New Direction


I really feel that society is doing its best to ‘dumb us down’, you see it in the media all the time and you start feeling like you’re being brainwashed, particularly by Tory media.

Also we don’t have so much time these days to ‘stop, think and reflect’. We are expected to go to work, have a bit of a social life, do up the house, and go on holiday ie say skiing or go to Greece for a beach holiday and sit and do ‘eff all’.

Just how do we have time to think when we are skiiing? Cycling does give us time to think and reflect but it offers little time to talk about anything profound.

We pick up the newspapers and we are supposed to be eager for news of Cheryl Cole or the last TV soap? This isn’t good for our brains, is it?

So things are changing for me. It could be my age too! I am going to go to events that ‘improve the mind’ and generally cut down on the crap really. Fortunately J is a bit on the brainy side so he won’t be too bored with this stuff. It’s nice to have someone to go with to on these things.

I even avoided going to Bonfire Night in London which I normally would have done at the weekend but instead had profound conversations with J and learned a new card game (ok this may be a form of dumbing down but hey, I have learned a new skill and it is a good social skill to have and gets people, and sometimes strangers, talking).

Now I want to go to more philosophy lectures, history and art talks round London or where I live and give my ol’ brain a bit of a boost. I may not understand all the philosophy lectures but I like a good debate.

I’ve discovered London has tons of free lectures (just google free lectures_ or try http://bigi.org.uk/ for philosophy. Unfortunately the lectures we have in Kent aren’t free which makes it harder to afford going to them.

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3 responses to “New Direction

  1. I’m not sure how much society is dumbing us down, though the media ‘bit’ of society makes it seem that way. I honestly believe there is more of a public appetite for more thoughtful conversation than the state of the media would have us think. That’s why things like Big Ideas (thanks for the plug) end up attracting a lot of visitors.

    There is something similar in Kent, by the way, though I haven’t been along so I can’t vouch for it. If the Faversham Stoa – http://www.stoa.org.uk/ – is anywhere near you and you manage to make it along then I hope you post something about it and let us know more about it. They’re meeting tomorrow to discuss the Philosophy of History which, if I weren’t trapped in the wilds of West London, I would be very eager to go to.

  2. Thanks for your comments.

    You do have a point that the media may make it ‘look’ like we are being brainwashed. They are so powerful, the constant subliminal reinforcement of ideas gradually gets to people. It is important to be surrounded by people who challenge people’s traditional ideas and ways of thinking. A different slant on life is very refreshing.

    I have read old Victorian newspapers. They used to cram in loads of news with the odd illustration. Now we have massive photos in our newspapers and hardly any editorial. It’s no wonder people can’t spell and have the vocabulary of an eight-year-old. Newspapers today are beginning to look like Rupert Bear comic strips and people brought up in this kind of society, think this is normal.

    Newspapers have to make a living. Perhaps people didn’t want to read real news so they focused more on entertainment and sensationalism. Now it is extremely boring and predictable. Sometimes celebrity news buries real news like earthquakes. With news of the Royal Wedding, the media is going to try and stir us up and the predictable cycle continues. I really need to get away from all this!

    I have seen people buy newspapers because there is a massive sports section and throw the news bit away. With the newspapers going on about celebrities, it is no wonder the media was taken unaware about the student protests the other day, they didn’t have much of a clue. The internet has really changed thing though and has given us a chance too talk, even if we may get blasted for it sometimes!

    I did try and go to a Big Ideas talk yesterday but there was nothing on and we trawled the internet to find something else. We did find a talk on the Economics of China and India which looked interesting! However, I have an annoying cough that has lasted several weeks and I thought I would really annoy people if I went to it, but I do plan to go to similar talks in the future.

    I am really pleased there is something good in Kent to go to (and shocked!), although I actually find it easier to go to London as the transport is a lot better.

    I am really looking forward to my New Direction, I need to get away from Cult GB.

  3. I was reading about the Greeks recently and I’ve really love the idea of the ‘stoa’.

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