You know, something's been bugging me for years. It might just be me, but I can't shake the feeling that I've been observing a slow degredation in the state of humanity for several years now. People seem to be getting quite alarmingly stupid. Not everyone, in fact I'm sure the smart people are getting smarter. But the dumb people just seem a lot dumber than they used to. Here's a few examples. - The Crazy Frog. Only a truly decadant and inwardly collapsing society could ever have allowed an annoying noise to become the pinnacle of music and oust Coldplay from their number one spot on TOTP back when the frog's cold hearted butchery of Axel F was unstoppable. - Paris Hilton. Her very existance is a good sign that humanity as a whole isn't much fussed about progress. She's a symbol for all celebrity culture. Jedward, Big Brother, any instance where someone gets by on name and no talent yet makes more money picking their nose than I earn in a year. - Chavs. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure teenagers have almost always been total ass hats. But why are the modern ass hats so in your face about it? Idolising drugs, violence, stupidity and the raping of the english language, chavs are all associated subcultures are a major thorn in my balls. I have a hazy recollection of a time when such things were considered bad. What happened to that idea? When the ability to speak the queen's english was pretty much a given instead of the rarity it seems to have become in my city. - Fanboys. Again, while this has probably always been around, why does it seem all the more noticable these days? Case and point, the ongoing campaign to see which has the bigger fanbase, Halo or God. People no longer analyse anything, they'll gladly accept a cheap cop out of a game which offers nothing new and simply stagnates the industry, just because it carries the name of a game that once shook the world. We never used to be this rabid. It's not just the Halo fanboys of course, that's just my pet peeve. A lot of people these days are simple creatures, brainless hype fed sheep who will spend whatever the popular norm demands instead of thinking for themselves. This is particularly worrying for me. Both as someone who tries to classify himself as an intellectual and as a gamer. From the gamer standpoint, people getting thicker means that games will have to dumb down to maintain sales (see pretty much any Wii game that's not Zelda, Mario or Metroid related) and that scares me, because the last time the industry was all easy to make no effort generic slop, we had the infamous crash of '83. I don't want to see my beloved games industry fall. Granted, I think it's so damn strong at the moment that such a collapse is unlikely, but look closely and you'll see the warning signs. As a man who tries to consider himself an intellectual (I'm not perfect, nobody is. Nor do I claim to be. But I do try to think every now and then about serious stuff) the stupification of the masses worries me, because I'd actually like to see mankind make some serious progress. Walk on other worlds, explore the ocean depths, unlock the mysteries of life. And we're never going to make any sort of progress if we're taking one step forward and two steps back, which is how life seems to be for us as a species right now. We seem to have reached an impasse. A point in our evolutionary path where we seem content to rest on what we have rather than strive for more. We've damn near given up on the space program, for example. We're never going to walk on Mars in my lifetime at this rate, some people aren't convinced we've been to the moon yet (don't let this topic become a 'did we or didnt we' debate please). Maybe it is just me. Maybe it's just false memories of childhood and we were always this dense. But maybe I'm right. What do you think?