Skip to comments.The internet is leaving children brain-dead: Inventor warns 'Google generation
Posted on 12/26/2012 8:42:38 AM PST by traumer
One of Britain's leading inventors has warned that a 'Google generation' who rely on the internet for everything are in danger of becoming 'brain-dead'.
Trevor Baylis, who invented the wind-up radio, said children are losing creativity and practical skills because they spend too much time in front of screens. The 75-year-old said he fears that the next generation of inventors is being lost, with young people often unable to make anything with their hands.
But he said children could rediscover vital skills if schools used Meccano and other practical toys. Mr Baylis said: 'Children have got to be taught hands-on, and not to become mobile phone or computer dependent. 'They should use computers as and when, but there are so many people playing with their computers nowadays that spend all their time sitting there with a stomach.
'They are dependent on Google searches. A lot of kids will become fairly brain-dead if they become so dependent on the internet, because they will not be able to do things the old-fashioned way.'
Recalling how his career had its roots in the very different world in which he grew up, he said he was about five or six years old when he began to invent devices. 'During the war, when I was not at school I used to go out and collect the rubbish,' said Mr Baylis.
'One day I was out and went to this house around the corner from where I grew up in Southall, Middlesex, and this lady said, I've got a box of stuff for you Trev, you'd better get a wheelbarrow. So I picked up this thing and on the way back I was intrigued and I looked inside and it turned out to be a huge Meccano set.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Not to be contrary, but it also renders some children faster and smarter than we have ever been.
The levels of the sciences that young people are required to tackle are sometimes much harder than what I dealt with in high school.
I am a jeweler and change a lot of watch batteries. A couple days ago, I asked a 19 year old girl what time it was so I could set a clients watch. She couldn’t tell time.
Seems hard to believe - many can’t open file cabinets, open doors, dial land line phones, wield a hammer, pencil, or screwdriver successfully, the list goes on.
And social skills are rapidly deteriorating - courtesy is now being replace en masse with actively anti-social behavior.
Obviously not all, buy the percentage is shifting (very much like the electoral divide).
Individual handwriting and calligraphy skills already died with the advent of the PC. Grammar and syntax are now being strangled by the likes of texting, instant messaging and twitter. The reading ability of younger people, especially with regard to long and complex arguments, will be the next to go.
replace s/b replaced
buy s/b but
They have to have digital watches. Apparently many kids are not taught anymore how to tell time on a regular old clock,
They are also not taught to write in cursive. Some places still do, but many do not.
Creation of Fed
National Income Tax
Medicare / Medicaid
End of Gold Standard
Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan
And you say the NEW generation is brain dead?
My best Christmas present ever was a soldering iron.
A few years ago a friend went to Sri Lanka and asked that I forward their bills. So I put the bills in a seperate envelope and filled in the address and city, followed by SRI LANKA, ASIA.
I took the envelope to a little corner post office and asked it to be weighed, because I needed postage for Sri Lanka. The clerk told me I only needed one first class stamp. I thought well, that's funny, but I rarely use snail mail, what do I know what it costs to send a letter overseas. A few days later I had occaison to send something else, and again, one first class stamp.
A week or so later the letters were returned, POSTAGE DUE. Irate, I went to the same clerk and asked for an explanation. He looked puzzled, weighed the letters again, and said the computer said the postage was adequate. He couldn't understand it.
I asked him if he was sure he was calculating the cost for Sri Lanka, SRI LANKA. And he said, yes, absolutely, the postage rate for Sri Lanka.
Grabbing at straws I asked, Sri Lanka, Asia??
Suddenly understanding dawned. He said it was MY fault, I should have TOLD him I meant someplace overseas...
As politely as I could, I asked him just where in the Hades he thought Sri Lanka was. He said he thought it was a town in California.
True Story. Why engage the brain when there's a machine to think for you.
I teach physics at a Christian college prep school.
The kids are very bright, but even the boys have problems doing setups for basic hands-on labs.
Many must be shown how to put together hotwheel tracks.
Then, they have trouble visualizing (hypothesis) what the outcomes will be because this is REAL, NOT VIDEO.
Read any college student's twitter feed (of course, having a twitter feed is problem #1). "siting in clas #soooo bored"..."out of clas gona eat a muffin #YOLO"..."omg gooood muffin #sooo ful"..."goin bak to clas #soooo bored"...etc. Truly painful to decipher.
"The reading ability of younger people, especially with regard to long and complex arguments, will be the next to go."
Its already gone. Ask most highschool kids what the federalist papers are and who wrote them and why, and you'll be met with blank stares and in some cases sneers. Information like that was drilled into me; I just know it. Not so with far too many Americans these days.
Nothing new about that. My wife has had letters to her parents in New Mexico returned demanding overseas postage. It got to be so common she started writing “USA” at the end of their address.
And in the UK..use of a knife and fork unless to stab someone.
Seems that manual dexterity in operating a fork is missing in UK teenagers...
Ministry of Health have been tasked to develop square peas for school lunches due to the inability of students to load a fork with spherical peas.
The problem was attributed to the extensive use of hand held fast food.
Classic double hand feeding with elbows on table.
“Not to be contrary, but it also renders some children faster and smarter than we have ever been.”
There will always be a cognitive elite.
I suspect that the internet will further separate the cognitive elite from the rest for whom creativity simply lies in a properly worded google search. No analysis required.
“The levels of the sciences that young people are required to tackle are sometimes much harder than what I dealt with in high school.”
I do not see this, rather I see the opposite. They may be exposed to key-words, but they are by no means required to tackle sciences. Those that do are fewer than when I was in high school - and soon those classes will be so poorly populated that they’ll get rid of them altogether.
The middle 3 cognitive quintiles are most severely impacted by this phenomenon, in my opinion. They aren’t forced to endure the rigors of analysis that more often than not does not come naturally to them.
it is scary.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
Minor disagreement. They don't wear watches. They use the digital clock app on their $120/month smart phones. You could buy a Rolex for less.
I guess. I just know that the SAT is harder now than it was when I took it. My kids had to know more in High School than I did. I am not sure that all of this is the fault of the internet, but more a function of the breakdown on society in general and especially the family. In general though, I think we now know more than we ever have and knowledge is greater than it ever was.
Do you really think that’s true? I took Intermediate Physics and Beginning Calculus in hs back in 1965-6. Are kids really beyond that today?
(admittedly it was a Catholic prep school)
Well, I think maybe you are right about that. LOL
No, not beyond calculus, at all. My son just graduated from high school and decided to go on the honors track. He was always working. I have a daughter who is in grad school in Columbia in Psych and she was always swamped. I was simply stunned at the amount of work these kids had to do. Much more than I did. Maybe they were the exceptions, but they just have huge amounts more required than I remember.
I had a very rigorous hs program, 3 or 4 hours of homework every day. When I got to college (engineering) there were kids (especially from rural areas) who were shocked at how difficult it was. For me it was just 4 more years of the same thing.
The SAT has been significantly dumbed down in the last 3 decades.
These new devices and methods are all tools that can extend and expand one’s capabilities, or they can become crutches that reduce one’s capacities and capabilities. For example, look at calculators. In the right hands, they extend what a person can do in a short amount of time and free them to examine more complex problems. In the wrong hands, they can erode one’s capabilities to perform basic math and to visualize numbers. They made a lot of people “dumber”, but they also made SOME people much more capable (hopefully, I wound up in the latter group).
Actually, there can be a lot of thinking that can go into a GOOD Google search, that can quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. This is somewhat analogous to being able to work the Dewey Decimal System in a large library with a good catalogue.
The internet doesn’t make anybody anything. The internet is a network linking computers all over the world. First clue that this is a stupid person.
The internet can be used for good purposes and for stupid purposes.
For the benefit of liberals reading this: using the internet is like going to the library. You can read good books that make you a better, smarter person, or you can read trash, wasting your time dragging yourself down into dirt.
Human nature being what it is, many people started producing garbage the moment the internet became popular. However, you can find tremendously useful things by means of the internet.
Children can be shown how to use the internet for good purposes.
There is no substitute for reading. If I have any gripes, it is that a lot of people just don’t read books.
Truth is, I an NOT a fan of the electronic books. If I am old fashioned about anything, it is about being able to hold a book in my hands, not a tablet. It just feels better and is easier on my eyes.
Really. I was under the impression digital watches are disappearing, like the auto-sun roof.
In a Wal-mart several years ago, I was near a mother and daughter buying back-to-school supplies for the daughter who was entering her second year in college.
The daughter had the task of entering the cost of the items into a hand held calculator. At one point, I heard the mother say in exasperation something like, “Well, there are 7 of them and they are $4 each. So what’s 7 X 4?” I distinctly recall that the math problem was 7 X 4.
I was astounded to hear the girl say that she did not know.
Apparently, they are not even taught the times tables any more. Well, who needs to do all of that when you have calculators? Besides, the teachers probably don’t know the times tables either. Scary stuff.
As if most of us would miss that.
Like many of my peers, I was drilled intensely on cursive in my grade school years (1959-66) and despite years of practice, was never able to produce much more than marginally readable scrawls.
I taught myself a few years ago to write in Getty-Dubay italic and it truly did change my professional life.
I am aware of that. You get the idea.
I know people with beautiful handwriting. Mine isn’t so good since I have arthritis in my hands.
However, the Getty-Dubay looks very nice.
Double dog dare you to find problems like these in today’s high school math texts. These are actual problems from a 1911 high school math primer:
If 44 cannons, firing 30 rounds an hour for 3 hours a day consume 300 barrels of powder in 5 days, how long will 400 barrels last 66 cannons, firing 40 rounds an hour for 5 hours a day?
A certain number of men, twice as many women, and three times as many boys, earn $123.80 in 5 days; each man earned $1.20, each woman 66 1/3 cents, and each boy 53 1/3 cents per day. How many were there of each?
A ditch 80 yards long, 10 ft. deep, and 9 ft. wide was dug by 20 men in 12 1/2 days of 10 hours each; and a ditch 76 yards long and 12 ft. wide was dug by 30 men in 7 1/2 days of 9 1/2 hours each. How deep was the latter ditch?
A speculator bought 10 village lots, and gave a 4-months note in payment. This note was immediately discounted in the bank at 8%, and the bank discount was $192. What was the average price of the lots?
A druggist bought 6 pounds of quinine at $11 per pound, avoirdupois weight, and sold it in 2-grain capsules at 10 cents per dozen. What was his profit?
FYI - 20 grains = 1 scruple
3 scruples = 1 dram
8 drams = 1 ounce
Ouch. // Good response.
Trevor Baylis, who invented the wind-up radio, said children are losing creativity and practical skills because they spend too much time in front of screens. The 75-year-old said he fears that the next generation of inventors is being lost, with young people often unable to make anything with their hands.As if there will someday be jobs for them -- and anyway, they'll be able to draw disability after spending six or seven years in tuition-free universities.
Is that a “Brain That Wouldn’t Die” poster in the background?