Dumb and dumber, the rise of non thinking


Recently I was watching this scene of two women and a small baby standing on the footpath talking whilst I was sitting at a coffee shop. I was just meters away across the road and was just amazed at the lack of thinking by these ‘mummies’!  There they stood talking away for at least 10 minutes, completely oblivious to the traffic chaos around them, deep in their own world of non thinking.  The poor motorists coming towards them along the street saw a baby pram virtually in a car parking space right on the corner of the street.  For most of the motorists coming from the far end of the photo (so towards the women’s faces), the driver couldn’t see the pram until they were almost on it and most of them reacted by stopping rather quickly and gingerly driving past with perplexed looks on their faces.  Car’s coming from the other side of the road to turn into the lane way behind the pram, did pretty much the same thing.  But these two women continued talking like there was no tomorrow.  My guess was that most of the drivers couldn’t see if there was a baby in the pram or not?  I couldn’t.  Had the pram and baby been abandoned?  It was hard to tell from a distance and I only figured out the one of the women was holding the tiny baby when she happened to turn around to face my direction.  I though about speaking to them, but decided against it as I thought I would either get a “its none of your business” response or a blank look like I was from outer space.  Instead I took some photo’s waiting for my opportunity to write about these two twits.

Another non thinking car thing that amazes me is when someone who has parked their car on the side of the road, flings open the drivers side door, directly into the path of the traffic in the lane that they are parked next two and jumps out leaving the approaching car to swerve to avoid hitting them the person getting out of the car.  Have you noticed that these ‘flingers’ haven’t a clue of the potential accident that could have happened as a result of their non thinking dumbness?

This is what happens to flingers

Here is a classic example of a door flinger.  This was taken in Lisbon Portugal where the drivers door is on the left hand side of the car as they drive on the other side of the road to us in Australia.  Well, this person had flung their door open into the path on an oncoming bus!!!  The bus was still there, but you can’t see it in the photo.  I don’t know if anyone was hurt but they would have been very lucky not to have been.  There was a huge crowd of onlookers – how embarrassing?

I think non thinking is on the rise. Only last night another example was of a guy coming down the pavement on a push bike at break neck speed, weaving through the people and pavement cafe tables without a care in the world. If I had not been watching I would have opened my passenger door right into his path and there would have been a serious accident right there on the pavement. Like these women, he was oblivious to everything that was not about him.  He was on his bike having a great time without a care in the world.  It seems like people have forgotten what danger is.  Its like people have forgotten how to think through something that might be a potential hazard to theirs or someone else s life.

With technology bringing us so much more information you would think that we would be more able to think through things with more informati0n to make an informed decision, but what seems to be happening is that people are thinking less, not thinking more.  This lack of thinking must affect our ability to be innovative and creative, it must affect our ability to think about others and to think about our future.  Too much ‘me culture’ has dampened our ability to see what is happening.  You might think that I am only referring to the youth binge drinking, and whilst there is some distinctive non thinking going on there, non thinking is not restricted to this group, it is everywhere.

How many times have you rung up the electricity company or the phone company to try to resolve an issue and got off the phone wondering what language you have been talking to the customer service person on the other end?  You are wondering because most of the questions that you have asked have been answered with a response that has little if no relevance to the question you have asked.  If you get onto a call centre and you deviate from the workflow script that the operator has to follow, you may find that you are going to have your problems understood.

Shows like Big Brother numb us down to a base level of stupidness, people sit and watch a constructed version of real life that has been carefully crafted by the television networks with carefully controlled product placements and, I think that most people just don’t seem to see what is happening to them.  In those ‘old days’, there wasn’t the leisure time that we have available to us now and my guess is that these people had to actually think about the reality of their life far more than we do now.  Community was more important and people stayed closer to their families so the knowledge of previous generations was passed on to the younger generations.  From my memory of being a child in the 60’s and 70’s of parents born in the 40’s with grand parents born in the early 1900’s, there was a focus on being practical and learning the skills of being an independent citizen.  I am not saying that everything was rosey then, it was far from rosey, but people did have to learn the basics of understanding personal danger and the basics of looking after themselves.   Families were less spread out around the globe and communities were smaller and maybe people were less isolated than they are now.

Maybe one of the issues we have now is a focus on image, on status, on ‘sexiness’, on coolness and on notoriety through social media, celebrity fixs, media or reality shows and not enough focus on thinking.  With the global economy still unstable, we need to think, we need to promote thinking because thinking will help us to be creative, it will help us to innovate and it will help us to stay focused and safe.  It will help us to be rounded human beings that don’t rely on someone else to fix the messes that we have made for ourselves.

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