Monday, September 22

High Tech Dumb

Did googling start making us stupid or did stupid start making us google? This is the question James Bowman takes up in a fascinating essay in The New Atlantis about short attention spans, technology, mass media, and the woes of our badly-educated, poorly-disciplined, and overly-pampered modern culture.


Prof. Shandy said...

Sorry, I didn't have time to read you're whole post, but from the snippets I picked up as I skimmed the first and last lines, I'm almost positive your wrong.

Whew, I'm exhausted. I've never typed this much in one screen before.

Wait, did I actually spell out all of my words completely? What is wrong with me, I'm wasting precious website speed-clicking time. I must remember to abbreviate.

Jon Brown said...

Dr. Grant, as a "digital native" thankfully not yet bereft of introspection, I can confirm the trends in the Atlantic Monthly article as true, having seen them within myself. I grew up (and continue to do so) on movies, video games, and the Drudge Report, and there has never been a time when reading deeply has come easily to me. Books I do read are read impulsively, and I have even degenerated to the point where I read a small section of one book, worry perhaps that I should be reading another, and then switch, only to become overwhelmed, give up, and go vegetate on the Web, where such chaotic behavior is normal. Even when I resolve to focus intensely on a mental task at hand, my mind invariably wanders, and wanders far. Perhaps intelligence never came naturally to anyone, but a member of my generation who values the life of the mind faces an especially uphill climb. Do you struggle in this way? If so, how do you deal with it?