Quality of Writing
Not going to belabor the quality of the latest Time magazine "Evil/Great Technology and Kids" article (gotta get a day pass or subscription for this one).
Requisite "From the time of cavemen" BS quote:
Human beings have always had a capacity to attend to several things at once. Mothers have done it since the hunter-gatherer era—picking berries while suckling an infant, stirring the pot with one eye on the toddler.
Contrasting Meatspace with Virtualspace without discussing how the former is just as mediated:
But both parents worry about the ways that kids' compulsive screen time is affecting their schoolwork and squeezing out family life. "We rarely have dinner together anymore," frets Stephen. "Everyone is in their own little world, and we don't get out together to have a social life."
Standard Ongian bifurcation between oral and literate culture:
Every generation of adults sees new technology—and the social changes it stirs—as a threat to the rightful order of things: Plato warned (correctly) that reading would be the downfall of oral tradition and memory.
Finally, the best case of "interesting data, wrong conclusion" I've seen in a long time:
Koonz and Turkle believe that today's students are less tolerant of ambiguity than the students they taught in the past. "They demand clarity," says Koonz. They want identifiable good guys and bad guys, which she finds problematic in teaching complex topics like Hutu-Tutsi history in Rwanda. She also thinks there are political implications: "Their belief in the simple answer, put together in a visual way, is, I think, dangerous." Koonz thinks this aversion to complexity is directly related to multitasking: "It's as if they have too many windows open on their hard drive. In order to have a taste for sifting through different layers of truth, you have to stay with a topic and pursue it deeply, rather than go across the surface with your toolbar." She tries to encourage her students to find a quiet spot on campus to just think, cell phone off, laptop packed away.
Why I don't buy popular press general opinion mags.
1.) Unanalytic and frankly misogynistic and misanthropic assumptions (since the time of "ooga booga" man enthymematic insertions).
2.) Quoting intelligent people and not connecting or contrasting what they say in a coherent or thoughtful manner.
3.) Refusing to challenge sound-bite logic, even when writing stories that ostensibly challenge sound-bite logic.
I think these things come from trying to please both middle-class consumers and the companies that advertise. This laziness often gets characterized as liberal bias by bougies, but I think it can be better characterized as underestimating your audience.