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[访谈录] 【整理】2008-06-09&06-11 互联网一代,最愚蠢的一代

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And finally, the dumbest generation and if you are watching this web-cast that apparently means you. At least that’s a theory of a professor of English at Emory University who’s written a book which basically argues that the Internet is making people stupid.

 

I’m Mark Bauerlein, professor of English at Emory University. The book has a provocative title, it’s the Dumbest Generation, how the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.

 

Recent years though, I have begun to look at youth culture, youth knowledge, youth academic achievements, and what has come up, more and more, is that things don’t look good. Young people today enjoy more and more digital connections, more screen time than ever before and one of the effects of that is that they are steadily disengaging from the traditional contents ,eh, the liberal arts.

 

One of the things we measured was how much people read literature and how much they read books in general. And the first time we did the study was in 1982, and at that time, young people form the most active reading group. When we did it again in 2002, they were the least active. Only about half of them ever read a book on their own. If it's not assigned for school, if it's not assigned in the workplace, they simply don’t care. The Internet is extraordinary, it is a miraculous tool for knowledge and information, but the fact is that is not what the Internet means to the average sixteen-year-old. What the Internet does is provide a more intense form of contact with other sixteen-year-olds.

 

You know, I do often tell my students read more books, please read more books in your leisure time, unplug for just an hour or two per day. I urge them, and they, they generally just laugh at me. Some of them may feel that I come down on them too hard, but they know deep down that this is right.

 

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