Friday, July 25, 2008

What is wrong with the young'uns?

I try not to give authors free publicity, but this video I stumbled across makes some good points about the youth of today.

It features Mark Bauerlein taking about his new book The Dumbest Generation,which makes a pretty valid argument regarding the cons of a digital culture.

He argues that although the digital offers unrivaled information access for young people, that the young people are not taking advantage of this. Now,I'm one of those young people, and it makes a heck of a lot of sense.

When teenagers and young adults go online, they don't go to check out Othello from the school library. They go to the entertainment sites to watch stupid films, and to social networking sites to find other people with exactly the same interests.

It is one of modern life's great ironic twists that when a new generation is faced with the oppurtunity to have the greatest level of education that any generation has ever recieved, we are so eager to wallow in familiarity.

Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but have you talked to a teenager lately?

Ask them to point to Iraq on a map, recite a poem or discuss Fellinni and you'll get a blank stare and an oh so sad 'gah?'.

Once upon a time, young people were intelectually curious. Libraries flourished, art house cinemas were able to operate, but texts were scarce. Perhaps because of this scarcity, that people developed a hunger for knowledge, a desire for understanding.

Now, we have the potential to have anything we want at our fingertips, just waiting for curious young minds to devour. The internet is the biggest library of all, with reams of new information added every day. Indeed,one can spend a whole day on the internet and not scratch the surface.

Instead, young people are using the internet to scracth the event horizon of a blackhole of ignorance.

Instead of seeking out new information to learn and to digest, young people are seeking out ignorant others to talk about asinine topics to feel better about their own vacuous selves.

Of course, they're all very special of course. They're individuals who make a meaningful contribution to society. Why try to become a productive member of society when you're already special?

That seems to be the overriding attitudes being taught in schools. Time was, you could actually get a fail mark at school, now it's harder to fail than pass. What kind of freaky-deaky culture is that?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is truly the dumbest generation. Dumb not because we don't know our times tables, not dumb because we can't recite Homer (You know...the Greek dude) but dumb because we do not attempt to rectify this situation.

We have convinced ourelves that we are worthy of society despite not contributing, and convinced ourselves that taking the hard road is just dumb.

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