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Published by: api-136008564 on Mar 31, 2012
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Neil deGrasse Tyson first made the New York Times Best Sellers list in 2007 and onlyremained there for like 6 days. The man who Harvard and Time Magazine have bothlisted in their "100 most influential people" and Discovery Magazines "50 best brains inscience" now shares "best seller" status with... Snooki? Are you kidding me? Somethingis seriously wrong here.
No wonder we're in a recession, although "recession" implies we will bounce back. Fallof western civilization is more accurate. A country more interested in what people likeSnooki could possibly have to say than they are in discovery and pushing scientificboundaries is destine to fail. This is why Switzerland has a particle accelerator and notNorth America. The United States actually started building one but cancelled it in 1993.Clinton tried to stop congress from canceling the program stating that "abandoningthe SSC at this point would signal that the United States is compromising its position of leadership in basic science". But congress being congress, didn't actually care aboutscience, or progress at all for that matter. They care only about re-election andpersonal gain.
The fact that Snooki wasn't slapped by the publisher when she came forth and decidedto write a book signifies part of the problem. The publisher knew he could makemoney o
of her words and thoughts, which is a little hard to say seriously withoutlaughing or crying.
The fact the she and the rest of her cast are known to North Americans at all and thatpeople even know who I'm talking about is part of the same problem.
People as a generalization care more, or want to "learn" more about the lives of trashcelebs like this and other reality show personalities than they do about the world theylive in or their own life for that matter. It upsets me and worries me about what sort of future my children will have because I only see this decline getting worse.
I did a little study this morning, an experiment in social priorities as a culture Isuppose. What I did was I YouTubed various things from western pop culture and fromthe world of science and recorded the amount of views on the first 3 results of thatparticular search. Keep in mind the first 3 are not necessarily the ones with the mosthits. I skipped a few results that weren't really relevant to the search such as covers tocertain singers songs and things that didn't really have to do with the person I wassearching.
Second I Googled each person and recorded the amount of pages that werefound.It is important to note that some western "icons" (which I say very sarcastically) are notquite as "important" (again sarcasm) to the rest of the world as they are to NorthAmericans. Science, however, should be relatively equally known about throughout thewhole of the developed world. This simple study does not take into consideration thelocations of where the views and pages are coming from in the world. I can only go on
other studies I have read about that suggest the majority of scientific interest comesfrom European countries. I can however say that a large number of Americans DIDwatch Neil deGrasse Tyson YouTube videos which is an assumption based the fact thatmany of the comments on some of his videos were along the lines of "Dr. Tyson forpres". So atleast there's that. Granted I know anyone from anywhere in the world couldcomment that, like i said it is an assumption.Anyways here are the results:YouTube videos:Neil deGrasse Tyson-550,173640,9482,228,051Dr. Michio Kaku (Theoretical Physicist)-
Stephen Hawking-170,410689,967148,363(I omitted the 2nd result which was a "hawking vs Einstein rap" made by some randomperson from home, which by the way had 41,580,637 views.)
Snooki-501,839733,222798,464(Snooki did have videos with results in the millions but to put them here ahead of thefirst 3 results I came across would be bias and scientifically irresponsible, not that Iwould call this a legit scientific study.)Carl Sagan-7,316,538674,106985,154Paris Hilton-
Brittany Spears-4,934,17313,577,2288,042,865Slap Chop-4,325,47313,722,278853,138 Justin Beiber-1,876,5614,664,17811,525,905
One thing to keep in mind is this also doesn't take into consideration the ages of people viewing these videos. For example, I would expect (or at least hope) that themajority of people viewing Brittany Spears' music videos are pre-teen girls. Those arethe numbers nonetheless.
Now for the pages found by Google search for the same topics:(Google states thatthese are approximate number of pages found)
Neil deGrasse Tyson - 8,620,000Snooki - 51,200,000Paris Hilton - 120,000,000Dr. Michio Kaku - 678,000Stephen Hawking - 3,190,000Carl Sagan - 10,900,000Slap Chop - 690,000

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