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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Global warming is nothing compared to the stupidity tsunami on the way

Someone forwarded a story about the lottery to me. The national lottery, that is. Now, I'm rather proud of the fact that I have never, ever played the lottery. I regard it as a cynical government tax on stupidity, as did Adam Smith, and he knew a thing or two about economics. Since the cash bonus that they get is of the order of billions, it means that the government has no incentive to reduce stupidity, which seems something of a moral hazard to me, but what do I know. Anyway, if you don't believe that the people who play the lottery are stupid, read the story. The lottery launched a new winter-themed game on Monday. To qualify for a prize, users had to scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on each card. It being winter, some of the temperatures were below freezing. But the concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for products of the Great British Edukashun system and Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day from players who could not understand how, for example, -5 is higher than -6. One of them was Tina Farrell, from Levenshulme who said

On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't. I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it.
That's the bulldog spirit! Pig headed ignorance and a joyous disregard for learning, jumbled in the chav culture of rights without responsibilities. Some times I do genuinely begin to despair for our great nation. Whatever government figures about exam results might say, it is indisputable to anyone who has to mix with the general public (eg, not members of the government) that British society is becoming stupider, after several hundred years of getting steadily cleverer.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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