Thursday, September 03, 2009

Dumbing down

One of the things I got to do with four days at home was to watchTV, which included a lot of quiz shows. Does anyone remember Magnus Magnusson in Mastermind? Now, that was a real quiz show. I can't remember how much it paid out, but the point wasn't really winning money but the laurel wreath of being really, really smart.

As opposed to the winners in Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader now on TV. You could win a million dollars by knowing the answers to the stuff you were *supposed to know* when you were 10 years old. It must be why we've gotten collectively stupider over the years, when you could win a million bucks for knowing what the measurement oz stands for instead of boning up to be quizzed on say, sexual politics and power play in Shakespeare's tragedies. Or string theory. Or the periodic table. What's the point of being learning so much nowadays when popular TV has taught you that it doesn't really pay?

1 comment:

The Cat's Whiskers said...

There are rumours even the esteemed Mastermind has been dumbed down. One contestant was reported to have told the press that shortly before appearing, he/she had been asked to help suggest the list of questions for the specialist topic!