At Issue

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”  ― Isaac Asimov

Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.

“Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans’ rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism.”

We’re creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation.

Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.

New Report Reveals How Food Instability Impacts Teens

Approximately 6.8 million young adults between the ages of 10 and 17 are food-insecure, the report points out.

Food insecurity is pushing many low-income teenage girls to exchange sex for food and other goods, the authors explain.

Researchers from the Urban Institute and Feeding America surveyed 193 teenagers in 20 focus groups in ten different communities. In each location and 13 out of 20 focus groups, teenagers discussed using sex to pay for food. The survey included major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. as well as rural areas in North Carolina and Oregon.

Teens Across America Are Turning to Sex Work for a Devastating Reason

As policymakers have focused on tackling hunger among young children, its devastating impact on teenagers has gone somewhat unacknowledged, according to a new report from the Urban Institute, a think-tank devoted to economic and social issues. Approximately 6.8 million young adults between the ages of 10 and 17 are food-insecure, the report points out.

A Proustian View on Being Unfollowed

How do we really feel when someone unfollows our blog or our Facebook account? In this personal reflection, Andrew Reid Wildman unpeels the “layers upon layers of emotion that can find themselves interwound with social media.”

via A Proustian View on Being Unfollowed — Discover

We’ve made America pain-free for plutocrats and Big Pharma, but not for vets.

Today, the US is the most unequal country in the developed world, and the wealth of the plutocrats on top is now so great that, when they invest it in politics, it’s likely that no elected government can stop them or the lucrative wars and “free markets” they exploit.

How Do Fascists Get Democratically Elected?

We must always resist the temptation to oversimplify history, especially when doing so serves our own ends. There are way too many contributing factors to Hitler’s ascendancy to squeeze into a five minute animation.

On the other hand, you can’t dump a ton of information on people’s heads and expect them to absorb it all in one sitting. You have to start somewhere.

It seems like we’ve been hearing about Hitler’s rise to power a lot lately…

TED-Ed lesson planners Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard, in collaboration with theUncle Ginger animation studio, offer a very cogent explanation of how “a tyrant who orchestrated one of the largest genocides in history” achieved such a calamitously powerful position. All in a democratic fashion.

When viewers have more than five minutes to devote to the subject, they can delve into additional resources and participate in discussions on the subject.

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