Author: Gamers Part of “Dumbest Generation”

A controversial new book fingers video games, television, and digital communications as culprits in the author’s indictment of modern youth culture.

The book is The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30) by Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein. has a lengthy interview with the author:

Something insidious is happening inside their heads. Young Americans today are no more learned or skilful than their predecessors, no more knowledgeable, fluent, up-to-date, or inquisitive, except in the materials of youth culture.

What then, asks, does Bauerlein make of the widespread involvement of young people in the Barack Obama campaign?

…if it turns out that we have 75 per cent of young people voting in this election, then I will be happy to say that my comments about civic apathy were wrong. But if inspiration proves to be their only motive and their participation falls in later elections when an Obama is absent, then my initial suspicion will be correct. We need a diligent citizenry, and not merely a momentarily inspired one.

The book’s description on Amazon says, in part:

The Internet, e-mail, blogs, and interactive and hyper-realistic video games promised to yield a generation of sharper, more aware, and intellectually sophisticated children… we assumed that teens would use their knowledge and understanding of technology to set themselves apart as the vanguards of this new digital era.

That was the promise. But the enlightenment didn’t happen. The technology that was supposed to make young adults more astute, diversify their tastes, and improve their verbal skills has had the opposite effect. According to recent reports, most young people in the United States do not read literature, visit museums, or vote. They cannot explain basic scientific methods, recount basic American history, name their local political representatives, or locate Iraq or Israel on a map…

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  1. JustChris says:

    I think the old-fashioned non-interactive media is more stupefying than the interactive kind. At least for the mainstream pop culture media. Contributing to the internet, even searching for stuff on the internet, takes more initiative than turning on the TV and watch a couple channels a day. You get what you put in. I learn more stuff on Wikipedia in half an hour than I would in a program on the History channel.

    With the option to produce what you want to say rather than just taking it in, subjects like history and geography will look contrived if the teacher doesn’t encourage class participation.

    One thing that I found very pointless in school was cursive writing. Who uses that anymore? Well, aside from a personalized signature. I don’t find it very practical- it’s hard to read and not very easy to transfer to another person’s usage. We are not making illuminated manuscripts here. The only use I see for it is for school itself- it facilitates note taking if you’re particularly good at writing fast.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We’ve got relatively anonymous onine FPS matches, they had baseball hecklers… nothing’s changed but the medium.

  3. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    I’m gonna say it out loud.

    Strong work ethics are for pussies.

    Don’t get me wrong, I will do my absolute best at work, but not because I feel obligated to do so for my employer. I will do so because it’ll increase my chances on getting a better job and because I don’t want to let my colleagues down.

    I couldn’t care less about how my work ethics or lack thereof affects my employer. They sure as hell don’t give a rat’s ass about me when their quarterly results suffer from some hotshot mortgage backed security trader’s bad bets and they have to shed 10% of their workforce to make sure their shareholders can afford a new Bentley for Christmas.

  4. Damanuhk says:

    Don’t forget to pick up his follow up book: "Those kids and how to get them off of your lawn".

  5. Meggie says:

    That’s what gets me about this guy’s arguements, he believes our generation is only capable of using technology for simple-minded pursuits. It is possible to use the internet for more than one use, to better your knowledge AND indulge your hobbies. Any reader of this website proves that!

  6. the1jeffy says:

    You act as though those making over $200k a year aren’t taxed under the current tax law.  In fact, that bracket is still taxed to a higher degree than other brackets, even under the so-called "Tax Breaks for the Rich" Bush-era.

    So maybe you both should do a little reasearch.  The amount of patently false information spouted as plain fact by both sides of this election is kind of frightening. 

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  7. W00F says:

    pretty much, i went to a book store once and this book was on the shelves and i read a lil bit of it. The whole book is practically why this guy hates the current generation and his misunderstanding of modern day technology

  8. Anonymous says:

    >> dispite the excessive taxing being proven to be hurting our econemy…
    >> What does that make me?

    a bad speller? is free, y’know and would help disprove this old guy’s theory…

    besides that though, your Obama facts seem a bit off – Obama wants to tax the rich (unlike Bush and McCain), not the middle class or the poor. do you make more that $200k per year? then you’re safe. regardless, lowering taxes a lot for the rich while only slightly lowering taxes for everyone else hasn’t worked out so well either, right?

    and what’s this "token candidate" (read: canidate) thing? you’re not suggesting some sort of Affirmative Action kind of thing here are you? seriously?

    i think your post is a little scarier than this guy’s book, actually.

  9. Anonymous says:

    yeah he says "trust no one under 30", not "trust *some* under 30"

    nope, he’s a sweeping generalization jerk-off and deserves any amazon flame-reviews he gets – he’s putting his dumb ideas out there for all of us to point and laugh at so anyone has the right to offer their smart or dumb opinion out there too. flame-on!

  10. Anonymous says:

    So I can find both of those countrys on a map, support McCain (or rather, am against a token canidate with no experinece who is willing to throw out our 2nd amendment and wants to tax the rich further, dispite the excessive taxing being proven to be hurting our econemy…)


    What does that make me?

  11. Krono says:

    Similar stuff crops up in various places. I seem to recall a reality show entitled "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" not all that long ago than ran off the same premise of adults not knowing various trivia.


  12. Krono says:

    We’re up in arms (to the little extent we are) because of the broad generalization of calling us all stupid, and blaming all popular media/culture today. That sort of thing is just plain insulting on any level. It’s not a matter of "he’s insulted us for playing games!"; it’s a matter of "He’s insulted our entire existence, based on absolutely nothing more than his preconceptions, and fears."


  13. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Daily Show did something similar.  They asked a bunch of adults on the street what they thought Sam Adam’s greatest contribution to America was.

    They all answered "the beer". 

    Granted it was probably edited to be funnier (I assume Jay Leno did the same thing) but that shows that (A) intelligence can’t necessarily be based on generation/age and (B) the results of being bombarded by advertisements almost 24/7.

  14. BravO))) says:

    You mean like more of this generation know how to read as compared to the "boomers."  Another interesting fact is that basic math that was in college in the 70’s and 80’s is now basic high school classes.  (So you say you where a senior and did not know how to do simple triganomity… and you still don’t know how to use a computer… And you call us dumb.)

    What teachers have failed to realize is they have not expressed the meaningfulness of english.  Back in their time, books, papers, and letters were their main source of information, now it’s done via computers, tv, and internet.  So how are we to relate the importants of the subject when it implies less and less to our lives.  And for history, I used to be an ap (advanced placement) history student, after which I became less and less motivated to learn history due to most of the teachers being biased and untruthful about their facts.

    Why should we take interest in a bunch of people that I know are liers, that care more about triditions of there time instead of realizing that there is more effort being put into fixing their problems more than ours… like hazmat problems and osha safety standards.

    And for the voting part, more young people are now voting more than ever.  So where is that guy getting his facts from?

  15. Krono says:

    I’m pretty sure that not knowing about local leaders and such is a matter of them not getting the news coverage that national level stuff does.

    For the most part I’ve found, unless you make a specific effort to follow local politics, you’re going to be missing out on most of it.


  16. Paul T. Farinelli says:

    No one should be up in arms over this in my opinion. For starters, the author doesn’t single out video games, but blames all popular media/culture today. Also, let’s be real for a second: I love my videogames, TV, and movies, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for your mental health to partake in those things 24/7. And there are children who do just that, whether because of poor parenting or whatever the case may be. All this author is doing is pointing out that the number of American children who do spend all day in front of the boob tube is discouraging, and that the low average intelligence of some children today is due in part to that trend.

    Also, no one should go and spam with bad reviews about this guys book. I think (read: hope) that’s beneath most of us here.

  17. M. Carusi says:

    Another sloppily conceived book by a by an outrageously out of touch baby boomer.  Stupidity, shockingly, enough, is not limited to one generation.  I remember a segment on Jay Leno when he would go onto the street and ask ADULTS a lot of basic history or math questions, and they couldn’t get them right.  There are people OVER 30 in this country who don’t know which country gave us the Statue of Liberty or what the National Anthem is based of off.  There are plenty of adults who don’t even know how to use the Internet – doesn’t that qualify as ignorance or stupidity?  The Internet is an essential part of society and people like this STILL haven’t realized that.

    According to recent reports, most young people in the United States do not read literature, visit museums, or vote. They cannot explain basic scientific methods, recount basic American history, name their local political representatives, or locate Iraq or Israel on a map…"

    If I’m part of the dumb generation, why am I reminding YOU to cite your sources rather than allude to vague "reports", buddy?

    Michael Carusi

    Capitol Gaming

  18. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, people act as if there weren’t trash talking assholes since the beginning of mankind. There will always be people who think they’re better than other people, always people who talk shit to other people and act like idiots. Oh yeah, it seems like the older generation will always blame the younger generation for the downfall of society (percieved downfall at least).

  19. Anonymous says:

    "perhaps their general knowledge is broadening, but they are missing very fundamental things. Reading is a massive one. "


    Millions of kids who read all 7 of the Harry Potter books say hello (along with Manga, fan fiction, ‘Twilight’ series, anything from Neil Stephenson, etc.). Saying that kids are reading less is total garbage.  If you are saying that kids are reading less Shakespeare, then fine.  But is that really a problem?  While we hold up "The Bard" as a master of literary works, look at what his contemporaries back in his time had to say.  From his deathbed diary, Robert Greene attacks him by writing to his colleagues stating:

    "There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and, beeing an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey."

    Hmmm….seems that some of the university educated writers did not think too highly of those writing pop culture material in their day either.  This is the same OLD stupid attack on cultural evolution that has been going on for generations.  Nothing to see here, move along.

  20. Timothy says:

    I’m offended! I play video games, but I’m smart. This is the book for Jack Thompson and others who hate video games. Screw it!

  21. SomeChristianKid says:

    I think the digitalized age makes kids more up to date on world affairs and other information considering the fact you can get all kinds of information  at any time you want from just surfing the internet.

  22. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you’re going to try and paint an entire generation with such a large brush, you may want to do a little bit more research beyond the trash-talking that goes on with online FPS games.

  23. Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Really, his contention appears to be that kids don’t read enough. Deeply and in a meaningful way. To that extent, I have to agree only in the sense that while I’m in my 30s, my generation wasn’t big on reading either. You also have to understand that he’s coming at it from the setting of academia, where even when I went to college, students were coming in rather weak in writing and reading comprehension. This had nothing to do with the Internet or text messaging. This had to do with a public education system that has long since abdicated much of its responsibility.

    We have to love our role models in this country too. Aside from a handful of our Presidents from the previous century to present, most were academically unmotivated, and many have been outright intellectually lazy. Since the United States was birthed, our concept of public education was provide enough readin’, writin’ and arithmetic for the children of farmers to get by and vote. And that’s still the attitude…"good enough" *dusts off hands*. Japanese kids are inundated with wireless products and video games, but they’re academically gifted seemingly because of differing social pressures in their homogenous society.

    Whatever anyone’s criticism, while our book learnin’ ain’t up to par to some, the youth of this country can be among the most creative and dynamic generations in the history of mankind, more tolerant and curious about the world than their predecessors. Now we just have to work on getting them to retain some History, Geography, Math, etc. more effectively so they have a few more tools to wow us in the future.

  24. Anonymous says:

    funny/ironic that this article just came out this week – "Gamers on higher level, study shows":

    anyway, this guy is a ‘tard – I’m sensing an amazon review-flame-fest coming for him!

    he says young people today don’t vote but then he says, <paraphrase>:"well, ok they do vote but it’s just because they like Obama. let’s wait to see if someone uninspiring can inspire them!". This guy needs to put down the Literature and pick up a Logic 101 book.

    Gamepolitics readers will also note that gamers (in specific) have been very vocal when it comes to issues that affect them. much more vocal than most past young generations (excluding huge issues like the Vietnam War, of course) which comes in part because the internet makes it easy to do so but also because they understand the internet and know how to use it – a very worthy skill as we evolve the way we communicate.

    I agree that there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet but just like going to the bad part of town, you know things aren’t right in that particular area. for example, Wikipedia proves him very wrong – the people he calls dumb are creating one of the largest information repositories the word has ever had – and it’s amazingly accurate!

    he just sounds like an old guy yelling at the kids to turn that awful new music down or to get off his lawn.

    crotchety old ‘tard, says I.


  25. the1jeffy says:

    What is is about Jeff’s/Geoff’s that makes us so damn smart? 

    Anyway, I meant to touch on the generational issue, but my post already was too long.  Good work.

    (However, I have a guilty pleasure – I love LOLcats)

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  26. Anonymous says:

    1.) An older author generall out of touch is not unusual so I discount him for that.

    2.) He’s Canadian. Fuck you guy. (I’m not your guy buddy!) Critical pieces about famous people and politicians is one thing. They’re everywhere. They’re not border specific. But when you are critical of a group of people in a place you have not lived your entire life and haven’t been able to properly immerse yourself and experience? Sod right the fuck off thanks.

  27. Alteffor says:

    Okay, some ignorant twit from the previous generation thinks his generation is better. What’s new here?

  28. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ummmm…yeah, sure.  Hasn’t every generation said the same thing about the generation that comes after them?

    The 50’s generation was accused of not appreciating what they had or the value of a hard-day’s work by the WW2 generation.

    Then the 60’s generation was called a bunch of unpatriotic wimps who would bring about the end of civilization because of their experimentation with drugs and that darn rock ‘n’ roll music.

    On to the 70’s, with the youth of that period being depicted as overindulgent and wanting to do nothing but party. 

    From there we move on to the 80’s where, fueled by the popularity of metal music, young people are described as being your classic rebel-without-a-cause types similar to youth in the 50’s, only more violent.

    In the 90’s there was the "Generation-X", usually described as slackers and lay-abouts who cared about nothing and would amount to nothing.  Apparently American society was suppose to fall with them.  (Incidentally, most of those who would have been lumped into Gen-X are in their late 20’s/early 30’s now.  Guess you can only trust some of them.)

    And now we have the current generation, who I don’t think have been given the privilege of a catch-all term to describe them yet, who are stupid and going to bring about our country’s downfall.  Well at least history is going through it’s predictable course.

    The interesting thing about these sort of sweeping generalizations of a generation is that there is no way it can be proven to be the norm.  I’ve got to wonder where he got the information to back up some of these claims.  Typically, such "facts" are cherry-picked from various sources and then linked together by flimsy logic.  This whole book just screams "Hey, you adults that are already scared of the younger generation, buy my book and reinforce your preconceived notions!" 

    I’ve also noticed that, in arguments such as this, knowledge of new ideas, concepts, technology, etc. that the younger generation is quite…um, knowledgeable in (it’s early, give me a break 🙂 ) is often underappreciated by the older generation, usually because the older crowd knows so little about them.  Whenever I try to explain the how to put together a PC and why this part is important, why you need to make sure this GPU is compatiable, etc. to a person over 40, most of the time I lose them within the first couple of minutes of explaining it.

    Ok, I said my peace.  Being under 30 years old, I guess this kind of fear mongering crap about my generation kind of rubs me the wrong way.  Of course being under 30 also places me in the "stupid" generation, so I’ll just go back to shunning books and mocking museums while creating LOLcats as that’s apparently all we do.

  29. Nocturne says:

    The Internet, e-mail, blogs, and interactive and hyper-realistic video games promised to yield a generation of sharper, more aware, and intellectually sophisticated children… we assumed that teens would use their knowledge and understanding of technology to set themselves apart as the vanguards of this new digital era.

    And just how did they assume this was going to work out, give a teenager a computer and magically you’ll get a genius? That’s like giving a child a book and expecting them to learn how to read themselves. Perhaps he’ll use the revenues from his book to invest in educating the younger generation into how to use modern technology to better themselves, I doubt it though.

  30. the1jeffy says:


    Young people (let’s say under 25) have no motivation to be ‘civic minded’ because they are ignored.  Our government spends billions courting retirees and middle agers.  Young people have no say.  You can’t even be elected to congress until 25 (theoretically).

    This doesn’t even begin to touch on the real issue, which is the fact that Americans are getting dumber as the world gets smarter.  We have Americans of all ages that can’t even comprehend basic US history (let alone the rest of the world), can’t calculate a 15% percent tip without their cell phone, and think the TV tells the truth.  This isn’t a problem with the latest generation only.  Our education system has been failing for decades.  It’s turned from filling young minds with the knowledge they need to succeed, into a psuedo-parenting system with feel-good pass-them all along with their friend mentality.

    The socialist no-child left behind horseshit is the latest and greatest of this travesty of learning.  Standardized testing is useful, but NEVER should be the be-all and end all of a measure of the success of an educational system.  Watch the TV game-show ‘Cash Cab" a few times.  The idiocy of ADULTS astounds me.

    I would counter this book in two ways: 1) Recognize its ‘target’ audience and 2) State the simple fact the technology makes learning easier.

    The target audience for this book is obviously older, non-tech smart folks.  You know, the ones who read more than they watch or play.  And also, imagine having the power to instantly research any topic, fom the mundane to the cutting edge research, at your finger tips.  Oh wait, we have that power, and young people are growing up with the ability to swim in this sea of knowledge like a dolphin takes to water.  The author of this book obviously holds that printed media is the one true path to knowledge.  He is laboring under the false presumption that decrease in book reading is a decrease in intelligence.  Now, I do think that literacy and reading is a keystone to a good education and a critical mind.  But it stands to reason that with increased prevalence of other media, books will get less of a focus.

    To finish, let’s hypothetically argue that he is correct.  Then, who, is to blame?  That’s right, the bumbling parents who raised the un-manageable, vapid brats under a system of socialist, feel-good, everyone gets a trophy education into a work force that thinks they deserve a job that pays for whatever they want with a minimum of effort.  Thanks a fuck-ton, older generation (including Bauerlein).  Is it any wonder the US economy is soft and business is going overseas?  That’s where the smart kids are, evidently.

    This kind of generational sniping has no place in any relevant discussion.

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  31. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The system of government in place is to merely sustain the grasp of power it has on the masses, keeping them dumb and complacent helps aid them in staying in power and building golden nest eggs.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  32. Wow just wow.

    Sounds like someone is on a rather high horse wouldn’t you say?

    As someone else said the reason for alot of the decline in the youth of america is from lack of a good education system, for example here in Florida all you here about is the FCAT what you may not here is the schools bascially stop teaching anything else they instead opt to teach for the test, nothing more nothing less. As a Father myself it scares me to put my son into school when he comes of age, the stuff I enjoyed in school growing up is slowly disappearing due to budget cuts, underpaid teachers, and lets face it parents using the school as nothing more than a day care.

    That brings me to my next point another huge reason for the decline in the youth of America is how the parents raise their kids. Now I am not saying I know better than everyone else out there, but to see kids/teens running around doing what they want while the parents side idely by just makes me angry.

    Back on topic to point out that this generation doesnt go to musems or use the methods of the past is mainly because we have access to the world at our fingertips, all the information we could possibly want can be found on the internet, but as anyone knows the internet is a two edged sword, on the plus side you have all this information and on the negative side you have the biggest place to goof off in the world :P.

  33. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Meh most people decry new things as the great corrupter of society, look at books, music,radio, dance, hell its all been been blamed for the failings of modern society and not snobbery, pettiness, hatred, dismissal of the needs of the many,incomprehension of the real factors that cause society to wane no they blame theater for the masses when it was once only for the rich, music once it became something for the masses, and of coarse books the information for the masses, after all what good are peasants that can read and write and shave their wool quit regularly, equal members of society perhaps?What lunacy! The populace is better off dumb,poor and content with the scraps high society feeds them!


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  34. Anonymous says:

    Let’s blast this first part of the interview out of the water:

    What They Do: Download, upload, IM post chat, network, watch TV, play video games.

    What They Don’t Do: Read (even online), Follow politics, keep a strict work ethic, Vote.


    How is it possible to play games online and chat – if you don’t read online? Actually; I play WoW – and read almost non-stop online; forums, guides, blogs, etc. In addition, the game (any MMO) requires the ability to read quickly to find success in the game. I rarely watch TV at all, it’s mind-numbing; boring and completely un-interactive. I’m sure the generation he grew up in – well, that’s all they had – TV. Leave it to Beaver and Magnum P.I. type shows did nothing for instelligence, one could even argue they were counter productive for intellectual growth.

    I do follow politics; I also realize most, if not all politicians are a bunch of hypocritical liars. I know well what’s going on in Politics, but I choose to not dwell on such an emotional level of drivel each day. Politics are not about science or intelligence; it’s about the caressing of ego’s, kickbacks, and what needs to be done to make people ‘feel good’. To pander for votes.

    Like Politics in the office; it’s a major waste; burning our very most valuable and likely only NON REPLACEABLE resource: time. I suspect that any intelligent person can quickly realize there are much better ways to spend time than bickering over issues; most of which come down to, “how can we control and tax the masses more?” I choose *not* to ‘participate’ much in politics as it’s mostly an exercise in futility. People are set in their ways; their party is the ‘best’ one regardless of what that party says. I may vote; but I do it half-hearted as I realize it’s the lesser of two evils most of the time. Seriously dude – go Google the problems Diebold and others have had with the electronic voting machines and say with a straight face that it’s a “fair system” now.

    Speaking of work, I work for a Fortune 100 company; I am responsible for a large number of servers that produce millions of dollars a day of materials. Materials; that in fact this book could have never been printed without.

    Of course, I’m a bit over 30 – I clearly remember the 70’s – how could one even possibly try to spin rhetoric that it was a more ‘intelligent’ era? Really, it’s all about the same.


  35. lazyslothboy says:

    I am not going to lie.  I don’t really know who most of my local leaders are and I play video games.  But my mom doesn’t and she doesn’t know anything about them either.  Besides, I think voter apathy just comes from a feeling that our government won’t getting anything done regardless of who we vote for.  Though I am still gonna vote.

  36. Anonymous says:

    "So basicly his argument for why people are ‘dumber’ is because they are using less of the old mediums?"


    I’m also confused how you draw parallels between not being civic-minded and being dumb. 

    How can the youth be motivated when the basic systems in place to provide for them have failed them at every turn?  Its not stupidity, its more like apathy.  And who could blame them?

  37. LastDance says:

    "So basicly his argument for why people are ‘dumber’ is because they are using less of the old mediums?"

    yeah…what’s the problem with that statement. You think that reading is equal to playing video games and looking up porn is equal to going to the museum??

    I understand where your coming from with the access to information, but a lot of it is mis informed…and just because you THINK you know a lot about something, doesnt make it true. Such as the fanboys on News 4 Gamers website who think they know what its like to actually produce a game or movie, and condemn those who do mediocre jobs.

    perhaps their general knowledge is broadening, but they are missing very fundamental things. Reading is a massive one. 

  38. Noir-Okami says:

    I’m in the ‘dumbest generation,’ so I’m personally offended. But (reading an above post) the computer education in high school sucks. The teacher of Computer Applications in the area assigns stuff out of the book. It consists of copying these passages when it’s in the assignment, editing already written activities, and doing a bunch of useless crap. This is because of the operating system is ‘different,’ even though it runs almost exactly the same as the older formats.

    I half-ass(ed) {not telling you my age range} my assignments and still got an A. The teacher is an old lady who has a degree in English. Excuse me, but they prevented a choir teacher from teaching band because "she didn’t have the right degree." Yet they have an English teacher, who knows nothing about computers or has a teaching degree in computers, teaching a Computer class.

    Some other problems include a lack of funding.

    I really need to check, but I think some schoolteachers are paid based on attendance. So, to increase attendance, they have this crap where, if you miss school over illness, you must take semester tests. The point is, miss two or more days because you caught the flu or mono, go take crappy tests. If you flunk, above tests are not mandatory, but you are advised to take them. Really, that is ridiculous, because (if they’re already flunking) they already don’t give a crap unless they have to do them. (Tests count for 10% of your final grade if they’re mandatory, if the teacher acts like an asshole. Otherwise, they’ll grade to a curve, if everyone bombs or something. This happened when I was in Algebra 1 where EVERYONE bombed the final test, including myself.)

  39. figsnake12 says:



    "Dumbest generation"?

    Can their generation build a computer from scratch? No.

    Can their generation download mods for platform games + Pc’s? No.

    Can their generation access hundreds of pounds worth of software from the net? No.

    Can their generation overclock or mod a PC? NO. 

    Can their generation whine about things they are to technophobic to understand? YES. 

    This generation may not conform to their degenerate ideas that excersise and health is the only way to live, or share their arrogant attitude towards technology – BUT WE ARE NOT STUPID.

    I have nothing against exercise, enjoy reading, am a dual linguist (English and German) and a multi platform gamer. I am anything but stupid, unlike this "author" would have youy believe.

  40. JustChris says:

    Seems right, another baby-boomer no longer feeling like he’s fitting in culturally. Ironically (or maybe because of that fact) baby boomers have the most power in the government and receive more economic benefits.

    Contrary to the DS game, the world does not end with you, baby boomers.


  41. Anonymous says:

    You could argue, that thanks to America’s stupefying media-culture (tv,movies,games) the rest of the world is following suite becoming more stupid.

    There are, and always have been stupid people no matter what country they live in, but if a peson chooses a movie or a game over a reading a book, theater etc, then one could argue that it is America with it’s values we have to thanks for.

    Oh, obesity too, Thanks mcdonalds!

    And pollution?Oh thank you Hummer.

    War? Insecurity?

    Sorry, but I am just having my morning coffee.

  42. A 13 year old says:

    I’ll make this quick. My sister: Fourteen. did better on the sat than most of the college kids there when she took it.

    My dad: Went to clown college, learned to swallow swords.

    My mom: told by her counselor "not to bother with college" when she was in highschool.

    Granted, I love my parents, but me and my sister are more educated than them. it’s just plain true.

    so, mark, you’ve been flauccinauccinihilipilificated by a thirteen-year-old. who does practically nothing but play his 10$ sega genesis in his free time.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I guess that explains how I can get honors geometry and advanced physical science in 9th grade and still have plenty of time for video games.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who once said, "If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it." It seems that those words have proven themselves truer and truer as time goes on. How pitiful we humans are, unable to escape the continuous cycle of ignorance, no matter how hard we try.

    However, I have read the numerous posts, and I still feel hope for our younger generation yet.

  45. Adamas Draconis says:

      I remember this quote, just not where it came from. "History is written by the conqurers."


    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, there’s a whole plethora of reasons, but a lot of these aren’t covered thoroughly or are not presented in a particularly unbiased manner, but History tends to deal with Characters over trends, they think that individuals shape the future, which is all very nice, but not strictly accurate.

    I suppose my point is that political concerns will always affect what we learn until we get to more independent establishments, like colleges and Universities, but schools work to a political leaning, and you get sanitised versions of history in a basic education.

    I also agree that the US is a long way from being alone in that practice.

  47. Grendal says:

     Not really, the fact that Japan desired Oil resources is really only one contributing part, you also have to look at the rise of the military class, the failure of the racial equality clause in the Treaty of Versailles and the western response to Japans growing power in China. Also all of that is considered fairly common knowledge at least once you get to basic college level courses.

    Also just one other minor thing, the idea that Germany was bankrupted by the reparations required has been discredited fairly extensively, Germany never really paid anything near what they were asked to pay, the bigger economic issues was the loss of the coal and their merchant fleet. 

    Are some things avoided, of course but thats hardly unique to America.

  48. SS says:

    Another thing that makes kids dumb is the calculators.  They are totally dependant on it.  Ask somebody something simple like 15 times 11 and it will take them hours without a calulator. 

    I also find that that history textbooks don’t go into that much analysis. 

  49. GdRobotUs says:

    Why does America hate its own youth so much? I’ve seen nothing but a stream of insults from so many sources.

    It’s hardly surprising the youths don’t respect adults, they’ve never been led by example.

  50. Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    In my case, my paternal grandmother died during the Korean War. My father lost track of his family for a while after his father left him in a monastery in Seoul just before the North Koreans invaded. My grandfather and my uncle fled to Pusan on the very southern tip of the peninsula. My father unfortunately lost his sister and another brother after the allied forces and the pro-communist forces signed a cease fire officially setting the demarcation line at the 38th Parallel. I may still have family in North Korea for all I know. We’ve never successfully received any news from the U.S. State Dept. or the North Korean government (of course). 

    My grandfather and his father were forced conscripts during WWII when Korea was still held by Japan. Japan had forcibly annexed and occupied Korea in 1910 and that held in place until Japan’s surrender to the Allies after WWII. My grandfather fled to China when he was a young man, but returned shortly before the beginning of the War. A lot of personal stories about the occupation and the Wars I admittedly don’t know because those memories are painful for members of my family to recount.

    On my mother’s side, my family was nothing remarkable. Farmers and craftsmen from around Seoul for hundreds of years. Through Japanese occupation, French influence, Russian alliances, Chinese occupations and so forth.

    And no, I’m not disturbed. But thank you for asking.

  51. The Three-Edged Sword (STILL awaiting Login info) says:

    Oh my God! It can’t be! This generation is a product of the environment it was raised in and the parents who raised them! It’s the end of the world!

    Having just got a degree with 15 A Grades and 1 B-Grade, I take offence to this woman’s generalisations.

    Maybe she should, instead, be looking to an Education system that is falling apart at the seams to the point where it cannot even tell the difference between a Science and a Religion?

    Historically, young people don’t vote to the same degree as older ones, that was also the case when she was young, just as fights between ‘Mods and Rockers’ involving knives, chains and other weapons were more common in the early Rock’N’Roll years than youth violence is now.

  52. Sai says:

    And how many people over 30 still read or vote? Not alot there either.

    But hey, mister man, don’t forget that rock music corrupted the entire last generation! Elvis Presley made otherwise chaste young maidens promiscuous! The Beatles introduced dangerous devil music to our youth! And with their shockingly long hair they encouraged an entire generation to rebel against authority and do drugs, no one had ever done that before! The Rolling Stones helped make people abandon religion, because before they came around we lived in a perfect age where everyone went to church and no one had sex before marriage! 

    Man, the biggest mistake people seem to make is assuming nothing is the same as it always was and trying to find something to blame for it.

  53. Anonymous says:

    To be honest, most young people don’t. The author of this book didn’t until he took an interest, and that was purely for the purpose of being able to say that other people didn’t.

    It’s a fact that most people don’t take any interest in their familial history until later in their lives, that’s hardly an excuse for calling young people stupid, they are just more interested in the future, whereas, as you get older, you tend to fixate on the past.



  54. Rabidkeebler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    To a certain extent, I kinda have to agree with you.  The big thing for me is that, while there are many individuals who don’t read books, but blogs and wiki.  Their language skills are languishing because they are not seeing words that are of greater difficulty.  I love to read, I’ve got about 40 books at my house right now.  These books helped to expand my vocabulary and ability as a writer.


    On the other hand, many of the blogs and information sources are not promoting higher levels of English and learning due to the fact that they are often times being written by someone who has a similar vocabulary to those reading it. 


    I do overall disagree with this author as a whole though.  The problem of education is to spread out.  Schools that care more about passing students than teaching them.  Thus things like standardized tests are bastardized due to lowering their difficulty.  Parents, who don’t know better, are insisting that they do.  I’ve seen more parents ruin a child by interfering with education or discipline than I have seen parents save their child.

  55. GNux says:

    I can do all of those things she listed at the end… and I play Halo 3, CoD 4,  TF 2, R6V 2, and GTAIV…

    Could it just be that her generation is fucking up our generation by not educating the majority of us properley?

    But she made those facts up anyway. I don’t think I know anyone who is that stupid (except for the knocked up, coke-head white trash you see walking around).

  56. Mech says:

    Do you know or even remember any significant amount of history at all about the place where your great great grandparents come from? No?

    Hmmmm, how disturbing eh?

  57. Mech says:

    Societies change, deal with it old man, if you are smart enough to be able to.

    I suppose he would like us to spend 30 years in school memorizing history and culture and becoming completely useless bags of flesh in the economy.

    We could also all sit around a fire with our monocles reading Shakespeare and look like total retards while we are at it.


    Stuff like this is why I have a tendency to hate people in general.

  58. GdRobotUs says:

    See, this is what happens when you realise that you are going to die one day, all of a sudden, the world is getting ‘progressively worse’ as you get progressively older.

    That’s not psychology of the group, it’s simple fear change and of ‘no longer being.’

  59. SS says:

    Some classics can be great to read, but Romeo and Juliet?  I can understand some people who like those types of books but most kids don’t give a crap about it.  Times have changed. 

    Books like those are for Classic literature classes, not for English classes in grade school where they turn kids from reading.

    If you want them to read something deep and meaningful get them to read the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.

    My own opinion is that Romeo and Juliet is just too melodramatic for me.


  60. Anonymous says:

    Who’s up for a nice Zerg Rush on the Amazon page? We’ll show him… uhh… what’s that word again?

    Dumb! Yeah! Wait, what are we doing again?

  61. Anonymous says:

    1980’s-2000’s: "Those damn kids and their videogames and internet and cellphones and facebook! Why can’t they be as productive as us, who brought about equal rights and sexual liberation ? Mark my words, this generation is gonna drive this country into the ground!"

    1950’s-1970’s: "Those damn kids and their rock and roll and comic books and bell bottoms and pot smoking! Why can’t they be as productive as us, who whethered through the Great Depression and then fought bravely in World War II? Mark my words, this generation is gonna drive this country into the ground!"

    1920’s-1940’s: "Those damn kids and their jazz music and zoot suits and fast cars and swing dancing! Why can’t they be as productive as us, who helped to bring about economic prosperity and fought bravely in the Great War? Mark my words, this generation is gonna drive this country into the ground!"

    etc. etc.

  62. Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wouldn’t be insulted. It’s a shame he singles out a generation or any group of people. We as a species can be frightfully stupid…in any generation.

    Still, it always seems as people get older, they put on their rose-colored rearview mirrors and think about how awesome it was back in the day:

    90’s: Worldwide sectarian violence rising. African AIDS crisis runs rampant. Islamic Fundmantalist terrorist groups target U.S. targets more frequently. Uptick in the growth of local "militia" groups. Timothy McVeigh blows up a federal building in Oklahoma City.

    80’s: Rift between rich and poor grows. Financial industry run like the wild, wild West. Crack Cocaine emerges as an urban catastrophe. The age of AIDS.

    70’s: Urban decay. OPEC embargo. Iran hostage crisis. Vietnam. Watergate. Polyester suits.

    60’s: Vietnam. Race Riots. JFK, RFK, MLK Jr all assassinated.

    Before the 60’s, more wars, Jim Crow laws, McCarthyism, women couldn’t vote, labor rights non-existent, etc.

    I’m sure glad that kids would read Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edna St. Vincent Millay and could recite the Greek alphabet. So much better than today. Oh those Golden Years.

  63. YukimuraSanada says:

    Does anyone else here feel heavily Insulted by this retard? I have a full time job, 150 I.Q., I read often, follow news and politics, and play games all the time. Am I just a fluke or is this guy just a dumbass? Given all my friends are the same I’d say he’s a dumbass.


    "You want a story, here’s a story for ya. Demons over there, Kill they ASS" Ben zahtzee croshaw, smartest man on the planet.

    "Everyone needs more Epic rap battles of history in there life, if only to get them more interested in a variety of subjects" ME

  64. Anonymous says:

    That’s one of the problems that the older generation has in dealing with the younger generation. The younger generation is used to assimilating faster-paced information thanks to TV, advertising, and videogames.

    It’s also a problem with the older generation’s dogmatic view. Old Man and the Sea is a classic, as well as Romeo and Juliet. But if you ask them why they are considered classics, they don’t know. They can’t answer with anything other than "Because they’ve always been classics". 

    The themes of both Romeo and Juliet have been recreated in other, more modern books. Their themes are timeless, but their presentations are not. Still, parents expect that their children will be taught what they were taught.

  65. Baruch ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Classic literature is what has stood the test of time and has a message worth conveying. Contemporary fiction can be entertaining, but it seldom has the depth that classic literature does. The problem is that most high schoolers (or adults for that matter) aren’t going to be interested in trying to pick deep themes out of old, hard-to-read literature when they can be entertained by more contemporary books. That said, some contemporary books have great themes and should be considered for educational use. If schools would start people on these easier-to-read modern novels, they could more easily teach classics later.

  66. Baruch ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Of course the education system is at least partially (probably mostly) to blame. One could probably also blame the failure of many parents to take an interest in their children’s education. The problem is that these causes put the blame squarely on Bauerlein’s generation. He can’t feel self-righteous and superior if the failings of this generation are his generation’s fault.

  67. SS says:

    Maybe if they would let kids read something better than Romeo and Juliet in school they might like it.  I read for fun, but the drivel they make us read in High school is crappy and mostly geared towards girls.  Old man and the Sea is incredibly boring and to me its a book version of a tech demo.  I prefer to read my legal thrillers(John Grisham), science fiction(Isaac Asimov’s foundation series)  and fantasy.  However books in school are much older and are more boring.  YOu want to get kids to read then give something good to read.  Giving them Romeo and Juliet or some crappy book like Funny in Farsi is just gonna bore them.  Thanks god I read fast as I don’t like wasting time on boring books. 

  68. TJLK says:

    Anyone ever think that public education is partly to blame?  I’m not exagerating when I say my High School education experience fell just short of completely worthless.  I’m not saying that I am not intelligent but I didn’t learn anything in High School except how to deal with older individuals that are completely full of themselves.

    Blaming technological advances for poor education in America is kind of like blaming technology for America’s poor foreign relations.  Both hold absolutely no merit.

    I’d love to discuss why this book is worthless but everyone above pretty much took care of that.

    "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." – Frank Zappa

  69. Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In all seriousness, while I think he’s off-base with the characterization of young people and their pasttimes (especially by using such an insulting and provocative title), some of the numbers cited in Baurerlein’s interviews are somewhat disturbing. There are touchstones of culture and history that we are not passing on to kids and young adults.

    I’ve always been a history buff, and it seems that many people who post on gamepoltics appear historically literate and insightful, but I think many of us agree that the emphasis on understanding who and what we are as a nation and where we’ve come from has taken a backseat as we try to push kids to pass standardized test after standardized test. We can’t BLAME TV, iPods, the Internets and video games for what essentially is a broken education system.

    If kids can’t point out Iraq on a map, understand what a quorum or a filibuster is, what a Constitutional convention is, or even know who their Congressional representatives are, then there is a problem with the impact of our teaching not with the intelligence of the subjects.

  70. scribe999 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Most eloquent, young master.

    Yup, all that book larnin’ ain’t help us bring in the bacon none. All we gotta do is work hard and keeps our noses to the grindstone. Keep consumin’ to keep the economy a runnin’.

    I suppose the Nazis were right to burn books. Hell, they took those useless academic intellectuals and put them to work in camps where those ivory-tower brainiacs should be! Instead of discussing philosophy and art, they were much better off building munitions for bombing runs against targets in Britain. And if they were Jewish, well, the Nazis only needed one book, Mein Kampf, to teach them what to do.

    And the Commies were right when they told us we need to devote all our energies to the State. Stupid bourgeois merchant class and their overeducated, intellectual progeny. I’m glad Stalin taught those Trotskyites a lesson!

    And those Islamo-fascists…I’m real glad they don’t even read the one book they’re allowed. Someone else does the reading and interpreting for them, and that’s good enough. Who cares if these "teachers" tell them it’s okay to strap bombs to their chest and walk into a crowded marketplace? It’s enough to know that someone else says that the book says its okay to kill people in the name of this book…and yourself along with it.

    But it’s impossible to know about any of this if I didn’t read any history books to begin with. In fact, how do you know if cultures change without actually learning about some history? What a conundrum!

    Maybe you’d hate people less if you got to know about their cultures more. Or maybe you would. I don’t know you. In any case, even English professors don’t wear monocles any more. And retards are those who don’t want to know things.

    Anti-intellectual ignoramuses make me worry about the next genocide…but I don’t hate people in general just yet.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Problem is, history is always changing, both from a scientific and a political perspective, it’s a lot easier to say that Japan bombed Pearl Harbour and ignore the siutation building up to it. It would be ‘uncomfortable’ for the US government to admit that the lack of Oil resources in Japan helped motivate their behaviour, for obvious reasons.

    Same with WWII, it’s easier to point at Hitler and ignore the fact that an entire country supported him, and the reasons why they did, which was, in part, a depression caused by paying reperations for the last War, it’s easier to say that America joined WWII ‘in the name of Freedom’ than to admit they nearly bankrupted the UK in ‘fees’ afterwards.

    Much of the lack of knowledge of details of these situations is quite, quite deliberate.

  72. Diane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We should all pine for the good ol’ days of the 1950s. Back before the Civil Rights Movement ruined everything.

  73. Anonymous says:

    What a cunt.  I always kick ass when playing trivial pursuit do the the fantastic knowledge I’ve picked up in school and at home.

  74. Father Time says:

    "ccording to recent reports, most young people in the United States do not read literature, visit museums, or vote."

    Hasn’t that always been standard?

    "They cannot explain basic scientific methods, recount basic American history, name their local political representatives, or locate Iraq or Israel on a map…"

    Oh yeah, talk to some random adults on the street (i.e. your generation) and you’ll get similar results. Most likely because those kinds of questions aren’t useful in day to day life.

    Don’t give people the whole picture and it’s amazing what you can accomplish.

  75. Bloodharp ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yup, us peoples beins the dumbnest.

    Just look at how much we debated in the last 48 hours over this one incident. Every argument and situation ive read in the last 10 minutes has been (mostly) well articulated and fully thought out. We didnt start with the "F*** you uber nub i be pwnin ur a** and whosit" like he seems to expect of us, so i think we just fully disproved him with this simple blog page.

  76. Warbaine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jack Thompson V2.0! nothing as trivial as facts and logic can stop these towering media..towers of gaming hate!

    “…most young people in the United States do not read literature, visit museums…”
    of course this has nothing to do with high gas prices or the fact that you can find the equivalent online

    But for now all we can do is poke holes through there paper thing arguments and laugh as they fail to grasp basic technical concepts.

  77. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the Museums and Bookstores were absolutely packed with Hippies and Rockers when she was young.

    As for under-30 voting, that was at it’s height during Vietnam and dropped sharply afterwards, what I see happening at this election is pretty much a mirror image of what happened then. History repeats itself, but people remain blind because it gets in the way of feeling superior to the next generation.

  78. Baruch_S says:

    "History repeats itself, but people remain blind because it gets in the way of feeling superior to the next generation."

    Finally! Someone else has noticed the pattern!

  79. Velkrin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh please.  The latest generation is not stupid, they’re lazy.  Mind you the proliferation of standardized tests doesn’t help matters.

  80. Teph says:

    I hope your final comment is just a hyperbole, as it would be depressing to see such cynicism. While I certainly cannot count my self as solely representing the current state of American education, I can at least say, with pride, that my history classes have put more focus on analysis than memorization.

    I would assume (the most I can do without experimentation) that the issue of learning versus memorization stems from interest. A person can rehearse a piece of information with total apathy, but finding that the Treaty of Versailles put Germany in a position of total weakness, and all it took to gain power was promising a return to glory, takes at the very least a tiny amount of enthusiasm.

    On a personal level, I tend to retain more knowledge about the chapters in history that I find odd (favorite period being the Robespierre part of the French Revolution), though I do tend to have a more exaggerated memory of them. Even today, I spent about an hour trying to prove after the answer to a question was given that it could be proven without substitution and primarily through the use of variables.

    The public education system is a factor in the quality of education that today’s youth receives, but social and personal preferences also play a role in how well people learn or how willing they are to learn.

  81. Toastrider says:

    I’m not a fan of ‘new math’ or ‘creative teaching’, but sometimes I wonder if our education system needs to try something truly paradigm breaking. Mathematics and science skills are definitely necessary, and you better learn at least basic English if you want to communicate (with me anyways). But is the rote memorization of events and facts needed? Yes, you need to know the what — but how about the why, and the who involved?

    This is particularly interesting in light of resources like Wikipedia and Google, combined with laptops and Web-capable cell phones, that can be used to pull up a needed fact or line of data.

    It won’t ever replace multiplication tables (hey, I still think people should learn those), but I live for the day when I see someone write a better explanation for the causes of the American Civil War or World War 2 than ‘slavery’ or ‘Hitler did it’.




  82. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Yeah, pop culture is the reason we have stupid people in this generation, not the fact that our education system is comparible with an overcooked turd.


    -Entertainment isn’t the reason the world sucks. It’s the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

  83. thefremen says:

     I have one thing to counter your arguement:




  84. KayleL says:

    NOTE: I know what I typed is long, but please read the whole think before making conclusions because I made muliple views which may make the view more objective.

    Wait? Is he saying that his generation with a extremely high drop-out rate for high school is smarter then this generation who legally can’t drop-out. We have university level math from last generation by grade 9, we have advanced computer technology classes in by grade 10 which never existed 5 years ago (which we learn theories such as mechanical sorting, high level financial, and databasing which is in extremely high demand) etc.

    Now what about the TV, Internet, Video Games, etc. The demand for reading is at the all-time high. We have wikipedia articles, instant messaging, text messages, heavy text RPGs. You can’t get away from reading without being a social outcast.

    People learn the best from creating, and that is more possible then ever before. Music/video production use to cost millions 5-10 years ago, but could be done on a cheap $600 Mac Mini, and a $200 camera. With websites like youtube, vimeo, and video google, you can share and learn from others critism from people around the world. There are blogs which you can learn basic journalism and improve. Wikipedia teaches you more about one event or object then a tour guide at a museum. Then are forums for everything in which you could learn from people from all backgrounds for free, and nearly instantly.

    If you ask me, we have the most potential to be the smartest generation every based on this very technology. The problem is, the generation that this author is in is more lazy then ever before when it comes the parenting. Many parents just can’t grasp the things which is evolving society, so unable to set limits, unable to make sure then there is proper development, and ignore it altogether.

    Another problem is that with views able to so widely spread with television, and with such narrow sight, there are people like Fox News who would tell complete lies, and people would believe it.

    In Canada, we have a politic comedian called Rick Mercer (Basically a Canadian version of Jon Stewart from the Daily Show but better IMO) and he use to have a segment on the show This Hour Has 22 Minutes called Talking to Americans. What Rick Mercer did is go to central to southern America where many people barely know Canada, and lead then with false facts about Canada and they return with ridiculous opinion. Here is an example. Rich Mercer asked if Canada should keep a Navy even though it’s no near bodies of water. They even tease by having university students answering, and not catching on the joke.

    I am talking about the non-youth generation, and yet, they are as illogical as they see us to be, if not more. I know I can’t say that about everyone, or even most people. I am just talking about the loud ones that we see on the headlines of this website everyday.

    I think with the power of the internet, we are getting more views then ever before. We are more sceptical about what we see on Television and willing to look up multiple resources. Even though the internet in general isn’t reliable, it is a great tool that could be used to conclude a reasonable result.

  85. CMK says:

    By the way, all of you insinuating that it was our education (or lack thereof) which created a perceived "stupidity" have to remember: he’s a teacher himself. Why would he possibly place the blame on his profession, even if it is true?

    That’s right, it was his generation that shouldered the responsibility of our education by their own choice.

  86. CMK says:

    Well, he’s a baby boomer, the world’s – nay, history’s – most egregious sufferers of what’s known as an "inferiority complex." Their parents were known as the "Greatest Generation," the executors and "heroes" of World War II. They’ve tasked their most brilliant members with curing hair loss, fixing Erectile Dysfunction, and manufacturing artificial supplements to help with their rampant obesity. They ran General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler into the dirt, inflated the size of the government to inconceivable and illegal levels, and engaged in pointless and deplorable armed conflicts. The current "standard bearer" of their generation can’t pronounce nuclear, thinks "misunderestimate" is a real word, and was recorded uttering the phrase "Is our children learning?"

    And this arrogant prick deigns to deem us the "Dumbest Generation?" What has his generation left us, other than a broken government, a horribly inflated money supply, drugs to give us erections, a mass exodus of jobs, an oppressive and draconian book of "laws," and a book claiming WE are the dumb ones?

    I’m sorry, but he’s got me convinced I’m an idiot about as much as John Edwards has me convinced he’s a moral, faithful family man.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Yes, because I’m sure being able to recall these specific facts is the very definition of ‘intelligence’.  Ugh…

  88. Toastrider says:

    Unless the author’s REALLY old, he ain’t part of the Greatest Generation. My guess he’s an aging baby boomer with a chip on his shoulder, never knocked off since he spent all his time in his little ivory tower.

    Trust me. I disagreed with my grandpa (who WAS part of the G.G.) a lot, but he never insulted me. We just didn’t see eye to eye on everything — which is how it should be.

  89. Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Two (four if you attach the multitap!) can play that game!

    "The so-called ‘greatest’ generation are really just a bunch of arrogant pricks that decided on that name for themselves just so they can bitch about the things their kids and grandkids do that they can’t wrap their heads around."

    Too long for a book title?

  90. HandofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Damnit, that’s "puns and social commentary DO not age well."  Damn lack of edit features…

  91. HanofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Shakespeare’s great!  A lot of the puns and social commentary does not age well.  However, I loved it back in school, along with Chaucer, as the "moral watchdog" assholes would whine and bitch about sex and violence in modern media, and then the required reading in school was chock-full of everything they bitched about.  "Romeo and Juliet" opens with a rape joke and includes teenage sex and murder, "Titus Andronicus" includes rape and cannabalism, the comedies were filled with innuendo of varying subtlety, and if you ever read through "Canterbury Tales" you found plenty of stories full of stuff that would make the censor shmucks faint (Miller, Reeve, etc).  Just remember, sex and violence in media is only wrong if it’s not old, because you can never criticize anything old.

  92. Adamas Draconis says:

    Personally I prefered Cyrano DeBergerac to most of Shakespeare’s writing. "Quick the enemy is coming! Aim your cannon!"


    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  93. Adamas Draconis says:

    Same here when I first heard about the country, I had to ask my geography teacher about it. (Admitedly this was in the mid-80s when the USSR was just starting to fall apart.)


    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  94. GTCv Deimos says:

    Actually about 90%… which when you think about it is pretty good!

    Then again, I should talk… I first heard about it via an email "Russia Vs Georgia".

    Took me a second… and then it dawned on me.

  95. GTCv Deimos says:

    I tried the Georgia thing… guess how many thought I was referring to the state…. go on… guess… you know you want to!

  96. Anthrax says:

    Come on, the dumbest generation is clearly the one that gave birth to whoever wrote this stupid book.

  97. Anonymous says:

    Why do you expect young people to have reverence for older people? Look at what those people are saying about them!

  98. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ah yes, ’cause times were so much better in previous generations.  Everything was a spotless utopia until today.  Pfft, please.  Provide something besides sound bytes if you want to be taken seriously.

  99. tanj ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The world is passing through troublous times.  The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age.  They are impatient of all restraint.  They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them.  As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.

  100. BANE XXIII ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I completely agree with you on every point. My School Limited my interests as much as they could. Couldn’t even go on netscape in 8th grade because they didn’t have " content filters " and this was the INTERNET CLASS! all we did was learn how to retype paragraphs in the write order. That was it. The teacher just went online while everyone was working. Our Public School system is a joke.

    If you prove that you know more than the teachers who went to college for their degrees, they send you to the Principles office for disrupting the class. Our Public education system is set up to fail.

    I just might run for governor in the years to come, but I have to wait until I’m 40 (I’m 25). Another topic is why the age is so high when Older people prove more and more that they are out of touch with what today’s society needs.


    Minneapolis, Mn

  101. Deep Thorn ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Link Required:

    hahaha, omfg, are you kidding me…  Poor Coca Cola, haha…  I am buying more Coke because of that story alone…


    Back to topic:

    People are no smarter because our education system SUCKS!!!  You can only learn so much in schools, and you are limited at every turn.  I tried to take 2 math courses in highschool in one year, and they wouldn’t let me do it.  It was Algebra and Geometry.  So I end up taking Geometry a year later and blew right through it, not able to take AB Calc. because I didn’t take Algebra in middle school…  bullshit…

    High school was the biggest waste of 4 years of my life.  If anything I only developed socially more.  While I could have been learning more about different feilds to plan what college degree I wanted to go for, and start research and studies to learn more about the fields I was already interested in so that I could get a head start in college and start on my Thesis Project earlier…

    I am all for the very dynamic school systems where if you know enough about a subject, you may be able to finish every class the school has in that subject before high school even start.  Then you can focus on other subjects you are not as good at more, or direct yourself to fields that relate to that subject. (Math > C Programming > Creating Applications > Create Video Games, Advance Applications, and so on)

    I am teaching my kids everything I can as soon as I can.  I want them to know how to manage finances, know how to make a website, know how to program in every language I know how to program in, as well as speak as many langauges as possible, and have them be able to do that as a back up if they need to, or merge it with their interests.  Programming and web developement has very practicle applications in many fields…  At the same time I want to teach them about everything I know in the medical field, how to swim, and other advance skills I have too.

    The problem is, parents dont put the time into their kids to teach them things.  I learned so much about the medical field from my mom (a nurse) and so much about finances from my dad (a banker), so much about construction and land scaping from my grandfather, and a crap load about running a business, managing people, and so on from all of them.  There are a good number of kids out there that dont even know what their parents do for a living.

    So I blame the parents and government ran education system for the uneducated people in this country.  and like you said, I can’t say anything about another country because I dont know their country well enough.  I know some countries are better, and some are worse, but I can’t generalize other people like that, especially when not knowing the statistics.  I can generalize about difference races in the US, but that is as far as I can go, and even with that I would say with a clear warning that comments like that are for the majority, not everyone.

  102. GTCv Deimos says:

    You’re probably right, but as an American, I don’t feel like I have the right to make that kind of generalized statement about another country.

    Well except for japan… they’re so silly!

    Anyway, I definitely don’t disagree with the premise of the book, but I too am gonna have to jump on the "EVERYONE IS A BLEEDING MORON, NO MATTER THE AGE! See: annual deaths via vending machine."

  103. Artifex says:

    "…here in America…"

    Gah! I absolutely hate this kind of thinking. It’s reverse centralism, and messed up form of nationalism. Idiots are everywhere, it is like this EVERYWHERE, not one single country is excluded. If there are humans living in it, there are always going to be idiots amoungst the crowd. I would think that with the more widespread use of the internet it would make this rather apparent to most people, but I’m continually dumbfounded when folks assume that it is only like this in America.

    (Sorry for the rant, haven’t had my coffee today.)

  104. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, here in America it seems people are encouraged to be idiots, you’re far more popular that way.

  105. Anonymous says:

    Xenophobia; noun (adj. Xenophobic): A fear of anything new or different

    I just summed up this guy in one word I think… -.-

  106. Anonymous says:

    Oh sure, it couldn’t possibly be because of poor schools and bad parenting. That would be crazy. As someone who knows the scientific method I’d love to know what facts he has to back up his hypothesis.

    If that is what he truely believes then I would ask him to read "Everything bad is good for you"

  107. Meggie says:

    Pretty much. While he might have a point that we as a generation are loosing certain skills, we gain new ones. The boomers knew how to drive better than their parents, was this regression? Every middle aged person will believe the generation below them is subpar, it’s just the way it’s always been.

  108. Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey! I’ll have you know that rock music and comic books are definetly ruining young people! I have all this research by a venerable researcher known as Jack Chick. He wrote a book and everything!

  109. Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s the cultural evolution of society, and he is not helping. If he realised what is the present, what is the past and what is the future. He could, if he really have to, bring the past books of greatness to the present, and make the cultural masterpieces to games or movies. As it stands now he is fighting a tidal wave, he thinks he knows the greatness of the past, but without control of the present what use is there? Take the old classics to the new form of culture, it’s like pokemon when they evolve, they are the same as they were before only their physical form is much more strongly manifested. (god damn im tired.)

  110. konrad_arflane says:

    "Actually, except for some Hamlet, I’ve found Shakesphere rather dry."

    Shakespeare is, in some of his plays (the comedies mostly… duh), hilarious and sometimes really, really dirty. Though admittedly I haven’t read Shakespeare nearly as much as I have watched the plays in theaters and in movies.

  111. mogbert says:

    This seems to be the exact opposite of the study that shows that kids are using scientific method to solve videogame problems in videogames like WoW. If you think about it, MMORPGs are like different worlds with different physics and rules. As players, we often have to use the scientific method to try and break down our experience to discover these rules. We then submit them to peer review on forums, and if they are correct, we can gain some measure of respect from our peer group.

    This reminds me of a thread on GameFAQs for Dragon Quest VIII. They were breaking down the math of the game to determine the strongest weapon. Some hit once or twice, other hit weaker but for two or four times. Then there was the effect of a monsters defense on the numbers. It took a lot of math, but in the end we determined that a sword you get only a querter of the way into the game was the second strongest weapon in the entire game even though other weapons had bigger numbers (and the strongest weapon was only a tiny bit stronger and determined not to be worth it). The scientific method, high level math (minimum Algebra II with some people dropping into Calculus), social interaction and critical writing skills… all about a video game.

    Personally, I’m over 30 (depressing thing to contemplete for me, as I still consider myself part of the videogame generation (spent last night on Age of Conan and Marvel Ultimate Aliance), but I think that what you have is the standard "get off my lawn" and "kids these days don’t know anything" rants that you can get anywhere. Actually, except for some Hamlet, I’ve found Shakesphere rather dry. Perhaps people aren’t going to museums because there is only so much that you can get from looking at casts of old bones. You can get more from wikipedia in a few minutes then walking around a natural history museum. Yes dinos were big, yes they ate different things… but they are gone now. Deal.

  112. Rabidkeebler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sorry, but we are raising a bunch of wussies.  I’m all for parental spanking atleast, though not really for school padling. 


    The real problem is that there is no failure, there is no punishment, there is no negative that middle and upper class students face.  We are in the age of impossible failure.  I know of school districts that it is almost impossible to fail a student.  Teachers have to come with a small binder of information stating that they tried their hardest to get a student to pass, including meetings with the parents.  Otherwise the student gets an automatic 70.  Students can also turn in any late work at the end of the 9 weeks, meaning they can skip on turning in homework during the first few weeks, and then inundate the teacher with work when it is time for report cards to be sent out.


    If anything is to blame, it is the parents.  They are the ones who force teachers to grade in different colors since red some how emphasises failure.  They put the pressure on schools to ban competition, even in recess.  They remove the Gifted and Talented portion of schools.  Why should students try, all they will do is get the same results as everyone else. 


    Among things that need to be changed, is a clear reward/punishment system.  Start treating students as if it is the real world.  Adults get rewarded with pay for doing their job, or they get fired if they fail.  Also bring back failure, students need to learn that they can’t win at everything.  Sure this will make the first few episodes of American Idol a failure, withoug those reject people who have never been told they can’t sing coming on, then there would be no reason to watch. 

  113. Anonymous says:

    "Let’s say I have a friend who is being stupid and refusing to listen to my warnings. I might strike out at them out of concern, not malice."

    That’s an extremely rare situation, akin to dumping a bucket of cold water on a person’s head in order to release them from some kind of demented state. Such an exceptional situation is very, very different from the typical use of force against children as either a deterrent or punitive measure.

    Exceptional cases aside, I stand by my statement that hitting another person is not acceptable.

  114. Anonymous says:

    Well, I’d like to refute that, then. Let’s say I have a friend who is being stupid and refusing to listen to my warnings. I might strike out at them out of concern, not malice. It might help the get message across that something is truly a bad idea. That doesn’t mean you should beat them into the ground.

    If I ever have children, I have no issues with spanking them, because I was spanked when I get really bad and it WORKED. Physical disclipline can work, it can be very effective if used properly and without excess. It’s a matter of balance; how bad is the situation, and how often does it happen?

    To say no human has the right to strike another, aside from self-defense, is very unrealistic.

  115. Anonymous says:

    You should have the right to strike your children when they dont obey you, provided of course that they are allowed to strike you when you grow old and become dependent on them and you misbehave.

    On second thought… no. No human being has the right to strike another, except in self defense.

  116. Neeneko says:

    Considering right now america is in the grips of a pedophile scare, I am guessing that parents are going to be a bit more nervous about such things then they were before the 80s.

    Though there is a long piece on CNN today <a href=>on the topic</a>. So it looks like many parents are ok with it.

    Heh.  I can just imagine some people stuck between ‘good old fashioned displine for these young upstarts with thier hipity hop and their ifrogs or whatever’ and ‘but pedophiles are everywhere and they might want to spank my kids!!!’

  117. sortableturnip says:

    John Atkins, a former state representative, tried to get spanking in schools legalized again in Delaware.  Didn’t happen.


    Would you really want someone else spanking your kids?

  118. Neeneko says:

    Eh, that one is a double edged sword.

    On the one hand, yes some useful techniques can now get you arrested.  On the other hand those methods of displine were being overused and did far more harm then parents realized.. and mostly survived due to the hazing philosphy.. "I had this done to me, now I’m big so I should do it to people smaller then me"

    Unfortunatly many parents have no figured out new methods to replace the old ones yet so you have a bit of a gap.

    Having said that, I actually do not think this is the problem.  I see more damage done via the ‘gifted generation’ mentality.. the baby-boomer idea that their kids are ‘special’ and thus they come down on teachers who actually try to cross the kids.. since any black mark decreases the kid’s chances of getting into a ‘good collage’, so the schools have their hands tied.

  119. Neeneko says:

    Heh.  Take a look at the consumerism of the 40s and 50s.

    Things have changed very little… in fact, with the more fractured nature of modern pop culture and a jaded/saavy croud, marketing could be said to have much less effect on today’s kids. 

  120. Kharnivore says:

    How about America starts looking at the impact of hyper consumerism on their youth, instead of just blaming a scapegoat? It’s true that video games could be considered indicative of the problem, yet the real force driving America’s youth to an intellectual vacuum is the older generation’s executives soaking the population with a mantra of "Buy, buy! BUY!"

    Time spent reading a book or visiting a museum is time not spent at the mall or consuming more advertising.

  121. Neeneko says:

    Eh, don’t blame the teachers on this one.

    After decades of attacks on the education system (go to any township meeting and ask about raising school taxes and people will go livid, even people who have kids in the school), not to mention parents going after teachers who dare to give poor marks to kids (since it hurts little jimmy’s chances of going to a good school) and you end up with an overworked, underpaid profession where survival actually depends on NOT doing your job.

  122. SS says:

    Yeah, most teachers are constricted by parents who don’t want tough classes.  They have to make sure that the class passes.  Teachers sometimes give free extra credit on tests and all.  One of my teachers gave a extra credit assignment of 20 points in which you had make an depression era apple pie.  Our class was performing badly and I think he felt he had to do it to make us pass.  Needless to say, everybody in my class made the pie except for me.  I agree with you.  But I did have that one English teacher who just showed movies. 

  123. thefremen says:

     Because they can’t help but think what life would have been like if they could have taken their Elvis and Beatles records with them. 

  124. ooftygoofty says:

    And let’s not even get him started on iPods.

    Seriously, iPods make older-generation talking heads explode with rage, and I honestly don’t know why.

  125. wiregr says:

    Sounds like someone’s just unhappy that they can’t figure out how to set their VCR

    Seriously though, the entire premise of his book is nonsense. You can’t paint any group of people singled out by age, race, culture, or any other identifying characteristic with the same brush. I’m 23, an avid gamer, a college graduate, and I put myself through college and currently work full-time as a software engineer. I’m now getting ready to back to graduate school in order to further my education.

    No work ethic? Try telling me that when I was staying up at night until 3am trying to get a project working or studying for exams. Try telling me that when I work extra hours in order to get a project finished on time. Not civic-minded? That may have been true in the past, but seeing the path this country currently seems to be on is rapidly changing that. I find myself taking much more of an interest in political issues, and realizing that unless I take action, many of the issues that I care about, including net neutrality and video game legislation will be voted upon by politicians ignorant about the impact of the very issues they are voting upon.

    Before stating that everyone under 30 is part of the "dumbest generation" maybe the author should have done a bit more research instead of jumping to conclusions. Talking to your neighbor’s son who happens to be unemployed, under 30 and who plays video games all day isn’t exactly proper research.

  126. SS says:

    Yeah, Education policy is pretty much failing here.  People don’t want to accept the fact that education here is falling behind to India’s and China’s.  Too little homework, too little classwork, teachers who think that watching movies is a class.  This is making kid’s lazy and stupid.  As for general knowledge, kids everywhere are apathetic to politics and such.  Maybe more so here.  The most disturbing thing is attitude of "I don’t give a crap" about their lives. 

    In India we might have tougher schools(workhouses really) but kids there are unimaginative and do not have skills other than rote memorization.  I tried to talk to them about politics and most of them have no clue and just try to defend the party they like(In India, like here, both parties often uphold the same devastating policies). 


  127. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I should also add that we have also become more lax and have made illegal many rightful forms of child disipline.

    We cannot expect our children to be better educated if we do not teach them disipline.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
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  128. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Is that because of the digital age or is that because the US’s focus on education has dwindled to almost a foot note in congress over the past twenty years?

    This guy really needs to focus more on education policy and less on the "digital age".

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  129. Arashi says:

    Clearly, stupidity is universal.  Thanks for making older folks look paranoid and idiotic, Professor.  Maybe you should re-evaluate your statements about voting – I have a feeling NO voting group could get anywhere near the 75% benchmark that you talk about during this election (or for that matter, any election).

  130. Baruch ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, because so many people over thirty could tell you about the scientific method or basic American history… America’s youth aren’t ignorant; America in general is ignorant. The problem’s been going on for a lot longer the 20-30 years. Did teenagers in his generation read classical literature and go to museums? I doubt many did. In fact, I doubt classical literature and museums have ever had a huge following amongst teenage crowds.

    I’m an avid gamer, and I can "explain basic scientific methods, recount basic American history, name their local political representatives, or locate Iraq or Israel on a map." Hell, I got a 35 on the ACT. I bet Mr. Bauerlein didn’t do that, and he never played those evil vidja gamez.

    For an English prof, Bauerlein seems pretty ignorant. You’re supposed to read and pick up on the patterns of reality in the literature. If he had any intelligence, he’d realize that the older generation always thinks the younger generation has failed. The bad gets worse and the good gets better as time goes on, so as ignorance becomes more pronounced and disgusting, intelligence will also reach new heights. But sensationalism sells books better than realism, so why write about facts?

  131. Matthew says:

    Isn’t it the case that academic skill is on the up, but “common knowledge” is going down? School results are always getting better, even if you factor in the reported drag factor of the exams being dumbed down. How many GP readers in their 20s can do basic calculus, have a rough idea of politics and how things work, and can get by on holiday with a grasp of a foreign language? How many of your parents can?

    People under 30 seem to have a broader range of knowledge than those over 30. Most people I know under 30 are kind of like Wikipedia: a decent collection of rough and probably inaccurate information about a variety of topics.

    Another view is that banality is more prevalent these days. There are huge chunks of intertubes devoted to 14-year-olds chatting about mindless drivel and abusing the English language as they do. Man, kids are stupid these days. Twenty years ago, 14-year-olds didn’t have anywhere to argue over musical tastes and only ever wrote anything down at school.

  132. Jack Wessels says:

    Hey, we’re not the generation who got this country into this mess. That’s all I’m gonna say.


    -"A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject." -Sir Winston Churchill

  133. Krono says:

    The ultimate irony is that this guy reproaches to current generation not to read enough, and yet some people here (though not the majority, fortunately), who have neither read the book nor the author’s interview, are just trashing this book only because of its cover.

    We’re not trashing the book because of it’s cover, we’re trashing it because it’s the same older generation ragging on the younger generation that’s been going on since time immemorial.

    In fact I’m not sure why you’re posting saying that we should stop kneejerking because he isn’t single out games. That’s because virtually all the posts are responding to his general point that we’re ignorant, and either: countering that claim, pointing out that this is the exact same fear/scorn of the younger generations seen in generations past, or pointing out that the problems he raises are due to faults of the education system, not in the culture and media of the younger generation.


  134. Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, and kudos to the people here (mogbert, Paul T Farinelli, Mike, Geoff, Neeneko, etc…) who engaged a civil discussion, whether they agree or not with the author.

  135. Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t like the title. I’m not talking about the book’s title, but about this article’s title. Too sensationalistic, and not that close to the truth.

    If you take the time to read the author’s interview thoroughly, you’ll realize that video games are mentioned only once or twice, and are never singled out. The point is not that young people spend too much time on screen. The point is that (according to the author) they ONLY do that and don’t care about the rest. We may agree or not, but it deserves a serious discussion, rather than fanboyish knee-jerk reactions.

    The ultimate irony is that this guy reproaches to current generation not to read enough, and yet some people here (though not the majority, fortunately), who have neither read the book nor the author’s interview, are just trashing this book only because of its cover.

  136. KensterFox says:

    Tanj is being obviously sarcastic here. This is a quote that has been attributed to a number of authors, the most modern of which that I’ve found was Peter the Hermit, and that was in the XIII Century.

    The point being that every generation has said that about the generations that followed. Those who are saying it now were similarly chastised by their ancestors, and, in all likelihood, we (I’m 25) will say it of our descendants.

  137. tanj ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Peter the Hermit
    A.D. 1274

    Aristotle also wrote quite a bit about the deplorable state of the contemporary youth and it seems to be an often repeated theme throughout history.

    It was intended to be ironic.

  138. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If he is, my mistake.  It’s 10:45 AM here, can I still use the "it’s early" defence? 🙂

    Would have been nice to include some quotations though.  If I don’t see quotations, I assume the person is speaking his/her mind.

  139. Brokenscope says:

    I think that was something siad by Aristotle. I also have my doubts he was actually being serious. I think the first hint should have been the words used.

  140. Anonymous says:

    Another person-of-an-older-generation-complaining-about-a-younger-generation book, eh? How incredibly novel!

  141. Anonymous says:

    Sturgeon’s law people, most adults can’t find Iraq on a map, do not read literature, visit museums, vote, cannot explain basic scientific methods, or recount basic American history.


    Not that that is a good thing.



  142. sheppy says:

    Pretty much.  He seems to be judging previous generations by their best and brightest and we have… 4chan as our defense.  Seems like a silly book in every way, shape, and form.

    Basically it goes like this as Michael Moore pointed out in one of his books.  The average person HAS the capacity for intelligence.  Whether they apply that capacity or not is a whole other matter.  Take, as an example, a night in a sports bar.  Ask about the political termoil in Georgia.  Ask about the social and economical implications of WalMart.  Ask about the long term effects of the weakening dollar.  Watch eyes glaze over as Simple Jack emerges.  Clearly these people are stupid, much worse than the previous generation.  Now, ask about Favre’s stats, Ozzie Smith, the lineup of the 1972 Pacers…. HOLYSHIT!  The intelligence is there, just not applied to a region of culture most would consider socially redeeming.

    And that’s how this new generation is.  Kids these days with their pokemon instead of chess, internet instead of penpals, and blogging instead of dear diary.  That’s this new generation.  Not any worse than previous and possibly even better (in fact, likely even better).  But here’s the problem, if you don’t understand their world and their lingo, you cannot understand how advanced they are.  People can’t find Iraq on a map nowdays…. like this was every something the average person could do in the olden times.  Not even with an animaniacs song could people do that shit.

  143. Neeneko says:

    So basicly his argument for why people are ‘dumber’ is because they are using less of the old mediums?


    I wonder if this author has even a shread of evidence to back up the ‘dumb’ generation or if this is just more baby boomer ‘we were the best everyone else sucks!’ ranting?  Which would be amusing since both newer (post boomer) and earlier (pre boomer) consider that generation a bit of a failure.


    (reads a little more)

    Ah, so the guy is an english teacher.  That explains it.

    While I have had some great english teachers, I’ve also found that many are stuck in a rut when it comes to putting value on things.  They take a snapshot of ‘these books/writers etc are important for all time and anything that moves away from my narrow view is a failing in everyone else’

    This person also seems to have a profound ignorance of the past.  The behaviors he describes have not changed much in, well, forever.

    And TBH, I DO find today’s generation much more knowledgeable then people a few decades ago.  Try talking to the average blue collar worker in their 60s and you will (often) find a pretty narrow knowledge of the world (esp in history) and minimal knowledge about current issues outside sound bytes.  Younger peeps tend to not only have a pretty broad splattering of knowledge but also the skills to be able to find out things very quickly.  The barrier to get answers is low and they know it.  No longer do we have the situation where it is too much effort to go find out who leader XYZ is in the news or what event someone is talking about.  2 minutes on google and now they DO know.

  144. Vake ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

     Personally, I agree that America’s youth has turned out stupid. BUT THAT GOES FOR EVERYONE OVER 30 TOO!

    I’ve got this one buddy of mine, mid-twenties, who knows computers, all kinds, backwards and forwards. He can’t hardly spell half the time, or even do basic math. He has no grasp of common sense.

    But I’ve also got this College Professor (PhD) who’s not any better. He taught this one History class, and didn’t even keep to the book, adding his own "facts" to the agenda. It didn’t take much effort in the library, looking up real facts, to prove him wrong. But everytime someone would speak up, his common defense was "Look it up."

    And I know plenty of other 40 and 50 year-olds who’ve got their heads so far up their butts they can’t see the light of day. Yes, America’s youth is stupid, because they’ve been learning from the elderly.

  145. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I see, so becuase we’re no better than the previous generations it makes *us* dumb… so basically this guy is telling us that everyone is dumb? 

  146. Sky ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "According to recent reports, most young people in the United States do not read literature, visit museums, or vote. They cannot explain basic scientific methods, recount basic American history, name their local political representatives, or locate Iraq or Israel on a map…"

    … and yet I do all of these things. But what’s with the museums thing? I have gotten so much more hostorical information from the Internet than I ever had from a museum. The only thing I can credit museums with is putting histoy right in your face in a very real, tangible way that is perfect for more visual learners.

    I guess he’d rather us just use a hoop and a stick. (

  147. DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Just like how TV destroyed the smarter generation of radio listeners. And Radio destroyed the smarter generation of news paper readers. And printed word destroyed the smarter generation of… the middle ages?

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