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Thread: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

  1. #1

    Default People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    I've heard the term "Sheeple" before now-and-then, and usually I'd just shrug it off, and continue on my way, but I've been thinking more about it lately.

    I think the whole idea behind the term "Sheeple" is that people are becoming more and more prone to being led around by a metaphoric leash, being manipulated into doing anything the manipulators (usually, people in the government) wants them to do, blah blah blah.

    I don't know about all of those conspiracy theories, but I will say something that I've been noticing over the last, I don't know, couple years.

    It seems to be getting *worse*, too.

    What is it with people being absolutely unable to think for themselves, unable to find their own answers to questions/problems, and being unable to reason things out on their own?

    Just today, a small little event made me think about this. I was at work (grocery store, remember?) and this customer approaches me.

    The ensuing conversation went like this:

    Her: "Hello, sir? Do you have any other cheese other than what they sell here at the deli?"

    Me: "Yeah, there's some in the dairy section."

    Her: "Do you have like, shredded cheese anywhere?"

    Me: "Yeah, in the dairy case."

    Her: "Where's that?" *she looks around*

    Me: "Aisle 5."

    Her: "Okay....." *she looks around again, and -then- sees the Aisle 4 sign almost right above her. "Oh!"

    She then proceeds to walk 5 feet over to Aisle 5, looks down that Aisle and gets this huge Lightbulb expression on her face... I nearly cracked up laughing.

    I mean.... honestly.

    I'd just brush this off if this were a freak accident, or a one-time thing, but it isn't, not by a long shot. In fact, things like this happen almost every single day I work.

    Now, I would understand it, if it were some obscure item that is difficult to see or find, but come on? Cheese? When I stand there and say "Its in the dairy case"... the Dairy Case takes up 90% of Aisle 5. You really cannot miss it, if you were Trying to, especially since the store I work at only has 6 aisles.

    I'd have understood this whole thing, if this were a 70, 80, or 90 year old woman, or perhaps someone with mental problems, or a disabled person, or some-such asking this, but it wasn't. This woman, if I were to guess her age, I'd put her at Late-40s to Early 50s. Her mind should still be reasonably sharp, and given her manner of speech and her clothing, I would have guessed her to be in the upper middle-income bracket.

    So this gets me thinking back to the whole Sheeple thing.

    Do people honestly have no ability to try to find things on their own these days? Just look at the over-abuse of GPS devices these days, when people use them to travel 5-10 miles away from their home to find something instead of, yaknow, following directions like they did in the Pre-2k years. Or how people need step-by-step instructions that include the most common sense knowledge that any person should have.

    I think we're being too handfed (in the information department) to be honest. People need to go back to learning how to figure things out on their own, how to put 2 and 2 together and reason this stuff out. If this continues, I wouldn't be surprised if people just blindly followed whatever they were told, because they don't know any better. Heck, I think a lot of people are already like that....

  2. #2

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    baaaa.... ;-)

  3. #3

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    "Handheld in the information department" is probably a subset of what you describe. Maybe "Insulated from the harshness of reality" is a better description. I feel like there are more people than there were 18-20 years ago who are not only unable to think (critically), but are also unable to cope with conflict, dissatisfaction, and opposing opinions.

    There's a whole site (notalwaysright.com) full of anecdotes similar to yours. The stories are amusing and depressing at the same time.
    You can get anything you want in life -- just make a lot of noise and bite the right people.

  4. #4

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelclaw View Post
    "Handheld in the information department" is probably a subset of what you describe. Maybe "Insulated from the harshness of reality" is a better description. I feel like there are more people than there were 18-20 years ago who are not only unable to think (critically), but are also unable to cope with conflict, dissatisfaction, and opposing opinions.

    There's a whole site (notalwaysright.com) full of anecdotes similar to yours. The stories are amusing and depressing at the same time.
    I already knew of notalwaysright.com, and I've browsed it now-and-then, been awhile though.

    And I'd have to agree with you, people -are- getting worse in those areas.

    Thankfully, I take pride in being able to figure things out my own, and I don't like having to ask for every little thing (which is partly why I was frustrated in Istaria back when things were harder to figure out, I hated having to ask people about every little thing, it is SO not what I do).

    I like learning on my own for things, I like figuring stuff out myself, and I don't like asking other people for help constantly...

  5. #5

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Part of the problem is the internet, unfortunately.

    When you can type in "how do I do XYZ" and get a Wikihow article with video showing you how to do that (although the method may not be the most efficient or even wrong...) you sort of get used to being able to do that. Then you get yourself stuck in the mindset that all information should be so easy to obtain.

    I see it a lot at work - "Kesqui, can you come help me use this piece of software?"

    Sure, but I've never used it before and will be flying by the seat of my pants to do it... still want my help?

    Most of the time the answer is yes... because I'm willing to experiment, to go through the tool menus and work out how not to break it.
    - Kesqui - Formerly of Ice, now of Chaos, lair in Liak
    First Rebirth 12-12-2003 / Ascended to Ancient 12-12-2010

  6. #6

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesqui View Post
    Sure, but I've never used it before and will be flying by the seat of my pants to do it... still want my help?

    Most of the time the answer is yes... because I'm willing to experiment, to go through the tool menus and work out how not to break it.
    Heh. The Significant Other and I get this all the time with our parents.
    "Can you hook up this Dee Vee Dee play-er?"
    "Mom. Just because I know how to work a computer doesn't mean I can fix or use all electronics"
    "Oh. Can you set up the scanner then?"
    "Mom, I'd be doing the same thing as you. Reading the manual and following instructions. I'll be doing no different than you."
    "Oh. Your boyfriend edits videos right? Can he make me a webpage so I can sell the new puppies?"
    *headdesk*

    Back on topic though, I have seen this more and more often. Again, the wonders of the internet age just doesn't have people interacting in normal situations as often as even just a few years ago.

    To be honest I really hate grocery shopping. Not only is each store in a 100% different layout than the last one you were in, (Who the #$^$ deigned Wal-mart to not have actual isles anyways?) but the store is literally backwards. Vegetables and bread are always the first things put in the cart as they're the first thing in the store. By the time you get to soda and juice you've re-arranged the cart 9 times already so you actually have bread and not naan.
    Because the store is 100% different from the last one I was in, I often have to ask people where basic things are. This is usually met with the eye roll and unspoken line of "God are you so stupid! Can't even find paprika!" I think we went around the store twice once before we actually found what we were looking for.

    I can order my groceries online now. Much less hassle and no lines.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalin View Post
    What is it with people being absolutely unable to think for themselves, unable to find their own answers to questions/problems, and being unable to reason things out on their own?
    Look up the Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax if you've never heard of it, kind of illustrates just how silly things can get with people just going along with what they're told.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalin View Post
    I think we're being too handfed (in the information department) to be honest. People need to go back to learning how to figure things out on their own, how to put 2 and 2 together and reason this stuff out. If this continues, I wouldn't be surprised if people just blindly followed whatever they were told, because they don't know any better. Heck, I think a lot of people are already like that....
    I don't think the situation is quite as black and white as that, it's just different times.

    For example, there was a point in time where the now fairly common understanding of basic algerbra (x + 5 = 10) was only understood by the most intelligent of people. Or heck, even the simple reading of an instruction.

    So I don't think things are gettings worse, per say, and rather we're just able to see much more of it, due to population (America's up by ~100 million since the 70's) and technology. Now, this isn't to say there isn't an issue of people having more things easily handed to them, just that there's a shift in intellect that should be accounted for. Some things are lost while other things are gained. Also, people have followed whatever they're told en-masse regardless of what century we're talking about, there's just more now. xD
    Avatar is of my character Akrion, snipped from Hrae's Hoard of Creatures by the excellent moss loving artist Nambroth. <3

  8. #8

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shian View Post
    Heh. The Significant Other and I get this all the time with our parents.
    "Can you hook up this Dee Vee Dee play-er?"
    "Mom. Just because I know how to work a computer doesn't mean I can fix or use all electronics"
    "Oh. Can you set up the scanner then?"
    "Mom, I'd be doing the same thing as you. Reading the manual and following instructions. I'll be doing no different than you."
    "Oh. Your boyfriend edits videos right? Can he make me a webpage so I can sell the new puppies?"
    *headdesk*

    Back on topic though, I have seen this more and more often. Again, the wonders of the internet age just doesn't have people interacting in normal situations as often as even just a few years ago.

    To be honest I really hate grocery shopping. Not only is each store in a 100% different layout than the last one you were in, (Who the #$^$ deigned Wal-mart to not have actual isles anyways?) but the store is literally backwards. Vegetables and bread are always the first things put in the cart as they're the first thing in the store. By the time you get to soda and juice you've re-arranged the cart 9 times already so you actually have bread and not naan.
    Because the store is 100% different from the last one I was in, I often have to ask people where basic things are. This is usually met with the eye roll and unspoken line of "God are you so stupid! Can't even find paprika!" I think we went around the store twice once before we actually found what we were looking for.

    I can order my groceries online now. Much less hassle and no lines.
    OMG, my mom is almost exactly the same way, though her excuses are even worse: "I don't wanna have to wrack my brain trying to figure it out".

    OI.

    That's just..... *eyeroll* my dad's even worse.

    Look up the Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax if you've never heard of it, kind of illustrates just how silly things can get with people just going along with what they're told.
    Dihydrogen Monoxide... I only have a highschool education and even I can tell you that it is freaking water...

    Di = 2
    Mono = 1

    2 Hydrogen, 1 Oxygen... hmmm, I wonder....

  9. #9

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesqui View Post
    Part of the problem is the internet, unfortunately.

    When you can type in "how do I do XYZ" and get a Wikihow article with video showing you how to do that (although the method may not be the most efficient or even wrong...) you sort of get used to being able to do that. Then you get yourself stuck in the mindset that all information should be so easy to obtain.
    I have to disagree on that kes mostly because the internet is very helpful. i have used it to service my lawn mower. fix my 360 red ring of death read review and product info on items like games or movies before i buy them in the store and the list can go on for pages of what it can teach some one. so being DIY person the internet is a great resource...in fact i have had this very conversation with a RL friend how we pity the people who don't know how to research on the web.

    edit:

    I just remember this tidbit of info years back as i was on tech support to try and get my video card working i Google my issues and found a page....and noticed as i was reading the page i found the tech support guy was reading word for word on the web page i found :P google is are friend :P and apparently tech support also :P

  10. #10

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Hasia View Post
    I have to disagree on that kes mostly because the internet is very helpful. i have used it to service my lawn mower. fix my 360 red ring of death read review and product info on items like games or movies before i buy them in the store and the list can go on for pages of what it can teach some one. so being DIY person the internet is a great resource...in fact i have had this very conversation with a RL friend how we pity the people who don't know how to research on the web.

    edit:

    I just remember this tidbit of info years back as i was on tech support to try and get my video card working i Google my issues and found a page....and noticed as i was reading the page i found the tech support guy was reading word for word on the web page i found :P google is are friend :P and apparently tech support also :P
    *Is hit by ':P' three times in rapid succession*

    This I definitely agree with, but it does also prove Kesqui's point about it to some regard however. The internet is a great source of information yes, but it's also a great way to hurt your problem solving skills.

    Programming, for example, has situations like this everywhere. Arguably the most difficult thing with programming is getting a mindset to solve problems like a programmer, not learning syntax (though it can get pretty bad at times). Often times people learning how to program will look up or ask for solutions to whole problems, rather than just enough to help them solve it on their own.
    Avatar is of my character Akrion, snipped from Hrae's Hoard of Creatures by the excellent moss loving artist Nambroth. <3

  11. #11

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Hasia View Post
    I have to disagree on that kes mostly because the internet is very helpful. i have used it to service my lawn mower. fix my 360 red ring of death read review and product info on items like games or movies before i buy them in the store and the list can go on for pages of what it can teach some one. so being DIY person the internet is a great resource...in fact i have had this very conversation with a RL friend how we pity the people who don't know how to research on the web.
    I do agree - the internet is very helpful, but it is killing traditional research skills and the ability to look beyond the first Google result.

    Instead of reading a dozen books and taking the most up to date information from each, I see people reading one webpage, and if that one page doesn't give all the information (or was a case of "Anyone can write a webpage, it doesn't have to be accurate") .... they stop there anyway.

    I love the fact that now you can type a question - like "My car rattles underneath, what is wrong" into Google and get a bunch of webpages out... but it doesn't and mustn't substitute for actually looking under your car to make sure that your exhaust pipe isn't hanging off.

    It's all well and good to look up a guide on Google on how to set up Windows Mail to receive e-mails from your new website - but at the end of the day, looking through the settings and troubleshooting step by step is going to get it working when the instructions you read just don't cover your specific situation.
    - Kesqui - Formerly of Ice, now of Chaos, lair in Liak
    First Rebirth 12-12-2003 / Ascended to Ancient 12-12-2010

  12. #12

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Perhaps she fancied you Dhalin?

    Rakku


  13. #13

    Default Re: People + Sheep = Sheeple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesqui View Post
    I do agree - the internet is very helpful, but it is killing traditional research skills and the ability to look beyond the first Google result.
    I'm not too sure about this, because while some people may not look beyond the first google result, plenty of other people won't research beyond the first book they grab.

    Traditional research doesn't mean better research, as I can guarantee that books won't always contain great information. At the very least, researching through google is generally faster and easier. (Especially since you have ctrl-F! )

    For example: I owe far more to the internet for helping me learn various programming concepts, and am personally glad that I didn't spend much time with books because of just how many do silly things like beginning their example C++ code with 'void main()'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesqui View Post
    Instead of reading a dozen books and taking the most up to date information from each, I see people reading one webpage, and if that one page doesn't give all the information (or was a case of "Anyone can write a webpage, it doesn't have to be accurate") .... they stop there anyway.
    Again, while some people may only read a single webpage, I'm sure most people with the mindset of researching don't. I sure don't. And the internet is generally much more efficient with your research time. Nowadays, just about anyone can write a book and it doesn't have to be accurate (see my C++ example above).

    I have no doubt that plenty of people stop even farther short of getting all the information they should when they're using nothing but books, simply because half your time spent researching is just spent finding the bit you're trying to research on and not actually reading the information you need. And when you have to gather information from multiple sources, we can talk days instead of hours compared to someone who knows how to use good search practices on the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesqui View Post
    I love the fact that now you can type a question - like "My car rattles underneath, what is wrong" into Google and get a bunch of webpages out... but it doesn't and mustn't substitute for actually looking under your car to make sure that your exhaust pipe isn't hanging off.
    This isn't necessarially a bad thing. They're still going to have to look over their car to find what's causing the rattling, and after some internet research they could have a better idea of where to look for problems instead of just looking aimlessly around their car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesqui View Post
    It's all well and good to look up a guide on Google on how to set up Windows Mail to receive e-mails from your new website - but at the end of the day, looking through the settings and troubleshooting step by step is going to get it working when the instructions you read just don't cover your specific situation.
    Because it's related to computers, this is a grey area. While there's no substitute to learning good troubleshooting skills for a computer, there are also many things regarding computers that can be very difficult to solve without documentation, some almost impossible, even for experienced users. I dare you to try using the command prompt to fix a corrupted hard drive table without documentation, or to properly configure jumpers and case cables on a motherboard without documentation.
    Avatar is of my character Akrion, snipped from Hrae's Hoard of Creatures by the excellent moss loving artist Nambroth. <3

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