A fairly accurate prognostication
Posted: 30 November 2015 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Charly, which was a film adapted from the book Flowers for Algernon, is a science fiction story that relates the story of a mentally disabled man who is given experimental surgery to increase his intelligence. The link below is a scene at the end of the movie where Charly is asked by a group of scientists, from all over the world, questions to evaluate his intelligence, which went from a an IQ of 68 to 185.

I thought his speech at the end quite prophetic. I understand this is not related to words, but I thought I’d submit it for an evaluation by the members of this forum.

N.B. The book was published in 1959, the film was made in 1968.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb6shvId_XI

[ Edited: 30 November 2015 11:07 PM by Logophile ]
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Posted: 01 December 2015 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks for the reminder, Logophile. I remember reading the short story, which was unforgettable (never got to read the novel). The movie was memorable too, particularly for Cliff Robertson’s performance (that was one of the years in which the “Best Actor” Oscar was actually awarded for brilliant acting and nothing else). As for the predictions…anyone can make dire predictions, and be reasonably sure that lots of them will come true. Here’s mine: any society that allows genes to be patented is much deeper in the guano than it realizes.

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Posted: 01 December 2015 03:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes, a great performance.

But as for the predictions, they’re the usual swill of moral panic and fear about change. It’s all “the world’s going to hell” and “these damn kids these days,” with minor variations the same complaints that have been repeated in every generation. (Going back to Plato, who bitched about how literacy was making us stupid.) The facts aren’t bearing the predictions out. “Brave new bombs”: there is less violence in the world today than at any other time. “TV in every room”: more people are reading more than ever before in history.

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Posted: 01 December 2015 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The trouble with young people today is they are too tolerant and hard working. In my day we’d take an hour for lunch and spend most of that beating up queers.

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Posted: 01 December 2015 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There is less violence in the world today than at any other time.

That’s highly debatable; you seem to be stating a fact , rather than an opinion, because there are just too many pros and cons to the issue. I’ll leave it at that.

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Posted: 01 December 2015 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The statistics aren’t debatable.

The murder rate in the US is at a low. Terrorism, while much in the news, is a mere shadow of what it was in the 70s and 80s. For all the worry over Iran and North Korea, that’s nothing compared to the specter of nuclear Armageddon during the Cold War. We have short memories, and don’t confuse news coverage with actual prevalence.

[ Edited: 01 December 2015 10:24 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 01 December 2015 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Dave Wilton - 01 December 2015 10:18 AM

The statistics aren’t debatable.

The murder rate in the US is at a low. Terrorism, while much in the news, is a mere shadow of what it was in the 70s and 80s. For all the worry over Iran and North Korea, that’s nothing compared to the specter of nuclear Armageddon during the Cold War. We have short memories, and don’t confuse news coverage with actual prevalence.

Nevertheless, it’s a debatable: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/13/john-gray-steven-pinker-wrong-violence-war-declining

Regarding the increase in violence: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/03/20/breaking-a-decades-long-trend-the-world-gets-more-violent/

I don’t confuse news coverages with reality: The fact is is that there are armed guards on many school campuses, and children can no longer walk to and from school without being escorted by an adult. That wasn’t the case when I went to school, but now it’s a reality.

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Posted: 01 December 2015 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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There is less violence in the world today than at any other time

I won’t argue about that; what is certain is that there’s less decorum and more hooliganism. And I don’t mean just soccer, or national legislative assemblies. I was watching a tennis tournament the other day on TV (they were playing for the Davis Cup, no less)—and what did I see? People in the stands with what looked (and sounded) like kettledrums, banging away for all they were worth between each point. What surer way of putting a player off his/her game? And the fellow hadn’t sneaked the infernal apparatus in under his shirt --- obviously, he’d got permission to bring them in. It’s enough to drive one to watch snooker, or chess.  O tempora! O mores!

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Posted: 01 December 2015 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The murder rate in the US is currently the lowest it’s been since the 1950s. Mass shootings are on the increase in the US, but they account for a very small number of the total violent deaths. As for school children, they’re safer than they’ve ever been.

Gray’s article in the Guardian cites no data; it’s just opinion. The Reuters article provides data only on war casualties, which have been going up in the last few years, but that’s up from an all-time low. One can always find upward trends when one selects particular types of violence and the year from which one starts counting. It’s not a smooth, steady decline in all types of violence simultaneously, but over the last few centuries the percentage of people who die violent deaths has been going down, even taking into account the worst atrocities of the twentieth century.

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Posted: 01 December 2015 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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"More hooliganism”

UWOTM8? The 70s and 80s were the zenith of hooliganism. Young people today are too indoorsy to be bothered with all that.

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Posted: 02 December 2015 02:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Man is a very aggressive animal. As long as man is on this earth, he will dominate in whatever way he can.  I don’t see the point of arguing further, nor do I see what this has to do with words.

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Posted: 02 December 2015 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thank you, Eliza, for bringing me to my senses before I put my oar in.

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Posted: 02 December 2015 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Yes, thank you. I should have known better. (But then it’s my forum, so I’m above the law.)

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Posted: 02 December 2015 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dave Wilton - 02 December 2015 02:16 PM

Yes, thank you. I should have known better. (But then it’s my forum, so I’m above the law.)

I clearly expressed in my initial post: “I understand this is not related to words, but I thought I’d submit it for an evaluation by the members of this forum.” But I don’t think that my post is the first post submitted that is unrelated to words.

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Posted: 02 December 2015 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Logophile - 02 December 2015 04:35 PM

Dave Wilton - 02 December 2015 02:16 PM
Yes, thank you. I should have known better. (But then it’s my forum, so I’m above the law.)

I clearly expressed in my initial post: “I understand this is not related to words, but I thought I’d submit it for an evaluation by the members of this forum.” But I don’t think that my post is the first post submitted that is unrelated to words.

I can’t readily think of any others: there is usually at least some pretense of a connection to linguistics.

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Posted: 03 December 2015 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I can’t readily think of any others: there is usually at least some pretense of a connection to linguistics.

You’re probably correct.

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