I can assure you that most countries have their dumb people and it's certainly not limited to one country
Indeed - dragons be there, trying to assume jingoism makes sense in that type of argument.
Going back in time, it always seemed to be something of an indication about the person I was speaking to - that they knew more about things in general, or other periods in time, or countries, civilisations, customs, maybe languages. That whole concept of a world outside of themselves, does seem to be dwindling - and I suspect multi-factorial too - not just the politics of a certain time and onwards, not merely how technology has changed behaviour and interaction, not merely a change in society and values - but I suspect a blended whisky of them all.
Something I find poignant, though, that was something I talked about to my own kids - as a kid growing up, there simply wasn't anything like the same degree of things for kids and young people to do around the home. TVs were in the main sitting room, and either only on at certain times, or mostly ruled by what the grown-ups wanted to watch. Computers were pretty much non-existent until around the early 80s. Music was possible, but awkward, and limited and hard to do personally.
Books were a sudden passport to something to fill times when you couldn't be off and out, running around knocking on peoples' doors for amusement, whizzing around on bikes with absolutely no consideration about helmets, and generally doing things that would have 'elf-n-safety experts apoplectic these days. As a young kid, I read, A LOT - partly because there was sod all else to do, and partly because it was something that captured my interest where there was nothing else, really, to do so.
I can't help but think that having no true option than read a lot more in younger years, than kids and young people seem to do these days, had some significant impact on language skills and comprehension, plus, perhaps, an exposure to things and information that perhaps you wouldn't have naturally sought. These days, it seems to be more about pre-empting boredom in kids, rather than kids dealing with boredom in a relatively healthy fashion.
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