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Are we headed towards a new dark ages?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by slobake, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I don't think we are headed for a dark ages but I do see some trends that concern me:

    The prevalence of celebrity gossip over the factual news reports
    The ongoing trend of media to give us more opinion than fact
    The reliance on the unsubstantiated internet information
    The polarization of ideas and lifestyles
    The concentration of media
    An ever increasing focus on security as opposed to freedom
    The growing number of fanatics in power around the world.

    This is my opinion but it is worth some thought
    Of course I am just another voice on the internet so don't take my word on any of this. Knowing TBOT I am sure there will be people who disagree with me about this and may point out other reasons we are or are not moving in reverse. That is a good thing. Discussion and sharing of ideas is always good.

    Here is an interesting article from "The American Thinker" I found.

    Articles: Is A New Dark Age At Hand?

    I don't agree with everything and it does sound a bit alarmist at times but it gives me more food for thought and research. Here is a snippet from that article.

    "Today, easy access to the Internet is flooding us with gossip, rumor, celebrity tales, and slant that drown out the trickle of actual truth. The Internet can tell you anything you want to know with a googly glance at its googol of inputs. We no longer need seek out and read a book to learn; we need only power a search engine with a few words, even when they're spelt inkorekly. Internet's Wikipedia, which is as objective as a list on a barroom menu, and often as fully fact-checked as a diatribe, has all but replaced studiously researched encyclopedias.

    "Information" is not the same thing as "fact". But eventually, we forget the distinction and uncritically accept all information as truth. When a briefly popular author invented a mythical society, the Priory of Sion, Google was rapidly filled with thousands of references to its history, organization, famous leaders, and its lost, hidden or church-burned documents - none of which were true. Need one add that 70% of us believe in UFOs and 70% believe that JFK was the victim of a political assassination plot.

    And thus, if it's "hot" on the Internet, we uncritically accept the fad of the moment. A growing multitude drink water from bottles that Pepsi and Coke fill from New York water faucets rather than drink the water coming out of those faucets because we've been warned that non-toilet trained "Catskill fish swam in it"

    That is just part of the article and I don't believe that the internet alone is sending us all over the falls in an ice bucket. There is a lot more than that going on. The internet can be a great tool as well.

    What do you think? Are we headed forwards or backwards? Remember no politics or religion here. We can discuss this without getting into those subjects.
  2. Clarkson off of TopGear.
    RedMoses, devo_stevo and MattZilla like this.
  3. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Uh Okay. I'm guessing you are referring to Kelly Clarkson. Do I just have irony poor blood? ;)
  4. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    I know right, sad state of affairs. Not a whole lot I find worth watching anymore, Top Gear was one of the few I enjoyed.

    To the OP's point, its all part of the dumbing down of america, its sinister really, weaning a whole generation onto celebrity worship and enslaved by digital telecom. Kids need to get outdoors and see more than a computer or smart phone screen
    sparkyfender2 likes this.
  5. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I think maybe you're seeing this through the lens of living in a major metropolitain area. A liberal enclave in a liberal state.

    I don't feel flooded by this. They do not concern me.
    MJ5150 likes this.
  6. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    That would be Jeremy, so I'm going to go with 'Yes.'
    Need Gigs likes this.
  7. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Seems to me that all your concernings have been with humanity since the very first day. Nothing is new under the sun.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  8. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Yup there is some truth to this. Is it a never ending cycle.
    I did a search for "Are we headed for another dark ages" and found an article on from the New York Times written in 1833. A lot of the same concerns.
  9. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I think that type of thinking may be part of the problem. Liberal or conservative or anything else we are all human beings with more similarities than differences. It is too easy to write someone off because I think they hold different views than I do. It is better to take time and listen. When I do that I usually discover that the person I am talking with is intelligent and wants to do the right thing.
    San Francisco does have a well deserved reputation as a liberal enclave but we have all kind of people here. I wouldn't fit in either of those categories. I am certainly way to the left about some things but still very conservative about others. I don't like categories like that. They make it too easy to develop an "us vs them" kind of attitude. There really is no "us vs. them" there is only us. The world is getting smaller and if we don't find ways to live together it may be disastrous.
    Bass Dao, Bean639, Tbone76 and 3 others like this.
  10. fendermademygibson


    Jan 28, 2015
    True to a point. It's the fact though that "information" is instantaneous these days. Everyone is a reporter yet fact checking and editing have all but completely fallen by the wayside.

    To use a "Star Trek" analogy here, the World Wide Web, or Internet as it's known to some is the "Borg".

    Eventually it will become one stream of consciousness. It will be impossible to differentiate between perceived reality and factual truth.

    "You will be assimilated, resistance is futile."
    Rocker949 likes this.
  11. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I agree. I'll address media since I know something about that.

    *More opinion than fact"--First of all, compare the media now with most of its history (look back to the Spanish-American War' coverage for an example). It's dry and fact-filled now in comparison. Second, it depends where you look. There's a lot of sensationalist junk now, but if you're selective in your choice of sources, you can avoid most of the fluff.

    "Concentration of media". Well, traditional media is going through a hard time in part because people are unfortunately gravitating to the more sensationalist stuff (I'm thinking of the shunning of print media in particular). Struggling industries tend to consolidate. At the same time, however, I think the Internet gives independent sources that actually do a good job a chance to grow and thrive. So eventually, I think we'll see more significant players again.
    MJ5150, LiquidMidnight and slobake like this.
  12. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    I am the slime.. FZ
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Good thing we don't have any fanatics here on TalkBass!
    LiquidMidnight and Rocker949 like this.
  14. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Thanks Greg, good points
    47th Street and GregC like this.
  15. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I know. I've been there.
    And when I lived in NV we got the SF TV channels on cable.

    And I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about the environment.
    Which also includes one of the most highly connected tech centers in the world.

    When I lived in LA, "The Industry" (TV and film) was a _major_ topic of local media coverage - it literally fed on itself.
    It felt quite normal there. It is not normal, it's just normal for LA.
  16. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    true enough, Im sure there are people living in more remote areas of the country that have no idea what a Kardashian is
    47th Street likes this.
  17. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Do you have any suggestions for sources?
  18. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I know who they are but beyond that I know very little nor am I interested. Like ArtechnikA said I live in a large metropolitan area.
  19. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    I believe they are spokes models for big butt's of america, is this right ? sorry I didnt check my sources.
  20. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    News media has switched more towards entertainment. I don't think this fad would last very long: as more and more news is entertainment, the more they need to entertain to stay relevant. The 'news' part of the show is now just a backdrop for causing panic and polarization. This will keep getting worse until the medium itself dies.

    Free access to information, supplied by the pipes of the internet, has changed what we need to do with information. This is more important, I think. It's not a problem to reach information, but to filter information, to be good at looking up sources and filtering gunk out. This requires skills of critical thinking that are not generally present in any society today, and particularly bad in some areas of the world. This is a big problem. But it's not the end of the world, it's solvable, and even if we don't solve it we wouldn't revert to the dark ages. Well, most areas of the world wouldn't.

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