25 09 11 - 07:54The modern bureaucratic utilitarian society tends to reward little study machines, e.g. people who go to school and plug away and get the highest grades on the material. While I'm in favor of school, and Social Darwinism, I think school can be mis-applied. In particular, school is itself a task; some get good at that task without mastering the underlying discipline, or having the skills to perform that discipline with any flexibility or real intelligence. There are other aspects to school, including (gasp) learning actual socialization and not just pandering, and learning to explore ideas instead of rote memorizing those that you know will be on the test. Now, why would I mention this preachy shit so early in the morning? Because it's exactly parallel to what video games, social networking and constant use of cell phones for chat do to your brain. These things also make you conform to a narrow standard that isn't reality, cut off the scope of your realization, and reward memorizers and rote performers.
n a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the group of academics, teachers, authors and charity leaders says childrenâs wellbeing and mental health is being undermined by the pressures of modern life. They urge the Government to address a culture of âtoo much, too soonâ in Britain. This includes a ban on all forms of advertising aimed at the youngest children, the establishment of a play-based curriculum for infants and a public information campaign warning of the dangers of screen-based entertainment. The comments came five years after many of the same experts sent similar letter to the Telegraph that criticised politicians and the public for failing to allow children to develop properly at a young age. It led to a debate on the state of childhood in Britain and coincided with the publication of Labourâs Childrenâs Plan â a policy document covering all aspects of young peopleâs lives. - The TelegraphWow, that's weird. How can these things subvert us? They teach us a false reality that is smaller and less variant than reality itself. In turn, that makes us experts at reproducing responses to pre-determined signals -- in other words, rote memorizers, not thinkers. We have become like our machines.
I nearly killed myself in college to get straight A's. Well, almost straight A's. I graduated with 37 A's and 3 B's for a GPA of 3.921. At the time, I thought I was hot stuff. Now I wonder if it wasn't a waste of time. ... I was told that having a high GPA would open all kinds of doors for me. But you know what? I interviewed with lots of companies, received a total of 14 job offers after graduation, and none of the companies asked about it. They were much more impressed with stuff like serving as Chief of Staff for the student government and starting a radio station run by 200 volunteers. ... I spent all my time reading classic literature and memorizing vague, pseudoscientific communication theories. Neither are useful at all, and I've forgotten at least 95% of it. ... Between studying and doing my job, I had to prioritize the people I wanted to develop relationships with and narrow it down to the handful who could help me the most. If I could do it all over again, I would spend less time in the library and more time at parties. I would have 50 friends, not 3. I would be known for "the guy that knows everyone," not "the smartest guy in class." Not only because it would've been more fun, but because I would still be friends with most of those people now and would have access to the networks they've developed over the last four years. - Penelope TrunkYou can see where this is going: it's not about the socialization, either. It's about the whole. Having a whole life, and a whole perspective on thinking. Memorizing stuff like a scan-tron reader helps no one. Least of all you. But a society made of such autists? I bet it would be a glitzy mistake.