NEW YORK: Facebook, of course, is the social networking Web site that claims to have more than 150 million active users. Recently I became one of those 150 million, so now I can see the "status updates" that my friends post in the space provided at the top of each profile that asks, "What are you doing right now?"
Interestingly, nobody writes, "I'm checking my Facebook page." They put down things like taking down the Christmas tree, or wishing it was already May, or isn't it "awesome" that Mickey Rourke thanked his dog in his Golden Globe acceptance speech.
Dumbed down:The troubling science of how technology is rewiring kids’ brains by Lianne George
For almost three decades, the Arrowsmith School, a small Toronto private school housed in a converted mansion on the edge of Forest Hill, has been treating kids with learning disabilities. When its founder, Barbara Arrowsmith Young, developed the school’s patented program in the late ’70s, it was with a first-hand knowledge of the frustration and stigma of living with cognitive deficits. Growing up, Young struggled with dyslexia. She had difficulties with problem-solving and visual and auditory memory. Finding connections between things and ideas was a challenge, and telling time was impossible—she couldn’t grasp the relationship between the big hand and the little hand. Traditional learning programs taught her tricks to compensate for her deficits, but they never improved her ability to think. “I walked around in a fog,” she says. But as a young psychology graduate, Young came across the brain maps created by the Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, who studied soldiers who had suffered head wounds. Using these maps, she identified 19 unique learning dysfunctions and the brain regions that control them. Her theory was that a person can transform weak areas of the brain through repetitive and targeted cognitive exercises, and she was right. Today, this notion of brain plasticity—which she intuited three decades ago—is established wisdom in neuroscience.
In her recent book, The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby paints a bleak picture of the creeping anti-intellectualism that dominates our culture.
"The scales of American history have shifted heavily against the intellectual life so essential to functional democracy," she warns.
Mark Bauerlein of Emory University echoes the theme in his new data-filled book, The Dumbest Generation, which paints a picture of self-absorption--young people fascinated with themselves, and each other, but "the least curious and intellectual generation in national history." Standing the Vietnam-era slogan on its head, Bauerlein warns us: "Don't trust anyone under 30."
Like many others, I share their concerns: a vacuous popular culture, a lost interest in reading for pleasure and, of course, the Internet, which makes information and disinformation easy to access but harder than ever to distinguish.
Will Generation Y be dumb or great? Cheryl Wetzstein Sunday, October 26, 2008
Are our youth going to be the "dumbest generation" or the next "great generation"? This unanswerable question recently was posed -- where else -- at a Washington think tank.
Bemoaning the "decline of intellectual habits" in Generation Y was Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein, who makes his case in his new book, "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)."
Members of Generation Y -- those born from 1982 to 2000 -- have mediocre scores in U.S. and international academic surveys, he told the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) event.
'Digitally addicted kids threaten to return civilisation to the Dark Ages' The internet is creating a generation of ignoramuses with tiny attention spans, who will surely become the dumbest generation in history. By Andrew Keen Monday, 20 October 2008
One of the most troubling of all American cases over the last couple of years is that of Megan Meier, an overweight, psychologically troubled St Louis, Missouri, teenager who committed suicide in 2006 after she was cyberbullied by an online boyfriend called "Josh Evans".
Later, however, it transpired that Josh was actually Lori Drew, the middleaged mother of an ex-friend of Meier's, who – quite literally – drove the teenager to hang herself in the closet of her bedroom.
I'm not alone in observing the consequences of online technology for reading habits, literacy, and education. Over the past 18 months, a series of excellent books and articles have been published by experienced academics and journalists who share my concern about the dire intellectual and cognitive consequences of the digital revolution. The news, I am afraid, is bleak.
Plugging in, tuning out The digital culture has changed the way kids learn, but at the expense of literacy and cultural awareness.
By Don Campbell Sept. 10, 2008
I ask students on the first day of my journalism classes to fill out a questionnaire. Most questions inquire about their interest in journalism and any experience they have that is journalism-related. One question is: "What do you read, at least fairly regularly?"
Pencils, Schmencils, I need a laptop by TRALEE PEARCE September 2, 2008
A few evenings before the first day of school, a Toronto branch of the electronics chain Future Shop is buzzing.
The stretch of laptops on display is obscured by a sea of bodies, many of them students scoping out dozens of shiny new models.
As his sister Eesha, 20, strokes a MacBook Air she might like for her first year at university in Toronto, Tariq Hussain, 13, says he's thinking of ways to persuade his father to buy him one, too, after they return home to Pakistan.
"All my friends have one," he says, admitting that homework would be a lower priority than video games.
London Times July 20, 2008 Stoooopid .... why the Google generation isn’t as smart as it thinks The digital age is destroying us by ruining our ability to concentrate Bryan Appleyard
On Wednesday I received 72 e-mails, not counting junk, and only two text messages. It was a quiet day but, then again, I’m not including the telephone calls. I’m also not including the deafening and pointless announcements on a train journey to Wakefield – use a screen, jerks – the piercingly loud telephone conversations of unsocialised adults and the screaming of untamed brats. And, come to think of it, why not include the junk e-mails? They also interrupt. There were 38. Oh and I’d better throw in the 400-odd news alerts that I receive from all the websites I monitor via my iPhone.
So how dumb are we? Duh! Younger Americans stumped in knowledge tests in our visually driven global info age By Lisa Anderson | Chicago Tribune correspondent July 5, 2008
NEW YORK—Who hasn't snickered at "Jaywalking," a "Tonight Show" segment in which host Jay Leno flummoxes unsuspecting young people on the street with such tricky questions as: In what country is Paris located?
Or cringed to see Miss America 2007 humiliated by a brainy bunch of 10-year-olds—who just happened to know the sun is the heavenly body with the greatest mass in our solar system—on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" Or witnessed the consternation of a cashier presented with a $20 bill and two quarters for a $12.50 tab?
Politics & Society May 23 -OMG! Expert Says Today's Kids Are Stupid
The Bryant Park Project. Don't trust anyone over 30? A new book says don't trust anyone under 30. Mark Bauerlein, a Professor of English at Emory University, discusses his book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.
Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future, describes his subject for John J. Miller: “They were on Google doing research from the time they were in fourth or fifth grade.” And why are they dumb? “They have all these [technological] privileges, and they use them on adolescent trivia.”
May 14, 2008 -- Chat with Mark Bauerlein, author of "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future."
Superbad__Guest_: How does the generation that has the internet, a tool that gives more people more access to any information at any given time since the invention of the printing press be the dumbest generation. I think that you ask someone in 1930 if the new generation was worse than the old one they would say it was. I could give 8 reasons why we vastly outpace our current mothers and fathers, but then again i am not trying to sell a book Mark_Bauerlein: Yes, Superbad, elders have always complained about juniors, and juniors have resented it. And that's a good thing for both sides, and for a society as a whole. There should be some tension between the generations, with elders rebuking kids for their inexperience and ignorance and hubris, and kids rebuking elders for their rigidity and impatience. In the best cases, each side tempers the worst traits of the other.
Home / Lifestyle 'Dumbest Generation?' Readers beg to differ By Boston.com Staff May 12, 2008 Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein aimed to provoke with his new book, "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.'' And judging by more than 1,200 emails and discussion board posts on Boston.com and Digg in response to a weekend slideshow on the topic, Bauerlein certainly succeeded.