A Generation of Dunces?

December 11th, 2006 by Bob Bly

Will the Internet spawn a generation of uneducated louts?

John Halenar, who reads two newspapers a day, is concerned that it might.

“Although the Internet is valuable for searching out facts, very rarely do I stumble upon something of interest while browsing online,” writes John in a letter-to-the-editor in The Record (12/10/06, p. O-3).

“I look at two newspapers every day, and I’m always amazed at how many interesting stories I find–oftentimes on topics I never even suspected would be of interest to me.”

Do you agree with John that the Internet’s ability to instantly search and find the content you need is both a blessing and a curse?

Or does surfing the Net make you as well read as — well, reading the daily newspaper?

This entry was posted on Monday, December 11th, 2006 at 9:48 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

21 responses about “A Generation of Dunces?”

  1. Craig Hysell said:

    I wouldn’t consider reading a newspaper making one “well-read” (perhaps “informed”) anymore than surfing Internet sites or reading direct mail pieces. These things are meant to grab your attention with sharp headlines, short (16 words or less) sentences and uncomplicated words. If it fails in any of these categories most of us will move on. We are busy people after all. (Who has the time to look up “ferriferous” on the way to the office?)

    I agree with Mr. Halenar in the respect that the Internet is great when researching facts. (It’s like having an entire library at the comfort of my fingertips.) But, it is also infested with myspacers, viral videos, porn and the mind-numbing glam of pop culture. Which is why I don’t browse very much either.

    Wanna be well-read? Take the time to read a book. Just make sure it pertains to something other than porn or pop culture, and doesn’t try to cover local, state, national and international news in one day. There is no substitute for books. None.

  2. Sean Woodruff said:

    I don’t think the internet will have anything to do with uneducated louts. We’ve always had them. In fact, I believe if you are going to use the internet, and believe anything you read on the net, you better be pretty educated. If not, you’ll end up sending your money to a Nigerian widow to help unlock vast fortunes of her deceased husband, who was the Minister of Foreign Finance, all for a small cut of said fortune.

    As for newspapers, I’m not sure how intelligent one has to be to think there are more interesting topics in a couple of newspapers than in the wild, wild west of the internet.

  3. Robert Kopacz said:

    I agree with Sean (he just beat me to the punch!) Dunces have always existed, and their literature has always existed. The only difference is that these days, the literature is much more visible and much more accessible thanks to the internet, TV etc. Although I enjoy reading both books and newspapers, I also like using my news reader to do a scan of what’s going on in the world, and have often come across many fascinating things on the internet. You just have to know where and how to look.

  4. Andrew Johnson said:

    Let me take a guess, Mr. John Halenar is over 60, may be even 70?

    Sorry, but what he is describing is edu-tainment. Reading two newspapers a day is nice for those who have time to do so. Fortunately for myself reading and writing is my full-time job.

    Blogs and forums put newspapers and magazines to shame. What I read in print I read weeks or months ago (assuming its not a current event, in which case I read it last night.)

    “very rarely do I stumble upon something of interest while browsing online” — is he serious? In the decade I have had internet access I have discovered and explored all of my hobbies, side interests, and ulimately career. A few “stumblings” have ended up putting a whole lot of money in my bank account.

    The problem isn’t the internet, its just the user who doesn’t know where to begin his exploration.

  5. Andrew Cavanagh said:

    This is just hilarious.

    When I was young I did work experience at a couple of newspapers (with the journalists and sub editors).

    Back then there was a really high ethic about the quality of the news you put in a paper.

    Facts were confirmed, sources were questioned and double verified – there was a whole process newspapers went through to verify accuracy.

    Today in newspapers most stories in newspapers are rewrites of press releases which are delivered – ONLINE straight to the journalists and editors computers.

    There’s just no budget any more for sending reporters out into the field.

    Most news from on site (where you see a photo in a paper) is collected by the photographer or over the phone or email by a reporter.

    If you’ve ever been in a news story in a paper then you know the accuracy is almost non-existant.

    I was also a syndicated columnist and I can tell you most newspapers today are full of sensationalist, poorly written garbage.

    The checks and measures have all but disappeared.

    The internet is simply multiplying information delivery.

    If you’re an uneducated lout you can find a boatload of garbage to interest you online.

    But if you’re a well informed intelligent citizen you’ll also find plenty of sites filled with high quality content.

    In most cases they’ll be filled with higher quality content than your local newspaper and you’ll be able to check multiple sources to check the accuracy of the information you find.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh

  6. binkw32.dll jagged alliance 2 said:

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I actually thought you would probably have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  7. Shelton Nelles said:

    I have study a few of the articles on your website now, and I especially similar to your style of blogging. I additional it to my favorites blog locate slant and will be real checking back presently. Desire check absent my situate as satisfactorily and let me know what you think.

  8. escape room bucuresti said:

    Thanks for revealing your ideas. I’d also like to state that video games have been ever before evolving. Modern tools and innovative developments have assisted create genuine and interactive games. These kinds of entertainment games were not that sensible when the real concept was first of all being tried out. Just like other areas of technological know-how, video games as well have had to develop as a result of many decades. This is testimony towards the fast development of video games.

  9. Luciano Brendeland said:

    huge travel discount

  10. Wesley Blick said:

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too excellent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

  11. Alina said:

    If you are going for most excellent contents like I do, simply
    pay a quick visit this web page everyday for the reason that it offers feature
    contents, thanks

  12. www.stopcreditfraud.net said:

    First of all I would like to say excellent blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I’ve had trouble clearing my mind in getting
    my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?

  13. http://mrseodirectory.com said:

    The Department of Marketing, based in Raleigh, North Carolina is an elite design and
    interactive marketing agency. WordPress delivers an open resource that
    is definitely fully zero expense. It highlights the
    qualities of professionals that will make your business successful in the long

  14. http://mrseodirectory.com said:

    Site visitors don’t arrived at your website being entertained
    simply by all the great effects your website designer has added.
    In custom design, chances of being noticed by the audience and being impressive to the potential customers are greater.
    When you prioritized based mostly on the over general concerns, you will have made your task of choosing a Santa Barbara Website Designer a lot easier.

  15. http://mrseodirectory.com said:

    Hire web designer from renowned web designing firms and see what magic they
    create for you. Although we are located in the Jacksonville Florida, our websiteservices are nationally mobilized to meet the website and design needsof any business outside of the Florida area as well.

    It is for these and many more reasons that you, as the owner of a growth and profit-oriented business,
    should always opt for custom web design.

  16. http://mrseodirectory.com said:

    Hire web designer from renowned web designing firms and see what magic they create for you.
    Wordpress delivers an open resource that is definitely fully zero expense.
    When you prioritized based mostly on the over general concerns, you will
    have made your task of choosing a Santa Barbara
    Website Designer a lot easier.

  17. http://mrseodirectory.com said:

    The information, if provided accurately and nicely, will definitely help in propelling the visitors to go further into your website and purchase your product.

    To know more about his work, you can even check
    his website. We strive to provide every customer with excellent customer service
    and we do it all at a very affordable price.

  18. http://mrseodirectory.com said:

    The websites aren’t that hard to design once you
    find the basic layout that you like. If you have a car dealership, for example, then your inventory is going to change on a
    regular basis. With SEO being the new battle fit that
    every investor is turning to generating traffic, get new customers while
    retaining the loyalty of the already existing ones, Albuquerque SEO designs works to improve
    the ratings of sites and how they appear on search engines.

  19. internet access services said:

    Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be
    a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your
    blog and will eventually come back in the future. I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice holiday

  20. comment-195525 said:

    Hi mates, its enormous piece of writing regarding tutoringand completely explained, keep it up all the time.

  21. ellavage free trial said:

    Nice weblog right here! Also your site lots up very
    fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I am
    getting your affiliate link on your host? I desire my web site
    loaded up as quickly as yours lol

Leave a Reply