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Old May 27 2013, 03:10 PM   #106
horatio83
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

ichab wrote: View Post
I stopped following popular music when hip hop artists started getting praised for their "riffs." It's really just a clever name for stealing someone else's music and throwing your lyrics on top of it. Far as the lyrics go...well let's just say I've read more creative stuff from high school amatuers. I just don't find anything inspiring with topics like smacking bitches, drinking gin and juice, and hating police.

Movies are getting just as bad. Now writers aren't even bothering with trying to create new material. They just take an old movie, rewrite it and release it again as something new. There are a few creative types out there , but they are few and far between.
I'd qualify that slightly.
Hiphop has always been a derivative copy&paste form of music, it started off with sampling mainly funk and jazz (hiphop thus illustrates stj's point that the variety of pop music, or here more particularly Black music, has been in decline since the sixties). While I share your disgust in sexist and violence-propagating commercial hiphop there is still plenty of real hiphop with intelligent lyrics.

Same with movies. Of course you are totally right about the remake-mania of Hollywood but in spite of that Hollywood still produces a few watchable movies per year, not to mention that cinema doesn't start and end with Hollywod. Cinema exists worldwide and there are ample of art and indie movies you can watch, not to mention plenty of gems from the past.
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Old May 27 2013, 03:10 PM   #107
stj
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

^^^I appreciate the update on the current favored terminology. I was never a mediaevalist nor ancient historian, so we can safely say that pedantry was never rampant. If we have come to the point that any basic knowledge at all is to be counted as "pedantry," we have proven the affirmative answer to the thread title, haven't we?

PS Locutus of Bored doesn't seem to have realized that losing it over "elevator music" is cracked. Unless cultural standards have dropped enough that an incompetent metaphor that undercuts the point intended gets through?
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Old May 27 2013, 04:33 PM   #108
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

While I do greatly appreciate the funny responses my question received (seriously, ), I am still actually curious to know what objective evidence there is for our supposed current cultural downfall/lull/dark age. Because thus far all the people claiming it have managed to prove is their own bias and ignorance about art, music, and movies, both current and past, their apparent complete isolation from the near-exponential rate of scientific advancement, and seeming utter failure to notice the fact that we are living in the most literate time there has ever been.

"I don't like hiphop!" Is not objective evidence. Again, if you have failed to recognize that hip-hop and rap are huge genres with a huge amount of artists of varying styles, content, and quality, then that speaks volumes about you, not about the music. And the above argument about Hollywood shows only that you guys are completely clueless about the history of film. There have always been dozens of crap films for every good one, and Hollywood thrived on remakes from the start! Hell, The Wizard of Oz was a remake -- and I am talking about the 1939 version. It had been made something like 10 times before the famous 39 turn at the story. The Maltese Falcon, 1940-ish? Remake. Scarface? Remake.

So please, have you any objective (and accurate) evidence for your claims?
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Old May 27 2013, 05:36 PM   #109
Count Zero
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

stj wrote: View Post
Deckerd wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
The Dark Ages were never a term for the Middle Ages. They were applied in western Europe to roughly 500 to 900 CE.
No but it is a term for early medieval, which although Latin for Middle Ages, is more of a catch-all. At least the medieval historians I know include Dark Ages in their area of study.
I didn't know mediaevalist today study Visigothic Spain etc. As that is, no regular person means "early mediaeval" when they are talking "Middle Ages." That's why the term High Middle Ages is current when talking more popularly.
I'm pretty sure they've been studying that period for a while, actually.
Yes, the Middle Ages usually get divided into early, high and late. Some important stuff happened in the period you claim no regular person thinks of as medieval, e.g. the reign of Charlemagne. It was part of our school curriculum regarding medieval history. So, I hope regular people would also think of this period as part of the Middle Ages.
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Old May 27 2013, 05:43 PM   #110
stj
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
....bias and ignorance about art, music, and movies, both current and past, their apparent complete isolation from the near-exponential rate of scientific advancement, and seeming utter failure to notice the fact that we are living in the most literate time there has ever been....
So please, have you any objective (and accurate) evidence for your claims?
There is not a near-exponential rate of scientific advancement, for a start. There is currently an exponential rate of growth in certain objective measures of computing capacity, commonly referred to as Moore's Law. Advances in fundamental theory are not coming at an exponentially increasing rate. Indeed, they do not appear to come with any regularity at all. A universal literacy unfamiliar with something so basic isn't worth so much.

Certainly your literacy isn't so good that it can draw a distinction between the different ideas expressed. It would be foolish to take your word about bias and ignorance. In particular, the evidence, both objective and accurate, powerfully suggests your thesis, that popular culture is getting better, is the best example of bias and ignorance in the thread. Your literacy doesn't even help you distinguish what you mean by popular culture, which is in practice, commercial culture.

PS I understand the point made upthread about Charlemagne, and considered changing my opinion that for regular people Middle Ages means twelfth century western Europe, and Dark Ages means something shortly after the fall of the western Roman Empire. But the amount taught has to count for something, and the school textbooks I've seen spend about four pages on this. Maximum. And its usually called the Carolingian Renaissance, i.e., treated as a forerunner. Perhaps it's different elsewhere but in the end you can only go by what evidence you have.
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Old May 27 2013, 06:07 PM   #111
Darth Duck
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Ah, so the Dark Ages and Renaissance never happened. Thanks for clearing that up.
People have said that.

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Old May 27 2013, 06:14 PM   #112
horatio83
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Just because there are more people living nowadays than ever and thus also more scientists than ever doesn't mean that scientific process is linear. For example the "dismal science" hasn't made that much progress in the last decades. Krugman exaggerates a bit with his Dark Age claim but it definitely illustrates that RJDiogenes' argument is basically correct or at least more correct than the ridiculous Western notion that history is linear and pointing upwards. The Eastern notion that history is cyclical is closer to the truth.
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Old May 27 2013, 06:44 PM   #113
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

stj wrote: View Post
PS Locutus of Bored doesn't seem to have realized that losing it over "elevator music" is cracked. Unless cultural standards have dropped enough that an incompetent metaphor that undercuts the point intended gets through?
If you think my comment had anything to do with "losing it" over or caring about elevator music, or with elevator music at all except as a means of making a joke about its constant presence as background noise in day to day life, then I don't know what to tell you.
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Old May 27 2013, 07:44 PM   #114
Owain Taggart
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

There's still a lot of culture and diversity out there. Perhaps less so on an international level, but at the national level, I'm willing to bet culture and diversity is alive and well in the music scene. For example, in Canada, one of the nation's most popular bands is Great Big Sea, a Celtic-Folk-Rock band hailing from Newfoundland. Folk music and storyteller style musicans are very popular. But you wouldn't get that impression on the international level, as what gets pushed are acts like Alanis Morisette, Nickelback, and Anne Murray, and others that are fairly derivative.

So, I'm curious what everyone else sees on a national level for their own countries.
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Old May 27 2013, 07:47 PM   #115
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

^ Love Great Big Sea!

stj wrote: View Post
...your thesis, that popular culture is getting better, is the best example of bias and ignorance in the thread.
Speaking of illiteracy, point to where she said that popular culture is getting better.

stj wrote: View Post
But the amount taught has to count for something, and the school textbooks I've seen spend about four pages on this. Maximum.
American schools suck at Middle Ages history. And so?
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Old May 27 2013, 08:26 PM   #116
stj
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

^^^
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
If you're too out of touch to find the awesome, innovative, and intelligent art, music, and drama that's being made these days then, like these seemingly endless rants about the seemingly endless devolution of humanity, it says more about you than it does about anything else.
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
...yet art and science continue to progress.
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
^Again, just because you personally have failed to find the great art and music of a younger generation...
In addition to the crazy assertion that scientific advance is advancing at near-exponential rates and the dubiously relevant remark about literacy, this should establish the point well enough. There is a sentence about regression to the mean, but clearly it should not be taken too literally, given the above. By the way, skepticism is a philosophical alternative to materialism, epistemologically speaking. When you're not epistemologically speaking, the meaning of "skepticism" is as difficult as objective measures of art.

What is truly bizarre and completely indefensible is rejecting the possibility of objective measures of art while simultaneously claiming progress!

Locutus of Bored;8158990
[QUOTE wrote:

YEAR RJ THINKS IT IS WHEN HE WAKES UP
- YEAR RJ REALIZES WE'RE ACTUALLY STILL LIVING IN BECAUSE SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED

+ NUMBER OF YEARS RJ'S WORKED IN WOMEN'S HEALTH
- YEARS HE'S BEEN OUT OF THE FIELD, INDICATING AN ACROSS THE BOARD DECLINE IN WOMEN'S ISSUES

+ YEARLY SALES OF RJ'S SELF-PUBLISHED FAN FICTION IN DOLLARS

- WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE TAKE OF STAR TREK 09 IN MILLIONS
- ST09'S COMBINED NUMBER OF PERCENTAGE POINTS ABOVE 0% SCORE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES AND METACRITIC

- PROJECTED WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE TAKE OF STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS IN MILLIONS
- STID COMBINED NUMBER OF PERCENTAGE POINTS ABOVE 0% SCORE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES AND METACRITIC

- AVERAGE PER EPISODE RATINGS/VIEWERSHIP OF BATTLESTAR GALACTICA REMAKE & SPIN-OFFS

- JJ ABRAMS' AND RON MOORE'S COMBINED AGE IN YEARS, INDICATING CUMULATIVE YEARS OF DARKNESS CREEP INTO ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

+ RJ'S ESTIMATED IQ POINTS OF AUDIENCE OF SHOWS AND MOVIES HE LIKES
- RJ'S ESTIMATED IQ POINTS OF AUDIENCE OF SHOWS AND MOVIES RJ DOESN'T LIKE
+ RJ'S ESTIMATED MATURITY LEVEL OF AUDIENCE OF SHOWS AND MOVIES HE LIKES ON A SCALE OF 1-100
- ESTIMATED MENTAL AGE OF THE KIND OF PERSON WHO WOULD ENJOY THE SHOWS AND MOVIES RJ DISLIKES

+ NUMBER OF REPUTABLE HISTORIANS WHO STILL USE OUTDATED TERMINOLOGY LIKE "THE DARK AGES" TO DESCRIBE AN ERA THAT HAD PLENTY OF SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL PROGRESS, INDICATING A SIMILAR MINDSET TO RJ AND RESISTANCE TO THE SCOURGE OF POLITICALLY CORRECT DOUBLESPEAK

+ ????

= PROFIT, errr, I mean CULTURAL DARK AGES OR CULTURAL RENAISSANCE QUOTIENT (DEPENDS ON NUMBER OF YEARS +/- CURRENT ACTUAL YEAR RESPECTIVELY AS INDICATED BY ABOVE RESULTS).

* ADD 1000 MORE YEARS OF CULTURAL DECLINE IF CULTURAL DARKNESS SCORE LANDS BETWEEN THE 6TH AND 13TH CENTURIES
* ADD SIX MORE CENTURIES OF CULTURAL WINTER IF RJ SEES HIS EGO'S MASSIVE SHADOW
[/QUOTE]

If you think you can pass this off as just a joke, I don't know what to say to you.
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Old May 27 2013, 08:39 PM   #117
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

stj wrote: View Post
If you think you can pass this off as just a joke, I don't know what to say to you.
I wasn't trying to. I was talking about the elevator music comment that you remarked about, not the entire thing.
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Old May 27 2013, 08:43 PM   #118
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I feel like people are confusing things here. The argument isn't that art and music are progressing at a greater rate, it's that there are both awesome and terrible things out there now, like there have always been. I see progress here as referring to development and change, not saying that it's somehow inherently better than everything that's come before.
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Old May 27 2013, 09:14 PM   #119
M'Sharak
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Assuming you're sticking to Western Europe, a few writers off the top of my head would be Chaucer, Dante and Sir Thomas Mallory (plus whoever wrote the Song of Roland and Beowulf for two more).

Dante also counts for philosophy/theology I'd say, plus William of Ockham, Anselm, and Abelard.
See also: Hildegard von Bingen

teacake wrote: View Post
ichab wrote: View Post
I stopped following popular music when hip hop artists started getting praised for their "riffs." It's really just a clever name for stealing someone else's music and throwing your lyrics on top of it. Far as the lyrics go...well let's just say I've read more creative stuff from high school amatuers. I just don't find anything inspiring with topics like smacking bitches, drinking gin and juice, and hating police.
You know there is a ton of popular music that has nothing to do with your description here right?
Hush, you. And get off his lawn.
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Old May 27 2013, 09:18 PM   #120
Kestrel
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

^^ Right, exactly!

^ Yeah, maybe it's just me, but with literature especially I find it shocking to say "oh there was nothing anybody remembers between Cicero and Shakespeare." That's 1500 years that we have a large number of records from!

stj wrote: View Post
^^^
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
If you're too out of touch to find the awesome, innovative, and intelligent art, music, and drama that's being made these days then, like these seemingly endless rants about the seemingly endless devolution of humanity, it says more about you than it does about anything else.
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
...yet art and science continue to progress.
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
^Again, just because you personally have failed to find the great art and music of a younger generation...
In addition to the crazy assertion that scientific advance is advancing at near-exponential rates and the dubiously relevant remark about literacy, this should establish the point well enough.
Um. Two of those quotes simply say there's wonderful things today, not whether or not they're somehow "better" than the past. The third can be pretty easily explained, as Kestra did above.
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