Inventor Of The Wind-Up Radio Complains About 'Google Generation'
from the wait,-you-used-to-have-to-wind-up-radios? dept
I love luddites. They're just so damned consistent. I haven't completely worked out the details yet, but I'm positive there is a math equation out there that would accurately predict after what year a person thinks everything new sucks. Maybe it'd look something like: (year of current date) – (age of person) / (IQ) = (year after which everything sucks). Okay, that's clearly far from perfect (and I hear Douglas Adams may have done it better), but I would expect something along those lines could predict people like a DHS boss that doesn't use anything online ever. Or Andrew Keen and Sherry Turkle, who team up to claim that social media is making us less private, but more lonely, which seems to work at cross conclusions but the math formula is the math formula so screw social media.
Look how lonely all these people are together!
Image source: CC BY-SA 2.0
Those examples aside, I have to admit this is a new one for me. Apparently there once were radios that you had to wind up to use and Trevor Baylis, the guy that invented them, says Google is making younger generations brain dead.
“Children have got to be taught hands-on, and not to become mobile phone or computer dependent. They are dependent on Google searches. A lot of kids will become fairly brain-dead if they become so dependent on the internet, because they will not be able to do things in the old-fashioned way.”
Let's see if I can break down the pure wrongness of this kind of thinking with a couple of fun little analogies.
- Children have to be taught how to tend to their horses and not become dependent on automobiles or public transportation, otherwise they may not be able to ride horses any longer.
- Children have to be taught how to use an abacus and not become dependent on calculators, otherwise they not be able to use abacuses in their adult daily lives.
- Children have to be taught how to unhook a chastity belt, otherwise they may not be able to have sex once they are married and somehow chasisty belts come back into circulation because….yeah, because.
Get the point? Once the old way is no longer the way, we don't have to teach it any longer. I use Google searches every day, both for work (part numbers for technology parts) and for personal use (explicit search terms for naughty human parts). That's where that stuff exists, on the internet. In fact, learning how to properly use a search engine to get the most out of its results is probably one of the most worthwhile things you can teach a child today. There is nothing wrong with learning the old way of doing things, specifically if that old way builds a foundation for understanding the new way, but blaming Google for making children brain dead is just silly.