Thursday, September 14, 2006

Reading... who needs it?

In case any of you despair about the workers who will be supporting you in retirement:

Educational doomsayers are again up in arms at a new adult literacy study showing that less than 5 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it.

The obsessive measurement of long-form literacy is once more being used to flail an education trend that is in fact going in just the right direction. Today’s young people are not able to read and understand long stretches of text simply because in most cases they won’t ever need to do so.

It’s time to acknowledge that in a truly multimedia environment of 2025, most Americans don’t need to understand more than a hundred or so words at a time, and certainly will never read anything approaching the length of an old-fashioned book. We need a frank reassessment of where long-form literacy itself lies in the spectrum of skills that a modern nation requires of its workers.

Yes, clearly the world will be a better place when nobody is able to process ideas too complicated to be expressed in 100 words or less....


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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can think of more than 100 words to describe that load of garbage from Michael Rogers. If, in the future, we are reduced to doing only what we "need" to do, then we shall become mindless zombies. Technological progression doesn't necessitate intellectual regression.
- Caracarn

9/15/2006 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean
Forget about the future ,I have a problem understanding and extrapolating the hundred odd words atributed to Michael Rogers !
GK

9/15/2006 12:25 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I half suspect Rogers wrote what he did simply to get a reaction. But Lordy.... as if we don't already have enough problems with scientific illiteracy and the like.

I like compact nuggets of information as much as anybody. Quite often it's the best way to assimilate a lot of info in reasonable amount of time. But to suggest that's all we need? Madness.

9/15/2006 1:30 PM  
Blogger reader_iam said...

Sigh.

9/16/2006 9:09 PM  

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