Jul

28

Kids Today Are All About Their Internet and Their Ayn Rand

Written by

Oh you kids today, with your New Facebook and AOL Instant Messager and such. The New York Times talked to a bunch of you who prefer going online to reading books that your parents bought for you. It seems that the standardized test scores of Kids Today have declined and plateaued, causing many older people to blame the Internet. But some others are saying that the Internet has created a “new kind of reading”, claiming that even reading New Facebook is better than watching TV because at least there are words involved.

We hear from a bunch of online readers like anime enthusiast Nadia, who counts among her favorite literature some nonsense entitled “My absolutely, perfect normal life … ARE YOU CRAZY? NOT!” Bwog found this thing online and we can see why all the adults are so worried. To quote from Chapter 30: “I drop my hotdog! It just flew towards the end… uwahhhh!! Damn plane! Wait… is that? MY HOTDOG!? I MUST REACH OUT TO IT!! WAIT…”

Another Internet Reader is Zachary, from Connecticut. Zachary loves The Fountainhead and will naturally be attending Columbia in the fall. (There he is up above on his computer, probably reading about someone donating to charity and cursing under his breath.) Philosophizes Zachary the Objectivist: “The Web is more about a conversation. Books are more one-way.”

And then there’s Hunter, who likes the minimalism of things like Wikipedia. In fact, when researching a school project, Hunter scanned a Wikipedia entry to find out where someone went to college by looking for the word “college”, which, the Times will have you know, is not how things were done in the olden days.

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23 Comments

  1. hahaha

    deliciously vicious

  2. Zachary Sims  

    I feel that this article gave everyone the wrong impression - I am accomplished in both online and offline reading.

    • correction:

      Reading Ayn Rand is not an offline reading "accomplishment."

      I'd describe it more as a punishment, akin to self-flagellation. Something you do when either you need to reprimand yourself for not keeping your chastity vows, or when you're too stupid to realize its the wrong thing to do.

  3. oh shit

    the dude is ACCOMPLISHED

  4. wow

    slow news day

    hey bwog, didn't you ever go through a teenage objectivist phase? give the kid a break

  5. agreed

    glad that the Old Greenwich Connecticut kid from his overly educated, wealthy looking family is coming to Columbia instead of a school that it seems he would be qualified to go to (cough cough Yale).

    and thank you Bwog for linking the online nonsense that the girl Nadia reads. Funniest thing ever. But it is pretty troubling that kids are reading that stuff. Imagine if books were published that looked like that.

    And if you read the NY times article, can you imagine students being tested on how fast they can look up information on the internet? For the students that don't score well would have to take Internet Look Stuff Up Faster classes.

    • EAL

      "glad that the Old Greenwich Connecticut kid from his overly educated, wealthy looking family is coming to Columbia instead of a school that it seems he would be qualified to go to (cough cough Yale)."

      I'm glad too, but since when is someone from an overly-educated, wealthy family automatically earmarked as going to Yale?

      Welcome to Columbia, Mr. Sims!

  6. Best of the West

    Despite claims to the contrary, Zachary is not an Objectivist. If you go to NewSchoolPolitics.com, a blog he cofounded, you will discover (along with his embarrassing shortage of posts) that he is an everyday moderate liberal. Nevertheless, he is known to fraternize with Randians from time to time as you can see from other bloggers on his site.

    Also, if you watch the video on the Times website you will see him allege that he "has friends". I know for a fact that this is a lie.

  7. same as #5

    Because children of wealthy, highly educated families have abundant opportunities to excel by doing impressive things. Now not every kid from a wealthy, educated family is earmarked to go to Yale, but it is infinitely easier for someone like that to get in than for a small town or inner city minority because they are given drastically fewer opportunities to excel in their communities (usually because of parents indifferent to fostering positive values in their children) even if the child is naturally imbued with the same potential as the priveleged one.

    For the case of Mr. Sims, listening to the video interview and reading the article gave me the impression that he is incredibly bright (given that he is from a family of voracious readers and that he himself studies a multitude of Tech and Political blogs), that he likely excelled in school and that he was very involved in extracurriculars (as #7 pointed out he did start a political blog, something any college would find appealing). Now I could be completely mistaken but it seems that he would walk in / fit into a school like Yale, known for academic and social elitism. Not that Columbia is a haven for egalitarianism but it is definitely less elitist than Yale.

    • small town kid  

      so inner city kids have "parents indifferent to fostering positive values in their children?" sounds like you could have really contributed a lot to the William Deresiewicz article. glad to know there are people like you to perpetuate the stereotype of elitist, ignorant ivy league students.

  8. relax kid  

    Well maybe I should clarify my argument. I was trying to draw a contrast between wealthy, highly educated parents who are very involved in their child's education and extracurricular life because they can afford to be versus not as fortunate parents who are not necessarily "indifferent" to fostering positive values in their children but find it more difficult to give their children the same opportunities as the previous group of parents because they must work multiple jobs and perhaps value education less. I'd be happy to hear your take on the issue instead of just reading your empty criticism.

    I think it is undeniable that inner city and small town students have significantly less opportunities afforded to them. Now there are obvious exceptions, but I think that their parents and their communities don't foster in them the same type of values (hard work, strong focus on school, full docket of extracurricular interests, ability to achieve one's dreams, etc...) as more fortunate parents. Now you can blame society for the fact that these parents aren't teaching their children these values... which is completely valid.

    It's definitely not a simple issue and there's no one answer to why it is infinitely easier for wealthy children to succeed than children growing up in less fortunate households.

    • well  

      i think if you had clarified your position a little in your first post i wouldn't have objected so strongly. it sounded like to me that you were blaming poor parents for perpetuating underachievement within their communities because they were somehow indifferent to their economic/educational situation, something i just can't agree with. but hey, its the summer and that was more thinking than i've done in months, so lets call it a draw...

    • You know...

      Much of the cycle is perpetuated by the teachers and schools; negative stereotypes are created and fostered. Students who may be bright and whose parents may care about their education may still fail if their teacher assumes that they're just another poor kid who isn't going anywhere. That's how I got it.

    • Perhaps

      if your clarification is that there is no simple answer to why wealthy kids have more success, then you should stop making vast generalizations about "small town and inner city" kids. That is not even a category. What socioeconomic level is an average "small town"? I come from a "small town" that is upper middle class, and yet my single working mother single-handedly instilled academic values and ambitions in me.

      "Now there are obvious exceptions, but I think that their parents and their communities don't foster in them the same type of values (hard work, strong focus on school, full docket of extracurricular interests, ability to achieve one's dreams, etc...) as more fortunate parents. Now you can blame society for the fact that these parents aren't teaching their children these values... which is completely valid."

      THIS is complete bullshit. You don't know how offensive and ridiculous I find this. I'm sorry--are you saying only the wealthy give their children good values? Are you serious?

      Don't be an ignorant rich person. You sound like a Republican pundit.

      It is not the parents. That is your guilt about your wealth talking, or just your ignorance. You want to know why wealthy children have more opportunities and success? Because they are wealthy and thus put into better schools. Period.

      Do you know how much easier it is to get into Columbia if you went to a private or boarding school than if you went to public school?

      Unequal opportunities, unequal "success" rates.

      Also, you think preening yourself for your college applications demonstrates a hard work ethic? What about kids that actually work jobs during high school as opposed to obsessing over their transcripts?

      Please do not tell me rich kids "work harder" to get into good colleges.

  9. came out of nowhere

    but it's my favorite comment.

  10. ...

    you guys need to go to appletree and take pictures. appletree is now with 30% more appletree!

  11. ..............  

    yo bwog, we were referenced in weeds tonight! go lions!

  12. amazing

    this online piece of literature is on the path to becoming the next In Search of Lost Time:

    Oh gosh…

    Where are they!? I don’t see them anywhere!? All I see is Chinese people! Ugh, the plane service is bad and we didn’t even leave yet. Kai… Tyson… Uh… what’s that other guy’s name? Oh yeah, Ray! Please… come…

    “The plane is about to take flight, please settle down and buckle your seat belts” the announcer said.

    I began to sweat. God! Someone, anyone! I need a sign that one of them is coming-

    “ARIES!! YOU BLUNT HEAD!!”

    I froze.

    Oh my freaking lord… That freaking came out of no where! But… that really sounded like Kai… I bet he’s mad…







    “Uh… hurry up plane, don’t want to keep the country waiting” I nervously smiled.

    What!? Yeah, I know, Kai and the rest of the gang are so going to kick my ass… but, for the last freaking time, am I on the right plane!?

    “ARIES, YOUR ON THE WRONG PLANE!!” this time Tyson’s loud mouth that was talking.

    I blink and place a finger under my chin. Wrong plane? Hm… wrong plane… wrong plane? I don’t think I’m on the wro – OH MY GOD I AM ON THE WRONG FREAKING PLANE!!

    “SAVE ME GUYS!” I screamed. I don’t even know where they are. I’m beside a good looking Chinese guy and… well I’m sort of liking it. But… their are still my friends and-

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