Posted by: CS | April 7, 2011

Mass media and social disintegration

By Aangirfan

In 2003, the USA came 24th out of 29 countries when education attainment was measured. (Programme for International Student Assessment – Wikipedia.)

In 2007, Finland and South Korea were the top in education, according to a major international study.

The three-yearly Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) showed that Finland and Korea were in the top five for reading and maths.

“The UK has shown a downward turn in its standing – leaving the top 10 for both maths and reading despite an increase in spending on education.” (Finland stays top of global class )

The UK was in 24th place for maths and 17th for literacy. (Pisa international rankings )

The last time we visited an international school, we were told that the most polite and hard working kids were the Scandinavians, Koreans, Japanese and Chinese.

The most disturbed and disruptive kids were the British, Americans and Australians.

This might suggest that the English language media has corrupted British, American and Australian families, and hurt educational attainment.

The Guardian reported on what happened in Bhutan when TV arrived.

Read more



  1. Who'd have thought it. Allowing pornographers like Dirty Des and Poop Murdoch (Prop. NewsCrap Inc.) to take over the mass media can destroy a civilization.

  2. It has been going on a long time and people keep going back for bigger portions of stupidity (100" TVs)Albert Lasker ("Taken at the Flood" ) is the genesis of modern advertising at Lord & Thomas.Edward Louis Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, was also a pioneer with a specialty of propaganda.William Randolph Hearst had amazing influence and can be thanked for Marijuna prohibition, Spanish American War, the Federal Reserve and income tax. That's a tough one for anybody today to top, but folks keep trying.But why does advertising and rhetoric influence certain people and not others?The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures holds some clues I've alway thought. The Milgram Shock Experiment raised questions about the research ethics I learned in Psych 104. "It should have raised questions about why do 65% of the people administer shock to the maximum level all over the world" was my reply.Obviously 65% of the people are Toadies and do whatever they are told. Unfortunately, they are now being told to be stupid everywhere they look and it's working!!!

  3. The Milgram experiment surely says something important about humanity, but my conclusion as to what that is, is less harsh than yours. Mankind is the uniquely creative species because it combines the largest brain with the capacity for the largest scale of cooperative action. For the most part, cooperation is in some sense coerced either by the threat of withdrawing the means of subsistence (firing from one's job) or less commonly today, by the application of condign punishment for non-cooperation. Inevitably, therefore, humans have an inbuilt deference to authority. Therefore, I would say that what the Milgram Experiment shows is that most people are highly subservient to authority, which is not the same as being sycophantic or toadyish. I doubt that there is anything significant about the 65% compliance rate. I would be prepared to bet that if a similar experiment were conducted with the inclusion of "perceived investigator authority" as an additional variable, one would find the compliance rate is not a fixed proportion. One imagines the investigator posing for some subjects as a diffident novice graduate student, to others as a competent but pleasant mannered assistant professor and to others as an overbearing full professor or university vice-president for research.Doing psych experiments must be a whole lot of fun. Here's a report on another experiment with electric shocks that employed some good theatrical touches.

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