Re: Re: What is America's greatest challenge?
America's biggest challenge is its declining health - both physical and intellectual. Education has become too expensive for millions of people, and so is health care. On top of it, lifestyles are eroding health even further. People spend endless hours in front of TV and in consuming many other forms of entertainment. More people worship a beautiful body than a beautiful mind.
For many decades we have had infusion of fresh and healthy immigrants that has kept America young. Some of the world's best ended up contributing to America's greatness. But it may not continue in future due to our own discouraging immigration policies and the emerging prosperity of nations such as India and China who are competing for intellectual capital in their own countries.
The quality and nature of our education system is another issue. Is our education really appropriate? Is it even education? We seem to train people as specialized raw material for the industries of the time, rather than educate them broadly. When the economic environment changes and new industries emerge, these so called 'educated' people suddenly become illiterate. Is this really education?
The most important assets that make any nation great are the quality of its people. Maintaining the high quality of our people is our biggest challenge as only the high quality inputs can make a high quality product, be it a widget or a nation.
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Our attention is more than just a resource. It is an experience.
'We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.' Those were the words of the American biologist E O Wilson at the turn of the century. Fastforward to the smartphone era, and it's easy to believe that our mental lives are now more fragmentary and scattered than ever. The 'attention economy' is a phrase that's often used to make sense of what's going on: it puts our attention as a limited resource at the centre of the informational ecosystem, with our various alerts and notifications locked in a constant battle to capture it.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
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