One of this week's most emailed stories at The New York Times is "Dumb and Dumber: Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?" Here's a brief excerpt from the beginning to give you a feeling for what the author's position is:
A popular video on YouTube shows Kellie Pickler, the adorable platinum blonde from “American Idol,” appearing on the Fox game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” during celebrity week. Selected from a third-grade geography curriculum, the $25,000 question asked: “Budapest is the capital of what European country?”
Ms. Pickler threw up both hands and looked at the large blackboard perplexed. “I thought Europe was a country,” she said. Playing it safe, she chose to copy the answer offered by one of the genuine fifth graders: Hungary. “Hungry?” she said, eyes widening in disbelief. “That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey. But Hungry? I’ve never heard of it.”
I'd like to hear about your experiences that reflect on whether or not this is applicable to American developers? This type of sweeping lament over the loss of intellectual capital in America has been written before, yet there still seem to be a handful of Americans smart enough to build some pretty awesome technology.
So, what (if anything) is really going on here? Are we witnessing the cementing of the so-called "Digital Divide" into a permanent fixture of American society? Is this actually a global phenomenon, and The New York Times is just picking on America, as it has occasionally been known to do?
In short, is this "Dumb and Dumber" phenomenon happening in the developer world, whether in America or globally? If so, how does it impact our industry, and what can we do about it?
PS - the spelling mistake in the headline is intentional! :)