Jon's Reviews > The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future

The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

When Albert Szent-Gyorgi (the scientist best known for discovering Vitamin C) was asked, circa 1970, what advice he'd give young people he said "I would share their rejection of the world as it is, all of it. What good is study and work? Fornication, at least that is something good. Fornicate and take drugs against this terrible strain of idiots who run the world." Unfortunately youngsters also chose to get hooked on computers, with the horrifying results described in this book. My main complaint is that Bauerlein seems to think voting is important and that only a dunce wouldn't want to participate in this ritual. As a nonvoter since 1984 (when I voted for Mondale, mainly because I liked the way he never pretended to be anything but what he was, a stooge) I resent this. I also object to the idea--implied, though not stated in this book--that people who have no interest in the arts should be force-fed culture. As Frank O'Hara said, "If they don't need poetry bully for them." Maybe the solution is just to get rid of school as we know it, but Bauerlein, a professor at Emory U. in Atlanta, understandably doesn't suggest this.

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