The dumb is spreading, according to writers and journalists all across the Internet. Not only in the United States, but in the rest of the globalized, cat gif-watching world. One article ago, I reported on some of this encroaching stupidity, and thought I would try and offer some tips on how to intelligently and epically stand up against such forces of brain numbing. It wouldn’t take much to reverse a lot of the dumb; little efforts made here and there could effectively cut down on vast ignorance and seemingly insurmountable idiocy.
Read a thing made from trees:
Most likely, if it’s in book form, it has more value than anything on a screen. Yes, there are many good news and other wordy media sources on the net, but staring at a screen just beckons clicking away from anything one or two paragraphs in. A book takes time, gets you away from the collective madness of comments and forums, etc., and doesn’t mess with your eyes like computer and smartphone screens do. Next time you see a person reading a book next to a smartphone user, compare their faces – which do you want to wear yourself?
Listen to your own brain:
We constantly get opinions thrown at us, and this makes us wary of our own thought process. Our brains are marvelous tools, and politics constantly tries to undermine the power of enjoying the complex web available to us when we’re by ourselves. Before letting media tell you how simple an animal you are and how the truth is in some external form (one singular political party or religion), see what kind of imaginative truths you can discover surfing your mind and not the 140-character or less sludge we wade through constantly.
Use your body as a mode of conveyance:
The mind needs energy, and even though you may not have time to commit to some exercise regiment, find ways of splicing similar activities into your schedule. When you can, utilize your legs to get to places, not your gasoline monster. Biking shouldn’t be labeled as a liberal solution to all environmental problems, and not wanting to take the car shouldn’t brand you a hippy. If you can walk it, walk it. Your body and brain will thank you.
Mix and match “smart” and “dumb” sources:
Opting for only the purportedly intellectual will make it more difficult to break down the barriers between what’s conceived as the academy and normal “folks.” If a symbolic wall exists between intellectual pursuits and normal life, powers that be will always be able to appeal to the majority using a message that can continuously be dumbed down. Don’t let the most powerful creatures on the planet speak to you like you are drones. Intellectuals, embrace some fun media, and so called non-intellectuals, enjoy something difficult for the brain.
Don’t waste an educated opinion:
There are a lot of people spewing crazy jazz about religion and gun toting’ freedom. It’s been a mission of the smarter among us to try and teach these people why their ideas are dangerous and mistaken, but they have something that scientific and academic minds do not have: utter faith. Any doubt you enjoy will be turned against you, and simply by arguing against very steadfast minds in favor of blind faith will only fuel their agendas more. Ken Hamm made a lot of money on a debate that accomplished nothing. The Westboro Baptist Church will never listen to reason. Don’t waste your educated opinion on closed brains.
Take some damn time:
The clock is always ticking against you, so never give in to boredom. Buzzfeed style websites are out to steal your time and fill your brain with fun but silly information, and too much clicking through will render your brain dull. Take time away from the constant stream of bad news and worse entertainment to walk around where there are trees and stuff. The Internet is not a place of constant learning, but a place of constant distraction. The brain can learn plenty by being left alone, information overload not always a great idea. Let the brain rest and translate all the impulses from everywhere into actual, useful data, and enjoy an hour or two of peace. I promise you won’t miss anything here, and you’ll gain more than you can understand.