The other day, I was watching an episode of the long-running BBC documentary series Digging for Britain (D4B) about recent archeological discoveries in that country.
The series is hosted by the celebrity anthropologist Alice Roberts, and every episode features a segment where the leader of a field excavation will come into the D4B tent to show off the latest finds and discuss their historical significance with Ms. Roberts.
Keep in mind that both Ms. Roberts and the archeological team leaders are all highly educated scientists, but they know that they’re being filmed as part of a TV show for the general public, so they tend to simplify things for the audience, which is understandable.
However, what made me nearly cry was watching, on two different occasions, Ms. Roberts and the team leader show off an excavated object and then struggle to explain “in simple terms” for the audience what they were. In one case, it was an iron trivet, and in the other case, it was an Ancient Roman ewer.
These days, the number of people who understand what these words mean and how those objects were/are used is frighteningly slim, so don’t feel bad if you’re among them.
My point is not to look down on anyone but, instead, to congratulate every single one out of you out there who has read more than one of my articles because frankly, you’re amongst a rapidly dwindling group of people who can:
- Read and comprehend long-form text;
- Pay attention to something for longer than eight seconds; and
- Not get a raging migraine.
Seriously, every last one of you reading this is in the elite 1% of the Western world, even if you don’t realize it.
Probably one of the most hilarious ironies of me starting this little jimmy of a blog way back in 2010 to share some of my experiences traveling around Romania as a clueless foreigner is that it never, ever occurred to me that anyone but people would ever read my words.
Today, however, it’s actually Google’s spider and other forms of computer code which “read” my blog more than any humans do.
As such, I’m always a bit taken aback by the emails I get from people who clearly are overwhelmed and confused because all they wanted was a simple answer to a simple question and Google sent them to my friggin’ blog with its ginormously long articles.
Again, I’m not insulting anyone or jeering at anyone’s lack of abilities here, all right? But the truth is that lliteracy is on the rise in the West, and it’s more than a bit scary.
The Blind Leading the Blind
When I was a bit younger, the only people who were truly illiterate (i.e. cannot even read simple words) fell into three categories: the blind (especially people with other serious medical problems), the mentally retarded, and some elderly folks, particularly black people. And the elderly illiterate people came from a different era where extreme poverty (and/or racism) largely prevented them from getting proper schooling.
These days, however, illiteracy is on the rise even in the most modern and “tech-savvy” groups of sighted folks with no mental retardation. I about fell out of my chair watching the Austrailan documentary series Lost for Words last month about illiterate people in that country when they started sharing the statistics on literacy Down Under.
Basically, only 10% of the people in Australia have the ability to read this article that you’re reading right now. And no, I’m not talking about impoverished aboriginal people in remote townships, I am talking about young white adults living in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Truly shocking.
And it’s not just Australia. The majority of people in the United States and Britain are also functionally illiterate as well.
When I say “illiterate,” I am not just referring to people who can’t read simple words like “hat” or “cat,” but about people who are unable to parse the text on a food label or a utility bill, much less a short story or a (mainstream) news article on “the” Ukraine (looking at you, you warmongering piece of shit, Hakeem Jeffries).
And reading a massive 3,000-word polemic from Yours Truly detailing complex issues like virtual backhauling and prosecutorial misconduct? Fucking forget about it.
Christ on a crutch! No wonder Alice Roberts and her guests had to constantly dumb down everything they were doing because otherwise, they might as well be speaking Frisian to their audience.
I’m now truly starting to understand why so many con men have been able to dupe the public with their blatantly stupid lies. Of course! If you can barely read the ingredients on a can of soup, how the fuck are you supposed to understand the difference between bacteria and a virus? You can’t, obviously. And evil shysters damn well know it.
Anyway, I’m not here to insult or denigrate anyone. I just wanted to say, from the bottom of my withered heart, thanks to each and every one of you (humans) for reading (and being able to read) and please watch out because you are literally surrounded by helpless, gullible, and superstitiously ignorant people.
What else can I say? The stupid, it burns just like a Nazi hideout in Ukraine.
5 thoughts on “Blueberry Boffins”
Wow, Ok. Actually, he has a point. However, this phenomenon is world wide.
“Sam cel Idiot” is requesting “Try to be nice” in responding to his idiotic post. The point is how somebody could be nice when this moron writes here all kinds of stupid and Russian-serving propaganda scribbling, making you wonder whom is he serving?
Hey, you troglodyte who attacked whom?
Why is Ukraine fascist when is obvious Russia is fascist?
Is the Kremlin still paying you in rubles, or kartoshka?
Have they drafted your ass yet, you know… to fight for your Motherland?