Does the 'end of print' mean the end of thinking?
There is an article circulating the net called 'Out of Print' Doc Examines The End of Print Books and What It Portends that presents some thoughts about the “destructive” nature of the digital invasion into the lives of our children. I do question the veracity of the subject, although I hear much of the same when I travel and give lectures on the future of reading. Are there changes in society, schooling, information retrieval and learning? Absolutely. We do live in a new world with new thinking requirements. Is it the end of society as we know it? No, of course not.
Our children are just as bright as ever, perhaps even more so. In the near future there will still be brain surgeons, architects, teachers, engineers, rocket scientists, and all the other vocations that a modern society requires. All those jobs require long form reading skills and critical thinking.
This isn’t the first time that this generation thinks the next generation is not as smart as we are, can’t concentrate as we can. Every generation thinks that. Academics have been saying this stuff for hundreds of years. Look it up, see what they said about the hot-rodders of the 50s, the beatniks, the hippies, and the sad millennials. There is always a reason why “our” generation is the last "real thinking" generation.
Throughout history there have been gradations of tone to the adaptabilities in all people, all children and all technology. There have always been some who can, some who sort of can and some who just can’t. Even though we might wish it, where is it written in stone that every child is a “winner”?
It boils down to this: Life and society will continue along its merry way and continue to become more complex on some levels and less complex on others. It has always been thus. Until I get a majority of parents telling me that their children are stupid and can't make it in the future, I won't buy into this end of the world program.
So tell me, how are your kids and grandkids doing?