Sunday, March 13, 2011

Technology, Superficiality, and Fascism

The DunceThe following op-ed from Politiken helped me understand my instinctive aversion to many recent innovations in digital communications.

I hate cell phones. I have resolutely avoided Facebook and Twitter. I barely know what texting is. I suffer skype because it’s necessary for this job, as is email.

As an amateur linguist, I consider l33t to be a fascinating and devolved dialect of English, but have never owned a device that requires me to use it.

In his opinion piece, the Danish writer Kresten Schultz-Jørgensen describes the inadvertent harm done by modern communications devices to the minds of young people who have grown up with them. He believes the ability to think logically, coherently, and critically has been stunted by the nature of the new media, which are now ubiquitous — except among ancient curmudgeons like me.

Many thanks to Henrik Ræder Clausen for the translation:

Students write and reason at the level of 11-year children

Dissolving linguistic competence leads to self-created fascism, according to university lecturer.


by Kresten Schultz-Jørgensen

With respect to our youth, I’m a happy ambassador.

After ten years as lecturer and exam grader at Danish universities, it appears that young people in their twenties are more diligent, focused, and empathic than the generations before them, and that includes my own.

But they cannot write.

This winter I have been correcting more than a hundred reports, authored by the best of the Danish youth studying communication or politics.

They write as children aged 11, honestly, and their reasoning is at approximately the same level.

First the most trivial — spelling — here is my unofficial hit chart:

Nobody seems able to use present tense correctly: For one, the word ‘synes’ (“have the opinion”) is systematically used in its past tense. Dropping ‘r’ at the end of verbs is rampant, rendering present tenses into nominative. Composite nouns become one word. Double s’ become t’s. Commas are placed entirely at random.

But spelling is not the core problem. Truly crucial is the loss of written language as such.

The ability to set forth an argument, carry out an analysis, draw a conclusion. Main sentences, side sentences and long paragraphs. Socratic argumentation: Building on logic while still reaching out to doubt.

Damn, how this thing is totally long gone! Someone stole reasoning from the writing. The only thing left is the emotionalism of the spoken language, intuitions, and prejudiced judgments of value.

A company which is ‘ridiculous’. A politician is a ‘complete idiot’. Firm verdicts passed by 22-year-old illiterates with unlimited self confidence.

Let me give you a typical example: An exam assignment was to analyse company X, its challenges and potentials in relation to pending legislation increasing the demands on quality in the company’s sugary products.

The students’ reports should thus have contained numbers, reasoning, and a series of recommendations to which the student used a humble and discursive approach.

Reality is usually radically different: In the style of the times we get a huge pile of opinions on the most superficial of levels. For instance, the manager of the company would be requested to “go on television”, or he’d be “perfectly ridiculous”.

One may have the opinion, as some progressive linguists favour, that a “living” language is merely a sign of “linguistic creativity”. That the young, as always, play around with the semantic possibilities, and thus that the development can never be anything but “exciting”.

But my personal opinion is that this “development” is really a devolution, and that George Orwell was right: Dissolving the linguistic competence by necessity leads to an erosion of mental power and the rise of self-created fascism.

Fewer words, less mental space, more prejudices: key components of fascism.

In this case the devolution is related to both the sensationalism of the mass media and the falling level of political discourse. The crisis of behaviour in family, public school as well as in high school. And the list goes on.

But let me point out another, partly neglected, cause of this: Current digital technologies are in themselves lowering the mental power of the new generations.

One problem is the sheer amount of information, and the built-in superficiality that by necessity follows the never-resting cell phones, ultraportables, and iPads.

A distinct problem is the way technology functions, the demand for multitasking and the parallel consciousnesses: Email in the computer, Facebook updates, Twitter messages.

The worst, though, is the format imposed by the technology. Being fast is not sufficient. It also has to be brief, and as close to spoken language as possible. This can be interesting for linguists, but is rarely conducive to analytical skills or abstract thinking.

In practical terms: A text message (SMS) is limited to 160 characters, Twitter messages 140, and this necessitates unauthorized abbreviations, telegram-style grammar lacking subject, sound imitations and judgments of value rather than argumentation.

That’s how it is, calling a spade a spade.

The consequences of this are seen in writing, reasoning and — to use a very abstract word — the collective opinion-forming mechanism of society. Orwell would have a clear opinion of Daneland in the year 2011.

As would Socrates. In the town square of Athens he was asking his annoying question — “What do you really think?” — exactly in order to dismantle superficial verbal wordflows.

Today superficiality is implemented through technology. I will not kick in open doors by reiterating the classical rhetorical and philosophical arguments, merely underline that our civilization builds upon several millennia of emphasizing that the sensible criteria for forming opinions are, in principle, the same as those used to evaluate a scientific discussion.

To make an effort, in contrast to thinking and writing according to what I would call the principle of least resistance — prejudices.

That effort includes, first and foremost, the demand for logic. Are you able to think in a stringent way? Then comes the demand to think freely — do you have the gifts of doubt and curiosity? Next comes the demand to set forth arguments and carry a burden of proof, and the demand for appropriate context.

Well, and then the subjectivity of your own arguments: Why — and now we’re back to Socrates — why do you really hold the opinion that you do? All of these points should be lucidly clear before you throw your judgments of value in the face of everyone else.

My own opinion is positive towards youth, who are positive and well brought up. But they cannot write, and think only barely well enough to cover their private needs. Fascism is on its way, way cool on Facebook.

29 comments:

EJGB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EJGB said...

I read this and was forcefully reminded of the movie "Idiocracy" , which seems to be where we are headed unless we draw back from the precipice and make a forced march back to literacy.

Anonymous said...

Very good point, here. Congratulations for this post !

Zenster said...

The only thing left is the emotionalism of the spoken language, intuitions, and prejudiced judgments of value.

In arguments with Liberals, how often has a dispute boiled down to that person summing things up with, "That's just the way I feel about it.", or "It doesn't feel right!"?

Liberals and Muslims both display a pronounced tendency to use Magical Thinking™. Small surprise that this mode of thought is associated most with children and their ability to arbitrarily transcend perceived reality.

Firm verdicts passed by 22-year-old illiterates with unlimited self confidence.

Illiteracy, in and of itself, tends to breed opinionated expression as exposure to contrary input has been minimized to its fullest extent.

Zenster said...

Dissolving the linguistic competence by necessity leads to an erosion of mental power and the rise of self-created fascism.

Orwell made a pointed example of this in his magnum opus, 1984, when protagonist Winston Smith's neighbor brags to him how, that day at the Ministry of Speech, they had eliminated another 10,000 words from the dictionary.

Few better summations of Politically Correct speech could be hoped for. Disallow certain words by censuring those who use them and, slowly but surely, you alter human thought. If there are no words to use for them, you cannot think of those concepts.

For a deeply disturbing overview of Orwell's dystopian vision, try reading through some introductory passages of "The Principles of Newspeak". Here are some of the closing observations of that page:

When Oldspeak had been once and for all superseded, the last link with the past would have been severed. History had already been rewritten, but fragments of the literature of the past survived here and there, imperfectly censored, and so long as one retained one's knowledge of Oldspeak it was possible to read them. In the future such fragments, even if they chanced to survive, would be unintelligible and untranslatable. It was impossible to translate any passage of Oldspeak into Newspeak unless it either referred to some technical process or some very simple everyday action, or was already orthodox (goodthinkful would be the Newspeak expression) in tendency. In practice this meant that no book written before approximately 1960 could be translated as a whole. Pre-revolutionary literature could only be subjected to ideological translation -- that is, alteration in sense as well as language. Take for example the well-known passage from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government. . .

It would have been quite impossible to render this into Newspeak while keeping to the sense of the original. The nearest one could come to doing so would be to swallow the whole passage up in the single word crimethink. A full translation could only be an ideological translation, whereby Jefferson's words would be changed into a panegyric on absolute government.

An earlier passage makes this clear:

To give a single example - The word free still existed in Newspeak, but could only be used in such statements as "The dog is free from lice" or "This field is free from weeds." It could not be used in its old sense of "politically free" or "intellectually free," since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispenses with was allowed to survive.

Thus, any discussion of “freedom”, as cited in the Declaration of Independence, would be quite impossible.

One may have the opinion, as some progressive linguists favour, that a “living” language is merely a sign of “linguistic creativity”.

That's unpossible! [/Ralph Wiggum]

Zenster said...

An anonymous wag who derided the current fad of false confidence-building in children put it thus:

NEVER HAS THERE BEEN A GENERATION SO FULL OF SELF ESTEEM … OR FOR SO LITTLE REASON!

The "Social Promotion" of third-grade illiterates has spawned a generation or more of functionally illiterate high school graduates. Witness the "no pass - no play" policies enacted by schools to emphasize scholastic improvement over sports prowess.

Then there are those who seek to eliminate the letter grading system altogether in public schools:

They don't want kids who score low to feel bad

Imagine how low the self-esteem of these precious students will be when they graduate from high school and discover that social promotion, combined with pass-fail grading systems, have doomed them to a lifetime of burger flipping.

The amalgamation of artificially instilled high self-esteem along with Neanderthal levels of ignorance and illiteracy promise a new breed of cretinism. Consider how much self-entitlement is exhibited by the aptly named “slacker” generation and then project along the downward spiral that is predicted by continuing erosion of scholastic performance and, now, even social skills to see where this is heading.

Zenster said...

Fewer words, less mental space, more prejudices: key components of fascism.

All of which has been blossoming in places where Political Correctness and state control of education is strongest. Europe is a prime example with America trailing not far behind.

Current digital technologies are in themselves lowering the mental power of the new generations.

The dark side of modern electronic communication and information processing technologies is an elephant-in-the-room which continues to be vigorously ignored by academics, parents and sociologists alike.

It is the subject of an essay that I have been constructing for several months now and it challenges every one of my abilities to put in perspective the far-reaching and highly destructive influences that are at play.

It is not just “mental power” but real time interactive ability, verbal fluency and a host of other once commonly held proficiencies whose deterioration is both infantilizing and atomizing modern society in ways that make urban anonymity appear benign by comparison.

The worst, though, is the format imposed by the technology. Being fast is not sufficient. It also has to be brief, and as close to spoken language as possible. This can be interesting for linguists, but is rarely conducive to analytical skills or abstract thinking.

Obama was put in office by an electorate that excelled in analytical skills or abstract thinking. If anything, the exact opposite is true.

I will not kick in open doors by reiterating the classical rhetorical and philosophical arguments, merely underline that our civilization builds upon several millennia of emphasizing that the sensible criteria for forming opinions are, in principle, the same as those used to evaluate a scientific discussion.

Perhaps you should because the loss of empirical thinking is taking a toll upon Western civilization that could dethrone it in favor of other far less benign forces ranging from Chinese autocracy to the shari’a law of Islamic totalitarianism.

…do you have the gifts of doubt and curiosity?

In an age of people with fruit fly attention spans and coffin-sized comfort zones, doubt equates to fear while curiosity pushes boundaries that are best left undisturbed. Consider the comfort zone of your average Westward Expansion pioneer. An unsprung Conestoga covered wagon stood in for private automotive transportation, campfires provided heating and a wide brim hat or bonnet was your air conditioning. How many modern day city dwellers would last more than a week in such an environment before they expired or were forcefully abandoned by fellow settlers who tired of the incessant whining?

I hope readers will please pardon the sheer size of my multipart comment. It is an indication of just how demanding this subject is in terms of adequately conveying the comprehensive damage that is being done to America and Western civilization as a whole.

Words Twice said...

I recently read an interesting book on this very topic, "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future" by Mark Bauerlein.

I've often lamented that although advanced technology often improves our lives, it also seems to make people lazy, stupid and dependent.

It’s nice to see I am not the only curmudgeon who has no use for Facebook or Twitter!

Profitsbeard said...

Baron-

I think there's an app for your qualm about technology.

It reduces all words it detects to their nearest one syllable synonym.

With animated angry birds flying around the screen to distract the user from the inherent vacuity of their reductio ad absurdum experience.

Vortac said...

Superficiality and illiteracy are just symptoms. The real problem is in the systematic devaluation of science and hard work in general. Who wants to study certain topic for several years when MTV can turn a complete fool into an instant celebrity? Who wants to be an honest worker, master of his trade, when millions of unskilled immigrants are getting paychecks for nothing?

Europe is in the process of rampant africanization, both physically (through immigration) and intelectually (through mainstream media and political correctness). Most Africans are more or less illiterate, so Europeans are becoming illiterate too. Digital communications have very little to do with it.

babs said...

I will try to keep this short but I was so reminded of my experience while reading this essay.
About 10 yrs ago I was asked by the League of Women Voters to be a facilitator in a several session discussion with a chosen group of persons that had loved ones incarcerated in the state of NY for drug charges. The purpose of this study was to gather data on the type of drug charge, the severity of the sentence and the outcome of the person charged. At the time, the state was under heavy pressure to equalize the punishment for powder cocaine dealing and using and rock cocaine dealing and using as powder was mostly a white person's drug and rock mostly a person of color's drug. The penalty for rock was and still is much more severe.
I spent two full Saturdays in workshop learning how to run these meetings, was given a very comprehensive manual about what I needed to discuss and a list of people I should contact and try to enlist to attend.
So, I started these meetings in the local church basement. Other than what you might assume was the outcome of opinion about the judicial system, penal system and final outcome of those incarcerated on felony drug charges, what I found most stunning about this experience was the lack of vocabulary that this panel had at their command to express themselves. They literally could not express themselves in anything but the most vulgar and non specific way, half of which I didn't even understand because I don't think it was understandable. I would see these people trying hard to think and they just couldn't. They could not gather a thought and I think it was because they did not have the vocabulary to do so.
There was one woman in the group that was fairly articulate and after another participant had let go with a string of unintelligable profanities turned to me and said "I don't know what she just said but I agree!"

"If there are no words to use for them, you cannot think of those concepts."

I think this is absolutely true and as we are told more and more to restrict our speech that is exactly what is happening.

Gray Falcon said...

Orwell wrote about the vacuity of political-speak in his famous essay "Politics and the English language" , which ought to be required reading at any respectable school in the Anglosphere. That's hardly the fault of twitter, Facebook, or texting...

Zenster said...

Vortac: Superficiality and illiteracy are just symptoms. The real problem is in the systematic devaluation of science and hard work in general. Who wants to study certain topic for several years when MTV can turn a complete fool into an instant celebrity? Who wants to be an honest worker, master of his trade, when millions of unskilled immigrants are getting paychecks for nothing?

The phenomena you refer to were characterized several decades ago by the philosopher and author, Ayn Rand, as being:

A fascination with unearned wealth and unmerited fame.

Witness the popularity of State lotteries and the emergence of people like Paris Hilton or Regis Philbin who are "famous for being famous".

The superficiality and illiteracy you are referring to are, indeed, outgrowths of that fascination but they are being augmented even further and in previously unapparent ways that are beginning to take a serious toll on, not just given individuals, but the overall well being of society as a whole.

However, you are completely mistaken when it comes to digital communications. Studies are showing that young people who rely heavily upon texting to communicate exhibit difficulty with direct interpersonal interaction. This is not a byproduct of superficiality and illiteracy, it is a direct result of exposure to surrogate technology that can contribute to the erosion of analytical skills.

Access to Google and other information intensive sites is already showing signs of dulling or inhibiting the performance of individuals in terms of being able to process and analyze information in its most basic form. This impairment of critical analysis skills has a profound effect upon a person's ability to interpret input from all sorts of different sources, not just computer or visual displays.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether today's gadgets are dumbing people down, but I'd like to suggest a more obvious cause: the way education has become more like propaganda. When I went to college, even though I and most of my fellow students and professors were liberal, we still engaged directly with the material and were expected to learn certain rhetorical and analytical skills. I literally can't imagine any of my profs taking off points for having the wrong opinion, as long as you backed it up correctly.

My impression of current educational trends is that opinions matter more than skills, to many (most?) teachers. Personal anecdote: a college student I knew socially told me she'd dropped her English course. I was shocked, because she loved literature. She explained that the textbook had sections on "violence," "peace," and the like. In other words, the English class was about politics, not English.

This sort of thing is so much more damaging than Facebook and texting. I think if young people had the same genuinely liberal education I had, all the texting in the world wouldn't dumb them down.

EscapeVelocity said...

"If there are no words to use for them, you cannot think of those concepts."

This reminds me of the idiotic "No Labels" movement of RINOs and faux conservatives given copious media coverage by the Left leaning press.

Labels are a key to intelligent thought. If you cant label anything, then you cant make a freakin sentence, with a Subject Verb Noun structure.

Giving names to various things so you can describe them, differentiate between them and form understandings of how they relate to the rest of the world and vice versa.

Its an assault on reason and rationality.

Zenster said...

EscapeVelocity: Giving names to various things so you can describe them, differentiate between them and form understandings of how they relate to the rest of the world and vice versa.

Chinese Proverb: The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.

Its an assault on reason and rationality.

I'm glad somebody noticed.

Zenster said...

Here's an interesting question:

How many people think that listening to an audio book on tape, CD or MP3 player delivers the same overall level of mental exercise or benefits as actually reading it in its printed format?

Anonymous said...

Zenster, I'm so glad you asked. I can't stand people who post a video with a lot of spoken text as a substitute for reading. The worst offenders are people who are selling something, for instance Dr. Mercola, who is otherwise a great resource on alternative health. He, and others like him, sometimes make people watch their stupid videos in order to find out what they're selling. And the problem is that Mercola is often right, so I have to watch, if there's no written summary. The information itself could be summarized in two sentences, but the video drags on for five minutes.

Only a decadent, post-literate society would tolerate this. I can honestly say that I have never listened to a book on tape or wanted to. In fact, the reason I don't like books on tape is the same reason it pains me to keep my cell phone on, as a courtesy to others. It makes my skin crawl to have a voice going on and on at me, or to be available to anyone who wants to call me, even if I don't want to be available. Written material is so non-invasive. So there are two things going on here: less literacy and less privacy.

LAW Wells said...

Being 23 myself, and so of the age group in question here, let me ask the following question - do these students pre-prepare their answers to the question?

I myself have never done such a thing. I consider it as akin to cheating, and a constraint to answering the question (there was a cartoon handed out in which a student is misreads a question - "What is the meaning of life?" as opposed to "What is the meaning of life insurance?"). And because I somehow managed to always hit my mark (I scored 7/15 in an assessment where I didn't finish the essay in the time allotted, and did't even write two full pages, and a friend of mine finished his essay, wrote six full pages, and got the same mark as me), I've never really had a problem with arguing things.

I suppose I've learned to love the questions, and love learning (part of the appeal of Gates of Vienna, I might add). And I have enough time on my own that I like to poke holes in my own arguments, and think things through to the nth degree.

And I was part of a philosophy club too, and one thing I took away was that the wise man, if beaten in an argument by logic, could either delay judgement and seek further evidence, or accept the proposition advanced by the opponent.

I know, I'm probably the exception (I went to an expensive Sydney private school), but I think that's because of my attitude towards the exams, towards logic (maths cares not for your pithy feelings), and towards learning.

Anonymous said...

When I wrote software user's manuals or documentation while working at IBM USA in the the late '80s we could not exceed eight-grade level language.

EscapeVelocity said...

That is pretty standard throughout the media.

In fact we can see it's effect here among those who strive for more.

Zenster said...

LAW Wells: I suppose I've learned to love the questions, and love learning (part of the appeal of Gates of Vienna, I might add). And I have enough time on my own that I like to poke holes in my own arguments, and think things through to the nth degree.

What you are describing is a process called autoscopic thought, better known as introspective thinking. Socrates summarized its value when he said:

The unexamined life is not worth living.

If you have read my earlier link to Magical Thinking™, then it will be easy to appreciate just how uncomfortable many Liberals and Muslims must feel when circumstances require them to explain, or worse, justify their decisions and reasoning (or lack thereof).

Much of modern society has specifically constructed its comfort zone to the exclusion of introspective thought. Challenges to one's mental boundaries and situations that necessitate stepping outside of a familiar (or habitual) frame of reference can just as often evoke fear or even panic in those who have not steeled their minds to question the most basic foundations of their decision-making process.

Sadly, such intellectual laxity is the norm nowadays and the legacy of this decline into arbitrary, instead of consensual, reality is an ever worsening tendency toward atomization along with a rise in the popularity of nanny-state mentality. Keep in mind that Islam is the ultimate nanny-state where every single waking moment of life has its prescribed and proscribed actions defined with crystal clarity.

Liberal tolerance of Islam may well be explained by this mutual distaste for accountability or personal responsibility. Their shared regard for big government, be it politburo or caliphate, makes this quite clear. Islam is quite fatalistic with Allah foreordaining every raindrop's path. Little wonder then that, in GoV's "Crtiticizing the Islam Critics" thread, we find Patrick Bahners, arts editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, stating (in reference to Islam):

There comes a secret desire for a binding world order beyond human standards of worth, which the West simply cannot offer anymore.

This is just more of the usual Marxist Millennialism. It is old Islamic Caliphate wine in a new bottle which Liberals seem inordinately predisposed to swilling down despite any dyspepsia over women's and gay rights.

All the while, neither Liberal nor Muslim pauses to scrutinize the underpinnings of their beliefs. This breeds a particularly virulent form of fanaticism which is being seen in Islamic terrorists and Antifa fascists alike. In their mutual blindness, both are headed towards a very unhappy ending.

Zenster said...

latté island, I'm sure that you will find this online discussion quite intriguing.

Numerous cogent points are made in favor of both listening and reading. However, quietgal seems to button things down with her observation that:

I love both reading and listening to books. For my money, though, the most brainwork of all is required to read aloud to someone else. I sometimes read to Hubby, and I find that my eyes skip ahead of my voice to see what's coming, and parse it, and figure out the inflections and intonations (and that's not counting my attempts to give different voices to different characters), and all this is happening while I'm still saying the previous sentence. That's work!

Actually, I find my best retention is for stuff I've read aloud, probably because of all the effort I put into it.


Her's and several other comments tend to drive home why reading places more demands upon the mind.

For another interesting and alternative take on this debate, have a look at "Reading, listening and memory", by Peter Kerry Powers. More grist for the mill.

Hesperado said...

"I find that my eyes skip ahead of my voice to see what's coming, and parse it, and figure out the inflections and intonations (and that's not counting my attempts to give different voices to different characters), and all this is happening while I'm still saying the previous sentence."

Obama does that too, with his teleprompters.

Zenster said...

Gray Falcon: Orwell wrote about the vacuity of political-speak in his famous essay "Politics and the English language" , which ought to be required reading at any respectable school in the Anglosphere. That's hardly the fault of twitter, Facebook, or texting...

However deep its roots may lie, defacement of the English language and its continuing distortion at the hands of semi-literate technology addicts is playing straight into the hands of Politically Correct Totalitarian swine. Islam, chief among them, profits from curtailment of critical analysis and other important methods of thought that demand articulation and discernment well beyond the capabilities of most modern society.

English, use it or lose it!

Sagunto said...

Me thinks the conclusion of the author isn't warranted by one quote from Orwell, someone who in his days was wholeheartedly devoted to socialism, a very close relative of fascism. I actually would like to hear from Mr. Schultz-Jørgensen what he himself thinks fascism is. And to add to that, what kind of gizmo's he thinks could be "branded" as the historical predecessors of today's cell phones, as causative factors in preparing the 20th century for fascism (telegraph, cinema, tv?). It reminds me of the "incident" in Amsterdam, with the Moroccan girl who put a haram photo of herself on Twitter and paid for it dearly when she was molested by other Moroccans. The director of the school sort of followed the logical mode of thinking outlined in this opinion piece: he blamed Twitter for the violence (instead of Islamic "culture").

Me also thinks it is a telling and dangerous error to primarily equate fascism with free floating emotionalism. Fascism is the ratio of collectivism, rationalism without reason no doubt, but the 20th century "modernized" version of Marxism has precious little to do with some kind of post-spell checker eclectic tribalism that the author is foreseeing here.

In short: fascism didn't spread by sms, or facebook, and it won't be the final result of the - highly successful - dumbing down process through education. The building blocks of fascism are taught and practised today all over the West; the unifying concept is socialism/progressivism and the underlying economic philosophy is that of the welfare state.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.

Zenster said...

A potentially disturbing article:

80% of [USA] Children Under Age 5 Use the Internet Weekly

Consider how modern marketing has so successfully targeted children that pre-verbal infants have demonstrated visual recognition of major advertising icons like the McDonald's corporation's "golden arches".

For now, we will pretend that the golden arches' well-acknowledged visual similarity to a pair of female breasts has nothing to do with this fact.

Rollory said...

d00d wtf lol

u r stupid hahahahahahahahaha

an ure like 'omigod omigod itz all sux'

hahahaha

an i was like hahahahahahahhaha

dumbass

stfu

Sagunto said...

Done some quick-googling on the author and it seems that a relevant "tu quoque" is in order. From his résumé it would seem that he is as independent from the subject he describes as an embedded journalist would be. The "communication business" is his bread and butter and the kind of articles written by such professionals usually seem to be based on one single trick: zooming in on the role played by the "new social media". One can write articles about the Obama campaign and on youths running around with a dozen mobiles close at hand in practically the same way. Perhaps he'd be willing to write about the spread of Facebook-Islam in the context of 21st century globalization, or something along those lines.

So, being a "communication" advisor himself, using all of the social media currently available, the author himself is part of the indicted phenomenon and as far as the depth of analysis goes, pre-emptively blaming the media he uses for an imaginary rise of post-literate fascism among Danish youngsters, Mr. Schultz Jørgensen is an indicative and integral part of the problem.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.