Television Has Made Us Smarter?
Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter provides a rousing defense of popular culture, most especially modern television and video games. As someone who is now fighting hard to break the T.V. habit, I may have to reconsider. This looks like an interesting book....but television as chess? I wonder if Tyler Cowen, a former chess champion, agrees. According to one reviewer
The thesis of Everything Bad is Good for You is this: people who deride popular culture do so because so much of popcult's subject matter is banal or offensive. But the beneficial elements of videogames and TV arise not from their subject matter, but from their format, which require that players and viewers winkle out complex storylines and puzzles, getting a" cognitive workout" that teaches the same kind of skills that math problems and chess games impart. As Johnson points out, no one evaluates the benefit of chess based on its storyline or monotonically militaristic subject matter.
comments powered by Disqus
Terry Mateo - 7/22/2006
Here is a website dedicated to
refuting Mr. Johnson's argument.
David Timothy Beito - 5/24/2005
Thanks, I wasn't aware of this.
Jonathan Dresner - 5/24/2005
We discussed this a bit on Cliopatria when his publicist got him into the NYTimes.... By focusing on TV, he's taking a small slice of popular culture which was not always representative.
- Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film Gem
- The discovery that complicated the history of sex change operations
- NYT identifies the person who exposed Gary Hart's philandering
- Decades After Trinity Nuclear Test in New Mexico, U.S. Studies Cancer Fallout
- Lawrence Of Arabia's Hand-Drawn, WWI Map Is Up for Auction
- Ken Burns and the Myth of Theodore Roosevelt
- What Ken Burns Doesn't Understand about the Roosevelts
- A call for historians to do macro history
- Colorado school board, worried about the new AP framework, wants to make sure high school kids are taught patriotic history
- Professor premieres animated short on Pueblo revolt on PBS