Spoiled Children of Divorce

Brain Eating Ipods
June 8, 2008, 10:11 pm
Filed under: links to articles, Uncategorized

Newsweek‘s latest issue has an article about the decline in adult literacy that are found in the Generation Y kids.

“There is no memory the past, just like when the Khmer Rouge said this is day zero.”

“Historical memory is essential to a free people.”

This is funny. I’ve noticed that friends and family members who are short on memory are the ones who have done well as adults.  They haven’t really contributed anything to society but they are good at not rocking the boat.  This may be a good sign. It may mean that people are becoming passive and sweet.  Meanwhile, nobody knows what to do about those melting icebergs and the President who can’t run the country.

The writers of the article say that technology is to blame for the stupid kids. Specifically, they say that multi-tasking is the culprit.

Scientists at UCLA led by Russell Poldrack scanned the brains of adults ages 18 to 45 while they learned to interpret symbols on flashcards either in silence or while also counting high-pitched beeps they heard. The volunteers learned to interpret the cards even with the distracting beeps, but when they were asked about the cards afterward, the multitaskers did worse. “Multitasking adversely affects how you learn,” Poldrack said at the time. “Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.” Difficult tasks, such as learning calculus or reading “War and Peace,” will be particularly adversely affected by multitasking, says psychologist David Meyer of the University of Michigan: “When the tasks are at all challenging, there is a big drop in performance with multitasking. What kids are doing is learning to be skillful at a superficial level.”

If Multi-tasking is so damaging to a child’s brain, what does multi-parenting and living in multiple families do? That’s what I want to know. I’d also like to know why the authors don’t question the quality of the educational system, poverty, effects of divorce, nutrition, among other obvious causes.

from: “The Dumbest Generation? Don’t be Dumb.” by Sharon Begley & Jeneen Interbadi, Newsweek, June 2, 2008


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