Dumb and Dumber

Are smart technologies making us stupid?

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Remember when technology was supposed to make us smarter? Not so fast, says Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein. In his book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future , Bauerlein argues that eâ¿¿mail, blogging, e-zines, and gaming have produced a culture of young people more agile with images but with fewer critical thinking skills and underdeveloped cognitive habits. Their lack of curiosity endangers the future of American ingenuity. ”As teens use the Internet, they attune their brains to quick messages and flashy images,” says Bauerlein. ”Critical reasoning demands the slow digestion of complex ideas, but teen social networking is an onslaught of puerile banter. It’s the very opposite of what we need right now.”

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