The “dumbing down” of society.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

The “dumbing down” of society.Some might say that my observations are skewed by academic snobbery or a misguided attempt to demonstrate my own generational self-importance.

But I am often astounded by the increasing level of ignorance that I encounter on a day to day basis.

And it is NOT due to a lack of credentialed education. Many are college graduates and yet lack a basic understanding of economics, history, science or even simple arithmetic.

It makes me wonder if readily available technology has eroded the basic concept of learning. Many argue that you don’t need to know anything; you just need to know where to find it.

America put a man on the Moon in 1969. They did it with slide rules, paper and pencil, and some glorified aluminum cans.

With all of the technological improvements over the last 43 years, no one has come up with a better way to do it. The United States no longer has the ability to put a man into space. We pay the Russians to do it for us.

Where will it all go from here?

Only time will tell.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cindy Edwards 03/27/2012 11:31 PM
  2. Kathy Streib 03/28/2012 12:41 AM
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Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

Richard - I agree with John & Cindy and have been routinely "mortified" at some of the grammar, spelling, etc that comes from the "top" students in our school district... I'm not sure I'm optimistic about the road ahead.....

Mar 27, 2012 11:41 PM #4
Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!

Richard, I absolutely agree with you.  I have said for years that the educational system in the United States has failed miserably since the early '70s.  If you watch any of the news programs that have the crawler across the bottom of the screen you won't have to wait long to see misspelled words or completely incorrect use of word syntax and grammer.  Then its nauseating to listen to the "talking heads" and commentators espouse comments that you can tell they know nothing about and haven't given a minutes thought to.  Education and intelligence was once cherished in America.  Not so much any longer.  Folks today care more about the latest pair of Nike's.  And we wonder why this great country is deteriorating.

Mar 27, 2012 11:47 PM #5
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I actually do think the educational system is at fault - even college educated people seem out of touch.  I have no answers, I was never an educator, but look where we stand in the world today.  You idea about not needing to know anything because everything is available online is a smart thought and probably true.

Mar 27, 2012 11:49 PM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Richard- you are truly preaching to the choir here.  Want to know something?  Just Google it.  And if we can't find it there... I doubt if some people would know where to find the answer.   I get so excited when I see young people reading, I want to go up and give them a big gold star!! 

Texting has eroded spelling and grammar.  No one can add or subtract anymore.  And, I'm beginning to wonder if anyone can carry on a real conversation with someone... we're so accustomed to texting and email.  Turn on some of your local on-air reporters and listen to them speak .... what vocabulary??   I used to love listening to the late Peter Jennings describe an event.  His ability to educate us as well as report the news was self-taught.  

Don't get me started.. but I love this post.

Mar 28, 2012 12:35 AM #7
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Learning changes, as does every thing. Technology is neither good nor bad as it is how you use it that counts. Technology has been an aid for people with autism. Technology aids many special needs students. On the other hand technology in the wrong hands can produce a disaster. People are no more ignorant than they have ever been. Technology just allows us to see it more often. LOL

Mar 28, 2012 12:39 AM #8
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

I see this every day with simple math exercises seemingly impossible to tackle by those ringing me up for my coffee.  Throw an extra penny at them and they're completely at a loss as to what to do.  And I agree with Margaret above.  The schools are not set-up to educate children to their full potential.  They teach to the middle ... and many times, the brightest students with the most potential are left to flounder, stagnate, and grow bored.  Not sure how we turn it around, but we most certainly need to ... quickly ...


Mar 28, 2012 12:41 AM #9
Mike Carlier
Lakeville, MN
More opinions than you want to hear about.

Credentialed education is the result of schooling.  It would be better described as credentialed schooling.  Schooling, education, knowledge, and wisdom are not necessarily inclusive terms. One can achieve an education without schooling and experience schooling without achieving an education.  An education is a prerequisite for attaining knowledge, and wisdom is what it takes to know the difference.

As for spell check, it is a great tool to verify that one has spelled the wrong words correctly. 

Mar 28, 2012 01:00 AM #10
San Antonio Texas New Homes for Sale - San Antonio, TX

Hi Richard...  Moving forward in technology and other advances are a very good thing !!


 But Just like baseball there are some basics ...such as you need to touch all the bases no matter if you hit a single,double,triple or even out of the park need that basic knowledge...

So with that ...perhaps back to the Basics before learning more ... !!!   That just might bring back some of sense that we are losing !!!  ???

Mar 28, 2012 01:55 AM #11
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Richard, I too, am finding that common sense and attention to detail seems to be waning in our society.  I hope it is not a trend.

Mar 28, 2012 02:26 AM #12
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

I agree with your post and with what others have said, as well. It's disheartening, to say the least, to encounter the number of people who can't write a simple paragraph or communicate in a clear, effective manner.

Mar 28, 2012 03:39 AM #13
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I have to agree with you.  I run into people all day long who are considered professionals and yet they don't know anything about the world around them or basic topics (economics, politics, etc).  It's partially schools and partially technology.  Nobody wants to learn when all they have to do is "Google It".

Mar 28, 2012 04:50 AM #14
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Richard who remembers cd/  to work ona pc in DOS. Bottom line is we ahev ,in the name of technology stopped using our brains. Some of this stuff is good but you are right I think. I do not think it is age snobbery either

Mar 28, 2012 05:18 AM #15
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Although not as dumb as a box of rocks, I am not the smartest person around.  But, even I have seen the 'dumbing down' as you put it.

Go into your local Mc D's and see how many realluy know how to give change.   If your bill comes out to a few cents over, wait and give the few pennies after the person punches in the amount given and is making change.  many will not be able to do it.

Mar 28, 2012 07:59 AM #16
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


What has been going on is a lowering of standards and expectation. America is a great country with great people it's time to pull the country out of the rest step and put our foot on the accelerator and start moving forward again and leave the dead wood behind.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 28, 2012 10:00 AM #17
Leslie G. Rojohn
MoonDancer Realty - Sylva, NC
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty

We can blame schools and we can blame technology but what no one seems to want to blame is themselves.  I used to want to be a teacher, but I am now very grateful that I am not.  When I was a kid, teachers were gods. On parents night my parents would dress up in their Sunday best and dutifully go from room to room to meet each of my teachers. Even though many of my teachers were either younger or the same age as my parents, they were always addressed formally by their surnames.

Now, teachers are maligned. Parents threaten to sue if their darling child doesn't get the grades they think they should. Instead of one family computer, out in the open where the parents can see what their kids are doing, they get to lock themselves in their rooms with their own computer and do heaven knows what . Family dinners are a thing of the past.  Rushing off to endless sports games are the most important things in the world.

I always laugh when I hear politicians say "the American people are smart enough to understand....fill in the blank"  Are you kidding me?  Have you been to Wal-Mart lately?  The American people not only aren't smart enough to understand anything, they are not interested enough to care.

Mar 28, 2012 10:04 AM #18
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Richard,

Excellent post, and very true.  We are becoming a society that will not be able to function without a computer...what will happen when technology fails and we have to count on the collective grey matter to manage day-to-day activities?

Mar 28, 2012 11:25 PM #19
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

I was at a local business earlier this week and an employee asked me if I had a calculator because they needed to know how much 4 x 80 was.  I stood there stunned for a minute and then gave them the answer.  The reply was, "WOW you are really smart!"

Mar 30, 2012 12:45 AM #20
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Having two children in school, I believe the educational system is at least partly at fault. Kids are taught to the test now. This is a result of policies like no child left behind. Mediocrity is not only encouraged, it is nurtured. 

Mar 30, 2012 10:53 PM #21
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Richard, I couldn't agree more.  However, as the mother of an excellent high school Biology teacher who also served for 2 years in the Peace Corps in Namibia, (no electricity or running water), I honestly believe that we tend to shift blame to the schools when the real responsibility is at home.  I think our society is dumber because watching "Dancing with the Stars" is easier than reading a classic novel.  We have become a society that has learned to de-value learning for the sake of learning and consider teachers as public employees who probably earn too much and have too large a pension.  Pretty screwed-up in my opinion.  If we want a better tomorrow we have to pay to educate the children that will lead it.

Mar 31, 2012 04:02 PM #22
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
It's obvious to anybody who has a couple of brain cells left to rub together that what you speak is the way it is. It's actually quite scary.
Sep 29, 2012 12:10 AM #23
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