The Dumbest Generation

The Dumbest Generation

How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)

Book - 2008
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This shocking, lively exposure of the intellectual vacuity of todayas under thirty set reveals the disturbing and, ultimately, incontrovertible truth: cyberculture is turning us into a nation of know-nothings. Can a nation continue to enjoy political and economic predominance if its citizens refuse to grow up? For decades, concern has been brewing about the dumbed-down popular culture available to young people and the impact it has on their futures. At the dawn of the digital age, many believed they saw a hopeful answer: The Internet, e-mail, blogs, and interactive and hyper-realistic video games promised to yield a generation of sharper, more aware, and intellectually sophisticated children. The terms ainformation superhighwaya and aknowledge economya entered the lexicon, and we assumed that teens would use their knowledge and understanding of technology to set themselves apart as the vanguards of this new digital era. That was the promise. But the enlightenment didnat happen. The technology that was supposed to make young adults more astute, diversify their tastes, and improve their verbal skills has had the opposite effect. According to recent reports, most young people in the United States do not read literature, visit museums, or vote. They cannot explain basic scientific methods, recount basic American history, name their local political representatives, or locate Iraq or Israel on a map. "The Dumbest Generation" is a startling examination of the intellectual life of young adults and a timely warning of its consequences for American culture and democracy. Drawing upon exhaustive research, personal anecdotes, and historical and social analysis, Mark Bauerlinepresents an uncompromisingly realistic portrait of the young American mind at this critical juncture, and lays out a compelling vision of how we might address its deficiencies.
Publisher: New York, NY : Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, c2008.
ISBN: 9781585426393
Branch Call Number: 302.231 B344
Characteristics: 264 p. ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Don't trust anyone under 30

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StarGladiator
Feb 19, 2017

Should have used this line the first time I commented:
A nation of bibliophobes! [Takes a bunch of reading to begin to understand the truth: I had to read over 800 books total, plus numerous reports, papers, studies, et cetera, and several investigative trips to France, before finally ascertaining the details behind the assassionation of President Kennedy.]

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username32
Jun 10, 2013

This book should be required reading for all educators, especially for overly zealous school boards, with their technophilic tendencies. The book is well documented and loaded with statistics to back up its claims.

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StarGladiator
May 30, 2013

I wish I didn't agree in spirit with this author, but facts and experience forbid one from doing otherwise. The onslaught of TV's, movies, vids and the literal directions in using tech appear to have infantilized the populace, rendering any abstract thinking deleterious to one's mental health, yet without fundamental abstract thinking and intelligence, people are so easily duped and controlled! Many today believe something doesn't exist unless there is a (hyper)link to it? Knowing background information is viewed as superfluous, while multiple variables are completely ignored, or absent from cognition! "Sesame Street" increases the gullibility quotient among the young; the logical question would be who financed and created that show, yet that question is never asked? Nor or any other once obvious questions. . .

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baldand
Jul 02, 2012

This is a truly scary book, but leavened by the elegance of its author`s style and his wry humour. He argues persuasively that communications technology is on balance hurting more than helping youth`s intellectual growth. Along the way he makes some very interesting observations about IT, like the drabness and uniformity of the Wikipedia entries, a stark contrast from its print predecessors like the Encyclopedia Britannica. As one reviewer said, he probably ascribes too much of the blame to the decline in cultural transmission to technology and too little to the deconstructionist mindset that has taken over so much of society. It is probably even worse here than in the US, with our Dominion Day changed to Canada Day and so much else in the same history-denying vein. Every parent of a child should read this book.

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sat_a2z
Apr 10, 2012

Persky, "Reading in the 21st Century" gives a useful review. Yes the pretext seems true but Bauerlein's errs in title, blaming the sixties, and more.

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palisadesk
Aug 04, 2010

Very well-written, engaging and thought-provoking. The author has a very decided opinion but supports his assertions with plenty of data. Agree or disagree, one must confront some of the issues he addresses and consider their implications for our future as a society.

This book is of particular interest to parents and educators and is a good complement to the Frontline DVDs (also available at HPL) "Digital Nation" and "Growing Up Digital."

For a completely different take, see works by Don Tapscott who (IMO) presents a too-rosy interpretation of the phenomena.

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libraryjunkie
Dec 06, 2009

Interesting book which examines the challenges that Generation Y face in society. I'm glad I'm a Gen Xer!

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username32
Jun 10, 2013

username32 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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