Dumb comments from the Dumbest Generation
I finished The Dumbest Generation by Bauerlein. I’m too dumb to take the time to post a complete response yet, but…
He’s right, and he offers no solutions. Only gripes. I guess he does suggest that reading more BOOKS would help – or reading more books seems to be correlated with being smarter. And then I think that’s a clue to where his arguments fall down, as he implicitly discounts web-based reading.
As information consumers we’re overwhelmed with too much stuff coming at us. That we’re making poor choices on what to focus on is obvious. But we can’t keep up with everything.
A number of sources that look like they provide interesting counterpoints to this dumb book.
Innumeracy by Paulos points out deficiencies in math literacy AND offers solutions.
A post from JOHO by David Weinburger about some other posts by Stephen Johnson and Clay Shirky about the future of news.
And while Bauerlein points at the under 30 crowd in his book, it’s not just our kids that are having trouble. From the report “Information behaviour of the researcher of the future,” “In a real sense, we are all Google generation now” and “from undergraduates to professors, people exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow, horizontal,`flicking’ behaviour in digital libraries. Power browsing and viewing appear to be the norm for all. The popularity of abstracts among older researchers rather gives the game away. Society is dumbing down.”
Entry filed under: information literacy.