At school I was taught how to read an ordinance survey map.
The maps I was bought up on showed all the railway lines,
and shipping routes.
We would refer to the Great North Road,
or where a road started or ended.
Road maps were not a mess of meaningless numbers,
but were descriptive of the places marked upon them.
It was also a time in which weather maps showed millibar lines
If I looked at the contour numbers upon a map I see just how
steep the landscape might be.
If I looked at the millibar numbers then I can judge just what the
weather might be doing.
My how things have changed!
We have satellite navigation for those who can not read
ordinance survey maps,
Weather maps which remind me of children’s picture books.
I keep reading about the dumbing down of education in terms
of grammar, spelling, and numeracy,
but that’s only a part of the problem.
This kind of dumbing down would also seem to extend to the
fact that people are being given statistical information in a
very simplistic form.
Now I do understand that some people are unable to read a lot
of information from any form of statistical data,
and that they might not be able to understand a complex
Yet that is no reason for dumbing down the information which
is presented to us in the media.
Is it any wonder that the newspaper industry is in decline,
when all they can do is present news stories in such a very
Call me an intellectual snob if you will,
but I want to read information that is information,
and not a very simplistic version of the truth.