With the popularity of the zombie genre, from graphic novels to the movie screen, it is an apt depiction of post-modern humanity. Any devotee of “zombie apocalyptic” stories, likewise, finds a correlation between the notion of a “z-state” and reality of a devolving culture to be quite both alarming and fascination. From entertaining dystopic fiction in terror-panicked shopping malls, to the government websites planning for societal pandemic, the metaphorical admonition for survival preparedness and emergency planning reflects real life issues and foolish behaviors.
The apocalyptic future human demise, while such fascinates millions, underscores the viewpoint regarding the devolving probabilities of humanity. Reality suggests a looming global transformation that eventually implicated the human species becoming extinct. On a planetary scale, concerns about natural disasters from atmospheric warming, the threat of nuclear terrorism, as well as universal viral pandemic, ought to awaken the productive processes of international cooperation. Yet, seemingly, where human nature is concerned, not much changes and more calamities are coming.
Add to that the grotesque and insidious specters of famine, disease and dismal poverty, more war, and environmental exploitation. Of which, corrective actions should have been underway long ago. These calamities naturally invite diverse perceptions about human extinction, as well as solvability factors. For the smaller and narrower, albeit sophomoric perspective, the certainty of death is frightening but appears way off somewhere in some called “never-never land”.
One researcher in an academic setting collecting data for a dissertation has offered commentary on disastrous consequences for human civilization. It has been suggested that the fixation or obsession with apocalyptic scenarios is a means of imagining the fearful individuality of dying. This always applies to the disbelief that future will actually happen. Fictional versions come in many forms in the fabrication of divergent theories regarding the end of the human race. The human capacity for deception with regard to storytelling has deep roots in evolutionary processes. For the average person, fiction is sometimes confused with the real world and the facts, by which the reality of evidence gets lost. Stupidity is frequently more important than higher intelligence.
In a recent analysis by one college professor, conducted a few years ago, in particular millennials, in the age grouping between 15 and 25, reportedly did not perform very well in such things as simple problem-solving skills. One researcher expanded that age range to include another 5 years, and concluded anyone under 30 displays similar deficits relative to critical thinking skills. Of these, many have difficulty accepting the challenges of the real world and displaying a keen grasp of significant social issues. As previously compared to similar age groups in 20 other competitive countries, American teens exhibit deficiencies in a broad range of intellectual capacities. In comparing educational systems on an international basis, the U.S. ranked 14th behind Russia.
Disturbing trends in an increasingly “fact free society” portends scary prospects for an inclination toward a dystopic future. As pseudo-science is valued more than real science, belief systems slant more toward science fiction than science fact. Reality replaced by non-reality reinforced by emotional reactivity hastens the devolution of the human species. In the U.S., freedom of speech is being shouted down by an extremist slant on “political correctness” and intolerance for alternative viewpoints. Devolution appears to be the inclination for the human species. A divisive strain of infantile narcissism masquerades behind a facade of intellectualism and “social justice”.
Political corruption, gangsterism, thuggery and “sanctuary enclaves” deface the constitutionality of the rule of law. To underscore the regression of critical thinking in application of proactive problem solving, the intellectual capacity for many continues to slip away. As though “infancy” for dependence on primal needs does not mature over time, the subsequent generational tendencies move toward social retrogress. In a special report to a major national newspaper eight years ago, a gloomy point of view portrayed a dismal portrait of 15 to 24 year olds. This could be referred to as the “Z-state”.
Yet, the metaphorical generalization of a “Z-state” of limited consciousness does not necessarily have a well-defined line of demarcation. Weak thinking, emotional reactivity and uninformed socio-political status crosses any attempt to establish secure boundary lines. At any given moment, as essays on stupidity suggest, lazy, simplistic and oversimplified interactivity infects several age groupings. Generally, being stupid affects every age group and is often seen in the arrogance of self-deceit and selfishness of entitled immediate gratification. So, sometimes the lines blur.
This of course does not speak highly of the absurd fixation U.S. education has with so-called accreditation processes. The cumbersome lengthy procedures, rules, the documentation processes, laws enacted, and the obsessive oversight, faculty credentials, and so on, have not significantly improved learning, encouraged productivity or inspired higher states of innovation. In spite of all the fascinations over accreditation, licensing processes and endless expenditures, the U.S. does not make it into the top ten in education worldwide. According to one report in a major national publication, the U.S. ranked 17th among so-called developed countries.
The research suggested, after an evaluation of 49 countries in the period from 1995 to 2010, more countries were improving in education at a rate faster than the U.S. While this kind of data offers gloomy future prospects, it is not the only bleak glimpse toward the probability of a future dystopia. As intellectual capacity wanes negatively, human extinction is also in the social mix as a likely prospect. The likelihood of mainstream society regressing to realms of primordial stupidity has become more pronounced with the onset of the z’s, or the youngest leaving high school at the present time.
On a nationally recognized publicly funded radio network, one college professor lamented in his testimony that the newest generation is stupid. During the discussion, the college teacher, and author of a book on the topic, further claimed the alleged “digital generation” is filled with idiots. Of particular concern was the lack of motivation to be creative and explore a diversity of imaginative possibilities. Published in 2008, a writer for a west coast national news service suggested those in the ages from 15 to 24 spend less time reading each day than previous groups. Woefully deficient in areas of history and politics, the younglings of today know very little about such things.
As one generation follows another, the social courage for intellectual competence and creativity, along with “mental-physical” achievement for the “greater good”, regresses to a self-indulgent infantile narcissism. Everywhere one ponders the human condition; the more deplorable the global state of affairs appears. While there are noble exceptions in every assertion, action or possible claim, the general conclusion drawn is devastating in terms of human species survival. From incessantly mindless commercials on every medium of “infotainment”, to promoting grotesque gluttonous consumption and never-ending debt, sophomoric communal discourse devolves to primeval levels.
Constant “news media” bombardment, where emotion overrides reason, tainted by unsubstantiated opinion, the social babble degrades communal achievement to higher realms of enlightenment. Alleged reporters, newscasters and so on, typically too young and inexperienced in worldly knowledge, or history, regurgitate a kind of “zombified” fixation of overly simplistic conjectures regarding complex human problems. Entitlement and alleged “victimization” claim an arrogance of immaturity that little or no sense of self-driven individuality in the evolving liberation for higher differentiation.
Meanwhile, back on “Madison avenue”, the advertising gurus contrive schemes, across the wide expanse of social media, which is insulting, regressive and disturbingly intrusive. Nonetheless, the inane gimmicks work on an increasingly less informed and younger consumer, primarily those inclined toward increasing zombification. In your face, marketing knows few boundaries of respect, courtesy and civility in the ongoing attempts to con the consumer into greater consumption. No matter what telecommunication medium one engages, the likelihood is very high an obnoxious and juvenile ad or commercial will pop up and the most inappropriate time.
From television to movies, to online “tubes”, from cell phones to online video streaming, the ads never cease. Not only that, but more often than not, such propaganda typically claims an untimely moment prior to more serious subject matter. Not to forget of course, the message frequently comes across as child-like feel good messages, while reality speaks of horrible atrocities around the world. Rampant obsessive commercialization of everything is symptomatic of the Z’s contemporary state of affairs in the myth and magic of the illusion called the “American Dream”.
In that deception, which funds the lucre of the upper classes, the admonition is to consume, consume, and consume more. Such is the post-modern American mantra. At the same time, hypocrisy underscores the intentional gullibility of justifying anything that satiates immediate gratification. Gluttonous worship often savors the “sage” wisdom of the icons of “cosmic knowledge”, like overpaid athletes, rock stars, politicians and Hollywood actors. Superficial testimonial anecdote passes as factual substantiation from illicit sources that hide behind a false sense of security. Given the pretentiousness for instant indulgence in robotic, mechanistic, and spoon-fed fixations, it is more relevant to “feel good” than actually “be good”, or ensure the greater good.
As marches and demonstrations satiate the desire to feel good about not necessarily doing anything about the common good, the superficiality pretends to express some sense of “social justice”. Alleged “social warriors”, woefully ignorant of the very things they protest, and stupidly immature about how social systems function; signify the divisive aspects of human nature. Of which, the human species has changed very little. Over the past 33,000 years or whenever you mark the starting point of modern humans, humankind, with notable exceptions, has not transformed in significant ways.
No sign of imminent ascension appears probable. Yet, in spite of pretenses to the contrary, common sense rationality evades social discourse and degrades to an inability to form intellectual dialogue. While fighting among opposing groups or destroying someone’s property, in between texting and posting on social media, having a latte after the demonstration, individual and group selfishness prevails. More evident to a few, and not to the masses, the foolishness of “herded” reactivity reinforces the fakery of making “changes”, for which nothing really changes, and the status quo is maintained.
Meanwhile planet earth continues to be pillaged, and successive generations may be ill equipped to handle an apocalypse, a global pandemic, or a mass extinction event. For that matter, some research tends to suggest subsequent generations may be ill equipped to deal with most social problems that plague the planet. An article appearing in another online magazine that specializes in developing technologies and possible social impact, posed a related question to the issue of stupidity. Surrounded by the usual bombardment of excessive advertising, an initial query asked if people are getting dumber.
For many, the gluttony of various techno-options is relief from responsibility in personal development. Excessive materiality is good for the consumer, commerce and commercialized thinking processes. It reinforces varying levels of stupidity. One does not have to focus too much, in fact not at all, and enjoy the blurry haze of simplistic ideation. Serious introspective “anti-status quo” analysis, such as questioning so called “peer review” in the pseudosciences, may be challenged as “thinking too much”. To further the focus on such intellectual necessities as math, writing, and reading skills, the reality is that these skills are weakening. The crisis of American education is exactly that, it is a state of crisis. One writer suggests that the “system”, or multi-systems”, teach about a world that does not exist. It is a world tilting in dystopic directions.
Within an organizational framework, or institutional setting, secular or otherwise, outside the box thinking is just a colorful metaphor that disguises the real intent. In the mainstream of any particular venue of human interaction, along a collective collusion, no one wants to be outside the box. Of any particular guru, shaman, celebrity, or similar conceited authority, the alleged expertise goes without question. For the sake of sinister intentions, purposeful malevolence colludes openly, and lazy thinking accepts it.
Reinvention, or regurgitation, or even remake of any kind evidences that devolving status of non-creativity. Mediocre is the state of excellence, while substandard is the average and boring is the norm for any entertainment value. Superficiality admires shallowness over substance, as symbolism reinforces the regressive fixation of emotional reactivity. Actually, no one really wants another person to think too much.
The amative value of ignorance can be witnessed by the excessive promotion of anything for sale. Be happy, get along with the group, stay in the conformity of the consensus, and let famous people speak for everyone. More so than insisting upon the rigors of self-evolving transformation to a better version than the original self. That requires the dangerous risks of being outspoken, open minded and not easily swayed by the masses. From the trials and errors in mature elevation, to the reality of a well-differentiated rational thinking, enlightened ascendency is irrelevant and costly.
Hard work is required to think deeply about a variety of issues, with a logical process of rationally mature deductive reasoning. Self-education is constant in every sphere of human activity. Investigative ruthlessness peers behind the veneer of bias, selfishness, and promotion of personal agenda. Too time consuming for most to endure, critical analysis tempered by productive interactive debate is arduous. Stupidity is often the crutch for avoiding accountability and the necessity of viable truths.
For those willingly embracing their zombification, the fear of singularity in personal detachment erodes the ability to be exceptionally insightful. Lacking the courage of mindful conviction, each subsequent generation shuns intellectual achievement in the advancement of the species to higher planes of illumination. By intentional cowardice, myth, magic and foolish metaphor contrive social deceptions. Instead, a growing number of studies show a dismal regression of intellectual capacity as one generation vanishes to the next. Historical replication devolves to the rise of the z-state.