Virginia Bryant's Reviews > Everything Bad is Good for You

Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson
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's review
Sep 21, 2011

Read in September, 2011

nice try, but i still am not convinced that being parked in front of an electric monitor is healthy. Yes, he does have a point that we are forced to learn more to deal with this brave new electronic world, but some of us already have interests that have little to do with that field of expertise, and it is more than a little annoying to be forced to put time and energy into these activities to function in the daily world, when we already HAVE agendas and projects we want to give our 100% attentions to!
This is written by a younger person who works with wired. The second association is an obvious influence, and having vast quantities of time wrested from us is not nearly so annoying when life seems to go on forever.
There was one bit that was especially vexing, that, "in late 2004 the Department of Justice and Education released a joint study that showed violent crime in the nation's schools had been literally cut in half over the ten year period from 1992 to 2002-----------" and attributing this to the "pacifying forces (interesting use of that second word), "better policing, higher incarceration rates, or low unemployment" YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING! violent crime was probably reported as very low in Hitler's germany too, because the government and its agents were perpetuating all the violence! As for the higher incarceration rates, most of these are drug busts and nonviolent crimes, which cost taxpayers more than the education and other resources would have cost that pre-empt the despair of those so without hope that drugs seem the only answer. These are part of arguments that attempt to justify the trashy value systems and violence propagated by the mass media by someone who profits from it and is therefor unable to see the harms it causes.

For the most part, this is an informed look at the world through a younger person's eyes. There were some interesting book references, but as an older woman informed by the viewpoints of 60's activism and a hands on craft person, it was slow going.

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