Internet Excuse

Made it. At least through yesterday. I have to admit that I am coming up dry on figuring out why humans don’t like to visit the dentist. I observe it in myself and others. I am rationally aware that the purpose is prevention and cure, or, at least, stop gap treatment, but I cannot come up with a reasonable hypothesis of why this occurs.

Anyway, I got a passing grade and then went on to perform my gathering mission at diverse grocery stores, which led me to contemplate what is going to happen when the transportation system goes to pot. And given the new grrr brrr that what is important is the transportation of information more than the transportation of things I had to wonder if modern society and the GEN Ys really care.

I then put this in the context of “my” GEN Ys, my daughter and her spouse. Both are picky eaters. Have been since childhood so far as I can determine. I know in case of daughter that FD SCP took a strategy of not forcing and so long as she ate enough of something, good enough. I suppose that is archetypical of helicopter parenting: no forcing, just spoiling? I hate to think of what they are going to eat when the choices disappear.

Along which azimuthi, I also ran across an article [Link] this week in Scientific American. It’s a “guest blog”, which it isn’t, the latter at least or it wouldn’t be in a magazine (or newspaper) dealing with some “limitations” of GEN Ys. The authors teach middle schule, so they are part of the immediately suspect educationalist apparat who teach to the test. The content however, is either a thoughtful fiction or indicates these two are not the usual pre-college zombie educationalist.

The article is a bit incoherent, forcing a format beyond the presentation of content. It lists some observables of their students:

· Students today are accustomed to instant gratification, and therefore can be overwhelmed by tasks that require time-consuming research.
· When researching online, students unsuccessfully scan pages of text as opposed to reading those pages of text for comprehension. Therefore, they cannot tell whether or not the source they are looking at is applicable to their research question.
· When students are given a research prompt by their teacher, students often do not care enough about the topic to really persevere. Therefore, when they find that answers are not immediately apparent, they do not have the motivation necessary to fuel their sustained attention.
· Because there is so much information online, and not all of it is credible, Internet search results can be overwhelming to students. Therefore, the amount of information paralyzes rather than empowers students.
· Developmentally, middle school students are just beginning to be able to think critically, but they seem programmed to look for “the” answer, and do not have a strong sense of self-efficacy when presented with open-ended questions.

To put these in somewhat shorter bullets:

  • Students have no patience;
  • Students cannot read;
  • Students have no judgment; and
  • Students cannot think.

I have to admit that I found almost everything I was assigned in pre-college (and much in the latter) boring and uninteresting. So I cannot accept, on the basis of such shallow data, that this is a unique characteristic of GEN Y. Nor did I have much patience. I still don’t unless I am engaged, and I don’t get engaged because of direction. I get engaged because of my interest, not your demands.

Reading is a matter of attention span, and if attention span has been trained since childhood to television, then reading is going to suffer, especially if there is no engagement. And thinking, I have observed, is rare, at least among humans. I think Sturgeon’s rule applies and only about 0.1 of humans can think regularly and well. The rest run on memory and emotion, and often, physical prowess.

I fear that my hypothesis after reading this article is that the problem with the young today is not the young, but instead their parents and schules. Both stand indicted for incompetence and negligence

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