(I have walked 30,000 miles over the past 6 years as of 1 January 2006 and am now heading toward 50.)
Another 6,000 miles down and what do I know?
Keyword reading, thinking,talking, and writing is not helping matters at all!
Some laughed and some cried when they realized that politics and public discussion was reduced to sound bites. Those, now, were the good old days when even if thoughts were reduced to kernels, at least they were complete thoughts or sentences.
Now, after 30 years of inane teaching methods and two President Bush's who only keyword speak, we find people are just as disconnected from each other and reality as are keywords designed to mean: whatever, Boomers. Xers, entropy, take responsibility, word, stay course, honor, no way, money sings.
The object of keyword marketers and politicos is to have you fill in spaces between the keywords with your own context or meaning, so their product or candidate will not be all that it, he, or she can be but whatever you want them to be -- as long as you buy what they are selling.
Beware of unintended consequences! Working to the test score for funding in education led to 20 or more years of students looking at the test or assignment, see what it wants and then look for keywords in what was to have been read for learning and comprehension -- read only, consume only what you needed to fill in the blank, then empty your mind and regurgitate it on paper or in digital speak.
What did I just say?
Twenty years of teaching and learning to the test and score only has produced people and leaders who cannot think in complete thoughts, let alone sound bites.
Now do you understand why Uncle Johnny cannot read, talk, or vote in complete thoughts.
Now do you understand why we seem to be going in circles on a descending slope?
Our best hope is that today's or tomorrow's rebellious youth discover that complete thoughts, speech, sentences, and writing is beyond their parent's comprehension and upsets them to the maximum and therefore creates the space these young people need to find their feet and chart a new sane course backed by sound thinking.