Friday, November 18, 2005

"First, we'll need to find the nine stupidest people in the world..."

Today's nominee for Dumbest. Idea. Ever:
'A new reality TV show is aiming to pull off the biggest hoax in TV history - by persuading a group of Britons that they have been blasted into space...

'Nine people will be told they are set to visit the final frontier as space tourists and that in preparation they will undergo intensive training in Russia courtesy of the Space Tourism Agency of Russia, but in reality the groups will be "trained" for space in a disused airbase in a secret location in the UK.

'Unbeknown to them, their [space] shuttle will be a Hollywood creation, made originally for the film Space Cowboys...

'Channel 4 admits that the joke could be on them if the participants, who are currently being selected from a group holed up in a secret location with no contact with the outside world, cotton on to the stunt.'

-- 'Space Cadets hoax out of this world', This is London
You can already guess what I'm going to say, right? Well, here it is anyway:

How do they expect the contestants not to figure out it's a hoax when they experience gravity in space?


Of course, my biggest fear is that Channel 4 didn't even have to cross the street to find more than nine people who don't know there's no appreciable gravity in Earth orbit. I remember being terribly depressed when I read a 1996 news article about how badly American adults flunked an NSF science survey. 47% of you people don't know that the Earth orbits the Sun in one year? Unbelievable.

But I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised anymore. After all, the Kansas Board of Education just rejected nearly a century and a half of evolutionary science, by voting to teach Christian creationism (let's call a spade a spade, shall we?) "alongside" the theory of evolution. And the President of the United States even supported this position. The gorram President, fer fucksake.

When, exactly, did we fall through the looking glass? How is it possible for the most technologically advanced society in the history of the world to have so many citizens-- a majority, it would seem-- who don't know the first thing about the basic science that supports their quality of life?

That's not a rhetorical question. See that "comments" link below? Use it.

1 comment:

VR said...

I would debate that the amount of stupidity is DUE to the amount of advanced technology permeating life. For example, if you can function with all the benefits of telecommunications with no understanding of electronics, physics, phlogiston dynamics, etc., why bother with learning that stuff. In fact, if society allows you advancing with other knowledge: applications of technology, txting faster, social uses of technology, that's a better use one's limited knowledge and time.

I don't know how to properly fertilize soil for food growth, but I sure know how to eat it.

Knowledge for it's own sake - i.e. general science knowledge - is a luxury, not a necessity. Sigh.