The Dumbest Generation Mark Bauerlein Essay

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I haven’t had time to read those, either, and definitely feel that I’m falling down in my obligation to stay informed. And this was in the days before i Pods and laptops, when professors were still suggesting their students “word process” their papers, when I assumed anyone with a cell phone was a doctor or a drug dealer.

Nevertheless, I want to forge ahead and just mention some things that struck me about . I’ve written before that I’m a sucker for any hypothesis about the world going to hell in a handcart since whatever bad thing happened: Eve eating the apple, Caesar destroying the Republic, Luther destroying Christendom, European settlers killing indigenous Americans, Yankees defeating the Confederacy, Hitler killing everyone in sight, or the latest tragedy–the advent of the “digital age.” I always have a suspicion that the historical period I’m living in is the worst one except for all the historical periods that have preceded it. Let’s also consider just ordinary people out in the world when we start thinking about the kind of intellectual curiosity and engagement with ideas and culture–or lack thereof–that some people complain about. Or that most people are already dumb, and that more of them are going to college as standards lower?

He asks his students to sit down with their friends at dinner and and as an experiment use some big words to see what happens.

They balk at this, thinking their friends will avoid them, or more likely think them pretentious jerks.

For in the last year several books have joined ), and several other popular and academic studies.

Together they form an imposing countervailing force, an alliance to slow the headlong rush to technologize learning, reading, writing, social and intellectual life.

They have forced a better, more reflective attitude toward the future, an appreciation of the wondrous things gained, yes, but also a sensitivity to precious goods and practices lost.

A fair criticism, if an easy one, and it actually points to what may be the great social consequence of the digital advent.

It turns on, precisely, the relationship of generations and the duties of elders.

For, we all agree, one responsibility of adults in our society is to acquaint the rising generation to a civic and cultural inheritance.


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