Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ship Of Fools
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, July 18, 2018
NOTE:  Anything in BLUE and underlined is a searchable link

 "When the day comes for technology to take over the world, we will have bread a generation of fools"

Can you find Australia on a map?

What about the Germany, it’s been in the news of late?

Do you know where Panama is located?

Can you name the Super Volcano site that poses the greatest threat to North America?

It is my guess that if you were born BEFORE 1962, you would have no difficulty locating countries, oceans, cities, large bays on a map of the world.  If you were born AFTER 1962 there are no guarantees you could.  What is so special about 1962?  Something significant DID occure in 1962 that is addressed further in this Nugget.  Otherwise, nothing is signification about the date. I just selected that date as an arbitrary date when our schools seems to have shifted in what subjects are being taught to our children and how they are being taught.  If you were born in 1962, that would make you about 5 years old in 1967 when most children born in 1967 would begin their formal education; some in private schools, some in public schools.

If you take just a couple of minutes to watch the video contained on the link below, you may or may not be surprised as the answers students, some in college, gave when asked to identify locations on a world map.  If you don’t watch the video, this Nugget will have far less meaning:

Personal Computers:  This is what an Internet search indicated in regard to the advent of personal computers:

Home computers were a class of microcomputers entering the market in 1977, and becoming common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single nontechnical user.

Smart Phones:  An Internet search indicated the following in regard to the advent of the smartphone:

It was the world's most widely used Smartphone operating system until Q4 2010, though the platform never gained popularity in the U.S., as it did in Europe and Asia. The first Symbian phone, the touch screen Ericsson R380 Smartphone, was released in 2000, and was the first device marketed as a "Smartphone".

Consider this from Brad D. Smith who is an American businessman and the president, chief executive officer and chairman of Intuit, Inc.

“Millennials, and the generations that follow, are shaping technology.
This generation has grown up with computing in the palm of their hands.
They are more socially and globally connected through mobile Internet devices
than any prior generation.
And they don't question; they just learn.

But do “they just learn?”  I question that part of Mr. Smith’s statement above.  If you can just press a couple of buttons on a computer keyboard or on a Smartphone and get an answer to your question in a fraction of a second, are you actually learning anything?  It has been my experience that when something comes so rapidly I question how long the conscious brain retains the information sought.  You be the judge.  If you hear that the war in Syria has escalated, do you know where Syria is located and why anyone should be concerned about a war so far away?  If you don’t know where Syria is how do you know it is so far away?  You ask Google or Siri and get an immediate answer, then what?  Do you remember the answer or do you think, I can always ask again if I need to know?

Why should anyone learn where continents and countries are located on the planet?  Why should anyone learn where some of the larger world cities are located?  The world is concerned about nuclear weapons in North Korea.  Can you locate North Korea on a map?  A lot of folks will consider such a question as being ridiculous.  Really?  Watch the video link above and then think again whether this is a ridiculous question.  If today’s Millennials don’t know where North Korea is located, how can they appreciate the threat that may or may not exist should North Korea continue to develop nuclear weapons that could reach America?

“Man on the street” interviews are frightening.  The stupidity that is on display is beyond description or understanding.  College students have demonstrated they do not know the significance of July 4th.  They cannot identify the countries that fought in World War II.  They do not know from which country America gained its independence.  It is sad, truly sad.

Some have referred to is as the dummying down of America.  What caused this to occur?  Is it the curriculum of our schools?  Is it that most students totally rely upon their computers and smart phones to find immediate answers?  Or is it a combination of both?

I don’t know what our schools are teaching students in 2018.  I do know what I see and I don’t like it.  I do know that people of all ages have become addicted to their computers and smart phones.  Someone once said to me, look at the time you (me) spend on your computer; that is true.  But I use my computer to write, like this Nugget.  How many people today write about anything? I also use it to read books on Kindle, Goodreads, Nook, etc.  Yes, I check emails on my compuer and spend short periods of time on Twitter and Linkedin but as I realized how much of my time those sites have taken up, I have spent less and less time on them. 

From personal experience I know with certainty that because of my computer and spell check I am no longer the speller of words that I once was.  I have come to rely on spell check and that alone has taken its toll on my ability to correctly spell words.  Look around you.  I seriously doubt that people sitting in a restaurant looking at their Smartphone are reading a book on their phone.  No, they are more than likely checking emails, tweeting, texting or playing games.  You know I am right.  I recently saw a family of five at a restaurant and all five members had their heads buried in their phones.  Have you noticed that when people talk on those devices, they talk louder as if the other person cannot hear them?  I certainly can hear them, how about you? 

Manners/Civility:  People need to take a step back and think about what has transpired in society over the past 10 to 20 years.  If they do, they will discover that progress is not always progress unless of course you like stupid children and an overall impolite society.  Want to know what a famous American thought about civility, read President George Washington’s Rules of Civility:

I am positive that Washington would amend those rules by adding an entire section on the use of electronic devices in public but especially when in the company of friends and family.

Where exactly do YOU draw the line?  Is it the same line your parents would have drawn when you where a child?  I seriously doubt it.  You can’t help but see incivility everywhere.  For example, consider the last time you went to a nice restaurant.  Where any patrons on their devices?  How many were wearing flip-flops, cut off jeans, tank tops, t-shirts or worse, t-shirts or tank tops with vulgar sayings/photos on them?  How many wore baseball caps and never took them off? During prom season we went out to eat and saw a parade of teenagers come through the restaurant. With very few exceptions with every couple the young lady was dressed up as if it WERE Prom Night and the young man dressed as if it were an afterthought.  Been to a wedding lately?  How many men have showed up wearing a short sleeve sport shirt as if they were going fishing?  Civility died somewhere over time; just hasn’t been buried as yet.

I cannot speak for the rest of the world and maybe not even for locations other than my immediate area.  Still I feel safe in generalizing when I say the Ship of Fools has sailed to ports unknown and like a ship without a rudder it will end up in a lot of places it may not want to go.  With that in mind, here is my favorite poem written by the very famous writer “Unknown:”


High in the Sierra Mountains lives an old man
Who from his hermitage looks down in pity
Upon other men of higher mental aspiration.

One day he rescued a little group of Swiss mountaineers
Lost in the mountains’ fastenesses
When told were they were they exclaimed in disbelief,
“But how did we get here?”

To which the old hermit replied,
“If that question ain’t got no answer attached to it,
I ain’t got none that fits.
If you is goin’ anywhere in particular
Up here, yu’d better figger fust how to get thar.
Cuz by jest goin’ afore ya know where yere agoin’
Ya can get to a powerful lotta places ya might not wanta be.”

Author Unknown, pity

Do you know what happened in 1962?  From the Internet: 

On June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment because it represented establishment of religion.

Prayer in schools was banned as a result of this decision by our government.  Every decision has consequences, some good, some bad.  In this regard I would strongly encourage you to read Michael Dunn’s book, What’sThe BIG Secret?  You can obtain a free copy on his web site at:  It is an excellent book but more importantly is what Dun writes about in regards to the consequences of removing prayer from our schools in Chapter 20.

Chaper 20: What Happens When We Ignore The Conscious?  Conscious in this regard is the voice people hear that informs them that what they are about to say or do is considered right or wrong.  Without a conscious, being right or wrong occurs more by accident than by design.  If a child is NOT learning right from wrong in the home, or, if they do not learn it by attending Church, exactly where do they learn it and from whom is it being taught.  Using the smartphone as an example.  Who said it was permissible to use your smartphone in a crowded restaurant disturbing the environment for everyone?  Who said it was permissible to rob a convenience store?  Who said it was permissible for protests to turn into riotous mobs ransacking businesses as if the business owners could afford it?  Who said it was permissible to attack innocent people on a city street?  The list is endless and you can add whatever upsets you.  In 2018 people no longer seem concerned about the happiness and wellbeing of others in society.  At the risk of upsetting people who read this, consider the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Who said that ONLY Black Lives Matter?  I was taught that ALL LIVES MATTER.  But if you want proof, just look at the number of murders/shootings in Chicago.  Why does that happen?  It is very simple, no one’s life matters to the person pulling the trigger.  Where did the shooter learn that?  Shootings in America have become so commonplace that if you watch just the local news you would be totally unaware of the number of murders in Chicago.  For the record, in 2017, Chicago accounted for 22% of a nationwide increase in murders last year (2017).   From What’s The BIG Secret?  It may be too small to properly see but you can see it in the free book on the above site.  Just look at the increase in the bars from the point at which prayer was removed from our schools and you be the judge.  Actions have consequences!

I am well aware that this Nugget is a “dark outlook” on America but someone has to say it.  How do you reverse course?  One person at a time and it begins with parents actually parenting.

UPDATE:  In view of several criticisms of this Nugget in regards to an presumed assumption on my part that our education system is failing its students, I have compiled several reports, not my opinions, that support the fact that college graduates are not prepared for the workplace.  That is a failure in our education system, no my opinion.  These links represent only a fraction of the reports listed on a Google search.  Check for yourself, then you decide.











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