Yes, well said. many people still call train engine drivers engineers (mean no offense to train drivers, valuable in their own rights). We are supposedly a developed country but the percentage of developed minds is very small and the less developed minds rule the roost but that is the price of democratic freedom along with its advantages.
In high school, I had a science teacher who abhorred the adulation of atheletics. He commented "I am disgusted to see thousands cheering in a stadium watching 11 guys (cricket team) chasing a peace of leather. What is the benefit to society, of picking up or catching that ball?.) Ever since that time, I have lost most of the admiartion of atheletics. I appreciate it takes skills and training but the end result such as catching a ball or passing it into the hoop produces nothing of actual value. I can stand near a basket ball hoop and throw the ball into it 100 times. Does that produce anything of value?, There is some entertainment value in atheletics but it is bloated beyond reason by commercialization and indoctrination. I never watch games voluntarily (except when with friends who like to watch) and I don't feel I am missing much. The benefits of watching atheletics are all psychological. Playing atheletics does have health values.
I think most people don't understand the mechanism of bloated appreciation of athletics, modelling, nudity etc. It is the media hungry of advertizing revenues that is pushing the appreciation values. How do you explain that few years ago a top athlete made $50,000 a year and now one makes $50,000,000 or more. Is he running 1000 times faster? No, the media can reach millions of primitive minds that watch these broadcasts and the associated adverizing revenues pay for those outlandish salaries because the media figured out nobody cares because the cost to the viewers are hidden in merchandise costs. The media compete with each other to get the broadcasing rights and they can afford to relentleesley keep increasing the bids as they can pass on the costs to advertizers and in turn to the products they manufacture. We are a free society but unconscius slaves of the media.
In my opinion, it is the outcome of capitalism imposed on a largely primitive society. Capitalism means profit no matter what. with an overabundance of competing products, the makers have a problem of attracting the attention of the primitive and the not so primitive minds to their products. Plain advertizing does not cut it. They find it easy to pair it with entertaintment like nudity, sports, talk shows, game shows and so on. Anyone who can attract the attention of the primitive minds, reaps huge rewards because of the media's ability to reach the huge number of primitive minds. The value of these people is multiplied a thousand fold by the far reaching media. A singer or a model would not be worth even a small fraction of what he or she earns without recording media like CDs and DVDs or television broadcasting. Yet that revenue is not shared with the technologists who make this happen. The primitive minds have no idea what it takes to develop these technologies vs posing nude on a front page. The primitive mind does not even understand what the hidden cost of these advertizing are, the costs that are added to everything that is purchased. And the primitive minds have no individual control over this business though collectively they encourage this business by patronizing.
A thoughtful response. Balance in life is a worthwhile pursuit. Its not the presence of sports on my cable network, for instance, that I rail against, but it is the fact that it has occured at almost the complete exclusion of any real science programs. (unless you pay for dedicated channels). I agree it is ok, for those who can, to push the limits of human strength, agility, and reflexes, but our society now, more than ever, needs skills in other areas as well. It is not an either/or senario, it just that there it is easier to connect a single athlete when a team wins, than to understand what group designed their latest I-Phone.
@realjjj What a laughable comment. Our society is primitive because it admires athletes who compete well? I hate to burst your bubble but that's the way it has always been and always will be. I'll go further and say it's not primitive at all. It's important for "thinkers" like yourself to develop some appreciation for giftedness in different areas. You'll be more well-rounded and won't come off sounding like a self-important geek.
I subscribe to Randy Cassinghams This is True newsletter - a digest of 4 (free) or 10 (paid) wacky news items emailed to you every week. It contains the "Honorary Unsubscribe" a section where Randy honors someone usually a bit less than famous who died that week. Joe Sutter is the kind of guy you'd find there (though he is not in, pity). Usually fairly inspiring people, usually ones you never knew existed.
It could be that people idolize, or want to emulate, or wish they could be, whatever they can understand. If you talk to the average "person on the street," it is surprising what they don't know about the technology they use every day, or how it is developed. It just is, apparently.
It's been well publicized, even in EE Times, how most people don't even know what engineering is. Pretty hard to make a celebrity out of those you don't know exist.
Possibly, back in the 1950s, when space travel began, a small number of the actual movers and shakers were covered in Time Magazine. I would suggest that Time may have stopped that practice, in search for greater circulation?