On dumbing down.
Both my daughter and son-in-law are teachers. They have two children. Both children go to private schools at expense almost too great for the parents to bear. This is because, as professionals and aware, they do not consider the available state offerings are suitable. The parents also mark examination papers and at the start of each season there is a meeting to establish marking levels. These tell their own tale, as does the supply of students to universities where the latter have to start teaching many incomers what they should have already learned in school...
Yes, it exists and is getting more serious every year.
I am currently reading Atlas Shrugged, from an electronic notebook, in periods of about two hours - battery life - as I sit having lunch in a local bar. The stench of political corruption described therein, lo those many years ago, is ever more real as the days move past, reflected ever so clearly in the need my family faces and the reasons for that need existing. I recommend that book. I recommend reading it and watching the news broadcasts with a more acute attention.
As I think I was the first person to use the phrase 'dumbed down' in post 88, I would just like to point out that I used it purely in regard to digital photography. Saying that I did not think digital had dumbed down photography. I quite agree that many other areas of life have been 'dumbed down'.
The point that I, and possibly JJJ are making, is that digital has removed some of the barriers to getting people to the point where they can produce a finished picture of reasonable quality. If those people want to
go on to become accomplished photographers then they will quite quickly realise that they need to apply themselves to learning the craft. The techno mumbo-jumbo we are all compelled to learn in order to
get an image on a piece of paper just gets in the way of making images. A good image maker will see an image before him and pre-visualise how he wants it to look in the final form. Digital is gradually removing the
barriers to getting to that state. The technical knowledge needed means that many potentially talented image makers are deterred from using photography as a medium. This leaves much of photography in the hands
of photographers with lots of technical knowledge, but very little eye for how to make a good image.
I should add that I consider myself technically quite competent, and visually just competent! I do also know that to move my work on, I need to improve both my vision and use of technical skills. Perhaps one day
I will be a true visual artist!