A planet of forgetful fools

Psychologists and psychiatrists worldwide are alarmed.

According to the latest studies conducted in various countries around the globe, there is a distinct tendency towards significant decrease of cognitive functions and logical thinking among average individuals. In the XXI century we are faced with pandemic stupidity. And if we are to read some product labels or manuals we might just as well pose the following question: “Can we possibly be any dumber?”

Japanese and English doctors independent of each other draw public's attention to a significant increase of patients (20-35) complaining about their inability to remember their plans, duties, itineraries, and even simply repeat what they read.

At times, it even forces people to lose their jobs because they cannot remember their clients and their orders.

According to The Sunday Times, scientists from Hokkaido University examined 150 people and discovered that majority of them were fully capable of remembering new information, recalling old facts and normally comprehend incoming information. New generation is getting dumber, claims doctor of neurobiology Tosieku Savaguchi.

Doctors unambiguously connect this phenomenon with the recent development of the so-called “external memory”. Namely, with personal organizers, similar services on PCs, Internet, as well as electronic car navigators.

Young people, who are raised among computers, get out of the habit of using their own memory since “external memory” is always at hand. In addition, people start loosing their ability to judge what information is more important and what is not. Basic memory is at stake.

If we are to examine several product labels, the following question can be posed: “Can we be any dumber?”

Everyone is probably aware of the case when a woman got burned by spilled coffee in McDonald’s and won a million bucks after suing the company. Afterwards, the company started imprinting the following message on their cups: “Caution! Hot beverage.”

A hair dryer manual includes: “Do not blow dry while sleeping.” A child's cough medicine includes a warning: “After taking the medicine, do not operate car or any heavy machinery.” Prudence of manufacturers of costumes for kids can in fact be understood. They warn their customers that a Superman’s costume “is not intended for flying.”

Many packages of potato chips say “You can win! No purchase is necessary to participate in the lottery. Rules are inside the bag.” Package with a shower hat: “Size: one head.” Bottom of a cake’s box: “Do not turn upside down.” Package with an iron: “Do not iron on your body.” Sleeping pill: “Caution! May cause drowsiness.” On a blanket: “Do not use in case of hurricane.” On a toilet: “We do not recommend throwing stones or any other hard objects into the toilet because they may damage the toilet.” On hair curlers: “Do not use for eyelashes. It may cause injury.” And finally, the masterpiece of slogans: a poster at one of the train stations. It reads: “Warning! Lethal if touched. Violators will be fined.”

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey