View Full Version : Dumbing Down of the UK Populus

28th Jul 2001, 03:28
I heard recently that there is dissent in Parliment about the dumbing down of Britian. I personnally have to agree with them. Radio stations preach at you like still at school. Magazines sell due to the fact they say "How to Orgasm EVERY time". Help lines to buisnesses have graduates at the end of the line who have no ability to say anything constructive or have any initiative. Even disussion programmes have dolly birds with huge breasts as presenters. Why are programmes like Jerry Springer, Trisha, Eastenders and Coronation Street, so popular when all it shows are scumy people with there shallow lives.

Is it just me or is the population of the UK lost to its own selfishness. If you don't agree with me I would like to hear why. I am sure that it is not just the UK. I fear for the future, when inteligence is ridiculed.

P.S. Sorry about my scholastic ability, I never paid attention in Skool.

[ 27 July 2001: Message edited by: trolleydollylover ]

28th Jul 2001, 05:59
ldt, your So rite, i ofttimes de spare a bout who disslexxicum is running teh languidge, but theze poeple just want be talled.
I reely thinc yuo shulop spred the prrunne werd.


[28 July 2001: Misedge oddieted buy: rIce ]

[ 28 July 2001: Message edited by: Eric ]

28th Jul 2001, 16:22
I like stupid people.

Some of the things they come out with are priceless!

Where would we be without stupid folk?

The ones that know they're stupid are my favourite.

I'm not so keen one the ones that don't realise that they're stupid, because they try to tell you stupid things, and get annoyed when you don't agree.

28th Jul 2001, 17:17
People have always been stupid, most people are not that bright. But they have money to spend, so if you want to attract advertisers you must produce programmes which attract ordinary people.

You may live a life of high intellectual and cultural achievement but you are the exception.

Most ordinary working people have always lived their lives in the same way. Finally society is changing to cater for their needs. You can show Opera and politicial discussion on TV every night but few will ever watch it.

For your information I don't enjoy much of the rubbish I see either but I won't put other people down for lacking either the intelligence or taste to see that.

The implied snobbery in your comments says not a little about your own attitudes. I understood the class system was dying out.

[ 28 July 2001: Message edited by: Steepclimb ]

28th Jul 2001, 18:47
Why do you consider most people stupid steepclimb - compared to what or whom? What measure do you use - education, potential, career.

By constantly lowering what is considered either normal or average you end up with very low standards.

There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions who enjoy opera, classical music and books.

Political discussion is a turn-off, not because it's difficult but because it usually entails politicians telling us how wonderful they are and how bad the others are. A good political debate will attract a reasonably large audience.

Personally, I believe that the 'Powers That Be' would prefer a stupid, apathetic, unquestioning populace. They are more easy to control and this Government is not happy with critical intelligent questions about their performance.

However, you cannot measure IQ by what people enjoy - my English Professor loved watching programmes I considered completely inane.

Tricky Woo
28th Jul 2001, 19:31
It seems to me that if the average intelligence of the population doubled, then I'd only be half as clever. Can't have that.


28th Jul 2001, 20:07
And to think, I thought the only people on the Jerry Springer show were from Texas. ;)

28th Jul 2001, 20:58
I believe that just because you've had an excellent education, it does not automatically mean you have an above average IQ. Education is down to oportunity and nothing else. It seems to be a common misconception that education and IQ are the same.

I know plenty of very well educated people. They seem to be just as prone to dimwittedness as your local high school dropout.

Publications are only worried about sales. Sex sells. It's that simple.

The dumbing down of society has been underway for a long time now. Only now are we reaping the rewards of this misguided social policy.

28th Jul 2001, 21:25
I cannot believe that the speling and grammer (Irony alert) of this thread, including its title, is anything other than a wind-up.

29th Jul 2001, 20:58
General Aviation, if you're going to be pedant, get it right. I didn't say most people are stupid. I said most people are not that bright. More intelligent people invariably stand out not always to their advantage.

If the powers that be prefer an uncritical unquestioning audience, they're living in the wrong era. Like it or not people are better educated nowdays or rather MORE people are better educated nowdays. In the past it was only the 'elite' who received a decent education
But no amount of education helps if you are incapable of taking it all in.

I actually do not agree that dumbing down is all the prevalent. It's all still there if you want to find it.
Right now the TV is on, it has the usual selections of trash and classic films, news, sport and serious documentary. Newspapers are the same, tabloid and broadsheet. Walk into any newsagent and look at the selection of magazines, never in the field of human communications has so much be available to so many. (Oddly familar ring to that last sentence). You can buy them or not as you choose. Many don't, I've even being gently slagged for buying a newspaper every day, not even a broadsheet.
Far from dumbing down, the middle ground has gained in breadth.

29th Jul 2001, 23:34
Bowing to steepclimb's undoubted greater knowledge of pedantry ;)

However, my point stands, by what do you judge this - 'most people are not that bright' - how did you measure this, on what basis.

One of the brightest students I ever taught, is now a happily married mother of 3, she doesn't stand out at all from the other mothers when chatting about nappies and who's turn it is to do the school run.

tony draper
29th Jul 2001, 23:53
There is no doubt that the quality of programming on the terrestrial channels have gone down hill.
They are completely lacking in imagination or originality, if one channel has a program on garden makeovers within a month they all have, endless room, people, garden makeovers,Someone starts a program on vets, quick! we must have a animal hospital program, and now the latest fad, reality TV,that will be flogged to death until every one is totaly fed up with it.
Even the presenter don't even bother to develope a personality of their own, Car program, copy Clarkson,Food program copy Floyd.
British TV programing used to be admired world wide, it's wall to wall sh*te now.
What puzzles me most me most is why the BBC channels have joined the dash for viewer numbers by dragging itself down to the level of the Sun almost, they do not have to attract advertiser's.

[ 29 July 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

Nil nos tremefacit
30th Jul 2001, 02:41
The BBC is dumbed down because John Birt started the rot with his accounting practices and Greg Dyke (Tony's crony) came from a commercial television programme background where ratings won over quality every time.

The saddest thing is that everyone is heading for the lowest common denominator. Even the Times and the Guardian regularly headline celebrity items.

Personally I enjoy the Sun as much as any other bloke in the street, but when I want something to stimulate what's left of the grey matter I'd like to think that I can find an intellectual programme on TV or a decent article in a broadsheet. Sadly, the handful of people who decide what we read and see don't see anything wrong in 'dumbing' down if it sells to the masses. :cool:

30th Jul 2001, 07:59
Dumbing down from what? Was Britain any smarter in the 80's or 90's? How about the 70's or the 'swinging' 60's? TV programs going down the hill? Coronation Street goes back to, er, to Coronation street. Crossroads, now there was some excellent viewing material. Monty Python was good. About 40% of the time, the other 60% of the gags were embarrassing cr*p. TWTWTW? "Would you like to see my Tits?" Oh yes, that was a really intellectual programme.

Children's TV was OK in the old days though; none of this gratuitous violence we have today (Exterminate!! Exterminate!!) or mind numbing banality (Now here's one that we - Get DOWN Shep!! - prepared earlier)

"In Town Tonight" "Sunday Night at The London Palladium" "Kenneth McKellar Sings" In a kilt no less!! Not to forget, (as if I ever could) "The Vera f*ucking Lynn Show!" Oh yes, there was loads of class in the good old days.

Well at least there were the newspapers. THEY were clean and combined up-to-the-minute news and current affairs with serious and intelligent discussions of the affairs of state. No puerile tabloids like the Sun then. Except for the Daily Mirror, and The Sketch, and The Herald for starters. People were much smarter then. Nobody smacked their lips over the juicy details of the Profumo affair. Oh no, that was a serious matter. (BTW Does anyone know which cabinet minister it REALLY was, who served drinks stark naked except for a bag over his head?)

Seems to me that, in reality, those good old days are with us now. In another 30 years my youngest daughter, currently a female copy of "Kevin" the comedy teenager, will sigh in despair and think about these good old days, before the dumbing down began. :rolleyes:

Through difficulties to the cinema

30th Jul 2001, 17:32
I'm with Blacksheep on this one. Media always has, and always will, cater for the majority.

I suspect (although I don't have figures to prove it), that however you measure "intelligence", whether it be by IQ, education, career, etc., that the majority of the population will be down the lower end of the scale, with fewer and fewer numbers as you reach the top end of the scale - and by the time you get right to the top, you're left with one or two Albert Einsteins up there all by themselves shaking their heads at the ignorance of the rest of the world.

That means that, the higher up this scale you consider yourself to be, the less other people there are who are there with you - and therefore, the less likely you will be to find media content to suit you.

Two things which might complicate this picture, though:

Once upon a time, not all that long ago (but probably before anyone on this list can remember), the only people who could read were well-educated upper-class people. Therefore, all written material would have been aimed at well-educated upper-class people. Clearly this is not the case any more - and this has to be considered an advancement in society, not a "dumbing down".

And secondly, I wonder if the current emphasis on quantity, rather than quality, of programs (accompanying the advent of satelite and cable, and now digitial, tv) has had a negative effect on tv programming?


[Edited because my fingers got "quality" and "quantity" the wrong way round - oops!)

[ 30 July 2001: Message edited by: FlyingForFun ]

Mr Creosote
1st Aug 2001, 06:20
I confess.

I have contributed in my own small way to the "dumbing-down" of the UK.

I migrated to Australia ! ;) :D

1st Aug 2001, 07:12
Dumbing Down of the UK Populus?

Quite the understatement actually. Where did the dumbing down start? In philosophy and religion. The old restriction meant that only the orthodox were allowed to discuss religion. Modern liberty means that nobody is allowed to discuss it.

General ideals used to dominate literature. They have been driven out by art for art sake. General ideals used to dominate politics. They have been driven out by the cry for efficiency. Which may be translated as politics for politics sake.

The Christian dogmatist were trying to establish a reign of holiness, and trying to get defined, first of all, what was really holy. But our modern educationists are trying to bring about a religious liberty without attempting to settle what is religion or what is liberty.

Everyone of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is GOOD. We are fond of talking about liberty; that is, as we talk of it, is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about progress; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about education; that is a dodge to avoid discussiong what is good.

Today modern man says, Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty. This is, logically speaking, Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it. He then says, Away with your old moral formula; I am for progress. This logically stated means, Let us not settle what is good; let us settle whether we are getting more of it. He says, Neither in religion nor morality, my friend, lie the hopes of the race but in education. This clearly expressed, means, We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our kids.

The dumbing down has been going on for a long time; as you can clearly see in todays climate of culture change, it's only just begun, buckle up.


1st Aug 2001, 08:55
Been at the Scotch again have we OCB? :D

Through difficulties to the cinema

Tricky Woo
1st Aug 2001, 09:35

Thanks for your contribution to this thread. I have to say that your timing was perfect, for once. We needed an example of the fully developed, 'dumbed-down' mindset, in order to see what's at stake here.

Hi everyone else,

What makes me laugh is that everyone talks about the general dumbing-down of 'society' (horrid, tosser word), (even the halfwit in the pub reading through the greyhound racing section of the Daily Star), but no one is prepared to admit their own lapses in this respect. Hands up everyone who's ever watched a soap opera.

Sort of a 'too many of them, not enough of us' argument, eh?


Windy Militant
1st Aug 2001, 18:07
After several attempts at this, all of which ran away out of control I think I've got it this time.
For various reasons I have ended up an outsider to "normal society". From my observation of life the universe and everything I've come to the conclusion that most people are scared.
They're scared of being different.
They're scared of what they don't understand.
because they are scared they hide themselves behind walls of familiar, unimaginative routines. Because they are scared of what they don't understand they hate!
In a recent post Some one (Pax D or Velvet sorry for not rembering who) said that they found themselves at a social gathering but wished they were at a PPrune bash. I find myself with similar feelings, although I've not made a PPrune bash yet, what I mean is that there are very few people that I feel comfortable with. Think about the people in your own social circle, aren't they all a bit off the wall. Don't rail against the fact that there are so many dumb people out there but rejoice that you're one of the lucky ones. You can't hold back the tide but every now and then you get the chance to open someones eyes to what is possible in life if you take a chance. Welcome to the resistance, it's not easy but nothing worth having ever is.

1st Aug 2001, 22:07
TDL the media have a lot to blame for this and comes back to the f*ckwit idealist mentality of the 70s. We had this bullsh!t in Oz as well and these @rseholes came home to roost in the early 80s and the fallout started in the 90s. Bloodey teachers of the 60s "me" generation passing on there crap to young and impressionable minds of the 70s. Well those 70s kids are all growed up and here we are having to put up with the same shallow sh!t in the form of PC, rabid anti-racist laws, homosexuality on par with normal hetero relationships, using pseudo-science as a way to explain the world, the proliferation of bullsh!t home-made religions for the gullible unwashed, and the defence of the rights of the criminal at all costs. Its roots are socialist in nature and a hangover from the communist propaganda program which achieved remarkable (though limited) success in the West.

2nd Aug 2001, 01:36
Blacksheep ,

Yes and I'll have another scotch one if you don't mind, thank you.

Remenber Braveheart!

Remember the Alamo!

If only Braveheart has been at the Alamo, I could have vacationed in Honduras without a passport!


2nd Aug 2001, 09:17

Seeing as how you and I are both on the outside of normal society, as it were, I'll have a glass with you. Talisker is my favourite, what's yours?

Through difficulties to the cinema

Arm out the window
2nd Aug 2001, 10:27
Watch out for the spelling police - they'll get up you for writing 'populus' instead of 'populace' and start calling you dumb - oh no! ;)

tony draper
2nd Aug 2001, 10:50
Could one be dumbed up?. :rolleyes:

[ 02 August 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

2nd Aug 2001, 21:07

Actually a gin and tonic last night was so good that I had two of them. The artichoke was messy but the steak was beautifully cooked. To all the outside free thinkers, cheers!


You could be dumbed up a little. I think. But, then you'll nose dive back into circular reasoning if you don't get your premise right.


3rd Aug 2001, 08:00
Clicky Poo,

I'm suprised Clicky Poo that you are here contributing to this thread as well.

I guess it's true for you too, we admire things with reason, but love them without reason.

Northern Chique
3rd Aug 2001, 08:33
to my way of thinking, all appearances are the smart ones acutually own the media or are too busy to watch, read or listen to it's tunnel view of life in general.

Selective escapism or education through someone elses eyes (good movie, biography or a bit of history) is good for the active mind, low middling or high IQ. Then go buy shares in the most popular media channel you can think of.

Doctor Cruces
4th Aug 2001, 09:16
If people are not stupid, please explain this.

Scene is at MAN. On more than one occasion whilst attempting to get into level 7 west of the T1 car park there are punters offloading people and baggage in the narrow approach lane to the drop off point at departures marked with double yellow lines both sides and bl**dy great white letters in the middle "Keep clear." It would appear that the sight of a dozen cars lined up behind them and the sound of honking horns fills them ith a sense of achievement.

In what is referred to as Tower Road last week, I mentioned to someone who had just locked his car and was walking away from it that he couldn't leave his car unattended. This was despite (again) double yellow lines and he was actually parked between two great signs saying that vehicles are not to be left unattended. His excuse was, "But I work for Airtours."

I agree that the general content of UK tv is getting worse, and that the advent of Sky and digital broadcasting only means that there are now hundreds of channels with crap on them, but if one is discriminating the wheat can be sorted from the chaff. Anyway, theres always the off switch which I tend to use more often than not.

Doc C.

5th Aug 2001, 07:36
Welcome to my world. "I see dead people walking." And talking, mumbling, attempting to drive, making inane arguments with twisted logic, and pretty much making asses of themselfs. Bill Clinton was elected for two terms, when he should have been serving his term in a "correctional" facility. Of course they don't sense this or much of anything else.

The inept are clueless too -http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3883b4bb075a.htm

And "Blind Faith", not the band.
"Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore,
totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries
since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most
uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would
make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their
feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries
and homes. I personally resent it bitterly and warn the people of Canada..."
[Isaac Asimov, Canadian Atheists Newsletter, 1994]

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

6th Aug 2001, 03:38
The reason our society has dumbed down is that the benefit state has allowed natural selection to be bypassed.

In days gone by the [email protected] would have been unable to survive, let alone breed with each other and subsequently appear on Jerry Springer programmes.

ShyT :rolleyes:

8th Aug 2001, 01:43

Here,here. Shallow end of the gene pool. Can't even get your feet wet, LOL.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: LAZYB ]