About that whole intelligence thing…

soapbox

“Let us by wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.”

Virginian (first), then American, soldier, lawyer, politician and 5th President of the United States, James Monroe was born on this day in 1758 (died 1831).

I’m not saying that Americans are unintelligent.

I am saying we don’t always act like it.

We have given up a significant amount of our liberties based on the collective thought that things are “for our own good.”

I mean seriously, you can’t get cow’s milk straight from the cow without government blessing and processing and chemicalization.

And that’s just one example.

I seriously think that the majority of “average” Americans are quite intelligent. Unfortunately we’ve let our cognitive abilities be dumbed down, or is it numbed down, to where, as a group, we just don’t appear to be all that bright.

Consider the gullibility of Facebook. I could start a rumor right now and it would be halfway around the world before the first person went to check Snopes.com.

For the record, Facebook is not now, or ever, going to charge you to have an account. They get all the money they need from ad revenue. And, isn’t it simple enough to just stop using your account?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen for those things as well. But now, more often than not, I’ll check them out first. In fact I no longer post about a celebrity death until it’s verified in the mainstream news.

Whilst we’re talking about celebrities. Yes, while I certainly wasn’t his biggest fan, I recognize the gift that Prince had and that it was sad that he left us too soon.

But, did you also read about the earthquakes, about the shooting in Ohio (and elsewhere), or about the LGBT editor who was hacked to death in Bangladesh?

Or were you too busy painting everything purple and being pissed off at North Carolina and Mississippi?

I’m just asking.

I’m not saying those other things aren’t important, just that maybe they’re not the only things we should be thinking about.

jesusfacebookAlso for the record, Bob Denver, bless his heart, died in 2005. You can thank me later when someone posts that he “just” died.

I mean no disrespect to the dead. I have more disrespect for the people who try to start something like that just to see how far the rumor goes.

In other news, Bill Gates isn’t going to send you money.

The planets aren’t going to align for the first time since The Big Bang Theory premiered.

Jesus isn’t going to bless you, or curse you for not sharing that post. He’s just not.

And, personal pet peeve, do you really think that the way to teach your daughter about the evils of social media is to ask people to see how fast they can share her picture around the world?

Social media is a great thing. It’s also caused us all to think a little less, to question a little less.

I mean, it’s on the Internet, it has to be true, right?

I’m not sure Twitter was what Monroe meant by promoting intelligence among the people.

I could be wrong. But, I’m probably not.

I’m not trying to insult anyone. I’m not talking about legitimate differences of opinion.

But some days when I’m online the stupid, it burns. It really does.

All I’m saying is think before you hit that enter key.

Please.

I can’t do this by myself.

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