Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The New Dumb, from Garmin

Oh, ABC News. You have posed a question for all the masses. A question heavy with its meaning. A question which shall surely resonate high from the tallest mountaintops, and reverberate low in the deepest valleys. A question that definitely falls into the category of "Things to Make You Go Hmmm".

A question about whether or not GPS is going to make us dumb as a society.

Oh, the faith posed in such a question. The strong belief that people are truly smarter than they let on, and it is merely through the creation of GPS and other modern conveniences that we have lost some of our mental faculties. We applaud you for holding onto that faith. At the same time, we wonder just how out of touch you are.

People are already dumb.

Sure, there are definitely flashes of intelligence within each and every one of us. But, as a society, people are getting less intelligent, or at least less intelligent in the standard ways. Some of the things that we have lost have been because modern conveniences have taken them away from us. So what if we can't tell time by looking at an analog clock? Could earlier generations install a new video card into their computer? We didn't think so (and we're not listening to any excuses about earlier generations not having computers. If they were so much smarter, they should have invented them earlier).

But to place the blame for people becoming less intelligent on simple devices is missing some of the key factors behind this trend. Sure, blame the GPS devices, and the cell phones with their massive stores of saved numbers, and the microwaves that have taught generations to never learn how to build a fire. But blaming these things while ignoring the uprising of reality television, celebutards, and the second term of the GDub Administration unevenly places the blame.

So, ABC, in answer to your question, no, the GPS will not make us dumb. We're already there.

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