First off, I originally wrote this as a letter to a friend in response to her posting this article, 8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance
but she feels I should share it around a bit. So here you go.
Second, this is just my opinion. Feel free to disagree. In fact please do where possible. I actually believe in free speech and real learning!
And third, I have a dear friend who teaches collegiate clinical psychology AND creative writing who absolutely loathes the new trend in beginning an article with a short numeric header.
(6 Ways to Lose Weight Now! 11 Weird Facts! 3 Reasons to Eat Puppies!)
She says these headlines are designed to grab the attention of the terminally distracted, are pretty much guaranteed to be largely inaccurate or full of propaganda. She is at least part way correct. My studies of neurology has proven that people are more likely to read short lists, post and tweets, than books, articles, etc.
And such posts are always simplifications of complex topics. The good one are like knowledge nuggets, that bad ones are more like word spew.
But props for at least trying to get the info out. We are all basically lazy and at least people read these things and sometimes think about them.
That said, I read the article and found it heavily laden with buzz words and advertising words so yes, biased from the get go.
But that is not to say that some of the points were not interesting or valid.
Is American education overly expensive? Yes. Absolutely. I can name three countries now without looking where I could finish my degree for free (assuming I could travel).
Does student loan debt or any debt act as a pacifier? Yes again.
People in debt, as a rule and as a class, tend to be far less combative. For one thing they are usually too tired for any form of aggression, much less organized aggression. And not just aggression.
As you know, people who are fighting any sort of fight for long periods become somewhat distant or dis-affective after enough time has passed. True activists are rare and usually have rather unique neurological/psychological brains/minds.
The majority of people when face with long term challenges grow frustrated, fatigued, and dispirited. And such people are not thinking clearly.
They are at the bottom of the Maslovian hierarchy (Maslow, Abraham) trying to fulfill their basic survival needs real (food, water, shelter) and perceived (social status entertainment).
Hungry, tired people don’t reason. They do.
And also a large minority of those people are made more susceptible to outside influences. Sleep deprivation and hunger are integral to hypnosis, brain washing, and even impulse buying.
That’s why you should NEVER shop when you are hungry or really tired.
And we live in a culture where we are also inoculated from our early toddler days with the triumvirate ideas that if we feel scared, lonely, bored, or tired then there is a pill, app, or image that can help us with that.
I saw a scary study in the Lancet not long ago where college age teens were given five options for their post class/post work down time.
Exercise, volunteer work, television, party with or without drugs and straight up sedation. The vast majority of them voluntarily chose party with drugs or straight up sedation!
Another huge chunk choose television or party without drugs.
Only a tiny percentage chose exercise or volunteer work.
Further questioning showed that biggest chunk (TV, party, sedation) all said that they were too tired after work or class to want to do anything else.
I’ve since seen other studies along the same lines and one whole book about this.
When asked why they were tired, another scary pattern showed up, in this study and others.
Millennials, students, and so on all – ALL – described a pattern of poverty and debt with a touch of fear or apathy thrown in.
Usually these groups were tired because
- they went to work all day to pay off a debt (long or short term), they put aside a small amount of the money to pay off the debt or interest to the debt >
- they felt depressed and stressed out by the work and debt so they >
- partied, drank, smoked, vegged, gamed, drugged until they were too tired to stay awake (most had sleep problems, too) and passed out>
- then they got up and went back to work.
And this problem was reported in peoples of all social classes save the 1%, all genders, all races, and in an age range from 13 years old to 45 years old!
Scrambled brains on toast!
Which leads to the next issue. Are we, as a culture over-medicated?
Yes. Absolutely. Often by choice.
But when it’s not our choice, it’s Big Pharma’s. I have now seen two different confessions from two different researchers admitting that they used professional connections to invent profitable disease.
One man invented ADHD. Feel free to Google this. While ADD is a legitimate condition and probably a side effect of stress, insomnia, and too much screen time, ADHD was created in a lab. Wait, here is a good link…
The other was the inoculation for viral STDs, specifically HPV, in teenagers. Young teenagers. Like 12.
And here is one for those of you who are fellow Lyme disease sufferers. Oral antibiotics DO NOT work for Neuro Lyme. Period. I have now interviewed three of the top six LLMDs for my book and all three of them said that this is a useless protocol being used by unscrupulous or ignorant LLMDs who need the money just to justify their practices.
Readers might also want to look into cancer cures. There are some. Google Gaston Naessens to begin with. But treating cancer is more profitable than curing it. If you’d like to talk to a guy who has survived a brain tumor the size of a grapefruit for eight years now using non-tradition therapies and Gaston Naessens‘s protocol I can hook you up.
All of AMA medicine is profit driven. I would know. I studied medicine at Duke Med and saw all sorts of deals with drug companies (better computers, free stuff, funding) pretty much daily. It’s why I quit my studies.
So too many drugs, yes.
And we have not discussed self-medication yet!
On to education.
For me this is a biggie. I, an AG/AP/ TIP student figured out education was a sham when I was nine. I am now friends with five teachers – elementary to collegiate, who agree with me. One even moved to Germany so she could actually teach rather than give people tests and number two pencils. (Hegelian Dialectics at the University of Heidelberg).
Another is now teaching at a US school where his pay and what raise and pension options he has is directly based on how well his students do on standardized tests.
All five agree that the current testing system is designed to teach kids how to take standardized tests.
Another one of them works at a school where all her courses, tests, and answer sheets must be online for parental approval. Her kids are allowed cellphones, laptops, and Skype in class and parental calls are encouraged. Students can take the tests at home with her info and answer sheets in front of them. They can have Mom text them the answer to number 4. She (the teacher) is not allowed to intervene.
And the SAT was just revised, the essay section removed, and other items modified for real (read as “cubicle” life. One college I recently read about (Morehead in Minnesota – http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2013/11/minnesota_state_moorhead_could_cut_18_academic_programs_why_do_colleges.html) is cutting English, Philosophy and General Math and firing all their professors in favor of Business, Business Math, and a climbing wall for students.
Is the government or corporations teaching compliance? No.
But they don’t have to. By not teaching ANYTHING they have a nice crop of stupid uninformed tired people to dictate to.
People who are tired and hungry and bored and who welcome intervention because they feel continually overwhelmed.
Does surveillance play a role? Sure. But not just government spooks. Helicopter parents are also a huge problem. Recent studies like this one in the Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/) showed that the latest generation of kids is being raised to be risk averse, frightened, and in need of aid/advice/and assistance as their own abilities to learn and make decisions are taken away from them more and more frequently.
Finally, TV and the Internet.
I was fascinated to learn that Millennials really are different from my generation. Neurologically different. The usage of device based learning stimulates growth in a totally different set of brain areas and utilizes completely different neurons.
The next youngest generation from my own has smaller amygdalas, larger visual cortexs, smaller language centers, more visual processing, poorer hearing, higher brain speeds, and larger impulse and addiction channels than mine. (I’m 36 btw…and I don’t count, either. As an Aspergers autist I am not normal.)
Shorter attention spans, better screen based comprehension, better gaming and multitasking skills, less organizational skills, a greater proneness to impulse thought. And a greater tendency toward ADD, addiction and autism.
Some of these are advantages. Let me be clear on that. In an image based culture language and hearing are less important that they were for example. And the larger visual cortex, processing, and so on are great for visual design, architecture, and sports, dance, and photography/painting.
But others like impulsivity, poor discipline, and poor organization make them easier to control as well.
Summary. (Bout time, huh?)
Sleepy, hungry, desperate, drunk people looking for big Mommys in the Sky and praying only for sleep and the next Game of Thrones installment are easier to control and if fed, watered, and entertained, also far less likely to complain.
Why protest when you feel hopeless, can’t think, and are grateful for any help at all?