or two a day. So, tell me again that the internet “democratises”? Actually, we need encyclopaedias like we need a hole in the head. Ditto the internet. But that isn’t my beef. No, my beef is about this word “democratisation”. We are trained, like Pavlov’s dogs, to salivate (metaphorically speaking) at the word i.e. to react positively to it. Western societies spend a whole lot of time brain-washing us into believing that democracy is the only moral form of government and all others are evil. “Democratisation” is merely used to advertise, to sell, the internet because it gets a knee jerk positive association.

What do you think? What current trends have you spotted?

Edited by pantodragon

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