Generation Stupid

Welcome to Generation Stupid. This generation isn’t new, and it’s not based on age, political affiliation, or education level.

No, Generation Stupid is your low information voter.

It’s your Facebook friend who finds a badly researched meme and posts it as fact.

It’s the numbskull who shares an opinion piece published in a biased source as evidence of his contentions.

It’s the dumbass who thinks InfoWars, Mother Jones, Think Progress, RedFlagNews, and Conservative Tribune are real news sources, and not simply inflammatory garbage meant to spoon feed those who are too busy lazy to do their research their daily dose of outrage.

Because it’s much easier to get angry and post a short picture with some words on it expressing your anger than it is to examine the facts and post nuance.

Generation Stupid has forgotten the meaning of “primary sources.”

Generation Stupid has no comprehension of the difference between editorial and actual news.

Generation Stupid doesn’t bother researching the facts that are listed in a meme. They just like the simplicity of a picture with a pithy caption on it, no matter how dubious.

Generation Stupid also doesn’t bother looking at the date of the panic-inducing non-story in the dubious source. The issue could be 5 years old and already resolved, but Generation Stupid needs OUTRAGE, and therefore, it will share these stories as if they’re new or different.

millsGeneration Stupid will share something like this and blame the Obama Administration for allegedly plea bargaining a gun trafficker down to probation and no jail time.

Generation Stupid will not stop to do a search on Dontray Mills.

Generation Stupid will not  read that a judge with a history of making controversial decisions, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush was the one who gave Mills a slap on the wrist. Because OBAMA! And GUNZ! And DERP!

Generation Stupid will merely share the meme and watch as other members of Generation Stupid share it too, spreading the plague of stupid across social media and the Internet.

Generation Stupid will also share a dumb Occupy Democrats meme about refrigerator safety and disingenuously compare it to gun safety. If you haven’t heard of the Occutards, they’re the spawn of the Occupy *insert entity hated by socialists here* who have decided to infest the mainstream Democratic party. Because NRA! EVIL! And DERP!

Generation Stupid doesn’t have time to check sources. It doesn’t matter of RT is a propaganda arm of the Kremlin, affectionately known as KGB TV.

Generation Stupid doesn’t care that ZeroHedge is written by a bunch of conspiritards, whose goal appears to be to foment financial panic, rather than report objectively. Checking for corroboration is too hard.

Generation Stupid doesn’t care that “Natural News” is filled with anti-science dimwittery, and is not even close to being considered “news” by anyone with an IQ above room temperature.

Generation Stupid doesn’t care that the latest outrage they share is clickbait meant to inflame, not inform. Generation Stupid certainly doesn’t care that the clickbait title is misleading and has nothing to do with truth.

stupidSee, Generation Stupid doesn’t care about facts. Generation Stupid cares about fomenting anger to promote its cause. Generation Stupid loves hyperbole and outright lies. Anything to support its political agenda. That’s when Generation Stupid shares memes such as this. Because comparing your political adversary to the world’s most repugnant terrorist is way more important than actual facts.

Look, I get that none of us are perfect. And sometimes we do fall for clickbait manufactured for outrage. It happens. We’re only human after all. I’m a sucker for puppies.

But I also know that in our society, we want everything quickly. We want the fast food of news. We want the McDonalds of information. News soundbites are getting shorter. News reporters go wide rather than deep. “Tl;dr” (too long;didn’t read) has become a thing, because “ain’t nobody got time for that.” It takes too long to research. It takes too long to understand context. It takes too long to find a corroborative source for something that appears too outrageous to be true.

X-All-The-Y

all the props to Allie for the artwork.

And facts don’t matter to Generation Stupid anyway, whose mascot seems to be this guy. They want one small photo and one short soundbite to describe their political views, which gives them the depth of a teaspoon and the IQ of moldy restaurant leftovers. All they need is the outrage.
Why read, when you can rage?

Why learn, examine, and explore, when you can read a poster?

Why verify? The Internet said so; it must be true!

37 responses

  1. Superbly well put.

    Now, how do we teach generations of illiterates to read?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that we can’t. Sometimes you have to wreck yourself in order to implement real change.

      Like

    2. In order to teach them how to read, they have to want to read. Parental involvement (and some basic discipline) is important here, but absent that, if they don’t have individual initiative, I don’t really know the answer to this. I suppose when they hit the real world and see the impact their illiteracy has on their success and quality of life it might motivate them in the right direction (then again, maybe not, they could just become welfare queens)

      Like

  2. The truly sad part is most of the stuff IS clickbait… leading to more clickbait, and they never realize it…

    Like

  3. ˙op noʎ uɐɥʇ ʎlʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp sƃuıɥʇ ǝǝs ʇsnɾ ʎǝɥʇ ‘ıʞɔıu

    Like

  4. No reason for these dumb as stumps ‘tards to learn to read. There are idiotic emoticons and all manner of squiggly things now to help them express their outrage and butt ‘hurtness’.

    Well said Nicki and yes we are at the point and beyond of having to wreck ourselves.

    Like

  5. Nikki, I asked a long, contorted question in another pro freedom blog in the comments section today. I am hoping to get some people to give me their opinion there. But the gist of it is, what is worse, someone who disagrees with you, but has done their homework, and just draws a different conclusion, albeit the wrong one, or someone who blindly agrees with you out of a position of stupidity and ignorance because they can’t be bothered to study and look things up for themselves.
    I want everyone to support all the positions that I take on all issues freedom related. But from a position of knowledge and strength, not from a position behind a sign with a look of outrage on their face and no idea why. Am I wrong?
    I hate to say it, but I can be just as guilty as the next person when it comes to web memes. I sometimes send them to my liberal friends just to drive them nuts. And I like puppies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely prefer someone who actually understands what they support. I don’t need people to agree with me. I’d rather debate someone who has done their homework and maybe even learn something.

      Like

  6. Old-school propaganda and disinformation techniques, but supercharged and amped-up by modern technology. “Verily, there is nothing new under the sun.”😉

    Like

  7. […] OR, AS WE CALL IT AROUND THE HOUSE: Generation Derp.  (Like my fish.) Generation Stupid. […]

    Like

  8. Generation Stupid is as old as the world itself. There’s a mandatory percentage of those born every generation that have to be stupid. Scientific Law, y’all.

    Just one of many, many examples: A woman I work (and a friend) with is one of the nicest people you’d ever know. She’d give you the shirt off her back. But she believes everything she hears. And because she’s left of center by nature the things she believes the most are those that come from farther left. In conversation one day, someone mentioned Sarah Palin. My friend said, “I can’t stand her.” When I asked why she informed me that SP was stupid if she thinks we believe she can see Russia from her house. Ignoring the irony of that statement I said, “You realize, of course, that was a skit on Saturday Night Live, right? And that Palin didn’t say that, right?” She became pensive after that.

    I’ve been ever so gently nudging her, challenging her notions, over the years with objectivity and good humor. And I think it’s working. Her cynicism has reached a more healthy level rather than being completely absent.

    Like

  9. Are you just assuming your readers won’t follow your links?

    After blaming the judge, “a judge with a history of making controversial decisions, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush was the one who gave Mills a slap on the wrist.”

    the article you link says “On Wednesday, he was sentenced. As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors agreed with the one year of probation.”

    Was the plea bargain between the prosecutors and the judge?

    Like

    1. Plea bargains are between prosecutors, defense, and judge who gave the sentence.

      Like

    2. And no, I don’t assume readers won’t follow the links. That’s why I put them there.

      In giving probation with no jail time to a Milwaukee man charged with 55 counts of buying firearms with fake identification and dealing them without a license, a federal judge delivered a message:

      “People kill people,” U.S. District Rudolph Randa said, echoing a common gun rights slogan. “Guns don’t kill people.”

      Dontray Mills, 24, purchased a total of 27 firearms, mostly handguns, between December 2012 and April 2014 and pleaded guilty to one of the charges on April 22, 2014, after an ATF investigation. As a result of the conviction, Mills will never again be able to buy firearms legally.

      On Wednesday, he was sentenced. As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors agreed with the one year of probation.

      Like

  10. You’re right that this Stupid subculture certainly is not defined by an age. I have seen both young and old embody this attitude (although the young tend to come with a more obvious, in your face entitlement demeanor, but I suppose that’s for another thread). Trying to have an intelligent discussion on some forums with people who are academically and intellectually lazy is very frustrating. It often appears that they are planting inflammatory seeds and trolling, although very often, they truly believe in what they are doing.

    The other week, in fact, I was conversing with someone who told me their large urban area/city was rampant with crime and dangerous to even enter. This opinion was formed not by going into this city or getting hurt, but by sitting at home watching the news all day. I pulled crime statistics on that city. Then I pulled the crime statistics of many other major cities across several different states. Then I took those crime statistics and made it into an MS Word graph, complete with legend and description, and told the person what it meant. Still, they insisted that their city was the most dangerous (statistically, it wasn’t even close), and said they didn’t know how to read the bar graph (really?). Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, they sent me a link to an article about their state’s “Most Dangerous Cities” without reading it, because the city they insisted was dangerous wasn’t even on there.

    It’s frustrating to see this type of behavior, especially when it comes out of an otherwise intelligent person. And don’t even get me started on some of the younger generation, who adamantly insist they don’t need to go to school or work, because a relative or nanny state is obligated to step in and help them so they can internet all day and sleep. I weep for the future.

    Like

  11. You had me until you went after Zero Hedge as “is written by a bunch of conspiritards.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong. They almost invariably refer to primary sources. They interpret all the data through non-rose-colored glasses. They’re not stupid. If you want examples of fact-challenged business coverage, try the Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg.

    Sorry, Nicki. ZH is not stupid. They have bad moments when they stray from econ, but in that area (though they have occasional weak moments there too), they’re usually quite perceptive and often prescient.

    Like

    1. I beg to differ. Three words: Paul Craig Roberts

      YMMV

      Like

    2. So one person invalidates everything written on an entire site, including the commenters? I often read ZH just for the comments – which are usually very insightful and often serve to bring to light other information the article omitted ( on purpose or not) And I agree with MMatters, often the articles are well sourced with primary material- even if you don’t agree with the opinion/argument presented.

      Like

  12. This problem isn’t new, really. What’s new is that the idiots VOTE.

    In the 80s, the Democrats figured out that it’s easier to convince stupid people to vote than to convince voters of something stupid, and that’s been their primary play ever since. (To be fair, the Republicans’ primary play is to say all the right things to their voters, then do as few of them as possible, so it’s not like they are really a lot better.)

    The root of the problem is that EVERYBODY gets to vote. No, you should have some skin in the game before you get to vote. It used to be land ownership, but I can see why that’s not the best proxy anymore. And I fully understand that “who gets to vote” was historically abused by racists to exclude based on race (BY DEMOCRATS, black people! SERIOUSLY).

    But people that pay NO net taxes (get more direct benefits from the government than they pay in) should not have a say. Period. That would solve a lot of this. Oh, sure, the stupid would continue, but it was ever thus – it’s not new, only newly broadcast and loud.

    Like

  13. Why do you reflexively dismiss any story that ZeroHedge or Infowars, or Mother Jones, or Russia Today Publish. Generation stupid also dismisses information based on where it came from.

    I don’t disagree that these sites are engaged in propaganda pushing a particular case ( so Are the New York Times and most of the Amercian MSM which I am assuming here you would suggest are “legitimate” news sources that can be “trusted”) – but if you are pushing propaganda and get a bit of information that is true, and it fits your world view and agenda , you post that as well.. And Opinion is that – Opinion. Most opinion pieces make an argument for/against a particular case- so if your friends are sending you opinion, maybe they want you to consider the argument being made, rather than expecting you take the argument as fact.

    You are correct that Generation Stupid needs to look at the date, and do a few web web searches to attempt to verify the data presented. However, if one’s point is that the Justice system failed to effectively prosecute the laws already on the books, it is irrelevant who appointed the judge – or who the judge was – Its is a single data point providing evidence that the Justice System is not working. Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but proof enough against anyone who thinks these laws will be some sort of cure-all, or that ridding the world of the NRA would make it a good and happy place.

    The MEMEs mostly exist to make quick arguments to people who aren’t worth the time arguing with, hoping to shame them and thereby shut them up , because they don’t have a deep view and don’t want to bother acquiring one. (the real problem is that our society has embraced deliberate ignorance as a virtue, and people don’t feel shame anymore) Both political sides have their outrage consumers (and producers), but that doesn’t mean you can automatically dismiss the information presented as un-factual. Truth is where you find it regardless of the messenger. If You are going to argue Alex Jones, or Mother Jones are lying or misleading in a given instance, you need to actually be able to explain why that is. Whenever you find yourself making an absolutist argument -for instance , that 100% of the Natural News site is unscientific hogwash ” an internal self-check should go off. You can be proven wrong if I find a SINGLE article on there that isn’t, and I can probably present that to you as a cat poster Meme.

    All “news” sources have a bias because they are written by people with biases. If there is a news source you “trust” you are doing it wrong.

    Like

    1. I don’t “reflexively” dismiss anything. My dissmisal is based on years of having to spend time researching the claims posted therein and having them show to be false, overblown, misinterpreted, etc. time and time again. Anytime anyone posts a claim from one of those sites, I have to go digging for corroborative information – whether from primary sources, other sites, or international reporting. RT in particular is egregious. Any “news” story they run, I check for corroboration. Luckily, I speak Russian, French and German, so I can go digging in international sites to verify. I just don’t have the time to verify every stupid claim in every stupid meme.

      That is not to say that sometimes these sites don’t publish the truth, or that the opinions are wrong. Even a blind squirrel and all that. It happens. But if the majority of their stories are misleading or outright false, why bother using them at all? And, if you’re going to post information supporting your claim, posting another person’s opinion is just stupid.

      My point was that news and policy are a lot more nuanced and deep than any meme can possibly describe in one pithy sentence. Using memes as a primary means of debating is ridiculous. So is not checking sources – especially if the site is one of the ones I mentioned.

      Sorry, but these sites have a bad reputation for a reason. Finding corroborative reporting or checking primary sources is always the way to go.

      Like

  14. “Well, Nicki, you were right about everybody’s tardtitude until you attacked my personal tardtitude, so that means you’re wrong.” Self-awareness does not seem to be a strength among internet commenters.

    Like

    1. LMAO!!! That was awesome. “Tarditude.” I likes!

      Like

  15. Grandson of TheGrumpus

    Nicki,

    “… It takes too long to find a corroborative source for something that appears too outrageous to be true.”
    [emphasis mine. -gog]

    In the main, I agree w/your article.
    In defense of some small subset of “gen. S”, I’ll refer to the statement section I’ve emphasized in the quote I’ve pulled from your article.

    It should be noted that during the last fifteen years, the number of incidents our government produces– at all levels– that light the “outrageous but true” LED have not increased geometrically; they have seemingly increased logarithmically.

    During the same period, both overt AND covert taxation have vastly increased, destroying the standard of living for a huge number of Americans. Overt taxation is largely self-explanatory, including (but not limited to) taxes new and increased, surtaxes, license fees new and increased, tolls, use fees, direct regulatory fees.

    Covert taxation is a little more difficult to track. These include, (but are not limited to…) inflation, “secret” taxes (i.e., taxes/surcharges/regulatory fees companies are prohibited from acknowledging on billings), down-stream regulatory fees passed on to customers, increases in costs anywhere & everywhere the government has meddled… such as energy and healthcare, food cost from the induced famine in California, regulatory compliance costs, supernumerary employees required by unions or government fiat…. The list can go on to become much longer, I think you get the idea.

    People are overwhelmed. The rapidly declining living standard, not stopped but only slowed by increased work, has people near exhaustion. Couple that w/the explosion of outrageous and asinine actions of government at all levels, and fatigued Americans are prepared to believe almost anything— but largely left too tired to do reasonable confirmation on the flash-idiocy of what seems like a “Noah’s rainstorm” of abuse by the “Elite Class”.

    I don’t feel annoyance, I feel pity for these people. After all, I’d much rather I was surrounded by these well-meaning, but rash, people than by the willful-blind.

    Like

    1. To me, the problem is that these “well-meaning” people reflect badly on the rest of us. We already have to deal with constant attacks on our intelligence from the left. Why give them more ammo by sharing a meme that’s blatantly false or misleading?

      Like

  16. Boy, talk about not checking the facts. The captioned picture of Dontray Mills that post author Nicki says can’t stand up to a fact check claims that the Obama Justice Dept. negotiated a plea deal that let Mills off with probation, which is absolutely true. One factual claim and Nicki did not fact check it at all, while calling people who fail to fact check stupid. They are, and Nicki is a prime example. Does Nicki really not know that all plea deals have to be signed off on by judges? He/she really thinks that because a judge signed off on the deal, that falsifies the claim that a plea deal was reached??? Think how little research it takes to falsify THAT.

    Like

    1. Hey, fucking retard. The plea was negotiated between the prosecution and defense. The sentence was handed down by the judge, as is customary at the judge’s discretion. There is ZERO evidence that Obama or his DOJ had anything to do with this. You posting that it’s “absolutely true” does not make it so. The sentence was handed down by a judge with a history of weird decisions. Period. And until you post proof that the judge was somehow acting at the behest of the Obama Administration, you’re a moron. Have a nice day.

      Like

  17. Please, don’t use other people’s artwork to prove a point. That “guy” is the art of an extraordinary woman and her courageous battle with depression. Please read her work and either attribute that image to her, or take it down

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

    Like

    1. I would never knowingly not give credit to someone. I’ve captioned and linked to her blog. Had I known, I would have done so to begin with. Thank you for the information.

      Like

    2. Oh and I’ve hyperlinked the photo.

      Like

  18. So, Generation Stupid Does or Does Not include supporters of Donald Trump for OUR NEXT PRESIDENT??!!!????

    Like

  19. I strenuously reject your dismissal of zero hedge as a bunch of “conspiratards”.

    Firstly, the “you’re just a conspiracy theorist” is a rhetorical fallacy used very effectively by the obamaphiles to all who objected to the completely inadequate vetting of obama. we knew rick perry’s gpa the day after he announced, but obama’s gpa? A classmate of obama at columbia interviewed hundreds and no one remembers the stealth columbia university student. We are supposed to simply take the “Dreams of my father” as the official biography even though it is filled with proven fabrications.

    And the biggest conspiracy is the one that zero hedge writes about daily: the fed. we have people moving from the big banks, to the administration, to the fed, to the big banks,…lather, rinse repeat. you can verify this with simple google searches “goldman sachs fed”, “goldman sachs obama (or bush) administration. this, BY DEFINITION, is a conspiracy. it stinks. our economy is being manipulated by a bunch of invisible cronies. that is reality and not conspiratard rantings.

    Like

    1. You can “strenuously reject” all you want. It’s a free country. But if you want people to take you seriously, you might want to learn some actual analysis.

      Have a nice day.

      Like

  20. […] One of my on-line associates, Nicki, was talking on her blog about our nation’s inability to do any research for ourselves the other day. http://thelibertyzone.com/2016/01/11/generation-stupid/ […]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. You forgot to mention Addicting Info.

    Like

  22. I posted on TZP at an article by Historian, just today, that I had been away for awhile. This posting, by Nikki, is the reason I have been busy. I have been trying to educate myself more on ways to find facts for myself. It came to a head as I tried to have meaningful discussions with a cousin on the dreaded censoring FB. Any time she tried to make a point, it was not with primary sources, but with sources like occupydems, or some huffing glue story. I tried to link to better sources, but instead of encouraging her and her Bernie Sanders for king bunch to be more intellectually honest, I found myself continually being baited into arguments where I had no real interest or passion. It got to the point where I was verbally attacked by one of her friends as being happy to remain uninformed.
    I finally have learn the hard way that some people are really happier to remain stupid or at the least ignorant. I had to resort to the old, ” oh, wait, you are so right, thanks for changing my mind” plea to give the attackers the idea that I just give up.
    As to my cousin, I am finding it much easier to just discuss how my aunt is doing and the like. I mean, really, Bernie Sanders?

    Like

    1. Well you know what they say – ignorance is bliss. I’m more than happy to kick both conservatives and liberals for posting crap.

      Like

%d bloggers like this: