iCrap and smartjunk are dumbing us down

The new iPad and iPhone commercials are so over-the-top that they’ve sent me over-the-edge.
All they’re missing is a heavenly choir and Michaelangelo’s finger of God reaching out of heaven to play Angry Birds.

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Shut up, Apple. Your crap is not that great.
Schools are now buying students iPads, thinking it will cure what ails our educational system.
As if our kids need another opportunity to interact with screens instead of flesh and blood. How insulting to our children, to tell them everything of value should be fun, as if adulthood is one long Beach Boys song.
I applaud the effort to engage kids by any means necessary, but let’s not pretend it’s a good thing that we have to spend $500 on a glorified video game to get a kid interested in school.
If kids need a gadget to tune into education, we’ve already lost the battle.
I’ve taught writing in an old-fashioned classroom equipped with spiral notebooks and pencils, and in a computer lab equipped with All the Latest Technology! I prefer plan A. Many students do, too.
Has no one noticed that the more high-tech gadgetry we’ve invented and mass produced, the closer we’ve come to Armageddon?
Our high-tech toys haven’t made a single person smarter. For every 5 minutes kids spend learning from technology, they spend 55 minutes playing with it.
We have all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but that just means our kids can call us on our b.s. Smart junk hasn’t made them into critical thinkers. In fact, we’re going in the opposite direction.
Case in point: Climate change is not a conspiracy cooked up by liberal tree huggers and elitist professors to bring about the end of the American Way of Life. When was the last time you saw a climatologist driving an Escalade?
Scientists have split the atom, sent us to the moon, and cured smallpox. Yet we think they’ve gotten it all wrong when it comes to the climate.
If it’s a conspiracy you’re looking for, consider the funders of the climate change denial machine: ExxonMobil, BP and the Koch Brothers, to name a few. (Come to think of it, oil industry “scientists” may in fact drive Escalades.)
If you read newspapers from any nation but ours, the carbon crisis and climate change are taken for granted. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and unprecedented droughts, floods and fires are occurring around the world with alarming regularity.
Elsewhere, leaders believe in science. Here in America, presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said just the other day that there’s no such thing as global warming.
Need more evidence that smartphones have made us dumber? Consider this: Michele Bachmann is a serious presidential candidate.
She has also called climate change a hoax. Apparently her degree from Oral Roberts University made her smarter about the atmosphere than the world’s climate scientists. (Insert “hot air” joke here.)
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle got their smarts arguing in the village square, not by tapping apps or blurting misinformation into the public sewer pipe we call the Internet. What they were doing was called “social networking.” What we call “social networking” Plato would’ve called “fiddling while Athens burns.”
People were healthy, wealthy and wise without cars, TV and smartphones. Let’s stop pretending that the next life-changing technology will save us, when the opposite may be the case.

Brett Larson is the editor of the Messenger.

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