Douglas James Troxell
America - Land of the Dum #2: iDum-E
*Note: This blog post is the second in a series of posts exploring America's downward spiral into stupidity that will attempt to explain how we went from the country that invented radiocarbon dating, chemotherapy, and the internet to a country that believes the best way to end a global pandemic is to bitch and complain about doing all the things that would actually end it.
Check out Part #1 - Dumb by Design right here.
Have you ever seen any of the 37 Terminator movies? Or The Matrix? Or I, Robot? Or any of the dozens of other movies about technology becoming so advanced it rises up and eradicates the human race?
Well, apparently no one has because we seem determined to make those films a reality.
There's one thing all those films got wrong, though. In all those films, technology became so advanced that it could no longer he controlled by humanity and tries to kill us. In reality, advanced technology will make us so DUMB that we'll destroy ourselves.
Damn you, Skynet!
Today, most human adults in America (and many children for some reason) carry around a computer in their pockets that is more advanced than the computers in the space shuttle that first sent men to the moon. These pocket-sized miracles grant access to the entire wealth of human knowledge. And how do we use these modern miracles?
Sharing funny cat videos.
Watching Tik Tok dances.
Finding out which Disney princess best represents our personality (I got Jasmine!)
What many fail to realize is that every piece of technology, no matter how advanced, is nothing more than a tool. Just like giving a carpenter a really cool mega hammer won't make a shitty carpenter less shitty, giving an advanced piece of technology to an idiot won't make that person less of an idiot.
Smart people will use technology for smart things (finding a cure for cancer, making it possible for children to learn during a global pandemic, creating an application that plays episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 all day every day) and dumb people will argue on the internet whether a dress was blue or tan. The tools don't make the person.
Our technology has become so advanced that we've actually reversed human evolution. Instead of becoming stronger and faster and smarter, technology makes us weaker and lazier and much, much dumber. It makes us more helpless, more distracted, and deteriorates our communication skills. It isolates us in a world where we have the ability to talk to anyone on the planet at any time.
Why learn anything when you can just ask Alexis? Why leave the house when you can order food, interact with friends, and see the world while sitting on your ass in front of a computer screen? Why go see your mom on her birthday when you can just text her an emoji of a birthday cake?
But the last five years have shown us the true dangers of advanced technology: Large amounts of stupid people being able to communicate with one another spreading their stupidity across the globe like a virus.
"I read on my uncle's neighbor's dog's Facebook that Hillary Clinton created COVID with the help of the mouse from Chuck E. Cheese so they could microchip everyone, brainwash 'em, and force them to demand HBO reshoot the final season of Game of Thrones!"
Even more ridiculous? "You know who would make a great president? That guy with the weird hair on The Apprentice!"
The internet and social media have become echo chambers sending ripples of stupidity further and further out into the world. Hate, intolerance, and general stupidity used to be confined to trailer parks and small town bars and NASCAR racetracks. These pockets of pea-brains used to pose little danger to the educated and disciples of common sense. No longer. Now they're finding each other, emboldening each other, and recruiting others.
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These are the COVID-deniers, the conspiracy spreaders, the "MASKS R MUZZLES" brigade. Despite being the richest country in the world with the best medical technology and minds on planet Earth, these are the people waving the white flag in front of COVID for all of us. Despite being paranoid and not trusting the government, they allow themselves to become political pawns, putting themselves, their loved ones, and even their children at risk. They're too stupid to save themselves.
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We are on the front lines of a war between common sense and stupidity and when Skynet does finally come for what's left of us, I won't feel surprised or pity. I'll know we deserve it.
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In my next "America is Dum" blog post, I'll explore the role entertainment has played in our intellectual downward spiral.
If you're looking to see where all this stupidity ends, check out my dystopian comedy Trumptopia! The United States of Walmart. You can buy your copy here.